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Questions tagged [technological-development]

For questions about the progress of a society's technological state.

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What is the minimum tech level for manned flight?

For instance, a hot air balloon is really pretty simple; I suspect that even thousands of years ago, it would have been possible to make - steam engines existed in 1AD, after all. So, just how far ...
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6answers
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Humanity loses the vast majority of its technology, information, and population in the year 2122. How long does it take to rebuild itself? [on hold]

The year is 2122. An AI created in the year 2115 with complete, unfettered access to control of the entirety of Earth's electronic equipment has caused a mass extinction event of humanity after ...
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1answer
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What would the implications be if all terrestrial lead was gold? [closed]

At some point before life crawled out of the ocean, some alien alchemist managed to turn all of the lead on the earth into gold. Galena becomes some sort of Electrum, and any existing Anglesite and ...
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2answers
114 views

Transparent Materials for Creating Martian Dome Ceilings

What options exist it any, for a radiation resistant, transparent, and durable material that could theoretically be used for a ceiling of a martian dome?
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15answers
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Highly technological aliens land nuclear fusion powered ships in medieval city and slaughter everyone, using swords? [closed]

I want to create a scenario where highly technological aliens invade a medieval earth, the kind with magic and dragons and such. But I don't want the aliens to be completely overpowered. I want them ...
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5answers
669 views

How can I ensure that advanced technology remains in the hands of the superhero community?

There is a brilliant scientist who regularly tangoes with external threats to the planet Earth, where a race referred to as "humaniti" reside. He, along with a team of scientists, operate out of a ...
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3answers
182 views

How could a hive-mind without true individuals create technology?

Imagine a species in which the ego never developed. There is no self-direction. This species is always making noise, however, and it is through this noise that the society itself experiences the ...
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17answers
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Can the number of letters in alphabet suggest how advanced civilization is?

Let's suppose we intercepted a message in an unknown language. We were not able to decipher it, but we were able to decode it. Meaning we know the letters but not the meaning of the words in the text. ...
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3answers
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Must Make a Major Modification of Medieval Metallurgy

The scene: Earth, but with a single major modification, the addition of a HUGE quantity of a single element to the Earth's crust (bringing it up to the same abundance as Iron in the crust). The ...
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21answers
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Is there a way to keep science from ruining tribute magic?

This magic is done by offering a tribute to god. The tribute is mana, the magical power source. You offer it up in return for a wish granted by god. The benefit of the magic is that the only ...
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25answers
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What could prevent us from making alien technology if we had the schematics?

This question is inspired by Could medieval people produce automatic firearms if they had access to the schematics? I have simply moved it forwards in time as follows: In 2019 we receive an alien ...
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3answers
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Forging with geothermal heat: Possible alternative to fire in alien species' technological progression?

A world idea I'm playing with for a sci-fi idea I'm working on has an atmosphere similar to the composition of Earth's atmosphere during the Carboniferous Period: Lots of oxygen, so while a human or a ...
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10answers
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First innovation for time traveler to low-tech society [closed]

A time traveler goes back in time (one-way trip, and he does not get to choose the exact destination) to a low-tech society, similar to medieval Europe. His objective is to kickstart an industrial ...
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4answers
137 views

How to make non-tradable sector unattractive for ambitious entrepreneurs?

I'm writing a story about a government of a former colony who wants to industrialize the country and build its manufacturing base. However too many entrepreneurs prefer to invest into non-tradable ...
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0answers
63 views

How would fierce competition affect the adoption of alternative energy sources? [closed]

This is a continuation of the question asked here: How long would it take for nuclear energy to become adopted in a world on the brink of collapse? So, with my current timeline, nuclear energy (and ...
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13answers
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Preventing Technological Progression

Normally, technology in numerous fields will advance due to breakthroughs driven by a need for something like more efficient weapons or farming. How can I explain a civilization being "technologically ...
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1answer
160 views

How long would it take for nuclear energy to become adopted in a world on the brink of collapse?

For reference, I'm going with the accepted answer given here: How would technology adoption of Lithium Air battery work?. In my world, it makes sense that governments would be very interested in ...
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3answers
165 views

Plausible futuristic infrastructure for an underwater micronation built 300-500 feet below the surface

My story takes place hundreds of years in the future after global warming has made life at the surface uninhabitable for most life forms. What’s left of mankind survived because it became popular to ...
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2answers
158 views

How would ships develop in a world without Gunpowder/Cannons

So i was thinking about the world i set my story in: Set in an age equivalent to the 17th century Magic exists, but is not very powerful though very versatile Gunpowder was never discovered naval ...
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7answers
2k views

Microscopic LEDs

In my world, extremely small LEDs are vital. My question is, with today's technology—or any reasonable improvement of, i.e., “we don't have the machine to build it but we have the sciences and ...
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2answers
110 views

Plausibility of another extremely intelligent species evolving who finds the remains of our existence and emulates our society

I've been thinking on the concept of the human race dying off (the reason doesn't matter), but most of the other living species on the planet survive. Although we die off, the remains of books, the ...
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8answers
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How advanced can a stagnant civilization on a dying planet be?

Background The concept of an old and dying red planet is common in pulp novels, comics, and gaming. What I am interested in is a world dying under a sun that has turned red and is expanding. The ...
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9answers
287 views

The reason a cyclical world's lifespan diminishes over eons

I'm brainstorming ideas for a fantasy videogame and have been trying to list possible reasons why a fantasy world would have a lifespan diminish exponentially through countless cycles of death and ...
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5answers
357 views

Reality Check: Discovery of Iron Bloomery without a preceding Bronze Age?

The setting that I am working on has a population of humans living in a place that does not have abundant copper or tin resources, so it is unlikely that they'd discover Bronze. However, bog iron is ...
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13answers
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Could a species with a lifespan of 20 years achieve enough technological progress to reach space?

I'm current planning a story which includes a race of diminutive humanoid aliens, one of whom crash-lands on Earth. They're fully sentient, and have the same average intelligence level as humans. The ...
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1answer
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A kingdom brainwashing its aristocracy but not its citizens [closed]

So just for a quick "historical" context. This is a continent where numerous races other than humans exist as does somewhat weak magic. In the medieval era the humans attempted to genocide/enslave ...
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3answers
212 views

Freezing Technology at a Civil War Level for 200 Years

Is there a way to "freeze" weapons, transportation, and communications technology at an American Civil War era level for at least 200 years? Basically, in the year 1867, two years after the end of ...
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4answers
490 views

How to not let magic advance the technology too fast?

So lets say that the level of the non-magic wielding species i.e. humans technology is at around the level it was in the early medieval times. I would then introduce magic to the rest of the world in ...
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6answers
298 views

How to hinder the development of sea travel until the industrial age?

Instead of Earth as we know it, humans evolved on a slightly smaller, habitable earthlike planet with different geography. Due to the plot reasons, I would like to keep them confined to one (large) ...
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2answers
85 views

Alternatives to using iron and iron-based products [closed]

So I'm homebrewing a race and one of their things is that they're averse to iron (I'm basing this off of how in a lot of folklore supernatural creatures are warded off by iron) and I just want to know ...
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1answer
78 views

World with 2 billion people [closed]

How much would fertility rate need to drop for the world to stabilise at 2 billion people in 200 years time? Would the world with this amount of people be vastly more peaceful and prosperous?
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3answers
197 views

On an Earth regularly ravaged by solar storms as strong as as the Carrington Event, how would technology advance?

The world I'm thinking of is a large moon of a gas giant. It's fairly Earth-like, perhaps a bit smaller, might be a bit magical, but sits about where we sit around a star very similar to ours, except ...
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2answers
201 views

Earth evacuated - what advancements would an early civilization gain from what they left behind?

Here's the scenario: living deep underground, far from any influence of modern humans, is a civilization of what can essentially be considered early Sumerians (from 3000 BC). Disregard how they got ...
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8answers
362 views

Is it possible to keep secret such a technological discovery?

Welcome to my fantasy, late-medieval world. For the sake of the question, we can divide it up in two major continents: Continent A is considered the birthplace of my humans and features a solid ...
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6answers
270 views

Looking for a way to power a locomotive in a pseudo-1600s fantasy world

Assuming a world where there were no steam engines available, would it be possible for large passenger or cargo trains to exist? Would it be possible to use horse-engines to power a locomotive? If ...
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1answer
189 views

How can I slow technological advancement? [closed]

The Scenario I am the last survivor of a race of technologically advanced humanoids. My civilization annihilated itself and devastated our home planet. My Capabilities I have sole (obviously) ...
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4answers
239 views

How Advanced can Societies of Hooved Animals be?

Humans have come and gone. Their aggressiveness and pride have caused their own end. War has torn apart all society, engineered diseases pick them off one by one. The last remaining people have fled ...
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1answer
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How do I measure the stages of futuristic genetic engineering development? [closed]

Please note this question was originally asked and deleted by the user Era. I've chosen to resurrect the question with slight modifications because I think it is deserving of and will foster ...
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7answers
254 views

How to justify the coexistence of countries with different levels of development? [closed]

Note: The word "culture" refers to a collective of peoples and countries using the mentioned technologies. So I'm running into the problem that I want multiple technological environments in my world ...
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31answers
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What is a good excuse for why an early 1900's-like fantasy world has not yet invented rifles / guns of any sort?

I am writing a book where the world is split into multiple kingdoms, with each kingdom using a similar magic system to the rest, but using different powers. IE one can control the elements, another ...
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3answers
194 views

Life and technology in magnetically-floating islands [closed]

I'm designing a world that has a series of layered floating islands, that are kept aloft due to magnetism. What sort of secondary effects might occur with a planetary magnetic field strong enough to ...
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11answers
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Restricting antimatter - practical rather than legal measures

Antimatter is relatively easy, but heinously expensive, to make using modern technology. I have two universes with the same problem; energy is free and for all practical purposes infinite, this should ...
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3answers
214 views

Can blind people build a spaceship and land on the Moon?

This question is inspired by Could a species develop the tech necessary to land on their own moon without comprehending light? Consider following scenario: a civilization of alien tricksters abducts ...
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2answers
195 views

Could a species develop the tech necessary to land on their own moon without comprehending light?

Inspired by a brief comment converstaion found here. I would like to investigate the design and development of an alien species whose technological development did not include an understanding of ...
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4answers
346 views

What superpowers or tech would actually make sense to use for theft? [closed]

The recent question about Fort Knox brought back a long-time concern I've had regarding super-villainous behavior: most super abilities could earn as much money (or vastly more) through legitimate ...
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3answers
329 views

Army composition in a “Dies the Fire” scenario

For those not familiar with these books: Dies the Fire* and the subsequent novels by S.M. Stirling are a fantasy companion to his Island in the sea of time series where Nantucket is sent back in time ...
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3answers
161 views

In an age of flying sailing ships, would airfoils be invented earlier or later, and what uses might they serve?

In the question What would an age of sail flying ship look like?, I wrote an answer which defines the type of flying sailing ships that I am considering for this question. To clarify matters, keel ...
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5answers
729 views

Classification of types of Civilization

In a Galaxy where there are numerous Earth Like worlds, and FTL Travel is possible but only by a small number of species, possibly only by Humans, perhaps they just happened to get there first. In a ...
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4answers
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Can I trigger supernova artificially?

As far as I know stars are going supernova as a natural process. Can aliens trigger it artificially? If this is possible then: How can I do this (what minimum technology and civilization development ...
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3answers
451 views

Does this apocalypse and the following events make sense?

First off, I apologize for this lengthy post. But in order to give you a clear understanding of everything, I think this is necessary. So I've been creating a world which has suffered through an ...