Let us compare 2 questions

How long would it take to transform a human into a space-ship and back?

Building capabilities of a realistic nanobot swarm

Are people too fast in putting on hold things they do not like or/and do not understand or are they too positive about things they like and no one cares about how much "opinion based" is the question?

I guess, people, who answer questions, have their own set of themes which they would like to answer but which often happens to be on border, so I do not feel myself too special, when I see 1-2 times a month reasonable questions being put on hold(or killed other ways) and die that way. My concerns are that such actions discourage the reasonable people who ask the question in participation farther on WB.

An opinion based question should generate different opinions - right?

Now take a look at the stats about those questions:

What we have with human ship - 163 views, 5 answers, in about 23hours
What we have with gray goo - 140 views, 1 answer(I was lucky and fast enough this time)

The first answer for HS was after 5 hours
The first answer for GG was after 2 hours of Q existence.

The HS Q got in 6 hours 3 of its 5 answers, in 8 hours 4 A.
The GG question was put on hold after about 10 hours of its existence and got 1 Answer.

  • yes, the OP had some difficulties to make the question less negative attention attracting Q, and someone(I do not wish to call the names) has changed the title in totally wrong way and question got additional 2 downvotes (my opinion for the reason, and it just so happened I was right there to observe the dynamics) just because of that(I would downvote it myself if the Q would be about that title - this is the reason for my opinion)


Both question where equal at attracting attention. One question was successful to generate 4 opinion based answers in 8 hours of its existence, another barely got 1 answer in 10 hours.
I would say that quality of formulating for both of the questions was about average.

  • The GG Q has a bonus point for not containing useless for the problem text, it is the almost mathematical question(I may be biased because of my biological background).


Which one from those two is more likely to be an opinion based question?

Should mods wait until those opinions existence would be obvious? Or maybe a day of two?

  • Especially in situations when people may feel a lack of competence or in situations when it is not so obvious as with hard-science tag with a question about creating perpetual motion machines of the second type.

  • I guess - there is no such thing as bad publicity and if an Q will generate lots of google and people attention and produce 10+ decent answers we will be probably fine with the fact it is opinion based - right?

  • if a question generates zero opinions and low attention and votes to be opinion based from people who mostly answer fantasy questions - we close it just because even if we do not right not much harm is done.

    The problem with the approach which had the place in the particular situation is the same problem as Japan had it from 1500 to 18xx and which it is famous for(traditional society). At the moment 80% of the questions are fantasy questions, and it will stay that way.

Should mention I have also a positive experience for mods do not rush on closing 30+ answers questions to be opinion based just because it have so many answers. And I glad to see that they sometimes understand their own knowledge limitations(and they think about indexing engines and that hot question list).

I'm cynical enough to understand the goal is not to make all happy rabbits, but make good for the system, by producing high enough quality answers and questions, which could be indexed by search engines and attract people which could consume (top secret for me(almost) and it seems not about the small part of the system like WB, which is an instrument to keep needed people to be entertained and increase the chance of consuming by that way)

My suggestion in the particular case - at least do not close a question which attracted too much negative attention as opinion based question as far as there are no other opinions than just one. If you close the question at least do it with other reason. In the case mod intervention was disruptive and the best course of action was to leave the question to its own destiny.

I do not expect any of actions, but I feel obligated to leave the information as feedback in hope it might have just above zero chance to help WB to develop itself a bit farther in some distant future, as the situation repeat itself not the first or second time.

Also, I understand some difficulties in making decisions and invertibility of errors and imperfection of the world.

I have simply rule - if I'm not competent enough to judge a particular situation or I have doubts about that I'm right - do nothing.
I have clear understanding that there exists many different groups of people and their questions which I disagree with - but also I understand that those groups of people have their own fan groups and possible readers and as far as - Worldbuilding Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for writers, artists and others using science, geography and culture to construct imaginary worlds and settings. - their question are ligit, as WB serves the purpose to help such people to implement their fantasies for their audiences. As result the immediate reactions for me deserves the question about how better to cook human meat(or something like that, do not recall at the moment exact formulation of the question we had not so long ago), the rest deserves answering a question - Do you belong to the audience whom the result of the question may be addressed, do you really might judge those people by choosing will the question have answers for them or not?

I understand that some people can't follow the rule because they are obligated to make decisions, for them was most of the above. But for others asking the question is necessary because of a broad spectrum of topics which are asked on WB. And the fact that most of the Q on WB are fantasy question at the moment isn't a good excuse to kill technical questions.

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    $\begingroup$ Looking at the edit history, the question started off with the phrase "Is there a way to improve it?" This was later edited out. However, this edit invalidated your answer, so this phrase was put back. Then the question was put on hold as opinion based. This is probably as a result of said phrase - to me, asking if there's a way to improve future hypothetical technology with only 2 constraints (that don't actually do much real constraining) is asking an opinion based question. In addition, a question having lots of answers doesn't necessarily make it opinion based $\endgroup$ – Mithrandir24601 Jan 21 '17 at 14:56
  • $\begingroup$ @Mithrandir24601 some linguistic nuances may slip from my understanding. But is it true the following - A technology X uses energy. We have not enough energy. the Q - is there a way to improve the situation? - is the answer valid - improve the energy consumption by X if it is possible. And is it so much important for the A details of X. There are a lot of scientific work which is done that way, I do not know how is it called in English.(I will have difficult times to find official terms for that in my native language, so it is just simply example) $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Jan 21 '17 at 15:14
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I'd agree - the answer is valid - it is a way to improve the situation. And yes, it depends on the details of X - I've termed these the 'constraints'. For a start, the question would need to be more detailed about what is and isn't possible. It also needs to be specific about what needs to be improved - the OP seemed to be asking for general ideas on how to improve his idea, which isn't specific enough. There is a very fine line between opinion based and not. The criteria that different people use to mark a question as opinion based can vary considerably though $\endgroup$ – Mithrandir24601 Jan 21 '17 at 15:58
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    $\begingroup$ (and yes, this subjectivity of what is and isn't opinion based could lead to issues...) $\endgroup$ – Mithrandir24601 Jan 21 '17 at 16:03
  • $\begingroup$ @Mithrandir24601 The X is not a substitution for long list of details describing of the X. The X is the X, it is just a black box which consumes energy and that is the only fact we know about the situation, we even do not know do it useful work or not, another possible solution could be just shut it down if it is possible. There are cases when we do not need to know exact nature of the object, and the fact is the only thing which validates the discussion. Without a way to draw some conclusions - houston we have a problem because following do not exist: magic, alternative history, aliens, etc. $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Jan 21 '17 at 16:40
  • $\begingroup$ but by accounting the black box as a black box we give a variable independent answer for the question, which is independent in the same way as back box independent from its content(details, implementations). Yes subjectivity is a problem, but we can't do anything about that, it have to serve us. $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Jan 21 '17 at 16:44

I think collectively we need to be putting questions on hold much faster, not slower. Either that or we should have a moratorium on answering until it is settled what the question actually is asking.

People who jump in and start answering the question while it is still developing are actually more of a problem than an aid, in my observation. Unlike most of the other Stack Exchange sites, the majority of questions here do not seem to arrive well-formed. They come out of an author's head with a general "I need some information here" and usually take a few comments to clarify what exactly is being asked. There have been many cases where someone jumps in with an answer to a bad question, creating problems when we are trying to help the author (ESPECIALLY authors new to the site) improve their question.

I've thought about suggesting that questions from authors who have been with the site for less than a month automatically START in [on hold] state, and then go through the "re-open" process once it's clear what's being asked. (I'd even think about ALL questions starting off on-hold.) To me, that would produce both better questions and better answers, without the constant tug back and forth that the current system produces. That would be a no-go on most Stack Exchange sites where getting an answer to the question as fast as possible is more critical. For worldbuilding, I think we should take a bit more time getting the question right and not be so eager to answer. Others may disagree. :-)

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    $\begingroup$ PS: Whether "opinion based" is even a valid reason to close on WB is a slightly different question. I'd almost prefer that this be a tag rather than a reason to close... the codegolf.stackexchange.com has the [popularity-contest] tag specifically for questions that have only opinion answers. codegolf.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/popularity-contest That seems like a useful tag for WB to follow. $\endgroup$ – SRM Jan 21 '17 at 15:02
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I agree, that jumping in is a problem, noticed that. And usually, I'm asking OP about clarifications and do not answer Q if I do not get them if they are important, and that I call a help to form the question. Not well-formed Q it is the nature of being Q(some are better some are worse). Sometimes it is really hard to explain the question, and the only hope it will be enough people who get it as it is. OP have shown efforts in improving the question, maybe even too much. @SRM OMGH why we do not have such tag.(???!!!) Probably I should inform myself by reading meta about opinion based Q's $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Jan 21 '17 at 15:29
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    $\begingroup$ "and the only hope it will be enough people who get it as it is" YES. This. Exactly this. Maybe we need a tag [hope-based] : "No answers may be posted to this question until it has at least three comments, including a reply from the OP, and two edits (one for grammar and one for content)." :-) @MolbOrg $\endgroup$ – SRM Jan 21 '17 at 15:35
  • $\begingroup$ Oh yeah, I approve to tag description and the tag. Unfortunately to much work for mods, hard-science tad if manual hack, and we still can't stop the nonsense in the questions with the tag(but that another problem) $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Jan 21 '17 at 16:49
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    $\begingroup$ The opinion-based tag is a good idea. Questions starting on hold will create too high an entry barrier. The alternative means WBers need to take more time & effort to educate OPs about the quality of their questions. It's not just the newbies, some old-hands need their fingers smacked too. That means working harder & smarter. Nonsense questions are & will remain part of the territory. Also, dumb questions can get brilliant & amazing answers. How to avoid dumb questions that can only have dumb answers may be the key issue. $\endgroup$ – a4android Jan 22 '17 at 11:11
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    $\begingroup$ My issue is not the speed of actions, but the seemingly random process by which some opinion is evidently just fine but other opinion is not -- and nobody (except the Brass here) really knows that the actual closure criteria are (if any) -- beyond the "We have the clout here, and we use it as we please!" I'm not asking for any change except an explanation of what the criteria actually are, when dealing with the highly SPECULATIVE nature of our core topic! $\endgroup$ – Catalyst Jan 22 '17 at 12:02
  • $\begingroup$ @Catalyst it is not entirely random process, what you observe is swarm intelligence. And it is pretty predictable - everything that does not have positive response will be closed with probability 90%. It could be better, but it needs synchronization between agents. The proof for that seems to be the meta question - can't say for sure at the moment, as I didn't search trough stats deep enough to state it as fact. $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Jan 22 '17 at 16:04
  • $\begingroup$ @MoldbOrg: I agree with you (somewhat) that this process isn't entirely random. However, your assertion that 'positive response' is the true criterion seems -- very much -- to make this YET ANOTHER POPULARITY CONTEST. If so, fine -- but please don't claim it's currently anything but subjective opinion, with little ribbons stuck on as afterthoughts. $\endgroup$ – Catalyst Jan 22 '17 at 16:08
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    $\begingroup$ @Catalyst I'm also realizing as I review closed questions that "opinion based" is often used when "unclear" is a better reason... which probably accounts for why it is weird how some opinion gets through but not others. Having said that, there is a certain amount of judgement call involved, which is why it takes 5 to close a question. There is never a precise definition because language isn't engineering. That's not a negative of WB or SE. It is simply how the process works (and, weirdly, part of why it works!). $\endgroup$ – SRM Jan 22 '17 at 16:09
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    $\begingroup$ @Catalyst Being a judgement call does NOT make it a popularity contest. There's a technical bar we are trying to hit, but that bar is hard to see consistently. It is more a referee trying to see whether a ball was in or out, but it is raining. With training, it gets easier. Most of us are strangers to each other, but the consistency of response to most questions should demonstrate that this is not a popularity contest. $\endgroup$ – SRM Jan 22 '17 at 16:14
  • $\begingroup$ @Catalyst it is not popularity content in general, as the deciding group is rather small compared to all participants. And those who decide they have their own rules of view what is good what is bad + some liking and disliking for sure affects their decision. Initially, I decided not to post the example - but you seems a good candidate for defense for one Q on hold currently, hm, or better try to post(as an answer) a fresh(or any) example of what you think is a result of the random judgment, and let us see how random it was. $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Jan 22 '17 at 17:40
  • $\begingroup$ @MolbOrg: I'm not upset that one of my Qs (FYI, only one) was put on hold; that's trivial. But the criteria and feedback (or lack thereof, in that one case) suggests to me a problem, that is that some opinion is forbidden here, yet other opinion is not only accepted -- but lauded. And for those of us who have not yet received our secret decoder rings, it does indeed look like a popularity/'agrees with my tastes' contest. The only difference is that it's a popularity contest that (a) only a few can play and (b) one whose rules/rational are poorly and inconsistently documented and applied. $\endgroup$ – Catalyst Jan 22 '17 at 17:46
  • $\begingroup$ @SRM: Consistency????? Are you joking? I think the OP of this Q demonstrated, with specific numerical data from this very website that any consistency you may perceive is not evident in the data. Of course, you're entitled to your opinion. So am I; and I now have 3K+ reputation and can play. What fun! Actually that's a probably waste of time. I'm looking for more useful-to-me worldbuilding sites. Any ideas? Can I even ask about that without being banned? (Honest question, since I'd rather leave than be frustrated and frustrating others.) $\endgroup$ – Catalyst Jan 22 '17 at 17:52
  • $\begingroup$ @Catalyst one of 4 it is 25%. I can see why your question was closed - the premise is tight ravel of your thoughts which nor easy to read, nor creates the story which interesting to read and it seems a lot is in subconsciousness or not written into the question. It fits one with passion for dragons, others will ignore. I understand you, I also mostly need opinions and that is the reason why I do not ask questions here. A good place, yeah, hard question - reddit (kinda), FB(maybe), 4chan(? do not know if it have some fantasy sub). But if you find one, and there will be space topics tell me. $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Jan 22 '17 at 18:09
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    $\begingroup$ @SRM: I did not mean to imply arbitrary. However, the de-facto criteria seem to be different than the stated ones. I'm seeking the World-building equivalent of "good subjectivity, bad subjectivity" stackoverflow.blog/2010/09/good-subjective-bad-subjective (A great post) But so far I'm finding far more heat than light! $\endgroup$ – Catalyst Jan 22 '17 at 19:10

Putting question on hold is not the end of that specific question

When question is put on hold, you just cannot answer it.

However, if author of such question corrects that question, it can be reopened. Also, if author is unsure about what should be fixed on such question, they can always ask here, on meta.

Its not about you, its about specific question

Some people have feelings like I am stupid or I am worthless for this site and they consider the fact that their question was put on hold as big deal. Believe me, been there, done that.

Some of my questions were put on hold and they were great questions. (According my internal scoring system). However, when this happened to me, I took deep breath, got back and tried to fix such question. (Or left it closed, because I realized it was not such great question as I thought so)

Weed should be picked up quickly

If I see bad question I vote to close. Does not matter who asked it. If I consider such question is bad, I vote. And I expect others to do the same. And I expect them to do it quickly because I want to have good site

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    $\begingroup$ Yes, that is a good rule - it is simply and straightforward. Would u like and play with us the game "how opinion based is the question?" $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Jan 22 '17 at 15:51
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    $\begingroup$ OP can't ask on meta though if they are entirely new to the network, which is often when they need help the most, as participation on meta requires at least 5 rep. They also can't ask in chat, which requires 20 rep. That is a really suboptimal situation because it means that the only way available on the network to help a complete newcomer is in comments. Which presents its own set of problems not least if they haven't registered an account and lose their browser cookies for whatever reason. $\endgroup$ – user Jan 23 '17 at 13:38

At possible risk of being downvoted, closed or banned (IMHO, the criteria are clear as mud), I'll venture an opinion in two parts:

1. Worldbuilding as a topic is fundamentally different from many stackexchanges (such as those re math or physics, where correctness can be judged against fact.) Thus (for worlds contrary to Natural Law in our universe), many IMHO-valid-here questions intrinsically contains what I will now delicately term 'speculation' -- if not outright opinion.

2. Looking at the available data, it's pretty plain to me that using primarily-opinion-based as a reason for closing questions is being done so variably and subjectively that it diminishes both the quality and quantity of participation (and participants) here.

  • $\begingroup$ Your points looking as totally valid for me, that is true. I have thought it was some kind of Gods.SE directive but thanx to @SRM it seems not the case in some places at least(when it makes sense, and sure it makes sense on WB) $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Jan 21 '17 at 16:53
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    $\begingroup$ I worked as a decision maker where the criteria for decision making was complex and well defined and applied to difficult issues. That required careful and well thought procedures and protocols to make a decision. WB's decision making processes seem ill-defined, ambiguous and the criteria uncertain with ample scope for improvement. Questions closed as opinion appear to allow the closers to decide based on their own opinions. Too broad closures allow the closers to be broad in their closure criteria. The variability between questions that are closed or stay open is too wide. $\endgroup$ – a4android Jan 22 '17 at 11:01
  • $\begingroup$ @a4android I think you understand that in swarm intelligence complex rules will not work. Complex behavior should be formed trough simple rules. Thanks to human intelligence they can be a bit more sophisticated than usual, but simpler they are better for us all. Would u play the game "how opinion based is the question?" ? $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Jan 22 '17 at 16:12
  • $\begingroup$ @MolbOrg Yes I understand swarm decision making. I am not suggesting complex rules need to be applied. The current rules are being misapplied, not always but often enough, to result in poor decisions. Better simple rules may be needed. Sorry your last sentence lost me. What question? Why opinion-based as a game criterion? $\endgroup$ – a4android Jan 23 '17 at 1:37
  • $\begingroup$ @a4android posting a question as an answer here, with a critique or defense of the question, opposite side plays opposite role in the comments. like that or kinda like that . I tink people should do a little sync of their rules and approaches, it may be interesting idea to have a sandbox like thread where reasons of closing answers are explained and Questions are offended or defended (court) and instead of creating threads each time why my question was closed. $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Jan 23 '17 at 2:57
  • $\begingroup$ We may have a thread in meta where bad questions and reasons they are bad are on display and a place where one can get some explanation. and where we begin to call things by name that opinion based question isn't an opinion based question but a poorly formulated question, or a question seeking for a plot. And as a byproduct it will be a place to recieve "our secret decoder rings" as @Catalyst said. $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Jan 23 '17 at 2:57
  • $\begingroup$ @MolbOrg Currently in review it only gives the category for closure without any supporting. Sometimes it's obvious how the Q falls into that category, sometimes it's not. Badly written Q's are often the cause. It would be better if the reason for closure was given; not just the category. If the OP knew what the problem was, they would be better able to fix it. Voters could decide if the grounds for closure were justified or not. Story-based closures annoy me. As a writer, I see many downvoters showing a lack of understanding of what is or is not story relative to worldbuilding. $\endgroup$ – a4android Jan 23 '17 at 3:30
  • $\begingroup$ @MolbOrg As someone who has been in the decision making trade I've tried to stay away from evaluating the WB review process, except as a voter, because I have standards about good decision making. I can accept this is crowd voting system, not a problem. Poor decisions made for no clear reason leaves me unhappy. Yet I love the good questions and the good answers here. The effort should go into that instead of shutting down Q's often as fast as possible. $\endgroup$ – a4android Jan 23 '17 at 3:38
  • $\begingroup$ @a4android giving a reason each time in not productive and not needed as far as there may be disagreement between voters in details why, and as far we can't predict whom it will be not clear why and who will be pisst off enough to go to meta, and most of all, different people need different explanations. But educating about standards based on examples can be helpful, and also it might be a place for negotiating what might be story related what isn't. Me too, but this time crowd have owned me, and I was wrong, in fact, OP did not need nanites as such, just a way of fast making war tech. $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Jan 23 '17 at 4:30
  • $\begingroup$ @MolbOrg Yes it would be counterproductive. Better education about standards would be good. Perhaps if there was a way of tagging voters who had completed the standards tour as only then could someone vote. Not a guarantee of success but it might slow down unthinking voting. Perhaps. WBing is a creative process, the closure rules may need rethinking. Putting Q's on hold or closed needs to allow the OPs more chance to improve their Q's. $\endgroup$ – a4android Jan 23 '17 at 4:45
  • $\begingroup$ @a4android ok posted the game and rules let's see what will happen $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Jan 23 '17 at 6:11
  • $\begingroup$ @MolbOrg Let the games begin. $\endgroup$ – a4android Jan 23 '17 at 11:44

OK... here's one that I think SHOULD be closed as "primarily opinion based", even if we relaxed the rules for WorldBuilding as compared to other SE forums.

I have no idea what "spark reptilian DNA means," but let's pretend that means something meaningful to us all.

The question asks: "How do the space colonies justify war with their brothers, and what could have changed the Earth's attitudes so much that they want to eliminate human beings?"

The question is open ended. It could be a specific event, it could be evolution, it could be a memeplauge that no one intended to set loose. The answers to this question are almost literally as variable as imagination itself. I don't think "too broad" applies as a reason to close because any of us can answer the question very specifically, but there seems to be no basis for comparing the possible answers or for feeling like the brainstorming space is being explored.

  • $\begingroup$ "spark reptilian DNA means" - it is poetic (pc) euphemism for Population bottleneck which resulted reptilian looking "humans" and it refers to embryo developing stages to the Recapitulation theory as if it would be possible just branch from particular embrio stage just because(and that is OP's fantasy premise). I can be bold but all(99%) of biology questions on WB are of that kind, you basically no need to read them to state that. $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Jan 21 '17 at 22:15
  • $\begingroup$ Biology in the question is not important as it ask for just reason for war between two species - millions of them are possible and reason to close too broad. Needs to be done something to the question - I doubt, if there will be answers then - why not to leave as is?, if no answers are given in 1-2 days close it as too broad(as in fact it is). But if one would like to try to write an interesting answer then it is good. One of the problem on WB - people do not read other answers when answering a question or have strong opinion that they are the only truth here. $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Jan 21 '17 at 22:15
  • $\begingroup$ I can say that for 100% as fact because WB have special badge to track the situation Sportsmanship - Awarded 26 times and only 3 users with reputation less than 3000 were awarded (and that in the situation when you are not limited how many answers you can upvote in the particular question) $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Jan 21 '17 at 22:15
  • $\begingroup$ And reading other answers is a reason to upvote them, and downvote and downvoting is kinda mechanism to regulate the quality of answers and which does not work. What is good about such mechanism - especially the quality will be regulated by the people who are "experts" in the type of questions(as they consider themselves "experts" enough to provide the answer) - so in general, it is important aspect of regulation of WB ecosystem, and would it work as intended, we probably would care less about opinion based or broad questions. $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Jan 21 '17 at 22:24
  • $\begingroup$ And the question has a good answer which I have upvoted, and I doubt there will be other answers as it was very simple and straightforward answerable question, and the current answer provided needed information for the OP in full, and it should help the OP to decide if he isn't dumb. $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Jan 21 '17 at 22:39
  • $\begingroup$ @MolbOrg I agree that Zxyrra did the best possible with bad input, but Zxyrra's answer is essentially, "People fight for lots of reasons." By that rubric, this question should be closed as a duplicate of this question: worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/61382/… or any of several other "please list all the plots for me" questions. The answer might be helpful to this particular author, but it gets in the way of search results going forward. That reusability is at the heart of StackExchange theory and what makes SE not yet-another-forum. $\endgroup$ – SRM Jan 21 '17 at 23:12
  • $\begingroup$ yes duplicate probably fine for the question, but really I'm too lazy to read those answers and decide if they do contain the answer for the OP. But for sure it is good thing to point he answer in comments to the question and do not close the question because of 2 reasons. The system will link the questions as related and will show the suggestions in related column and it is useful sometimes. Second answer contains unique keywords which will help for search traffic. $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Jan 21 '17 at 23:36
  • $\begingroup$ Making discussions to be harder(comment limits etc) are enough to separate the resource from forum(there enough small little tricks buildin in the system to prevent that to happen with mods on top). Not closing allows to downvote those who would like jump on that dead train or they may generate interesting story or make a point no one had troughs about, that is nature of the question the answer may be not known, we just do not know until it happens $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Jan 21 '17 at 23:36
  • $\begingroup$ by linking I meant - this question may serve the purpose to connect set of related questions(not only one), trough human input and selection, which is still better than automatic algorithms. At the moment it is poorly done because of bad OP input, but it coulde serve to interconnect good and really related question not only to this question but between themselves.(I hope u understand what i mean) $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Jan 21 '17 at 23:43
  • $\begingroup$ @MolbOrg I think I understand. I disagree and would happily delete this question as improving the site overall, but I understand your counter-theory. $\endgroup$ – SRM Jan 22 '17 at 1:10
  • $\begingroup$ I would do the same actually. The difference is, as for my standpoint it is an inevitable evil of a diverse community. And a rule which is proven to work is to not ruin the fun for other, and expect from them to do not ruin your fun. The second rule, make them useful for you, and be useful for them because only to constrain frustration they create - it does not work, they should be a source of some positivity. But I agree the question is 1 inch off the cliff already, but it could be used in perfect world. And it is a result of rather newbie which was a bit lazy, than pure evil. $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Jan 22 '17 at 1:46
  • $\begingroup$ But let us play, if you would like, let us try to understand another question some other day, in terms how bad it is as opinion based question. Anyway, it seems we are the only party and we probably could prepare 2-3-4 questions. $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Jan 22 '17 at 1:52
  • $\begingroup$ my turn :) meta.worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/a/4278/20315 $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Jan 22 '17 at 1:58
  • $\begingroup$ @MolbOrg Sadly, I know what "sparking reptilian DNA" means, & it isn't a poetic euphemism. It comes from the dark side of the intellectual divide between knowledge and ignorance. $\endgroup$ – a4android Jan 22 '17 at 11:15

How can I explain English existing in a fantasy world?

My hero travels from our world to a fantasy world where people speak English. While there are other nations that speak non-English languages, the particular land she arrives in does. How can I explain away English developing in a world otherwise unlike Earth?

2 days old, 5k view, sure was in hot questions of the system, 17 answers so far.

If it is not a purest and laziest form of opinion based question, then I surely understand the definition of opinion based question in a wrong way.

The question was just a random pick from the front page first question with a lot of views.

And as I see the goal of the question is to choose the most popular plot, because even 3year old may say why it so happened, especially after reading few books about similar situations or after discovering the fact how kids are made - sure because stork brought few kids which language was english

  • $\begingroup$ I think this is a good question for WB because for any given story, there are only a few good ways to handle it, and not all of them are obvious. And it is a foundational issue for all stories. Asking it once and getting it recorded in the site seems important. $\endgroup$ – SRM Jan 22 '17 at 2:12
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    $\begingroup$ @SRM Didn't said it is a bad question. Based on votes(for Q and A's), views - people had fun in writing and reading, they even used the power of downvoting. However, the only thing which is known about the story "hero is capable of traveling" and it should guide the answer. And the winner is "English speakers came in the past and taught it to everyone" - really? why bother to ask at all? Because OP rolled the dice and no good plots, or because he was lazy enough to write nothing about the background and no one had a chance to fit the answer to the story, except obvious general possibilities. $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Jan 22 '17 at 2:37

I really hate when this happens.

This reminds me of when yahoo answers was ruled by report trolls that used to delete questions out of jealousy or without any reason. And personally this toxic behaviour discourages me from remaining here. I waste energy and time to make a question that is going to be erased anyways.

I'm so sorry, elitist WB people, if I'm not good enough for your godlike standards or my questions offend your fragile emotions.

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    $\begingroup$ You should not apologize because there's nothing to be sorry for. None of us are godlike on our own. We're trying to build a database of useful information that requires collective effort, and lots of good questions aren't good enough on the first try. I really don't see what's wrong with putting a question on hold, making sure we all know what's being asked, cleaning it up, and then getting it answered. The question's author gets much better answers that way and everyone else has a much better entry in the database for the long term. Win-win. $\endgroup$ – SRM Jan 22 '17 at 14:41
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    $\begingroup$ PS: None of us (at least in this meta-discussion) is closing questions on emotional basis. It is purely on basis of whether or not the question is the best that question can be and whether it can be answered meaningfully. Your comparison to Yahoo answers is unfair, in my opinion. $\endgroup$ – SRM Jan 22 '17 at 14:43
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    $\begingroup$ Alex, I get that you're frustrated that your questions were put on hold. Have you tried improving them based on the feedback you got? You can always edit your posts; when a question is put on hold, that's an indication that it needs to be revised quite a lot. If you do so, the question may be reopened. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Jan 22 '17 at 16:06
  • $\begingroup$ would you like to add rules they have for decision making as far as you know them? that's interesting. Who was in charge of deleting, what mechanism of consent for deleting etc $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Jan 22 '17 at 16:23

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