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For questions based in contemporary Earth, current technology and social norms.

31
votes
10answers
4k views

Which jobs could western geniuses, who lived between 1643-1900, have in the modern age related to their talents?

I'm trying to write a comedy where as a plot device I have: Some of the greatest western minds of human history, who lived between 1643 and 1900, are transported into the modern age. I still haven't ...
-1
votes
1answer
103 views

Is it possible to run embassy single-handedly? [closed]

I'm writing a story about an elderly US ambassador who wants to retire but its stuck in a fictional hostile country, size about 30 millions . All his staff has been PNG-ed due to helping democratic ...
7
votes
7answers
266 views

How to peacefully convert your dictatorship to a democracy?

Yesterday you were leading a pleasant easy going life as a 20 year old lazy, intelligent but good natured, young adult who's father just happens to be the a notorious totalitarian dictator of a very ...
3
votes
3answers
90 views

How low could global hegemon be in economic power ranking?

Currently USA is both world largest economy and a global superpower. If China growth continues that will change in near future. I'm building an imaginary world where global hegemon is NOT an economic ...
6
votes
1answer
414 views

Economy in a society where 99% of the world adult population is owned by the other 1% [closed]

We are in a world similar to our current world (with the same technology level notably), but there is a huge catch: everything is considered as property, including human beings. Every human child is ...
-4
votes
1answer
111 views

How different human society and behaviour would be if the talion law was imposed by a benevolent goddess since the creation of mankind? [closed]

In another universe and another dimension, humanity is created by an omnipotent and benevolent goddess. The planet in which these humans inhabit is a perfect clone of the earth and the goddess is ...
1
vote
4answers
225 views

Where in Australasia can a 4.3 million strong armed force be discreetly stationed?

I have a paramilitary organisation with a 4,320,000-strong standing army stationed in Australasia supported by a sophisticated air force and a bigarse fleet. This force is commanded by two Major ...
100
votes
28answers
24k views

How fast can I flood the Netherlands entirely and permanently?

I want the Netherlands to be flooded entirely, and I want the event to be of such a scale that it goes faster than hydroengineering can keep up with. This will mean that I need a sea level rise of ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

How long would it take to discover a large Island appearing in the ocean?

(This is part of a game I'm making, with a bit of backstory here.) Details: Size/Shape: Roughly oblong and quite large. Length of 15 miles, and a greatest width of 8 miles. Placement: 500 miles ...
-4
votes
2answers
104 views

How to punish small strategic country?

Say there's a small country of strategic importance, for example it has some resource that great powers need, or it controls strategic position so great powers do not want them to improve their ...
1
vote
10answers
287 views

How could regime prevent future democracy to grant citizenship to hated ethnic group?

Imagine a country under a rule of a regime that is under pressure to democratize. The regime could hold for a decade or so, but the population is growing, while economy is not. And without needed ...
2
votes
7answers
330 views

How long would it take a primitive civilization to fill the shoes of an advanced one?

The basic premise of this question is, "how long would it take a primitive civilization to catch up with another advanced civilization, given enormous resources?" Similar questions are generally like ...
1
vote
1answer
131 views

Destruction of modern suburbia by railgun

Jormungandr, the Snakebot of Doom, was intended by its designers to destroy human infrastructure by rolling over it, however it was also provided with the means to accelerate around 30 metric tons of ...
-1
votes
1answer
61 views

Ballistically sensitive weak points in the modern military and civilian supply and manufacturing chain

This question is part of my series of questions about Jormungandr, the alien Snakebot of Doom. So far, the SoD has eliminated the majority of the world's land-based nuclear missile forces and the US ...
77
votes
18answers
14k views

Great Old Ones Limited, or Why does Cthulhu need a Company?

A world much like our own. A city like the one in which you live. A corporation whose doors you pass every day. Maybe you notice the subtle sans-serif fonted words adorning the entrance, maybe you ...
1
vote
5answers
442 views

medieval technology vs today's technology [closed]

In my writing there are people in a high fantasy setting with medieval technology, although there are times when they are involved with our world. My question is, they are aware of our technology and ...
3
votes
2answers
148 views

How Could An Antarctic Society Import Everything They Need For An Average Lifestyle?

My question is such: in a modern town or city in antartica, what would people produce/sell in order to import the other things they do not have yet? In this hypothetical city, people can get water ...
54
votes
6answers
8k views

What skills would an early-1500s era ship captain need to learn to become a modern-day sailor (and eventually a captain again)?

Let us take a reasonably skilled (i.e. someone who knew their way around the boat as well as how to navigate) ship's captain from around the beginning of the Age of Sail (late 1400s to early 1500s), ...
6
votes
4answers
412 views

How to keep an Island civilization secret from the rest of the world? (Modern Age)

If there was an island civilization, somewhere deep in the Atlantic, how would this society prevent the outside world from discovering it? This society has been around since the Roman Empire, and is ...
3
votes
6answers
289 views

How Would We Reverse the Spin of the Earth?

I've seen multiple posts on destroying the Earth, but is it possible for humans to reverse the spin of Earth? In order words, considering modern technology at our disposal, is it possible for human ...
19
votes
6answers
2k views

How would a city police department handle a super-hero joining as an officer?

Inspired by some of the comments on How to safely capture someone when you have super-strength I am wondering how police departments would handle a super-hero entering the police academy and joining ...
7
votes
8answers
3k views

Why might modern demigods be unable to use guns? [closed]

In Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse, Annabeth’s dad, Dr. Chase comes in at the end of his book and uses a machine gun on his Sopwith Camel, along with some celestial bronze bullets he created in ...
-1
votes
2answers
200 views

Winter Is Coming…To Earth [closed]

Imagine a world that looks suspiciously like Earth. Summer turns to autumn, autumn turns to winter, and winter turns to more winter. The winter endures for several years before summer finally comes ...
27
votes
18answers
8k views

Why would people let a super tree grow?

In my city, a very high skyscraper stands at the center. Somehow, a tree, in a span of [x] years integrates itself into the building. Its branches reach out from the top of the building and its shadow ...
2
votes
10answers
516 views

Where can I easily/cheaply get a hundred square miles of land for a new country?

I'm looking to found a new country on a real-to-life Earth, and I need somewhere to put it. The country is going to be anywhere from 100 to 1000 square miles (250 to 2500 square km) in size. Assume a ...
6
votes
3answers
226 views

Would modern body armor be much more useful for creatures that only cared to protect their heart

Let's imagine a supernatural creature that can walk off all damage unless their heart is hit. (think Mr Sinister. The damage is done, it's just not lethal) These creatures exist in modern times, have ...
1
vote
1answer
153 views

How can a man forced to fix a computer send a warning that he is being held hostage while being closely watched by a non-programmer [closed]

My character is a Master's student in computer science. He stumbled upon a sort of mini-terrorist cell trying to cause trouble and is now being held hostage by them. They are trying to run a virus ...
2
votes
6answers
108 views

Retain a piece of live information [closed]

There is a piece of information that is alive. It is an unique spirit entity When a human possesses it, the thing will try to insert its own things into the person's output (writing, speaking, ...
1
vote
3answers
135 views

Bending light to create holograms

In my modern fantasy story, magic users are shown creating 3-dimensional light structures or holograms by bending the light source from a flashlight to create a holographic images such as animals and ...
-4
votes
4answers
139 views

What security measures can stop robbers from digging a tunnel into a cash vault? [closed]

There is a huge bank vault with billions worth in save deposit boxes (jewelry, bullion, documents, certificates, etc) and cash reserves. It is also a regional base for ATM cash resupply, so there are ...
27
votes
6answers
3k views

Ergonomically correct eagle riders in the modern age

Since Tolkien put people riding on giant eagles in his books (or maybe even before that), the imaginarium of riding the winds on the back of magnificent birds has generated a plethora of images and ...
51
votes
30answers
14k views

Reasons why healthy people would intentionally want to get infected?

What would be a situation in modern times where normal, healthy people would want to get infected by a non-curable, but non-lethal, virus? A virus that would have pretty nasty symptoms. There is ...
1
vote
6answers
239 views

How to defeat an AI wizard? [closed]

This takes place in our modern world, combined with a magical setting. All our modern inventions are here. After reading my question here, a wizard in this world (different world and magic system ...
3
votes
7answers
226 views

How a mage starts his career in a magic system that requires belief from others?

Let me explain about the magic system: You need people to believe you can do X. Difficult feat needs more believers. There's no penalty from those who disbelieve what you can do. Your power ...
20
votes
7answers
3k views

Seal off a modern town

Say I have a modern Era USA town. This town has a population of about 30,000 and an area of about 30 square miles (79.4 square km). It is a predominantly rural area, lots of farmland around the town. ...
4
votes
1answer
179 views

Modern warfare helmets for cat eared humans

TL;DR Justify helmets that work for humans with cat ears for a modern army There has been a few cat species from medieval/fantasy like khajit and mithra and they have taken a few different methods ...
7
votes
13answers
1k views

What kind of a tax system would encourage well-off to have many children?

This question is inspired by the Would high fertility rate among the rich crowd out commoners? . The tax rate presented doesn't seem to encourage the desired behavior. The starting assumptions are: ...
7
votes
2answers
167 views

How to calculate maximum altitude difference between metro stations?

For story purpose I am trying to design a mass transit system for a perfect city. Right ... maybe not so perfect, if you look carefully into the details, but actually the mass transit system is ...
4
votes
2answers
257 views

Magic shop with a modern look? [closed]

Inspired from Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum and a Chinese medicine shop, compare it with a modern pharmacy, and noting how an apothecary is historically a predecessor to modern pharmacology. It ...
4
votes
4answers
312 views

Would high fertility rate among the rich crowd out commoners?

I'm creating a developed country where due to tax reasons affluent have more children then the lower classes. The marginal tax rate is very high 80% and there are no legal loopholes to avoid paying ...
-3
votes
3answers
160 views

Reasons for leaving rich country? [closed]

Could there be any plausible reasons why citizens of a rich developed country would want to emigrate? I need reasons strong enough that country would constantly suffer from large emigration.
2
votes
4answers
263 views

Is it possible to make high voltage cables hard to detect?

The tech level is roughly comparable to contemporary. There is a loosely populated planet, where any realistic power grid system should span over continents, with on average a few thousand kilometers ...
20
votes
9answers
4k views

Economic super power with little political clout?

Is it possible for a country to be economic & technological super power but to have relatively little political clout? If its possible under what circumstances it could happen?
7
votes
13answers
681 views

How to make rich have more children? [closed]

My country has a problem with concentration of wealth, rich people have few children and they tend to intermarry with other wealthy people. The wealth concentrates in less and less hands and soon we ...
3
votes
2answers
129 views

How would intravenous collars/bracelets be best administered? [closed]

Vampires have invented a safe, easy means of removing blood from animals without constantly jabbing them with needles and alarming them. A simple band, with a specially made IV tube in it that opens ...
10
votes
2answers
644 views

How long can New York City sustain the Snakebot of Doom's hunger for Iron and steel?

The time: January 27th, 2017, 7:00 AM local. The place: New York City and environs. Jormungandr, the Snakebot of Doom, has just finished steamrolling New York City into something more closely ...
-2
votes
4answers
118 views

Would there be a plausible strategy to take as POW high percentage of army with high morale?

Side A: Technocracy, highly industrialized, rich, hedonistic, peaceful (sort of ;) ) Side B: Theocracy, poor, ascetic, openly declares that it want to conquer all non-believers Assets: Side A: Small, ...
6
votes
2answers
439 views

Can you remove the scent from a person?

I was wondering if it is possible to make someone scentless for life with modern technology. Requirements The individual's appearance must remain normal enough that they could walk down a street ...
19
votes
3answers
2k views

How to design tentacle massage machine?

I started to wonder about the possibility of a tentacle massage machine. To make the setting even more bizarre, it was intended to be a mass market home appliance. The tech level should be comparable ...
10
votes
2answers
557 views

Air routes around a “hurricane eye” on a tidally locked planet

On a tidally locked Earth-like planet a big part of long distance air routes would have to approach the hurricane eye and some may even benefit from it. On Earth aircraft are able to save time and ...