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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)

21
votes
13answers
5k views

Vertical City - Why build it?

Picture, in a near future, that we build cities vertically rather than horizontally. Need a new city block? Add another few floors. Disregard for the moment any physical construction problems this may ...
11
votes
8answers
986 views

Mr. Fusion reality has a global warming problem

The movie Back to Future revealed that Mr. Fusion (MF) produced by Fusion Industries (FI) was in widespread use in 2015. What the movie did not reveal was the FI was privately funded by Bill Gates. FI ...
5
votes
3answers
339 views

Vertical city - effects on climate?

Picture, in a near future, that we build cities vertically rather than horizontally. Need a new city block? Add another few floors. Disregard for the moment any physical construction problems this may ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Is another animal used as an artifical surrogate for humans possible?

This question asks about traditional artificial wombs viability (Is an artificial womb feasible?). I was wondering if we could take an alternative route by using a biological womb instead. Is it ...
1
vote
2answers
374 views

Cyberpunk is upon us! But when?

Some of you may know the RPG Cyberpunk 2020, which takes place in the year 2020.The world is your typical cyberpunk, as illustrated in books (Gibson) or films (Blade Runner). A lot of cybernetics, ...
9
votes
5answers
627 views

What would be the most viable hybrid democracy to create if effective instantaneous voting were possible?

I asked a closely related question here: How would our democracy change if we had quick, reliable, accurate means to instantaneously vote on issues online However, I feel I left it too open ended and ...
8
votes
10answers
2k views

How would our democracy change if we had quick, reliable, accurate means to instantaneously vote on issues online

Currently we use a representative democracy, where we vote for a single representative who then decides almost everything. This means that we may have to vote for a representative who agrees with 80% ...
3
votes
2answers
156 views

70 leagues under the lunar maria

The internal structure of the Moon is different from that of the Earth. There are neither volcanos nor many moonquakes. Using early 21st century technology, could we dig a vertical mine shaft all the ...
24
votes
23answers
6k views

Religion After the Discovery of a Multiverse

It has occurred to me that were to get substantial evidence we lived in a infinitely large and old multiverse, the effects on religions would be massive. A incredibly large number of religions are ...
11
votes
9answers
2k views

How would cloned neanderthals fare in modern society?

We live in an age where cloning technology is close to being capable of bringing back extinct animals. Currently, there are research groups who are moving forward with efforts to clone the passenger ...
3
votes
1answer
548 views

How would culture adapt to an artifical womb? [closed]

Imagine a near-future where we have developed artificial womb and utilization of it over traditional pregnancy has become a viable option. use of artificial wombs drastically lower the risk of ...
30
votes
14answers
6k views

If future farming is largely automated by robots, what produce would still require human farmers?

In a story set in the near future where robots perform the majority of farming (due to population growth and agribusiness efficiencies), what might still be farmed by humans? Assume no radical AI ...
2
votes
2answers
352 views

Race relations in the land of human shapeshifters

What happens in regards to race relations when anyone can arbitrarily change their appearance? This is based in a near-future Earth where normal humans the world over have gained the ability to ...
13
votes
11answers
3k views

How do you establish identity when people can change their appearance at will?

Building on the universe established in this question, what happens to identity verification when someone's physical appearance and genetic code are modifiable at any time? Review of universe rules: ...
10
votes
15answers
6k views

How do you find a mate when everyone looks amazing?

We have modern humans found in a near future, first world country on Earth. The primary technological advancements are in the form of extremely cheap and fast genome sequencing ($10USD/genome) and in ...
40
votes
5answers
8k views

20 years into the future - what would happen if the internet failed semi-permanently? [closed]

From 1995 to 2015 we have become heavily reliant on the internet for a lot of our everyday life. Skip ahead another 20 years and under the assumption that our society and technology keep evolving in a ...
0
votes
1answer
543 views

Islam and alien mages? [closed]

As I haven't enough reputation points to answer or comment on the topic How would a future British Muslim respond to rule by alien mages? I am writing here. Setting: London 50-70 years in the future....
2
votes
3answers
307 views

The most personal device in twenty years?

The development from the first transistor to the modern cell phone (July 2015) took about 70 years. In the 90's, people walked around everywhere talking in their cell phones and today people walk ...
4
votes
6answers
580 views

How would companies respond to all employees being eligible for overtime compensation payment, as compared to only some employees being eligible?

My world is set in present day to near future North America. The political and economic landscape is similar to what it is now. Background There are two primary models for paying employees, the ...
5
votes
4answers
317 views

How do I drag most of humanity into an apocalyptic war?

In the future world (based in late 22th century, main place will be Earth) I am creating, I need a giant war so I can make the post-apocalyptic story happen in the first place. The issue is that it is ...
6
votes
0answers
859 views

How would a future British Muslim respond to rule by alien mages? [closed]

I hesitated to ask this question, given the acute sensitivities engendered by current events. But since the fortnightly topic challenge is religion and I would like to include a British Muslim ...
-1
votes
3answers
182 views

In a City, Are Sewers and Garbage Heaps Usually Connected? [closed]

I am making a semi-apocalyptic world in the near future in which there is a main, thriving city, around which there are scavengers who dig through the garbage as well as hang around the open sewer ...
26
votes
6answers
6k views

What would it take to be an Illuminati-like group?

Conspiracy theorists love to talk about a group called the Illuminati that pull the strings of world events. While there have been several real (and many more imaginary) Illuminati groups, what would ...
7
votes
4answers
875 views

Death from old age stopped, with expansion to new worlds to handle population growth

One of the biggest 'immortality sucks' issues has always been the question of what to do with the new people being born. Without death, a world's limited resources can't keep up with a never ending ...
23
votes
6answers
2k views

What's the highest population the Earth could possibly sustain?

Suppose that we pare down human consumption to a minimum survivable level across the Earth, and devote the entire surface of the planet (as well as the planet's interior, if needed) to support as many ...
5
votes
3answers
761 views

Camouflaging a mech

With modern technology, targeting equipment has become very good in its ability to pick out a target and lock onto it, thereby reducing the viability of traditional camouflage. In a world of mechs, ...
1
vote
2answers
288 views

Destructibility of robots made from the strongest materials on the planet

Looking at all the movies that involve robots made from materials available from planet earth (think Pacific Rim, Iron Man etc. but not Transformers), what is the theoretical limit of the capabilities ...
0
votes
1answer
251 views

The viability of frontline infantry mechs [duplicate]

The mechs that have been developed are 40 tons and 5 meters tall at the smallest and can reach to 250 tons and 25 meters tall at the biggest. They are mostly capable of carrying large weapon systems ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Live-fire mech sports

In this world, mechs (think MechWarrior) have been developed and have become formidable fighting machines. They are capable of dominating the battlefield and can carry multiple heavy weapons into war. ...
6
votes
6answers
897 views

Future of clothing [closed]

Considering how drastic our clothing has changed over time, how might a distant (let's say 50 years) society dress? I know that our tastes in clothing have changed, but that is much harder to predict. ...
17
votes
7answers
2k views

What would you make in space? [closed]

In a near-future scenario what sort of manufacturing might occur in space? There are several potential advantages to a factory in space. Space provides hard vacuum, micro-gravity, consistent solar ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Conveyor Super Highway

In a near future, Humans are reluctant as ever to release the grasp on outdated infrastructure. They end up building a highway that consists of a giant conveyor belt, with 'entry gates' that speed up ...
16
votes
8answers
653 views

Urban Planning in 3-Dimensions

So we have both flying cars and jetpacks. Presuming they each act like their counterparts (cars go as fast as cars, but in three dimensions; jetpacks are like cyclists), and that they are becoming ...
3
votes
2answers
900 views

Effect of preventing unintended pregnancy on society

This question is very closely linked to my other question here: culture changes to reliable and mandated birth control used from puberty until ready to conceive Lets say that a reliable birth control ...
5
votes
3answers
426 views

culture changes to reliable and mandated birth control used from puberty until ready to conceive

Lets say were in the somewhat near future and our current forms of birth control have become more reliable, in particular female birth control is less likely to cause side-effects. The government has ...
10
votes
5answers
3k views

When Do We Get Co-ed Showers? [closed]

There are many sci-fi stories that feature this: a shower or locker room occupied by both men and women, in various states of indecency. I'm sure it all began when someone wanted more nudity in their ...
50
votes
16answers
6k views

Could red lights be eliminated if all vehicles were automated? [duplicate]

At a typical intersection that uses red lights to control traffic, vehicles traveling on one roadway have a green light and can travel through the intersection, often at full speed, while vehicles ...
36
votes
10answers
51k views

How many people are required for a healthy re-population of the Earth (Post-Apocalypse)?

In my particular Earth, much has remained after the human-killing virus, and nature is thriving - even taking over the cities. It's beautiful. But I have separated the healthy populace in orbit ...
3
votes
4answers
92 views

What do you suppose the environmental impact assessments should be in near future?

Inevitably, we will be colonizing and impacting other planetary bodies, whether for establishing life or drilling/mining. Today, you can expect on Earth there will be environmental requirements for ...
4
votes
1answer
269 views

Could we improve space travel using beamed energy?

It is some small number of years into the future. We are regularly using beamed energy, as defined in this answer: large arrays of microwave transmitters. We have developed this so that these arrays ...
14
votes
6answers
3k views

Is Ternary a option for a tech future?

I have an idea for a story set in the near future, with a character who breaks onto the global scene with a breakthrough advance in technology that makes him billions. My question is whether or not ...
0
votes
1answer
251 views

Would police robots affect the economy? [closed]

We have all viewed at least one film/movie/video/series that depicted metallic police officers in a dystopian (or utopian, take your pick) future. As the link points out we are already building said ...
11
votes
8answers
2k views

Low-tech inertial dampener options

As mentioned in this discussion: How to keep humans pilots instead of AI in sci-fi future? the ability to handle G forces is a limiting factor on what pilots can do. Some of my solutions to address ...