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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)

1
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3answers
171 views

Will we turn into a micropayment society? [closed]

Not that long ago contactless payment was introduced in my country; it's fast, and still safe as larger amounts still require a PIN. However, a few days ago, I was kind of shocked. I wanted to go to ...
3
votes
4answers
155 views

Does the growth of ecommerce diminish our ability to wage total war?

One of my characters has been a hero for his side in a war between nations, when suddenly he has a change of heart and realizes that neither side is right. He is in possession of some valuable assets ...
7
votes
7answers
651 views

How can the army government ensure Mars mission success?

The world as we know it crumbled down yesterday. All stock exchanges were turned off. Capitalism as we know it failed. Answers to how and why this happened are outside of this question. It just ...
31
votes
18answers
4k views

Why would a colony need to relocate?

In this Answer I came up a scenareo under which Eriek’s concept makes sense. I rather like this idea: an expedition or colony on another world has to, for some reason, pull up stakes and move. They ...
3
votes
3answers
302 views

Is there any way we could “see” smells?

I was thinking about making up a visor like Batman has in the Arkham series, where he "analyzes" a sample and then he can set a filter on his visor for particles of that compound. Something like ...
6
votes
5answers
194 views

How could scaled armourish costume hold together

I'm writing a somewhat cyberpunk story and I want to know how things work in that world, even if it is not explained in the story. It was designed as a bit futuristic settings, though some of things ...
27
votes
17answers
8k views

How does a self-cleaning kitchen put away the dishes?

The year: Sometime between 2025 and 2045. The place: A new high-end subdivision (or custom home showroom) near you. The sales pitch: This home is great for entertaining. It has a complete ...
4
votes
2answers
203 views

Would a civilisation be better without nationalities? [closed]

I have often wondered if civilisation would be better off as a single state or country. As an example, instead of being British I would be Earthish, and so would every body else. I don't know how ...
21
votes
5answers
3k views

What are the main problems with beaming light from the Sun to Saturn?

I recently finished reading the Kim Stanley Robinson novel 2312 - set, of course, in the year 2312. Part of the background to the political negotiations and ongoing terraforming in the outer Solar ...
26
votes
33answers
10k views

Why would a scientifically advanced future community believe in multiple gods?

Polytheism was a common form of religion in ancient times. People believed that different gods lived and controlled various parts of nature (ie the sun, the moon, thunderstorms), and praying to these ...
3
votes
1answer
366 views

How to get booze to Mars? [closed]

Hooray! Clickbait worked! Now for the question: Is it even possible to get alcohol to Mars colony under these circumstances? Situation: We have base on Mars. Mars missions are on level of "ISS ...
3
votes
2answers
11k views

Build a real life Flash - How to create the speedforce in real life?

In DC's TV-series (and comics), Barry Allen is The Flash: a superhero powered by the speed-force. This speed-force allows him to move incredibly fast, can be transferred to others, and there also ...
4
votes
2answers
197 views

Data Storage and Access during a Slow Apocalypse

The end when it came, came slowly... cracks slowly appeared in the world's economy as the endless quarterly search for increases in growth started running against the hard limits of the world's actual ...
-5
votes
8answers
759 views

What cultural movement(s) could cause pedophilia to be normalized in the west?

Note: This is a touchy subject even for a fantasy-theory site. It's probably best that I say that this question stems from an conversation I had with a coworker the other day (we're software engineers)...
7
votes
8answers
199 views

Why futuristic cities still keeps live pet when there are convenient realistic holograms and animatronics?

With quantum computer that can easily fits inside our can drinks and machine learning algorithm so advanced that we can easily fool all animals especially ourselves to tell the difference between what'...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

Transform an island to a large scale prison

In a society with near future levels of technology, the crime rate reached a high degree and the government decided to transform an island (which was a city) into a large prison, or an exile/...
6
votes
4answers
505 views

Do self-driving cars make more people move to the city?

Futuristic movies often show giant future mega-cities (Fifth Element, Blade Runner, Minority Report, etc.). Is the future mega-city accurate? Assertion 1: Self-driving cards will become increasingly ...
72
votes
30answers
13k views

Ugh, I'm stuck in an orbital spaceport. But why?

This is, for the record, the same universe as in Is space piracy orbitally practical? and How can I prevent Kessler Syndrome among space stations?. In my world, circa 2100, space stations orbiting ...
4
votes
2answers
471 views

Humans as a power source [duplicate]

In the second episode of the first series of Black Mirror, "Fifteen Million Merits", humans' primary way of earning money is by powering pedal-driven electrical generators. Would human-powered ...
9
votes
3answers
254 views

How closely should be placed industrial centre / NIMBY from urban centre?

I'm trying to design a realistically looking capitol (with a few milion people) for one human nation on an exoplanet. The technology level is barely better than contemporary. The city is placed ...
5
votes
6answers
376 views

How long would it take for society to forget a language if a new one is enforced upon it?

This is the future, there are two groups of humans and they split (say, one moves to another planet). They stop communicating with each other and the group that split decides it's time to have their ...
3
votes
9answers
213 views

Effects of future technology on education

Assuming a technology is developed that allows people to either eliminate the need to sleep or study/work subconsciously during their regular sleep cycle, what kind of effect would this have on the ...
3
votes
4answers
701 views

What would immortality do to a society [closed]

So I really don't know, how bad or good it would be for a species to reach immortality, so some questions. The world is set in a near future and I talk about humans no special kind of alien. I talk ...
5
votes
4answers
225 views

Scientists prove that the entire world is a setup for one guy's life. What are the effects? [closed]

Bob is a normal young boy of planet earth. One day, when he is 11 years old (in 2016), scientists prove that the entire world is just a setup for Bob's life. They prove that when Bob dies, the world ...
2
votes
4answers
267 views

So we've removed human discomfort. What happens?

Introducing MDR Splicing™ (Minor Discomfort Removal) Evolution has prepared us for the worst. We are equipped to tell if we're in danger and deal with it - nature has perfectly tailored us to ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

What would the world map look like if sea levels rose 49 meters

If the sea levels of Earth were to suddenly rise by 49 meters, or 160.7 feet, what would the world map look like?
78
votes
11answers
15k views

Is it worth sending a manned mission to a black hole?

Suppose we detect a stellar black hole passing near the Solar system, and we have technology and time to send a manned mission to study it. Are there any experiments or observations that would help ...
1
vote
5answers
503 views

Is my Third World War world looks consistent?

My novel take place in a world where the civil war in Ukraine escalates to a Third World War after a terrorist attack (dirty nuclear warhead) in Kiev. This war is ruled by Private Military Companies ...
6
votes
4answers
228 views

How could a mammalian body provide substantial electrical power through non-harmful, “passive” means?

I've seen some articles about biologically powering devices through a glucose fuel cell, but from what I can tell this would only provide power on the order of a few tenths of a watt. While it's ...
5
votes
3answers
207 views

Build a vactrain time-machine

Context According to relativity law, it is possible to travel into the future approaching the speed of light. For the 2nd Newton's Law of motion, in absence of friction (or opposite force), we can ...
4
votes
1answer
81 views

How would one end up with independent Bear Island

I have a believable plot solution for this already but I was interested on hearing what would you think would be the most probable chain of events that led to Bear Island (currently part of Norway) ...
-1
votes
2answers
172 views

Creating New Life [closed]

Would it be feasible to genetically modify stem cells, from Earth, to create an entirely new sentient species?
5
votes
5answers
322 views

Proper clothes for inhabitants of a planet of hats

Defining trope: government enforcing clothes to being ultra-practical and possibly not wasteful Setting: rebuilt post apocalypse Climate: temperate, with capitol that thanks to good metro and ...
2
votes
6answers
598 views

Near future Space ship weaponry : Projectile vs Lasers vs Hydrogen Bomb

Let's say you want to build a weaponized Spaceship with near future technology. It's goal would be to be able to destroy satellites, other weaponized spaceships and projectiles/missiles shot at it ...
1
vote
2answers
95 views

Wireless charging [closed]

Given an almost unlimited budget, would it be safe and possible to have wireless charging everywhere within a town? For example I could be walking down the street, phone in my pocket, constantly ...
7
votes
1answer
317 views

Could a new auto-immune disease develop because humans live in too sterile of an environment?

In the future, AI systems sanitize humans as they walk through doorways. Home surfaces self-sanitize. Food is mostly 3D printed from cleaned particles, including Vitamin K and possibly some probiotics ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

What should a container ship look like, that easily cruises through hurricane?

Technology: Comparable to early XXIst century, except self-driving vehicles are already available. On a tidally locked planet most of the models that I can found (ex. http://www.meteo.mcgill.ca/~...
22
votes
9answers
4k views

Is extending human gestation realistic or I should stick with 9 months?

I'm developing a world in the near future where a start-up company develops an artificial womb. Now well-off people could grow their children from their eggs & sperm. My story is about couples ...
7
votes
4answers
174 views

How to prevent alien's synthetic biology knowledge from destroying my setting?

My story happens in the near future on the research station located on Callisto, Jupiter's second largest moon. The mission has just started when the crew discovers an abandoned alien station. ...
3
votes
5answers
502 views

Plausible way of delaying sexual differentiation

In a near future scientists have managed to totally delay the sexual differentiation in man. The children are born without any primary gender, just as a fetus in the womb before the differentiation ...
7
votes
5answers
384 views

How useful would be genetic engineers of near future to human colony?

Two ships planned to establish first human colony of 250 persons to Mars are transported by unknown phenomenon into distant planet that is barely habitable link. Left without a choice to return to ...
4
votes
2answers
180 views

Could a long skyscraper be used to limit amount of pollution coming from industrial district?

On the picture there is a building that slightly inspired me and convinced me that building like this indeed could be built in RL. However I have the following question. Could a building like this (...
3
votes
1answer
174 views

Could two old theoretical physicists help the stalkers?

I have an earth like planet where stalkers live. They are: Humanoid about same height, strength & speed as humans Three pairs of eyes placed horizontally (Near UV, Visible, Near IR) Lightspeed ...
5
votes
7answers
768 views

Dealing with space debris and Kessler Syndrome

Space is vast and lawless. Private travel is commonplace, and pirates have become a significant problem. People mainly fly orbit-to-orbit craft that have chemical rockets and no one is running around ...
4
votes
6answers
222 views

How to allow to imprison enemies of state, while still have opposition at large?

RL problem: Guantanamo. And that later Americans learnt that trying to imprison such people is so complicated from legal perspective that it is much less fuzz to just use drone. Later, the procedure ...
-2
votes
1answer
106 views

What may phones look like in a world of scarcity, wearability and phone pollution aware politicians? [closed]

I'm not sure whether telephones will be very different in 2020. Some already tried to create alternatives design such as the round phone the Runcible but will it actually lead to so different phones ...
3
votes
4answers
192 views

War on candies (or on other threats to modern, affluent people)

I need some societal ills/threats that nowadays are being treated as mostly neglected, but in a near future one could imagine a proper moral panic and attempts to eradicate it (regulate, properly ...
1
vote
2answers
133 views

Would the humans ban the immigration of the colonial hobbit? [closed]

In a world with technological level of the near future, where humans use robots for specialized tasks but still need human labor, large conglomerate has genetically designed a hobbit like creature to ...
-1
votes
1answer
68 views

How to realistically show results of high gov spending invested in infrastructure and human capital? [closed]

Setting: partially rebuilt post apo world Technology: comparable to early XXIst century Afluence: first world equivalent Mixed economy, semi-authoritarian system, low level of corruption Resources ...
7
votes
4answers
444 views

Can money buy you position of President of United States of America? [closed]

It always bugs me, if third party candidates have no chance because they have significantly less money for their campaigns or just because they are simply weird: The date is 1st May of 2016. ...