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Why would tellurium + sodium hydroxide have been a good gasoline additive (if it wasn't so smelly)? was quickly and unilaterally closed. I'd removed the second question but then there was an additional comment:

You're asking for (1) a subjective opinion on whether the smell of something (according to those guys) was more of an issue than the anti-knock properties of the smelly thing; and (2) how is the smelly thing mechanistically able to increase mileage and reduce engine knock.

If it was (and I don't think so) I'm pretty sure this is certainly no longer true and the comment is no longer needed as it can attract down votes by folks who read the comments more carefully than the question post above it.

to which I responded:

I don't see that being asked here at all. The "if it wasn't so smelly" is simply a historical fact. According to the video this was the factor that prevented an otherwise effective additive from being used. It's not part of the question. I'l add parenthesis to it to help make that even clearer.

The body of the question elaborates on the title:

According to the second quote from Midgley, in addition to reducing/stopping engine knocking it also improved mileage substantially. By what mechanism is a tellurium-based additive able to do this?

  • 00:39:18 "You're asking for...",
  • 00:39:23 question closed,
  • 00:41:43 edited 2nd time.

I'm simply not seeing any opportunity for an answer to express an opinion I do not see a broad question or two questions now, and have argued so, yet my question is insta-closed and down-voted.

I think this was premature as I was readily trying to address the concerns as fast as I could, and at the moment feel the insta-close was in error.

Question: Why was my question so quickly closed as asking for opinions as being too broad? I really don't see how it is.

Thoughts? Guidance? Suggestions?

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    $\begingroup$ I already explained to you in the comment section why it was closed. And it wasn't "for opinions," it was due to the scope being too broad. On a related note, you are a long-standing member of this community yet you seem to be unable to comprehend the rather surgical precision of the closure reason. I suggest you re-evaluate your position. $\endgroup$ Apr 28 at 1:12
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    $\begingroup$ @ToddMinehardt I'd like some additional input on this from others. What is in that comment is a rephrasing in other words, not the words written in my question post, and as I've already explained I simply do not see those questions anywhere in my question post. I'd like to understand the objection better, and of course get the question reopened and answered. Perhaps you'd like the title to be more like "By what mechanism...?" or "How does...?" rather than "Why would...?" $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Apr 28 at 1:16
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    $\begingroup$ @ToddMinehardt and honestly "yet you seem to be unable to comprehend" feels a little strong for someone asking for help, clarification and an effective remedy. I'd made two sequential edits to the question very quickly to try to address your comments, I think it's clear I'm acting in good faith and trying to address your concerns to the best of my ability. There's no need to go after my intellectual shortcomings. And I don't think there's anything in Stack Exchange that has "surgical precision", which when performed by humans is error-prone $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Apr 28 at 1:26
  • $\begingroup$ @ToddMinehardt okay I see, "You're asking for (1) a subjective opinion on whether the smell of something (according to those guys) was more of an issue than the anti-knock properties of the smelly thing..." was not the close reason. You closed as too broad. But in its current form the question simply does not ask anything about "whether the smell of something...". It asks only one question. 00:39:18 "You're asking for...", 00:39:23 question closed, 00:41:43 edited 2nd time. Did the last edit address your concern? Is it still too broad? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Apr 28 at 1:44
  • $\begingroup$ @ToddMinehardt just fyi I've updated the question to reflect the close reason, leaving the incorrect reason in strike-through. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Apr 28 at 1:48
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    $\begingroup$ Instead of rushing to close decent questions let the readers decide by close vote, please. Mr/Dr. uhoh is not a student nor it is a homework question that will earn him 10 points in the course. Please open the question and let the readers decide its quality. $\endgroup$
    – AChem
    Apr 28 at 2:00
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    $\begingroup$ @AChem/M.Farooq - Appeal to another mod or the community. The amount of time I've wasted on this issue far exceeds the value. And I'll remind you that you successfully badgered me into reopening this question, which was neither merited nor of any interest to anyone who could provide an answer. And that includes you. Where is your input other than pushing my buttons? $\endgroup$ Apr 28 at 2:25
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    $\begingroup$ @Todd Minehardt, The fact that a question does not get an answer on an internet Q&A site (such as SE) does not mean it is not scientifically valid. The previous question revealed that none of the chemists who read SE Chem have an answer. The chemists are usually happy to teach the orbital configurations of Cu and Cr. Moderation is not a paid service on SE, I assume. If you are aggravated by SE readers' constructive comments please transfer this volunteership to someone else. I appreciate the time of moderators but other active users also deserve an equal level respect. $\endgroup$
    – AChem
    Apr 28 at 3:34
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    $\begingroup$ The only point is please do not rush to close questions. Give them some time - a day or so. Uhoh case is not the only one, you also closed a reasonable question on ion-exchange chromatography. To some, these actions appear unilateral and judgemental. $\endgroup$
    – AChem
    Apr 28 at 3:36
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    $\begingroup$ @AChem This is completely unrelated to the original topic, but I wanted to gently point out that not everybody is a Mr or a Dr, and that it’s important to not assume a gender (even if, statistically speaking, most people here are male). $\endgroup$ Apr 28 at 9:00
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    $\begingroup$ @ToddMinehardt "The amount of time I've wasted on this issue far exceeds the value." Questions and answers have value to the OP (me) to answer authors and to future readers. It's hard to judge the value ahead of time. Certainly the amount of time I invested in writing the question, responding to your comments and writing this meta question is at least 10 or 20x larger, and it took the effort of several others to read this and that question and decide to re-open, which took a half-day. I think it would have been better & more efficient had you engaged productively & avoided close/reopen cycle $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Apr 28 at 12:50
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh, The question it is open now. Thanks for highlighting a problem which seems to be endemic to SE Chem...rushing to close reasonable questions before anyone can respond. $\endgroup$
    – AChem
    Apr 28 at 13:10

1 Answer 1

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What question asks now is

Why would tellurium + sodium hydroxide have been a good gasoline additive (if it wasn't so smelly)?

and

(..) in addition to reducing/stopping engine knocking it also improved mileage substantially. By what mechanism is a tellurium-based additive able to do this?

That's not exactly OK. If it would be "good" additive instantly seems opinion based. And that's a "what if" thing. Why would it not smell? It's not like you can just eliminate one property.

Than, there's a second question, which is quite different from the first and probably has more to do with engines and how they work.

Another thing is the other question is kinda buried under non-essential fluff, like what's the point of adding a screenshot? How about doing some preliminary research about anti-knocking instead?

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    $\begingroup$ I don’t really understand how “good” is opinion-based? Any sensible reading of the question immediately tells you that “good” is being measured in the sense that it can improve fuel efficiency. The smell thing is only there to provide context, in that that stopped it from being commercially viable. $\endgroup$ Apr 28 at 15:06
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    $\begingroup$ Agreed that screenshots are not needed, though. $\endgroup$ Apr 28 at 15:08
  • $\begingroup$ @orthocresol the sodium hydroxide appears only in the graphic, it's not mentioned in the audio or closed captions, so that one is probably helpful and necessary to back up my assertion that it's in the video, but the two full-frame shots (which are displayed as thumbnails only, not full size) are in fact not needed. Those two small things don't substantially change the size of the post (square centimeters on a screen) but they could be triggers for some so I'll remove them. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Apr 28 at 20:05
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    $\begingroup$ @mithoron not all of chemistry is theoretical; the work that many chemists do is applied to solving real-world problems. Understanding and taming the chemistry of hydrocarbon combustion and publishing papers on it has put dinner on the table for thousands of chemists. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Apr 28 at 20:08
  • $\begingroup$ @orthocresol ...and adjusted the title. I think there exist "trigger wordings" that various communities react to. For example, my "Explain to a five years old..." questions were very successful in Politics SE and Matter Modeling SE but Biology SE could not digest the phrase :-) $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Apr 28 at 20:21
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh Regarding "proof": I see two possible scenarios here for a reader. (1) They watch the video, in which case you don't need to back up your assertion. (2) They don't watch the video, in which case they don't really have any right to question what you say. Okay, there are some scenarios where the video might be taken down but I think your post stands on its own pretty well. Anyway, all this is a terribly minor point, and I don't really have much interest in debating it; I'm happy to back down. Regarding the main topic, I have not much to say, beyond that I probably wouldn't have closed it. $\endgroup$ Apr 28 at 21:07

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