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The question https://cs.stackexchange.com/questions/4762/references-to-cs-in-pop-culture asks for about the role of CS in popular culture, including which CS personalities have made some kind of appearance to the more general public.

On one hand, this might be interesting, but it is not so clear whether there is any specific answer – it's a big list question – and whether the answers will be useful. IMHO, the question would be far less useful than most big-list questions that have appeared on this site (and have been closed).

Should this question be on topic?

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  • $\begingroup$ agree it could be borderline & might "lose". however, imho, think theres too much preoccupation on stackexchange sites with apriori trying to figure out question quality (or is it only the CS related ones?) instead of simply letting the voting mechanisms & collective intelligence do that trick. ie answering/voting/comments on it being the main ones. ps & if you prefer the question to lose on all those, maybe it would make more sense for you not to edit it to improve quality & just ignore it. also seems a symptom of too few questions.... $\endgroup$ – vzn Sep 27 '12 at 18:04
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    $\begingroup$ I'm merely trying to improve the quality of the site, both by questioning the question and improving the poor quality. $\endgroup$ – Dave Clarke Sep 27 '12 at 19:17
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    $\begingroup$ congratulations! $\endgroup$ – vzn Sep 27 '12 at 20:08
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    $\begingroup$ Public image is one of the larges problems CS has, imho. Talking about that would be a good idea. Listing off allegedly famous individuals would not help the discussion, though, and neither such a list nor a discussion can be expected to work well on SE. $\endgroup$ – Raphael Sep 28 '12 at 11:36
  • $\begingroup$ dont feel I really know exactly what the public image of CS is, thats why I asked. have some theories. it doesnt seem to me that the CS image is a problem afaik, but answers might show that as a possibility. think the idea of limiting/restricting all questions to problems that one is facing is completely artificial and not followed in general esp on non stack-overflow sites and itself what is verging on problematic... guess stackexchange is what happens when geeks try to communicate on nonlogical areas of reality & attempt to shoehorn it into a logical worldview... $\endgroup$ – vzn Sep 29 '12 at 15:41
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    $\begingroup$ @vzn: One possible way of getting your question accepted is to stop insulting the people running the site and to conform to the conventions of a good question. If someone makes a comment about your question that you disagree with, the proper response it to correct their misconception, rather than just insulting them. I'm referring to the misconception I had about "collective intelligence". You'll go a lot further in stackexchange if you play nice. $\endgroup$ – Dave Clarke Sep 29 '12 at 16:39
  • $\begingroup$ hey dave you're a smart person. hows that for a non insult? how were you insulted? is noting your erroneous belief wrt collective intelligence what you perceive as an insult? still dont know why you cant simply just politely acknowledge and correct your misconception about "collective intelligence" [easily done, & which apparently still stands] rather than just projecting your frustration. $\endgroup$ – vzn Sep 29 '12 at 16:43
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    $\begingroup$ @vzn: You could have provided a correct definition rather than saying "huh? nope. not even wrong." And regarding the insults, very many things you write are generally insulting. It is indeed frustrating dealing with you. I'm not even sure why I bothered. $\endgroup$ – Dave Clarke Sep 29 '12 at 16:48
  • $\begingroup$ ok dave where would you like posted a defn of collective intelligence [which to repeat, is easily obtained from refs already posted or elsewhere on the internet] and if done, will you regard it as an act of generosity? not even sure if this makes sense because imho it is unlikely to change your perception =( ... think to the contrary it is others who erroneously think they are "running the site" who have been "insulting".... $\endgroup$ – vzn Sep 29 '12 at 17:04
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    $\begingroup$ You were asking people to look up "collective intelligence" by looking in the answers, rather than providing that information in the question. This is not how one should write a question. $\endgroup$ – Dave Clarke Sep 29 '12 at 17:11
  • $\begingroup$ thought the term was widespread in last few yrs & well understood in CS circles incl stackexchange moderators given that the site is based on it. maybe wrong about that. as for "how to write a question", guess there is more focus on that here rather than simply answering them... which I did & then get negative votes for the trouble, and more harassment in comments & on meta. wheeee! oh yeah! what a fun place! am sure it will go far & get out of beta with flying colors wink $\endgroup$ – vzn Sep 29 '12 at 17:25
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    $\begingroup$ @DaveClarke, Do not feed the troll. $\endgroup$ – Nicholas Mancuso Sep 29 '12 at 18:44
  • $\begingroup$ @NicholasMancuso: I was trying to help. $\endgroup$ – Dave Clarke Sep 29 '12 at 18:49
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    $\begingroup$ @DaveClarke, I know, but as frustrating as it is, it may be a better long term solution to just leave it be. $\endgroup$ – Nicholas Mancuso Sep 29 '12 at 19:16
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    $\begingroup$ @vzn, please stop derailing the discussion and consciously attacking other users. Whether you are aware of it and/or do so on purpose is irrelevant; your behaviour is inappropriate. If you have specific issues with other users' actions, please open up meta threads accordingly. There is no need to spam unrelated topics with your opinions. $\endgroup$ – Raphael Sep 29 '12 at 22:00
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On-topic? Yes, I think so.

Appropriate? Hell no. It's squarely an example of a question not to ask here:

Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page.

Your questions should be reasonably scoped. If you can imagine an entire book that answers your question, you’re asking too much. (…)

If your motivation for asking the question is “I would like to participate in a discussion about ______”, then you should not be asking here. (…)

To prevent your question from being flagged and possibly removed, avoid asking subjective questions where …

  • every answer is equally valid: “What’s your favorite ______?” (…)
  • there is no actual problem to be solved: “I’m curious if other people feel like I do.” (…)
  • we are being asked an open-ended, hypothetical question: “What if ______ happened?” (…)

Closed as non-constructive.

(And the question is so broad that “not a real question” would apply too.)

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  • $\begingroup$ huh. my pov, not covered by a book, probably. not looking for a discussion. not subjective. not every answer is equally valid. there are many questions posted on stackexchange that do not relate to "actual problems to solve". its not open ended/hypothetical. as for broadness, my opinion is that CS is rarely mentioned in pop culture, maybe you have evidence otherwise. but your mileage may vary. maybe this site really just exists at/for the approval of moderators & high scoring users. whatever! $\endgroup$ – vzn Sep 27 '12 at 20:16
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    $\begingroup$ @vzn, it has nothing to do with high score. It has everything to do with politeness, willingness to learn/improve, and willingness to take constructive feedback. Further, knowing the difference between having to say something, and having something to say. $\endgroup$ – Nicholas Mancuso Sep 27 '12 at 23:53
  • $\begingroup$ uh huh. ok NM guess will just have to go study all your writing on the site & achieve enlightenment. imho knee jerk closing questions isnt all that polite or tolerant, and never proposing a way to improve them seems kind of nonconstructive, but apparently its all a matter of perspective... stackexchange... where the moderators are always right $\endgroup$ – vzn Sep 29 '12 at 15:52
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    $\begingroup$ @vzn Please note that it is not only moderators contradicting you. In fact, I have yet to see anybody take your side. Go figure. $\endgroup$ – Raphael Sep 29 '12 at 21:11
  • $\begingroup$ thought you said somewhere on another thread that stackexchange is not a popularity contest... and it must be fun to feel so infallible! it appears to me that almost nobody cares with good reason ... & after 10mo on stackexchange, frankly have never seen a flexible & accommodating moderator so far. not really surprising however. it has a lot to do with the dynamics of the site. most users "hit and run", most do not even sign up, and those that do rarely hang out a whole lot on the site.... moderators seem to think their lonely quest is to slay the bad content that only they can identify! $\endgroup$ – vzn Sep 30 '12 at 2:11

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