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Questions tagged [communication]

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

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9 votes
6 answers
2k views

Universal Graphical Representation of a specific moment in time

Similar to how the famous Voyager "Pulsar Map" image was an attempt to define a given location in space in a way an alien culture could decode and find Earth - How could you create an ...
Chromane's user avatar
  • 4,478
0 votes
5 answers
220 views

How do you establish commonly understood terms for "yes" and "no" with beings/aliens who communicate via a single medium/form of energy?

Their medium of communication could be any form of energy; the important point is that they only use one of these to communicate (not, like humans, both sound, sight, touch, etc). If it's not possible,...
Life5ign's user avatar
  • 117
3 votes
3 answers
801 views

How to ensure privacy while using the crystal ball?

I am forming a super secret coven or S.S.C. unit to overthrow the magistrates in Salem before New Year's Eve of 1963. The only means of communication as well as identification is the crystal ball, ...
user6760's user avatar
  • 48k
8 votes
12 answers
3k views

What would justify the use of homing pigeons in a world where sending digital messages is a viable option? [duplicate]

The setting is a post-scarcity civilization, where a galactic government exists, but due to the limitations on faster-than-light travel, each world is relatively self-governed. I want a city on one of ...
koi's user avatar
  • 431
18 votes
13 answers
5k views

How are sapient crows utilized if there are phones for communicating?

A shaman society secret to normal humans, in the late 2000s era where phones and the internet exist: why and how would they still put to work their black feathery friends? They were crucial before all ...
Kringle_Kryptid's user avatar
8 votes
9 answers
4k views

Why might there be no communication between continents for centuries after a civilization collapse?

Centuries ago, the world was locked in a three-way cold war scenario between three large empires with nukes. The tech level was roughly equivalent to 2000's technology in our world. Runaway climate ...
Cassiterite's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
695 views

The Wheeler-Feynman Handshake as a mechanism for determining a fictional universal length constant enabling an ansible-like link

I'm writing a science fiction story set in a future where aliens have made contact with us and established interstellar trade. I'm trying to invent a fairly believable universal standard unit of ...
Vogon Poet's user avatar
  • 8,179
10 votes
7 answers
4k views

How detailed would these medieval era reports be?

I have no idea how to start researching this, so I'm going to here, where there are people who are much smarter than me. So I'm writing a story set in the medieval time period. In my story, there is a ...
lost_not_found's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
970 views

How Would a Spacefaring Civilization Using No Electricity Communicate?

I'm working on a civilization who was born out of a century-long interstellar war with an AI. So they had previously developed electrical and digital technology but now they're avoiding using any of ...
parkinglot's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
3k views

How fast will information travel through my chain of command?

In the story I'm writing, there is a lot of medieval warfare. I want to know how well information and commands would be able to travel through my armies (clarification: by how well, I mean stuff like ...
lost_not_found's user avatar
1 vote
6 answers
275 views

Why might a repressive order allow for flamboyant newscasters?

Thanks in advance and sorry if this isn't within the scope of the forum, I'm new but I've lurked so I totally get it if this doesn't really fit. Anyway, let's get into it. Setting is a far-future ...
BZawhi's user avatar
  • 99
0 votes
1 answer
150 views

Earth, Mirrored-Earth and aliens finding their location [closed]

There is our Earth. In a nearby galaxy there is Mirrored-Earth, much like our planet, with the exception that humans there are flipped left-right wise - so e.g. their hearts are mostly on the right ...
throwawayrandomaccount's user avatar
10 votes
6 answers
4k views

How to spread a taboo white paper at a large scale in a Renaissance-level, medium magic world?

Context In my world, magic has been granted to mortals by their gods. As a result, the Church heavily regulates it, and the only legal spellcasters are clerics and clergymen. Magic use is heavily ...
Random Nii-Chan's user avatar
6 votes
7 answers
2k views

How to stop empires with non-electrical communication from collapsing?

Background: If we look at the past (especially in countries from the early C.E.), a lot of empires collapsed for many different reasons. These reasons are mainly (not exclusively!) going to be an ...
EducatedScribbles's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
418 views

How much information can humans transfer in five seconds? [closed]

Two persons can see and talk to each other a handful of seconds. How much information can they convey? The gods host "hunger games". A huge TV-show where the universe watches a few thousands ...
TheUnorderly's user avatar
20 votes
12 answers
8k views

Is "too few people left" a credible explanation for a global knowledge loss of this magnitude?

My setting is what I would call "post-post-apocalyptic", meaning that our civilization doesn't exist anymore, but the collapse has happened in a past distant enough that people aren't really ...
Kubler's user avatar
  • 465
4 votes
8 answers
223 views

Could you use radio waves to hide communications in a tech advanced, future setting?

You're on a space station, and it uses all the hi-tech communications we're used to today - the best wifi/local networks, as well as something I call hypercom (hand waving), using hyperspace to send ...
MajorTom's user avatar
  • 1,466
9 votes
11 answers
6k views

How are militaries supposed to communicate if they completely shut down wireless communication because the other side can intercept all of them?

This is a story where two militaries are intensely fighting on extremely mountainous terrain, but both of them has developed technologies that is capable of intercepting a great range of signals; from ...
Titanium Steel's user avatar
6 votes
5 answers
859 views

How do we replace printing by automated writing?

It is the year 1800 technology-level. In this world, no one uses any kind of printing technology (moveable type, typewriters, block printing, lithography, etc). People still write, and need to ...
Jayadevan Vijayan's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
350 views

If two spaceships are traveling closely to the speed of light in different directions, how can they communicate?

Supposed we have two spaceships at a speed close to lightspeed relative to each other, what would communication look like, for example with a laser beam, taking special relativity into consideration? ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 117
9 votes
14 answers
3k views

How do we create an interstellar communications system?

In my science fiction project, humans have settled in a new Galaxy, known as the Novan Cloud. In order to communicate information to other alien races humans require, alongside superluminal travel, (a ...
user98816's user avatar
  • 8,625
13 votes
8 answers
3k views

Could a pure sign language society be as advanced as a speaking society?

I remember reading about how a lot of the early paleolithic societies and proto-human species like Neanderthals and Homo Erectus used sign languages before spoken languages. It made me wonder how a ...
Rhymehouse's user avatar
  • 3,657
21 votes
11 answers
7k views

Are there radio systems that allow people to talk simultaneously?

I'm currently writing a story set in a post apocalypse. It would be based in the current year . This story takes place from the perspective on one person who is speaking to a group of people, all in ...
Ryan1919's user avatar
  • 219
24 votes
24 answers
6k views

Most practical method for a secret demographic to get its news?

My story is set in 1998 and is about a secret 1-in-1000 minority demographic of the human race that are all actually magical beings like vampires and werewolves and merfolk. They secretly live amongst ...
Cyrus Drake's user avatar
  • 8,007
4 votes
2 answers
234 views

What Would Be the Most Practical Way for a Pre-industrial Civilization to Communicate With a Sentient Race of Bees?

I am currently writing a story about the very unique relationship between a sentient race of bees and humanity. Humans, through bartering and trade, have grown to have a close relationship with these ...
SmartBulbInc's user avatar
  • 1,503
6 votes
7 answers
2k views

Would residents of a 17th century, snowed-in Alpine valley be able to maintain contact? Pigeons? Couriers?

It's the early modern period. A few Alpine villages, maybe a little town or two, get temporarily cut off from the rest of the world due to heavy snowfall. How can they communicate with the outside? ...
Sinus the Tentacular's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
210 views

What would social media look like in a setting where communication wasn't instant, and where content quality might be deliberately downgraded?

It's the near future, humanity has discovered a new element in the asteroid field that allows faster than light travel and communication through a brute force methods that's largely handwaved away at ...
Aaargh Zombies's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
353 views

Optical telegraph that can be seen as far as 90 km. How?

You see, I have this world that has the same planetary characteristics as Earth, and the people of the Snoopish Empire are building an optical telegraph net. The only problem they have is that their ...
4.12.22.4.18.0.'s user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
425 views

Why would a language have three rhotic phonemes?

In my world, there is a mammalian species from the Homo genus called "ogres" (their scientific name is Homo obesus) (they are still humans, just not Homo sapiens) (Homo obesus means "...
mammifereviolet4694's user avatar
19 votes
5 answers
4k views

They made first contact and sent us engine plans, but how can we possibly build it?

First Contact This is a prequel to a relativistic interstellar trade scheme I am currently building on. An alien culture has sent a signal with design plans for solving an advanced anti-matter engine, ...
Vogon Poet's user avatar
  • 8,179
27 votes
28 answers
7k views

What's a good excuse for getting back to cables instead of wireless?

Similar to how some sci-fi fashions excuses for going back to swords instead of lasers, I'm looking for something that fosters are more cable-bound society – disrupting wireless communication on the ...
mhd's user avatar
  • 379
2 votes
3 answers
423 views

Only 35 random people from disappeared Earth population are alive at any one time, how long before "new" babies are born?

Based on: If everyone in the world disappeared except 35 random people, how long would it take for one of them to realize they're not alone? Everyone suddenly disappears from Earth except 35 ...
Malady's user avatar
  • 4,476
10 votes
12 answers
2k views

Replace pens by typewriters

It is 1950. I am a rich and crazy entrepreneur, who wants to replace pens with typewriters. I can try to influence (or lobby) any government in the world. I want my typewriter to be cheaper than pens, ...
Jayadevan Vijayan's user avatar
8 votes
7 answers
1k views

How can a wizard make a deal with a demon without interacting face-to-face? [closed]

Remember Bob the Wizard from this question? Well, Joe's annoyed him one too many times. However, he can't kill him the normal way, so he's decided he's going to hire a demon to kill him. Bob knows all ...
Firedestroyer's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
89 views

Non-sphericity of "omnidirectional" signals? [closed]

Short version: If an omnidirectional signal is being sent from one side of an object that causes appreciable attenuation does it result in an egg shaped detection envelop or something stranger? Long ...
Ash's user avatar
  • 44.8k
4 votes
3 answers
768 views

Are the railroad and the telegraph inseparable inventions?

In my world, I'm trying to come up with reasons why trains are the fastest method of communication, and that brings into question: Are the railroad and the telegraph inseparable? They both came into ...
WasatchWind's user avatar
  • 3,207
3 votes
4 answers
789 views

What would a website look like in a magic thought-based internet?

What would a website look like in a magic thought-based internet? After getting some really interesting answers on this question, I decided to make a magic "internet", with a lot of similar ...
Firedestroyer's user avatar
15 votes
4 answers
2k views

Would clickbait work inside someone's brain? Click here to find out!

Let's assume that there is a magic that can push information directly into people's brains. However, that magic has some limitations: It can only "push" single sentences of 15 words or less ...
Firedestroyer's user avatar
12 votes
14 answers
2k views

How would an inter-planetary [not inter-stellar] recycling/scavenging team know when ships have crashed?

In my world, there is a certain group of 'scavengers' — people who go around and pick out valuable (and salvageable, of course) objects from ships that have crashed [onto the surface of a moon/planet],...
sprout's user avatar
  • 760
3 votes
4 answers
265 views

Controlling the late-medieval world with just a network of agents and instant communication

The World Controlling Agency I have long had a concept about a world-spanning NGO; an organisation with the power to start and end wars, and whose CEO any monarch would kneel to rather than risk their ...
KeizerHarm's user avatar
  • 14.4k
4 votes
5 answers
185 views

Rapidly building a world-spanning communication infrastructure

In 2028, all the major telecommunications companies unified. "We already have to work tightly together in order to maintain cross-continent communication systems, and we can reduce costs if we ...
sdfgeoff's user avatar
  • 7,655
5 votes
5 answers
914 views

Communications in a vacuum

We have a human, magically protected so they can function in a vacuum. How will they be able to communicate? (The closest equivalent of suit radios--except they aren't wearing a suit.) I would think ...
Loren Pechtel's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
137 views

How to interpolate between the physical, material universe with relativistic reference frames and a spiritual objective reference frame?

I'm new here and I assume that it might be weird to have souls in a science-fiction question but hear me out. While souls in my setting do have some magical unexplainable supernatural properties, it ...
PedrohSpaceWolfy's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
128 views

How would basic telegraphs affect how ancient societies are governed? [closed]

At this point the only power source available are Galvanic cells, & the only other use found for them is light bulbs. Aside from the basic electricity everything is at the same level of technology ...
OT-64 SKOT's user avatar
  • 4,496
18 votes
7 answers
5k views

What EM band would be least noticed if I started globally broadcasting white noise on it?

Suppose I created a private network of peer-to-peer cellphones and started handing phones out to people globally. Now, these phones don't have to use the common cell phone bands of the EM spectrum... ...
SRM's user avatar
  • 25.5k
2 votes
2 answers
129 views

Would floating messages down a river be an effective means of mail?

Suppose there was a country with a mountain or mountain range that is the source of a few major rivers. Would floating messages down the rivers (to settlements or post offices on the river) be an ...
John's user avatar
  • 21
17 votes
15 answers
4k views

How would a robot make noise and speak without built in speakers?

A common trope with technologically advanced races is the lack of a need for speech. Machine races that self optimise usually forgo spoken languages all together, instead opting for completely ...
LiveInAmbeR's user avatar
  • 10.6k
2 votes
8 answers
2k views

How do dragons communicate? [closed]

Dragons are giant intelligent monitor lizards. They are intelligent enough to communicate in a human-like manner. They can hiss, but can't make anymore complex sounds. They are also quadrupedal, and ...
Ichthys King's user avatar
  • 16.1k
3 votes
7 answers
579 views

How to write martial/magic arts manuals so they can be deciphered and practised in a distant future?

TL;DR This question is about an information encoding method/system. The text below describes the types of information that need to be encoded and lists limitations existing in the world I am building. ...
Otkin's user avatar
  • 6,655
3 votes
3 answers
303 views

How would radios impact pre-modern society?

Suppose that radios (or magic with a similar effect) were available during the Medieval or Renaissance era. They're too expensive to give to every soldier or install in every town, but a knight might ...
rabbit287's user avatar

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