Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 174 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [technology]

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

19
votes
8answers
3k views

How would an aquatic civilisation forge tools?

One of the first steps in technological is the ability of a civilisation to forge tools* humans achieved this by using fire and creating forges. There are obviously underwater heat sources but I don'...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Could a government control its people using frequencies?

Setting: Earth, in the future, near 2060 or 2100 Technology: a bit more advanced than ours Armies and police forces are already using systems for crowd control. Some devices can generate discomfort ...
17
votes
7answers
1k views

Occultic FTL Drive

In a hypothetical futuristic society that blends arcane magic with science, humanity has spread across the galaxy. FTL drives exist, but they are relatively slow and must exit at the outer edge of a ...
8
votes
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 ...
54
votes
12answers
8k views

Hacking the universe

Imagine the whole universe is a simulation. This should include also the people living in the universe (so more Simulacron than Matrix). And now imagine there's a group of hackers who knows (or ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the earliest that a civilization could develop airships?

Assuming a technological progression roughly similar to that of Europe in our world, what is the earliest that a civilization could have developed rigid-frame airships? For example, one could imagine ...
21
votes
10answers
13k views

A World Without Mathematics

What significant technologies would be lost in a world without "Advanced" Mathematics? Specifically, what technologies required to get to the next level of scientific progress in an area would be lost....
9
votes
2answers
606 views

Stone Age Circuitry?

As a tangent to How "advanced" can a stone age society get?, is there a way that simple electronics could be created by filling channels cut into rock with some form of conductive material? ...
29
votes
1answer
2k views

How could Golems best be used to defend a modern day city of Prague?

The Situation: The year is 2014 and the city of Prague is under siege. Cut off from supply, the city prepares to defend itself with whatever is at hand. The Jewish community offers the services of as ...
33
votes
9answers
5k views

Could a technological society develop without agriculture?

Before the advent of agriculture, humans fed themselves by hunting and gathering. Hunter-gatherer societies tend to function quite differently from agricultural societies. Arguably, historically, ...
6
votes
7answers
2k views

Technology developing in a different order - nukes without gunpowder?

We always think of some technology as being more advanced than others, e.g. (space rocket) > (aeroplane) > (car). To what extent is such a scale absolute, and to what extent does it just come from the ...
29
votes
14answers
4k views

Can two civilizations on nearby stars develop independently but be at a similar technological level?

One thing that a few science fiction films seem to get wrong: it is extremely unlikely for two civilizations to evolve completely independently and yet be within a few hundred years of each other ...
6
votes
4answers
670 views

Scientific Accuracy - alien communication ideas

(Disclaimer: I tried this question earlier in the scifi site as well as real science sites, and was told should be on topic here) I'm writing a speculative story about aliens coming to earth - and ...
19
votes
14answers
4k views

How can I save a high-tech/no-spaceflight civilization against the wrath of non-technological gods?

The Problem: Atlantis has angered the gods. Having developed fantastical technologies far beyond the rest of the planet, they have managed to challenge the gods themselves. The gods' reaction is to ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

What if time travel had to take into account spatial distance?

In this setting, humanity has advanced to the technological capability of extra stellar travel via faster-than-light drives. However, due to distances between inhabited areas being extremely large, ...
44
votes
8answers
12k views

Could underwater living organism create technology?

Could underwater creatures with the intelligence of human cave men or possibly the intelligence of apes create technology (that is, more complex technology comparable to what we have now rather than ...
38
votes
10answers
5k views

Could a technological society develop without wood?

Imagine a world things evolved slightly different: plants never evolved into trees. There are bushes, herbs, mosses, etc, but no trees. Thus no wood to make planks, nor for building. Given abundant ...
12
votes
6answers
4k views

Elves in a Modern Society

Let's say you had a world much like Tolkien's Middle Earth. Elves, dwarves, orcs, and the like. Now let's say that against all odds, evil sorcerers, heroic blunders, and such that that world managed ...
13
votes
10answers
6k views

What are the power options for intelligent humanoid robots?

In my future setting on Earth (or an Earth-like planet; haven't decided), the fields of robotics and AI have taken off and we have intelligent, ambulatory robots. (They were initially thought of as ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

What would a culture based around light look like?

I am working on an earth-like empire (actually, an alternate-universe Earth with Belgium as the global powerhouse) which, instead of using fossil and nuclear fuels, uses light as their principal form ...
25
votes
3answers
2k views

Assistance to fight off a silicon-based lifeform

I am a survivor of the United Nations Space Corp's 2nd Exploration Fleet. On our travel to the distant Epsilon Canares system, our scouts encountered a strange lifeform. We call them 'shapeshifters'. ...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

Is there a technical term for a civilization that “eats” others to gain their knowledge, powers, etc.?

Is there any kind of technical term (and if not, can you think of one) for a civilization that “eats” others to gain their knowledge, powers, etc.? Such as… the Borg from Star Trek sort of did this, ...
11
votes
5answers
957 views

Could computing be developed in a pre-refining society?

A world much like earth has a society which, although rather aware of metals, does not possess the knowledge or resources to refine ore and produces alloys. They have access to practically unlimited ...
30
votes
13answers
9k views

How “advanced” can a stone age society get?

I'm working on a world where, with very few exceptions, metalwork is not possible/unwanted, and I'm trying to figure out what major differences one might see in daily life, and what would be necessary ...
22
votes
30answers
6k views

Could a civilization achieve spaceflight without inventing advanced weaponry along the way?

The question is fairly simple. Could a civilization progress so far as to have spaceships while still using swords, spears, and bows as their most advanced weaponry? (what those weapons are made of ...
14
votes
9answers
4k views

Automobiles after the apocalypse

So last year I started writing a post-apocalyptic story, and then realized I had no idea what the world was really like, and quite a few things just didn't seem to make sense. One of the biggest that ...
7
votes
5answers
530 views

Tactical influences of an entirely electricity-based arsenal on starships?

Assuming a world where starships don't use missiles and bullets in combat much. They only carry those as a final strike or for convenience. Their arsenal is almost entirely composed of electricity-...
49
votes
13answers
8k views

In a society of flying beings, would the wheel ever be invented?

The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. -- Douglas Adams. Humans can't fly. Not themselves. Sure, we can climb aboard a plane, a hot air balloon, or a rocket ...
25
votes
12answers
5k views

Is there any way to truly hide a spaceship?

Space is two things: empty and (mostly) dark. This makes it really, really hard to hide in it, because to do anything in it, chances are, you'll be shining a big bright light through it. Even if you'...
0
votes
0answers
76 views

Scientific Accuracy - alien communication ideas [duplicate]

I'm writing a speculative story about aliens coming to earth, and just wanted to bounce a couple of ideas for scientific accuracy (or at least lack of obvious impossibility). This is set in the near ...
33
votes
13answers
2k views

Is a world with no technological improvement possible?

A society grows with time, but does the technology needs to grow with them? Is it possible for a planet to have a very large population and much society but no more improvement in the ways of the ...
14
votes
5answers
480 views

What factors could lead to a narrow focus of technology?

In many SF stories (or fantasy if you replace science with magic), there is one technology that is hyper advanced in one specific field, like robotics in Real Humans or in Extant, but almost nothing ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

How important is fire? [closed]

Fire (or the ability to create it) is often cited as the spark of civilization, it is so revered that its inventors are legendary figures in mythology. Practically speaking, fire can: Keep you warm, ...
39
votes
10answers
7k views

What effects would a change in the nature of human sexuality have on society and infrastructure

Consider a group of humans at a bronze-age to early iron-age technological level colonizing a new earthlike planet. There is just one difference - there exists on the planet something which changes ...
3
votes
1answer
507 views

What and how main technological breakthrough we have today could be replaced with magic? [closed]

In my opinion, magic can lead to its very own kind of technology, possibly very similar to ours. If it is a kind of magic where you use one energy source to trigger one other event (like in The ...
16
votes
7answers
2k views

What would be the next technological step for a civilization after it has depleted all resources that allow for conventional technologies?

Imagine a world that reaches the end of its resources in silicon, petrol, coal, metals... everything that allows for conventional technology — even before it has found a way over it (renewable energy ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

If technology allowed for instant brain to brain transmission of knowledge, how would society change? [closed]

The things I'm thinking of are for example relationships between people, military communications, and other technologies deriving from this one... Would that be very different from what we know now ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

In a world of science AND magic, how is magic explained scientifcally? [closed]

Obviously there are multiple ways to explain this, so the correct answer in this case would be the most reasonable and detailed answer with as many explanations as possible.
14
votes
6answers
2k views

How would technological progress occur in a society that outlawed computerized technology?

Most technological progress today seems to be founded on the innovation that is happening in the realm of computers. If a society were to outlaw the use of computers, but the drive for scientific ...
69
votes
14answers
6k views

Must magic be tied to medieval tech?

Most settings with a magical component, whether this means wizards, magical races, or something similar, seem to be parked at a medieval level of development in terms of technology and society. Is ...