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I am having some trouble reasoning out some ideas, if any of you could help.

So I have in mind a planet, where there are many human cultures, but one of them is more advanced then others. So they have very advanced technology, like AI, holograms, vehicles, genetic modifications. Others are more like farmers, more primitive in their technology, more or less scared of it. This advanced society doesn't have many people, it's like a bigger city, maybe two, with advanced buildings ... But they only live on some part of the planet, like a continent or a part of the continent, they don't mix with other cultures, people, only by exchanging goods, they also don't explore the other sides of the planet.

So I was wondering ... how could this small society (compared to others) have made this advanced technology? From what? And why didn't they explore the planet? Why didn't they take the lands of other less advanced people? Open to any ideas.

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    $\begingroup$ You can take a look at how America (or even Japan) became more advanced than the rest of the world in a short time, with comparatively few people. Then compare how it interact with Africa or the Middle East (pre-wars), where the technology is lacking. $\endgroup$ – computercarguy Jul 3 at 18:40
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    $\begingroup$ It sounds like you're basically describing Wakanda. The question is: How would a society get from "barely more advanced than everybody else" to "Extremely more advanced than everybody else" without the rest of the world noticing, getting scared, banding together, and TAKING the more advanced technology, or at least forcing the small, more advanced nation to trade their technological advancements to everybody else. $\endgroup$ – Morris The Cat Jul 3 at 18:56
  • $\begingroup$ You can take note of China or Japan too. China wanted to be left alone. Interestingly, it is human greed for world domination and resources which led to problems and the spread of technology. Without those, the world may look much more like your planet. $\endgroup$ – Lupus Jul 3 at 19:10
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    $\begingroup$ How can you have a society more advanced that us that hasn't explored? If nothing else, they'd have satellites watching for threats from space. $\endgroup$ – Thorne Jul 4 at 1:47
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1) The Fallen Empire

Once upon a long time ago, the whole planet spanned numerous grand, technologically advanced nations (or one Super-duper Empire). For unknown reasons, they declined, their grandiose technology forgotten. Only the most backwater university city and its surrounding cities managed to retain most of their technology. Fearing that history will repeat itself, this time with them at the center, they remain behind in their cities, mostly closed off to the world.

2) Deviant Tribe

This particular tribe of humans encountered a genetic mutation (or whatever) early in its history. This made them highly intelligent, but less-resistant to what nature could throw at them. They have low birth rates and an isolationist, peaceful nature. Few traveled outside their own region and those who returned told tales about the harshness of the outside world. They decided that surrounding themselves with high techs and comfort should be the priority and left the exploration of unknown to their machines.

3) They built BIG WALLS

Surrounded by aggressive, barbaric tribes, they build big, big, beautiful walls and focused on advancing their society to counter the threat, which would one day surely overcome their WALLS. They got so immersed in this undertaking, they didn't notice that they vastly overshadowed everyone else and has nothing to fear. However, their ingrained fears of the outside and the feeling of security associated with the big, beautiful walls prevented them from taking over the world. They opted for playing video games, in their endless virtual worlds, instead of dealing with the mundane, boring outside.


These a few archetypes, which you can reform in whatever way you want. There must be others out there too. Morris The Cat mentioned Wakanda, which was the Deviant Tribe version with the unique resource spin. Atlantis, would be the 3, with the geography of surrounded by oceans and so on.

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They're not from Earth

The advanced society is from another planet (can still be humans). They left in a generational ship to look for a new home. When finding the new home, they were surprised to find humans living on it already in a somewhat primitive state.

Being sparsely populated, they've built themselves a colony. The native humans see the tech as magic so avoid them as much as possible and the colonists don't want to contaminate the native's society so avoid interactions.

Problem is the colonists need the food and raw materials so they trade superior made simple tools for the food and materials like knives that don't wear out and stay sharp, shovels that won't break, more efficient horse drawn plows, stronger lighter wagon wheels.

The colonists haven't explored as they are too busy building their own society from the remains of their ship and don't have the time or man power for it.

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The Prime Directive, but on a very small scale. It is unlikely for a civilization with little interest in exploration to become so advanced. Invention requires curiosity which will lead to exploration. But, it is possible for an advanced society to develop strong beliefs about their moral obligations to other civilizations which makes them very careful not to share their technology when they do explore.

Perhaps when this society was younger, they tried sharing their technology with others, but it ended very badly; now, they refuse to share anything under the belief that other peoples can't handle them responsibly, but they also do not expand into the lands owned by other societies because that too would be interference.

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