When I first thought up OpinionQuest 2021, I didn't think of how to reward the participants. When the entries started coming in, I thought: "I should each give them some type of reward", and at first I was going to give each entry an impartial notice on the quest node. But then I realized how not in keeping with the spirit of OpinionQuest that would be. So instead, I will detail the entries, and give you my totally partial opinion on them. But in keeping with the spirit of those who took part in the quest, I will say none of the opinions were bad. All of them showed energy and effort! But, I do have opinions:
- Some of the Best Final Fantasies are not called Final Fantasy: This is the exact type of thing that E2 needs more of, and I can't believe that we don't have more of. Go back to the sites founding, find anything related to a Squaresoft RPG, and see how much was written about it: people's impressions and tastes and little jokes. 20 years later, the debate goes on. This is a humorous, but well thought-out writeup that describes the author's viewpoints in a clear and engaging way. The author was rewarded with an Opinium Star.
- Bovine flatulence and its role in climate change: and here we get into dicier territory. As I said in the quest node, "opinion" can mean "taste", or it can mean "conjecture". And here we have a scientific conjecture. Or quite simple, a guess. This tackles a scientific question, and a complicated scientific question that involves lots of different disciplines. The write-up poses a seemingly simple question: if methane from large herbivores is such a potent greenhouse gas, what to make of the fact that large herbivores have existed in large numbers thousands and millions of years. It is a fair question, but I feel the format of e2 doesn't lend itself well to big, multidisciplinarian questions like that. But, this is OpinionQuest. The author stated an opinion, and how much we want to incorporate that into our thinking is up to us. The author was awarded with an Opinium Star.
- Round Steak: Best Steak or Bestest Steak?: to be honest, I am a vegetarian, and so I can't really say too much about this. But: this is really funny. I was either high when I read this, or it made me think I was high? The author was awarded an Opinium Star.
- The disgusting throwaway nature of modern society: The author of this certainly knows how to use their prose. This is very funny, and it has style. My own opinion about the opinion is it would have been more persuassive if it would have been turned down a notch or two. It employs ad hominem and strawman arguments that, while humorous, tend to drown out the author's point. But, this is OpinionQuest 2021, so the author was awarded an Opinium Star.
- A bit of everything is another writeup that focuses on something we have all had experience with. I found it personable and interesting. And, as my response write-up said, part of my own experience as well. The author was rewarded with his second Opinium Star
There were two other writeups submitted during OpinionQuest 2021 that were "opinions", but the authors didn't answer if they meant them for the quest. So we were left with five good writeups by four authors in one week, not counting my own response to one of them.
Maybe it was the wrong week: my own view is that this would be a good way for people to talk about their subjective experiences. You know that 33 cent box of Mac and Cheese you found at the back of your cupboard and ate, half enjoying and half hating the greasy texture? This was the week to talk about this. I was hoping that with a little nudge, people would share brief ideas about little things they were thinking about. That didn't happen as much as I wanted, but hopefully more energy will start up as we have more microquests.