SE is stronger and more interesting if we discourage trivial questions.
I've repeated multiple times that I will downvote and Vote to Close any question that is answered by google or by Wikipedia. I rely on help/on-topic as the basis for this assertion, "Questions answered by a simple Google search or to be found in a Wikipedia page"
@NeMo correctly raises the case where a question is answered by Wikipedia, but Wikipedia is incorrect, misleading or sufficiently incomplete that an average person would walk away with an erroneous understanding of the topic. For the record, I do not argue this point; I acknowledge that such cases exist.
My problem is one of relative weight. I think trivial questions are toxic to H:SE. H:SE relies on people practicing a fairly advanced skillset to do research on behalf of our querents. To me, the greatest danger is that we'll lose our experts because they don't want to spend their time doing a copy and paste from Wikipedia and google. I think we should permit the use of LMGTFY, although I respect the communal decision to forbid that tool. I come here to exercise my brain and my research skills, and every time I find another series of "what is 2+2?", or "What was G Washington's first name?", my enthusiasm diminishes - this is a waste of time. This is broken window theory. Trivial questions send a signal to the members that the participants of this SE are content with copy and paste, and are correspondingly less likely to provide content that is educational. Bad questions communicate something very clearly about the quality and depth of the forum. I believe that there is a Gresham's Law of questions - bad questions drive out good.
@NeMo has challenged whether I understand his point - I think I do, but I have different priorities/preferences, and while I acknowledge the truth of his point, I think that it is less important than the danger of trivial questions. (I've provided a somewhat longwinded example below) The point is that there is a class of questions where consultation of Wikipedia will result in an erroneous answer. The core question is:
Are such questions trivial?
As I understand it, @NeMo says that such questions are not trivial because the interpretation requires some skill and subtlety (perhaps my example wasn't as far off base as I first thought). Let me repeat again, I'm not saying that @NeMo is wrong. If I've said anything that indicates disrespect for @NeMo's position or person, I'll revise it.
But I disagree with him even though he may be right. I once heard an MBA assert that everything in reality can be broken down to a 2x2 matrix. In this case, the axis are "frequency" and "Importance".
I think that trivial questions are a frequent and important stain on H:SE - I occupy the Upper Left quadrant of that matrix - Frequency High, Importance High. In my opinion, questions that appear trivial but are actually complex are in lower half of the graph, probably midway between the two quadrants. They are extremely infrequent and of middling importance. Because I assign the weights this way, I think that @NeMo's concern is valid, but not actionable, while the trivial question problem is an existential threat to H:SE. I suspect that @NeMo might assign different weights to the two axis - I'm not going to put words in his mouth.
There is a second point - how easily can we recover from the two dangers.
Trivial questions need to be closed, closed fast and closed hard. The quality of the site relies on having interesting questions at the top front. We could just do the copy/paste exercise, but is anyone seriously going to participate in a forum full of questions of the form, "What is G. Washington's first name?" Are you going to want to participate with people who do want to engage with that?
there is a simple way to recover from Misleading Wikipedia questions. Let's take the worst case - someone asked a question that is closed because it appears trivial, but it is not trivial. In such a case, anyone spotting the problem can revise the problem to point out the ambiguity. "I see Hamilton born in this year here and in that year on Wikipedia - which is correct?" or "I don't understand the answers that Wikipedia provided to 'who is buried in Grant's tomb'"?
Aside: an example
Just as an example, "What color was Washington's white horse?" (turns out it isn't as good an example as I thought, because Wikipedia does not provide the expected answer, but it does provide an array of partial answers which are all wrong. ) Wikipedia provides
and under Horse there is a section that hints at the correct answer, but fails to actually provide the answer.
The white disambiguation page provides a link to White(horse)
(as documented elsewhere, my normal standard is that if the answer isn't clear in the first five responses, then the question is not trivial).
So my summary of @NeMo's point is that the question "What color is Washington's White horse?" is not, in fact trivial, because none of the answers found on Wikipedia will clearly state that the answer is "Gray" - because according to breeders, "Gray" is the color name, and "white" is a variant. (this is an example, please don't argue the example - it is a distraction from @NeMo's point.) If I spent more time I could find another example - As I recall, the date of Alexander Hamilton's birthday is frequently wrong on Wikipedia (in part because the true date is not known; Wikipedia isn't very good at discussing the unknown).
Note: While this question might be redundant with this question on the criteria for a trivial question, I'd like to explicitly examine the discussion that @NeMo and I have had in response to the question about support for new users. I hope this question is more narrowly scoped, and I don't want to continue a discussion in comments.
I think that there is some very useful commentary in the following sources: