Relating to This question, how can I ask contributors to include "facts and citations" in a question about a completely fictional world?

It's science fiction, so all facts are relative to the universe, and there is no established media to cite?

  • $\begingroup$ I just found your meta question. Who on earth required to you insist on facts and citations for your question? To be fair, your question has other problems - but the need for facts and citations makes it unanswerable. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Commented Jun 19, 2022 at 20:14

2 Answers 2


Here's a short list of issues I have with your question (at this revision)

  • First and foremost, asking for a whole society's changes is a tad too broad term. "What would my society be like?" is a common closure reason as lacking focus and details, as it can involve, among other things : Economy, artistic culture, military, politics, urbanisation, social behaviours, pancake recipes...
  • You don't tell your level of technology. With UV lamp hats you can drastically shift a dayman's waketime. With sunglasses and heavy clothings you can make nightmen do the same. But you don't tell if they have access to any of these kind of technology.
  • You don't tell your aliens basic shape in the question itself. This can drastically alter society. Note that comments, especially when they pile up, are not that much read, so they can be unadvertly skipped.
  • You don't tell the other differences between daymen and nightmen. It's more troublesome for nightmen since they're not "like us". For instance, do nightmen have nightvision? Echolocation perhaps? It would be weird to have the same senses as daymen, since it would really cripple their night-to-night comfort.
  • You don't tell the 2 base cultures to go from. We have to make our owns, yet that's not what the question is asking.
  • You don't tell about your geography and environment. Shall we consider days and night to be constant like in Equator? Or does it vary over time over the year? Is the land easy to farm? Are there mountains to hide sunlight at different hours? It's just some ideas that can impact answers, nevertheless interesting.

But what does all of this connect up to being opinion-based?

The first point is quite the most important : Because you ask about everything, anyone will choose what they want to talk about, because no one wants or have the time to write a whole enclickopedia about it (this kind of site is bad for this, anyway). Since they choose, they might very well stray from what you want to really know.

Then... You'll notice that out of the 6 points, 5 starts with "you don't tell". Thing is, if you don't tell, we have to make up things in your stead. The more we make up things, the more we'll present a personal point-of-view on the topic rather than working with your own.

Finally, as pointed out in the comments and some of the answers, it seems you have some holes within the world as you presented it. My tech example widening wake-up times is one as much as AlexP's one about rainy days lacking UVs, but I can also raise the fact that lack of communication (what happens in your world) is a big thingy to tackle on when you don't want "active discrimination, segregation or racism allegory". This can raise a frame-challenge to "dodge" the question partially. Or... Entirely like John O. did because they didn't see how it could ever make sense1. While you don't need much effort to remove discrimination, you have to be careful to not dig too much to the point of removing what makes a society cohesive.

If you sum up the above it leads to a more opinion-based question. So to have fact based answers, solve these issues, starting with broadeness (the tackiest and stickiest one), then more data, then seal the biggest holes (or don't put them in a way they're seen).

P.S. : On a smaller note, it's better when you set a name onto important things. In this case, defining how each species are called allows the other users to keep the same terms, instead of creating dodadiladoos like Nochnoy Dozor... Or daymen/nightmen :p. In overall it improves consistency.
1 : Not that I support putting this frame-challenge as the only part of an answer. It would have been better as a comment.

  • $\begingroup$ I think that you've missed the basic premise of my question. 99 percent of the questions that you're asking simply aren't relevant. This is simply a society that's split into a day shift and a night shift. One species is nocturnal, the other isn't. I'm looking for answers like "one species is hearing orientated, so they prefer radio and music, the other is vision orientated so they prefer movies and TV. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 10, 2022 at 7:39
  • $\begingroup$ I ask about "Everything" because when I try to be more specific my questions are deleted. You can't have it both ways. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 10, 2022 at 7:40
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    $\begingroup$ @AaarghZombies Asking "what unique changes can I expect in the society" will never lead naturally to "one species is hearing oriented, so...", simply because the first is asking about society, the second is answering using an unknown species specifics. Taking your example, you are inventing something about your world you don't tell and which is not about the question itself (species biology is not society), exactly like I've written. You do have to tell your species is hearing oriented if they're indeed hearing oriented, otherwise we'll only be able to guess when we write our answer $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 10, 2022 at 10:25
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    $\begingroup$ @AaarghZombies A few instance of tightly-focused questions asking about society : "How can people share efficiently data between workshifts when they can barely communicate (because of different wake-time)?" ; "How can I make nightmen and daymen stay awake enough -and healthy- in the same room?"; How can I ensure that daymen are not falling asleep indoor when there's little to no UV (because nightmen closed the curtains again.)?". All the above should be accepted, as long as you write with enough details. If unsure your question would be closed or not, don't hesitate to ask in the sandbox! $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 10, 2022 at 10:38
  • $\begingroup$ Every time I've tried that my questions have been deleted. Asking more than one question about the same universe seems to be taboo unless you do it a long time apart. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 10, 2022 at 11:02
  • $\begingroup$ I would disagree, if a creature is nocturnal surely one of the first things that people would think about would be how they live in low light levels. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 10, 2022 at 11:03
  • $\begingroup$ You're questioning minute details, such as "would there be mountains", or "what is the day length and does it change", I'm looking for things at a much higher level, like how would office building need to be adapted to suit both species, or whether inside or outside dining would be a thing. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 10, 2022 at 11:07
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    $\begingroup$ @AaarghZombies You changed again what are your answer expectations (radio listening and dining outside or inside are totally different things), showing again that your question was too broad. Know that some people did ask multiple questions a few days apart about the same species, same world and it went well most of the time. It's the question's content that matters. If you want to try a more focused question, please go to the sandbox. I and others can tackle and understand what's happening with them there, before they go live. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 10, 2022 at 11:57
  • $\begingroup$ I haven't changed anything, I simply provided some examples that I'd already thought of. I think that you're over interpreting my question. I'm looking for some broad differences to add flavor to world, not for plot elements. For example, a character might ride through a city in the back of a cab and note that a particular business changing over from Day to Night by doing something peculiar to that world. I don't want to be too prescriptive because placing limits on people's imaginations stifles creativity. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 10, 2022 at 12:10
  • $\begingroup$ @AaarghZombies "I'm looking for some broad differences". From the help-center : "Questions should be specific and answerable" and "avoid asking an open-ended, hypothetical question". Shall we continue in discussion perhaps? This comment thread is starting to get as heavy as an elephant :p. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 10, 2022 at 12:18
  • $\begingroup$ Let us continue this discussion in chat. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 10, 2022 at 14:17


That is all.

The tag "hard science" should be used when you're looking for "facts and citations". Answers should include scientific data, article citations, equations, and the like in order to support the conclusion of the response.

That said, it doesn't matter that your world is fictional. We can apply real world science to an entirely fictional setting. You gave some good background on the two species in question and a rough idea of technological level.

I'd argue that what your question is missing is why you would want to apply 21st century Californian norms to this question. (Using 21st Century Western Anglophone society as a baseline / comparative level of technology to 21st century California)

Granted that California is about an alien a world as one can find in this sector of the galaxy, to me it just doesn't really make sense to ask about the cultures & infrastructures of two actually alien species living on an actually alien world all in terms of human culture.

Hard Science is the answer to your Meta query, but I'm afraid it's not the answer to your problem over on Main.

And the reason is simple: as you hint, there simply are no sciencey facts to quote, other than the ones you provide in your query. Also, any sociological or cultural facts we could provide will all be Earth-centered and thus not helpful.

Edit your question to include a section titled "Expectations" or "Response Criteria". Lay out specifically what you will consider the most important answer criteria to be.

And as Tortelina says in the comment, perhaps don't worry so much about "facts and citations"! Use the tag Science Based, which will clue respondents in to giving you a relatively sciency answer.

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    $\begingroup$ Ah, it changed since then, then ^^. I'll just add to your answer : If you want a "weaker" version of the hard-science tag with less constraints to follow, it's the science-based tag. And that tags are helpers and not the key selling point of a fact-based question. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 10, 2022 at 23:12

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