A few days after I posted this question, I hitting upon this potential answer to it and posted it to get feedback on it, but the only response to it was strictly to tell me how to use superscripts (I hadn't figured out how when I originally submitted the answer); absolutely nobody seemed interested in looking it over and giving their opinion or pointing out any possible shortcomings in it, even though I had immediately added a notice to the top of my OP to draw attention to the existence of my answer right after I had posted it.

What can I do to remedy this?


2 Answers 2


Please understand the nature of Stack Exchange

Per the Tour, Stack Exchange is not a discussion forum. The limit to evaluating answers — if there is any participation at all — is to up/down vote the answer. Providing an answer that you don't think is an answer and so you're looking for feedback about (presumably) it's suitability as an answer is literally not what Stack Exchange does. Therefore, it's not surprising at all that you didn't receive any feedback. From our perspective (and the perspective of Stack Exchange) all you did was submit another answer.

Also remember that the stated purpose of Worldbuilding.SE is to help you build imaginary worlds. We provide the , , and tags because we understand that some people are seeking specific, scientifically-supported details for their problems.

But the further your question is from the baseline of the tag, the less we can do to help you unless you're only looking for ideas to help you rationalize your fiction. As your desire to make "as realistic as possible" your fantastic idea increases, the meaningfulness of those tags decreases.

Many users — notably new users — don't understand that limitation. Those three tags do not trump the stated purpose of this Stack: to help you build an imaginary world. This Stack's purpose is not to help you make your fiction factual. At best, it's to help you make your fiction believable. I believe you've fallen into the trap of believing we can help you make your fiction factual.

I'm going to diverge from your main question for a moment and point out the types of questions on Main that reflect the Stack's goals and those that don't.

An example that reflects our goals:

I'm creating a creature on my world and I want that creature to behave in the following way: [insert detailed description of behavior]. Are there any terrestrial creatures that exhibit behavior similar to this I can use to model my creature?

What's good about this first example is that we can find the querent real-world examples that are similar to or reflect the idea of what they're trying to achieve, and this meets their (and our) goal of creating a fictional creature that behaves in a way that helps the readers of their story suspend their disbelief. The tag tells us to limit the Real World examples we find to only those that specifically reflect the behavior the querent is trying to model.

Compare this to the same question tagged . In that case, while respondents are expected to still bring science to bear, they are free to use related but not demonstrative examples to extrapolate a possibility. = science + imagination to rationalize an idea. = science to rationalize an idea. = prove the science will rationalize the idea or don't bother answering.

An example that doesn't:

I'm going to use as an example a popular form that isn't intended to reflect your question on Main. It's just so darn common that it will help to use it here.

I'm creating a creature on my world and I want that creature to behave in the following way: [insert detailed description of behavior]. How could this behavior evolve?

What's bad about this second example is the querent is demanding real science to justify a fantastic creation — as if it can legitimately exist in the real world and this would be proven if they could just find the right person to answer the question, and this meets their goal (but not ours) of creating, not a fictional creature, but a real creature that would actually exist if only God or evolution got around to making one. The tag is used because the querent wants to be absolutely positively sure that no answers are given that can't completely explain the fiction factually — and that assumes the querent read the wiki at all (which is a big deal because that tag has rules...).

The first example is a request to help build an imaginary world. If you think about it, the second one isn't. It's a request to make an imaginary world, real.

To return to your original question...

The reason for that diversion is to help you understand how this Stack operates. Sometimes people think Stack Exchange is someplace they can go to replace a lack of education. That's not it at all. Stack Exchange is intended to be a place where people who have exhausted all other avenues of opportunity, including an education, can go to find help solving a specific problem with the assistance of experts who may have experience the querent doesn't yet have. I apologize, that was probably a hard slap on the wrist, but it's why no one evaluated your answer.

From our perspective, your answer was expected to be as valid and well-thought-out as every other answer. We just assumed you'd done some research and found a solution and we expected you would reward yourself with the coveted green check mark. It never even crossed our minds that you might be uncertain about your answer — because answers are supposed to be coming from experts and we simply assumed you'd discovered that expertise.

Weird, right? Well... that's how Stack Exchange is expected to work.

NOTE: We completely understand that when it comes to building imaginary worlds, there are experts in the process, but not necessarily in the specific issue someone might ask about. In other words, no one is an expert in . But that doesn't change the fundamental premise of how Stack Exchange works. The answers are expected to be intrinsically useful and challenged only if someone who (at least theoretically) knows better sees a flaw. Well... assuming anyone read the answer (no obligation, and it might not have been read by anyone), it might be worth thinking about something: no one saw a flaw that caused them to make a comment.


None of the answers you received were, apparently, sufficient for your needs, so you did more research and posted your own answer, but you're not sure if that meets your needs, either. But Stack Exchange's purpose isn't to analyze answers and determine why they don't meet your needs or whether or not they're even legitimate.1

How to resolve this?

  • You can ask questions about your specific question in The Factory Floor chat room. Unlike Main or here, any question you want to ask may be asked there.

  • You can present your question to the Sandbox where you can receive help perfecting your question before you post it on Main.

  • You should carefully read the Tour and the Help Center (at least the first two pages) to better understand the intent and limits of this site.

And a final word of advice...

  • You should remember that while trying to create something "as realistically as possible" is laudable, there are very real and very practical limits involved. Science is far (very, very, very far) from answering all questions and it's not as capable of extrapolating something "real" from a hypothesis as you might think. Besides, when it comes to writing a story, perfect detail isn't the practical goal you might think it is. There are very good reasons why most SciFi/Fantasy writers don't create all the details.

1That's one of the reasons why AI such as the ChatGPT chat bot have been banned on Stack Exchange — they read well, but their quality is suspect, and Stack Exchange doesn't want to be in the business of policing the veracity of answers. It only wants to be in the business of being the source for veritable answers.


Ask a new question

The bounty system exists to attract attention to questions. However, there is no equivalent system to seek feedback on answers - people may comment to suggest improvements and/or upvote, ignore or downvote as they wish. Creating a mechanism for someone to draw attention to their answer in preference to others could unfairly skew voting patterns.

I am extrapolating from a sample of one (myself) here, but I suggest that part of the issue is that a relatively small number of community members have the knowledge to assess the quality of answers - I certainly don't! (With only 17 net upvotes between the answers to a clearly articulated question, I am reasonably confident of this theory.) The highest-voted answer was posted the same day that you asked the question, while your answer and a number of others were posted three days later. (Two of those answers each received two upvotes.) So it is possible that the few people with interest and knowledge in the subject had mostly lost interest in the question after three days, with the few stragglers preferring the other answers.

Another part of the problem may be due to the wording of your answer. The hesitant nature of the final line "How plausible is this model?" made it read as if you are not confident in your own proposal. No one jumped in with comments saying, "No, that couldn't work!" but voters are less likely to upvote an answer that you seem lukewarm on yourself.

If you really like your self-posted answer compared to the alternaties and want to reality-check it further, then you could post it as a reality check question. However, you will need to do a bit of work to make sure that the new question is not closed as a duplicate of the question you have already asked.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ These questions are not called "reality-check" anymore, but internal-consistency :). $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 5, 2023 at 7:49
  • $\begingroup$ I was actually thinking of doing what you suggested, but I wasn't sure if it's permitted. What kind of work do I have to do? $\endgroup$
    – MarqFJA87
    Commented Jun 5, 2023 at 10:01
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    $\begingroup$ @MarqFJA87 You'd need to develop your answer a bit like if you've chosen it for your world and ask whether a specific part of it is correct or not. To be sure your new question is not closed, compare your old question with the new one and find the USP (unique selling point) : What's so cool about your new question that you don't have in the old one? In other words, the existing answers to your old question should not easily answer the new one. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 5, 2023 at 13:17
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    $\begingroup$ Also, remember to quickly thank the other people in your new, closely-related post : People will react a lot better to your new question if they know they helped you reach the conclusion you chose to delve deeper into 😊. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 5, 2023 at 13:19

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