stackexchange October 10, 2011

Questions. Do you have any?

  You do. I’ll bet like a bazillion bitcoins on it. You’re a human. You’re curious. You don’t know everything. You frequently use intonation at the end of your thoughts. Some questions previously brought to Stack Exchange: Are humans the best marathon runners on earth? No. Is there a use in the kitchen for salmon heads and spines? Yes. Are pedestrians…

 

You do. I’ll bet like a bazillion bitcoins on it.

You’re a human. You’re curious. You don’t know everything. You frequently use intonation at the end of your thoughts.

Some questions previously brought to Stack Exchange:

  • Are humans the best marathon runners on earth? No.
  • Is there a use in the kitchen for salmon heads and spines? Yes.
  • Are pedestrians allowed to use the bike lane? Maybe.

We are so smart!

By “we,” I mean you, me… humans. Slam a bunch of keyboard characters in celebration!@#$* We nudge friends, ping strangers and query Google when we feel brave enough to fill the itchy vacancies in the libraries of our brains. Asking, I think, might be one of the critical differences between man and the rest of the animal kingdom. Yes, asking and sarcasm and Google.

But how do you prompt a human to ask a question? That’s a problem I’ve wrestled with since joining Stack Exchange in July. How do I remind you that you had that one question while you were drooling into your popcorn while watching that impossibly slow Terrance Malick movie?

Should I send you a swag bag full of Stack Exchange branded notepads?

It’s hard to remember a question you conceived in the past. It’s much easier, on the other hand, to plug your question into a search field right as the question dawns on you (which is why we need to work on brand awareness at Stack Exchange, not to mention mobile, but that’s a discussion for another time).

Maybe we don’t readily recall what we once wondered because, for the vast majority of human existence, questions were mostly unanswerable. From 12 to 11:59 on the clock of human history, questions did little more than drive cavemen mad. “Why is the moon acting all crazy, yo!”

Today, things are different.

 

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