Auto Crustacean

I have been threatening for a while to complain at length about aspects of Stack Exchange, but I've waited too long, and Stack Overflow itself has beat me to it.

Disclosure: I joined as I thought it might be an interesting way of challenging my lately moribund robotics efforts. It hasn't worked; but I knew it would take more than questions-and-answers-and-oh-god-the-forum-goblins-are-active-tonight to really get my juices flowing.
I've done my best to answer some questions, and I haven't asked any.
Because I realized I had no questions to ask that Google wasn't answering. It takes me less time to drill down through a Google session to the answer I want than to read through a series of Stack Exchanges.

 Random browsing has been thrown me a few gems though, my favorite being 'Does 17% Equal 0.17'.
It was as funny as watching people try to grasp the 0.99999...infinity = 1 mindtrap, or the the sound of brains detonating while grappling with the Monty Hall Problem.*

'Only the most clever and the most stupid cannot change.' -- Genna Sosonko

I like the idea of trying to sift out the best answers, and I like the idea of reputation servers, but I'm not convinced by this application. It has the same 'smell' as Slashdot, and it bothers me that I can 'taste' it but not elucidate what I am sensing.

Cleverness for cleverness sake. A pride in answering in oracular form. The unspoken demand that supplicants cringe and follow intricate protocol to be answered. Disdain for things that could be 'easily Googled'. The helpful voices fading into a sea of haughty demands:
"I find this question rather vague and off-topic."
"Also, a simple google search reveals information on how..."
"One way to find out is to actually take a course ... and see what it is about."
"How could you create a piece of code that will troll this user? Create a piece of code that will appear useful to an inexperienced programmer but is utterly useless in practice..."**  

This is clearly a signal-to-noise problem...but if we need to increase the s/n ratio, what do we do? This isn't a radio! What is our metaphorical antenna? How do we adjust the gain?

“But many intelligent people have a sort of bug: they think intelligence is an end in itself. They have one idea in mind: to be intelligent, which is really stupid. And when intelligence takes itself for its own goal, it operates very strangely: the proof that it exists is not to be found in the ingenuity or simplicity of what it produces, but in how obscurely it is expressed.”
--Muriel Barbery

Or maybe I have just suddenly become too old, and too tired and too cynical to cope. Time for a brain massage...or maybe a brain wash.

*Its unfortunate that it is not known as Selvin's Slippery Snare. Its also strange that he postulated it in 1975, but it didn't become widely known until Marilyn Vos Savant published it in her column in 1990, igniting a firestorm of nerdrage. The Slippery Snare is one of the best mindtraps I know,but in this case did the suckers snap quicker at the lure, thinking that they were proving a woman wrong?

**All direct quotes, taken at random, and found within 20 minutes of semi-random sampling.

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