# mysterious down-votes on Fourier analysis question about normalising factors

Can someone explain why this question got three down-votes? It seems like a good-faith attempt to get information.

(And while explaining, can they abstain from expressions of how appalled they are by the question? Such expressions seem to be all too often offered in place of explanations, and should be of interest only the the psychotherapists of those who write them.)

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Be aware that downvoting till negative questions that one thinks to be poor may make the problem worse, since this often results in sympathy upvotes, so the user ends up with net positive rep, which may encourage further poor questions. – Gone Nov 4 '12 at 17:00
@BillDubuque : Does your comment have some relevance to this present question? As far as I can see, it could be relevant only if you thought that that's actually happening with this particular question. Yet you haven't said so, let alone what makes you think that happened. – Michael Hardy Nov 4 '12 at 20:21
It is relevant since the question was in fact downvoted till negative when I posted that comment (now it has $0$ votes total). I did not downvote the question – Gone Nov 4 '12 at 20:42
It had a negative vote total. But your comment seems to suggest that some people down-voted it who would not have done so if the total had been negative. Is there some reason to think that's going on? To me it looked as if someone was simply asking a question about mathematics, and the down-votes seemed inexplicable. And still do. – Michael Hardy Nov 4 '12 at 20:47
No. My point was simply this: downvoting a post till it is negative often encourages sympathy upvotes, which may result in a net positive rep gain to the user, which may in fact encourage the user to post similar questions, which may in fact be what the downvoter was attempting to discourage by the downvote. – Gone Nov 4 '12 at 20:55
Since your first comment here mentions "poor questions", could you tell us whether you consider the one I linked to in my question to be a "poor question"? – Michael Hardy Nov 4 '12 at 22:57
My opinion of the question is not relevant since I did not downvote it. Presumably the downvotes reflect the fact that the downvoter believed the question to be "poor" in some aspect. My initial comment was merely a tangential remark to the reader. – Gone Nov 4 '12 at 23:08
I seriously doubt that you will get an answer. I, like you, cannot fathom why it got downvoted. And considering that none of the original downvoters bothered to explain their votes in the comments on the OP, I am pessimistic about your chances of getting an explanation here. – Willie Wong Nov 5 '12 at 9:46
A question that only adresses three anonymous people that have downvoted something for unknown reasons strikes me as too localized. And it is not like we never had similar discusiions before. – Michael Greinecker Nov 5 '12 at 12:11
@MichaelGreinecker : I think you're mistaken. It can happen, for example, that a large number of people are willing to avow that any posting in which the word "get" appears should be down-voted, but I may be unaware of the existence of that sentiment, and so by posting such a question here, I would learn that such a feeling is widespread. Things like this have happened several times. – Michael Hardy Nov 5 '12 at 14:17
Well I have no voted on that question, or on any of the answers. Guess I'll be leaving now... – The Chaz 2.0 Nov 5 '12 at 15:58
It's a perfectly valid question that has received three downvotes. The fact that you take a preemptive swipe at the only three people who could answer by mentioning their therapists makes it even more unlikely that you will get an answer. Therefore, I vote to close this meta question. – Phira Nov 5 '12 at 18:04
@phira : The "swipe at therapists" was not at the three people who down-voted the question; it was at people who in the past have posted comments here at how appalled they are with a question, without explaining what their objections are. The fact that one finds something appalling is of interest at most only if one explains one's objections. – Michael Hardy Nov 5 '12 at 22:48
The question certainly seems to have been a good faith attempt at getting information, yet it shows a paucity of effort, IMO: It should have been obvious that the answer is likely to be related to the omitted parts of the formulae (the integral limits and the integrand!). This would clearly have been better dealt with by a request for clarification in the comments than with a downvote, however. (No, I didn't vote on the question, nor do I have a psychiatrist.) – Harald Hanche-Olsen Nov 6 '12 at 14:38
@Harald: The post mentioned psychotherapists, not psychiatrists :-) – joriki Nov 7 '12 at 12:05