My question about measurement system formation is there for a good reason. People on forums would probably say something along the lines of "Whatever" or "Just use earth measurements or even no measurements at all"

And my comment about number systems and measurement systems being different is true and important.

I don't think it is fair that this question is on hold and my other recent questions are getting close votes.

Here are all my on hold questions that are unfairly on hold:

Alien Species name creation

Too restrictive requirements

Muscularity Index improvement

Measurement system making

All of these and in fact all worldbuilding questions are highly opinion based. So you should really have more leniency for opinion based questions. In fact it would be much better if you got rid of that restriction on questions for this particular stack exchange all together.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ If you're not familiar with the Good Subjective, Bad Subjective guidelines, I think you'll find them useful. $\endgroup$
    – BESW
    Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 7:06

3 Answers 3


Getting the hang of what is and isn't accepted on a site is never an easy task. Even seasoned users have some time struggle with one or another question. So you should not feel bad about having a question closed. I know it can feel like a personal attack, but believe me, it isn't.

If you are unsure about the reasons why a question got closed, do ask it here, or possibly on chat. But then ask for an honest view and take the time to read the answers you get.

To your point of suppressing the "primarily opinion-based" close reason (POB), we can't. This is common throughout the Stack Exchange network.

Now, to get on more specifics about why some of your questions were deemed POB, one should understand how stack exchange works. You ask a question and people can answer, up/down votes the answers to see which answer the best your question. But a naming question, for example, does not allow any objective voting. It is impossible to decide which of "cat" or "Bob" or "jdhmlkdse" would actually be the best. The only valid judge is yourself. You could have tens of thousands of answers, and people could still add another one.

Plus, the question should not be too specific, since it should also be useful to other people. This is why, on Writers, questions about generic name generation are accepted, but questions about naming a single character isn't.

At this point, I hope I could convince you that any "naming" question would be closed on the same way. Actually a few of those are lying around.

For the other 3, you present some decisions made by an alien species. And ask us to critique, suggest improvement, or share our opinions about it. Since, by definition, it is an alien species, we cannot know really what they value, why they would make such a choice, and why not another. The measurement units that we today in various countries somehow reflect the History of each country, and is often based on our anatomy (inch, foot, etc.), or on some arbitrary numbers (24 hours is great to divide it!). It is the result of a complex evolution. The same hold for a set of moral values. Now without knowing the alien species in many details, we can't objectively pick anything. We would need to recreate the whole evolution of that alien species. And we don't know the reasons behind the first choices they made.

So yes, many questions on Worldbuilding are Opinion-based, but most of them can be answered by a combination of scientific knowledge, from physics to politics, from philosophy to computer science. Those are the best answers, and people can objectively judge (vote) if those are more or less appropriate to answer the question asked.

The Sandbox and the chat are great places to run your ideas and concepts of questions before asking them.


Highly opinion based question usually get closed very fast and some without any comments on why. All (most?) of these questions are still here but they are put on hold.


Asking to name something without any criteria means that all names are valid especially when asking "Do you have any ideas". You could name the species Cat or Oejifdjndfjrn or anything else that just sounds cool. Since there are no bad answers, it is considered opinion-based and thus not appropriate for a question/answer site where definitive answers are expected. Discussions are for forums and chat.

Generation ship: Too restrictive requirements?

An alien decides on criteria to select people and you ask if they are too restrictive. What we have no idea is why did he chose these criteria (especially orphaned) and why they are restrictive. Too restrictive in the sense that he can't find enough people fitting these criteria? That is what I'm guessing but I could be wrong because it's not specified.

Kepler Bb civilization: Muscularity Index

Building a new measurement index is only very distantly related to Worldbuilding. You really need to go into details to start doing this sort of stuff unless you have a particular interest with that topic. Also, people probably disliked the question because of it's lack of scientific rigor, to quote one of the commenter and close voter. Personally, I don't think it's a very good question but I would not have voted to close it either.

Measurement system for Kepler Bb

The same first point of the previous question is still valid. Plus, I am not an expert but you already decided measurement looks kinda random to me and I don't see why you could not also have something similar for temperatures and the rest.

And lastly, I don't understand why your not using the Fahrenheit if all the others are bad. I find it strange that it's the most obvious one and you haven't considered it (according to my understanding of your post).

  • $\begingroup$ But that is unfair, especially on a stack exchange where everything is opinion based. $\endgroup$
    – Caters
    Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 0:17
  • $\begingroup$ And besides just like I said in my question, people on forums would probably ignore this or tell me indirectly to not do it. $\endgroup$
    – Caters
    Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 0:19
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    $\begingroup$ @Caters "Unfair" is a difficult argument to support. A topicality challenge needs to be familiar with the reasoning behind the existing policies and explain through evidence of main-site functioning or malfunctioning how a change to those policies will fix a problem. In this case, you'll need to read up on how Good Subjective/Bad Subjective and Back It Up! are used by the network to filter for questions whose answrs can be effectively sorted by the voting process, and then demonstrate how this particular Stack can still function as a well-sorted collection of actionable solutions without them. $\endgroup$
    – BESW
    Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 0:36
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ That is, there are gradations of opinion-based question which the Stack network has years of experience with, and not all are equally answerable within the Stack structure. The close reason is not "opinion-based," but rather "too opinion-based" as understood in the context of the Stack's goals for answers. There are a ton of Stack-compatible opinion-based questions, and many more which can be re-structured to become Stack-compatible. But not all opinion-based questions can fit the Stack mould, and the Stack's okay with not being a one-size-fits-all solution to everyone's needs. $\endgroup$
    – BESW
    Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 0:41
  • $\begingroup$ But there is no such thing as too opinion based in worldbuilding. So that is why I think they should for Worldbuilding SE get rid of this "closed because of it being primarily opinion based" and this is 1 of the best places to ask these questions. People on forums as I have said before will probably tell me not to do it or just ignore it. $\endgroup$
    – Caters
    Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 5:04
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ You're going to have to make the case that "too opinion based" is a non-entity for this Stack's topicality policies. Stating it to be so doesn't convince people who don't already share your understanding of the situation. Show what's different about this Stack, what a change in policy will do to the site's content and how it will better meet the site's goals. You might want to check out other subjective-forward Stacks and see how this dialogue has progressed on their meta. (And again, the Stack has no interest in filling gaps it's not suited to fill, so "nobody else does it" is a non-starter.) $\endgroup$
    – BESW
    Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 6:53
  • $\begingroup$ RE your last paragraph, actually Caters had decided to use Fahrenheit. Pity the rest of the world is metric, and degrees Fahrenheit are effectively meaningless numbers. $\endgroup$
    – a4android
    Commented Nov 26, 2016 at 7:59

The main thing that causes questions to close as being too opinion based is a lack of an objective way to rate answers against each other.

In other words to continue the example used by others let us say that you are some random browser of Worldbuilding and you come to a question that says "What should I name my cat people?"

There are three answers "cat", "Bob" or "jdhmlkdse".

Which is "better"? Which should be up or down voted? Bob is understandable, but is a human person name. Cat just feels lazy, Jdhmlkdse is unpronounceable. All of these are subjective and opinion based though, some people might say "well of course they should be called cat", or people from a non-English-speaking background may see no problem with the name "Bob".

Without an objective rating criteria in the question there is no way for people to rate the answers. In this case they are probably all bad answers, but without a lot more information there is no way for me to know so all I can do use my opinion, which may differ from everyone else's.

With no way to rate the answers the "best" answer cannot rise to the top.

Now in a lot of cases there is a way you can fix this. Do not ask for a name for your species, instead ask for a technique. Ask "given an alien species what is an effective way to generate a name for them?" This is still at risk of being opinion based so again more specification is in order. What would you consider to make a good way?

If all you are looking for is ideas you can always try jumping in worldbuilding chat and just asking there. Plenty of people can throw ideas at you in that more informal setting.


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