I think it'd be nice to have a place to steer some of the most-obviously off-topic "What If," as I mentioned earlier. Turns out, there was a proposal in Area 51 for some type of speculative-yet-science-based Stack. Curious as to its fate, I sent this e-mail to the community managers:
It seems that a scientifically-based speculation Stack—a WhatIf.SE, if you will—has been proposed in Area 51 and subsequently deleted. Is there a record of why that proposal failed? Specifically, was it lack of support, or a perceived incompatibility with Stack function?
I ask because Worldbuilding.SE is going through some scope-pains recently. To put it briefly: the site seems to attract a lot of really curious querents with interesting questions, answers full of an amazing breadth of expertise, sometimes having little to do with worldbuilding. (That’s just my personal characterization.) See, for reference, meta discussions one, two, three, four on the general topic, along with any number of “why is ___ on/off topic?” meta questions.
I believe that these questions stem from two base human urges: (a) curiosity & (b) sharing. People are curious about how to outrun a nuclear explosion or what a market for words might look like. And others have expertise they bring to bear on these topics, or would like to bring to bear.
I mentioned in a recent WB.meta post that it’d be nice to have a place to point these querents. Frankly, I think the world would be well-served with more than just Randall Munroe answering “What if…?” (No offense meant, Randall. We love you.) And while WB.SE isn’t that site, we’re attracting some of that material. If we had a place to point (or migrate) these questions it would make it easier to maintain WB.SE’s core scope while still serving those querents.
So, if the previous proposal withered due to lack of support, perhaps we need to consider marshaling support around here for resurrecting that proposal. However, if the proposal was judged a fundamentally-flawed concept for SE then you’ve already hashed out many of the ones we’re facing, and we’d love to hear your experience.
Many thanks for your attention,
-[real name redacted] (nitsua60)
I'll let you know if I hear a response.