The question in question is: What is zeitgeist used for?

Check the edit history for details, but essentially:

Question asked likening Ubuntu using Zeitgeist to God-lessness.

Attempt to salvage question by rephrasing it as a "what is the difference between Zeitgeist the package and Zeitgeist the movie" type of thing.

Inflammatory religious language edited back in.

Another user edits it back out.

At what point should an exchange like this be turned in to close-votes/flags and should it have been a salvage attempt in the first place?

  • Salvage attempts are never never ever wasted, except on bug and related ones. +1 for trying. I locked it for 1 hour to give the OP a chance to calm down.
    – jrg
    Aug 27, 2012 at 15:21
  • The real question there is "What is Zeitgeist? Is it something religious?" In this way, I saw the edit not as inflammatory but as revealing the real reason behind the question.
    – badp
    Aug 27, 2012 at 15:42
  • @badp - I suppose that's possible. I read it differently after the implication of God-lessness in the initial post. Aug 27, 2012 at 15:49
  • @aking1012 That's what I meant by "clarification", we thought A but the asker meant B. (This is because the edit author is the same as the question owner.)
    – badp
    Aug 27, 2012 at 16:13

1 Answer 1


I'm not sure I would have classed this edit as inflammatory.

  • The user was asking what, if any relation the application called Zeitgeist had to do with the series of films (starting 2007) film of the same name. That's technically a perfectly on-topic question.

  • English does not appear to be their first language and I think that's clear from some of the awkward phrasing.

  • The edit came, I think, to justify the significance of the question for them and to tailor the response. Christianity seems to be something important for them. The comment was mild.

    A similar edit might be adding "Oh and I use Gnome-Fallback instead of Unity" to a question asking how to do something.

  • I think it's fairly obvious that there no link between the two things but I'm an atheist and I'm certain that some things bother me less than somebody with beliefs might.

  • So I consider that some people need independent certification about some things that don't bother me but that bothers them. Perhaps this user doesn't want to use anything even mildly associated with this film and they're asking us for confirmation that there's nothing linking the two other than letters.

    I consider this no different than a rabbi certifying a deli's kosher status.

Assuming I'm not missing anything, I would say what happened has been an overreaction to something very mild and IMHO, the edit war was far worse than the initial re-edit.

If you notice something bad being edited in, or being maliciously rolled back, you need to kick it back to us. We can lock things down and have a word with the OP in private.

  • Sorry for being part of the edit war. I guess I'll edit the question to make sure we are not disrespecting the original author?
    – jokerdino Mod
    Aug 28, 2012 at 9:59
  • Fair points all around. It just came across as "Ubuntu must be anti-pick a religion because the word Zeitgeist is used", or because it has an icon that incorporates a cow, or whatever. It just didn't seem a reasonable tone to me, but I could have been reading it wrong. Aug 28, 2012 at 12:37
  • 1
    "The user was asking what, if any relation the application called Zeitgeist had to do with the series of films (starting 2007) film of the same name. That's technically a perfectly on-topic question." Since that's cleared up, and the question has a good answer, shouldn't we reopen it? Aug 28, 2012 at 16:53

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