Questions tagged [society]

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

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20
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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 ...
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14answers
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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....
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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-...
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5answers
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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 ...
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5answers
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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/...
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12answers
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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 ...
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13answers
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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 ...
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5answers
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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 ...
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17answers
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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 ...
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16answers
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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 ...
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11answers
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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 ...
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5answers
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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 ...
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10answers
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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 ...
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11answers
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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 ...
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6answers
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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 ...
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8answers
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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 ...
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3answers
705 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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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2answers
638 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 ...
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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 ...
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10answers
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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 ...
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8answers
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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, ...
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11answers
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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 ...
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14answers
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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 ...
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14answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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7answers
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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 ...
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6answers
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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 ...
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7answers
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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 ...
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9answers
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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 ...
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9answers
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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-...
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9answers
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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 ...
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4answers
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How do you conduct xenoanthropology after first contact?

In the very near future, humans (somehow) travel to a distant planet - and discover aliens who turn out to be uncannily like us. Their appearance is, to put it bluntly, freakish, but they are humanoid ...
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12answers
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Why would magic and science be split?

As previously noted, magic would most likely be able to be studied by the scientific method. Indeed, science would likely at least try to understand magic, if not incorporate it. My question is, what ...
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4answers
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If no children were born for 40 years, what would be the social and economic impact after births resume?

This question by Andrea Jens considered a world in which a virus causes global infertility: no new children can be conceived. Now suppose that, after 40 years of complete global infertility, a cure ...
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13answers
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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 ...
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4answers
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When do I teach children to use magic?

We've all seen those awesome video games and movies and comics where people throw "Hadokens" and "Hamehameha" around like it's nothing. It's flashy, does a ludicrous amount of damage (including the ...
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12answers
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Benevolent aliens will help us all- on one condition. Can we end all wars?

Background It's a nice spring day on May 23, 2016. You sit outside with a radio and tune in to the news. In the middle of hearing the station talk about [insert politician here], you hear a large ...
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16answers
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Everyone gets an IQ of 300. What are the downsides? [closed]

Scientists developed a method to transfer intelligence. However, something went wrong and everyone got an IQ of 300 on the current scale. And that means EVERYONE: Stephen Hawking, Donald Trump, Pamela ...
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15answers
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What are the exceptions to Natural Selection? [duplicate]

Consider a population where a low percentage of people (5%) posess a genetic advantage over the rest. In my fictional world, let’s assume this small percent of the population can wield magic while ...
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15answers
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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 ...
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11answers
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Storage of a material that passes through non-living matter

Condensed Magic only functions as a physical material when it is in contact with living beings. Condensed magic comes in 3 varieties, air, liquid, and solid. For example, if you spilled condensed ...
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22answers
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Why would mages hide their power level? [closed]

In this fantasy setting based on medieval Europe, scary monsters and minions of the Undead King plague the land. In response, large cities have started to employ those proficient with sword or bow ...
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18answers
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What reason could change people's mentality to treat each other as members of one kind?

Let me explain further the idea. Nowadays (as thousands of years earlier) many people bound themselves in their mind to a particular nation, country, town, neighborhood etc. And very often these ...
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6answers
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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 ...
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6answers
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How would society recover from the collapse of digital trust?

Imagine a coordinated attack by a large and motivated hacking group, that results in a nation-level compromise of the financial systems we take for granted: credit card payments, accounts at the top ...
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6answers
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Time no longer passes except near intelligent creatures, how does the world continue?

Time stops nearly everywhere, time only continues in a area around creatures of a certain intelligence. The worlds population is suddenly thrown into darkness as time ceases throughout the universe ...
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2answers
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What would life be like if everyone was judged on a point system like SE?

Got this idea from Antarctica in the Legend series by Marie Lu Imagine that we've become so technologically advanced that every person, ages 3 and up, has an implant in their head that tracks ...
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5answers
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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 ...