91 votes

War between two type III civilizations from the perspective of a type II civilization

We can examine what a full K-type "difference" looks like in the current context. While we cannot look up yet (there are no K-type 1.7+ civilizations as far as we can see), but we can look down. ...
Yakk's user avatar
  • 15.5k
57 votes
Accepted

Is there a reason why a country would only use open negotiations?

Internal politics. There was a period where the politicians made bigger and bigger messes and the voters grew more and more impatient with them. It seemed like everybody was corrupt. A new party ...
Stig Hemmer's user avatar
53 votes
Accepted

How to stop ants from learning philosophy and taking over Belarus

Ants are Already in Charge Your question is based on the typical vertebrate naivety that humans are the dominant species on the plant. This is incorrect. Humans are not the dominant species. The ...
Daron's user avatar
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48 votes

War between two type III civilizations from the perspective of a type II civilization

Do rats care about human war? Other answers have focused on powerlessness and how the Ⅱs may be accidently trampled by the Ⅲs, as (Zibbobz points out) like the source of the expression of mice and ...
JDługosz's user avatar
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39 votes
Accepted

Alternate universe: Possibility of a small country as the world's third super power

A scientifically advanced micro-nation could rise to something like superpower status, but it would not do so by selling weapons to the other superpowers. Instead, it would rise by giving something ...
Henry Taylor's user avatar
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36 votes
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War between two type III civilizations from the perspective of a type II civilization

The best the K2 civilization can do is to attempt to shield themselves from collateral damage caused by whatever the aliens are using. This is problematic since they could be using principles and ...
Thucydides's user avatar
  • 97.7k
31 votes

How to get two culturally and ideologically similar Martian colonies on good terms and with adequate resources to go to war?

I think the simplest way to do it is for the war to begin not on Mars itself, but on Earth. Both SpaceX and Mars One, despite having established their colonies on Mars, are at the end of the day ...
WarPorcus's user avatar
  • 3,061
24 votes
Accepted

Why would humans help an alien race to wage war on another?

If I was in charge of formulating Earth's response, I'd be highly suspicious why an alien species seemingly more advanced than us would need our resources and personnel. For resources, they ought to ...
Modern Ronin's user avatar
24 votes

How to get two culturally and ideologically similar Martian colonies on good terms and with adequate resources to go to war?

A piece of advice from a philosophy professor of mine: it is easier for a Hindu and a Christian to live side by side in peace than two members of the same religion who differ about a single tenet. ...
SRM's user avatar
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24 votes
Accepted

How could I maintain unofficial diplomatic relations?

You can use a "man in the middle". Country A doesn't have an official relationship with country C, but both A and C have a good relationship with B. Through B, A and C can have diplomatic contacts. ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
  • 287k
22 votes

War between two type III civilizations from the perspective of a type II civilization

Here is some perspective. Human power consumption is 1.23e13 W or 3.87e20 J/year. An 1 Megaton nuclear weapon goes pop with 4.2e15 J of energy, or 5 orders of magnitude less than our yearly ...
kingledion's user avatar
  • 85.4k
20 votes

Alternate universe: Possibility of a small country as the world's third super power

Surely England, and later, the UK, has mostly done so all throughout its history. Being a small country in an island, it has changed shirts and switched sides constantly to keep a balance of power in ...
Rekesoft's user avatar
  • 8,755
20 votes

Could UN or USA take over territory for safekeeping?

If the United Nations chose to intervene, they would likely attempt a peacekeeping mission - something that of course has been done many times in the past in various contexts. Peacekeepers have a ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
  • 101k
19 votes

What movies would you show aliens to show we are friendly?

Honestly, given what's at stake if aliens think we're not worth befriending (or need to be preemptively wiped out), we're better off putting some of our military budget into "Propaganda" ...
Ash's user avatar
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17 votes

How can Empire A convince Empire B that it has a planet-destroying weapon without helping Empire B to recreate it?

As described after your edit this is just a doomsday device for mutual destruction. It really doesn't matter if the other empire figures out how to make one as using it is only going to be even ...
StephenG - Help Ukraine's user avatar
16 votes

What movies would you show aliens to show we are friendly?

Bit of a frame challenge here: Assuming the natives aren't stupid, deliberately curating the human movie library might be a bad idea. For example, what if the natives find out that the humans have ...
Dragongeek's user avatar
  • 22.8k
16 votes

What movies would you show aliens to show we are friendly?

The contents of the Golden Record When Voyager I was launched, they put a golden record aboard. On that record, they put an explanation of humanity that was designed, sort of, to portray us in a ...
Walter Mitty's user avatar
  • 1,837
15 votes

How would a treaty banning specific weapons be enforced?

Such treaties are often accepted and upheld, because the consequences of not upholding them are terrible for everyone involved. Weapons of mass destruction are the typical example of this, but the ...
Pahlavan's user avatar
  • 1,819
15 votes

How to stop ants from learning philosophy and taking over Belarus

Biological warfare. This would be to incapacitate as much of the army as possible, possibly sowing confusion, panic and dissent where possible. Cordyceps: Turn them into zombies. There's a wonderful ...
Escaped dental patient.'s user avatar
14 votes

Is there a reason why a country would only use open negotiations?

A plausible reason would be a Near Death Experience, for the country itself, such that secret negotiations and the corruption that naturally goes with it destroyed them economically and caused a major ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 34.7k
14 votes

How to stop ants from learning philosophy and taking over Belarus

Hmmm, there are a lot of interesting things to unpack with this. Here are a few ideas that might work, depending on details of how exactly this ant intelligence would work: Interrupt their ...
J.Galt's user avatar
  • 879
13 votes

How can Empire A convince Empire B that it has a planet-destroying weapon without helping Empire B to recreate it?

Feed the Moles An open declaration that Empire A has the doomsday weapon is likely to be treated with scepticism as a possible bluff. Better to let Empire B find it out for itself, and think that it ...
Montefeltro's user avatar
  • 1,545
13 votes

How to stop ants from learning philosophy and taking over Belarus

Scale wins Even if you magically granted every ant colony the same intelligence and knowledge of the most sophisticated humans who ever lived, the fact of the ants' tiny scale is decisive: ants will ...
Tom's user avatar
  • 14.5k
11 votes
Accepted

How would a treaty banning specific weapons be enforced?

If you replace in your story the "airplanes" with "nukes" you have pretty much what happened with nuclear weapons. The various treaties signed over the years have been observed thanks to: mutual ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
  • 287k
10 votes

How to stop ants from learning philosophy and taking over Belarus

Fifty years is actually an incredibly short time to develop an industry. Ants are fastidious, but you may not have to do anything at all to keep a fight fifty years away. To make war you don't need ...
Cort Ammon's user avatar
  • 132k
9 votes

Why would humans help an alien race to wage war on another?

I'd like to submit my take on this situation: These aliens presumably have the weaponry to blow us to bits and then take our resources. Or work out a deal with say .. China .. and destroy the rest of ...
AndreiROM's user avatar
  • 34.8k
9 votes

How to get two culturally and ideologically similar Martian colonies on good terms and with adequate resources to go to war?

There are a few reasons why they might go to war. Some likely candidates include: 1) Lack of some sort of valuable material necessary for survival: be it food, water, medicine, even air. Thus could ...
Jesse Cohoon's user avatar
  • 2,562
9 votes

How to get two culturally and ideologically similar Martian colonies on good terms and with adequate resources to go to war?

Terrorists. Now, it may sound like a Fox News reel already, but hear me out: let's say that one colony offers civil rights to a group that the other doesn't ("Singularity-minded bots are just like ...
JessLovely's user avatar
9 votes

Is there a reason why a country would only use open negotiations?

Media Leaks. The country has a very large bureaucracy, with hundreds of individuals directly involved in negotiations, and thousands indirectly. It only takes one individual out of these hundred to ...
fractalwrench's user avatar
9 votes

How can Empire A convince Empire B that it has a planet-destroying weapon without helping Empire B to recreate it?

My Dearest Emperor B, As befits the closest of eternal friends, I hope my messenger finds you and your lovely spouse in good health. Thank you for your recent gift of exotic animals and slaves; they ...
user535733's user avatar
  • 28.9k

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