Samclem, was it necessary to close this thread? (Weak)

This isn’t a pitting so much as a dispute, but it’s mod-related, so it’s in the Pit regardless.

Earlier today, Samclem closed this thread, saying

It seems to me that there’s a pretty big difference between asking someone to work a specific problem for you and asking for help understanding a concept (logarithms, in this case). Does the homework rule apply to requests for help understanding something being taught in class, even when not asking for help with specific problems? If so, why?

I also think that was a a weakly justified closing. The OP didn’t seem to be asking for homework help, but was rather trying to understand the concept.
If the OP had just wanted the answer, that would be different (maybe).

Count me in to the pitting. The OP was NOT asking for answers to homework. The OP was tackling their ignorance. Y’know, like this place pupports to do?

I’ve been noticing a lot more incorrectly closed/moved threads as of late on the Dope. The closing espicially are getting a bit tiresome.

I’d have to agree with that. It didn’t look to me like the OP was asking for “help with homework,” that is, in completing a particular assignment, but rather with help in understanding a concept that was giving him/her trouble. AFAIK that is allowed.

I also have to wonder what **sam ** was up to with regard to his use of the phrase “before we slugabeds get her.” I think he still needed another cup of coffee. You’re never going to be able to get her until you’re fully awake. :wink:

I am of the opinion that threads which deal with school subjects are amongst the most difficult that I have to deal with.

I should probably have used another word rather than “homework.”

If a student needs to understand a concept, then he/she should first seek out help from tutors, Google, etc. I know that may sound against the mission of the Straight Dope, but dammit, what happens if every student come here first for help with their problems?

The specific thread in question is pretty murky. It’s certainly not homework. But I saw no evidence that the OP tried to find help before coming here.

so? I need to show that I looked elsewhere first? since when?

The same damn thing that happens when someone comes here asking about a plumbing problem instead of seeing a plumber, when they ask a legal question instead of calling a lawyer or when they ask a history question instead of going to the library. The question gets answered and then other people if they are interested learn something. In fact if I am not mistaken that is what makes the Dope such a great place.

Why go somewhere else when we are “Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks”?

God! The absolute arrogance! Is this some odd little joke? Students who are paid members of this board have to do multiple information gathering push ups before we’ll help them with concepts?

Umm…they might get a comprehensible, non-canned answer from a knowledgeable person they can wrap their heads around and * use*?

So if I, a political science major, start a thread called “help me understand string theory,” it’s no problem, but if my roommate, a physics major, starts the same thread, it’ll get locked?

Thank you, Catalyst, for saving me the trouble. Clearly a bad decision on samclem’s part. Hopefully he’ll reopen it soon.

That was a poor decision, samclem. You should reconsider.

Erm… The question was posted on a Saturday night. Would tutors have been available?

As for google… I’d guess that most of the threads in GQ can be answered by doing a search. But where’s the fun in that? Oftentimes I gain knowledge in GQ that I didn’t even know I lacked, when someone posts a question.

Maybe we’d have more members? :smiley:

I agree. Though I didn’t say so in my e-mail.

Not only was it a bad decision but it goes against precedent. I’ve had clearly stated school/uni problem threads I’ve started answered with no problems as long as I wasn’t asking for help with specific homework questions/assignment answers.

Bad call.

Hell, I send my students to this board all the time. This decision to close threads like this one is…troubling. I thought we were supposed to fight ignorance.

Add me to the list - I thought exactly the same thing when I saw the thread closure: harsh. I hope it doesn’t scare the new guy off.

Huh? :confused: Even if this were required, which would be news to me as well, the OP himself said:

Unless it’s samclem’s assertion that the OP is lying, that looks to me like the OP did indeed try to find answers elsewhere before coming here.

The OP seems to have good humor, a thirst for knowledge and a knack for not taking himself too seriously. In short, a perfect Doper. (Watch me eat my words when he turns into another “Wildest Bill”.)

I know modding is an art more than a science, and it’s always a judgement call. In this case, the call happened to be bad.

The thread should be re-opened.

I agree with the OP for all the obvious reasons. And besides I was interested in the thread for pointers on how to introduce logs to math impaired.