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Questions tagged [technological-development]

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

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Storm-Powered Industrial Revolution Complications/Limitations

Poseidon and Zeus are not very happy. An alien planet hosts a very stormy and volatile hydrosphere. It's of a similar temperature to Earth, except larger, with a bit more gravity, and tidal heating ...
Rexotec's user avatar
  • 649
11 votes
17 answers
4k views

How could the switch from steam to diesel locomotives be delayed 20-30 years?

In real life diesel locomotive production largely supplanted steam locomotive production in the 1940s and 1950s, and steam locomotives largely disappeared from mainline service in developed countries ...
OT-64 SKOT's user avatar
  • 4,626
6 votes
5 answers
276 views

Could a species that is intelligent, but non-sentient, be able to create advanced technology? what would the ideal type of civilization be?

I took a single psych class in HS that I just barely passed, so the difference between intelligence and sentience is a little hazy to me. As best as I can understand it, intelligence is the means to ...
BigDumb's user avatar
  • 377
5 votes
5 answers
1k views

Efficient method of storing energy in a near-future, semi-hard sci-fi game

I am creating a relatively hard sci-fi video game that takes place in the year 2147, and am trying to make it represent a future that might be completely realistic. There have not been that many ...
ACertainArchangel's user avatar
3 votes
5 answers
613 views

How can half tracks be kept in development by major militaries after 1945?

During WW2 half tracked APCs were practically the only kind of APC present, immediately after the war they almost entirely dropped out of production and development outside of a few exceptions such as ...
OT-64 SKOT's user avatar
  • 4,626
17 votes
16 answers
6k views

Why aren’t there advanced computers in an advanced society?

In the universe in question, there’s another intelligent silicon-based species, with the typical member of the species being many times as intelligent as humans. With intimate knowledge of quantum ...
controlgroup's user avatar
  • 4,936
4 votes
2 answers
387 views

How might a civilization that comes after us be aided by the fact someone has been here and done it before?

Suppose a hypothetical apocalypse scenario that wipes out all human beings, but leaves infrastructure and the like behind. In particular, digital technologies are mostly unaffected. Consider then, ...
FrossD's user avatar
  • 259
3 votes
1 answer
91 views

Would Earlier Knowledge of Rubber Vulcanization have been a Game Changer?

I was working on an alternate history world where the Americas are not heavily colonized and I became aware of how some people in the Yucatan were vulcanizing rubber long before Goodyear. Assuming ...
Coquí's user avatar
  • 127
2 votes
1 answer
60 views

Earliest possible time for hydrothermal carbonization

Assuming that some lucky (and very wealthy) alchemist was on the right track, what is the earliest time that the hydrothermal carbonization process can be both discovered and implemented on a large ...
Seraphim's user avatar
  • 4,971
3 votes
5 answers
197 views

Would things engineered to work on earth work ok in 1.25 times earth gravity? [closed]

A while ago I asked this question about if a planet 1/5th larger than earth could remain earth like. The top answers all seemed to agree that while the planet could be that much larger and still only ...
OT-64 SKOT's user avatar
  • 4,626
6 votes
6 answers
3k views

Could a society with medieval technology discover all the planets in the solar system?

Could you have a telescope advanced enough to see a planet as far away as Neptune is from Earth, in a civilization with a tech level equivalent to 1100 AD? Would it be possible to discover all the ...
www's user avatar
  • 1,505
12 votes
13 answers
4k views

Data storage on marble statue

In my novel I need incriminating international information somehow embedded in/on an erotic marble statue. Is this possible? If so how would it be done and how info later be retrieved? I've searched ...
Why's user avatar
  • 129
2 votes
2 answers
106 views

How early technologically could manganese nodules be economically dredged if there was a serious desire to do so?

While the idea of deep sea mining has only started to see significant effort in recent times, there were earlier efforts in the 1960s and 1970s. While they were first discovered in 1868, first ...
OT-64 SKOT's user avatar
  • 4,626
3 votes
2 answers
169 views

What is the minimum level of technology needed to explore a large flood volcanism event?

The world in question has had this flood volcanism event going on for longer than humanity has been around. It is comparable in size to the one that created the Columbia River Basalt Group and is ...
OT-64 SKOT's user avatar
  • 4,626
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

How might civilization develop if hunter-gatherers and/or early agrarian civilizations had access to highly advanced technology? [closed]

Imagine a setting where, across numerous worlds: people without memory, identity or culture wake up surrounded by the ruins and technologies of a highly advanced spacefaring civilization that ...
LordMalecith's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
231 views

Bronze Age phonograph

Basic question Armed with a special type of extremely responsive leather, and with giant civilizations willing to pour every resource they have into this problem, after discovering the concept of ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 913
12 votes
14 answers
4k views

How could jet fighter development be delayed by about 15-17 years without impacting the development of piston engined aircraft?

Though it may sound similar, this is not a duplicate of this. The core difference is that the question there is limiting the development of all aircraft, but this is about limiting development of ...
OT-64 SKOT's user avatar
  • 4,626
3 votes
3 answers
193 views

Could these technologies be fabricated and utilised by this semi-industrialised society?

I have this society that has enjoyed some rather fantastical circumstances resulting in a unique path of technological advancement, and I need help figuring out what kind of technologies they would be ...
MarkKaiya's user avatar
12 votes
7 answers
4k views

What is the lowest tech level that could sustain life on Mars or the Moon?

Inspired by this question, which asks how we could achieve a "backup" of human life. Mars came up as an obvious idea, but with the caveat that it is nigh impossible to keep a Mars colony ...
fgysin's user avatar
  • 3,240
-1 votes
3 answers
137 views

How would a government lay claim over a Space Colony that it never founded? What legal arguments could they make to cite it’s always been theirs? [closed]

I’ve read some books with a premise of leaving an increasingly centralized and decadent Earth for the stars before it heads a turn for the extra worse Part of their premise is Earth Governments ...
GreatReset2030HopefullyNot's user avatar
13 votes
12 answers
6k views

How would computers develop in a society where a Cherokee-like language is the dominant lingua franca?

I am writing a book set in a parallel universe where English is not the dominant language and the dominant language is a complex polysynthetic language that makes use of a complex system of word ...
Galactic's user avatar
  • 4,454
4 votes
6 answers
422 views

How far can a limited group of people advance in technology?

following scenario: a group of people (like 20-30) is brought to a new planet by a higher power. They are granted immortality, but can't reproduce - so they have a lot of time, but a hard limit in ...
ManoG1234609's user avatar
11 votes
6 answers
5k views

Can an airforce be developed in secret?

In the course of events in my world (tech = 1920-ish, but no airplanes. Maybe blimps.), a large archipelago nation is invaded by a naval superpower. The archipelago nation, which had been developing ...
The Infinite One's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
317 views

Computing technology in a world with only Gold, Copper, and Silver

As the title suggests, in this world there are only three metals available in any meaningful amount: copper, gold and silver. How advanced could computers get in this world? Could things like the ...
Rhomaioi's user avatar
  • 1,349
6 votes
4 answers
1k views

Possibility of solar powered space stations around a red dwarf

I have an earth-like world orbiting an M7 red dwarf on the outer edge of the habitable zone(0.0443AU). Since red dwarfs emit more infrared light than visible light, solar panels would probably not be ...
Fox Studios's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
291 views

What technologies would be useful to a society trying to attain elevation?

Setting This question is about a human culture, with conditions essentially the same as Earth's with technology roughly comparable to early middle ages. The climate is roughly Alpine, although the ...
Jamie Lear's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
256 views

Radio, but earlier

Let start with a current history tech-levels. Suppose, a relevant scientist in a mid-tier Great Power in 1850s receives a mysterious package. To be concrete, let's say a mid-tier Great Power is maybe ...
Oleg Lobachev's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
185 views

Could you achieve a crude bessemer converter with late medieval technology

Planning to write a story. I was wondering if it was plausible that (with a decent understanding of how the thing works), if you could build a crude Bessemer converter using only technology available ...
mynameisbobhello12's user avatar
3 votes
5 answers
313 views

How bad would it be, if aliens wiped out high-end processor production? [closed]

Let's imagine Contact with some space-faring civilization tomorrow. We will meet them, "shake their many appendages, <...>, and even attempt diplomacy." The result is that in a few ...
FrogOfJuly's user avatar
  • 1,138
3 votes
2 answers
207 views

Potentional ways to exploit track built for very fast & very *very* heavy trains when transitioning to high speed rail?

In this world a nation has built 2 railway networks, a smaller 3'6" gauge network & a heavier 4'8" railway network. The 4'8" network connects most of the major cities & has very ...
OT-64 SKOT's user avatar
  • 4,626
15 votes
6 answers
5k views

Would fixed-wing aircraft still exist if helicopters had been invented (and flown) before them?

The current setting i'm working on plays in an alternate timeline to our own in the late 1920's, with one of the key differences being that the helicopter had already been invented in the late 1880's ...
NimRad's user avatar
  • 1,222
8 votes
7 answers
4k views

What would naval warfare look like if Dreadnoughts never came to be?

I sadly couldn't find any answers to this question, probably because it's quite niche, so i'm posting this as my first question here! The https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Dreadnought_(1906) was ...
NimRad's user avatar
  • 1,222
7 votes
7 answers
3k views

How would a 4-armed, blind species,use firearms?

My blind, intelligent species has advanced technologically to the stage of space exploration through the usage of FTL travel. The reason for their blindness is evolving underground, after the surface ...
Fedor Scheglov's user avatar
7 votes
11 answers
5k views

Could a race with 20th century computer technology plausibly develop general-purpose AI?

I have a race of aliens whose technology roughly corresponds to humanity’s in the early 1970s. Wireless communications via microwaves have been developed, but are only available to important groups ...
user98816's user avatar
  • 8,657
1 vote
2 answers
289 views

What could Kaiju do to stop us from travelling into deep space?

The world's overrun with Kaiju but, while they kill many and cause much destruction, our civilization continues, migrating inward, away from the coasts where the Kaiju typically occupy. Question is ...
Luke Duffy's user avatar
5 votes
8 answers
4k views

Landmine detonation by air explosions?

In the story I am creating, there's a near-future Earth, where humanity is recovering from global conflict; only parts of the world have retained the science and technologies that have been widespread ...
Gnudiff's user avatar
  • 1,500
6 votes
4 answers
973 views

How Would a Spacefaring Civilization Using No Electricity Communicate?

I'm working on a civilization who was born out of a century-long interstellar war with an AI. So they had previously developed electrical and digital technology but now they're avoiding using any of ...
parkinglot's user avatar
3 votes
10 answers
1k views

Reasons for low-tech in sci-fi [closed]

My sci-fi world is stuck in a low-tech state. What would be the underlying reasons? In Dune, it's the recent Jihad against machines. In the 40k setting, it's religion. In MechWarrior, it's an ...
pinegulf's user avatar
  • 405
1 vote
2 answers
183 views

Can it be called an 'illusion' if it can change things? [closed]

In a sci-fi book that I am still to write, can I use the word 'illusion' to denote extreme cases of mind trickery where such an 'illusion' can alter things and space around, example: people are able ...
Writer-Writer's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
519 views

Radios and walkie-talkie [closed]

In a solar punk if there are radios and walkie talkies being used regularly by a very poor post-apocalyptic society...does it sound believable that there are no airplanes and flying vehicles nor cars, ...
Writer-Writer's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
69 views

Social and Technological Constraints in an Aquatic Society [closed]

If humans had evolved as aquatic mammals, as opposed to terrestrial mammals, what aquatic resources would be available which were not available to terrestrial societies. Some foundational technologies ...
Jared's user avatar
  • 41
2 votes
10 answers
2k views

Is it possible for rockets to exist in a world that is only in the early stages of developing jet aircraft?

More specifically, is it possible for rocket engines comparable to those of the mid 1960s to exist in a world where in atmosphere jet engines are only in their early stages of development? This world ...
OT-64 SKOT's user avatar
  • 4,626
1 vote
4 answers
261 views

How close to modern technology can humans plausibly get without discovering nukes?

This is for humans living on a similar planet as earth and similar tech-development (in my setting, there is magic, but I want the most ideal, non-magic answer to this so I can better tweak the other ...
The Infinite One's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
397 views

How limited would computers be if silicon transistors were never invented?

In a world where silicon transistors were never invented, how many limitations would be incurred if we had to continue to use germanium transistors? In this world, silicon transistors were never ...
OT-64 SKOT's user avatar
  • 4,626
21 votes
16 answers
5k views

How would a civilization of techno-barbarians maintain their space ships?

Recently I've gotten interested in the planetary romance genre and the idea of a sword, sorcery and spaceships genre. So here's the dynamic is basically something like this. There is a star system ...
AllSeeingEye33's user avatar
20 votes
26 answers
6k views

Non-electrical technology that pre-modern people would see as magic?

My world was colonized by spacefaring humans who lost the vast majority of their technology in an unknown catastrophe at least 12,000 years before the present. They have now redeveloped roughly up to ...
DMacc1917's user avatar
  • 956
16 votes
13 answers
3k views

Is a "20th century" spacefaring civilization plausible?

This civilization has computational technology roughly equivalent to Earth's in the late 20th century. We're talking post-moon landing, but pre-Internet (roughly 1969-1983). They may or may not have ...
DMacc1917's user avatar
  • 956
2 votes
2 answers
156 views

Types of available ores and metallurgy on a "newly" terraformed planet?

I am developing a story set on an exoplanet that was colonized by spacefaring humans but has long since lost all contact with the homeworld due to some unknown catastrophe at least 12,000 years before ...
DMacc1917's user avatar
  • 956
4 votes
3 answers
231 views

How advanced and/or important would aircraft be for a species capable naturally of decent to good flight? [closed]

I am wondering how a species capable naturally/supernaturally(with limits) of decent to good flight, i.e capable of flying for hours and possibly can hover, would treat aircraft like passenger jets ...
Conan Highwoods's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
100 views

Inherited memories to rebuild a fallen civilisation

So, humans have achieved interstellar flight and colonised a distant planet. They have terraformed this world, and now they are beginning to build their first cities. However, a Neo-Luddite faction ...
user98816's user avatar
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