Questions tagged [technological-development]

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

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2 votes
3 answers
198 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 ...
6 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 ...
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 ...
3 votes
3 answers
152 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 ...
30 votes
11 answers
4k views

How would the road network change, after all cars are self-driving?

In a future where all cars and public services are self-driving the way, I am assuming traffic congestion would be seriously limited, if not removed completely, because the road network would also ...
110 votes
32 answers
29k views

If 120 experts in 12 different fields were sent back 10,000 years, could they recreate the 21st century in 100 years?

Ten experts (CEOs, professors) of each of the fields of math, physics, chemistry, economics, engineering, electrical engineering, CS, sociology, psychology, art, politics and education (120 total) are ...
3 votes
3 answers
286 views

How long could an progressive civilization theoretically go without getting to a modern age?

There is this world, and several people came out of a cave without any memories, but they do have basic knowledge of survival. Years later, the descendants of these people are fairly progressive and ...
40 votes
11 answers
16k views

How would the indigenous peoples of North America have developed in the absense of the Europeans?

In some alternate history, Europeans never discovered the Americas for one reason or another. Maybe the initial motivations just weren't there, or maybe the visionaries of the day fell ill and died ...
1 vote
0 answers
178 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 ...
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 ...
-1 votes
3 answers
129 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 ...
14 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 ...
14 votes
19 answers
4k views

Why have non-magic technology when there is already a magic solution?

In my world, magic and technology have a weird relationship. While they do combine and help advance growing civilizations, they can also inhibit each other. For example, if there are healing spells, ...
4 votes
6 answers
404 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 ...
5 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 ...
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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
254 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 ...
6 votes
3 answers
287 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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
154 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 ...
3 votes
5 answers
307 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 ...
6 votes
5 answers
855 views

How do we replace printing by automated writing?

It is the year 1800 technology-level. In this world, no one uses any kind of printing technology (moveable type, typewriters, block printing, lithography, etc). People still write, and need to ...
10 votes
7 answers
1k views

Food ingredients in the medieval ages compared to their modern counterparts?

One of my characters (who comes from Earth) wants to open a restaurant in a fantasy world. This world is currently in its medieval era. The restaurant would serve all sorts of modern food; deep fried,...
3 votes
2 answers
198 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 ...
15 votes
6 answers
4k 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 ...
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 ...
3 votes
6 answers
771 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
282 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 ...
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 ...
6 votes
4 answers
940 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 ...
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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
179 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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
506 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, ...
1 vote
0 answers
67 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
1 vote
4 answers
246 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 ...
5 votes
2 answers
361 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 ...
10 votes
7 answers
4k views

How could an armless race establish civilization?

A race of humanoids with only legs, prehensile feet and a mouth equipped with two rows of teeth made of magnetite, which they can magnetise using their natural electricity generation. How could such a ...
20 votes
26 answers
5k 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 ...
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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
151 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 ...
9 votes
4 answers
1k views

Antimatter planet on normal matter star

Consideration For the sake of argument, please assume the following: The planet in question is around the size of Earth The planet may contain native intelligent life, artificially engineered The ...
4 votes
3 answers
223 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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
150 views

Medical technology in a post-collapse exoplanet

I am developing a story set on a habitable, Earth-like exoplanet which was colonized by spacefaring humans, but has long since lost all contact with the homeworld due to some catastrophe approximately ...
5 votes
5 answers
308 views

Preservation of knowledge in the event of apocalypse [duplicate]

I am trying to think of a good way for an effectively all-powerful organization to preserve humanity's knowledge for when the inevitable apocalypse happens so that, when the time comes for survivors ...
-1 votes
1 answer
95 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 ...
9 votes
14 answers
3k views

Portable Alternatives to Traditional Keyboard/Mouse Input

In a near-future alternate reality where smartphones were never invented, people rely heavily on augmented reality and highly mobile computing. High-tech clothing and accessories are everywhere. Heads-...
7 votes
12 answers
698 views

Building a spaceship alone in the wilderness

I am currently working on a character backstory for somebody whose fictional character gets sent back in time an era before his species existed (essentially to bronze-age times or even earlier, it's ...

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