Hot answers tagged

198

So nice to have interesting questions to which real history provides a ready made and exemplary answer which is also a great tale to be told. Consider the Fuggers The beginnings: It all begins with Johann "Hans" Fugger, who "came from Graben to the free city of Augsburg as a Landweber in 1367. Through hard work and two marriages to good women, Hans ...


177

Maintain a Bank Account for Above-Board Immortals American law already grants personhood to immortal, soulless entities bent on twisting the minds of innocents to their will and consuming everything in an unending, unslaking lust for power. They're called corporations. Noss 4 At You Inc. has a rotating C-suite with signing authority that all seem to do their ...


123

Manacoin Manacoin (abbreviated as mc) is an ethereal currency that only exists as shared thoughts in the astral plane. Everyone can create astral "wallets" to store manacoins. Wallets have names, which can be used to put money into them, and activation words, which are used to take money from them. A wallet can be tapped by anyone who knows its activation ...


117

Whenever there's a question about socialism or capitalism on here I always get fed up with the trite and blinkered answers which obsess only on the most painfully obvious facts of the matter - namely the USA and USSR. But the fact is capitalism and socialism are broad philosophies with many different implementations. Socialist economies can be mixed, and ...


112

If you plant merchants, they don't grow so good. Jingo (Pratchett) Merchants have goods you want. They tend to repeatedly have goods you want, not just the once. A merchant might tell his friends they have goods you want, that's a good way of getting goods. If you kill the merchants and take their goods, quite soon you stop seeing merchants and have to ...


106

Knowledge. Bringing wealth to the past requires simply knowledge. You have the outcome of horse races, lotteries, inventions, share prices, stock market falls etc etc etc. Your head could easily hold enough information to make you rich beyond your wildest dreams if you can go back in time........


105

Likely nothing would be different at all. Today, the poor substantially outweigh the rich, as such, the ultra-rich directly control less than 0.1% of the vote. The political power that the rich wield is due to the power they wield over the poor, mostly via control of education, the media, and popular culture. In America, at least, almost 15% of people live ...


105

You need perfect information, uncorruptable leaders, and an enforcement mechanism. Why does communism sort of work at a small scale (small groups < 15) but hit tons of problems at large scale? There are 3 issues. First is information: In a centralized economy the government has to choose production for the country, where capitalism just lets market ...


100

Yes, 100% Yes Just because the stranger doesn't know how to build it or how it was manufactured doesn't mean that you can't reverse engineer it. With 10 devices, you even have some spares so you can perform destructive testing on all 10 of them if it gets you enough data to make a replica. This is even more important since it performs the actions of your ...


94

You don't need to 'do' anything - economics takes care of it Much like it does in the real world. There are two different economic issues: Value of work (money in), and cost of goods (money out). On the latter, sure, it might cost significantly more materials to feed/clothe a larger person, but making smaller goods (and providing smaller services) is ...


91

Let's look at the world of shipping here on Earth for inspiration I have a suspicion that if you look at the history of shipping, you'll discover that whether it's a cart or a bullet train, the basic limitations for being an independent owner/operator of a shipping company remain the same. I own a pickup truck and that lets me do a great many things, ...


88

We give the minds some hobbies to do We have lots of people who have literally nothing else to do than think. That will probably be boring for quite a few of them. Why don't we put them to us-... I mean, why don't we just give them something to do that will benefit everyone? A couple researchers will probably want to research further. Let them brainstorm a ...


88

Moving away from a pure element (covered by other answers) to a material, something that has a special property. Consider something that is made rare by the very presence of your intergalactic society. Let's suppose your warp drives give off low-levels of some kind of radiation, so any alloys destined for sensitive equipment need to be space-smelted in ...


80

First of all they should only teleport things, not people. People talk. Otherwise, they're in the shipping business. They should use their teleportation ability to mimic real world transportation so as to avoid any suspicion. For example If they are supposed to teleport something from A to B that it would take a month to get to B then they should still make ...


80

A spear has a lot more force than a needle, but that doesn't make it more useful. If you want to skewer an enemy, the choice is obvious; but try knitting with the larger instrument. Runes may be more powerful, the more testosterone the wielder has flowing through their bloodstream, but sometimes you do not want power; you want delicate and concentrated ...


80

The same things that make houses expensive today First of all, while the wealthy generally live in bigger houses, the price does not scale linearly with square meters of living space. A five million dollar house isn't necessarily ten times bigger than a 500k house. Instead, it's of higher quality with better features, materials, and design. In a planet, this ...


78

This cannot be answered. But rather than just voting to close as opinion based, it might have value to stop and think about the reasons this cannot be answered. As the reasons are kind of interesting and possibly of use to you and others with same issues. What is crime? This is not actually obvious. To give an easy, if possibly politically risky, example ...


78

Firstly, shipping is generally more efficient for bulk cargoes - such as coal, lumber, ore, etc. (assuming you are using a similar technology to power both the ships and trains - i.e. both steam, or both diesel). Secondly, unless your super-continent is more or less circular the distance across the water may be significantly shorter. For example, take ...


76

Think Small Instead of moving items very large distances; why not move them small distances; it's not like you get paid per mile. You could almost entirely remove the equipment cost and drastically increase the speed of repairs for things like large trucks, ships, and even in-place mechanical repairs on large machinery systems. Instead of needing an ...


75

Live-Streaming Have you ever heard of Twitch? The streaming platform that allows you to let other people watch you play a game and give you donations if they like to watch you play? Where hundred or thousands of people watch as you are playing live? The streaming platform where you, as a person sitting in front of your PC at home, can watch virtual ...


74

$\Large{No.}$ It would not work. Think about it for a second. Taxing people, and getting them to actually pay, is hard. Printing money is easier. If it were possible to sustainably fund all government expenditure by printing, governments would never be bothered with taxing, fairness considerations be damned. As with any asset, there is a supply and a ...


73

The short answer is trade. The larger answer is that the act of trading develops and requires a range of secondary and tertiary activities which are themselves economically significant. Consider, the trader needs a place to exchange money, bed down for the night, feed his caravan and all the men who ride with him (or the ships crew if a port). Cargos need ...


73

what policies would the world's various administrations put in place? Switch to digital currencies and eliminate paper money. Explain to the nice aliens that we were just settling on paper money. What we really wanted were Star Trek replicators and non-polluting power sources that don't require fuel. Thanks! ...and some of us would like spaceships ...


73

I've run a small retail store for over a decade. This is a complete non-issue. Tax authorities don't care one whit for deliveries, nor vendors, nor for whatever accounting system you use. All they care about is that the books match the tax receipts that they are owed. Lots of legitimate non-magical business lack vendors and deliveries. Other investigators (...


72

No system with humans is ever truly stable. They just have different instabilities to deal with. If you think about it, the stable state for humans is "dead." To remain alive, we need a constant influx of energy (which we typically get from the sun, through one channel or another). In mathematics, there is a term which is useful here: metastable. A ...


70

Crowley [a demon] had been extremely impressed with the warranties offered by the computer industry, and had in fact sent a bundle Below [to hell] to the department that drew up the Immortal Soul agreements, with a yellow memo form attached just saying: 'Learn, guys...'" from Good Omens, a book by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman Sell the privacy of ...


70

They can used for underground power and communication lines, as a replacement for overhead lines. The reason why overhead lines are still prevalent in America is due to the initial cost of installing the lines underground and the sheer number of lines needed for the sparse rural areas covering most of the US. However, if the power companies had available ...


68

There are always two products that a human can produce that a robot cannot: A product produced by human labor An employed human In the former case: if a robot is better at producing something, then it will be more expensive for a human to produce it. This means that human-produced products could become status symbols. Think of it like an extension of the ...


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