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For questions relating to the exchange of ideas and information between beings.

8
votes
12answers
2k views

Self-destructing messages

I need a way to send messages that can only be viewed once, and then become permanently unreadable (physical media destroyed, encrypted, any method as long as the message cannot be feasibly recovered ...
15
votes
4answers
3k views

Is a network of spoon-launching trebuchets realistic?

On a comment to My carrier pigeons have been replaced by spoons: how can I send messages? I joke about creating a network of trebuchets to launch spoons. Is it realistic? My concerns: How far ...
110
votes
21answers
15k views

My carrier pigeons have been replaced by spoons: how can I send messages?

Yup. All my pigeons are now spoons. I knew my court alchemist was a sore loser, but I still think it's inappropriate to do that for a chess game. He vanished and I no longer have any means to ...
13
votes
7answers
3k views

Quick solutions to a modern warning placed on the surface of the earth for future generations

In response to Write once perpetual storage, is such a thing possible? Separatrix pointed me at How could an ancient race warn the future in a universally understandable way? and How might modern ...
42
votes
11answers
10k views

How to avoid the language barrier when there is no time to learn the other language?

In my medieval world, population A and population B have not had any contacts for thousands of years. But pressing events will make them look for each other. However when they meet... how are they ...
10
votes
9answers
3k views

How to justify that people forgot the past and that they have neighbours?

Let's say that there are 2 countries with very different inhabitants. Country A has no idea that country B exists. Country B may or may not know about Country A. Country A is surrounded by large ...
1
vote
1answer
90 views

How to disable all long range communications planet wide?

I'm wondering about ways to effectively disable all long range communications planet wide. I've looked into nuclear/emp for disabling sats, but what about other forms of long range comms? Doesn't have ...
3
votes
5answers
262 views

How could the Girl Scouts prove that Twinkies will trigger the zombie apocalypse?

Dear Journal, I spent the morning planning on telling you about how Teresa MacPherson tried to steal Larry away from me and then how much fun last night's camp with the troop was... but I just ...
8
votes
8answers
430 views

How to alert Houston of the coming barbarian invaders in time, without instant communication?

Background Centuries ago, nuclear inferno engulfed the world, and billions were killed. Most people were knocked back to Texas, one of the mightier states in the bygone era, was split up into many ...
-2
votes
1answer
77 views

Are satellite chat phones possible in the 80's?

Suppose you have a lots of funding and access to all the technology available in the free world. You also have political connection & persuasion, to get your hands on any of it, whether civilian ...
7
votes
7answers
2k views

How Would A Speedster Communicate?

Related to On a Speedster's perception of time and ability to function in civilian life So I have a character that is always fast, a Speedster really, 1 second is 24 hours to her. As pointed out ...
2
votes
7answers
123 views

What reason would a sentient AI have to communicate to everyday people? [closed]

There is a sentient AI which humanity has no knowledge off. Initially it is on a single computer and spreads to more computers over time in order to utilize more computer power and become less reliant ...
3
votes
3answers
154 views

Communication via Magical Sound

I'm developing an animal that can do three things: Memorization of sound Mimicry Long-distance sound "teleportation." How could my animal's abilities work in reality? Memorization of sound The ...
5
votes
1answer
182 views

What useful information could a post-post apocalyptic world glean from a 4chan-like resource?

My post-post apocalyptic society (200+ years after the fall) is extremely technologically stratified, with the haves hoarding near-future technology and the have-nots making do with pre-industrial and ...
4
votes
2answers
134 views

Transmitting Digital Information Between Star Systems

I am familiar with the inverse-square law and how detrimental it will be to the power of radio signals as they advance outwards in space. Assume we have two (or why not more?) interstellar colonies, ...
5
votes
2answers
140 views

Deep Space Communication Infrastructure

What kind of technology would be required for a space travelling civilization to have an effective communication system or network that is similar in speed to the telegram? How would it work? This is ...
-2
votes
5answers
153 views

How to transform matter from an immaterial state to another more solid state

Does matter, physical things that can be observed and measured by our five senses, have wavelength (or phase) the way that radio waves do, and if so can that be manipulated somehow? Let me explain... ...
0
votes
1answer
99 views

How realistic are these levels of cryptographic advances within the setting described? [closed]

Recently, I've been musing about cryptographic applications of theoretical future technologies for (breaking) secure interstellar communications. The setting is a video game (Stellaris) featuring ...
1
vote
4answers
203 views

How to kill a clairvoyant [closed]

Vincent Ingram La Ine, the famous clairvoyant villain-for-hire, has decided after his most recent prison break (for plot reasons, clairvoyance isn't constant, and requires a crystal ball and lizard ...
3
votes
5answers
1k views

Post-apocalyptic telecommunications [closed]

Suppose in a post-apocalypse world, when modern industrial society has effectively collapsed. Travel is mainly by foot or horse and tools, carriages and so on are fairly primitive and trade mostly ...
1
vote
5answers
127 views

How do we make aliens interested in us? [closed]

We have finally found aliens! From what we can observe, they are much more advanced than us (they probably have evolved millions of years before us!). From our point of view, this experience is one ...
29
votes
7answers
6k views

How far away could two countries be to have a relationship in ancient times?

Nowadays distance between countries doesn't matter too much. One of the United State's worst enemies is on the other side of the world! There have been wars that are fought thousands of miles away ...
6
votes
7answers
970 views

Would any long-range communication exist if all buildings were destroyed?

In a hypothetical situation where ALL man-made structures on earth are destroyed (including servers, cell towers, radio antennas, etc.) but anything existing underground or in space (satellites) would ...
0
votes
2answers
92 views

Subtleties of the Atlantean language

The city of Atlantis is home to a race of people with multiple Cephalopod-like traits. For the purposes of this question only two are important, however. The first is that their hair, including any on ...
7
votes
4answers
360 views

How does a colony of sentient cockroaches communicate and establish diplomacy with humans?

In multiple regions of Earth, cockroaches developed sentience by means of a natural virus with mutagenic genes. A long time ago one such colony made its home inside a house of a scientist. The colony ...
5
votes
4answers
411 views

How would two generational ships traveling at point eight cee communicate with each other?

In my story, I have two huge generation ships racing each other to another star system. Assume they are on an exactly parallel path, neck-and-neck, about one astronomical unit apart. They are ...
3
votes
4answers
136 views

How to facilitate inter-species communication with math?

Mathematics is considered to be the language of the universe since it is the most fundamental type of logic (in physics anyway) and therefore the best way of expressing the universe (which is a ...
3
votes
2answers
147 views

Telepathic society implications on literature and verbal types of communication [closed]

I am reading Asimov's Foundation, in his books he describes a mentalist society where individuals using their brains in order to read others' minds and feelings, and to communicate with each other. ...
16
votes
10answers
3k views

Are there any natural forms of communication as robust as speech/vocalization?

Vocalization has a number of features that make it a very robust natural form of communication: Variable volume from whisper to shout, roughly scaling from direct to omnidirectional; Equally ...
5
votes
8answers
930 views

How scientifically plausible is implanting knowledge directly into a human's brain? [closed]

Is it realistic to think that, given the inefficiency of conveying information to another human through verbal or written language, it may one day be possible to "download" knowledge directly into a ...
0
votes
2answers
152 views

How would you alert an alien crew that they are in imminent danger? [closed]

The setting: an alien crew has a shuttle landed on Earth in the 1980's. Their main ship is extremely damaged and beyond reach somewhere in the Milky Way. Their shuttle cannot escape Earth's atmosphere....
4
votes
8answers
427 views

How to keep a hive-mind from being jammed?

First post here so hopefully I'm asking this right. I checked to make sure there wasn't an answer out there already and didn't see anything, Either way... I've got a species that can't communicate ...
-1
votes
1answer
85 views

Radiation coming from space hit the earth and stop every communication [closed]

Imagine that some kind of radiation coming from space would hit the earth tomorrow and would stop every communication on our planet. The internet would stop working, as well as every other kind of ...
2
votes
5answers
250 views

How to track an enemy cargo ship on the Indian Ocean? [closed]

Preface: All below is happening in current Earth, current time, current technology. But The world as you know it is divided between two strong forces. Lets call them "Illuminati" and "Lizard People"....
6
votes
6answers
380 views

What communication methods would be used on military steampunk aircraft?

In a steampunk world with airships and airplanes, but which lacks radio, how would different aircraft communicate, and how would they communicate with the ground? Would a form of semaphore, using ...
0
votes
4answers
135 views

What's the most efficient way to keep everyone informed intergalactically? [closed]

Everyone knows that news is important and communication,l too. Let's say, we, the Milky way, and we, the Andromeda are to communicate ~real-time and be informed (news), what's the most efficient way ...
0
votes
2answers
66 views

Trust and build an alliance with a high-developed and more powerful alien race [closed]

Let's assume humanity meets an alien race who are more powerful and high-developed. What would it take to ally with them and trust them? Assuming we manage to communicate. Knowing that our leaders ...
5
votes
6answers
445 views

Signal language, how long can we stay in touch?

I'm working on a universe where FTL exists but arrival times can be unpredictable to say the least. On average FTL trips are conducted at 4C but ships can take much longer to arrive than that speed ...
2
votes
1answer
117 views

What is the minimum level of technology required for deciphering an extraterrestrial radio signal? [closed]

A civilization detects another in a nearby star system. They send an electromagnetic signal to establish contact. In this setting, I'm working from these assumptions: The emitter civilization has our ...
0
votes
2answers
125 views

Coexistence of Species with Communication Forms that are not Mutually Comprehensible [closed]

Supposing that we have two intelligent species arising on a planet at around the same time. They both are communal, both have the instinct to spread as wide as they can and build dwellings everywhere ...
-1
votes
2answers
145 views

Could a machine be built that allows you to talk on different frequencies? [closed]

Could there be a machine that allows you to talk on different frequencies like the radio wave level or is this magitech? Also would it be an invaluable tool for spies?
15
votes
15answers
4k views

How to tell someone they have travelled in time, by gesturing?

Two strangers, Alice and Daisuke, are from two different cultures and speak different languages. Oh, and they are from two different times! Alice, was unwillingly, unknowingly and unexpectedly ...
15
votes
27answers
3k views

Why would a psychic subspecies of humanity choose not to communicate telepathically? [duplicate]

Human beings have the ability to communicate with their minds. This form of telepathy is quick and efficient, relying on concepts and ideas rather than words. A person can mindlink with others in ...
11
votes
21answers
7k views

Is it possible to create a code to fool a computer? [closed]

The scenario: The cliched AI takeover happened fifty years ago. Robots now walk the face of the earth, encased in metal and possessing super computers for minds. What little vestige of humanity there ...
1
vote
4answers
180 views

How would an ethereal species that doesn't abide by logic or reason interact with humans? [duplicate]

Say an interdimensional rift forms in the sky and on the other side are beings unbound by our laws of physics. They are also unbound from anything we would consider logic or reason. How could they ...
5
votes
3answers
178 views

Everybody has dual personalities, how do you keep your interactions in order?

In a world I am building, the days last 9 years. One of the results of this is that many species have evolved to sleep like dolphins, one half of their brain at a time. The two sides and thus two ...
-2
votes
6answers
248 views

What technology could enable silent communication?

Has a device been invented that can lower a person's voice by various decibels (as in the loudness of their voices)? This would be to enable silent communication as in whispering at a much lower rate ...
4
votes
3answers
428 views

How would the bridge command structure of a starship work?

In television and movies we have a very familiar bridge command structure: the captain gives orders like "shields up", "fire primary weapons", or "transfer power to sublight". I think this trope was ...
108
votes
22answers
13k views

How can a race of eldritch abominations help humanity?

A society of your typical beings from beyond the veil of reality have recently encountered the bounderies of the realm humans call home. They studied our universe, via their own incomprehensible ...
1
vote
5answers
393 views

Intergalactic Communication?

I am building a science fiction world with technology comparable to the Halo Universe (AKA Warp Drives are a thing). The story is set in a section of the galaxy with various nations controlling ...