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The question What are some fundamental issues computer science tries to address? was closed as I was finishing the editing of an answer, that did take some time.

I think it is a rather nice question, as it is questionning the nature and role of CS, and asks for some examples. It is always time to stop the flow when there are too many examples, too many answers. But in that case there were few answers.

I asked for reopening as I disagreed with the closure, though I do not see what I should edit in the question. I like the question because I think it is important to show that CS, like other fields, is involved in fundamental problems about the world, why it is what it is, and to make it clear that it is more than a collection of technical recipes, as some people would have it. While technical answers can often be found on the web, I believe that such questions, important for laypeople and for the image of our field are less addressed, especially by technicians of the field. This is an important and critical issue for the acceptance of CS on the same level as other sciences, by the public, by other scientists of more established fields, and by political decision makers, especially regarding CS teaching in schools.

I would like to see teenagers magazine make small articles on those issues, as they do on other scientific topics. Make the young people dream. An no one will ever dream over a binary tree, even a balanced one.

To compare with another field, very very few phisicists will ever study consmology. Nevertheless, that is one topic that may make teenagers dream an do sciences. That is what the question was about. At least it should be taken as an opportunity to answer along those lines.

That is what I was trying to do. Whether I was doing it well is another matter.

Now, if you think it would help the question to modify it along those lines, I can try that. But some will say I am calling for a list of topic. That is not the case ... ther are not so many topics that can be fundamental and explainable to laypeople.

P.S. Gilles told me I should take the issue here on meta, even apparently for disagreement over one specific question. So I am doing it. I never realized it was something done, and I also raised the more general question of question closing while an answer is edited, as I was uncomfortable talking only of one specific problem. Apparently I was wrong. Sorry for that.

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  • $\begingroup$ think it is halfway decent question. alas agreed it fails on the se-wide broadness criteria (which can be inflexible at times). my assumption was it included the idea of key mysteries which to me is not too broad. others did not make that assumption. $\endgroup$ – vzn Nov 12 '14 at 23:40
  • $\begingroup$ @vzn Precisely ...I also understood it that way, which makes it much less broad than What is the definition of Computer Science, and what is the Science within Computer Science? which is already 2 questions in the title. But it sorts of look more precise in the statement, though it is less. $\endgroup$ – babou Nov 13 '14 at 0:20
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    $\begingroup$ To my eyes, the finger on the closing button works extensive hours in this site. While I agree that obvious cases should be closed, my preference is to let borderline cases go through. $\endgroup$ – Ran G. Nov 16 '14 at 2:36
  • $\begingroup$ @RanG. This is what I for one do already. This is not a borderline case, imho. $\endgroup$ – Raphael Nov 25 '14 at 7:31
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It's an interesting question. It's a question that should definitely be answered. However, it's too broad for a single SE post -- as such, I think the votes are correct.

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    $\begingroup$ If the question is interesting, how would you suggest it should be narrowed or cut in pieces. $\endgroup$ – babou Nov 12 '14 at 15:09
  • $\begingroup$ @babou I'm not suggesting that it can be. Not every interesting question is suitable for the SE format. $\endgroup$ – Raphael Nov 14 '14 at 16:44
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    $\begingroup$ If it's an interesting question, it should be opened. It wouldn't hurt to see 10 different answers trying to tackle it. $\endgroup$ – Ran G. Nov 16 '14 at 2:37
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Being one of the users voting to close, I definitely found the question too broad. It should be made more focused in some way. Moreover, what research did the OP do? There are e.g. plenty of historic questions around, like this one or that one. So really, how does the question intend to differ from "what is computer science"?

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  • $\begingroup$ I did not have history in mind when I got interested in this question. But it may, sometimes, be relevant. Giving these references when closing the page would have been, imho, a better motivation. BTW, some of the questions you point to are not narrower than the one in discussion. $\endgroup$ – babou Nov 12 '14 at 15:21
  • $\begingroup$ @babou I agree with your last point. $\endgroup$ – Juho Nov 12 '14 at 15:26
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    $\begingroup$ @babou Bad questions not being closed then is not a valid argument for not closing other bad questions now. $\endgroup$ – Raphael Nov 12 '14 at 18:20
  • $\begingroup$ @Raphael Maybe. But the inconsistency may have its own reasons. The other questions are rather broader than the one that was closed. But the way the latter one was asked may have more to do with the closing than the breadth itself. There are reasons given, and more subconscious ones. And I maintain what I always said: if it turns out too broad, there is still time to close. $\endgroup$ – babou Nov 12 '14 at 18:30

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