Funny that the first question I asked in 4 months was closed, even though it garnered good responses, a few positive votes and is objectively a good question pertaining only to programmers and the business of programming. I'd think it was the direct influence of a man with no capacity for abstract thinking or imagination for that matter. A true prerequisite for a real programmer.

I'd go so far as to say that the man who closed my question is not even a programmer, and as thus, has no business here among us kings of men!

I'm not asking for close reasons, as the reasons are pretty obvious to me. I don't even want to define a gray area. I just want to discuss the difference between the ethics of a moderator who is a programmer and the ethics of a moderator who is not.

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    It was closed by two "ordinary" community members and one moderator. Would you have it that all users of the site prove themselves to be programmers?
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Jun 21, 2011 at 13:44
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    Yes, because no programmer would have closed that question. Commented Jun 21, 2011 at 13:46
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    Also, as moderators are community elected the moderator was an "ordinary" user at one point. Commented Jun 21, 2011 at 13:47
  • @Barry, was he really elected? I participated in the moderator election, I was pretty sure he lost. Was there another election? Commented Jun 21, 2011 at 13:48
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    @Peter - see this answer to this question.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Jun 21, 2011 at 13:52
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    @Barry, yeah, I know the guy's philosophy alright. It just irks me that the site is still so stilted. I spent a whole week trying to justify a question about the necessity of a patron saint of programmers. If you can't mention the philosophy, ethics or economics of programming on a site called programmers.se and you constantly have to talk about "the modified waterfall technique" then we're really not going to get anywhere as a profession. Commented Jun 21, 2011 at 14:00
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    Here it goes again, for the nth time...
    – user8685
    Commented Jun 21, 2011 at 14:20
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    @dvlprArt, I know there's really no point. I really hate how the 'powers that be' are so deaf to the constant groans of the proletariat. Which in a strange recursive way was why this question was closed. Commented Jun 21, 2011 at 14:24
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    @Peter Some parts of the "proletariat" are groaning, but other parts are using votes to express their views. It seems like the votes do support the way the site's currently running as can be seen on the last few questions that brought up similar points. That said, meta sees only a small subset of overall users so it's probably not truly representative either way.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Jun 21, 2011 at 14:30
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    "meta sees only a small subset of overall users" - of those who care.
    – user8685
    Commented Jun 21, 2011 at 14:31
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    @Peter: I think your question is misfocused, either on your original close or issues with how the moderators are handling fringe or "grey" questions. Perhaps you could split your question into two?
    – Josh K
    Commented Jun 21, 2011 at 14:32
  • @Josh K, yeah I shouldn't have tagged it with close reasons. I'm not particularly interested in getting my question reopened. I'd rather help teach this site to fish. Commented Jun 21, 2011 at 14:37
  • @Peter: I'm interested in seeing it reopened. As for fishing, we wouldn't be here if we weren't looking to learn.
    – Josh K
    Commented Jun 21, 2011 at 15:08
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    @JoshK I reopened the question.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Jun 21, 2011 at 15:26
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    Y'know, it's really kind of a bummer that only two "normal" users voted to close and re-open that question. More folks have voted here than voted there... Three of the four answers were from folks who could have re-opened - why didn't they?
    – Shog9
    Commented Jun 21, 2011 at 18:04

2 Answers 2


Hmm. I understand why some people closed the question. I also understand why it has been reopened.

The current direction of this site is aimed towards useful questions and answers. The wording of the quesion makes it look more like a philosophical discussion issue. Something to discuss over a beer or two or more in a left-wing intellectual discussion group.

On second sight, there is a huge practical implication if the answer is yes. If we, the programmers, own the means of production, it's feasible to become self-employed when we are not happy with the life of an employee.

Concerning your meta-question, it seems unreasonable to assume that any of the moderators is not a programmer. They all have a high reputation, meaning that they were able to answer well quite a lot of programming questions.


My first thought was that the question was muddy babble. "Means of production", alluding to serfs in the middle ages, etc.

When I went and re-read the question I found this:

So, as programmers, with the hither-to-unknown supply of free tools and resources, have we reclaimed as a class of workers, unlike any others, the means of production.

While I think that more then a few programmers would have closed that question, I wouldn't have. I think that the discussion stemming from that question would be most interesting and beneficial. Let me ping this for Mark.

  • Thanks, and if he recants I'll take back everything I ever said about him! Commented Jun 21, 2011 at 14:14
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    I agree with this. To me this is one of those "grey area" questions that would either be closed by community or live on to gather some answers. I see a couple of the answers it already got were fairly good.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Jun 21, 2011 at 14:24

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