When I ask a question which is covered by canon, I get downvotes because its poorly researched . Alright. But, when I ask question which isn't covered by canon, it is said that its not constructive , so off-topic because speculative answers aren't allowed.

If community has problems with both 0 and 1 of a boolean, what should I ask?

  • Hey @Sachin, what is an example of a speculative question of yours that got closed? Also, on the meta discussion you linked, it seems some of your questions got downvoted because they were dupes. Unfair, maybe, but there IS a way to avoid posting dupes ;)
    – Andres F.
    Aug 20, 2012 at 21:34
  • @Andres See close votes on scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/22140/… . Also see comments on it...
    – user931
    Aug 21, 2012 at 6:44
  • Oops! @NominSim has deleted his comments from there.
    – user931
    Aug 21, 2012 at 7:04
  • 2
    @AndresF. - it's harder to avoid posting dupes on SFF than on SO; since the wording can be so wildly difficult. Just because someone who read every HP question here can realize what Sachin posted is a dupe in 1 second, does NOT mean Sachin himself can. I strongly disagree with downvoting dupe questions unless Stack Exchange system clearly flags them as dupes (as you type them); OR the dupe is the top Google link when you google the question subject. Aug 22, 2012 at 1:08
  • @DVK Agreed. I normally wouldn't downvote dupes either, but flag them instead. I was just pointing out why Sachin might be getting downvotes.
    – Andres F.
    Aug 22, 2012 at 1:55
  • 1
    I thought that duplicate questions were meant to be closed. If something is closed you don't get the negative rep. So... what's the issue with that? Aug 24, 2012 at 14:57

3 Answers 3


I don't see a lot of questions, but I do notice that you phrase a lot of your questions as "what if" questions.

While I shy away from down-voting, the "what if" spin on a question forces it to be less constructive.

For example, your question regarding the result of a group-patronus cast in a sphere around a dementor. Your real question is regarding what happens to a dementor when encountering a patronus. You trivialize what is otherwise a good question by asking for the results of a situation that doesn't even seem remotely likely to happen in canon.

Your question about the veil would have been better if it asked what exactly the veil is doing. It's de-valued by asking "what if Voldemort went through the veil?". Why? Because he never went through and there's no chance for him to in cannon, so it detracts value from the question.


I find that a LOT of downvotes you got - especially on "poorly researched" side - are very subjective and frankly, undeserved. So my advice is, keep posting.

Work on iterative improvement. If someone makes a legit objection (and not a useless "you should have known it from seeing the movie" rudeness), ask politiely if they have specific suggestion on what to improve in the question and how. Try to follow them. See if it helps with voting trend.

As a random example, Pearson (the moderator) usually has had very good editing suggestions for the rare cases I got comments from him, that greatly improve the questions.


I think for me, in a subject like speculative fiction these unseen edge cases are rarely worth asking or answering. This is because in quite a few cases the root question has been answered and the question smacks of trying too hard to be imaginitiative, as well as being un-answerable as they aren't coded in canon.

  • 1
    Sorry, -1. Half the fun is trying to apply the rules of the universe in a logical and consistent manner. That's what SciFi is all about in the first place. Idle random speculation is one thing, but usually things like that can be answered in a fairly logical manner with minimum random assumptions Aug 25, 2012 at 0:27
  • I'm only thinking of the very extreme edge cases. Most of sachin's posts are fine by these standards.
    – AncientSwordRage Mod
    Aug 25, 2012 at 9:56

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