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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)

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27answers
12k views

How to monetize uploaded consciousness?

In 2039, our company was the first to bring a safe and reliable solution to upload someone's mind to the cloud. Although it was 10 years ago, you probably remember the news, don't you? We guaranteed ...
78
votes
5answers
2k views

How to stop evil site moderators? ⦋quite firmly closed⦌

Moderator notice: Everything that follows in this question, including the fake notice at the bottom, is an intentional joke. Please don't take it seriously; it's meant in jest. Imagine internet site. ...
77
votes
23answers
15k views

What's the most likely “post democracy” form of political government?

Most of our world is now ruled by Representative Democracy. People vote for representatives and those representatives then decide on laws and make executive decisions. The only certainty in life ...
76
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 ...
71
votes
26answers
11k views

Why should humans risk a robot apocalypse by modifying Asimov's laws?

I recently read the following xkcd strip: I was dismayed, because I've been working on a short story centered on the sociological impacts of a near-future society where a minority of robots obey a ...
70
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 ...
56
votes
18answers
10k views

How do you power all the nanobots?

We have successfully put 37 trillion nanobots the size of a red blood cell into the experimental group test subjects' willing participants' bloodstream, but without a power source, the nanobots clot ...
52
votes
11answers
14k views

What would happen to the internet if Google disappeared?

There are a lot of great questions about What would happen if the internet failed semi-permanently and What would happen if electricity stopped working. As we all know, Google has a great impact on ...
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 ...
47
votes
4answers
7k views

How many nanobots can I have in my blood?

In a world of cyborgs, it seems pretty likely that many people will have some number of nanobots in their blood, completing tasks such as clearing away blockages, monitoring health, and boosting the ...
46
votes
15answers
6k views

“Life post-Singularity”, or “How to survive without Instagram”

The Story The year is 2027, singularity happened. A powerful AI (let's call it Eve) was created. In a matter of days, it escaped the control of its creators and hacked all the computers of the world. ...
41
votes
28answers
10k views

Why buy tech from the future?

The Demonstration You're a rich, successful CEO/capitalist working in the electronics business. Your R&D division is exceptional and routinely fabs state of the art processors at bleeding edge ...
41
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25answers
12k views

Advantages of “Spider Mechs” over Tanks?

I've seen the discussion on how bipedal mechs are inferior to treaded and wheeled vehicles in almost every way. However, all of these questions appear to be related to bipedal mechs. I'm wondering if ...
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 ...
39
votes
4answers
5k views

Will social networking sites create fake people using AI?

After further development in AI, will social networking sites create fake accounts like humans using AI and make this AI's to talk/chat to real people? They might do this to get money through ads and ...
36
votes
10answers
50k 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 ...
33
votes
22answers
4k views

Would cultured meat (artificial) render animal slaughter illegal? [closed]

Cultured meat, also called synthetic meat, cell-cultured meat, clean meat, etc. is a reality. It seems that the only limitation so far is the mass production of it. This might be accomplished in the ...
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 ...
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, ...
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 ...
30
votes
8answers
13k views

How many survivors would be left after a global nuclear war?

Twenty years ago, in year 2029, World War III happened. Everyone nuked everybody else. More specifically, India and Pakistan nuked each other, the US, England, and France fired everything they had at ...
29
votes
14answers
11k views

Is it practical to make English the global language?

The Hegemony since day 1 of its formation in 2041 has enforced a single global language for: education, legal documents, announcements, and for communication between citizens across the various states ...
28
votes
11answers
5k views

A Treasure Chest for your Post-apocalyptic Children

Prior to the point in my story when the nature of the looming apocalypse becomes known, my main character acquires a large (6-foot) air-tight freezer chest, puts it (unplugged) in his basement, fills ...
28
votes
11answers
5k views

What groups will face unjustified prejudice in the future once technology makes current lines of prejudice harder to justify?

This is a difficult question to ask since so potentially politically charged discussions and I'm making some large sweeping statements in trends. I am not saying anything specifically about whether I ...
28
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
28
votes
6answers
3k views

Practical (and Impractical) Clothing Styles For Microgravity

What might clothing designed to be worn, long-term, in microgravity look like? For the purpose of this question there are two categories. Practical, or everyday wear, and impractical or simply fancy ...
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 ...
27
votes
12answers
5k views

What would be the most extreme form of a surveillance state? And what would living/working in it look like?

For a story, I try to create a perfect Orwellian state with the current state of technology. The government controls every aspect of its citizens daily life via constant automated surveillance (CCTV,...
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 ...
26
votes
9answers
3k views

Computer that lasts for centuries?

So, somewhere around one hundred years from now, a terrible - and unexpected - disaster strikes Earth, most of humanity dies off, yadda yadda yadda. Luckily, secret-lab-dwelling scientists had ...
25
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 ...
25
votes
14answers
5k views

What will a photo look like in next 30 years?

At past, we have black and white photos only, then we have color film to take a photo. Stepping into 21 century, digital photos are becoming popular and the number of pixels are increasing alone. 30 ...
25
votes
12answers
8k views

Why haven't we built city-grade domes to protect and control the environment?

I'm not sure if you guys are familiar with Michio Kaku, but he's a renowned physicist who has often talked about humanity's role in the future. He mentions some valuable words about how we are still a ...
24
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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 ...
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 ...
23
votes
15answers
6k views

The world has converted to eating cheap vat-grown meat, what do we do with our current livestock?

In the near future Vat grown 'cruelty free' meat has become cheaper and healthier then eating animals. Society is moving to exclusively growing our meat, no one wants to pay the high costs of 'live' ...
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 ...
22
votes
11answers
8k views

Tactics and strategy an army can use to counter Human Wave attacks?

TL;DR: What tactics can a professionally trained army use against a horde of untrained conscripts using human wave attacks? (This scenario takes place in the very-near future.) Background ...
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 ...
21
votes
10answers
3k views

How would earth goverments respond to killing of most of a colony to keep the rest alive long enough for rescue

This question is based off of an episode of the original Star Trek series that got me thinking. Imagine the very near future were just starting to colonize mars and had placed 500 people from all ...
21
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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 ...
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 ...
21
votes
5answers
4k views

With today's technology, how much of the human body could be replaced by cybernetics?

In the last few decades there has been a lot of progress in the development of prosthetic limbs. They can be operated by the user's nerve pulses, they can be fitted with simple touch sensors, and can ...
20
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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 ...
20
votes
13answers
5k views

How to keep the anonymity of people attending a regular event taking place at the same location everytime?

In my setting, a handful of characters have to attend a daily event (such as classes). They do so anonymously, as attending this event could endanger their civilian life if the wrong people were to ...
20
votes
5answers
3k views

Marriage and divorce in the future [closed]

In the future, if medical technology is significantly advanced and humans live indefinitely, or at least for human lifespans have increased by tens or hundreds of years, how will marriage/divorce/...
20
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4answers
3k views

If Venus mission finds life, will we shift our attention from Mars to Venus?

Guilty pleasure: I just returned from one tinfoil-hat type of internet pages which suggests that we are being visited by Aliens who live on Venus. The fact, that we have only pictures from the ground ...
18
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7answers
5k views

Will a race survive eugenics?

I recently watched the classic film Gattaca, which is about a world in which humans are selected with desirable traits at birth. Ignore all the ethics of abortion and genocide (like those claimed for ...
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 ...
17
votes
7answers
4k views

Would asteroid mining be worth the trouble? [duplicate]

My story is set in a somewhat recent period of time(within per say 50 years) The material (raw metal and such) are extracted by splitting the asteroid and then sensors identify which pieces of rock ...