Questions tagged [society]

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

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291
votes
25answers
24k views

Tomorrow is Groundhog Day… For everyone. How does society respond? [closed]

You wake up tomorrow and it's Wednesday again. Everybody remembers it, but whatever was physically done today is undone. Your favorite mug, which the dog knocked over is un-broken. The kid down the ...
176
votes
32answers
22k views

What is the least “world changing” reason why the government would pay for you to keep a llama during your 44th year of life? [closed]

I want to make a short story about an Earth just like ours except it's commonly accepted that at the age of 43, the government allows people to have a llama in their house and the government pays for ...
133
votes
17answers
12k views

A Most Subtle Magic

Rynn is not flashy at all. In fact, you would be forgiven to think she's a bit of an introvert. Sure, the people in the town are strangely reluctant to talk to you about her, but you are a newcomer, ...
126
votes
18answers
80k views

What is the minimum human population necessary for a sustainable colony?

How many humans are needed in order to sustain and grow a steady population in a habitable area? Assume resources are adequate and the environment is favorable. To further refine this question, let'...
119
votes
12answers
15k views

Everything Joe says is true. How can he get around it?

Joe is an average bloke, who has a passive superpower that he's lived with all his life. People believe everything he says. Implicitly, unquestioningly and absolutely. If he says that black is ...
91
votes
21answers
21k views

How would society react if the existence of a god was scientifically proven? [closed]

Let's assume that : The scientifically proven god is omnipotent and omniscient The god stays as how it was acting even after the proof, meaning natural disasters still occur, the speed of light is ...
87
votes
16answers
13k views

Effects of “know before you vote” political system

After the Brexit vote, one of repeating themes was: "If only knowledgeable people were allowed to vote and dumb people were not allowed to vote!" Let's have look at this political system closer: ...
81
votes
38answers
19k views

How can a colony of teleporters make the most money while keeping their teleportation a secret?

The Situation A colony of 100 teleporters (between the ages of 20-40) have been hidden away living like monks for 1000's of years to prevent their detection. With the death of their old leader, a ...
78
votes
17answers
6k views

Random body shuffle every night—can we still function?

Imagine a world where every time you wake up you wake up in a randomly selected body from among the bodies that were asleep at that time. There are some limits—the body should be in at most a roughly ...
74
votes
25answers
21k views

What would be the possible issues with an IQ based voting system

I'm thinking of a world that values freedom but rates intelligence and logic so much that it dominates the entire society. Pupils take tests during school and this is averaged out and then given a ...
74
votes
27answers
11k views

Concealing my earth-changing invention

Imagine it. I've invented the single greatest thing since Fire. A machine that can turn matter into energy and energy into matter with almost absolute efficiency. Sure, it violates a couple of the ...
74
votes
12answers
11k views

How does the government cover up alien crash landings?

One night a spacecraft of extraterrestrial origin crash-landed in the densely populated city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The force of the impact leveled the entire city within a radius of 1 ...
73
votes
32answers
19k views

How could an apocalypse kill off all adults — leaving only those under the age of 18?

I've been trying to write a book for years about a post-apocalyptic society entirely run by children, in which all of the adults died off and the children have to figure out how to survive and, ...
71
votes
20answers
15k views

How could an ancient race warn the future in a universally understandable way?

Let's say that an ancient race of beings locked away some sort of evil that could destroy the world if unleashed. Let's also say that unleashing it would be relatively easy to do if not warned of ...
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
19answers
12k views

Where should a galactic capital be?

I'm creating a full-fledged galactic republic, in a galaxy not so very different from our own. It's designed to encompass the majority of the stellar systems in the galaxy, including some of the ...
68
votes
14answers
10k views

Help! Our merchants keep turning into villains!

To My Trusted Advisors; It has now been six months since the founding of Puzzleville around the entrance to the magic-filled Labyrinth of Wonders. As expected, adventurers from around the world have ...
66
votes
9answers
10k views

I duplicate the U.S. President. What happens?

So the U.S. President (or some other country's leader) is strollin' along. I blast him with a duplication ray gun (secret service must have been snoozing). There are now two of him. How does the world ...
64
votes
25answers
13k views

Ensuring an endless war, and an endless stalemate

My 7 year old son and I have pitted the Elves against the Dwarfs - The Elves control the sky - they have airships, gliders in their cloths that enable gliding from airship to airship, and bridges ...
64
votes
19answers
8k views

Where can I transform without being noticed?

I'm just your average person. Not rich, or particularly skilled at anything. Until a few days ago, when (for a reason I can't disclose) I got some amazing superpowers: I can fly, I'm completely ...
63
votes
19answers
8k views

Zero Privacy: Culture

In this future, technology advances in such a way that privacy becomes obsolete. In other words, no one has decided to give up privacy, it's just that trying to hold onto it is like trying to keep ...
60
votes
29answers
14k views

How would humanity enter a Dark Age?

Humans have grown fat, complacent and cock-sure of the certainty of future progress, arrogantly expecting to build minds in their own image. They even dream of building themselves a city, with a tower ...
60
votes
11answers
10k views

Are there any rules or guidelines about designing a flag?

I'm trying to come up with a flag for a fantasy city I'm designing, and it got me thinking about how flags are designed in general and where they draw their inspirations from. For the most part, I ...
58
votes
21answers
10k views

How would government change if everyone died by the age of 25?

In the nation of Xenqu, a hereditary monarchy has ruled for centuries. The Xenquan society is in a medieval period, although the recent invention of paper and the increasing use of gunpowder may ...
57
votes
22answers
22k views

Socialist country with good economy?

I want to have a socialist* country where economy is good enough to have at least one big city of more then million people, that has well maintained buildings. The people don't have to be rich but ...
53
votes
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 ...
52
votes
30answers
14k views

Reasons why healthy people would intentionally want to get infected?

What would be a situation in modern times where normal, healthy people would want to get infected by a non-curable, but non-lethal, virus? A virus that would have pretty nasty symptoms. There is ...
52
votes
32answers
17k views

How can I provide reasons for racism?

OK, I know the question sounds a little bit extreme, but I'm writing a story in which there are two races of a same species, both rational and civilized, with cities and everything an actual society ...
52
votes
23answers
10k views

What could prevent a sentient species from going to space?

I am still puzzled by the original The Planet of the Apes movie from the 70's. How come that sentient species invented weapons, but was unable to develop powered flight, or spacecraft. Thus, the ...
52
votes
18answers
10k views

What happens if money vanishes if not spent?

It's a few years in the future and society in general is fed up with hoarders; people who have a lot of money lying around that they don't use. Motivated by the rule that money should roll, they ...
52
votes
21answers
7k views

How would humans adapt if low-wage labor was done by robots?

Background: Nearly all low-wage labor is done by humanoid robots (retail, factories, transport, sanitation, construction, mining, and similar fields). These robots have all the physical capabilities ...
52
votes
13answers
5k views

How should a country introduce a constructed language as the official language?

Story background The government has chosen to use a constructed language as a part of the process of building national identity. They don't want to use a foreign language. They also don't want to use ...
51
votes
16answers
11k views

How would an independent, illegal and secret group of assassins accept assignments?

In my story I would have a completely independent and elusive group of assassins. They would not be sanctioned by either a king, wealthy merchant, nobleman or by the church. Because of that, if it ...
50
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 ...
49
votes
33answers
15k views

Why would a large percent of an otherwise sane population regularly play a virtual game that could get them killed

My world is basically the same as our own but with slightly more advanced cybernetics and virtual technology. Specifically, they have a technology to create true matrix level virtual worlds. The most ...
49
votes
27answers
10k views

What circumstance would produce a society filled with parents willing to let the children be exposed to life-threatening Danger?

My world has a school dedicated to the teaching of magic. Nearly all parents who can send their children to the school do so. The school, as part of their teaching method, exposes their students to ...
49
votes
16answers
22k 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 ...
49
votes
14answers
7k views

Any motivation for racism still existing in a transhumanist future?

Humanity is immortal. You can backup your mind, you can choose your body, biological or robotic, in any shape or form. In a universe like that, there is any motivation for racism to still exist?
48
votes
21answers
8k views

In an era of instantaneous travel, would more mundane methods still be used?

Let's say that teleportation (magical or technological, it matters not) is perfected to such a great degree that you can go anywhere from a few dozen yards, to the other side of the planet (basically) ...
48
votes
19answers
18k views

How to conceal my immortality without hiding for a hundred years?

In my story, I have this character that cannot die and cannot grow old. She got this from a curse. When ordinary people see her, she probably looks like 20 or so. How can I make it so that nobody ...
48
votes
29answers
12k views

How to explain the use of high-tech bows instead of guns

I'm creating a science fiction dystopian world that takes place about about 50 years in the future. One of the characters for this world is a member a highly sought-after group of mercenaries that I ...
47
votes
15answers
12k views

Is this alternate history plausible? (Hard Sci-Fi, Realistic History)

Is this alternate history I came up with plausible? What holes does it have? Are some events very unlikely to happen, even impossible? Should I change some dates of some events? Most of my knowledge ...
47
votes
12answers
6k views

How would a Martian colony be able to celebrate Christmas?

Accept that we had a reason to go to Mars, managed to build a colony there, and what we found on Mars is valuable enough to ship back to Earth. There is now a self sustainable colony living under the ...
46
votes
18answers
10k views

Avoiding moral hazard concerning Pokolpok (ancient Maya ball game)

Literature Review Pokolpok is the Mayan term for an ancient ball game that was played throughout Mesoamerica in antiquity. While much about the game (even the rules) has been lost to time, ...
46
votes
17answers
7k views

Society rules for marriages and love on multigeneration ship

Earth, far future: We built multi generation ship which can get 20 000 people to another solar system in next 20 generations (600 years) For scope of this question assume that ship itself is well ...
46
votes
15answers
7k 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. ...
46
votes
14answers
5k views

Society expectations to Work for your living

Many people set who they are and others by what jobs they do, how they make their living. As more and more jobs are being taken over by computers and robots there are 'fewer' jobs for others. Yet we ...
45
votes
23answers
9k views

Earthborn Inferiority

I fear this may be too broad, but I am looking for reasons earthborn humans would be considered inferior to those born on various space colonies. For example, it is important to reference the ...
45
votes
13answers
9k views

Would the principles of Stack Exchange work in a real-world utopia?

Following on from my previous utopia-based question (Could compulsory experience-sharing make a utopia actually work?), I'm wondering whether a website could ever be a utopia. Firstly, are there any ...
45
votes
15answers
6k 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 ...