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I have just open a question about More on syntactic vs semantic classes, and UP vs NP. In the comments, @Tsuyoshi and I were discussing whether my interpretation about a related result to the problems is correct or not. As he said, this discussion is not directly related to the main questions, and by his word "this is kind of off topic here", and I agree.

Since the discussion is all about related results and not about the site, I see no reasons to put the discussions here in meta. But staying in the same question may be improper too. So what should I do if I would like to continue the discussion? Should I open a new topic just about interpreting the related result? Is that off-topic in TCS SE? (Since SE sites discourage discussions.)

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    $\begingroup$ You can use chat. :) $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Dec 21 '10 at 2:35
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    $\begingroup$ Contact the user privately? $\endgroup$ – Robin Kothari Dec 21 '10 at 4:15
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    $\begingroup$ I've heard email can be quite handy :) $\endgroup$ – Suresh Venkat Dec 21 '10 at 6:48
  • $\begingroup$ I'll ask @Tsuyoshi privately to see if he is willing to, since I do not want to disturb him if emails are too "private". It is interesting that people (that is, me) always forget the most obvious way to get things done :) Thank you all very much!! $\endgroup$ – Hsien-Chih Chang 張顯之 Dec 21 '10 at 7:27
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So you wrote me an email and I replied you, suggesting you to post a new question on cstheory.stackexchange.com. I hope that you can distill a concrete question out of it. :)

Let me write how I feel about continuing a conversation on this website in email.

First of all, I appreciate the fact that you were very considerate in writing to me personally. I do not mind receiving an email like yours occasionally.

That said, in general, I do not want to continue a conversation on this website in email, unless the subject is so close to my interest that I want to spend more time on it.

There are topics which I really care about, topics which I am somewhat interested in, and topics which I am not at all interested in. When I write something on this website, I am usually somewhat interested in the subject but I am not willing to commit myself into the subject. In such a case, a conversation on a website is fine, but a private conversation by email is, well, too private. For example, even if I write something incorrect, there are no experts who can correct me. So I have to think much more carefully in private conversations. And I cannot spend much time on the subject in which I am only somewhat interested.

All of this is my personal opinion/feeling and by no means universal. Some people probably like private discussions on topics in which they are marginally interested. Also, my feeling is not solid and may change easily.

I hope I did not harm your feelings.

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  • $\begingroup$ Not at all, your replies and suggestions are nice, and I am really thankful to your help. And you are right, there are a lot of experts here who can give ideas and correct the discussion if needed, that is what a public Q&A site like TCS SE for. Like what I said in the letter, I'll think more about my question, and post a new question on that topic without being like a discussion one, which is off-topic here. $\endgroup$ – Hsien-Chih Chang 張顯之 Dec 22 '10 at 1:16

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