Questions tagged [society]

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

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votes
17answers
5k views

Could a utopian society exist with no system of exchange?

Let's set the scene: A virus or other global disaster sweeps across the globe wiping all but a group of 1,000,000 or so survivors. Our current technological level is still maintained. For the sake of ...
18
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9answers
2k views

Is empathy a requirement for civilisation?

There have been a few races in science fiction (e.g. The Dwellers: from Iain M. Bank's The Algebraist) that have no concept of empathy. They do not care about the fate of others in any real way, the ...
49
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12answers
7k 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 ...
14
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9answers
4k views

Police Investigations in Fantasy World with Medieval Technology?

I'm trying to write a murder mystery in a fantasy setting without much technology - certainly no DNA or fingerprint evidence - but I've realized that I have no idea how they would go about solving the ...
-2
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1answer
552 views

If an invading army from an unknown land was defeated after inflicting major damage, what would happen to the surviving invaders? [closed]

A horde from parts unknown arrives on a continent, burns their ships, and starts taking over land. The Horde managed to conquer over half the continent and they burned down many major cities. They ...
5
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5answers
2k views

Would a war between superhoeroes last longer than a war between humans? [closed]

My planet's features, such as mountains, plains, and rivers were formed because the Tolks, people with superhero-like qualities, used it as a battlefield. They have offensive and defensive abilities ...
25
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14answers
4k views

What are the social implications of discovering a formula for immortality?

Here is a hypothetical, but not entirely plausible, scenario: An organization or company (likely pharmaceutical) discovers the formula to develop a drug that stops aging (the human body's cells are ...
30
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10answers
7k views

What would the real Miss Universe pageant be like?

Let us say that the humans, with our era of technology plus 5 to 10 years, are contacted by an intergalactic alien union. They want us to join them, and we gladly do. As it is common when several ...
12
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6answers
4k views

Why would robots move us around if we don't want to go anywhere?

I'm imagining a world where every human spends their entire life in a confined space that just barely fits the human and provides the with everything they need. Essentially, it's like wall-e taken to ...
6
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4answers
690 views

Sociology of Inter-Species Romance

Assuming a society in which -- for whatever reason -- there exist multiple sapient/sentient species. They are significantly different enough to completely preclude procreation. Inter-species relations ...
4
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3answers
539 views

Does the change of dynasty make a country weaker or stronger in the long run?

When we look at our own history and particularly in China, there were a lot of dynastic changes. Almost all of these changes came with destruction and the death of many people. War also disrupts trade,...
10
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3answers
856 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
3k 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
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5answers
515 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
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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
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5answers
920 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
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4answers
677 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 ...
5
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7answers
2k 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
21k 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,...
54
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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 ...
9
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3answers
2k 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
2k 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 ...
33
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11answers
4k views

What kind of effect would a long lifespan have on humanity?

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 ...
14
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5answers
2k 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 ...
51
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16answers
23k 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
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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 ...
9
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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 ...
15
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7answers
8k 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
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5answers
936 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 ...
8
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3answers
311 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. ...
15
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5answers
4k 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 ...
38
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19answers
9k 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 ...
7
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0answers
702 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 ...
14
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4answers
2k 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 ...
14
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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 ...
26
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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
3k 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
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1answer
138 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 ...
16
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4answers
6k 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
228 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
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4answers
4k 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
794 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. ...
53
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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 ...
17
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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 ...
14
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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, ...
9
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2answers
389 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 ...
17
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5answers
2k views

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

Many fantasy worlds (for instance Tamriel from The Elder Scrolls) and also ancient civilizations have or had polytheistic cults to the point where the same holy place would be shared among different, ...
19
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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 ...
41
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12answers
5k 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
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15answers
7k 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 ...