Questions tagged [technology]

For questions about the creation, use, and application of all types of technology.

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4
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2answers
124 views

What water generating technology would be required to create a planetary scale flood?

Aqadatio is a planet which is completely flooded. This flood was generated by its own government to get out of debt (long story). The inhabitants of this planet are technologically advanced, more so ...
5
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5answers
663 views

A Roman-technology clock run by slaves - how to make it accurate

In a land similar to the Roman Empire, slaves are used to drive machinery. Mostly this is a matter of getting them to pull carts or wind handles. The Emperor wants a clock that is accurate to the ...
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2answers
272 views

How to keep intelligent races from discovering electricity?

Without changing a planet from being habitable for humans and keeping a similar ecosystem why could intelligent races never access electricity? ...
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1answer
116 views

What could prevent a planet from possessing magnets/electricity?

Without changing a planet from being habitable for humans and keeping a similar ecosystem why could intelligent races never access electricity? What systems need to be erased from the planet to not ...
9
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1answer
136 views

What are the fundamental limitations of echolocation in Earth's atmosphere?

I'm writing a cyberpunk novel where one of the characters has an augmentation that allows them to echolocate. The idea is that there is a device on the center of his forehead (is there a more optimal ...
29
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12answers
7k views

Enforcing a speed limit in medieval times

The Emperor has decreed that the speed limit for horses and horse-drawn vehicles within city limits is to be 5 leagues per hour. As usual he has left the implementation details to his Scientific ...
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1answer
82 views

Formulating likelyhood for civilization to face weapons-based self-destruction [closed]

Premise I would like to create a formula that tackles the question of how likely a civilization is to commit self-annihilation. At first glance it doesn't sound possible or practical for that matter. ...
4
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5answers
187 views

Hypothetical: Could living standards improve in a zero economic and population growth society?

This is a hypothetical question, with the intention of exploring the nature of wealth and standard of living. By zero growth, I mean that the output of goods and services produced per person does not ...
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5answers
766 views

How much can you learn about a planet while in its orbit?

Suppose a team of astronauts have travelled to another solar system, and are currently living in a craft which is in Medium Earth Orbit of a planet which has oceans, continents, and complex life. ...
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9answers
4k views

Victorian CCTV?

In a setting of late Victorian technology, would it be possible to record and replay sound and light near-real-time similar to modern video-recordings? The ideal criteria for the system would be (in ...
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2answers
310 views

What can I do with perfectly precise “weights”? [closed]

Suppose I have a few "weights". Half of them, and I know which half, has a mass EXACTLY, to infinite precision, twice the other half. I know that very quickly the weights will not be exactly related ...
41
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28answers
10k views

Why buy tech from the future?

The Demonstration You're a rich, successful CEO/capitalist working in the electronics business. Your R&D division is exceptional and routinely fabs state of the art processors at bleeding edge ...
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2answers
163 views

Spaceship Engineering & Infrastructure Challenges: Air Currents

I have a spherical spaceship that is about 2 kilometers in diameter with an outer clear, yet strong shell. This spaceship is largely made up of empty space occupied by air. Aside from this the ...
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2answers
364 views

Hurricanes - How to Protect Against the Damage

Disclaimer: First off, this is not a duplicate of this question. That question deals with stopping the hurricane, or preventing it from ever forming in the first place. It was discovered that wasn't ...
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4answers
1k views

Could an industrial and a post-industrial civilization exist at the same time?

One of the big issues I have run into while building the story I'm currently working on, is the fact that their are multiple nations that exist in an industrial state, while others are far past this ...
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5answers
344 views

What's the next stage of transportation, after wormholes are invented?

I've seen many movies in which advanced civilizations use wormhole-opening technologies to either travel across the universe, or to simply get to the other side of a city. And this is also what I've ...
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9answers
4k views

Would it be more efficient to build fleets in orbit?

My Dino theme park business didn't end well and I reluctantly fall into depression and decided to go into suspended animation to seek a cure. 200 years later, a lady claims she works with the military ...
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24answers
11k views

What is the most reasonable way for non-binary computers to have become standard?

Let us assume planet Earth, with a history similar to ours. Except, the result of the computer revolution is not a computer system based on binary (i.e. 0 and 1), but some other system. This system ...
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6answers
1k views

How can a city state remain neutral among techno barbarian tribes? [closed]

There was an ancient war between two advanced alien civilizations that culminated in a battle over Earth. These two armies destroyed themselves in this final battle, but the fallout indirectly ravaged ...
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10answers
7k views

Would using thick glass wall be better than electric fence for my dino theme park?

My company has perfected its gene modifying technique.We can create life-sized hybrids of dinosaurs, with the exact appetite and behaviour as the original species (at least according to our advice ...
5
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2answers
178 views

Minimum percentage of immune when epidemic lowers IQ in the 80's?

I have an epidemic of unknown origin spreading across the earth. The effects are decrease in cognitive ability to around 80+ IQ. So we have a surgeons who don't know how to operate, engineers who don'...
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7answers
553 views

Technologically advanced civilization still using melee armor and weapons

Similar idea to this post, why would an advanced civilization able to create AI/ droids ranging from 'hardshell' (I-Robot (movie) or C3P0) to 'soft' (Bishop (Aliens)) still have use for melee combat, ...
10
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5answers
1k views

Why would civilizations with advanced technology still use castles?

Despite being awesome marvels and once incredibly important, ever since explosives became a thing, castles have become obsolete. Until now... Imagine two equally advanced civilizations at war. Both ...
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14answers
8k views

Can the Aztec Empire learn and reuse Conquistador technology?

In this alternate history, Christopher Columbus makes landfall in Central America, after passing south of Florida and sailing through the Gulf of Mexico, arriving right on the doorstep of the Aztec ...
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0answers
121 views

Creating a world run by corporations [closed]

Recently, CDPR Projekt Red released a trailer featuring a dystopian cyberpunk world more or less run by corporations. To give an example, the most powerful (and expensive) medical services group will ...
10
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3answers
476 views

How Long Would Artifacts Last Under the Moon's Surface?

How Long? In the 1960s, unknown to most, the United States set up a secret base on the moon manned by an "extra" aboard each Apollo lander. NASA architects decided that the base must be built into ...
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1answer
154 views

Tanks in medieval age [closed]

If people of the medieval age or 14th century had knowledge over steam engines and decided to make tanks out of it, how would it work and how effective would it be? Since they would be big and heavy, ...
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2answers
120 views

Trains and light bulbs but no guns? [closed]

Would it make much sense in a sword (and possibly sorcery) world to have trains and light bulbs but no guns?
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13answers
4k views

Could machine guns be produced in the 14th century? [duplicate]

Could light machine guns such as the Madsen be made during the 14th century? And since materials may be scarce only a few would be produced for use by a single soldier in a unit. Lets say their ...
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11answers
2k views

Could a 19th century setting support horse-propelled non-steampunk tanks?

Is it actually possible in a 19th century setting to build horse-propelled, non-steampunk tanks? This would mean armoured carriages with gatling guns and artillery on them, with several people ...
7
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7answers
536 views

How could carbon nanotubes help me build supertall skyscrapers?

It is the near-future. Breakthrough, mass produced carbon nanotubes have been invented and are relatively cheap. These nanotubes have the properties that we would expect, and are manufactured in '...
22
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11answers
6k views

How long would it take to nuke an alien spaceship in orbit?

Some gigantic, and presumably evil, alien spaceship has taken up residence in LEO. This spacecraft is ominously blocking all satellite communications, and launching smaller flying saucers towards the ...
6
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5answers
586 views

Could a 19th century space gun be of any use today in space exploration?

In 1869 a giant space gun was built, with the intent of firing a projectile at the Moon, just to prove that they can do it. Of course, the ludicrous idea to put people inside it was never even taken ...
33
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19answers
7k views

Why would a magic world be stuck in medieval times?

This is related to Must magic be tied to medieval tech?, but not the same. So the setup: There are two worlds, one is Earth, as it is now, with all its history. The other is a magic world, with an ...
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2answers
115 views

Could the gatling gun of the civil war be made smaller for individual use?

Could the gatling gun used during the civil war which was heavy and large be made into a smaller variant with perhaps 3 barrels for individual use? What challenges would be faced and how can they be ...
7
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3answers
170 views

On a world of sapient anthropoid felines, can fur pattern be used for recognition?

On a world populated by sentient anthropoid species evolved from Terran felines, both big and small cats, could the local authorities use the fur patterns and colors the same way that we used ...
5
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6answers
306 views

What would need to happen for solarpunk technology to exist in the 1920's/30's?

Solarpunk, for those who are somehow unaware, is a subgenre similar to that of steam/cyberpunk that instead depicts a future running on advanced renewable energy-powered technology. It usually depicts ...
9
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4answers
603 views

What torch-ship engine requires the least complex control system?

A side shot from my series on a computer-less future; see here, here, and here. Project Rho defines a torch-drive as an engine with both high acceleration and high exhaust velocity. A torch-ship is a ...
23
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12answers
8k views

How does a super-power salesman not get shut down for legal reasons?

I am in trouble: my boss, a multi-millionaire, has just come up with a scheme, but it has problems and he wants me to solve them. The whole thing started when he saw this picture: This gave him an ...
9
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5answers
1k views

Could people of the 14th century create an inline engine for use in aircraft and vehicles?

If an expert of some kind travels back in time to the 14th or 15th century with modern tools and machines that don't require power to work and if he were to past on the knowledge of modern technology ...
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6answers
2k views

How can you build a secure, pre-digital distributed ledger?

A distributed ledger is a 'database' without a central administrator or central storage. Instead, each copy of the database replicates and saves an identical copy of the data and updates itself ...
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3answers
198 views

How do I build an ancient moisture vaporator?

Let us suppose a world that exists under a harsh red sun. The entire planet, which may once have been fertile, is, in its current state, covered with desert. The civilization living there, which may ...
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9answers
281 views

How would a steam powered machine in one place provide power to towns that are far away?

I am building a work in which steam plays a vital role. I would like to include the idea that much of the power for the people is being provided by a central machine that is isolated in one place but ...
18
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9answers
941 views

Compressed air lighting?

So I've got this civilization that doesn't have electricity, but does have municipal power distribution via compressed air lines. Now, you can do a lot of useful things with compressed air. Even in ...
4
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6answers
411 views

Sentient trees. Can they develop technology?

Flying insects are the only moving animals in this world - they take care of pollination. Adult trees (over 10 years old) are rooted to the spot with very wide-spreading root systems. Trying to ...
7
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6answers
823 views

Time Travellers And The Roman Empire, Part 1: Transport and Control

I am a time traveller from the not so distant future. I have gone into the past to the Roman Empire (specifically the Nerva-Antonine period) and via -handwaving magical mumbo-technobabble- have become ...
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12answers
5k views

A clock for interplanetary travel

Introduction See background information here. 1000 years after darkness fell on Old Earth, humanity is scattered throughout the solar system. Apart from the Harmonious Republic of Mars, there are ...
53
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24answers
12k views

Wooden sticks are the only allowed weapons in a technological society - how far would these weapons have progressed by now?

Imagine that the inhabitants of Earth all follow a religion that allows only wooden weapons. How would warfare look nowadays? Commandment 37. 37a) Thou shalt make weapons only from the wood of ...
9
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11answers
887 views

Would it be possible to fly through a rain of missiles?

I'm trying to setup a non-real scenario that doesn't break suspension of disbelief too much past the original idea. But so long as things keep consistency it should be fine. So you are flying a ...
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 ...