Questions tagged [civilization]

For questions about groups of societies and their defining characteristics and achievements.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
19
votes
18answers
3k views

Units of measurement, especially length, when body parts vary in size among races

Historically, units of measurement are often based on sizes of body parts. Probably the most obvious example would be a "foot" literally being based on the length of someone's (or everyone's, or ...
3
votes
5answers
375 views

In a 'Zootopia' situation who's in power, the Elephant or the Mouse?

Imagine a situation kind of like Zootopia with many different creatures all living in one environment, some significantly larger than others. These species aren't necessarily furries like in Zootopia,...
9
votes
12answers
776 views

What would cause an entire space-faring civilization to “expire”

Let's say there was a Type II Kardeshev Scale civilization that suddenly went extinct. Why would the entire species just die out? An added condition is that they knew of their impending destruction ...
2
votes
4answers
259 views

Departments of an Uplifted Galactic Government

One of the gods in the universe stumbled across an species with potential and decided to uplift it. Instead of uplifting over the course of a couple thousand years, the god decided to do it in one ...
40
votes
14answers
10k views

How many people are necessary to maintain modern civilisation?

Modern Earth; a series of connected events (natural disasters, mass migration, drug-resistant pandemic, collapse in biodiversity, armed conflict) have led to a significant reduction in human ...
2
votes
2answers
128 views

What is the smallest land mass to develop human civilization? [closed]

(Related to this question about the smallest land mass to support a civilization, possibly dropped in fully-formed by magic or advanced technology. This question is asked in response to comments there ...
8
votes
4answers
398 views

What is the smallest land mass to support human civilization?

Let's say we have an Earth-sized planet and the same general solar activity and climatology. However, the continents are much smaller, and it's effectively impossible to accomplish travel between them ...
8
votes
1answer
280 views

How do calendar systems arise? How would this affect a civilization's time-keeping if originating on the moon of a gas giant? [closed]

So I understand how gas giants and their many, many moons operate, and I can make educated guesses about how Earth-sized satellites could orbit a large gas giant, as well as how gas giants can be in ...
30
votes
15answers
7k views

How old do surviving children need to be to keep human civilization from failing?

This question is inspired by several similar questions on this site. The scenario: at one moment, all people above the age X disappear without a trace. How low this X can be that human civilization ...
3
votes
10answers
395 views

Will a civilization need to make weapons if their use of magic is limitless?

OK here's the scenario. After 1000 years, the elves were able to build a kingdom for themselves. They were given by their creator God the ability to wield unimaginable magic, magic that can shape ...
2
votes
1answer
94 views

Could a large enough semi isolated population keep up with Eurasia in technology? [closed]

Could a semi-isolated country island about 3,000,000 square miles and 1000 miles south of India avoid becoming a colony and develop into a rich and strong modern state today? They have about the ...
1
vote
5answers
173 views

In a future post-scarcity civilization, how would evolution change humans when survival is longer a challenge? [closed]

Let's imagine a post-scarcity society where everyone has unlimited access to food, energy and the aging problem has been solved so people are practically immortal. Now my understanding is that, our ...
8
votes
6answers
3k views

How could an armless race establish civilization?

A race of humanoids with only legs, prehensile feet and a mouth equipped with two rows of teeth made of magnetite, which they can magnetise using their natural electricity generation. How could such a ...
5
votes
3answers
266 views

What jobs would people work in a frontier railroad town? [closed]

What would people do in 1860s railroad towns? In a place similar to frontier America, it seems towns are built around very clear purposes. A majority of people would follow the town specific ...
3
votes
2answers
278 views

What would be left of a modern city 50,000 years from now?

I've seen questions here about what cities would be like after being abandoned for a thousand years, but what would be left after timescales of tens of thousands of years? Ancient settlements like ...
1
vote
2answers
217 views

How would a plan to bootstrap civilization after a full collapse look like? [closed]

Provided civilization collapses, as it probably will sooner or later, how could a plan to bootstrap it after look like? A satellite system that provides information at the right moment (after cities ...
4
votes
3answers
131 views

Which branches of civilization deserve an overseer? [closed]

In my story's political system, which is in medieval setting, the ruler of the country has a council, which is made of six people from the kingdom's six states. I would like them each to oversee a ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

What would the proposed advanced civilization be like in the Young Dryas? (12,000 years ago)

It has been proposed that an advanced civilization existed 11-12,000 years ago and was wiped out by a comet strike which hit glacial ice and caused a massive flood. Remnants of this civilization are ...
32
votes
21answers
7k views

Warrior caste in an utopian society: what would keep them peaceful for centuries?

There is an Earth-like planet with human-like inhabitants. After almost destroying the ecosystem with weapons of mass destruction, toxic waste and such, the civilization changed to survive and an ...
1
vote
6answers
382 views

After evacuation to a new planet, how would a population switch from a barter system to a monetary system with banks?

Okay, context. There's a modern human sub-species (about 9,000) that needs to evacuate earth to avoid genocide from their human counter-parts. They have access to a portal to take them to a new viable ...
5
votes
3answers
155 views

Would a life form with the intelligence of a human but without an appendage for manipulating its environment be able to have advanced technology?

On another planet there is a life form that has the same level of intelligence as humans on Earth, but it has no appendage to manipulate its environment. It has similar social structures to humans ...
10
votes
3answers
871 views

Could Giant Ground Sloths have been a good pack animal for the ancient Mayans?

In my world, the Mayan Empire expanded into the Caribbean and met the relict ground sloths of the Caribbean. In this same world, the Mayan empire saw the use of these creatures as useful domestic ...
25
votes
7answers
6k views

What is the minimum size of a self-sufficient industrial country?

Imagine there is a country in which there are all important natural resources (oil, gas, metal ores, wood, etc.) in their natural form and which lies in a temperate climate region. There may be some ...
2
votes
4answers
343 views

How would a Type I civilization not cook itself?

A type 1 civilization is defined as a civilization that can utilize the maximum amount of energy equal available to its entire planet, roughly 1017 watts for Earth. This is equal to the amount of ...
4
votes
6answers
2k views

How can I establish a nationwide combat training program for a country without causing economic or political instability?

I am the dictator of a nation with a population of 350 million people. In order to keep our nation strong and independent, I have decided to institute a nationwide combat preparation program in which ...
24
votes
7answers
2k views

On a planet without seasons, how would people track years?

On a planet without axial tilt and with a roughly circular orbit, there would be no seasons. The climate on the planet would be, as far as I can tell, exactly the same at any time of year, and the ...
-2
votes
1answer
120 views

How would react a medieval magic world to the arrival of an Interstellar colony? [closed]

Edit (I rephrase the question a bit to try to not made it opinion based) A space colony comes to a planet who is pretty similar to how fantasy's worlds tend to be represented. The space colony is 44%...
4
votes
4answers
317 views

Computers in a society whose mathematics is limited to geomety

Consider a society whose mathematics never developed numbers. Instead, the entirety of their mathematics is highly developed geometry (the kind of work done in the first few books of Euclid's Elements)...
-1
votes
2answers
105 views

What defines a civilization as being advanced? [closed]

Are there any hard rules or requirements that constitute a civilization as being considered advanced? Or is it merely by comparison to other (neighboring?) civilizations? Is a civilization considered ...
1
vote
1answer
163 views

What society/government would be stable if people get superpowers randomly? [closed]

To refine the question: Goal: a society/government capable of lasting centuries. This takes place somewhere within a technological time period (1000BCE to 1000CE). No gunpowder or explosives. I'm ...
27
votes
5answers
6k views

If a civilization could plant only three crops, which ones would cover all nutritional needs?

For example, beans and rice cooperate to make a "complete" protein, providing all of the amino acids the body can't synthesize on its own -- in fact, most traditional dishes that combine legumes and ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Could black hole civilizations even exist?

I know that currently, black hole civilizations are only theoretical. But here are my thoughts on why black hole civilizations are impossible. Black Hole Civilization Issues 1. Gravity This is an ...
-1
votes
5answers
355 views

How could a civilization end up confined within walls?

In Shingeki no Kyojin humanity is confined within walls to protect them from giants on the outside. In this case, I'd like to imagine a civilization (doesn't need to be all of humanity) within a huge ...
-2
votes
2answers
112 views

Forced Evolution to Turn a Class I to a Class III civilization [closed]

So here's my idea: Every 2 years the class I civilization is inspected by an outside Class III civilization. If the Class I civilization has made progress then they will move on. If the Class I ...
1
vote
3answers
216 views

Can a civilization arise around insect cultivation

Unnecessary Setup In my story, a race of gods arrive in our solar system from the far flung colonies of a Type III civilization. When they arrive at Earth and see the rise of hominids, they split ...
25
votes
17answers
7k views

Need a specific event that wrecks the surface, allows the race to survive in bunkers, and affords an aftermath suitable for them to rebuild

One rule: it cannot be caused by aliens or AI invading the planet. But it is okay if an alien race causes the destruction in any other way. It's an Earth-like planet. I need the effects of the ...
0
votes
3answers
173 views

Age ratio of kids to start a new civilisation

My question is this. With basic supplies and relatively little technology, what ages should I include in my post-apocalyptic situation of creating a new sort of country? And, how many of each age ...
3
votes
1answer
108 views

What are some reasons a society might isolate its citizens for a few hundred years? [closed]

I hope I've narrowed down the general idea of my question enough-- Basically, I've started with the idea of a desert society with access to a hidden energy source ruled by a body of immortals. At ...
-3
votes
5answers
255 views

How would a Viking-age civilization deal with kraken-and-dragon-infested seas?

In my book series, there is this planet called Ryu 108. Ryu 108 consists of two continents: Bjørnholm, which is heavily forested and bears a strong resemblance to southern Norway or southern Sweden, ...
3
votes
3answers
233 views

Ancient Greece have access to cheap, durable and easy to process material, how far can they advance?

Let us consider a human civilization on the level of Plato's Ancient Greece or quite close. They have metal tools and weapons, horse and bull powered chariots, ships with sails and paddles, democratic ...
-1
votes
3answers
104 views

Why would a peaceful race construct weapons? [closed]

In my story, there is an immortal peaceful type iv civilization that has spead across the universe, helping other species to advance and to bring peace. They have left behind their need for war or ...
2
votes
2answers
158 views

How realistic is it for civilization to regress to a pre-industrial era? [duplicate]

So here's a quick setup: One or two calamities hit as once. No one is spared and every nation on earth is effected by it. Soon the population dwindles to roughly the same number as the 1800's which is ...
11
votes
13answers
1k views

Preventing Technological Progression

Normally, technology in numerous fields will advance due to breakthroughs driven by a need for something like more efficient weapons or farming. How can I explain a civilization being "technologically ...
2
votes
0answers
102 views

How long would it take to recover from a galaxy-wide war? [closed]

The Great Galactic War has ended. The evil Tatian Empire has been destroyed, and a new power, the Aurean-Ishga Republic, has risen from the ashes. However, there has been tremendous damage done to the ...
4
votes
3answers
187 views

How can I incorporate demigods into society peacefully?

Demigods, called devas, are humans born with a divine spark attached to their soul. They are marked by their golden eyes, amber-like blood, and divine aura that they give off. Devas are human ...
3
votes
5answers
294 views

Why would people living inside a nebula go into space?

Assuming a sci-fi style nebula, like the thick clouds seen in Star Trek, extending several light years and hosting star systems inside, one of which gave rise to intelligent life up to current human ...
4
votes
4answers
153 views

Hypothetically, should cultural/genetic Homogeneity in Aliens be considered the Exception, or the Rule?

Humans all belong to a Single Species, localized on a single small-ish planet... Yet we are incredibly diverse in both Culture and Individual Appearance/Adaptation to our environment. This also seems ...
5
votes
1answer
89 views

Could natural nuclear fission reactors be used to energetically sustain and catalyze the progress of an alien civilization?

According to Natural nuclear explosions natural nuclear fission reactors could occur. Could it happen that a primitive alien civilization has its social, economical and technology evolution ...
5
votes
10answers
3k views

What energy sources would a species use if they didn't have access to fossil fuels?

I'm designing an alien race that hasn't developed electricity yet. Now, one thing about their species is that they haven't discovered fossil fuels on their planet to use, like coal, oil, etc. (The ...
18
votes
9answers
2k views

If 1 million people were plucked from the Earth today and put on a new planet, how long would it take for a civilization to arise?

The day on Earth begins as normal. People go to school, go to work, eat ice cream; nothing is amiss. Then, without warning, the sky seems to break open in a cacophony and flashing lights, and one-...