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12:05 AM
I am a victim of a downvoting spree! Six upvotes and four downvotes on my nomination for moderator. Why does it always have to be me!?
12:28 AM
@PythonMaster Better than on main, right?
12:56 AM
@PythonMaster Why did you vote to close the trolls / jottun giant post?
1:09 AM
What exactly is the tag?
@HDE226868 A video game
Oh, right. I should have looked at the questions. Duh.
@HDE226868 By extension, it should be off topic
Q: Are fictional mythologies on topic?

durron597Are mythologies from fictional sources on topic? Questions about the Old Gods of the Forest from Game of Thrones? Questions about the Nine Divines from the Elder Scrolls series of video games? Etc. I'm thinking no, but I thought the question ought to be asked. We could ban these questions ent...

the first one with that tag was quite well received, though.
then again, the post suggesting that we have fictional mythologies be on topic was quite heavily downvoted.
@HDE226868 I just vtced them both.
Man, learning details about mythos has always been quite high on my bucket list. I'm glad this Stack exists now as it gives me an excuse to do so.
The 10-year old in me that loved T.A. Barron is having a blast.
Thomas Archibald Barron (born March 26, 1952) is an American writer of fantasy literature, books for children and young adults, and nature books. == Biography == Barron was born in Boston. He spent early childhood in a town full of New England history and apple orchards, Harvard, Massachusetts. His family moved to Colorado and he spent much of his youth on a ranch in the Rocky Mountains. Barron's writing reflects his great passion for nature and the spiritual values of the natural world, as well as his belief in the power of every person. He studied history at Princeton University, where he is...
I gobbled up the ancient greek stuff a lot as a kid
but the arthurian stuff I mostly got from movies like First Knight and other mainstream sources
1:19 AM
I'm just waiting for a Monty Python and the Holy Grail question.
@HDE226868 What is the average airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?
1:42 AM
@durron597: I honestly don't see why you would retract your close vote for this question and not my question. Both of them use Age of Mythology as an inspiration for the question that actually asks about classical Greek mythology.
@durron597 African or European?
Q: Community Promotion Ads

HDE 226868We'll be entering public beta soon, so we need to get word out to the rest of Stack Exchange about Mythology Stack Exchange. One of the best ways of doing this is with Community Promotion Ads. Here is part of the canonical spiel given on meta posts on graduated sites where we submit our ads for ...

Wow, for once Stack is fast.
@HDE226868 Lol, yeah.
1 hour later…
3:09 AM
@El'endiaStarman I would retract it for the video game reason but not for the list question reason
3:22 AM
@durron597 Again, I asked for a precedent. Only one example is needed.
But the question can still keep getting new answers forever. I know there is at least one I'm having trouble thinking of it right now though
There isn't one definitive answer
@durron597 I don't think that's really a sufficiently strong reason. From Area51 stats:
> 2.5 answers per question is good, only 1 answer per question needs some work. On a healthy site, questions receive multiple answers and the best answer is voted to the top.
@El'endiaStarman The meta question I linked as a comment explains it better than I can.
3:40 AM
@durron597 Okay, looked at the Meta.SE post. 1) the fact that you, me, and Ixrec all have difficulty thinking of an example (and no one else has even commented even a hint of one) strongly suggests that you could not post a new answer indefinitely. The "canon" of Greek mythology is limited, and I strongly suspect there are few possible answers to my question. (cont)
(cont) Also, 2), the only question archetype that my question fits in any sense is the one where every answer is equally valid. I contest that every possible answer to my question would be equally valid. Some will be better examples than others, and I'd pick the one that is most similar to the game example.
@El'endiaStarman How about Cadmus praying to Athena and then switching to Ares?
@durron597 I don't know that one, but sure, that would fit.
Another fit that isn't quite as good is Ajax irritating Athena for raping Cassandra during the sack of Troy
Especially after Hecuba and the other women making sacrifices to Athena to save Troy that were denied
So now we have one good example and one okay example and... there could be more.
@durron597 But that's not a change in allegiance.
Athena was squarely on the Greek's side for most of the war
They only began to pray to Athena in the final year of the war
I agree the example is not quite on point, but what I'm really trying to say is that with one good example and one okay but not great example the question doesn't seem any more answered than it did when we started
I mean, ultimately, I'm only one user. If I were moderator I wouldn't close the question.
Being able to act unilaterally requires a much higher degree of confidence in the decision; it's sat on two CVs for hours, and it probably won't get closed and my vote will age away. I'm cool with that.
4:17 AM
@durron597 That seems more like Ares forced Cadmus to switch by enslaving him.
3 hours later…
7:15 AM
Good morning
7:45 AM
Gmornin :)
8:21 AM
A: Which cities had chthonic Zeus cults?

plannapusPausanias in its Description of Greece mentions during his visit to Corinth an image of Zeus Chthonios in a temple: The images of Zeus also are in the open; one had not a surname, another they call Chthonius (of the Lower World) and the third Most High. This has been confirmed by archeologi...

This is a far better answer than I expected.
8:31 AM
@HDE226868 You are 16??? Wow, you're a lot smarter than I was at 16...
@durron597 Yes, that is no good.
8:58 AM
10 hours ago, by Piper
Did we ever establish where we stand on Q's that ask about pop culture versions of mythologies? I.e. I know we had a question about Marvel Thor versus mytho-Thor.
@Piper On History.SE, we have some excellent questions that were inspired by movies (asking if a certain story in a movie is accurate, etc). I don't see why we can't have the same here.
9:10 AM
Q: Is Cthulhu on or off topic?

DaftI've seen a lot of Cthulhu questions on the Sci Fi stack exchange, would he be considered on topic here? He would be considered a mythological creature wouldn't he, the same as The Minotaur or Medusa?

@YannisRizos Exactly, but they don't need a
9:24 AM
May 1 at 10:28, by Yannis Rizos
I think we should be ignoring tags for the time being. We simply don't have enough data yet to decide on what tags are useful and what are not.
The whole point of tags is to help people discover content. If does that, without somehow harming the site, I'm ok with it. And at this point I simply don't have enough data to say whether the tag is harmful or not.
My guess is if the tag gets popular it will most probably confuse people in thinking that any and all questions about the marvel universe are on topic. That wouldn't be good.
But it has to get popular first. If it's on a couple of questions, who cares...
At this point our focus should be on generating content, not categorizing content. I find it quite puzzling that we have as many Meta questions as we have ones.
@YannisRizos I clearly do. I understand why we'd want to wait until later, but better start out good than just let something we know how to do go bad and then at some point have to do a whole cleanup if we can just do it good from the start.
Also: that sentence has issues, but I can't wrap my head around how to make it better right now.
If you see a tag you strongly feel is pointless on a question, feel free to remove it @Arperum. That's perfectly fine.
My issue is more with the excessive (imho) amount of discussions about tags on Meta and in here.
If you happen upon a bad tag while browsing the site, kill it. KILL IT WITH FIRE!
9:40 AM
@YannisRizos I haven't been all that active, I'm more of a working from the shadows type.
But if it isn't abundantly obvious that the tag is harmful, then let's wait and see how people use it before deciding on its fate...
@YannisRizos Except that it already has a discussion going on at the meta, and I'm sort of waiting for that to reach a slightly more definitive stance.
@YannisRizos That cthulhu one a bit higher up could use a scope tag, but I can't edit on meta.
I hate single tag questions.
@YannisRizos Why? I'm used to them. They are very frequent on Arqade, where this lone tag should be the game the question is talking about
Well, they might work for certain questions on main. But on Meta, a single tag question is essentially untagged.
Yes, it's a discussion. About what???
9:50 AM
Whether it is on topic here or not, is anyone genuinely confused about the difference between Cthulhu and Minotaur?
@YannisRizos That I can agree about.
@Semaphore I guess @Daft is being intentionally daft there... ;)
Yeah. I'm not sure if I want fantasy genres included in myth.se or not, but the whole "there's no difference" angle strikes me as a rather lousy argument.
@Semaphore Not me. I just find the wording "fictional" mythology kinda stupid. I agree that we don't need the stuff it is used for (that's clearly for SciFi & Fantasy)
when i first saw that term, i thought they meant fiction-turned-myth like merlin ;)
9:57 AM
> For users who want to complain about something about MY.SE.
@PythonMaster Is there a reason people can't complain in here? Or Meta?
Except of course if by "complain" you mean "rant".
Isn't this room also for discussing problems/potential problems with the main site?
Sure. We can talk about anything we want in here, really. The main focus should be mythology, and the site, but it's chat, it's not supposed to be restrictive.
@Yannis sorry to change the topic, but
Q: What was the more prominent of Ra's origins stories?

YannisI was browsing Wikipedia and came upon three different variations for Ra's origins: In the former version, a mound arises from the waters. An egg was laid upon this mound by a celestial bird. The egg contained Ra. In some variants, the egg is laid by a cosmic goose. However, the egg was a...

It seems there is a more older version of Ra's creation legend
It's from the pyramid texts
10:05 AM
Do you have a link for it? If so, could you please post it as a comment to the question (so everyone who happen upon the question might find it)?
So, just for clarification, were you asking which version was more famous OR which version is historically older?
More popular.
More widely accepted, if you will.
Oh. Okaay
Ah then my doubt is cleared and my answer won't suit your question
@Yannis here's the link anyways touregypt.net/featurestories/creation.htm
Well, it might turn out that there isn't a clear winner, and different cults believed different variations at different times. In that case, your version might be an answer for its time period.
@EroSɘnnin Thanks.
@YannisRizos I'm not sure if we can provide an accurate answer using popularity basis. I mean, people believe what they want to
10:13 AM
Accurate, certainly not. However, I imagine an answer based on archaeology, or mentions of specific variations in literature would be possible.
@YannisRizos Ah. That sounds feasible
A different approach would be: Pharaoh Foo established Ra as the main figure of the Egyptian pantheon, and during his reign this variation was the accepted one.
But that brings timeline into the question
Since whatever Pharaoh Foo believed would have been the nation's official religion, his version wins by default.
10:18 AM
@EroSɘnnin It does, indeed. I never said it was an easy question to answer ;)
Hehe .. Nice question ;)
I wouldn't mind partial answers though. A answer saying "in this period, this version wins" would get my upvote.
I like my answers to be complete :P
2 hours later…
12:01 PM
I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is about myth identification. — PythonMaster 14 hours ago
Eh? When did we decide myth identification questions are off topic?
That comment has been upvoted five times, what am I missing?
@YannisRizos I was wondering the same.
Q: What is the story behind Thor wearing a wedding dress to get Mjölnir back?

AlienDevI often hear of a story of Loki taking Mjölnir away from Thor and selling it to giants. Thor then gets angry and makes Loki join him in wearing wedding dresses to enter the giants place unnoticed to get it back. What is the actual story behind this and who were these giants and were they actuall...

This one is also about myth-identification but is generally well-accepted..
I would have voted to close that question as "unclear". Because I have absolutely no idea what "«Articuno» in Pokémon" is. And I don't think it's reasonable to expect people to know what it is on a site that isn't about pokemon.
Yes, this question is not well-asked. But still, I believe it can be salvaged.
12:36 PM
@El'endiaStarman So, it's a bird that vomits ice?
@YannisRizos Sure, if you want to put it that way...
That's a phoenix.
An artist's conception, that is.
The latter is definitely known in mythology. The former? Is there such a bird in any mythology? (Pokémon not counted because it was not intended to be mythology.)
I wonder which cultures would conceive of a frost bird myth. Norse? Arctic? But if it's Arctic, then it'd be a Frost Penguin, wouldn't it?
@YannisRizos No penguins in the north!
12:56 PM
@El'endiaStarman Yes, their extinction is the core of the Great Frost Penguin mythos.
(I should give up now, shouldn't I?)
So, I'm trying to figure out why Scientology is okay but Cthulhu is not
Both were written by modern authors; the former, L. Ron Hubbard, the latter, H. P. Lovecraft
Both have actual, real worshippers today in 2015
What's the difference?
1:17 PM
@Semaphore: Actually...I think creative intent could work for that. We might have issues with, say, Atlantis, but I think that would work quite well for distinguishing "fictional" mythologies that go on SciFi.SE. +1'd your comment. You should make that into an answer. — El'endia Starman 17 hours ago
@El'endiaStarman Are you responding to me? or to Semaphore
@durron597 To you, by re-using his reply to Semaphore.
Scientology is, to me, a genuine attempt to explain the mysteries of the universe, whereas Cthulhu was created as a fictional story.
@El'endiaStarman Neither of those are settled statements.
@durron597 It's a start at least.
1:20 PM
And, we should not be in the business of deciding one way or the other
@durron597 I would use statements of the author.
I'll investigate more later, but I've got to go to class.
I think this is the point Chad was trying to make on Meta. We need a hard limit, otherwise there will always be someone confused and/or angry we closed their question.
> Writer and publisher Lloyd Arthur Eshbach reported Hubbard saying "I'd like to start a religion. That's where the money is."
I think the hard limit should be age.
If the story is 1000 years old or more, it's on topic. Less, off topic.
I do no know how we would distinguish between "REAL" mythology and fictional unless we put a hard date for the cutoff like pre 1900. — Chad 20 hours ago
@YannisRizos I agree with that.
1:23 PM
It would certainly make the site a lot easier to moderate.
Q: Asian ruler who believed punishment should outweigh the crime?

Adam UraynarHe may be an emperor, and with a little digging this is as close as I could find: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retributive_justice

related to the real vs fictional mythology debate:
in The Bridge, 4 mins ago, by LessPop_MoreFizz
Greek mythology is fiction, but it isn't fictional - it represents actual stories told by actual people about their actual beliefs at an actual time and place in history.
in The Bridge, 4 mins ago, by LessPop_MoreFizz
the thing that's fictional isn't the content of the myth. It's the myth itself that's fictional.
That's actually a pretty good distinction to make. That way there is no completely arbitrary cutoff point in time when it magically becomes off topic.
Q: Age should be the defining cutoff for when something is mythology

durron597There has been a lot of controversy in Meta and chat about what is and what is not on topic as far as fictional sources, religions, and whatnot. Should we allow tags for external media? Are fictional mythologies on topic? Is Cthulhu on or off topic? Is scientology on topic here? Are discussion ...

I was just writing that up.
1:39 PM
@durron597 Perfect timing!
@Arperum Well, one person doesn't agree.
Q: Inception date should be the defining cutoff for when something is mythology

durron597There has been a lot of controversy in Meta and chat about what is and what is not on topic as far as fictional sources, religions, and whatnot. Should we allow tags for external media? Are fictional mythologies on topic? Is Cthulhu on or off topic? Is scientology on topic here? Are discussion ...

@durron597 Not my downvote, I'm writing up an answer (even though I should be working)
@Arperum I just edited in light of @El'endiaStarman's comment
@durron597 I had half the mind of making exactly that comment.
1:46 PM
@Arperum I've definitely seen meta posts that are written one way or the other, with each type well received.
I didn't have a problem making the split, so I did it.
1000 is a bit far back don't you think
Also, here is one potential issue with setting an age cutoff:
> Atlantis was a fictional island made up by Plato. It serves as the fictional antagonist to Plato's ideal state in "Timaeus" and (especially) "Critias". They are written in the dialectic style, in which the character Critias narrates the story of Atlantis. (source)
@durron597 Yea, but it's clearer to vote for an answer, that way I can still upvote the question (because it's a good one), but I don't agree with the answer you propsed in the question, so I couldn't upvote it.
@El'endiaStarman Plato is before the cutoff, could you explain what you mean?
@Semaphore I explained why I proposed 1000 AD
@durron597 Atlantis would appear to be a "fictional" myth.
1:50 PM
@El'endiaStarman I think Atlantis should be on topic.
@durron597 1000 is really far back from the renaissance
But asking when ancient astronauts left Atlantis should probably not be.
Why are things written by Plato fiction but things written by Herodotus are ok?
@Semaphore I wanted to be before the printing press as well.
@durron597 Creative intent?
I guess it could be 1300 AD.
1:51 PM
I just realized: what about the mythology of Mormons?
I don't want to argue about whether L. Ron Hubbard had creative intent.
renaissance predates printing press :P
It's recent, but definitely intended to be a genuine explanation of the supernatural workings of the universe.
I don't want to argue about whether Joseph Smith had creative intent
The Popol Vug was written less than 1000 years ago.
It's a tricky issue...
1:53 PM
a ton of medieval mythology was written less than 1000 years ago
@Piper Now this is an excellent point.
@Semaphore Printing Press was about right in the middle of the Renaissance.
@Semaphore 14th century to 17th century.
would be a bit weird if the irish mythological cycle is excluded from myth.se for being too recent
1:55 PM
I'm more interested in age being the cutoff than that particular date
@Semaphore Okay, I'm convinced.
i meant the advent of renaissance predates printing press
tbh i dont really like the idea of a cut off date at all, but i think whether it predates modernity in its original society is a good guide
Some cultures simply didn't get around to organising their mythology in the written word until quite recently. Wars, illiteracy, invading Romans, invading Spanish, invading British, etc....
yeah ^
I strongly oppose the idea of using creative intent as the metric, though.
There is no way for us to know what someone's intent was. Maybe Homer himself was just making everything up.
when i said that, i was referring to modern works
1:59 PM
Note to self: If @durron597 gets a diamond, fill the site with Xenu questions.
i do not think it possible to a single, universal rule
whether it predates modernity in its original society is a good idea, as long as we can define modernity properly.
we cant really define it with any precision - it'd only be a guide
more reason why i think there's no way to have a hard and fast rule
A: What should be the defining cutoff for when something is mythology?

ArperumNo, it shouldn't. Age isn't a very good criteria, it sure has something to say, but shouldn't be the be all end all. For a (purely hypothetical) example: Assume that some Amazonian tribe has a creation myth, but according to it, the world is ~500 years old (so the myth is about ~1500 or somethin...

I am trying to avoid outrage and whining from current and future users by having something we can point to.
@Arperum Can you edit that slightly to reflect the way the question is worded now? i.e. "No it shouldn't" -> "Age shouldn't be it" or something
2:01 PM
i think we'd just get outrage and whining from users who disagree with the rule, though
@durron597 Done.
There will always be outrage and whining about everything.
i'd come down on the side of being more permissive towards building content, given that there's no way to avoid stepping on some toes
although really i dont think we'll have that much trouble determining what belongs on sf.se and what belongs here
2:05 PM
I don't think we need an arbitrary line.
@Piper We don't need an arbitrary line, but we do need to have clear guidelines
Maybe those guidelines can't be one sentence. I'm convinced of that now
Intent, I think, should be the defining factor. Was the intent to record the mythology of a culture? Or to create one for whatever reason?
But that renders many of the Greek plays off topic...
@Piper Exactly
I'd like to point out that on Christianity.SE, if a group self-identifies as Christian, then they are Christian for the purposes of the site.
@El'endiaStarman I am uncertain how that is relevant here, could you explain?
2:19 PM
@Piper But then again, we are not oldgreece.se, this is mythology.se.
@Arperum Sophocles should be on topic
@durron597 (I'm currently in class. Reply will be delayed.)
Well, i still believe in my original idea is that if people belied it was real it should count as mythology (for old works)
@Semaphore Real people actually believe in Cthulhu
Real people actually believe in Game of Thrones and Twilight, too, though.
can't live life by the extremists
but heck , if a non negligible group believed in something i dont see what grounds we have for denying it is their mythology
but yeah, i intended that statement that for older works/traditions/what have you
2:24 PM
@durron597 Why? Because he wrote books in old greece? If those books happen to be about things from the greece myths, or things that turned into greek myths.
I mean, in the case of ancient greece so much time has passed
How do we know that if we took a time machine and went back we wouldn't discover that Theseus and the Minotaur was just a play someone wrote
does it matter?
@Semaphore Not to me, I think sophocles should be on topic.
@durron597 Because historians of the era tell us it's a myth.
Also, not entirely sure what you mean by "sophocles should be on topic". All his surviving plays are based on myths. Questions about the myths themselves would certainly be on topic.
Q: Is there a canonical ending to the story of Antigone?

femtoRgonAs I understand it, it was common practice for a playwright to retell a well-known story with the details changed to suit the playwright's needs. A tidy way to avoid a lot of tedious exposition. In Antigone, this leads to some significantly different endings: In Sophocles play, she is impris...

2:31 PM
@durron597 Sophocles didn't invent Oedipus' story.
He was obsessed with Oedipus, sure, but the myth existed before him.
@YannisRizos But that question is about the plays themselves
@durron597 No, it's about the differences between the different plays, and which one is the "real" myth ending.
Also: I'm closing chat for now, because I keep getting distracted and still need to do some stuff for work.
@durron597 Only in the sense that the plays are the variations of the myth that survive to this day. The core question is still about the myth.
I don't think we actually disagree on something, just that "sophocles should be on topic" is too much of a blanket statement to be helpful.
A question about Sophocles use of Creon to warn the Athenians of hubris, for example, would be off topic.
2:53 PM
> You can't vote for your own post
Heh, I completely forgot I nominated @Christofian and tried to upvote his nomination.
@YannisRizos Lolz.
Okay, inter-class break!
@durron597 Perhaps we could do the same and tweak the idea of creative intent. If there is a single creator (or small group), then we can look at whether they believe their own ideas (and/or the/their source material). I think this should sufficiently exclude Cthulhu but keep Greek plays.
This will also be biased towards older material, so it fits more with your age-related criteria.
3:21 PM
@El'endiaStarman How do we know what someone hundreds or thousands of years ago believed?
@durron597 That's what I mean by "biased towards older material". I would say we err on the side of caution and say that they probably did.
@YannisRizos I had the same problem with @Semaphore's nomination.
From Wikipedia:
> Mormons believe that the people of the Book of Mormon lived in the western hemisphere, that Christ appeared in the western hemisphere after his death and resurrection, that the true faith was restored in Upstate New York by Joseph Smith, that the Garden of Eden was located in North America, and that the New Jerusalem would be built in Missouri.
good evening, people
@naltipar Hellow :D
3:36 PM
Orthodox Christianity generally says that the Garden of Eden was located around Israel and that the New Jerusalem will also be in the area of Jerusalem.
If orthodox Christian mythology is on-topic, then Mormon mythology should be as well, despite its age.
Especially because Joseph Smith and his followers really believed what they said.
@El'endiaStarman But members of the cult of Cthulhu really believe in it too
@durron597 Does the author?
@El'endiaStarman I could make a compelling argument with citations that L. Ron Hubbard did not believe in scientology.
@durron597 Then I would say that Scientology should be off-topic as a "fictional" mythology.
But I can't actually prove my claim. I wouldn't be able to convict to the standards of American criminal courts
Because ultimately it's about what was in some dead person's head
3:41 PM
For what it's worth, it took Christianity.SE a while to ultimately decide that Scientology was off-topic because it doesn't self-identify as Christian.
Proving intent is exceedingly difficult
This is why I wanted to wash away all of this and go with age... which I have since been educated as to having different problems.
2 hours ago, by durron597
> Writer and publisher Lloyd Arthur Eshbach reported Hubbard saying "I'd like to start a religion. That's where the money is."
People who are actually Scientologists don't believe that to be the truth, though.
I'm honestly fine with Scientology being on-topic or off-topic. I don't have a strong opinion either way.
I would argue that Cthulhu is definitely off-topic.
@El'endiaStarman I don't care either way either. I care about having good, clear guidelines to give the site direction
3:45 PM
@durron597 I think we're agreed on that.
We just disagree on what guidelines are good and clear.
Honestly, I think that the fuzzy border will be slowly clarified over time through Meta questions.
@El'endiaStarman I think we agree about the guidelines a lot more than we disagree, now that I've backed off from the age idea.
I think that intent would be a perfect metric if it were knowable
@durron597 Heh, yeah. Knowable with certainty, that is.
4:11 PM
Well, regarding Joseph Smith, the section regarding his death and the previous section on Wikipedia imply that he died at least in part because of his Mormon beliefs. This is a fairly strong indicator to me that the founder of Mormonism actually believed in it.
4:53 PM
Q: How to ask a good question about mythology as shown in pop culture?

femtoRgonNorse and Greek mythology, especially, are depicted with some frequency in movies, books, comics, and television. It's reasonable to wonder how closely their representation in pop culture media represents their traditional mythology. So far, it seems like these can be on-topic, good questions, ...

1 hour later…
6:08 PM
@durron597: Hmm. I just had another thought. I think another criteria we can use is whether the myth explains something. The Cthulhu mythos doesn't try to explain anything, so far as I know. It's a collection of stories about supernatural beings, which would probably more properly place it in cryptozoology, which has already been decided as off-topic.
And furthermore, a mythology shouldn't just explain one thing, but a broad set of things, so to speak. Incredibly vague, I know, but I think you'll get the idea.
@El'endiaStarman ehh. How does the Perseus story explain anything?
It explains how a guy killed a giant sea serpent and got the girl
....hmm. Good point.
It might be better to focus less on individual stories/myths and more on the overarching mythology.
I want to go back to @Semaphore idea of:
4 hours ago, by Semaphore
tbh i dont really like the idea of a cut off date at all, but i think whether it predates modernity in its original society is a good guide
I don't think anyone has come up with major objections to that metric.
Yeah, it seems quite useful.
But what would we mean by "modernity"?
4 hours ago, by durron597
whether it predates modernity in its original society is a good idea, as long as we can define modernity properly.
4 hours ago, by Semaphore
we cant really define it with any precision - it'd only be a guide
6:18 PM
I feel like at this point, that guide is little more than the intuition we have.
Predates the industrial revolution for that society?
...I should ask a Meta question about Mormon mythology.
A: What should be the defining cutoff for when something is mythology?

durron597Ultimately, after much discussion in chat,, it seems clear to me that we are never going to come up with an exacting metric; it's going to have to be up to the community to organically decide what is and what isn't on topic. However, we still need to have some sort of guidance, and the best thing...

Can you give me an example of Mormon mythology?
@YannisRizos Edited in the citation
6:34 PM
@durron597 I put your quote in google and the top result was some bs blog... I didn't really thought that was what you were quoting, but thought I'd ask just in case.
@YannisRizos :-P
And of course was too lazy to check out the second google result, which was your actual source ;)
Speaking of BS blog quotes
Q: Was Zeus a compilation of gods?

congusbongusZeus is a complex character; although he is chief among gods, with many noble qualities, he is also deeply flawed. Among various sites on the internet 1 2 3 4, there's this passage which suggests that he is a compilation of various supreme gods: Zeus was mighty, glorious, awesome and wise, a...

I tried for awhile to track this one down, because that quote is on like 2 dozen sites
I ended up emailing the webmaster of one dated 2002
I hate it when sites that copy content outrank their sources in google.
how about the fact that "review my code" has a programmers.se post at #2 and codereview.se doesn't show up in the first 10 pages.
That webmaster hasn't replied to me yet.
6:39 PM
> If the myth/legend predates modernity in it's original society, it's likely to be on topic; modernity is defined to be prior to the Industrial Revolution in that particular society.
Heh, this is going to generate tons of Meta drama once we go public ;)
Mormon mythology says that Jesus was married, among other things. But I believe they call it folklore.
@durron597 Working on the Meta question, and I think I'll use this:
Q: Did Noah build the Ark in America?

ShemSegerAccording to Mormon Doctrine, Adam and Eve lived in Adam-ondi-Ahman. Which was revealed to Joseph Smith to be located in Missouri (see D&C 116:1). This would mean that unless Adam's posterity went on some epic intercontinental journey between Adam and Noah's time, that Noah likely built the ark...

@YannisRizos Well, assuming that's the metric we decide to go with.
It's just a proposal right now.
7:11 PM
[waits for SE to post my Meta question here...]
Q: Should Mormon mythology be on-topic?

El'endia StarmanGenerally, it is agreed that Christian mythology is on-topic. Now, recently, there has been a great deal of discussion in chat about how to distinguish "genuine" mythologies (e.g. Greek, Norse, Native American, etc.) from "fictional" mythologies (e.g. Star Wars, Game of Thrones, etc.). Various cr...

@Thegodsdiscuss... Hey there!
Okay @YannisRizos maybe I can get some work done now
A: What was the more prominent of Ra's origins stories?

durron597The reason for the discrepancy is that Egyptian mythology was not unified even four thousand years ago. There were four major cities, each with their own stories. The egg creation myth is that of the city of Hermopolis, that you've already cited above. Ogdoad is the name of the 8 divine entitie...

...I just realized that "the gods discuss" sounds like "the gods' discus"... :P
Ugh this proposal doesn't seem to be getting any more traction than the last one
7:17 PM
@durron597 We might not have enough data yet to have a really firm answer.
@El'endiaStarman Yeah
Man, writing a good answer for this site takes a lot more work than a good StackOverflow answer.
Especially since I have limited time, so I am limiting myself to good questions with zero answers in most cases, which means they're really hard questions, which means they take more work.
@El'endiaStarman do you think questions about Merlin are on topic?
@durron597 My snap reaction is "yes".
You know I'm tricking you, obviously
> Geoffrey combined existing stories of Myrddin Wyllt (Merlinus Caledonensis), a North Brythonic prophet and madman with no connection to King Arthur, with tales of the Romano-British war leader Ambrosius Aurelianus to form the composite figure he called Merlin Ambrosius (Welsh: Myrddin Emrys). He is allegedly buried in the Broceliande forest, near Paimpont in Brittany.
It's known that Merlin was not a real person, and no one believed that he was.
Ahhh, how interesting.
That's good data to have.
However I agree with you that Merlin ought to be on topic.
It's just yet another wrinkle in solving this issue.
7:24 PM
Age helps with the case of Merlin, plus it's folklore, which most people seem to agree should be on-topic.
It seems hard to justify Merlin being on topic when Cthulhu is not, if we're just going by the fictional vs non-fictional metric.
If age is included in the metric, then it becomes much easier to justify.
Cthulhu also doesn't seem to be folklore, and furthermore, the cult comprises only a tiny portion of the cultural population.
What about Robin Hood?
@El'endiaStarman Good question. What about Grimm's Fairy Tales?
@durron597 Huh, I recognize a bunch of the names of individual stories. They were certainly a significant cultural influence.
There's about a dozen questions on the site that I consider borderline. I'd vote to close them, but... all received satisfactory to excellent answers.
7:32 PM
@YannisRizos Example?
@El'endiaStarman Maybe that's the metric. Cultural influence.
By that standard both Cthulhu and Scientology would certainly stay open.
@durron597 Star Wars had even more cultural influence.
@El'endiaStarman I'm not necessarily sure that's a problem.
The first one casts a wide net. @durron597 already challenged it on Meta. The second one was mostly an experiment to see how the community will react to folklore questions.
7:35 PM
@YannisRizos I actually genuinely still feel conflicted about that one.
Meta seemed to think it was okay
It's certainly not a harmful question
Okay, here's a meta-metric
The stack exchange model is about attracting expert questions and expert answers.
A place where experts want to go to learn with and from other experts.
@durron597 Me too. About both of them. But, this is beta, there won't be a better time to experiment with the site's scope.
By that metric, I think the cthonic cults question certainly works to serve that purpose
What I don't want to see is "do e-meters really work?"
@durron597 The question then becomes: what kind of experts?
@El'endiaStarman Mythology experts, in the same way that Christianity.SE is for christianity experts and stackoverflow is for coding experts
7:40 PM
@durron597 Yes. The problem isn't so much with the questions we currently have, but with the questions those might inspire. The "Hidden features of C++" q on SO is excellent. However, it inspired a million and one "Hidden features of foo" questions that sucked. Hard.
If allowing Cthulhu opens the doors to a ton of e-meters questions, then, sorry, Cthulhu is out.
@YannisRizos s/Cthulhu/Scientology/ but yes
@durron597 And how would a mythology expert deal with Cthulhu?
I think a good Cthulhu mythology question would likely be a comparative mythology question.
@durron597 Nope, I meant Cthulhu. You can't justify declaring Scientology off topic if you keep Cthulhu on topic.
@YannisRizos I certainly agree with that
The herp derp logic will be: "Cthulhu's in, thus Scientology must be in, thus this is the perfect site to ask if e-meters work".
7:45 PM
@YannisRizos Yet still another perspective is one you suggested at earlier: let as much in as possible to drive traffic, then start limiting things when there is a problem.
@durron597 This was our biggest failure on ProgSE, trying to cherry pick some career questions. There was a point when career advice was off topic, but career development was on topic. The result: A f'ing mess.
e.g. how on Programmers career advice was okay in 2012, but isn't now.
jinx ;)
Though I suspect part of that stems from Programmers being older than The Workplace
@YannisRizos A counter to that is that this site is about mythological stories, not the mechanics of a device.
Sure. "if e-meters work" is a poor example of a crap question. I'm sure we'll get better examples once we're public ;)
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