This question asks for ways to justify medieval stasis, reasons why an alternate world would stay in the technological/societal equivalent of the middle ages for much longer than in our timeline. The answers were generally good but also diverse in approach, including: keeping the population low through repeated plagues, a centralised government, and eliminating coal so there can be no industrial revolution.

Now, I have the same question, but I would prefer as few constraints on my worldbuilding as possible. So I want to ask, specifically, what resources I have to remove from my world to prevent the Renaissance. Coal is mentioned in the original question, but I was thinking zinc too, as it was vital in discovering electricity. But, it's possible I overlooked a resource, or one of these was actually not as important as I thought.

So, I wanted to ask "What natural resources should I eliminate in order to justify medieval stasis." But it might be considered a duplicate, as any answer on that question would also be a valid answer on the first question (though not vice versa).

Is that question allowed? If not, should I perhaps instead offer a bounty on the first one, leaving a note that I'm curious for more natural-resource oriented answers?


From my point of view:

  • Existing question asks what could cause X, and answers are A, B and/or C.
  • You wish to ask "What broader/more elaborate set of A do I need to cause X".

IMO they are two different questions. Ask away - As Elemtilas said the worst that can happen is you getting your question closed, depending on how you word the new question. I think you have a good question coming up, one that deserves a chance.

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    $\begingroup$ "depending on how you word the new question" Especially if your new question acknowledges the old one, you want to try and make the wording of the two questions/descriptions as different as possible to give people the impression they are only loosely related. $\endgroup$ – Tezra Jan 14 '20 at 18:51

The worst thing that can happen is that it will be closed as a duplicate. Given that, here in your own meta question, you freely admit ...now, I have the same question... I'd say the proposed question has very little chance of survival, and the rationale is simple: you're zooming in on one factor that has been asked and answered, rather than considering a different scenario or a different approach.

In reading the linked query, it actually seems like it could be ripe for closure as too broad. Folks of late seem to be much less keen on taking a stab at broad spectrum list requests.

I think a bounty might be a good approach for you: the linked query is almost three years old, which means loads of people haven't seen it yet (myself included I think!); putting fresh eyes on it and enticing new respondents to address natural resources would get you around potential closure of your proposed query.

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    $\begingroup$ ...that also means that putting on a bounty might entice mods to close it instead, if they believe it is too broad. In that case, asking a new, resource-focused question, would be the "fixed version", as that would no longer be broad. $\endgroup$ – KeizerHarm Jan 11 '20 at 22:35
  • $\begingroup$ @KeizerHarm -- To be fair, bringing it up here has done that without the benefit of a kbounty! I've noticed recently a trend where folks comb through ancient queries looking for ones to VTC. You just saved them the dredge work! $\endgroup$ – elemtilas Jan 12 '20 at 0:14
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    $\begingroup$ that's honestly saddening. I do not want any part in that. $\endgroup$ – KeizerHarm Jan 12 '20 at 19:02
  • $\begingroup$ @KeizerHarm -- Concur. I believe it's just a sign of the everchanging interpretation of the Roolz. I'd suggest, though, and perhaps somewhat counterculturally, if you ever see an ancient query in your VTC queue whose only issues are a slight lack of focus or being opinion based, just vote to keep them open. Or you could seek them out and gently & judiciously edit them. $\endgroup$ – elemtilas Jan 12 '20 at 19:15

You do not have the same question. It's a closely related question, and you need to link to it, and talk about how the broader constraints led to answers which don't meet your needs.


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