# Hot or Not - the Opinion based question, the sandbox game

### The game is simple

You post an answer with a question and description why it is not an opinion based question - and you get comments why it is an opinion based question.

You post an answer with a question and description why it is an opinion based question and get comments in response why it is not an opinion based question.

anyone allowed to comment for sure as usual(I do not mean I'm the host only, and only I have the wisdom. Same rep level is not important, would be interesting to read and those who can vote for hold and those who can't)

### The goal

The goal of the game it to forge secret decoder rings for those who do not have them yet, to sync our positions about what are or aren't opinion based questions, to give living examples of bad or not so bad questions and some explanations about why it is so, to discover truth about what we call opinion based question and how we really should call them.

The long lasting goal it to improve questions on WB, to teach how to react to those questions, and how to help OP's with those questions, understand and classify reasons behind "bad" questions.

It probably will be easier for everyone if the question you bring will be not one of yours, to exclude the element of excitement about my supra question, but if you are confident in your behavior then why not.

The difference with the comments you get at WB, and comments you get here - no one shall try to figure out what this or another question have meant, just expression of short opinion backed by few reasons.

The sandbox is a place for preprocessing the questions, this game is about dissection the results of the already asked question(its closed or hold state).

The separate threads "I disagree with X is on hold" and the Game is different by a number of character you can put as an argument, 50 times shorter.

Not WB chat because of timezones etc.

Not best examples but still Example 1 offense, Example 2 offense

### Definitions

• Opinion

In general, an opinion is a judgment, viewpoint, or statement that is not conclusive. It may deal with subjective matters in which there is no conclusive finding. What distinguishes fact from opinion is that facts are more likely to be verifiable, i.e. can be agreed to by the consensus of experts. An example is: "United States of America was involved in the Vietnam War" versus "United States of America was right to get involved in the Vietnam War". An opinion may be supported by facts and principles, in which case it becomes an argument. Different people may draw opposing conclusions (opinions) even if they agree on the same set of facts. Opinions rarely change without new arguments being presented. It can be reasoned that one opinion is better supported by the facts than another by analyzing the supporting arguments.
In casual use, the term opinion may be the result of a person's perspective, understanding, particular feelings, beliefs, and desires. It may refer to unsubstantiated information, in contrast to knowledge and fact.

wiki, Opinion

### Shall the game begin

• So what exactly do you want/expect from this discussion? – dot_Sp0T Jan 23 '17 at 11:43
• It would be a real shame if something happened to this question. A misspelled ocmment, a closure as primarily opinion-based... – user Jan 23 '17 at 13:33
• @dot_Sp0T it is less a discussion, and more a communication game, scientifical reasons behind it are similar to those for the Alcoholics Anonymous groups, for those who is abscessed by not understanding of decisions making and would like to change their life. Basically a team building exercise. – MolbOrg Jan 24 '17 at 0:55
• @MolbOrg let me ask differently: What you describe with the comments is what people VTCing seriously already do on the questions they close. So what exactly do you gain here...? If someone does not feel the need to explain on the question, why should they magically explain it on the meta – dot_Sp0T Jan 24 '17 at 8:54
• @dot_Sp0T saw 14 Q which are put on hold from 50 Q for 2 days, have read all comments(yours included) and closing plates - not impressed. From those 14 only 1 I would like it to stay as it is kinda interesting. rest 13 situations are clear and they deserve it. Overall, the situation is not bad on the surface, but the problem is it discourages pretty reasonable (law abiding users of WB, with no cracks in their heads) people from asking the questions more than it should be, and leave the field to ignorant people who do not care about and rely on the - will work out then good, will not then fine. – MolbOrg Jan 25 '17 at 3:29
• It is not about clarification for each and any of closed question, and it is not about participating those who close them, especially on an obligatory basis(or what you meant under "why should they magically explain") at all. My gain are - good and interesting questions to answer, and everything which increases the rate of those questions is good, increasing understanding and reducing frustration for reasonable people might help. And I pretty much guarantee you, that putting link to help center does not any good for the situation. – MolbOrg Jan 25 '17 at 3:29
• @MolbOrg I'm sorry I still don't get your intent – dot_Sp0T Jan 25 '17 at 7:54
• @dot_Sp0T ok, intent aren't clear - that's ok. How about rules, are they understandable? Would you like to choose one of the questions on hold and defend it, or one of the open questions and offend it? – MolbOrg Jan 25 '17 at 12:15

If a new nation on an artificial island was founded, what kinds of names might it be given?

User @Kevin believes his question is not opinion-based

I answered that I think it IS opinion-based ... AND I offered a litmus test I think we could use to define questions that are truly opinion-based, thus providing a path to objectively decide if a question meets our standards.

The litmus test is this: Ask yourself: "What would a wrong answer to this question be?" If the only rejection of an answer (aside from just missing the point of the question entirely) is the author's opinion, then the design space is too open-ended AND no amount of up/down voting provides any discrimination among answers.

I put more details in my answer in the other thread. I think Kevin's question fails my litmus test and is therefore overly opinion-based.

• Yes, the question is kinda interesting and can be answered from a historical perspective, how it was done in the past. The rest of directions to answer are more opinion based and rather too broad. The setting is not unique, I know at least one similar setting(suddenly for defense it is my setting, lol) which would face a similar problem, so the question has and WB value and wiki value - I would say it is kinda an ok question, because it not a pure seek for a plot for the story and tries to address real problem which is easy to solve when u have a country and not easy if you haven't, as writer. – MolbOrg Jan 25 '17 at 21:43
• Wrote that before reading answers and nice to see that historical approach has won, I would say in the situation we have to be more judgmental to the provided answers(more than we usually do), to discourage low-quality answers. And as we see it was the information OP was satisfied. – MolbOrg Jan 25 '17 at 21:51

I discussed this question on this thread, but was told my answer was "sad" and "utterly confusing". After an edit, let's hope it's received better here... :|

## Why would a fire dragon still be afraid of torches? ...

### is not opinion-based

Questions that ask for creative thinking and design are allowed. While this question is too broad, as you could potentially write a book on all the reasons a dragon might be afraid of fire (just look at how many answers there are), there is a reason why it isn't opinion-based.

## Evidence means facts

If answers can create claims, support them with evidence, and reason some sort of connection between the evidence and claims, there is no "opinion" to base selecting an answer on - they will be based in facts, only organized in different ways.

If there is little to no evidence to base claims off of - such as "Would a civilisation be better without nationalities" - which cannot really be proven or modeled using real-world examples, the question is probably opinion-based.

If there is evidence and reasoning to base claims off of - for example, "the ability almost certainly evolved..." or "This is typical of aggressive behaviors" or "People have discovered how to use their torches as a supernormal stimulus" - taken from answers on the discussed question - then no, the question is not opinion-based.

If it is possible to base answers in facts, and that seems to be what the answers reflect, the question is not opinion-based.

Note - there will always be opinionated answers (little to no evidence) on non-opinion-based questions. That doesn't make the entire question opinion-based, it makes the answer bad. Only if it is not possible or very difficult to base answers in facts is the question confined to opinions.

• question is open, so it is accepted by the community. But for sure it is opinion based one, because we have to makeup some reasons for OP's premises, and question do not provides and do implies any criteria to validate possible reasons. To answer the question needs no knowledge just fantasy and idea. ideas about reason popup pretty easy (I have one, after 30 sec). Overall question is good, easy to read, easy to answer seems people have toons of fun, but it is opinion based seeking for the plot. <- this is my initial impression, I read u arguments but they didn't changed it. – MolbOrg Jan 24 '17 at 0:43
• U talking about creating consistent model of such behavior, not about facts(as far as there is no dragons), but my bad, I do not answer magical questions, and as magic does not exists those questions all about creating consistent models, then I would say OP is provoking multiple answer by not providing restriction to the fantasy of those who answers. But I'm for fun so in general I think such questions are good as far as they are funny and there is not too much of them. – MolbOrg Jan 24 '17 at 0:44
• @MolbOrg First comment- we have to makeup some reasons for OP's premises, < that is true for many, many, many questions, but as long as those reasons are facts, it's not opinion-based. question do not provides and do implies any criteria to validate possible reasons I agree, that makes it broad, but is not related to opinions. – Zxyrra Jan 24 '17 at 1:33
• @MolbOrg Second comment - I agree, there are no facts about dragons, but my answer says that too. There are facts about evolution, and the question is also about evolution, so it seems fine. – Zxyrra Jan 24 '17 at 1:34
• Yes, it applies to most of the questions except reality-check, science-based, hard-science when they are valid questions, and as long as one reads the definition of opinion "a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge." one will have problems. Evolution is a restriction to the fantasy for the answers and if it would be in the question(is not), the question would be more interesting and less arbitrary for possible answers, but in the case, it would be less attractive to answerers lesser views, lesser plots, lesser free points, lesser random fun. – MolbOrg Jan 24 '17 at 2:29
• @MolbOrg could you elaborate with the "it applies..."? It's not really clear which "it" you're talking about. – Zxyrra Jan 24 '17 at 3:15
• it == "that is true for many, many, many questions," or more bull making up yes it applies to many questions we have. - something like that. It does not make those question necessary bad, many of them are good questions, sometimes there is no reason to constrain the fantasy – MolbOrg Jan 24 '17 at 5:05
• So happened I dug out a question, a similar question. the question contains constraints to the fantasy in a more obvious way(evolution constraints) state is closed as broad worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/q/45037/20315 (TrEs-2b question about evolutions of ants and their smartness) – MolbOrg Jan 24 '17 at 5:20
• @MolbOrg I agree it's broad, and the start of my answer to this question even says that - it's very, very, very broad. But we're arguing about being opinion-based here, perhaps you are confused. – Zxyrra Jan 24 '17 at 7:47
• I would like to keep it less about discussion but more about impressions which people have for particular questions, and consequences it has for the questions. it is less about establishing the true truth, and more about collecting impressions. This way it just an example with different destiny, and I care less about the reason for closure or hold. Same way as it can be noticed about a possible destiny of the Q you pointed - if one of us would decide it should be closed, it could be closed as opinion based by me, or broad (I guess) by you, any of those outcomes were possible for the question. – MolbOrg Jan 24 '17 at 8:09