Imagine a world in which J, an IT administrator, manages the computing cluster for a handful of labs at a major research university in the United States.
Now imagine that a scientist in one of these labs has done something stupid: He's attempted to install
glibc to his user account, the installation has failed, and his user account has gotten all screwed up.
J has restored functionality to the user account, but the broken installation remains in the user's home directory. Now he needs to remove it.
The question arises, What files are included in
glibc? Of the files in
~/lib, which does the user need to remove? The answer isn't obvious to J or to the idiot scientist.
So the scientist comes to serverfault and asks this question.
He gets told the question is off-topic because
1) He isn't J.
2) He screwed up when he tried to install
The scientist responds,
1) So if J asked this question, it would be on-topic?
2) Duh, that's why I need help.
He is told,
1) J would never ask this question.
2) I'm sick of you and I don't want to debate this so why don't you go over to meta.
So he comes to meta. And his question is, What if J did ask this question?