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Questions tagged [modern-age]

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

28
votes
7answers
6k views

How much smarter would bred humans become?

I'm building a setting in a fictional Latin American country which is under military rule. The junta starts a breeding program in the late 40's with help from unscrupulous escaped Nazi scientists. ...
3
votes
0answers
115 views

That's it! I'm outta here! (Small group leaves the city behind) [closed]

Premise: Jane and nine of her friends have decided to abandon their office life, buy an uninhabited section of land, and make a self sustaining colony. The setting is modern day. Starting ...
-1
votes
2answers
93 views

How could a modern company-state form? [closed]

In today's society, with most if not all of the surface land masses claimed by existing nations, and nations' authority being supported by virtue of recognition of other states, how would a company be ...
0
votes
4answers
171 views

How to manipulate a town to improve it? [closed]

So there's this town of 80.000-90.000 people which grew quickly with the industrialization boom, but nowadays there are no big companies here, nor good opportunities for young people. So the youth is ...
7
votes
10answers
244 views

Making airships\blimps\dirigibles the dominant form of air transport

While similar to other questions they mostly focused on what impacts required in the past to keep airships as a popular air transport method today, this question is about how to make airships the ...
33
votes
10answers
7k views

In modern day combat, what would warrant singing during battle?

Cicad the singer is having a downtime in his career. Over the millennia, Cicad sang anywhere from royal courts to farmers' cottages and have been rewarded with many, many hand-claps. But to keep ...
8
votes
3answers
442 views

Building an Anti-Supervillain task force

I'll admit this question may be a bit vague, but a deliberate lack of knowledge is kind of one of the boundary conditions here. You, dear Worldbuilding Stack Exchange user, have recently been ...
4
votes
4answers
735 views

Can a medieval castle be made today? [closed]

Not sure if it fit well this website, history.SE, or if it's off-topic, but I have a simple question: Can we build a medieval castle, with the same methods as they used at that time, in 21 century? ...
32
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
104 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
292 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
108 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
427 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
116 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
243 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
110 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
308 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
342 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
134 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
76 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 ...
85
votes
18answers
15k 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
482 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
154 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
433 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
291 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 ...
21
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
205 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 ...
29
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
536 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
229 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
154 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
111 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
140 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
148 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
254 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
239 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
212 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
173 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
277 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
362 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
162 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 ...