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The [mi-yodeya-series] tag was introduced at this site's inception, when things were far less formal than they are now, and was intended as a fun sort of event to celebrate the founding of this wonderful site.

Nowadays, however, our standards are much higher for question quality. In addition such a tag is actually considered a "meta-tag" which isn't really supposed to be used. This tag also seems at times to invite users to create numerous questions about obscure numbers, which are low-quality.

Should we restrict the tag from further use?

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  • 2
    Your answer to the other question seems to be a possible answer here too. (Possibly important, since of the two answers here, one seems to have much higher support, but if the other one is considered as a third possibility, there would be two different approaches, neither of which is significantly higher in votes, at the moment.)
    – b a
    Mar 3 at 10:39
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    Baby Seal, if you do as @ba suggests, and if that alternative achieves community consensus after we've already implemented the current prevailing answer (DoubleAA's) it's not a big deal; just a change in policy words and future behavior.
    – Isaac Moses Mod
    Mar 3 at 16:10
  • Ok I will add it here, I guess
    – Baby Seal
    Mar 3 at 16:58
  • @Dr.Shmuel judaism.meta.stackexchange.com/q/1600/759
    – Double AA Mod
    Mar 5 at 20:13
  • How do you define low quality? Is anything high quality? Mar 5 at 21:09
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    @bluejay as a first order approximation for site purposes: quality ∝ score
    – Double AA Mod
    Mar 5 at 21:17
  • @double what's considered quality, where are the rules that allow it to be measured Mar 5 at 21:19
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This series has a lot of historical value to the community and has always been seen as being grandfathered in to various rules and exceptions. The following proposal is intended to formally tie up loose ends and allow the classical portions of the series to remain functional while limiting the series' scope and any potential for abuse.

  • Someone (ideally Isaac) post now the remaining questions through to 365.

  • All series posts besides 1-365 (and Purim adaptations) be deleted (or at least closed). New answers on open posts are allowed.

  • The tag wiki be edited to indicate the series is closed and no more questions will be accepted. Remove the tag from the series questions to reserve it for proper site questions (like how Purim Torah doesn't get other tags).

This still leaves it as an exception to the ordinary rules of good questions, which isn't very aesthetic legally speaking, and we may have to temporarily break some ordinary rules to implement this, but it seems like a good enough compromise that has little opportunity for abuse or long term problems. Better to tweak things now and not have a bigger problem later.

I also believe this is really just formalizing what was generally seen as the expected behavior until now. It's worked fine for years, so let's make it a rule so no one can abuse the system.

If someone actually needs help finding an important fact about some other number for some reason, ask with the tag and explain why you need that fact and how to evaluate which fact can best suit your purpose. That question will then be evaluated by all the ordinary standards (not Off Topic, not Too Broad, not Opinion Based, etc.) to see if it fits our site. It might be better to just ask in chat though.

7
  • The only thing that gave me pause about this approach is deleting all other series posts, but after considering that any content added by such questions is at-best extremely niche, at worst entirely useless, and always better supplied as part of an answer to an actual question, +1.
    – Baby Seal
    Mar 1 at 17:24
  • @BabySeal How many such questions even exist that weren't posted in the last week? 2? A minor cost to pay for cleaning up the rules a bit.
    – Double AA Mod
    Mar 1 at 17:24
  • There is a cute string of questions with fractional values, still low quality, I agree.
    – Baby Seal
    Mar 1 at 17:29
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    One question, why 365 specifically? Why not 400 or 500? why not 348 ( the current highest in the sequence)?
    – Baby Seal
    Mar 1 at 17:31
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    @BabySeal Aesthetics + practicality.
    – Double AA Mod
    Mar 1 at 17:32
  • Yes this is definitely breaking many rules, does this mean the rveeiee and chawmeeshees etc posts will be deleted as well? Mar 5 at 21:10
  • @bluejay it's not entirely clear if there is community consensus on that point, but I lean towards closing them
    – Double AA Mod
    Mar 5 at 21:14
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I'd like to offer this third option which I posted elsewhere:

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 same procedure should be followed. Something like this:

Who knows three hundred forty five?

חמישה וארבעים ושלוש מאות - מי יודע?‏

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.

What significant Judaism facts are there about the number 345? The more significant within Judaism and the more intrinsically dependent on the value 345, the stronger the answer.

Please cite/link your sources, if possible. After a few days, I will

  • Upvote all interesting answers.

  • Accept the best answer.

At which point we can go on to the next number.

  • The posts must have the [mi-yodeya-series] tag only and no other tag

  • 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.

  • All questions not following these guidelines will be deleted. The current sequence (going up to 348 as of 3/3/21) will be edited to comply.

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  • a flaw with this approach is that it's basically giving free rep to people who are in the right place at the right time to post new questions. Can we Community wiki questions, or only allow @isaacmoses to ask new questions?
    – Baby Seal
    Mar 3 at 17:22
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    You could limit it to no more than one new series question posted per 24 hours. Hard to rep farm to any big degree then
    – Double AA Mod
    Mar 3 at 17:55
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    If rep-farming is a concern, "whoever gets there first" is fairer than "designated user gets it all." Given the special rules around this, making the posts Community Wiki does seem appropriate.
    – Isaac Moses Mod
    Mar 3 at 19:35
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    I suggest "net-positive-scored answer" rather than "upvoted answer."
    – Isaac Moses Mod
    Mar 3 at 19:37
-4

As discussed here, I believe that the extant posts in this tag are generally at least facially on-topic, though they vary in quality, including many of the earlier ones that I posted suffering from lack of explicit motivation and lack of explicit criteria for evaluating answers.

I therefore propose:

  • Make a synonym of , which would make all future uses of the former show up as the latter, and would make old posts bearing the former also convert to the latter if edited.

  • We (mods, close-voters, and voters) evaluate all posts in this series in accordance with existing site rules and norms, as we encounter them (i.e. not attempting any mass treatments).

  • Add something along the lines of the following to the tag wiki:

Note that some posts in this tag do not necessarily represent a good on-topic question here according to current standards, but haven't yet been closed or edited. Please take that into account before using these questions as precedent towards new questions.

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  • can you give an example of one of these questions with both explicit motivation and explicit criteria for evaluating answers?
    – Baby Seal
    Mar 1 at 17:35
  • would the mi-yodeya-series tag still be visible? if not, it erases an lovely bit of history from the site. Would the mi-yodeya-series tag still be usable? if so, this accomplishes nothing.
    – Baby Seal
    Mar 1 at 17:37
  • @BabySeal We could make it a synonym instead of merging, which would leave it visible and also automatically convert uses of m-y-s to number, which addresses both of your concerns. I'll change my answer to recommend that.
    – Isaac Moses Mod
    Mar 1 at 17:38
  • Just to clarify, no further questions would be creat-able that had the tag, and no questions that were already created would lose the tag?
    – Baby Seal
    Mar 1 at 17:45
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    @BabySeal Here it is: Any new uses of m-y-s would be auto-changed to number, and old uses of it would remain unless the question is edited, at which point, they'd be auto-changed to.
    – Isaac Moses Mod
    Mar 1 at 17:48
  • "Note that some posts in this tag do not necessarily represent a good on-topic question here according to current standards, but haven't yet been closed or edited." How about putting a historical lock on those?
    – Mast
    Mar 1 at 18:11
  • I question the motivation in the linked question's applicability to Jews at-large. Why is a number being mentioned in a Jewish source significant? why can't I just create answers for every occurrence? As dear as the series is to me, I really think it is unsalvageable by the current standards.
    – Baby Seal
    Mar 1 at 18:35
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    @Mast The downside of a historical lock is it restricts future answers to the original ~350 questions. I'm not saying that's out of the question but it is a cost.
    – Double AA Mod
    Mar 1 at 18:41
  • Isaac, it may be time to offer a second proposal if you have one
    – Double AA Mod
    Mar 2 at 14:49
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    @DoubleAA I think we're on the way to a pretty clear community consensus in favor of your answer here. I think we should go ahead and implement it, probably not all in one shot.
    – Isaac Moses Mod
    Mar 2 at 17:32
  • @IsaacMoses Probably worth asking a dev to do the untagging of [numbers]. Do we need to seek more granular community input about every detail of my proposal? Like deleting the fractional ones? Ending at 365? Incidentally are you willing to do the relevant asking?
    – Double AA Mod
    Mar 2 at 18:32
  • @DoubleAA I think we should close (which your answer provides for) rather than delete, both on general principle (We don't usually delete questions except in egregious situations.) and because many such posts have upvoted answers. If the principle is "we're allowing future answers only for the desk-calendar ones," I think we should just stick to that principle, i.e. not exempt the fractional ones. I am willing to gradually do the relevant asking.
    – Isaac Moses Mod
    Mar 2 at 18:40
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    I deleted any that were negatively scored and had no answers. The roomba would have gotten them soon enough anyway if closed
    – Double AA Mod
    Mar 2 at 20:18

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