8

This question probably has the same answer as this other question. (Since the asker has not confirmed the answer, it is not certain that the answer is the same; but the number of TV series from the 1990s that are set on a scientific research space station with a physicist who works on AI, grows plants, and has "two sophisticated robots" is likely not greater than one.)

The content of the questions might not be enough to count them as duplicates, and the answer to the earlier question does not contain the information that would be easily found in a search (the research aspect of the station is only implicit, two service drones vs. two sophisticated robots, confirming the coconut-avocado hybrid vs. "grow some plants", no mention of Lyle Campbell's physics background, mention of his attempt to improve drones intelligence vs. "interested in ... artificial intelligence").

  • Does the downvote indicate that this is a stupid question and I should have just flagged the later question as a duplicate? If so, should I just delete this question? – Paul A. Clayton May 27 '13 at 12:28
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    This is an interesting question - as far as I recall, we don't have a general policy on Story Identification questions that might be duplicates.. Perhaps someone else will recall something? – Izkata May 27 '13 at 20:14
  • @PaulA.Clayton - typically, DVs on meta mean disagreement with the question. Though not everyone is guaranteed to follow the rule. – DVK-on-Ahch-To May 27 '13 at 22:47
  • @DVK You mean that the downvoter thought they were not duplicates? (That method would only seem to work for "yes/no" questions--admittedly common on meta--and even then only if the asker shows a particular bias [if I phrased it as "Am I right that this is not a duplicate?", would down/up votes indicate duplicate/not duplicate?].) I tried for neutrality in my phrasing (in part because I really don't know), so "disagreement with the question" seemed a bit unclear. (I was somewhat aware of this aspect of meta, but thank you for the clarification.) – Paul A. Clayton May 27 '13 at 23:05
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    @PaulA.Clayton - Plausible. Can't read their mind so not sure, of course. – DVK-on-Ahch-To May 27 '13 at 23:13
  • Up/Down-votes can also be used express agreement with the relevance of a given question. But I cannot attest whether or not this was the case here. – bitmask Jun 6 '13 at 22:13
3

Since the second one is of significantly lower quality (i.e. it has much fewer details than the first), it cannot be ascertained for certain that it is asking about the same question. There are definite similarities (and the answer on the earlier question is referenced by one of the answers on the later question), but without the askers clarifying more, there's really no way of telling what they meant exactly.

I see two possible ways of handing this:

  • The first would be to close the second question (as a duplicate OR not constructive (due to lack of information). This is not my recommendation, as I think it says that we know exactly what the asker is thinking. I feel the question is doing little harm as it is.
  • The second is to leave it open, and ask for further clarification on details. If the asker gives details similar to the first question, then perhaps close as a duplicate

I only remember seeing a few Story Identification questions closed at all, and they were for lack of information. Realistically, I don't think we can close questions of this type as duplicates unless they give a great deal of detail and it is exactly in line with another question, or unless the asker confirms their question is a duplicate (both rare cases). My suggestion would be to carefully monitor questions for quality, and close ones that are difficult to answer, not worrying about those that might be a duplicate.

  • 2
    I, the asker of this meta question, am the one that provided answers to both questions--neither accepted (but the ID for the earlier is practically certain). The asker of the later question is relatively new and has not visited since almost 2 days before my answer; the asker of the early one was also new and has not visited since (5 min. before!) asking the question. I suspect clarification is not forthcoming. I generally agree with your answer (though it is not certain that there was insufficient detail) but will wait a while before accepting. – Paul A. Clayton May 31 '13 at 21:25

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