Questions tagged [society]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
21
votes
20answers
9k views

Why would an immortal make good on his loan?

Premise My world that has undergone a transformative breakthrough in biology and genetics. It's not just the ultra-rich who have it; rather, everyone is immortal. However, this world's understanding ...
21
votes
16answers
6k views

Could inequality and class warfare still exist in a post-scarcity society?

Let's assume post-scarcity in this case means everyone, regardless of income or employment status, has unlimited access to food (or bio-engineered food substitutes), a place to live, means of ...
21
votes
12answers
7k views

How could a goverment sell prisoners as slaves (without giving advantage to richs)?

Imagine a society (medieval, but that isn't very important here) that has approved slavery. You can trade, buy, sell and hire slaves at will in the market. Introduction Slaves are usually "harvested"...
21
votes
12answers
4k views

Kidnapping children for magic training

Background : In a certain medieval world with magic, people are always in danger of being attacked by non-human races, like orcs, trolls or giant spiders, etc. Villagers keep the village safe by using ...
21
votes
12answers
3k views

Are there any good alternates to iron?

I know iron is valuable, but I was wondering if iron was extremely rare, rare enough that it could not be used for construction, weapons, or anything our society uses iron, what this society would ...
21
votes
5answers
4k 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/...
21
votes
9answers
3k views

How to cut off a (unaware and unwilling) city (not an island city) from the rest of the world for a short period of time? (about 12 hours)

How could a group, very possibly militarized, cut off a small-medium sized city from the rest of the world for an overnight period? This includes outside responses like police, national guard, so on ...
21
votes
2answers
3k views

How large can a medieval Empire conceivably get and still be considered a single political entity?

I was reading a book on the Byzantine Empire, and at its height it controlled much of the Mediterranean. I looked up the Arabs and saw that at the dawn of Islam they built an empire that lasted for a ...
21
votes
5answers
1k views

What would the social implications of two intelligent humanoid species on Earth be?

There's this what-if scenario that's been kicking around in my head for quite a while now. Basically, what if both Homo sapiens neanderthalis and Homo sapiens sapiens had survived? What if, due to ...
20
votes
17answers
5k views

How to make a language evolve quickly?

Imagine a world in which the language barrier is a means of propaganda defence. In this world, one of the primary concerns of each country is the migration of natives, since they know their native ...
20
votes
13answers
7k views

In the case of direct democracy, what would happen to society

Imagine that the democratic system was allowed to progress so that a direct democracy now existed in your country. Now everybody can vote on all political issues electronically or via electronic ...
20
votes
9answers
5k views

How can I test to find the continent's “best” young mages?

Some background The gods who have watched over us for so long are clearly angry. They've sent us this terrible trial in the form of a giant dungeon and told us if we can't complete it they'll wipe ...
20
votes
18answers
3k views

Units of measurement, especially length, when body parts vary in size among races

Historically, units of measurement are often based on sizes of body parts. Probably the most obvious example would be a "foot" literally being based on the length of someone's (or everyone's, or ...
20
votes
14answers
5k views

Aliens and Us: Would they have any reason to interact with us?

If an alien race visited us, is there any possible reason they would care to interact with us? They would already have a percentage of light speed, access to many worlds, technology unimaginable by us....
20
votes
5answers
4k views

How to seize control of a region?

Tl;dr: In a medieval setting, what would be the key steps to gain control (tax, army, police) of a region similar to a city-state? The region has a central city, with access to the sea, surrounded by ...
20
votes
12answers
6k views

How could a superhero maintain a secret identity these days, if at all?

It's 2016. A great evil threatens the world, and a great good--you--arises to stop it. Twitter and Instagram are set ablaze with stories of this heroic battle before the news media even has a chance ...
20
votes
7answers
7k views

How could a sentient plant evolve and what conditions would be required for this evolution?

This is my entry for the fortnightly topic challenge In Day of the Triffids, many people go blind and the basic summary is this: virulent plague makes most of humanity blind giant, semi-intelligent ...
19
votes
10answers
4k views

How would interstellar human cultures describe themselves long after Earth was lost?

I was writing in my book when I decided I wanted to add some interesting characters into the mix (like an Irishmen, Chinese, Russian etc). But I hit a wall. You see a big plot point is that the Earth ...
19
votes
13answers
8k views

Would children born in winter be weaker than the ones born in other seasons?

Setting is a dark ages medieval world. Equivalent to Earth circa century V AD. Agriculture has no crop rotation, and most of the harvest is lost to plagues and pests (those damn wabbits). Would ...
19
votes
5answers
5k views

How can a nocturnal race develop agriculture?

Foreword: I am asking this question primarily to decide if a nocturnal race makes sense for my purposes before I develop them in too great a depth. This means I do not have much detail to provide on ...
19
votes
17answers
4k views

Why Would a Nation Choose to join A Foreign Empire?

In my story/universe, I have several Empires- some good and some bad. My protagonist Empires are good, however I realized I've hit a setting related snag: One of my empires has established a colony ...
19
votes
16answers
5k views

Evolution of a non-human species with no concept of gender?

In the world I'm building, there's a non-human race that I want to have no concept of gender. Their language doesn't contain gendered words like "man" or "woman," and sexual attraction is not based on ...
19
votes
18answers
3k views

Is personal notability possible without anyone knowing what the person did to become notable? [closed]

So in today's world, you have a bunch of people that many people have heard about. People that, if you mention their name, only a few people you know will go "who?". To name a few categories: High-...
19
votes
11answers
4k views

Incorporating Women into a Fantasy World Army?

I have a fantasy world with roughly medieval technology (swords, crossbows, and chain mail for instance), and I have an egalitarian country with an army that's somewhere from 10 to 40% women (it ...
19
votes
5answers
5k views

AIDS vs Great Plague in medieval period

The Great Plague is known as one of the worst pandemics in human history as it killed between 75 and 200 million people from 1347 to 1351 (according to wikipedia). I would like to know if AIDS had ...
19
votes
10answers
4k views

How can I prevent semi-independent royal families from rebelling against the empire?

This global-spanning empire is divided among five royal families, each headed by a prince. The emperor himself leads the empire, with the five princes serving under him. While they owe fealty to the ...
19
votes
11answers
3k views

How can a non-person enter society and live a normal life?

One day, you run into a young man (~20 years old) who has spent his life in a laboratory being weaponized by the state until he finally escaped. He is a non-person, there is no public record of his ...
19
votes
6answers
5k views

Can there be sexism towards women in a society where the main religion is based on a female messiah?

A little context: According to the beliefs of that religion, a woman sent by God guided humanity from a distant place to the world in which they live today. This woman known as The Lady, taught them ...
19
votes
8answers
3k views

How to explain magic-using kings

For my current world, I have a continent whose countries were brought together into a single, massive empire. After the death of the last emperor, the central imperial authority crumbled and the ...
19
votes
9answers
2k views

If 1 million people were plucked from the Earth today and put on a new planet, how long would it take for a civilization to arise?

The day on Earth begins as normal. People go to school, go to work, eat ice cream; nothing is amiss. Then, without warning, the sky seems to break open in a cacophony and flashing lights, and one-...
19
votes
3answers
721 views

Will privacy disappear if our sense of smell was strong like that of a bear?

Mythbusters did an episode about trying to foil a blood hound, when Adam played a convict who tried to make the dog lose his trail. Every trick he did failed like washing, changing clothes, going ...
19
votes
8answers
2k views

What would be the most viable form of government for the first space colonies?

The Setting It is the near future (say 2060ish). Some entity (corporation, government, private venture, etc.) has elected to build the first permanent (as in intended to become self-sufficient) ...
19
votes
13answers
3k views

Social effect of pill which defers need to sleep

Nobody knows why do we need to sleep. So, I am thinking of inventing handwavy pill, which "cures" our need to sleep. However, it does not cure it forever. If taken as prescribed, you can defer your ...
19
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
19
votes
2answers
646 views

Traffic in Space (a traffic controller for low earth orbit)

In a future where space travel is common, how would access to space be regulated? From what I know, currently the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) assigns slots for geostationary ...
18
votes
15answers
10k views

How would a young girl/boy (about 14) who never gets old survive in the 16th century? [closed]

In fantasy setting, in medieval time, there are a disease, curse... for simplicity in this scenario, let's call it "vampire". The victim who is afflicted with this "vampirism" does not get older. So ...
18
votes
18answers
6k views

Can a civilization be reduced to the Stone age by a conventional war?

I need to arrange a situation in which a major conflict occurs in a relatively advanced civilization and where the fighting is of such a magnitude that all the participants are eventually reduced to ...
18
votes
8answers
6k views

A King can't go to war

Imagine a late 16th-Century European Kingdom. The King is obsessed with invading a small neighbouring country for no good reason. He would not profit neither economically nor politically. However, ...
18
votes
11answers
6k views

Implications of a Lightsaber on the Middle Ages

Imagine if by chance, a Lightsaber was transferred using a time machine to the middle ages. At first it was found by a peasant. The poor fellow didn't know what to do with it, so he sold it for a few ...
18
votes
14answers
6k views

Citizenship removed and deported to desolate Island, viable alternative for prison?

I have a world in which several countries use, as an alternative to rotting prison for the rest of your life, the deprivation of citizenship from one's home country and deportation to a desolate ...
18
votes
16answers
4k views

How to reconcile a feudal system with a congressional/parliamentary democracy…?

I am currently trying to create a system of government for a project that, for reasons I can't quite go into, combines elements from both European feudal systems with current democratic governments, ...
18
votes
17answers
5k views

How do you make men relevant in a setting where only women can use magic?

The setting is one where only women can use magic. All females can access it as it is naturally inborn. It requires training, some females being stronger than others. Magic takes the form of spells ...
18
votes
14answers
4k views

How to have believable society where people are sorted into their roles?

The other day I stumbled upon a youtube video from Bad Internet series: Which of The “Friends” Are You? and it made me remember a previous occurrence of an idea that people are sorted into their roles ...
18
votes
11answers
3k views

Protecting “rights” of androids that are not considered persons by law

Consider a society where the population includes a number of sentient androids, practically indistinguishable from humans in appearance. In practice, they are treated exactly like humans under most ...
18
votes
7answers
9k views

How long does an era last? What are the key factors in moving on?

In this story I'm writing, I start in a sword and sandal "age of myth" type setting, but as the centuries press on, it becomes medieval in nature. As even more time passes, there is even some ...
18
votes
6answers
7k views

How will our world change if all women suddenly die? [closed]

I had so much fun reading How will our world change if all men suddenly die? that I decided to register here. It also made me wonder about the opposite case: In a world... with today's technology and ...
18
votes
7answers
2k views

Suggested steps for creating a new race?

For one of the novels I am writing, I want to create a race based off of the Chinese Zodiac. However, I don't know exactly where to start with creating said race, so I was curious to see if there was ...
18
votes
9answers
4k views

How can a extremist group gain total political control of a medieval society?

The Dwarves, they mostly live within their mountains while a wealthy but small percentage of them own land on the surface. They are very isolationist preferring not to take sides when conflict arises ...
18
votes
9answers
4k views

How could a society that emphasises spirit of a law over loopholes develop a legal system

Today you hear allot of people talking about loophole abuse and ways to meet the letter of a law without the spirit of it. In truth as I understand it that isn't always the case, and common law ...
18
votes
6answers
2k views

So we've survived the apocalypse. What's next?

The year is 2032. The location, rural midwest North America. A decade ago, a plague wiped out almost every living human. There weren't even enough survivors to bury the dead. Secondary plagues rose ...