I noticed a question about the origin of the "loading circle" was closed earlier today because it was "not a practical problem." Further justification of the closing was that
Knowing the origin of something isn't really useful, but knowing when to use it, when not to, what user experiences of it are when used in certain places, whether if rotating clockwise / anticlockwise makes users feel it is working faster or not... Those are useful questions, but just asking 'where did this thing come from' isn't so useful.
The OP responded with the following rebuttal
I'm asking where it came from so that I can see how it developed. Has it always rotated the same way, has anyone tried the other way, was it as successful, how quickly did it become so widespread (an implication of intuitiveness). Where it came from is the key to answering the more useful questions.
I'm leaning toward agreeing with the OP on this: understanding the origin of a common feature can help to understand what rules govern that feature and when they can be bent or broken. This would make knowing the origins of a feature useful and on-topic.
Are questions about origins on or off topic?