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hossman pointed out in this node that it would be nice to have some indicator of user experience, so that you could filter out 'newbie' questions vs. 'expert' questions. He's right about one thing - sometimes you just aren't in the mood for the really basic stuff, and other times you're willing to devote effort to them. Don't you think?

Anyway, I raise here a point for discussion (no supporting code - sorry I don't have time!). What if along with a ++ or -- rating on a node, you could also (optionally?) rate its 'difficulty'. I guess this is especially relevant for SOPW more than anything else.

Hence when you're scanning newest nodes you can select what level of question you'll tackle. It might also give some guidance to newbies about where their questions fall in the scheme of things. If you haven't read Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments, do so. Quite often a newbie (in *any* area of life) will believe their problems are serious ones, or that their knowledge is very deep. Only when they become adept enough do they realise where they truly stand on a scale with respect to their peers. Interestingly enough, the more skilled they become, the more likely they are to *under-rate* how skilled they are. So you could interpret this extra rating as a way of placing a question on a peer-reviewed scale of difficulty, as well as the scale of 'quality' we have now.

Anyway, what it all boils down to is a bit more meta information about the node. ++/-- works well, but there is scope for more sophistication (optional sophistication, of course). I would personally be willing to invest time in rating a node with slightly more granularity than offered at the moment.

Ash OS durbatulk, ash OS gimbatul,
Ash OS thrakatulk, agh burzum-ishi krimpatul!
Uzg-Microsoft-ishi amal fauthut burguuli.

In reply to Node difficulty level by hagus

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