A number of questions were asked today about the significance of seemingly random numbers on the "mi-yodeya-series". My immediate reaction is that there would be no answer to these questions, and that they are just noise. Is there any guideline for what makes a question unacceptably low-quality for being most likely unanswerable? And how should this be flagged?
I think that the [mi-yodeya-series] tag is particularly vulnerable to this. I propose that a policy similar to the PTIJ policy be enforced on this tag.
The format of the post must look like The first ones, and that procedure should be followed.
The posts must be in sequence. You cannot make a question about n until a question about n-1 has been asked and answered satisfactorily. When this series started, I might object to this rule, but at this point, all questions and answers will be pretty obscure, so I don't think this is too tyrannical.
A new question cannot be made until the number before it has at least one upvoted answer.
Alternatively, you can just downvote and ignore these question and they will probably eventually stop. The series was cool, but as Double AA mentioned it is being abused at this point.
I think this question should be decomposed into a few components.
- Is the question "What is the Judaism significance of number N?" ever on-topic?
I think the answer to this is yes, as it is very easy to contemplate a clear Judaism-based motivation to want to know what the Judaism significance of a particular number is, and it's quite reasonable to expect experts on Judaism to be especially able to answer.
- Is such a question on-topic regardless of explicit motivation in the question post?
I think that this is more or less equivalent to the question Is a question that asks "What does Judaism think of x" possibly off-topic?, previously discussed on Meta. I posted two answers to that question, both of which have net-positive scores at present:
Such questions are on-topic, but we strongly encourage including explicit motivation.
Such questions are only on-topic if they either include explicit motivation or if such motivation is reasonably obvious.
There isn't a clear consensus regarding this question, but the first of these answers has a higher net score. Therefore, it seems that we do not have a clear policy to close such questions.
- Is the boilerplate motivation for many past entries in the Mi Yodeya series sufficient for considering them on-topic?
The traditional Passover song "Echad - mi yodeya" implies a possible presupposition that there is a Jewish significance to be found for each natural number. Accordingly, there is an ongoing series on Mi Yodeya that is attempting to unearth significant Judaism facts about each number, in sequence.
Per (2), such explicit motivation isn't strictly required for these questions to be considered on-topic. If one was, I'd personally consider this motivation facially acceptable but not super-compelling, absent the context of a community project.
- Are newer posts in this series, without any explicit motivation, on-topic?
Per (2), yes.
- Are newer posts in this series, without any explicit motivation, low-quality?
Per (2), yes.
Therefore, I recommend:
Not closing previous Mi Yodeya Series posts.
Not closing the new posts in question.
Taking question-post quality into account when voting.