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Drgrafenbergmd's avatar

Should I be less picky about the answers I receive?

Asked by Drgrafenbergmd (387points) February 9th, 2010

As a new user, I recently asked a question about what type of economic fallout other countries will experience due to America’s recession. The answers ranged from cats and dogs getting along (a funny Ghostbuster’s reference) to a lecture on how an economy can’t go belly up because its not a living thing. I am really disappointed by some of the answers so far. Am I being impatient? To picky? OR am I justified in being upset by the superfluous answers? What can I do better?

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47 Answers

janbb's avatar

I’m afraid to answer this.

lilikoi's avatar

Consider it a reminder of where the average person’s intellect lies. I am often disappointed by the answers I receive, but every now and again a real gem emerges and I learn something that I couldn’t have imagined finding otherwise.

A good question often begets a good answer; and likewise it is the same for a bad question.

MrGV's avatar

You sound like a very uptight person….try loosening up?

Dan_DeColumna's avatar

The more specific the question, the more specific the answers. If the question is somewhat vague (read: economic fallout due to America’s recession.), then the answers will be the same, and the whole thing will be more prone to topic drift.
-Dan

Likeradar's avatar

Ignore the people who are making a joke out of what you consider a serious topic. Engage the people who are taking it seriously in conversation.

Some people think everything’s a joke. Some people think nothing is. Like anywhere else, you’ll find the whole range here.

ModernEpicurian's avatar

Sometimes I believe that it is good to state what kind of answer you wish to receive within the question itself. This could improve the quality of answer, or at the least prevent some of the less appreciated answers.

dpworkin's avatar

There’s a kind of stochastic quality to it. Sometimes it depends upon who is on line when your question pops. I have seen some remarkably interesting discussions on abstruse topics here; I have also been guilty of screwing around.

Drgrafenbergmd's avatar

Thanks all for the responses, perhaps you are all a bit correct.

dpworkin's avatar

(I see you are a Dr, and an MD!)

lilikoi's avatar

@dpworkin Yes, I agree – I have gotten into heated debates over things I thought would surely be benign. You just never know, but that’s what I like about this site – that even a question or answer that you do not appreciate can be an opportunity to learn something new.

andrew's avatar

We’re actively working on ways to help you filter out types of content you’re not interested in. Actively. Working.

Drgrafenbergmd's avatar

@janbb I can take it, please give it your best shot.

janbb's avatar

unfortunately, that was it.

CMaz's avatar

Learn to read between the lines.

Cruiser's avatar

Part of the problem I had to your original question is the answer to it is really ginormous…sort of a where do you start answer. The dynamics of an economic fallout with relation to the countries our economy provide direct or indirect support to is so complex…again where do you start? Sure there will be countries that suffer greatly but a lot of international goodwill support comes from independent relief agencies. But these groups are feeling the economic pinch as donations are drying up. The bigger question is who do we help and who do we shove to the side when people inside our boarders are suffering as well! Personally what is missing from all of this is a leader of this country to step up and let the world know we are strong, we have the will and wherewithal to dig deep inside ourselves to not only continue to help ourselves but those who need help as well. As a result of this lack of guiding leadership we are drifting amongst the despair of a broken economy as everyone suffers.

Jeruba's avatar

We do have a general guideline that says joke answers shouldn’t be posted before a few helpful responses have been made. And of course answers that just say “I don’t know” or that criticize the question are useless.

When I don’t get the kind of answers I want, I usually look to the question to see if I could have worded it better or if there is some sort of faulty assumption behind it. I also try to be aware of what kind of thing will draw out true fluther expertise (of which there is a treasure trove here) and which will attract more uninformed opinions than actual knowledge. There seems to be a bit of an art to it.

These comments are made without prejudice; I haven’t looked at the question or questions you’re referring to.

J0E's avatar

I think part of asking a question is seeing answers of all kinds and from all perspectives. If you are looking for a specific answer there is really no point to asking the question.

Drgrafenbergmd's avatar

@Cruiser yea man good points, I will try to be more concise and specific. I’m really concerned so forming a proper question was difficult.

@Joe well put, I am using the answers to form a plan of action, so the variety may be helpful.
*got a few awesome answers now

Drgrafenbergmd's avatar

@Jeruba Thanks for the help. I want to ask the best questions I can so I suppose I will consider spending more time on each question.

life_after_2012's avatar

be patient. you’ll figure it out.

janbb's avatar

Here’s a serious answer: Sometimes people are quite directive in their question and say. “I don’t want opinions on {this apsect of…} or “Humorous responses are o.k. but I want a substantive discussion….” I perrsonally find that a little controlling when it’s done, but if it helps you, give it a try. Otherwise, as Jeruba says, maybe try to formulate your question and details specifically enough so you get what you want. Be forewarned that most questions do descend into silliness or argument eventually and get used to that.

Drgrafenbergmd's avatar

@Janbb Part of the subject matter in question was a serious and troubling concept about the effects of our stalling economy on more dependent countries. Perhaps some people dismissed it because of their penchant for silliness.

janbb's avatar

We have dealt with many a political or social issue with great seriousness; I am in awe of some of the minds here. I didn’t see your question but would suggest you try another. It sometimes takes a while to feel out the culture.

Val123's avatar

Welcome to Fluther!

andrew's avatar

@janbb I’d have to agree with @Drgrafenbergmd…sometimes responses can be really hit or miss.

I would agree, though, that by and large the length of the details section is the biggest predictor to the seriousness and effort of the responses.

marinelife's avatar

I don’t think that the questioner can prescribe the content of the responses. Once you put your question out into the world, it is out there in all its shining nakedness for whatever answers it attracts.

The quality of the answers can depend on who’s Fluthering. how the question is worded, what kind of mood your question engenders.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

I can tell you why I read your question, and chose not to answer it.

When I read the main question, my immediate thought was that this was a homework assignment for a world civ or current events class. Then, when I read the details of the question, in order to answer it in a truly thoughtful manner, I would need to dig through back issues of the Economist, summarize articles, then condense it down to fit the amount of space that I felt my brain could manage processing the typing to fill.

At that point, I decided that perhaps you had an agenda behind asking the question, and decided to pass.

tinyfaery's avatar

I find people are picky about answers when they do not get the answer they were expecting. In other words, don’t ask questions that you already have an answer/opinon for.

DeanV's avatar

If you’re looking for a fully serious, intellectual discussion here, go somewhere else. The fact is, fluther is full of jokesters, and full of some extremely intellectual individuals (with most falling in the middle), and that’s what makes it so great.

If you’re looking, for completely respectable, honest discussion without any jokey answers, the internet is not for you.

Drgrafenbergmd's avatar

@PandoraBoxx
No agenda, my cynical acquaintance, it was solely based upon a desire to help and to understand the potential outcome of our recession in other countries. Also what I can do to promote change. I will help them either way, but I would like to learn more about where to focus my attention.

YARNLADY's avatar

@andrew I would love to have a “hide” feature, for various reasons.

Jeruba's avatar

What do you mean, @YARNLADY? For hiding what type of thing?

Dan_DeColumna's avatar

sounds like those secrets the people in chat were talking about last night. :-P

YARNLADY's avatar

@Jeruba A tool similar to the paragraph sign beside each quip that will cause the quip to disappear from that users list. It’s like the little X that used to be on the Google search, when you click on it the line item vanished. It was still there, you just couldn’t see it anymore. Yahoo Answers has a similar trick with questions you down rate. They turn into a tiny image that you can’t see anymore.

Jeruba's avatar

@YARNLADY, ages ago, somebody on here, and I truly don’t remember who, suggested that we should be able to identify users whose comments we prefer not to see (sort of an anti-fluther). When someone on your list posts a comment, you will see their name, but instead of their comment you’ll see “You think this person is a twit.” I have been secretly hoping for something of the sort ever since. I think it would avert a lot of verbal duels.

Dan_DeColumna's avatar

@Jeruba: It could lead to double posting, or absurd looking posts. As much as you may not like someone, once they post something it enters the flow of the conversation. Just because you can’t see their posts doesn’t mean others will know you are ignoring their posts, as they will still see both. I’m not saying it isn’t workable, but there would be some issues that would have to be addressed first.

-Dan

Jeruba's avatar

Oh, I think the option to display would have to be there. But I have seen some people fire up the same debates again and again, often with some acrimony. I think it would serve the general peace if they could be blind to each other.

Redundancy is unavoidable. We get plenty of that just from people who scroll to the bottom of 67 posts and add a comment without reading what anyone else has said.

andrew's avatar

@Jeruba This feature is being worked on as we speak.

Jeruba's avatar

Really? Amazing! You guys are amazing.

andrew's avatar

@Jeruba It’s been halfway done for a while now, but some other things have changed that we need to finish first.

Dan_DeColumna's avatar

@andrew interesting

@Jeruba: About this already being an issue, sure it is. I was just suggesting it could possibly make it worse. Regardless, here it comes.

Jeruba's avatar

Anyway, if A and B always lock horns over their opposite views, and A sees that B has posted, A can probably guess what it says.

janbb's avatar

I would think A could have the brains to walk away if he wanted to already, or is this feature to spare the rest ot us? Can’t other readers just walk away from that part of the the thread? But as with other new features, I often don’t value them until they’re here. (Hate change!)

Val123's avatar

@Jeruba “This person is a twit??!!” Ha ha ha ha!!

Jeruba's avatar

That’s what he or she (whoever) said. I searched on the phrase but couldn’t find the original comment.

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