9

There are plenty of questions asking how to do something or what would be the best way to achieve a desired goal, but I thought there aren't really any questions regarding how something works.

There are lots of random life hacks that aren't obvious so sometimes someone might want to ask a separate question going into more detail on a hack that has been provided as an answer, so my question is would such a question be on topic?

Are questions asking how or why a life hack works on topic?

16

I would strongly discourage folks from going too far outside the applied scope of this site. People come here looking for solutions, and delving into the into the teaching, skepticism, and science behind these solutions is going to add a lot "false hits" to folks just looking for the actual solution itself.

In reality, the best answers are those that take the time explain why that solution works in the first place. So if you have a question about how or why that solution works, the best place to ask is in the
comments — ask for clarification so folks can improve that answer, and the "why?" can become part of the solution itself.

7

I would prefer not to see such questions included in the scope of the site.

The scope is already challenging to define, but at least we seem to agree it's about providing a novel solution to a physical problem. Extending the scope to include questions about why hacks work begins to jostle against the scope for other sites, like Physics or Chemistry.

If you find an existing hack on this site that you don't understand, commenting beneath the answer seems appropriate to me. If you find the hack elsewhere, perhaps you can ask a question on this site (about the original problem) and see what answers you get. You might find the same answer, with a great explanation. Or perhaps an even better solution that makes you forget all about why that other hack works.

  • 2
    +1. Plus, the beauty of many life hacks is that they work elegantly and obviously--once you've thought to use them. They're hard to think of, but once you've got them, it's obvious why they're a great solution. – hairboat Feb 4 '15 at 14:59

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