Joel Spolsky mentions in podcast #30 that he has asked true experts in quantitative finance what they think about this site, and they tell him that the questions are all "really beginner questions" and that "you would get fired for not already knowing this at my firm."
Does the presence of these questions, which you can often tell get very few up-votes even after receiving 100+ views, detract from the site? Should we be more aggressive in shutting down these types of basic but on-topic questions? Or, given the fledgling state of this site, should we err on the side of inclusiveness?
Based on the most recent questions at the moment, the following questions have fewer than 5 votes but more than 100 views:
- How to properly evaluate backtest returns?
- Do markets typically fall fast, and rise slowly
- Using Itô's formula to deduce a stochastic process is a martingale
- Algorithms for predicting a couple points in the future
These are not even necessarily the best examples, and I think it is hard to pick up the worst offenders algorithmically, yet those of us who work in finance can probably sense whether a question is coming from a newcomer or outsider.
Update: I am not sure if this is a general policy, but it looks like questions that receive a net -4 votes are removed from the front page. A new user asked a question this morning about book recommendations, which along with data and programming languages are listed in the FAQ as expressly off-topic and covered by our canonical answers. After closing this question, it quickly received 4 downvotes. The question can no longer be found from the front page, but is in the "newest questions" list. So if you don't like a question so much you think it needs to disappear, then go in and down-vote it!