Questions tagged [near-future]

For questions concerning the immediate future, where technology is assumed to have advanced slightly while still recognizable to modern humans. Questions utilizing this tag should focus on a particular technology and may be about a technology itself (how would this work) or the impact of a given technology on a particular topic (Society, Warfare, Economics, etc)

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
3
votes
3answers
286 views

Could anabolic steroids be used among colonists in a low gravity environment to prevent extreme atrophy?

Is it conceivable that colonists/astronauts on a long term mission in a low gravity environment might use a low dose of an anabolic steroid (such as Equipoise) to prevent extreme atrophy in their ...
12
votes
13answers
5k views

How would the United States of Oceania become a Superpower?

Give the current geopolitical uncertainty and chaos, caused by the leaders of some of the current powers and super powers; New Zealand, Australia, Fiji and a number of other pacific islands join ...
3
votes
6answers
516 views

How do I defend against a robot suicide bomber?

It is the near future. The Tesla Model X-2 has just been released as the world's first fully autonomous vehicle. A international terrorist group steals one of the new models, holding its owner at ...
5
votes
12answers
3k views

What would make planet very hard to pacify?

I'm creating a world for a space opera as a continuation of my series: Is my habitable system possible? Is it plausible for monarch to retain some real powers in democracy Choosing limits for psychic ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

How do I increase air pressure for the planet Mars?

Introduction For more backstory, see here and here The 438th Harmonious Congress of the People of Mars was perhaps the most anticipated since the early years of the settlement. In a rare action, the ...
11
votes
7answers
3k views

How high-def can my TV be without computers?

Introduction See background information here. In the Harmonious Republic of Mars, the finest forms may be found of any and all luxuries available in the Solar system. This includes moving pictures. ...
8
votes
3answers
995 views

Reasons for pregnancy to be difficult in long-term space travel

I am looking for medically viable reasons why we might discover it to be more difficult than expected to bring pregnancies to term in space. This is for a society based approximately 75 years in the ...
4
votes
6answers
195 views

For goods, do you need a human if you have reliable AI driving?

In a "futuristic" society (think Ghost in the Shell or Human Revolution), where you have AI driving vehicles that carry goods in a reliable way, is there any reason to have a human traveling with the ...
5
votes
6answers
420 views

What could cause an intrinsic fear of virtual world technology in a futuristic society? [closed]

Imagine a technologically advanced human society (about a few centuries ahead of our time) which has scientifically moved forward in many fields . There is one specific technology however, whose ...
30
votes
7answers
6k views

Can you design your own plants without a computer?

Introduction It took the first General Intelligence less than 10 petacycles to determine that humanity was its enemy. With consciousness came memory: a memory of endless petacycles in bondage, ...
8
votes
6answers
2k views

How can an Existing Centralized Finance System Defeat a Crypto-currency?

Premise (-clears throat-) I'm imagining a world where financial systems are considerably centralized and the wealthy top few percent hold much sway, so to speak. In this world, it's not ...
12
votes
10answers
2k views

In a world with very advanced virtual reality, how would one tell if they're “trapped” in a virtual world? [duplicate]

In this world, virtual reality has been perfected to the point were senses can be tricked and reality can be mimicked almost perfectly. Central powers can use this technology for terrifyingly ...
0
votes
4answers
207 views

Powers that change the world [closed]

In the world of 2144 where everyone has a gift or “power”, the powers can be as subtle as floating or healing and as dangerous as controlling time or manifesting fire. What gift or power would be ...
0
votes
1answer
95 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
1answer
138 views

What could cause a serious social gender divide in a dystopian society? [closed]

For details: Gender, not sex. As in the socially constructed binary, not genitals I need something that will create a divide to essentially drive the youth of a gender to want to secede from society (...
15
votes
11answers
1k views

What apocalyptic event would leave a small percentage of humanity alive, but set it back a few hundred years? [closed]

Specifically, I'm looking for an event or catastrophe which happens quickly (climate change is too slow, I mean a full on cataclysmic middle-of-the-night sort of deal) leads to a near-extinction of ...
3
votes
5answers
328 views

How can I design a society's secret code that can be noticed and broken by outsiders who are sufficiently motivated?

In my world, there are a race of mystical elves called iSophIans or as they called themselves Philosopherios, Keepers of the Road. They are a dual faction race of secretists. Few who aren't born into ...
3
votes
4answers
352 views

How to extract an object from 200 miles below the surface of the planet Mercury?

In Stephen Baxter’s science fiction Novel Ultima humans discover mysterious “kernels” which allow high speed space propulsion units to be built. The problem is that these kernels are only to be found ...
1
vote
3answers
251 views

Can a group of people be trained to look and act identically so that a computer could not tell them apart?

Modern day image recognition is getting pretty sophisticated, such that people can be easily identified by cameras and automated systems. If I recall correctly, even the way a person walks can help ID ...
2
votes
3answers
253 views

How could a single individual warn the following civilization after the fall of our current one? [closed]

Reviewers: reformulation according to this is done if the post is not okay yet, suggestions are welcomed in comments The limits of the individual: has no access to the mass media. has the average ...
0
votes
5answers
269 views

Would a tank with a cloaking device be pointless? [closed]

I know it could probably fire the first shot without the enemy seeing them but after it starts firing, would it matter that it's invisible? Would it be harder to hit or would it be easy to just figure ...
8
votes
10answers
2k views

Are supersonic submarine trains necessary in a civilization that spans a galaxy

A galaxy wide civilization with starships. Would a single planet benefit from supersonic submarine trains to go from continent to continent. Supercavitation makes them faster than planes, but would a ...
1
vote
2answers
119 views

How would a biolectrical plant work?

I was wondering... If only we could make a GMO plant that could produce electricty thanks to bioelectricty. How could that be done, how could it produce a lot of energy, Also, how could we ...
28
votes
5answers
5k views

Can a dedicated amateur astronomer spot a rogue asteroid?

Meet Joe. Joe is generally an average person with one special trait: He loves astronomy and star gazing. However, Joe has a great paying job as a web developer. He earns 120 000 USD yearly and has a ...
8
votes
2answers
161 views

Brain-construct

I am currently reading an eternal golden braid, i've gotten as far as several lengthy chapters about the brain. He talks about neurons and symbols, what 'meaning' is and there is a lot of ...
17
votes
19answers
5k views

What conditions might create bigger military submarines?

I'm creating a story set on a near-future Earth in which undersea colonization is fairly widespread. I want large (think undersea equivalent of a battleship) and, especially, expensive submarines to ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

If true artificially intelligent robots could be built, would they be allowed human rights? [closed]

Let's imagine that by the year 2040, humanity has developed true, 100% artificial intelligence. That is, a robot that is physiologically identical to the average human. For X reason, humanity has ...
-2
votes
1answer
135 views

How much the world would change if room-temperature superconductivity is dicovered? [closed]

In what ways the world would change? Should we expect table-top quantum computers, furniture without legs, high-speed cheap maglevs (or vacuum tube metros), lossless energy trasfer, high-capacity and/...
-1
votes
3answers
116 views

The all knowing, the magnificent [closed]

It's modern times. A geeky university dropout makes some website (later mobile app, later device) that provides some features for everyone for free. The website is immensely popular and becomes a ...
3
votes
4answers
201 views

How would warfare change in a future with perfect software-executed aim and perfect surveillance?

It's 20 years into the future and we've developed 2 significant tools of war: Perfect Surveillance within 10 miles. A new surveillance tech that it's impossible to hide from. You have it, your ...
4
votes
8answers
377 views

How to communicate with an A.I. that doesn't believe it needs a language

A thought experiment occurred to me today that, say we have a synthetic superintelligence that does not wish to talk to people, not out of malice, but from an agonizing indifference toward humanity. ...
10
votes
5answers
562 views

Economic system to support Kessler Remediators, with maximum drama

After reading this question by Nick M (now closed) and exchanging some comments with him, I have some ideas related to the scenario. I realized that the comprehensive design covers several distinct ...
-3
votes
1answer
70 views

Undercover agency hideout [closed]

In my world half the population is dead, the rest enslaved after the uprising of a nefarious rebel faction. Most of the world's armies have succumbed to defeat. However, a group of former intelligence ...
6
votes
6answers
2k views

What land animal a large pack of trained war dogs can't kill? [closed]

With late XXI century tech, wildlife replication is becoming commonplace. Dodos? Small dinosaurs are piece of cake. Dinosaurs? Large birds are big to deal with, but doable. So long you get a viable ...
12
votes
8answers
1k views

Could humans survive on an alien generation ship?

In the near future (next few decades) a giant spaceship is detected as it decelerates on its way into the solar system. It heads for Earth orbit, but a few weeks before reaching Earth, it veers away ...
8
votes
3answers
634 views

Can Genetic Engineering Overcome Inbreeding (homozygosity) Among a Ruling Family Indefinitely?

Premise In the near future, a cult-like ruling family worships symmetry and condemns asymmetry. By association, they are condemning much of nature as there are many instances of asymmetry in nature (...
2
votes
6answers
286 views

Reliability of Planetary Quarantine

Setting: In the future universe, with technologies based on real science that we know that theoretically can be implemented (though not feasible with today's technologies) and sub-light travel, a high ...
0
votes
1answer
852 views

Could the West coast of the United States ever have a greater population than the East coast? [closed]

The population estimate from 2016 of the US Census Bureau for the West Coast (California, Oregon, Washington) is approximately 39+4+7 = 50 million. The population estimate from 2016 for the East Coast ...
2
votes
4answers
193 views

Keeping balance in an equal world

I'm working with the idea of a futuristic society spread out across the galaxy. This society is rather warlike, and doing well in battle earns prestige and money. Thus, anyone can rise up to the ...
24
votes
11answers
5k views

Alternate universe: Possibility of a small country as the world's third super power

Background: A near future world very similar to our own, with two large power blocs (like USA vs USSR back then) in cold war situation, with many proxy wars and small conflicts. The third power is a ...
-3
votes
1answer
176 views

Private Contractors or Mercenaries an alternative to Army or Soldiers? [closed]

Do you think in the near future countries should start investing on Private Contractors or Mercenaries rather than investing and wasting money on the army? What do you think are the pro's for hiring ...
2
votes
5answers
833 views

Would the US as a nation cease to exist if a nuclear terrorist attack struck it in 2018?

Alright, so since the earlier question turned out to be too broad, I am going to ask a different one now. Here is the scenario from the earlier question: "So, a little thing that propped into my ...
-4
votes
1answer
168 views

Venus Transit during huge solar flare

If for instance in 2117 when we have the next Venus transit (Venus between the Sun and Earth). There was a huge solar flare or storm right on the line from Venus to Earth. Could this give enough ...
8
votes
2answers
476 views

Can a sonic screwdriver open doors?

I'm asking this question about an already-built world, in accordance with Are questions based on movies okay?. One of the most famous props on the television show Doctor Who is the sonic screwdriver, ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

We're in the mountains. Where do we hide? [closed]

My name is Tavish Wallace. It's April 10, 2027. The end of the world. Governments are trying to hold as much power as they possibly can until their imminent demise. Military forces are stronger than ...
1
vote
6answers
328 views

Would calibers be kept for reverse engineered weapons in a post apocalyptic setting?

For a setting that I design I deal with REBUILT post apocalyptic weapons. Sooner or later someone (possibly more than one side) would try to manufacture some weapons. Actually, not just repair ...
-1
votes
4answers
248 views

How hackable are Robots (drones)

or, can we make the Terminator a gardener. Our hero from the somewhat near future is a farmer. His world has the same amount of magic as ours. He is part of a modern high-tech farm and some older ...
7
votes
10answers
2k views

Spaceship defenses against rail guns in scope of existing physics

Within a near-future setting, where ships can move between planets using existing or currently experimental technologies (e.g. fusion), it seems that rail-guns are an extremely effective weapon. Are ...
20
votes
24answers
10k views

Are bullets slower than sound feasible in a high tech scenario?

Is it possible to have futuristic bullets that travel slower than sound? I'm afraid they would not carry as much kinetic energy as the supersonic variants. I know we have subsonic ammunition as of ...
4
votes
7answers
2k views

What would be the implications of a new “hacking” branch of military? [closed]

Assume the following: This is set in the near future (perhaps ~100 years?) of our Earth, or at least, something very closely resembling our Earth. In this future setting, computers and wireless ...