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wundayatta's avatar

What kind of discussion are you most often hoping for when you ask a question?

Asked by wundayatta (58525points) April 5th, 2009

I usually ask questions designed to get people to tell me stories. I like learning about different people’s experiences, and I’m not that interested in debating, although I do get passionate sometimes. The other thing I look for, on occasion, is creativity. I like to see what’s on people imaginations, and so sometimes I want to ask questions that seem silly, but really are trying to open the door for a story or a laugh.

Other people may want information, or a debate, or to discuss theory, or to provoke critical thinking, or any number of other things.

What’s your thing here? What is your strategy for getting it? Does it bother you when people seem to want different things than you like?

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22 Answers

tinyfaery's avatar

The only hope I have when I post a question is that the thread doesn’t turn into a chat session. Other than that, like any author, once the words are out there they are no longer my words; they are the words of the interpreter to do with what they will. If I am asking a question that needs a specific answer I just hope there is someone out there that can help me with my problem.

VzzBzz's avatar

Sometimes a story, sometimes I want the best answer I can glean to solve an issue of my own and if I have to tell a story to ease responses, I have. Very few times, I’ll post with an agenda such as subjecting people to a poem of mine or directing them to someone else’s fabulous but not easily accessible thread from the past.

augustlan's avatar

I ask very different types of questions depending on what my objective is. Sometimes, it’s a straightforward answer that I’m seeking, other times I’m interested in other people’s views on philosophical issues. I don’t think I’m looking for any one type of discussion in general, just a discussion that is appropriate to my question. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest that other people may have different agendas for their own questions. It’s a big world out there, and it would be awfully boring if we were all alike!

I don’t even mind threadjacking, once the question has been answered.

tigran's avatar

not this kind

asmonet's avatar

I like ones that teach me things or engage my mind. I do not like most religious questions, and I do not like most open ended vague what ifs? I don’t care how things were different if humans weren’t here, it has no purpose. Use your brainmeats, it’s answered the end. No need to waste others time.

I think most of all I like a good debate.

@augustlan: Agreed.

@daloon: Threadjacking is like hijacking. You come in, and thru your quips, change the direction, tone or topic of the thread.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

I like to see what other people’s experiences in life are as well as sharing some of my own.

essieness's avatar

I usually like to hear discussions where the opinions are probably going to vary greatly. I don’t want people to bicker and fight, but if I see a genuine intelligent, respectful debate going on, it makes me happy. I also like the funny threads… I enjoy the wit of my fellow jellies.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

Sometimes I just need a specific answer, or more information about something I’m interested in. Sometimes my questions are silly or speculative (I like to get people’s opinions on the odd things that happen outside my building in NYC, for example). I try to never ask questions that are intended to boost my own ego, get validation for a choice that only I could make, or just to assert my own opinion (as opposed to paying attention to the views of others). I like when discussions are involved and people are passionate, just so long as it doesn’t turn into a pissing match.

LKidKyle1985's avatar

I either ask questions to get straight up info on a subject or opinion about something I am interested in doing or knowing. Or, I will ask a question that will require a lot of critical thinking and debate. Usually a question about politics, I like to ask it in the same way I might be asked a similiar question in a poli sci essay for an exam. I just like to get different opinions and throw my own out there and see what people think. Though I haven’t done it in awhile… maybe I will do a new one soon.

3or4monsters's avatar

What am I looking for if I ask a question? If I have come away from a question having learned something (hard facts about a specific subject, the history of a person/place/thing, the behind-the-scenes of a tradeskill or job, or just the general opinions, experiences, or beliefs of a demographic different than my own) then the question has met my needs quite nicely. There is no limit to what I can learn, and every interaction is a lesson, even if it isn’t loaded with hard facts.

I understand for some here, that means my bar is pretty low, since that’s pretty much a wide open and general need, thus easily met. So, I will not be asking very many questions… if any at all. I’ve heard way too many complaints about how the quality of this website has plummeted. No need to add to it.

Also, there are very few questions that I see as stupid (unless it’s in the vein of “how is babby formde???”), since even a question that begins “weak” can evolve into something more substantial if the people contributing want it to take it that direction.

I realize that this might come off sounding like a critique—- I’m trying really hard not to make it that way. I’m just coming to realize that the standards here are so much higher than mine… but I’m quite happy with my own personal standards. The only happy medium I can see is to just not ask questions and participate in the ones that “pass” and in this way learn and contribute to the community.

fireside's avatar

I really don’t ask a lot of questions, but the questions I have asked vary. I think more of them have been attempts at stimulating critical thinking. Usually those questions are in direct response to some issue that keeps coming up. Most of the time, I am looking for a broader perspective on those issues.

I also ask questions about things that I have seen in the media or elsewhere recently that I basically just want to share and see if anyone else likes/dislikes what I found.

Then there are some specific questions related to things I am trying to accomplish in regards to personal projects. Except for those project specific ones, I rarely have any type of agenda or expectation for what responses I may get since I am really calling for personal opinion and don’t think there is a right or wrong answer.

asmonet's avatar

@3or4monsters: I honestly do not think you’re one of the new users who would be a burden to the site. Ask away!

eponymoushipster's avatar

something clever.

Blondesjon's avatar

I’m not really looking for an answer or discussion so much as I want to see what the collective comes up with, uh, collectively.

I think if you put your own expectations on a question when you ask it, you are giving yourself an excuse to be disappointed.

@eponymoushipsteryou like answers involving knives?

eponymoushipster's avatar

@Blondesjon that’s cleaver as in beaver, eldridge and the movie inside of The Sopranos.

ninjacolin's avatar

wow.. i guess i’m eternally on a quest for good ideas including discovering ideas, creating them and/or testing them against the experience of others.

VS's avatar

I ask questions designed to learn something about other people’s experiences. Well, both of the questions I’ve asked so far have asked people to relate their own experiences about something. I’m much better at answering than at asking, although that is not to say I have all the answers.

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

I like looking at other peoples’ opinions. I like gaining insight on how other people think.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Discussions where one has a point of logic and can make the argument why that is so or they believe that it is so; and do so with out getting pissy, emotional, or rude.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Everyone has a differnet angle to support there arguement.
It is fortunate to see these different theories play out on fluther.
It fosters understanding.
I bet Philosopers and lawyers would love this site.

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