I was reviewing this question when I noticed that:

  1. it is a list question (i.e. open-ended, i.e. generally regarded as too broad)

  2. the OP posted two answers.

I have asked in the comments to the second answer to please merge them in accordance to our policy.

People have argued that the two answers should not be merged.

This has triggered two questions. The first can be found here

Question 2:

What should we do with the two answers from that user? Should they be merged or not? Why?

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    $\begingroup$ For anyone who says yes to merge, I'd also like to hear your reason why other answers from different users should or should not also be merged. Why does authorship matter? $\endgroup$ – Adam Jul 24 '19 at 23:44
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    $\begingroup$ @Adam Authorship matters because it rewards individual contributions and encourages continued participation on the site, as evidenced by the extensive rep system in place on SE. $\endgroup$ – AEhere supports Monica Jul 25 '19 at 7:37

I don't see any decent reason for them to exist as separate answers given that:

  • The question implicitly asks for a list, so a reasonable answer would contain all the possible geometries known to the poster.
  • The answer's author wrote the question (contra proferentem)
  • It would set a precedent for questions asking for a list of reasons for [design decision X on plane Y] (and I would be the first to post half a dozen answers each with one reason).
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    $\begingroup$ Regarding your first point, that forces all answers to be the best list each poster can come up with, since the votes are who has the best list. Naturally a complete list is better than an incomplete one, so each post must be the union of all the other posts plus that user's contribution. It would be irresponsible to give the green checkmark to a less complete list. I don't like where that dynamic leads. $\endgroup$ – Adam Jul 24 '19 at 23:42
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    $\begingroup$ @Adam I don't see why you would make the jump from [merge all the items known to poster A] to [merge all the items]. My argument is for one answer per user unless it is a differing opinion or counterargument to themselves. $\endgroup$ – AEhere supports Monica Jul 25 '19 at 7:40
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    $\begingroup$ SE guidance is for distinct answers, opinion or not, to be distinct. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/25209/… Now that more answers came in I wish everyone had followed that guidance. There are items that deserve more visibility but they're bundled with items that don't. $\endgroup$ – Adam Jul 26 '19 at 1:38
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    $\begingroup$ You have to merge all items because the "correct" answer is a complete list. If you don't merge then by definition your list won't be complete. $\endgroup$ – Adam Jul 26 '19 at 1:38
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    $\begingroup$ @Adam Just for clarity, here's the complete quote: "Some computer languages have a lot of flexibility in how to solve any one problem, so by listing them both as separate answers (if very distinct) they can both be voted on by the community, and this will allow the better answer to float to the top". I think we are sufficiently far removed from the situation (multiple equivalent coding implementations) to say this does not necessarily make good guidance for this site. That answer (Aug 2009) also predates the creation of non-coding sites (Nov 2010). $\endgroup$ – AEhere supports Monica Jul 26 '19 at 11:04
  • $\begingroup$ We are not far removed at all. There are multiple versions of variable geometry to address the problem that high speed and low speed flight require different characteristics. That's exactly the same as solving the same programming problem in different ways. Anyway, goodbye. $\endgroup$ – Adam Jul 26 '19 at 22:08
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    $\begingroup$ @Adam I guess we will have to disagree on that. The question does not specify the problem the geometry is meant to address, you just did that here. The original wording should accept engine and fuselage changes, which have all been put forward, because it is so broad. $\endgroup$ – AEhere supports Monica Jul 26 '19 at 22:43

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