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Questions tagged [technological-development]

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

33
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25answers
9k views

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 ...
6
votes
3answers
118 views

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 ...
21
votes
10answers
3k views

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 ...
2
votes
4answers
124 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
57 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 ...
11
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13answers
904 views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
152 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
148 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
145 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 ...
4
votes
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
101 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 ...
8
votes
7answers
334 views

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 ...
6
votes
9answers
273 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 ...
10
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5answers
345 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 ...
25
votes
13answers
9k views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
160 views

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 ...
1
vote
3answers
203 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
454 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 ...
7
votes
6answers
281 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) ...
1
vote
2answers
83 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 ...
-4
votes
1answer
75 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?
9
votes
3answers
183 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 ...
2
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2answers
192 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 ...
6
votes
8answers
342 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 ...
5
votes
6answers
241 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
172 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) ...
7
votes
4answers
229 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
78 views

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 ...
2
votes
7answers
225 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 ...
15
votes
31answers
6k views

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
185 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 ...
15
votes
11answers
4k views

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 ...
2
votes
3answers
205 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
167 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
309 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
300 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
156 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
689 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
252 views

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 ...
6
votes
3answers
346 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
163 views

In a world based in the 1700s, is it possible that someone created tools to aid or utilize magic?

If there was magic that works like telekinesis in a country similar to 18th century England, would the knowledge level and things that have already been invented/discovered be enough for someone to ...
21
votes
13answers
5k views

Why would radio signals be invented/transmitted when communication is not an issue?

Imagine a world where you can talk to anyone at all at any time, and telepathically transmit any amount of information to any select group of people. Why would a world like this ever get to the ...
8
votes
10answers
2k views

Can a society with no electricity develop modern weaponry?

If electricity didn't exist or behaved differently, would a society be able to develop and reliably produce modern-level guns and other weaponry, like assault rifles and missiles?
1
vote
6answers
227 views

What kind of trade/profession would be the most useful to uplift a paleolithic tribe? [closed]

Inspired by the question What technologies could an every-man teach a Palaeolithic tribe? If you want to jump start the civilization of a late paleolithic tribe, and instead of high school dropout ...
1
vote
2answers
156 views

What Technological Regression Might a Spacefaring Civilization Experience? [closed]

This is a broad question, but the premise is fairly simple: what technological advancements that we take for granted today might be lost, or might no longer be necessary for a spacefaring civilization?...
23
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9answers
3k views

What technologies could an every-man teach a Palaeolithic tribe? [closed]

In my story I have an every-man, lets call him Jim. Jim never finished high school, works as a night guard, and spends his time drinking beer, watching TV, surfing the internet and hanging out with ...
3
votes
3answers
124 views

Futuristic Heat Gloves

In my story, I've been drafting a character with abilities based on fire and heat. I had this idea that he could have gloves that can increase in heat on the outside while the inside temperature stays ...
7
votes
7answers
447 views

Could an intelligent worm-like race invent and build computers?

We have a regular Earth as we know it, but instead of humans, there is this worm-like race, intelligent similarly as nowadays humans. Their inner physiology is different from our worms (and not ...
1
vote
0answers
66 views

How can you derive a meter if you were transported in a world with no knowledge of the metric system? [duplicate]

I'm making a novel where the protagonist is reincarnated into a world in a medieval setting? How would one go about this? Note that the world he is in may not necessarily be the same size as earth.
5
votes
2answers
122 views

What level of technology would our solar system neighbors need to detect Earthlings?

Suppose on the moons of Jupiter there is a growing civilization of intelligent life. Assuming their technology timeline is approximately similar to our own, except lagging behind us, then... What ...