There are two parts to any post, and the voting reflects both of them:
- The substance of the post or the root problem being addressed. How much this gets upvoted or downvoted depends primarily on the usefulness of the question.
The tone of the question and the preparation shown. Even a great question like "Why do jet engines get better fuel efficiency at high altitudes?" can become harder to use, address, or read if this presentation is bad. There are many ways to go wrong here, like:
- Showing a lack of effort ("Explain why TSFC on the following graph increases with altitude. Can anyone help me?")
- Lack of relevant information ("Why do engines have different ct at 25000?")
- Tone/phrasing ("Do jet designers intentionally make engines less efficient at low altitude?" or "please help with this question why is TSFC higher when up at alt")
- Not communicating the real issues behind the question, possibly because of a misunderstanding of the bigger questions at work ("Can I use the jet stream to get jet-engine efficiency with a turboprop?" or "Would a plane achieve optimal Carnot efficiency in a vacuum?")
The question appears to have had a mix of all these issues. The original post doesn't explain what the author already found out about PIC or explain what exactly he found confusing. He doesn't post relevant information about jurisdiciton, what he means by calling for coffee, whether the first officer is making the major decisions, etc. The phrasing came off as a little like the author had an ulterior motive, and finally, the post skimmed over or made assumptions about things that really should have been addressed right out, like "Does the automation affect who is PIC?", "Does the choice of PIC affect who sets the FMS or works the controls?" or "Do some PICs only call back for coffee when they should be doing more as PIC?"
Honestly, yes, it is hard to see a question with good substance but poor wording and preparation get downvoted instead of having comments and edits. Downvoting instead of commenting smacks of obsessing over question quality or overzealous moderation. It means a potentially great question gets held up and ignored because of issues that are very fixable. Constructive comments and helpful edits, as usual, is the best way to make this site better.
However, as much I dislike aggressive downvoting, I think that downvotes on poorly presented questions do have their limited place. If a question improves it'll get several upvotes over the next couple of months. Additionally, downvotes are supposed to be an anonymous way (albeit not always the best way) of setting useful questions apart from unclear ones. Unclear questions tend to get unhelpful answers.
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