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As I've been developing my stories, one major point that has remained constant is the state of the major international powers. One such powerful nation, sahats, is an extremely advanced society. They have incredible medical abilities, and they are currently the most advanced nation when it comes to science. They use graphene and magnesium in place of other materials, and they use incredibly efficient production methods.

However, they tend to spend their time, just existing. they don't throw their military around, in fact, they don't really get involved at all in politics unless they have to.

They typically build their cities in the forests of the world, making their lives among the massive trees. They build their houses, stores, and everything else inside hollows in the tree, modifying them however they life without harming the trees.

Is a society like this possible? they aren't humans, so they might behave or think the same way, but I'm not sure if that helps. If it is possible, then how would it happen?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Renan, bilbo_pingouin, Mołot, Frostfyre, Mathaddict Dec 13 '18 at 16:08

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ I think the other important question here would be simply “why not?” If you can rebut all the answers to that question, you’ll have a peaceful world by default. $\endgroup$ – Dubukay Dec 12 '18 at 18:32
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    $\begingroup$ What sort of constraints are you applying? The answer is simply "all things are possible if all things are possible" if you aren't applying constraints. What sort of social evolution are you willing to consider? How well thought out does it need to be? Offhand, I think of the Nox from Stargate SG-1 as the definitive example which says "yes." However, if you find the Nox unacceptably unrealistic, then I'd have to know why so I can constrain myself accordingly. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Dec 12 '18 at 18:59
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    $\begingroup$ They sound a lot like Tolkien's Elves. Even they got into wars sometimes although in the end they kind of gave up and left. $\endgroup$ – chasly from UK Dec 12 '18 at 19:54
  • $\begingroup$ They would have to be so much more advanced so their defense weapons can overcome any ennemies. You mention superior materials, but superior materials could be stolen. Can they resist a weapons race without resorting to cheap energy to speed up production therefore harming nature? $\endgroup$ – Tomás Dec 12 '18 at 20:22
  • $\begingroup$ A similar scenario: celts against romans. They couldn't do it. $\endgroup$ – Tomás Dec 12 '18 at 20:29
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Sounds like a post-industrial society to me, and yes, it could happen. Presumably their medicine allows them birth control, so their population has a net-zero growth.

It might be difficult to locate any kind of industry (for those incredibly efficient production methods to be used) inside a TREE, but perhaps not everything is inside a tree.

Other than that, you have a cultural phenomenon of an advanced culture rejecting the artificiality of buildings, for the far less efficient but technologically possible route of living in nature.

You can see this in modern real life, to an extent; people abandoning the cities where it is easy to meet and work with others, for a more suburban or rural life, using technology to sustain contact with other people instead of the physical proximity of living and working in the city. It is much more pleasant, if you can afford it, to live out in the country. And if technology becomes advanced enough and cheap enough then nearly everybody is involved in intellectual work and can afford to live anywhere, and work in cyberspace (as I do).

So I would guess your species did have towns and cities and industry in their remote past, but that phase of their civilization is done, everything is automated to the point (and socialized enough) that they are "born retired", like children from extremely wealthy families IRL. Similar to such children, these beings become educated and then choose what to pursue, how to pursue it, where to live and everything else on intellectual terms, not on terms of necessity in earning a living, or what they can afford.

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it is quite possible, in fact an advanced society is better equipped to preserve nature.

In real-world, developed countries have actually been improving many aspects of their environments for the past 30 years. There are several ways they are doing it:

  • Outsource dirty industry to poor countries. In your case, it could be poor planets, or space).

  • Use advanced technology. In our world, it means advanced filters, composite materials, solar and wind energy, energy-efficient equipment. In your world, it could be genetically engineering trees to grow into hollows.

  • High incomes mean that people can afford it. If choice is between better environment or getting enough food, people will choose food. But if preserving environment means a house with 4 bedrooms instead of 5, many people will choose environment.

  • People have fewer children as they get richer, to the point that every developed country has population growth rate below zero for native population (they still take in immigrants, but that is just moving population around).

Edit, in response to comment. I talk about "preserving" nature, b/c "living in peace with" nature is impossible. Our prehistoric ancestors have hunted mammoth into extinction, the ancient people have turned woods into fields, and tree-living aliens will displace animals that normally live in trees, not to mention the trees that are not fit for living in.

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  • $\begingroup$ 'preserving' and 'in peace with' aren't the same thing. Also birth rates are decided by people, immigration by government. If it wasn't for overwhelming force in the hands of an absolute minority we'd have population diminishing civil wars all over to reduce over crowding... his people are supposed to be apolitical. $\endgroup$ – Giu Piete Dec 12 '18 at 21:17
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Answer/opinion only to headline: Since they are highly advanced, they only seldom reside on planets in higher activity form. So they do not hinder nature. But moved themselves partly out of death and rebirth 's domain. (And thereby nature.) By fully understanding their own being and mastering the ways of their hosting reality, thy may part them even more from nature. But I think it will need very rare circumstances, to leave peace-zone.

Text: So this society uses nanotek (wiki, !w nano assembler) and some of natures wifi. It is on the brink of overthrowing its nationborders, because they do not care anybody anyways or whyever. One problem with this may be the other nations missing advancement. So they may start war for spoils or slaves. Since all are part of nature, they are at war with parts of nature.

Also: If there is impending doom (not enough trees/space, a new form of suffering/disease or ghosting events of the past for example), which concentrates enough pressure, they may do stupid things to get away fast.

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