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Questions tagged [society]

For questions dealing with how sentient beings interact with each other in a community.

8
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3answers
774 views

What would be the effect of instant communication which is limited to certain individuals, in an otherwise medieval-Europe-level world?

What if my world had instant communication via some magical means, such as a scrying device that allows two wizards on the opposite side of the world to hold a conversation? The technology level is ...
10
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7answers
2k views

What needs to be considered when creating a world in which magic has evolved along with technology? [closed]

I'm trying to design a world in which (for the storyline) magic has evolved along with technology (ideally at a somewhat equal rate if this sounds coherent but I'm flexible) until the world has ...
9
votes
5answers
400 views

Transitioning Away from Dynastic Rule

I have a country which, prior to the events of the story, had been ruled by a monarchic dynasty for a good 200-300 years. This dynasty was ended by violent upheaval. The reign of the monarch who ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Could there be a group of people with highly advanced technology?

Is it possible that a group of "elite" humans have highly advanced technology, but have kept it hidden? For example, is it possible that some people already had powerful computers and automobiles (...
5
votes
5answers
660 views

Background for hi-tech in low tech

For some time, I have been playing around with the idea of a medieval-like world, but with the twist: Some sci-fi tools exist and are fully operational. But I cannot come up with good and plausible ...
7
votes
4answers
573 views

What would change with transmission of knowledge and ability through touch?

The concept of a "spark" is our shorthand for an idea describing some neural nets in your body (well loosely anyway), its a catch-all for anything that can be an electrical response. Some of the ...
4
votes
7answers
1k views

Help/Advice With Making My Designated “Good” Faction Read As More Obviously Good, And Making My Designated “Evil” Faction Read As More Obviously Evil?

As always, important parts are in bold, other details are non-bold, for those who like or dislike longer/shorter. So, a couple of just intro disclaimers and whatnot: this is sort of a “black and gray ...
25
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7answers
14k views

What would it take to build a bridge that crosses North Atlantic Ocean from Canada to Spain?

I had this idea the other day just for the heck of debating about if it would be feasible to build a bridge that crosses North Atlantic Ocean from Canada to Spain. I mean from St-John's (Newfoundland,...
53
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7answers
6k views

How would law enforcement be different if we could talk to the dead?

There are many application of being able to communicate with the dead but in the interests of scoping I'm interested in law enforcement and sentencing. The method would be scientifically proven ...
8
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3answers
1k views

Could a government control its people using frequencies?

Setting: Earth, in the future, near 2060 or 2100 Technology: a bit more advanced than ours Armies and police forces are already using systems for crowd control. Some devices can generate discomfort ...
4
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2answers
1k views

Could the Roman Empire have survived if it existed alongside an advanced feudal state? [closed]

There are two ways of looking at history of humankind: In one, most of the changes taken through the history are from less advanced to more advanced societies. In another, there are many random ...
30
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10answers
3k views

World of Methuselahs

Suppose that, after puberty, human beings aged about 15 times more slowly than in our world. Some would still die young (by their standards) due to diseases, wars, accidents, etc., but it would be ...
11
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5answers
1k views

What changes to human society would be necessitated by a race with small size and the ability to fly?

I have a world where the magic system is based pretty much on the Ars Magica RPG and a technological level roughly equivalent to 17th century Earth. Co-existing (in the same geographical areas but ...
48
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15answers
21k views

What should three men and three women do if everyone else is dead?

Recently, I asked what could kill all humans except for those in low orbit. Out of the answers that popped up (which included the Ragnarök), I picked a plague as being the most desirable for my ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

What might today's society look like without (addictive) social media?

What characteristics of society/culture might change if we would not have developed social media? or, if we had developed it, but it was somehow not as addictive as it is... Would this generation's ...
8
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5answers
1k views

What would be the effects of the common house cat rapidly acquiring flight ability?

Assuming planet Earth, with considerable amounts of pets per household (96 million cats in the US alone), what would be the social and ecological consequences of all domestic cats acquiring flight ...
10
votes
7answers
6k views

How would society be different if humans possesed natural fur covering?

Humans' evolution has led to the loss of most body hair, which the NY Times article Why Humans and Their Fur Parted Ways covers fairly well. Among the theories: Humans went through a semi-aquatic ...
3
votes
5answers
895 views

How would self-preservation be affected in a world with easy resurrection and/or with verifyable afterlife [duplicate]

Most of what we do both as individuals and as a society is either directly or indirectly connected with the fact that we don't want to die. While in the real world a lot of people believe in an ...
7
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3answers
251 views

Dimensions of alien progress and purpose

Civilization progress has many dimensions, for example technological, moral/ethical, happiness/subjective quality of life, etc. For each such dimension we could state a purpose that reflects it, e.g. ...
13
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5answers
3k views

Consequences of the shift to a post-scarcity society

I have a basic idea for a world that I am fleshing out. Basically a dystopian future based on minimal, if any, resource scarcity. This sort of society was addressed humorously in a Cracked After Hours ...
36
votes
18answers
8k views

Is it possible for a developed society to practice human sacrifice as a ritual?

Definition from Wikipedia: Human sacrifice is the act of killing one or more human beings, usually as an offering to a deity, as part of a religious ritual. The person to be sacrificed can be ...
6
votes
0answers
625 views

Society without money [closed]

What are the ways in which resources can be distributed in the society other than the use of money or the barter system, so that unequal or unfair distribution of resources can be avoided? If a ...
13
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4answers
1k views

Social implications of intelligent species that practices external fertilization

Some species that reproduce sexually, don't actually have sex as such. Instead the female might lay soft scaled eggs, which the male then fertilizes extrenally. I want to know what a society of an ...
13
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5answers
1k views

What would the effects of static teleportation points have on a Renaissance society?

You'll begin to see a pattern emerge... If there were teleportation points near major cities, at points of interest, and otherwise spread across a vast renaissance society, what would be the key ...
25
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8answers
2k views

What are the societal effects of an easily available resurrection service?

Let's take a world where you can be resurrected, D&D style, but maybe a little cheaper, no constitution-based ill effects, and easier to access. Perhaps any cleric worth their salt can bring you ...
12
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6answers
2k views

Is there a technical term for a civilization that “eats” others to gain their knowledge, powers, etc.?

Is there any kind of technical term (and if not, can you think of one) for a civilization that “eats” others to gain their knowledge, powers, etc.? Such as… the Borg from Star Trek sort of did this, ...
4
votes
1answer
132 views

Social Implication of Restricting Ecosystem [closed]

Assuming a world with multiple (more than ten) competing sapient species, and assuming that some of these species are restricted to certain ecological conditions, how would one expect political and ...
12
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4answers
4k views

How to build a self-sufficient town

Other questions have tried to address how big/small towns have to be in order to function, but I'm more interested in approaching it from a different angle: How big would a town have to be to support ...
3
votes
4answers
195 views

Night and light in the reign of the lizardmen

So I'm writing a story on a population of lizardmen who have subdued all the human population. Since lizards spend lots of their time soaking in the sun, I'm not sure how should I go for the night-...
24
votes
4answers
3k views

How much would licensed necromancy affect the economy of a (European) Renaissance society?

I've been pondering this, and I'm curious to find out what potential issues could be created by even tightly licensed necromantic practices. Would the economy simply scale up to cover the extra ...
4
votes
1answer
756 views

What are the key questions you have to answer when designing a fictitious society? [closed]

Basically, I'd like to have a simple list of (possibly conditional) questions to answer to get a skeleton society which you then can flesh out, making sure that all important aspects are covered. ...
49
votes
13answers
8k views

In a society of flying beings, would the wheel ever be invented?

The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. -- Douglas Adams. Humans can't fly. Not themselves. Sure, we can climb aboard a plane, a hot air balloon, or a rocket ...
16
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7answers
2k views

Teleportation travel without globalization

The premise is a low-tech world such as Earth prior to 1600 CE but with a fixed number of magical/technological teleportation portal pairs scattered across the world. Each portal only takes travelers ...
12
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4answers
2k views

What political structure would develop within an interplanetary civilization?

Conquest and discovery has been an important part of developing the global political structure of today's Earth. After we expand and settle other planets, whether within the same solar system or not, ...
6
votes
2answers
357 views

What would be in a contract between lycanthropes to keep their nature hidden?

I have a large capital city that is in the middle of a particularly large lake set in a standard low magic fantasy setting. In this city there is a agreement between three factions of were-creatures ...
15
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5answers
1k views

How does a polytheistic cult compare to multiple coexisting monothestic cults?

Many fantasy worlds (for instance the elder scrolls' Tamriel) and also ancient civilizations have/had polytheistic cults to the point where the same holy place would be shared among different, even ...
18
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1answer
3k views

How would having a prehensile tail change society? [closed]

This answer made me wonder, how would our society be different if humans had tails? Of course, tails come in all sorts and sizes, so let's say we had a monkey type tail. One you could wrap around a ...
33
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12answers
4k views

How would society be different in a sentient species that does not care for its young?

A lot of species on earth do not care for their offspring; they spawn thousands of eggs, that hatch into larvae, and then grow up towards full size. If a hypothetical species was sentient in the ...
45
votes
15answers
4k views

What are the primary triggers for the decline and fall of great empires?

Let's focus specifically on the devolution of empires. How is it that something so powerful falls? The collapse of Rome, Byzantium, the Han, the Mayans and so on. What similarities can be seen in ...
33
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13answers
2k views

Is a world with no technological improvement possible?

A society grows with time, but does the technology needs to grow with them? Is it possible for a planet to have a very large population and much society but no more improvement in the ways of the ...
44
votes
5answers
2k views

Creating convincingly alien viewpoints

Most aliens tend to be humans with bumpy foreheads and/or pointy ears. Even when they do have differences then usually it is an entire species being portrayed as a particular brand of human. For ...
4
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3answers
2k views

What would be the main societal changes if we invented a free and unlimited energy source tomorrow on earth? [closed]

In this setting, a scientist invents a method for free and unlimited energy that is accessible to each and every one (open source, easy to manufacture...). This happens on nowadays earth. What would ...
14
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16answers
3k views

Can civilization development occur completely without faith?

Could a civilization grow or develop to advanced levels if they don't hold religious beliefs? I have just watched Star Trek: The Next Generation, "Who watch the watchers" (season 3, episode 4). It ...
15
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3answers
417 views

What is a good reference size for a settlement?

I have been sporadically building a particular world, mainly by developing its cultures with events (often paralleling Earth history) and individuals, rather than shaping the cultures beforehand. One ...
10
votes
7answers
2k views

Is the world of a Roguelike RPG plausible?

In this context, I will define a Roguelike RPG world to be a world where a lone adventurer fights scores of monsters who drop magical weapons, armor and artifacts that the adventurer may pick up, use, ...
39
votes
10answers
7k views

What effects would a change in the nature of human sexuality have on society and infrastructure

Consider a group of humans at a bronze-age to early iron-age technological level colonizing a new earthlike planet. There is just one difference - there exists on the planet something which changes ...
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3answers
2k views

What effect would elemental magic have on the work force

Imagine a society where everyone controls a variation of one of the four elements: earth, fire, water, and air. What I mean by variation is some might control metal, but not rocks. Others control ice, ...
6
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1answer
1k views

If technology allowed for instant brain to brain transmission of knowledge, how would society change? [closed]

The things I'm thinking of are for example relationships between people, military communications, and other technologies deriving from this one... Would that be very different from what we know now ...
26
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5answers
1k views

What physical and social effects could two stars cause?

Suppose a planetary system works in such a way that there is a rotating planet in the direct centre of a binary star (the star system's centre of gravity, also known as barycenter), such that the two ...
40
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10answers
3k views

How would societal development be impacted if humans were not an apex predator?

We are used to a world where humans are basically an apex predator; we don't really need to worry much about becoming some other animal's next meal. If that wasn't the case, and humans had to be wary ...