It is hard to know what should be closed and what shouldn't and we are still in the process of finding that out. There have been a couple of closes that I don't think that are that obvious so here it goes.

If I convert my US Dollars to Bitcoins, will its value likely depreciate?

Well, this has a clear answer: "it depends on whether the price goes up or down". What is exactly speculative about this?

Is mining still profitable?

This is probably the most asked question ever in the bitcointalk forums and I think it can be answered "timelessly" - this one is really similar. Besides, the too localized argument fits half of the questions asked here (but that would be whole other topic...)

There are a few others, but these caught my attention. Anyway, it's just to say that sometimes a question may seem really vague and ambiguous, but it can have a good answer.
So, are we being too harsh on close votes or should we keep a really strict policy? (this was just to avoid closed as not a real question ;))

  • Downvoted, cause I don't agree with the opinion stated in your question, not that I don't think the question is OK (this is common meta-practice if I have understood things correctly).
    – D.H.
    Sep 3, 2011 at 5:54
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    @D.H.: I'm not sure if downvoting the question is such a good idea. Shouldn't votes on meta questions reflect the importance of the question? Sep 3, 2011 at 23:12
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    @nmat: Perhaps you should edit your question to remove your opinion, and put that in an answer instead? Sep 3, 2011 at 23:13
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    I know that on the StackOverflow meta it is common practice to downvote questions if you disagree with the opinion expressed. I don't think that it's ideal but if a question expresses an opinion and an answer opposes it, the only way to have users vote on those two opinions is to treat the question the same way as the answer. You can get around it by making your question neutral and then writing your opinion as an answer to your own question.
    – D.H.
    Sep 3, 2011 at 23:19
  • @Dori, thanks for the links. Well, this is pretty much answered... I will leave it that way for now.
    – nmat
    Sep 4, 2011 at 13:22
  • Just a note for those confused, I think Dori meant to link here for "How to Ask in Private Beta". Sep 7, 2011 at 21:37

1 Answer 1


I would argue that "It depends on whether the price goes up or down" is a rather obvious not a very helpful answer, while realistically the majority of answers would be discussion and opinion. This question falls solidly in the FAQ "What kind of questions should I not ask here?" as:

  • we are being asked an open-ended, hypothetical question: “What if ______ happened?”

"Is mining still profitable?" is just poorly formed. A better question is, "How can I compute mining profitability?". In fact I just re-asked it. For that one a better explanation of why it was being closed, or a suggestion to rephrase the question might have been better if it was caught quickly.

You might be interested in the discussion here for more on this.

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    +1. If "it depends" is an acceptable answer then nothing would be considered speculative. "When will the world end?", "It depends on...".
    – D.H.
    Sep 3, 2011 at 5:52
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    A common pattern is someone saying "Why is X a bad question? It has this really good answer, Y." The answer, most of the time, is that X is a bad question because it invites bad answers. Adjusting X to invite Y fixes the question. "Is mining still profitable?" invites bad answers. "How can I calculate mining profitability?" invites good ones. Sep 6, 2011 at 16:16

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