I'd guess, at least 3x a day, somebody posts the "is my power supply large enough"-style question. It seems to be the major offender.

Is there anything that can be done specifically about it, or is it just vote-close as duplicates over and over?

  • \$\begingroup\$ You reacted quickly to both my ideas, you may find reacting a bit slower is a better fit. If you had left the original post then @olin might have just edited it. Either way I greatly appreciate this post of yours and I hope that reduced questions of this type improve your experience.\ \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Jun 29 '12 at 5:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not in it for the rep, just glad that some of the questions might not get asked nwo \$\endgroup\$ – Bryan Boettcher Jun 29 '12 at 13:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ and at minimum we can close the quickly. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Jun 29 '12 at 13:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Damn, having seen Olin's rep gain from that post I'm now regretting that "not in it for the rep" statement \$\endgroup\$ – Bryan Boettcher Jul 2 '12 at 17:20

We need one question to be asked that is broadly about what the power supply ratings mean, just one that we put up and put a solid answer on and then close all those that are asked.

Most of these are pure consumer electronics and it will be never ending until we find a way to separate consumer electronics more clearly to a passer by. Possibly not being electronics.SE and instead something more clear, maybe even EE.SE. I am open to thoughts on that note.

The advantage we have on an SE system is although there are a few dictators(Diamond Moderators) the general community can handle almost all moderation tasks, we have to trust in our higher rep users to each take a moment to vote to close on these.


As you type a title for your question you get a list of "Questions that may already have your answer", based on keywords you use. This only seems to work to some extent. The list may be long, so users may not bother scrolling through it, and SE uses heuristic methods for finding related questions, which may miss some. When I see a question which I know is a duplicate I sometimes try to find the other question by starting a new question as a test where I enter the exact same title, and still the duplicate doesn't turn up. So in that case it's not so easy.

If I can find a duplicate I vote to close, and flag the question. If you don't have enough rep yet to vote to close, leave a comment "possible duplicate" with the URL, so others don't have to go searching for it.

We'll always have repeated questions, but I agree with Kortuk that our community can handle them.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This was just a constant consumer electronics question... \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Jun 29 '12 at 13:13

The list of "questions that may already have your answer" involves reading, and understanding of other people's application of the question. people are lazy and usually on one track of thinking.

Perhaps encouraging asking more generic questions, that way people just need to mentally compare their question's title with that of others which should be far more similar and need less comparative reasoning.

The problem is often people are seeking advice on the application of the theory to their specific problem, or have trouble understanding the theory and need step-by-step walk-throughs tailored to their misunderstanding.

Perhaps questions should be split into "Theory" and "Application of theory", the former having less duplication, and the latter being more like one-to-one tuition


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