New answers tagged

0

Traffic flows are very complex. There are fairly simple situations in which adding an additional road can increase journey times compared to the road not existing. Any good traffic control system does many things, such as times the lights at successive junctions so that (as much as is achievable) drivers reach the next light at green. This keeps traffic ...


4

using some simple, non-distracting device in the car First I want to address this specifically. It's not possible to not be distracted. That's just not a thing. I'm a driver, and I'll make the bold claim that anybody that says otherwise is either deluded or lying. I've caught myself spacing out trying the turn the radio up, imagine what it'll do to people ...


2

With a few modification I think it could be pretty good. Here are a few things I think need to be adjusted/kept in mind: other traffic laws must still be obeyed, some one can't just park on a traffic light to collect money the amount of money you are willing to pay has to go to everyone waiting at the light AND be influenced by the amount of time the light ...


0

Gridlock Well, the first problem that comes to mind is gridlock. A lot of math and light coordination goes on to optimize traffic while preventing gridlock, especially in large cities. Disenfranchising the poor The sad fact is this policy clearly benefits the financially well off. This means you could force poor people into a situation where they can't ...


0

An island with sufficient water and food supply that is sufficiently isolated, and / or the means to assume control of and defend said type of island. when the world goes to hell, people, will generally be the most serious concern. remoteness and the capacity to defend would become paramount to survival.


1

The solution may be more plausible if you abstracted the money away by one level. Imagine that every traffic light at an intersection has an automated load-balancing system. It automatically balances the times each light is Green/Red to maximise throughput through the intersection and reduce wait time. It operates mainly on number of cars waiting vs. ...


2

a certain amount of money that she/he will pay once the car has gone through the intersection. Ok, so I'll bid one million dollars every time I see a blocked intersection down the road, but change the bid to $0 once I'm close enough to make it through the intersection even if the green turned yellow at that moment. Or I could start a VIP business: run a ...


0

Intersection control is just CPU scheduling in disguise, for which there is ample research already existent. The limited resource (intersection, CPU) is allocated to multiple clients (cars, jobs) in order to maximize utilization of the resource, among other things. There are costs associated with changing jobs (stopping and restarting traffic), there are ...


15

Mixing Money and Public Infrastructure always has unseen results that you don't expect I'm going to put a different take on this, and refer instead to human nature. The issue with money being mixed with public infrastructure is that systems become exploited in a way that many in government DON'T expect. 2 examples: Toll Roads - Private Toll roads in ...


22

The big problem here is that it will greatly reduce the throughput of intersections. A major part of designing intersections is balancing throughput with latency. A traffic light that never switches maximizes throughput in one direction -- vehicles never need to stop for the light -- but maximizes latency in the other -- vehicles wait forever for their ...


7

It will cause chaos. One of the things that traffic lights do is restrict the volume of traffic on the road beyond the signal. There is a counter-intuitive characteristic of traffic (typically on freeways, but a signalled road will exacerbate the problem) that when volume gets to a certain point it goes from free-flowing to stopped, and you can make people ...


3

I don't think that SPECIFIC situation works because of the nature of an intersection, but let me state the same type of plan in a slightly different scenario: On freeways I often encounter a ramp to another freeway that backs up (Sometimes for quite a long way). A common response is for people to get out of the lane and into a faster lane, but then to try ...


19

It kills one of the main uses of traffic lights One of the best uses of traffic lights over stop signs is to allow intersections of very large (high volume) roads with very small (low volume) roads. If I am the only car at a stop sign intersection with a 3-lane, packed road, I will never get to go. Stoplights fix this problem by forcing the high volume ...


28

This system is probably the way of the future with the exception of traffic lights, which will become nonexistent as soon as we have self driving cars. Automated negotiation of right of way for autonomous driving is a real research subject. Sadly I can't find the video but my university is testing a system where AI driven cars negotiate in some fashion in ...


4

Circular intersection also called "Roundabaouts" or "elipticalbouts". Also this is not a thought expirement. This is Auction experiment. So - how much you are willing to give for a $1. The best profitable option is of course 1 cent. But if two people are participating the best option would be to give 99 cents. But people don't think this way. They want to ...


40

While an interesting thought, I can see a few major flaws with this system: You are never the only one to arrive at an intersection. You will almost always be behind someone. They might not have the same financial status or preferences, and might opt to wait instead. This means you might have to pay not only your share, but also their share to get a green ...


3

The world would remain (mostly) unchanged thanks to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. People who could photosynthesise (and therefore not require food would have a dramatic impact on the global industry to be sure, but the one thing that would NOT happen is that people stop working. Many industries, like farming, would not exist but people would find other ...


-1

As long as you can make a beliveable scenario where a government is incapable of minimal stability, of making changes in the root of the economic system facing a complete overhaul of historial meanings of production from manual labor to almost complete automation, then you have a desperate State trying anything to remain in power. If pensions (one of the ...


5

Targeting individuals by age is grossly inefficient. Only a primitive civilization is run primarily by manual labor, so the ability of individuals to provide manual labor is largely irrelevant, which means many older citizens are still contributing significantly. If your concern is healthcare expenditures then simply stop guaranteeing people infinite ...


1

Uneconomical. Health care systems require a lot of money and at the same time it is very difficult to monitor the expenses (except for regular salaries). There are a lot of grey areas where it is easy to skim part of the money. So older people which make the bulk of the expenses are useful for both, to keep the GDP high and to justify a type of spending ...


6

It does not make economic sense Only 2,130 people have been killed by the coronavirus so far (Feb. 20), mostly in China. The economic cost of the virus looks to set China's growth for Q1 2020 back to as low as 3.5%, compared to 6.0% for Q1 2019. That's a loss of one-third of a trillion USD. Any savings from a few thousand elderly killed off will hence be ...


1

I think taking your question literally, the answer is a clear NO No government would do that (unless they were openly fascist or such). But of course, individual agents might do that, as long as the government can plausibly deny their involvement. About keeping a secret: Discrediting those who found out often works just as well as keeping things a secret......


1

They wouldn't need to "release" a virus that preferentially kills the elderly (and frail, and collaterally a relatively small number of children). All they need to do is "accidentally" release an influenza immunization for the season that is ineffective, or "improperly processed" in a way that actually produces the disease it's "intended" to combat. ...


3

While I totally agree, that humans are not capable of photosynthesis in any way possible, but this is not a science-based question, so let's handwave it. Firstly, famine is only one of four. There are many other deadly dangers and demands connected to them: Temperature - people need homes and clothes Dangerous animals - homes, fences, guards, doctors ...


1

No, no country would do this. Three people can keep a secret, if two of them are dead. This would require far more than three people, and could not be kept secret, so the government would be overthrown and imprisoned, at best.


5

Your assumption that sunlight alone is sufficient for survival is incorrect. It creates energy similar to the human digestive system, but does not create nutrients. The materials a plant or tree needs to grow and build additional branches or leaves can't simply be created from just sunlight. To actually grow, a plant or tree absorbs water and nutrients from ...


0

Welcome to your friendly supplier. We got a recent batch mature for employ! Kidnap a few, say a hundred for gene diversity. The acepted bare minimum for a viable colony was about 2k. Yet with gene editing you can get a smaller subset and edit away the defects. Remember stars are light years apart. By the time you reach the other stars of the galaxy, your ...


5

Purchase your slaves from other members of their species. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic_slave_trade Current estimates are that about 12 million to 12.8 million Africans were shipped across the Atlantic over a span of 400 years, although the number purchased by the traders was considerably higher, as the passage had a high death rate... ...


0

Skyline's aliens Considering 1) You can't make your aliens too advanced, because they could build realiable robots to do whatever they want, not aliensweating even a bit. 2) It also needs to have economics in play. They need it to be cheap, because otherwise they would find other ways to do the job, like cloning humans in a lab. War is expensive, so that ...


0

If your setting allows it, send them offworld Governments, seeking to get rid of massive amounts of unemployed, would build large, low cost spaceships to colonize whatever, it doesn't matter to them, as long as they remain away from their territory


0

10% unemployment? So Italy? Spain? Greece? You need to remeber that in modern world those people (or most of them) are financially supported by state. In Egypt it was slaves. In medevial europe there was no such thing as unemployed. What you think were no-skill peasant who worked their tithe to the church by working on cathedrals and such and were PAID in ...


0

Frame challenge: Your System Cannot Reach Critical Mass Because of Brain Drain Creating a parallel economy, which appears to be what you are suggesting, requires creative, resourceful, self-starting people. Most of them already have jobs. Those who don't, who theoretically are building your parallel economy, may be recruited into the regular economy. ...


1

Aliens silently made planet inhospitable - they tricked lesser race to believe their planet has global warming, while, in reality, its has ice age starting. After long winters and floods destroyed crops, lesser race will willingly follow anybody, who promise to save them from hunger, even if they had to board big and overcrowded warp ships, that will ...


0

If the aliens penetrated society as impersonators using disguises of some kind, and with their tricks, assumed positions of power in the governments, funded space colonization programs, then they could move out people, without being under suspicion, to their home planet. However, sending 50 million humans on a space colonization mission is nearly ...


8

Depends on the technology ... A sufficiently advanced technology could send warp ships into orbit, beam the people directly into stasis pods, and then fly them to the destination. The problem with that is that a technology which has transporters like Star Trek, and computers to control all this, might not need millions of workers. An insufficiently ...


0

See stack exchange None of us are paid, but all of us work in some capacity for the site. Our goals are decentralized and proposed by other users. Sometimes we build large and elaborate items to solve personal problems of the community or of individuals. Have a voting system, and a way to track contributions, people are not paid, but more work means more ...


4

Weapons You can't kidnap 50 million humans without someone noticing. It's simply not possible. In addition, the amount of logistics and energy you would require in order to transport 50 million humans off-world is such that your fleet would be noticed by the current space gazing infrastructure. Sure, you can bend rules to give your fleet ultra-stealth ...


0

Perhaps it turns out that 5G networks actually are dangerous, but the danger only becomes apparent after about 10-15 years of exposure because the damage is concentrated in cells that grow slowly. Animals don't stay in one place and don't usually use cell phones, so they survive, as does much of Africa and South America while the West is doomed.


2

A few off the top of my head: Asteroid impact or megavolcano. Make it as big or as small as you want. Put it anywhere you want. Directly destroys whatever it lands on. Throws up huge dust clouds that affect crop production and biosphere for years (look up the proposed dinosaur-killing asteroid and scale it back by a factor of 2). If you land it in the ocean ...


1

Two ideas: (1) Fossil Fuels Suddenly Run Out: We know the fossil fuels will eventually run out. They just ran out much sooner than predicted. This cripples most industry but has no obvious effect on the biosphere. Eventually we can recover by converting to nuclear/solar/wind. (1.5) Earthquakes make some major oil wells inaccessible. Yes the fuel is ...


3

It depends a lot on the existing culture and who discovered the stones first. If the culture that first discovered them were nomadic tribesmen with a warrior culture, they could coordinate raids on a massive scale across vast distances to great advantage. It would enable a particularly charismatic chieftain to have a much wider influence than he normally ...


4

This sounds to me like the equivalent of having radios that are too expensive to be mass-produced, but not so expensive as to be prohibitive for governments/militaries/wealthy tradesmen. The biggest impact I'm immediately seeing is for warfare. Throughout the history of warfare strategy, communication has always been a pain-point. The general may be on a ...


3

I know you asked for a more economic solution, but I'll opt to give a more political one, as economy has always been secondary (and directly related to) how well the government functions. Govenments would form more quickly. Imagine having the communications technology to call the police or the fire brigade instantly as a caveman. Humans would adapt this ...


2

Depends on the size of the nation, if little like Vatican City it could do it very fast, if big like USA or Russia never. Actually the biggest problem is not the production of electricity but the transport of electricity. Even if your super reactor produces infinite energy at no cost, you can't transport for free. Most energy will be wasted over great ...


1

Somewhere in the range 40 years to "never" Power is one of those things that individuals, corporations and governments get very twitchy about. Murphy's Law is a basic engineering principle - anything that can go wrong will go wrong eventually. Even if the magic reactor cannot possibly fail, the lines transmitting the power to everywhere else can be ...


2

The current world population went, in the blink of an eye from 7 billion to 3.5 billion. This would be the largest decimation of human population in history and would immedietly make the species endangerd by technical rules. The world population hasn't been this low for a long time. In fact, you'd have to go all the way back to that amazing far flung ...


0

First you need to look at those who own things inside the city. Who owns the companies that operate in the city? Who owns the pieces of land and buildings in the city? These people/companies will straight up lose when the city is destroyed, so these sound like good candidate for allies. If all, or at least a reasonable majority, of the companies that ...


0

1) Government type: The political structure can have a severe impact in the economy, or lack of. This means presence of slaves, or selfdom. 2) Religious: Please don't forget religion! In medieval societies the church had a tremendous saying in what could or not be done, in which things could be crafted, and where to travel. 3) Culture: Hard to put in ...


5

Your mayor needs to acquire insight into exactly the details which you claim don't matter: the reasons why the city is to be destroyed and who will benefit. This may involve a multi-step intellectual scavenger hunt, beginning with his liaison contacts in the higher/federal government but once that proves unfruitful, Anonymous-style hacker-groups, criminal ...


2

"Post-scarcity" really throwing a wrench into the available approaches. Normally, you would follow @Separatrix advice and compile some futuristic "basket of goods". But if this is a truly post-scarcity society, this list would be meaningless, as most of the items on it would become negligibly cheap. What you need to do is to try to think through you ...


Top 50 recent answers are included