Why does the Conjoined Alliance of Space Travellers keep producing red uniforms?

How this is on-topic? I was going to flag it but hesitated, as I neither understand the insider jokes, nor I'm too used to the rules of WorldBuilding.SE. But on a breakdown that post looks to me like a parody on a topic that's not even directly mentioned. And then just asks for an out-of-universe explanation to that reference(?).

Or if there is another twist in that post, making it on-topic, if you understand it.

Doesn't that still contradict with a clear question?

  • $\begingroup$ See also Are questions based on movies okay? $\endgroup$
    – user
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 14:34
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ That said, I personally find that question very difficult to read with all the strikethroughs etc., but that's generally a reason to downvote, not to close (unless it gets to the point of being outright unclear). $\endgroup$
    – user
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 14:35

2 Answers 2


This question is on-topic because the author is trying to build his own world - he just takes inspiration in a humorous way from an already existing universe

Yes, he clearly took paralleles to existing canonical universes. And yes, he clearly is trying to go with the trope of Redshirts dying.

But he does not want to know how this is handled in the show. He just takes the premise and incorporates it into his own world as truth.

There is nothing wrong with taking inspiration from other sources. The jokes are merely for entertainment. It's still clear what the author is asking about and how he changes the canon in his own creation.

It doesn't even matter if you get the references. I only heard of this trope once and never watched the show/movies/..., but reading the question still makes clear what he is asking about. I don't need to know anything about the canon, so it's a clear and valid question that can perfectly be answered on WorldBuilding.SE.

The default assumption under which questions should be viewed is that the OP is trying to create a world of his own. If he was not trying to create a world of his own it would not make any sense to post on WorldBuilding.SE. Unless the OP is obviously asking for a canonical answer like "How is [stuff] handled in [show]?" or "Why are Redshirts dying more often than other color shirts in Star Trek?" we should assume that the OP is at most taking input and inspiration from existing canonical universes. Of course we sometimes see questions that are clearly about the canon - these should be redirected to another site because we are trying to build worlds here.

This is basically just one of the core principals that we should follow - assume good faith.

The author is asking on WorldBuilding.SE because he wants to build a world. Until proven not to be the case we should assume that this holds true.

  • $\begingroup$ Hm, after you described it I see it as clear, too. But I still don't get where to retrieve that information from in that OP. $\endgroup$
    – Zaibis
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 10:48
  • $\begingroup$ @Zaibis I don't really understand what information you mean in your second sentence. If you are asking about the trope you might want to read TvTropes a bit. Fair warning: TvTropes articles tend to draw you in and take quite some time to read because of the many interesting links. Try to ignore your knowledge of "This is parody, I just don't know what the real version is about" and think about this like this is the first time you have heard about this stuff. Then the question is clear and makes sense. The jokes are just for people who know more, it's not important to get them. $\endgroup$
    – Secespitus
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 10:51
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, but what confuses me is simply he asks for that as it is a given thing. And now it is save to assume he wants reasons for his world to implement it. If I would post here "How to legally justify killing the president of USA?" would one have to assume I want to build a world where its legally justifiable? Otherwise I miss that connection in his post. $\endgroup$
    – Zaibis
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 10:55
  • $\begingroup$ @Zaibis Again I am not too sure if I really understand your question. If you postulate that this is true in your universe we have to work based on that premise. This is what WorldBuilding is about - you postulate the circumstances as they are in your world and then we work within these constraints, unless you specifically ask what might be problematic about your premise. If it's justifiable in your world then so be it. $\endgroup$
    – Secespitus
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 11:00
  • $\begingroup$ "If you postulate that this is true" Exactly! But where does he postulate that the red shirt thing is true in his universe, or that he is asking about an own universe at all? $\endgroup$
    – Zaibis
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 11:08
  • $\begingroup$ @Zaibis The third paragraph is solely devoted to explaining that wearing a red shirt means a much greater chance of dying. We always assume that someone is building his own world. Unless they are explicitly asking "Why do Redshirts die in StarTrek more often?" we will assume he is talking about his own universe. Unless there are blatant indicators that someone wants an answer from something canonical we assume they chose the correct side to place their question. $\endgroup$
    – Secespitus
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 11:11
  • $\begingroup$ "We always assume that someone is building his own world. Unless they are explicitly asking" That was the part I was missing, that why I asked about the assassination in my 2nd comment. $\endgroup$
    – Zaibis
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 11:12
  • $\begingroup$ HOW have you never seen any episode or movie? $\endgroup$
    – dot_Sp0T
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 13:18
  • $\begingroup$ @dot_Sp0T For some reason I was never really interested in it. $\endgroup$
    – Secespitus
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 13:34
  • $\begingroup$ Mind adding the default assumption part to your answer, so I can accept it? $\endgroup$
    – Zaibis
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 14:15
  • $\begingroup$ @Secespitus but it's in your blood! $\endgroup$
    – dot_Sp0T
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 14:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Zaibis I added that assumption part $\endgroup$
    – Secespitus
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 16:28
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    $\begingroup$ @Zaibis: yes, you should assume that the question "how to legally justify killing the president of the usa" is in regards to world building. And would probably have answer like "The 36th ammendment made it legal to kill politicians that post on twitter". $\endgroup$
    – jmoreno
    Commented Oct 22, 2017 at 3:07

Simply - he is building a parody world, a world where tropes are real and make in-world sense. Borderline, I agree, but still.

  • $\begingroup$ But shouldn't that then at least have to be mentioned somewhere? And if he did so, at least not in an concealed way? $\endgroup$
    – Zaibis
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 10:33
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    $\begingroup$ @Zaibis as long as the question is answerable on it's own then there is no need to mention it. Should is more fuzzy thing. $\endgroup$
    – Mołot
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 10:34
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    $\begingroup$ @Mołot "Quite specific. It is however somewhat fuzzier on the subject of..." ;) $\endgroup$
    – MichaelK
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 10:38

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