I'm having difficulty learning any appropriate reason for why What are the most prevalent governmental methods for misestimating crowd sizes? should be closed.

User DrunkenSanta9035768 (AKA SoylentGray) asserts the Q is "not a real question", and infers a sinister motive, supposing it to be "asked purely to make a point not to get to any real answers about politics, policies, or the processes involved in governing." When asked to elaborate as to what kind of point he believes was attempted, his response was this evasion: "The burden is now on you to either salvage the question, or explain why it is not off topic".

Since the comments are not place for extended discussions, perhaps Politics meta is.

  1. Needless to say, the Q is not a product of ulterior motives. But suppose it were: even that would be irrelevant to the Q's actual merits; to assume otherwise would be to commit a genetic fallacy.

  2. Politics involves a lot of counting, and much consideration of proper and improper methods of counting. In politics we count lengths, areas, volumes, weights, durations, quantities, etc. positive and negative, and various ratios thereof, of land, goods, currency, text, people, etc.

    The Q is about area and people counting, which is similar to Qs about gerrymandering, voting, censuses, military strength, etc.

  3. Politics includes political errors and trickery. The Q is about that as well. Misrulers have methods; those methods will always be relevant.

  4. If we assume good faith, a mere unsupported closing should not shift the burden of proof against it. If a Q is to be closed, the reasons against it should not be reserved. Otherwise partisan groups can easily censor minority inquiry.


A couple of my initial reactions on the question:

  • Methods for misestimating specifically for crowd sizes doesn't seem like it's an actual field of study.
  • Misestimating the size of a crowd seems quite trivial. You can just make numbers up.
  • There's no reason to believe that governments would have a different method of misestimating than anyone else with an agenda
  • "Misestimating" implies that they specifically want the number to be wrong, where what you're probably thinking of is people portraying the estimate they want, even if that estimate happens to be correct.

It's little details like that which make your question not make complete sense. Trump's inauguration crowd size is currently an issue of contention for people, so it sounds like you're asking about that. If that is the case, feel free to ask about it.

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    1. Consigning the studying of misrule to a mere field trivializes it. Misrule is arguably the more interesting half of political study as a whole, wherein we learn how things work by studying how they fail, (or fail to fail soon enough), from Machiavelli to George W. Plunkitt to Orwell's political works to The Dictator's Handbook, et al. – agc Feb 10 '17 at 1:06
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    2. Making numbers up is a weak method. Just as it's safer for a malfeasant pol to support errors with research from a third party expert, who can be blamed upon discovery, to be replaced with other third parties... it's safer for pols and their experts to invoke elaborate and persnickety methods and fallible algorithms with which to distract the public from the biased figures that result – agc Feb 10 '17 at 1:25
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    3. The Q concerns the general phenomenon, not any single instance. A necessary symptom of any useful generality is that it remains relevant long after earlier instances are forgotten. – agc Feb 10 '17 at 1:25

Your comment that my edit to correct the title to estimation from mistestimation was what led me to believe you were trying to make a point. Your arguments to date have done very little to make me think you are actually looking for an answer rather than an argument. It could be just my perception and that could be wrong but I have no evidence that supports any other perception in my opinion. This site is not a forum for discussion, you can have that in chat if you like.

If you actually want to improve the question stop arguing against our perceptions and start changing the question to clear up any miscommunication and ask for the information you are actually looking for. In other words instead of trying to convince us we misunderstood what you were asking assume you erred in your method of asking and ask better.

  • This answer would be improved if it specifically identified the sinister "point" that was, (in your opinion), attempted. – agc Feb 13 '17 at 3:00

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