Perhaps I'm merely annoyed and need morning caffeine, but I'm discouraged by the number of questions that fit the pattern, "Someone once said, or maybe I read that X; tell me more"
This provokes my inner curmudgeon because:
- Absent a citation, it is impossible to give an answer; it is only possible to discuss. If there is a citation (e.g. "'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion' advances the claim of blood libel.") then we can apply scholarship to discuss the credibility, bias and other issues that might cause that source to make that claim. [Please note, I'm using that source not to give offence, but as an example of a place where the source of the claim is very important to the answer].
- Uncited suspicions are invitations to discussion: Fundamentally the question devolves to "People say X, I think Y, what do you think?"
- Uncited sources mean that the querent hasn't met the minimum standard recommended by the FAQ - this is not a place to ask questions that could be answered by a simple google search.
- In general responsible answers to questions without sources require a book length response.
I've downvoted a number of questions that I think fit this pattern, but I'm frustrated. I want the new people, I want them to feel welcome, but I honestly believe that these questions diminish the value of H:SE. They sufficiently fuel my inner curmudgeon that I'm falling below the standard of courtesy I expect from myself in this forum. If I am out of line, I welcome correction. If however others notice this trend I invite anyone who can suggest a way that we can discourage these questions without discouraging the querent. I'm going to continue downvoting them, but I shall refrain from commenting.
@DVK quite helpfully points out that it would be useful if ''I'' cited my sources
- Sea Peoples - "there are a couple of theories" I can't tell of those theories arise from historians or from conspiracy theorists or from novelists.
- Kazakh anti capitalism - unnamned intellectuals disagreed with some definition of capitalism in some forum somewhere at some time.
- Children are our future - I'm not sure what the question is, but I think it falls within the category.
- One of the common reasons given for the Renaissance
- "The Great Game" was originally concerned with Russian-British - this one is more defensible since I am willing to accept the assertion as common wisdom, but it still fits the pattern.
I think there were a few more that were closed.