OK, now that I've posted the actual questions, I've deleted all the meta explanation.

Was it correct to split this question into two seperate questions for 1 and 2?

World where everyone can know what everyone is thinking

Suddenly, everyone in a world can know the thoughts of everyone else. What happens?

#1 is a question where it's always been like that, #2 is a question where it suddenly happens.

If I split them, the main body of the text in the two questions will be quite similar and only the part about how it came into being will differ. Will this be duplicates? What should I do?

OK, I ended up splitting the questions.

If the community disagrees, I will happily merge them again. I will follow the votes of the community.

  • $\begingroup$ And you don't go morphing your question around after answers are posted to divert the opinion. $\endgroup$ Commented May 19, 2016 at 14:20
  • $\begingroup$ @Mindwin This meta question was written before the real question had been posted, and before it had been split in two. I have edited it to better reflect the current state of the questions. I initially favoured the one question approach that you have suggested, but things changed as a result of this meta question. The changing neta question is a result of the changing real questions. $\endgroup$
    – Fiksdal
    Commented May 19, 2016 at 14:42
  • $\begingroup$ Confirmation bias. You posted a meta, then minutes after a positive answer had been posted you rolled your questions. Not enough time for the community to evaluate it. $\endgroup$ Commented May 19, 2016 at 15:08
  • $\begingroup$ @Mindwin It seems I have not explained well enough what happened. I initially took your approach of a merged question. When I got this answer, I had already posted my merged version, like you suggest. The answer did not confirm my wish. Rather, I had to re-write stuff and post a new question, edit the meta question, etc. I actually think it was rather inconvenient to do it that way. Now, I'm new to this site, and I'll happily listen to votes and high rep users. Thanks for your input. $\endgroup$
    – Fiksdal
    Commented May 19, 2016 at 15:21
  • $\begingroup$ Should've waited for at least a) someone with reallty high rep b) a mod c) several users had chipped in their opinions. $\endgroup$ Commented May 19, 2016 at 15:26
  • $\begingroup$ @Mindwin Thanks for sharing that with me. I hope you will still find the questions and answers interesting. $\endgroup$
    – Fiksdal
    Commented May 19, 2016 at 15:28
  • $\begingroup$ @Mindwin Hi. The mods have now solved this problem for us. The question where the humans had this ability from the start is now put on hold as too broad. Now that I think about it, I agree with them. So now there is only one question, and therefore no duplicate issues. I hope you feel that the one remaining question is OK now? Otherwise, please let me know. $\endgroup$
    – Fiksdal
    Commented May 19, 2016 at 16:16
  • $\begingroup$ One question is OK. Splitting one subject into a several questions is not for the reasons I explained below. It is too much of a risk for the site. Rep farming, dilluting good answers in several pages, etc. Never take things in a SE site personal (and use the flag if something is bothering you). P.S.: Splitting causes quaity drops in both questions and answers. One of the questions became low-quality IMHO because of it. $\endgroup$ Commented May 19, 2016 at 16:22
  • $\begingroup$ @Mindwin Alright. Yeah, I agree with the mods that it was too broad, because I was basically asking for the whole evolution of the culture of a species, lol. I'm glad my other question survived. I also agree with you that rep farming is a concern. $\endgroup$
    – Fiksdal
    Commented May 19, 2016 at 16:37
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Mindwin Please be more polite. Particularly to users new to the site. $\endgroup$
    – James
    Commented May 20, 2016 at 6:24

4 Answers 4



The worlds are going to develop very differently in those two scenarios, so I'd say it would be better to post two separate questions. Otherwise, at the very least, it would difficult to pick the best answer - what if someone gives an awesome answer for #1, but ignores #2?

For the convenience, you could mention that the superpower is the same as in another question (for those who have already read another question), but still describe it in a separate paragraph or section (for those who haven't).

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, I'll do this. The main body of the question will be exactly the same, only a sentence or two will differ. Is that OK? It won't be a duplicate? The scenarios will be radically different. $\endgroup$
    – Fiksdal
    Commented May 19, 2016 at 10:41
  • $\begingroup$ You can look at the actual question. I'm prepared to split it: worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/41816/… $\endgroup$
    – Fiksdal
    Commented May 19, 2016 at 10:43
  • $\begingroup$ @Fiksdal, no, it certainly won't be a duplicate (the duplicates are closed in order to collect all answers together, and in this case it'd be unreasonable). $\endgroup$
    – user8808
    Commented May 19, 2016 at 10:49
  • $\begingroup$ Alright. I'll go right ahead and split them in two, thanks for your help. $\endgroup$
    – Fiksdal
    Commented May 19, 2016 at 10:50
  • $\begingroup$ Actually, I'll have to change the main body too. Good thing. $\endgroup$
    – Fiksdal
    Commented May 19, 2016 at 11:01
  • $\begingroup$ OK, split is done. $\endgroup$
    – Fiksdal
    Commented May 19, 2016 at 11:21

I remember the confusion with the 40mph runners, where we weren't sure whether it was an evolved trait or a suddenly given one as the responses would be completely different in each case. One government regulation and the other evolved social dynamics. I feel the same is true here and the two cases should be held clearly separate.

  • $\begingroup$ Your username matches your opinion in this case :) $\endgroup$
    – Fiksdal
    Commented May 19, 2016 at 17:34

The mods solved this problem by putting #1 on hold as too broad. I guess I agree with their decision, as I was indirectly asking for the history and evolution of the culture of an entire species. I suppose if I had asked both questions in one, then that might have been too broad as well, since it would have included the "too-broad" question and the other one.

  • $\begingroup$ Real questions have answers - A question closed as too broad means the OP needs more research and/or more definition on what to ask. Or might be a cue that the problem is not a real one. $\endgroup$ Commented May 19, 2016 at 18:29
  • $\begingroup$ @Mindwin Thanks. $\endgroup$
    – Fiksdal
    Commented May 19, 2016 at 19:05

I disagree. This sets a dangerous precedent. People suddenly will begin to branch out questions into several sub-questions where only some nuance of the main issue changes. The big-picture question is never asked, and there are several splits of the answers. people answer one of them, and the other go without attention. It dillutes the quality of the Q&A. Also, some of the questions may have trivial answers (as is the case in hand - where one of them can be answered with "we are the borg"). Better take the effort and make one single question of high quality.

Making several nuance questions may be a kind of rep farming. I could (won't) as an exercise make 10 different questions about the same subject, changing nuances and bait the users into visiting the other questions, and maybe i'll get multiple upvotes from the same user.

The case study at is a duplicate. Worldbuilding questions are very open in which you can ask several questions over the same subject.

So basically it is one question, where it would be more useful to ask the answerer to make a parallel between the two possibilities, one when it evolves as the status quo and the other when it suddenly happens.

  • $\begingroup$ I see your point, although we should assume best intentions. Generally speaking it is possible that someone may seriously need to compare the two ideas for their novel. $\endgroup$
    – AndreiROM
    Commented May 19, 2016 at 16:38
  • $\begingroup$ @AndreiROM sorry if I sound blunt, but I work with risk management, it is a kind of second nature to me to list the possible problems first. In a real situation, the Q would ask for a parallel analysis between the two possible and related scenarios, not make two almost alike questions. From all the SE sites, this is the one most open to original and diverse answers. Focus on quality, not quantity. $\endgroup$ Commented May 19, 2016 at 18:26

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