TL;DR: Just read the question title.

I am with a deep feeling that this community is very unwelcome in SE and that trying to save it and make it work is fruitless.

The moderators came and tried to fix it in a single act. The result was a disaster.

Fix it? Who said it was broken? A now deleted comment from Emrakul said that if the community didn't change it would be closed. So either someone at StackExchange said it was in very bad shape for some reason and that the moderators should immediately act or none of the moderators actually understand what they really should do in order to fix it. For me at least, everything seemed to be fine before that day, our greatest problem was seeming to be disagreement about spoilers, how ingenuous1!

After a lot of debate, flamewars, rants, swearing, name-calling, frustration, aggressions and a rain of bullets on our own feet, I came to the conclusion that no matter what we will try, we will always fail, because there is simply no way to make this site work as expected from StackExchange staff (whatever is what they in fact expect). This site is "just a joke" as said by Shog9. A very unwelcome joke.

People were posting questions and answers. Voting them (either up or down) and the community is growing (at least was until December 2nd) and everything seems to be going in good shape afterall, with just minor problems. But in fact, nothing of that really matters. For me, it looks like that StackExchange considers this community as a pile of useless junk. It is only a big joke.

We can flood The Green Llama chatroom with a million of ideas and debates about how to solve our problems. We might post a thousand of questions and answers on meta about that. We may try to define and redefine a lot of scoping/rules/guidelines/whatever hundreds of times. IT IS ALL IN VAIN. Nothing will ever change the fact that this community is unwelcome in StackExchange.

We are fighting and struggling between us, with mutual aggressions and accusations (a.k.a "acrimony"). But all of that is for nothing. I am starting to create some conspiracy theories in my mind that this was in fact planned.

I am very sad. I saw people ragequitting the community today and I am seriously considering to do the same (or could I just be doing it right now maybe?)2. We already shot our own feet long enough. In fact, every shot that we do to any direction will always come back to land on our own feet. There seems to be nothing that we can do about that.

Emrakul said that we are in good health:

In short, site health is up dramatically. To me, it's clear that we're okay with challenges, and people are finding ways to determine what is and isn't good quality. I'd say we're in a good place right now, with challenges, so I'm personally content with them on the site and see no obvious reason to disallow them in our current state of affairs.

But from Jon Ericson's last question, I strongly feel something very different:


Challenges are an evolutionary dead end.

Stack Exchange was designed the same way—with searchable answers in mind. As a result, self-answering a question is a great way spread information. Every design detail feels natural if you focus on making the internet a better place for learning about the topic. If that's not your goal with the site, you will—like a salmon swimming upstream—become exhausted. At every turn, you are fighting the very system of content creation.

Now what?

Given all the above, the question for you is: How can a site dedicated to Puzzling provide searchable knowledge to the internet? I know what my answer would be, but I'm not active in this community. Therefore, how do you intend to make this site work?

See, it is really not really in agreement to what Emrakul answered.

Now, lets focus on the last paragraph of Jon Ericson's question. There is actually two questions there (since there are two ?). So I will try to guess what his answer to the first would be:

It can't. This site is doomed and will be closed soon.

And for the second:

It is a rhetoric question, not expected to be answered. Except if someone has a magic trick, it is impossible.

I feel extremely frustrated and extremely sad to what is happening in this community. Even if I myself said that a lot of frustration from many people is expected when you are trying to build a community with complex policies questions. But if this is just a doomed big joke and we are all salmons swimming to the wrong way, why would we spend still more energy and brain-time to put effort onto some site that is unwelcome and undesired by their very owners?

What I really would like is to have a place where I could post and read questions and answers about puzzles and puzzling in peace and happiness. But I think that we will either need to look somewhere else for that or build or own place outside StackExchange. Because we seem to be unwelcome here.

By the way, this music3 describes very well what I guess that will happen to the community in the next days.

Feel free to downvote this question. If I could vote on my own questions, this is the first time that I would downvote my own question. On a second thought however, by upvoting this, you would incentive people to come by, read this and maybe post an answer.

And about answering this question? I really would like to see strong and concrete evidence that this site would at least have a chance to have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and that I am just being too pessimistic, that I just happened to have horribly misunderstand what is going on. If I can, I will read the answer and comment as normally. Maybe we still have a some chance, so if you have some brilliant idea maybe you could post it as an answer (or another entire meta-question maybe). But, since I am really doubtful that there will ever be 2015 for this site, in fact, you could post anything as an answer, because in just a few days any answer posted here will probably be no more than some bytes representing tombstones messages inside a ZIP archive in the Area 51 graveyard.

Ok, I think that we are very near to the Game Over. The fun was good, but now the party is over. It was a pleasure to puzzle with you, guys. Maybe we can meet somewhere else someday again. Farewell my friends.

P.S. Some people might say that whining would not make we go anywhere. I completely agree, because I really think that we aren't going anywhere in this site.

1: There is a brazilian meme about that: "Sabe de nada, inocente!"
2: There is probably some people that would commemorate if I in fact quit. And they are already commemorating who already quitted.
3: You might skip the first 13 seconds if you want to actually go to the start of the music.

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Do you really, truly feel this adds constructively to the discussion at hand? $\endgroup$
    – user20
    Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 23:18
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    $\begingroup$ @Emrakul Yes, because I started to think that in fact we were discussing the wrong thing. The thing to discuss is not "how to make the site better?". It is "why they don't want we here?" $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 23:19
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It's not like Stack Exchange staff have decided to close the site and are just toying with us. They're trying to help us address things, and push us toward solving our site's issues. $\endgroup$
    – user20
    Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 23:24
  • $\begingroup$ @Emrakul I hope that you are right. But my intuition say that they think that this site is a piece of junk and that they are only giving us a chance to try to prove the contrary, and I think that we are failing. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 23:28
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    $\begingroup$ This question appears to be off-topic because it is simply a rant in disguise as a constructive question, when in reality it's nothing more than spilt feelings that will result in flame warring answers. $\endgroup$
    – warspyking
    Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 0:59
  • $\begingroup$ This question appears to be off-topic because it is simply a matter of criticism to the site and it's content $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 17:10

1 Answer 1


This site is "just a joke" as said by Shog9.

Do you know why I wrote that?

No one's bothered to ask. I strongly suspect no one cares. But I'm going to explain it anyway, because it's at the root of why things keep going from bad to worse here...

Too many of you can't take the subject matter seriously

As overwrought as these meta discussions have been, the actual main-site Q&A has been disappointingly sophomoric, and in some cases overtly puerile. Some of the same folks who reacted so negatively to my comments in chat had been posting (or went on to post) straight-up joke questions on the main site, questions for the amusement of their clique at the expense of everyone who might be inclined to take them seriously.

I don't spend much time playing video games, RPGs, reading SciFi or playing with LEGO bricks. But I take all of those things seriously, because their communities take themselves seriously. If it's important to them, then it's important to me.

But if it's not... Then what are we doing here? Why are we spending money on systems and people to support this site if the people on it think of it as no more than an idle diversion, the equivalent of a $0.99 pulp paperback puzzlebook to be solved until bored and then scribbled on and discarded?

If you really want this site to have a future, then lead by example.

My job, Jon's job, the job of everyone you'll ever interact with at Stack Exchange is simple: support the experts and enthusiasts who run these sites. You want our support? Start acting like you care, like you want this to become something great. Participate honestly and sincerely, showing respect for your peers. That's why we build these sites, and who we build them for.

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    $\begingroup$ Sorry to not ask that before (I thought that I would be really stupid to ask you that). Many people really care, at least I do. Also, some people who take the matters serious act stupidly and say inconvenient things, because they are scared and seeing other users as enemies. At least me, I posted a lot on meta to try to make our community go somewhere, to try to fix it, and I am sure that a lot of people did that also. But it simply don't seems to work: I am not even sure if we could define clearly what is the scope of the site even after so many flamewars and debate. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 0:00
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    $\begingroup$ So stop flame-warring. Like I said, lead by example: if someone says "questions like this cannot be good" then prove them wrong; if someone says "no one will post useful answers to such things" then post a useful answer. The proof of the pudding is in the eating; if it tastes bad, no amount of arguing otherwise will convince anyone. $\endgroup$
    – Shog9
    Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 0:03
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    $\begingroup$ Please provide some examples of the questions you think are sophomoric and puerile. We have moderators such as Emrakul telling us that "Question and answer quality on the main site are up significantly" and "site health is up dramatically". See his post. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 0:17
  • $\begingroup$ Jaydles also has positive comments about the site: here and here. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 21, 2014 at 7:49
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    $\begingroup$ I'm not gonna call anyone out here, @pacoverflow. Emrakul likes the site and thinks it has potential. Jaydles likes the site and thinks it has potential. Jon likes the site and thinks it has potential. I sincerely hope y'all prove 'em right. I'll say something more optimistic when I get notified of a puzzle here and don't find a bunch of you giggling over a butt humor punchline. We're 0/2 on that so far, so... Things can only improve, right? $\endgroup$
    – Shog9
    Commented Dec 22, 2014 at 19:01
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    $\begingroup$ Sure there have been some bad questions, but as you know we're working on fixing that. But I don't think it's fair to characterize the entire site as "disappointingly sophomoric" just because some questions have been bad. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 22, 2014 at 19:15
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    $\begingroup$ "Fair" here is giving y'all a chance to moderate yourselves, to make your own rules, to support those members of the community who believe in it and want to see it grow and thrive. I'll commit to being fair exactly as long as y'all commit to taking advantage of that opportunity. You've clearly shaken Jon's confidence in your commitment to that; now's your chance to restore it. $\endgroup$
    – Shog9
    Commented Dec 22, 2014 at 19:23
  • $\begingroup$ I think we've been getting better at moderating ourselves over the past few days: meta.puzzling.stackexchange.com/questions/1722/… $\endgroup$
    – Kevin
    Commented Dec 22, 2014 at 21:07
  • $\begingroup$ You should try Lego; it's great. You can build giant butts, and who doesn't love those? Seriously though if you (i.e., the reader) see a post that's devoid of quality content (I've seen plenty of bad questions, rants and the like needing deletion, but not anything outright puerile), then flag, DV, VTC, ping a mod in chat, etc. Lack of negative feedback has been a problem here. Nobody is going to want to eat your delicious lemon tart if it's been left sitting next to one made of garbage, though the creation of delicious tarts is of paramount importance. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 9, 2015 at 9:04

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