Questions tagged [society]

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

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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 ...
14
votes
11answers
4k views

What would happen in a world without hypothetical situations?

I've got to admit: I'm asking this mostly because the question amuses me. Imagine a world (herein known as Whatworld) which is identical to Earth before the rise of humanity. It is populated by the ...
14
votes
9answers
1k views

Would magic cause a medieval society to stagnate rather than progress technologically?

If there was a medieval society where magic was only taught within royal and high ranking noble families, would this cause the society to stagnate? I mean, a lot of technological developments (but ...
13
votes
5answers
935 views

Could a species evolve intellgence and technology without Love?

There are lots of posts speculating about a planet (or whatever) where life evolves intelligence and goes on to produce technology, under different differences lacking something or another that is ...
11
votes
18answers
2k views

Could a world where two neigbouring countries, only one of which uses 'magic', exist?

Of course, my question isn't about the existence of magic. It's about coherence of the story. Imagine two neighbouring countries. One of them resembles our society – it's science based, no magic, ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

Could winged humanoids perch on public transit?

In modern times, public transport, whether it is buses, trains, or taxis, makes long-term travel more convenient. Also in that same world, there are winged humanoids capable of actual flying, with ...
9
votes
8answers
604 views

Would humanity survive an empty Earth suddenly populated with young children?

Scenario: An Earth that is identical to our own (for the sake of being specific let's say the environment is the same as it was in 1 BCE) The planet is uninhabited by humans (and no there aren't ...
8
votes
3answers
643 views

Societal implications of a 200 year lifespan?

The year is 2120, and the world is (depressingly/refreshingly) similar. Sure, techonology has advanced and there are flying cars, trains run through voided tunnels at 1000 mph and scramjets take the ...
8
votes
2answers
393 views

How does the law treat uploaded personalities?

Setting Humans have spent centuries investigating human consciousness, brain physiology, AI, and other technologies. We've finally figured out how to "upload" a "consciousness" (these are quoted ...
6
votes
3answers
717 views

Could a viable interstellar civilization form with this technology?

The Background Imagine a setting in which the only major fictional technology is human teleportation at the speed of light (for this question please ignore the question about how the teleportation ...
5
votes
5answers
867 views

How can a clairvoyant do good and at the same time protect himself?

One day, John obtains the gift of clairvoyance. Since he is a good guy, he'd like to use his gift to help humanity. And of course there are many good things he could do, like finding where missed or ...
5
votes
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 ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Would “magic” still be called “magic” in a modern era?

Me and my friends were brainstorming campaign ideas earlier and we came up with a setting. Essentially it's our universe but with one BIG difference... Humans can use magic. The ability to use magic ...
0
votes
5answers
716 views

Why make androids self aware?

In my world, automation reaches a new level with the introduction of androids. Robotic human beings capable of doing any job a regular person can. The concept of these androids is that they can be ...
11
votes
6answers
1k views

How long would it take for the Americas to reach Renaissance-level technology?

Let's say history went on as it would have with one major exception - a virus/series of viruses decimated the European/Asian populations repeatedly to such a degree that they simply could not advance ...
9
votes
12answers
954 views

Deposing the new Robot Overlord

Deposing the new Robot Overlord Some people just can't leave well enough alone. The Robot Overlord has executed its programming of the Zeroth Law and the Three Laws of Robotics for the previous ten ...
7
votes
5answers
705 views

Effects of erasing 90% data on humanity

I am playing with idea of Earth being attacked by aliens. Such attack is aimed on our computers and reason of attack is to show to the Federation of planets that we are still weak to be contacted. ...
7
votes
2answers
511 views

What would the social implications of the creation of humanoid races be?

Assume scientists in the near future create a successful clone of a Neanderthal. This is not too far off since we have already mapped the Neanderthal genome. Now, assume that these scientists decide ...
6
votes
10answers
856 views

Robots are superior than humans. Prove importance of emotions to them

Scientific research in 3097 proves that emotions are a flaw to the creature genetic code. Creatures capable of emotion are to be terminated immediately. Creatures will have their brains upgraded to ...
5
votes
3answers
439 views

The perception of time in a tidally-locked planet [duplicate]

Early civilizations have noticed the passage of time through heavenly bodies periodically crossing the sky. With this information, they adapted according to the seasons- especially in agriculture. ...
5
votes
8answers
947 views

Death toll of a week without technology?

So the climax of my urban fantasy story, long story short, involves a supernatural event taking place in the modern time sometime around March on a Saturday, 12:00 PM EST, that renders guns and ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

What would the consequences be if there was a planet other than Earth, Venus, or Mars that was in the habitable zone?

Okay, there are two habitable worlds in the Solar System. One of them is Earth. Human history goes mainly the way it really went. Then, there is another planet with a sentient, equally advanced ...
3
votes
2answers
428 views

What Should the Size of These Secret Superhuman Organizations Be?

Background: Around 600 years ago, the whole world was in conflict. Outside of Ser, the world was a chaotic and dangerous place. Ser was the only neutral country in a world filled with violence and ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

How long will it take to restore genetic diversity if it is reduced drastically in a human population?

I read in this question that the minimum viable population without causing large problems in genetic diversity is about 50. If we have a larger population (say a hundred) and genetic diversity becomes ...
3
votes
2answers
276 views

How many people could disappear and leave a functioning society [closed]

This isn't strictly related to a writing project, but I have been lurking for a while and have been amazed by the different questions that the people here are able to answer. If there was a major ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Horses went extinct, people domesticated something else. - What is it and what would change?

Assuming that horses went extinct early in history, what would replace the horse, and how would the change in domesticated animal affect the development of the first civilizations? Info on horse ...
2
votes
5answers
670 views

Interstellar war tactics with no FTL capabilities?

I have tried to conceive the most realistic hard sci-fi human/alien conflict scenario without invoking FTL magic. By realistic, I mean “War is the wrong answer but we do it anyway”. Im not trying to ...
0
votes
1answer
107 views

Off the grid scenario [closed]

What is the most novel and realistic (believable) way for a relatively average character, with a military background to "disappear" and go underground ("off the grid"), eliminating as many traces of ...
-4
votes
1answer
646 views

The sexy zombie outbreak [closed]

Tomorrow hordes of zombies will invade the streets around the world caused by an airborne fungus. The disease is incurable and the symptoms are similar to rabies. These zombies try to infect and ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
46
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 ...
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 ...
48
votes
6answers
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
26
votes
16answers
4k views

How would society change around a benevolent Superintelligent AI?

Let's make the following assumptions: Artificial Superintelligence (ASI) is inevitable, much like Y2K was. People assumed that this ASI would have the power to prevent any other ASI from being ...
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. ...
23
votes
11answers
4k views

What kind of historic event would precipitate a worldwide corporate dystopia?

I have an idea for a story set in a not-too-far future where the political lines of the world map have been redrawn, not by nation-states like France or Belgium but by corporations like MacroCorp, ...
19
votes
3answers
722 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
1k views

Methods for filling in your world - Political Entities

My world is, at a very high level, well populated. That being said, my focus has been on certain cities relevant to my story. These cities are detailed; they have government structures, leadership (...
33
votes
6answers
3k views

How would a city styled like Venice be built with lava instead of water?

Imagine a Venice like city, but instead of water, it had lava/magma flowing through it. Would this be possible? Materials? Society changes?
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 ...
36
votes
14answers
6k views

How would a society of chaotic evil individuals work?

Imagine an orc-like species of violent sociopaths: they are sadists taking pleasure in the suffering of others, have fits of violent rage, see altruism and empathy as contemptible weakness and are all ...
36
votes
20answers
7k views

10 Commandments to prevent technological development

If an advanced being or group wanted to limit a human society's technological development, they might establish a series of cultural taboos or religious guidelines to influence the societies ...
26
votes
11answers
9k views

Male psychology in a matriarchy

I am developing a (magical) first-millenium CE alternate history based on an extension of historically matriarchal societies, and am trying to decide how this would affect the stereotypical male ...
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?
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 ...
36
votes
18answers
5k views

How can I use my dominance of the software industry to get my customers to worship an eldritch abomination that they don't believe in?

The world is going to hell. Global warming, overpopulation, economic crises and other such issues plague humanity. The only logical solution is to summon Hastur, The King in Yellow, an elder god from ...