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The following question, originally titled Skill vs. luck: Separating the wheat from the chaff, is one of our most popular questions, and for good reason. It is an interesting question, and many people (myself included) have chosen to add their 2 cents to the discussion. However, it is not clear from the title what the question actually is, only vaguely what it is about (a topic, rather than a question). Furthermore, it is not even clear whether the author is looking for ways to separate skillful quant managers from each other, or quant methods of separating managers in general.

There are many references on the SE/SO network regarding good question titles. Thus, in a sincere attempt to make a good question great, I edited the post's title to "What quantitative methods are available to separate skillful fund managers from the lucky ones?" Since I liked the line about wheat vs. chaff, I stuck that into the question itself. I believe this edit both clarified the question itself (it is about evaluating managers in general using quant methods, not about evaluating quant managers) and improved the consistency and look and feel of the site.

Now, @chrisaycock has come in and reverted my edits. He claims that the question title was "famous" around quant.SE How so? I just did a search on the two key phrases in the title "skill vs luck" and "wheat from the chaff" and nothing else came up. Since when does the time period in which a question's title can be improved to conform to SE's guidelines expire?

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So then the question is whether

What quantitative methods are available to separate skillful fund managers from lucky ones?

is a more appropriate title than

Skill vs. luck: Separating the wheat from the chaff

I agree with you -- the latter form gives no indication what the question is actually about and is overly clever to the detriment of the reader. Your edit made the question materially better, which is the point of all edits.

Therefore, I support this title change, and I also posit that nothing is lost if the "wheat vs chaff" metaphor is edited into the body.

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I agree with Jeff Atwood in the sense of the particular question here, but let's take a look at the bigger picture.

In a general sense, time should not affect the ability to improve a title. Remember that the purpose of a title is to help illustrate what the question is about. In some cases, you do have historically significant titles that people are resistant to change - Gaming's most famous one is How can I tell if a corpse is safe to eat?, which is hilarious especially out of context. But importantly, it tells you what the question is about - for all of the humor value it possesses, it's very explicit on what the question is, and the tags help clarify this even more. Comparatively, fund managers aren't even mentioned in the title or tags of the original question.

A question may get old, but in the end, we still have it. The better we adapt to our standards of now with our old content, the stronger our standards will be applied. Time does not justify letting a question be unclear, so whether a question is new or old, it is valuable to revise an unclear title to one that is clearer.

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The original question title was very clear. Indeed, without even reading the question I knew to answer with the Larry Harris reference.

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    $\begingroup$ To you, a >2K rep frequent user of the site, perhaps, but I would argue it is not clear to the average user. $\endgroup$ – Tal Fishman Aug 12 '11 at 15:58
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    $\begingroup$ @sheegaon I've changed it to a compromise title. $\endgroup$ – chrisaycock Aug 12 '11 at 16:14
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, I'm glad we could find a reasonable compromise. $\endgroup$ – Tal Fishman Aug 12 '11 at 16:19

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