I'm relatively new to this SE. However, I am not new to the SE family, as you can see with my SO profile. On SO, we typically downvote questions that are terrible quality. I have yet to see, however, for example, "-1, Why would you want to create such a stupid function?" I feel I was unjustly downvoted on my question How can I rev my engine in drive while holding the brake and not stall?. I feel that this was from it being a stupid idea to do such a thing, not that the question itself was of poor quality. What led me to think that this inference is true is woodchips's comment. Am I missing something, or is the voting system different here than on SO?

2 Answers 2


I felt your question was somewhat trivial based on the way it was written. That's why I didn't up-vote your questions, and I up-vote a lot of questions following this philosophy. I didn't feel strongly enough to down-vote either. However you have a bigger problem than the down-votes. I didn't take the time to answer your question because I felt your question was trivial i.e. I don't really have a problem I am just curious.

Had I felt that you genuinely wanted to learn how an automatic transmission more specifically the torque converter worked I would have answered your question.

Let me try to explain a little better. Imagine telling your significant other the following statement

"You're face could stop a clock"

"When I look at you time stands still"

Now you said the same thing, but you would get two very different reactions to those statements.

Here is an example of another way to ask your same question.

Why doesn't an automatic transmission need a clutch? or Why doesn't the engine stall out when you come to a stop with an automatic transmission?

When you come to a stop with a manual transmission you have to push the clutch in or take it out of gear to keep the engine from stalling out. What keeps the engine from stalling in an automatic transmission. Even when I rev the engine while holding the brake the engine won't stall out, I can tell the car is in gear because it's trying to move forward but the engine stays running. If I tried this with a manual transmission the engine would stall

Had you question be worded more like that, I would probably taken the time to answer it in great detail and up-voted the question. Even though the question in this example doesn't meet the "...actual problems that you face" criteria the question would be answerable and a benefit to the community.

  • Larry, I realized that just a bit ago. Would it be alright if I used your corrected question instead? Feel free to edit it instead, if you like..
    – Drise
    Jul 12, 2012 at 19:14
  • @Drise, you are allowed a do-over. You can delete your existing question and ask a new one. Larry's example is a good one but I would use that as inspiration rather than just quoting him. If I were asking it, I'd make it a wiki to make it clear that this is an opportunity for the community to create a reference resource for future readers.
    – Bob Cross Mod
    Jul 13, 2012 at 0:31
  • @BobCross Larry's example is exactly how I would I worded it, even if he had not provided the example. Also, I don't understand the purpose of Community Wiki mode. If someone does well at answering a question, I believe they should earn the credit through votes. On SO, we use non-wiki questions all the time as reference, so I do not understand why it would be applicable here.
    – Drise
    Jul 13, 2012 at 14:27
  • @Drise, see the last sentence of my previous comment for why I would choose wiki.
    – Bob Cross Mod
    Jul 13, 2012 at 16:22
  • @BobCross I read that, yes. However, I still don't see the point, sorry.
    – Drise
    Jul 13, 2012 at 16:39
  • I know this has been a few weeks, but check out The Future of Community Wiki.
    – jmort253
    Jul 26, 2012 at 23:51

You should review the FAQ if you're worried about the votes that your question received. Perhaps you should consider an edit or re-write of your question:

  1. What is the practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face?
  2. Try re-writing the question as a non-open-ended, non-hypothetical question.
  3. Try asking why you're receiving down-votes on your specific question rather than asking site-philosophy question on the meta.

As written, this question is firmly in the "Don't ask" category of the FAQ and, as such, down-votes are to be expected.

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