4

Primarily for use on Futurama questions, but could be more generally useful for other comedy science fiction.

In Neutopia why didn't the Borax Kid teleport in Scruffy?

We get 4 or 5 of these a month. It's getting annoying.

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    I suspect this would have been helpful during the Futurama Apocalypse. But I blocked the tag during that time, so I wouldn't know for sure. – Izkata Feb 11 '13 at 2:11
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    Isn't this why we have downvoting, though? – Slytherincess Feb 11 '13 at 2:30
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    @JohnO In light of your edits, perhaps the question should be turned into "What closed reason, if any, should be used for these questions?"? – Beofett Feb 11 '13 at 16:40
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    We are working on some changes to the close system right now that will effectively allow sites to create "custom" close reasons. However, using it for questions that arrive at the frequency of "4 of 5 a month" would be overkill. In this specific case, I agree with Beofett - no need to close these in the first place. – Adam Lear Apr 24 '13 at 22:27
  • Most questions about Futurama (and similar shows) can be answered with "That's the joke". That the correct answer isn't very interesting actually tells us a lot about the quality of the questions themselves. – Andres F. Apr 28 '13 at 22:37
  • @AndresF. There are currently 186 questions tagged futurama. A cursory glance indicates that your claim that most questions about the show can be answered with "that's the joke" is not supported at all by the evidence. – Beofett Apr 29 '13 at 13:15
  • @Beofett The reason for most (all almost) of the Futurama questions and answers was the advertised contest with real world prizes for Futurama material. The quantity/quality of questions/answers can't really be viewed wholesale without taking that into account. (i.e. a majority of those questions/answers came from fledgling users unaware of standards of quality for the site). – NominSim May 21 '13 at 5:16
  • @NominSim the claim was that most of the questions can be answered with "that's the joke". The fact that there was a contest providing incentive for new users to ask, yet most received better answers than "that's the joke" (both during and long after) does nothing to diminish my point. – Beofett May 21 '13 at 10:46
  • @Beofett Wasn't trying to diminish your point, just wanted to point out that the majority of Futurama content resulted from that contest. That being said, if we were to include the multitude of questions that were closed/downvoted due to poor content then perhaps we would see a majority able to be answered with "that's the joke". – NominSim May 21 '13 at 14:59
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Why do these questions have to be closed? Just downvote the question if you think it is bad/completely obvious.

The problem with "not constructive" is that if you don't get the joke, then you would have no way of knowing that the answer can't be supported by facts, references, etc..

One thing to keep in mind is that "because its funny" is a bad answer, too. A good answer would detail all of the elements that contribute to the joke. Sometimes you may get surprisingly good information that may not be obvious, but which adds a lot of interesting information to the joke which adds to the humor.

As an example, I asked this question about a somewhat humorous remark in one of Vernor Vinge's books.

On the surface, the answer was because its funny. Yet I got an answer that provided some really excellent insight, showing it to be much more interesting than I had expected when I asked.

If we close every question that asks for an explanation for a joke, we run the risk of losing out on some quality content.

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  • I actually believe they don't necessarily deserve downvotes... they're asked in good faith, and at least in theory it's possible that they have real answers... sometimes Futurama's jokes are subtle. I think the ones that are jokes should be closed with that reason without downvoting, and that the ones where this isn't the reason, they should remain open. – John O Feb 11 '13 at 14:50
  • @JohnO That's why I added the caveat "if you think it is bad/completely obvious". Some of these questions will be good, some mediocre, and some will just demonstrate poor research (which is one of the key criteria for downvotes). Relying upon what the answers look like before determining if it should be open or closed, however, is not a good idea; the rule needs to be clear enough to make the decision based on the question alone. – Beofett Feb 11 '13 at 15:08
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    I think explaining a joke is the first step on the road to Hell :) I'd rather not see this site explaining why a Futurama joke is funny, and therefore, not see questions about Futurama jokes at all. (And I love Futurama! I happen to think most questions about Futurama actually tells us more about the asker's lack of sense of humor) – Andres F. Apr 28 '13 at 22:33
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    I can see it already: "Why does Professor Farnsworth not remember who Bender is? 'You know, the loveable rascal?'". Kill...me...now. Please. – Andres F. Apr 28 '13 at 22:34
2

A 'not constructive' flag for the question would be my choice of response rather than create a new close reason.

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  • We get alot of these though, and "not constructive" is generic enough that while correct, it could use a little more specificity. We're getting at least a few of these per month, and not all of them are Futurama (though most seem to be). Red Dwarf, Venture Bros, etc. could all benefit from this. – John O Feb 11 '13 at 14:22
  • You make a good point - perhaps whats needed is a text box that people can use to explain their reasoning. I'd prefer keeping a limited number of broad close reasons rather than a long list of narrow ones. – user11295 Feb 11 '13 at 14:36

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