This is the question I want you to be thinking about, when examining and reviewing questions on your deep-dives through the database.
If a question is problematic, figure out what's conditioning the problem. It can help to pop the why stack. What is preventing the question from being constructive? What is it about the formulation that makes it borderline? If it's not the "right" question, what is? What is the question that should have been asked?
Question-transformation is an important aspect of breaking the barrier to collective ownership of our work here. Every member should feel empowered to offer edits ranging from the minor to the sweeping on any post, anywhere on the site.
But moreover we need to be actively collaborating on questions, from development and organization to triage and transformation.
A few thoughts to consider as you go forth and practice the koan:
- If issues stem from framing, why not attempt to address it by supplying appropriate context, whether in the form of citations or structuring reformulations?
- If a post has problems with tone, is it possible to edit it into NPOV through elision of unbalanced aspects of the formulation?
- If the questions is vague and wandering, or includes many questions, why not isolate an interesting question or section and clean it up? (Keep in mind we'll always have a record of the original state of the question!)
But again please don't feel limited to copyediting! Be bold, engage in wholesale transformation; especially where it lets you express what should have been asked.