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As @Harper said: railroads without locomotives. Your society should create rail tracks, made of iron, and pull the wagons using animals. In flat terrain you can move a surprisingly large amount of cargo using this method because rail reduces friction. If the wagons are well built, with well-fitting, well-oiled, standard parts, you get another boost to the ...


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All due respect your knowledge of transit technologies of this era is quite limited, and you are wild-guessing a lot, e.g. the dimensions of the canal. You're quite close. Push to the railroad. In late 1700's you are only 40 years from the critical elements of the railroad. And this is a time when technology did not move along at a breakneck speed! ...


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If you are looking for transit alternatives other than water: unpowered air gliders are feasible with medieval technology, can be manufactured from wood/cloth/paper/ropes. It was not done then because the optimal wing shape and method of steering was not known and it was hard to discover by trial and error. It may not be considered "mass" transit as it's ...


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I imagine massive raised aqueducts 100m in width and a few tens of meters in depths Ok, for starters: scale this back a bit. Not just for practicality reasons, but for the simple fact that it is so ridiculously excessive. The real world Panama Canal has a standard called Panamax, which allows ships to have a 12m draft, 32m beam and 290m length. That's the ...


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At 100m wide and 20m deep, you are looking at needing to pump 2000 cubic meters of water for every meter you want a boat to drift. Now, let's say you want your ships to move at the speed of a slow moving sailboat (~4 knots / 8 kph), that means you would need to pump 16 million cubic meters of water an hour. A really good manual bilge pump in the hands of a ...


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That sounds a pretty large undertaking, even now! As Erik mentioned in the comments, why not use "normal" rivers, and link them with canals? The UK still has a lot of the canals it had prior to the rail network. For the vast majority of the time they were in use, the boats would have been pulled by horses - canal boats could carry thirty tons at a time ...


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It will not be feasible to work with that much water. Let's start with some numbers. Based on the original specs of the Erie canal, we'll aim to have a canal 12m wide and 1.2m deep, flowing at a rate of about 2m/s (which is about as fast as you could travel on a canal by animal power). Since a canal is two-way, we'll cut that in half for each channel - 6m ...


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Are you familiar with the Grand Canal? It's not exactly "land transit", but maybe this is what you're looking for.


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It isn't going to work. Aircraft horizontal separation standards vary based on type of flying (uncontrolled, controlled, VFR, IFR, etc), but is generally measured in miles, not feet. For example, US ATC standards in a terminal area specify a minimum 3 nautical mile separation. Even at Oshkosh during the fly-in they maintain separations of 1/2 mile for ...


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If all the practical issues are dealt with as you say, I see no reason 'lane widths' would then emulate existing ones, however this is a missed opportunity One of the major complexities in modern day city / traffic / urban planning is that the 2 dimensional plane, the ground plane, contains: Roads and intersections Buildings Vegetation Rivers Complex ...


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You're all going to die There's a saying that applies to GEVs/WIGs as much as it does to hovercraft. If you can see something in front of you you're going to hit it. GEVs are not suitable for traffic situations, as they require a minimum speed rather than a maximum. They're not really suitable for use over land due to the fact they corner like aircraft and ...


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You don't need to assume any sort of transmission is possible as it already is allowed mathematically in deterministic hidden variable theories being developed to unify the discrepancies between quantum mechanics and general relativity. Quantum mechanics is non-deterministic by definition, as a derivitive of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, and ...


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In a parallel universe far from our own... In year 1981, Communists States of America was performing an unmatched experiment in a secret facility hidden in the middle of defeated remnants of Mayan civilization. Their aim was to build a dimension bomb against Napoléon the Third in WW4. On the day of displacement (24th of April 81), a terrible accident has ...


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There's a relatively simple solution here, if you're willing to consider the work of a prior civilization: Nanotech. In millennia past, an advanced civilization learned to build structures very efficiently using microscopic, self-assembling nano-scale robots. AI-driven, designed to respond and adapt to precisely-defined patterns, structures could be ...


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The how would depend on whether you are after a magical or a technological explanation. If you want technological then the structures are built using nanotechnology. An ancient race built a network of devices inside of the world which automatically creates the nanobots and construction materials they require. The beings who made this network had designated ...


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Quantum mechanics. The ruins exhibit the strange property of existing in two places at once. I hope I wasn't the only one to immediately think of Outer Wilds when I read about your mysterious ruins moving on their own :) It's a tenuous connection, but it's there. It's an interesting experience in the game, and it may make for some interesting situations in ...


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The buildings are perfectly mundane structures. They are incredibly well constructed—not mortar and stone, but torque-resistant modules that are made to be attached to each other and swapped out when repairs are needed. There are fleets of automated construction robots running on a long-forgotten schedule that move buildings to repair bays. When repairs ...


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The first thing we have to concider is the origin of these ruins. They are oooold. Not old by human standards, who are like flies to those dragons. Old for dragon standards, and even older than the oldest of their ancient stories. And if even dragons cannot remember where they came from, how could we? If one looked close enough at them, however, and studied ...


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Non-Euclidean geometry Well, not exactly—more like superfluid geometry. Let's start with a simplistic example. You go a hundred paces to the North, then turn 180 degrees and walk a hundred paces South, but you end up somewhere else. Just to illustrate the idea, let's apply it to trees. Say there is a straight line of trees and you carve a letters into each ...


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Earth is artificial This is a good take because it's a trope people are familiar with and like to entertain it. Of course, you shouldn't say it out loud in your ancient setting, but instead put a simple hints that your reader will be able to put together. The exact explanations may then vary: Earth is a nanobot simulation (ie. physical simulation ...


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Sounds like a herd of giant mimic. For those not knowing those fabulous creatures, mimics are predatory monsters using their shapeshifting ability to look like inanimate objects to lure their preys. Often, there original form is describe some sort of slime. While mimics are often described as carnivores, cases of insectivore ones aren't rare : while the "...


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Hermit elephants The Hermit Elephant (Elephantus Solitarius) is a species native to Howondaland. The Hermit Elephant has thin skin making another form of protection necessary; it enters a village and lifts a building onto its back to use as a shell. As the elephant grows larger it will require bigger and bigger houses. The Hermit Elephant is similar in ...


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They could use some form of magic-based teleportation network to transport these structures across the area. Either due to sabotage or by decay over the millennia, have broken-down, and are now causing the ruins to move around at locations that have portals of some form that use the network. As to why this is the case, the group that built the network were ...


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Unstable time-shifted matter The buildings have not been built yet, however much later in history a civilization settles the area. They develop a quantum disruption weapon which is supposed to disrupt the strong nuclear force shredding things into their basic quarks, however the calculations were wrong. When they thought they were reducing things to quarks, ...


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Since there aren't any real constraints in the question, allow me to take a moment and define an entire multiverse: Ink Bleeds Through the Sheets In this setting, there is a multiverse which contained all possible universes, as is commonly shown in popular science fiction. However, something about this particular universe makes the divisions from its ...


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Upon reading your question, I immediately thought of the Death Valley sailing stones. These are large rocks in the middle of the desert that change position over time, and leave long tracks across the landscape. The explanation for this movement defied explanation for a long time, but it's now understood that during cold weather, the rocks are lifted by a ...


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You have a weird thing going on here: Civilization is young, but Communist forts are a thing. Dragons exist, but logic is needed. So let's get weird. I'd go with time traveling since, 1) it seems that ruins should not be as plentiful as they are, 2) magical beasts (dragons) cannot sense what they're doing. Here's how it would work. The ruins jump back ...


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This is roughly the same as Bald Bear's (first) answer, but more fleshed out... The "ruins" are built (and removed) by "cloaked" repair mechs of unknown origin. These mechs have some form of probably anti-gravity propulsion (that is, they "float" in air and are near-silent). Something about them, maybe related to said propulsive field, has a side effect of ...


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Your structures are just like the Yonaguni monument. They look like they are the work of supernatural architects, but after a couple seconds judging their artwork, they start resembling the work of an intensely stoned supernatural architect who just learned what geometry is. A little investigation later and you find out such structures exist due to natural ...


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No effect on microchips. Silicon wafer is not a major contributor to cost of microchips: https://virginiasemi.wordpress.com/2017/08/20/how-much-does-a-silicon-wafer-cost/ It looks like $10 per chip. The amount of silicon in semiconductors is tiny. The bulk of the cost is getting the atoms-sized semiconductors and circuits onto the chip, as well as developing ...


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They are made out of a magical goo that can simply dissolve and move around. It can dissolve into something like dust that moves on it's own to another location. It can simply teleport. It can attach itself to animal or bugs for teleportation, provided it guides them to a place. Then once at it's location it starts getting together to build the desired ...


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Giant flying entity moves them. Or a swarm of small entities that dis/assembles them. They teleport, or they are holograms created by a small mobile projector. They are a cloud of nanobots that can assemble into shapes, and use local materials on the outer surface. This also explains self-repair. They are self-propelled, with tracks/wheels or folding ...


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(editted for brevity, if you can believe that. the edit history retains some worked analysis of the rocket performance and a comparison to the Frisbee antimatter starship design) TL;DR: It will look a little more like this than like a skyscraper: (Note the presence of heat rejection, the glowing red bits around the rockets, debris shielding, the shiny ...


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Yes - it would be a skyscraper, and you need a way to withstand those pesky interstellar dust particles, and radiate away heat Regardless of your drive and your power source, constant 1g acceleration would slowly increase the speed of your ship such that even after just a half a lightyear any dust particles would hit your ship with enormous force, and let ...


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Your first point is great. Spacecraft that are laid out as if there's a "down" that's perpendicular to the direction of thrust are almost always a stupid design and a holdover from depictions of spacecraft as essentially just aircraft or naval ships. So yes, laying the ship out as a stack of consecutive floors, sort of like a skyscraper, is objectively the ...


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A jet engine has four components: the intake, the compressor, the combustion chamber, and the turbine. Your magic attraction and repulsion cores are capable of reproducing the first two stages of the engine: sucking air into the engine, and then compressing it to increase its pressure while decreasing its volume. If they can make magical heating elements, ...


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There's an even better way of using these kinds of magical attractions / repelling engines. And that is the legendary Zero Mass Drive. Theoretically, using negative matter, you could have a drive which has a net mass of zero, and propel itself. Hence the name, Zero Mass Drive (technically, it's called a Reactionless Drive, whatever, Zero Mass Drive is a ...


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Well, this makes maglev style trains very easy. For propulsion, have an open tube with a number of these "repulsion engines" (REs) inside it angled toward one end. That would cause air to be pushed out the "back" end and sucked in the front end. You now have jet propulsion. If you turn on of off some of the REs or can increase of decrease the repulsion ...


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Assuming you have access to room-temperature superconductors, you can make a vacuum air bubble by wrapping a lightweight sphere in the superconducting wire and running current through it. The magnetic field built up can provide the structural integrity and prevent the vacuum vessel from collapsing or buckling (if one part of the sphere starts to buckle ...


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A geodesic sphere would be one of the best structural shapes. Depending on the strength of the materials used and the size of the airship required, internal struts could then be run from any node through the centre of the sphere to a corresponding diametrically opposite node. Graphene would be a good choice of material. Made into tubular form for the struts ...


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A single envelope is inherently dangerous. One single pop and everyone is sky diving - minus the parachute. Even the great airships of yester year worked around this by not having a single compartment filled with hydrogen/helium, but by having many smaller bladders organised for easy maintenance and attached to the airframe. The outer skin was for aero ...


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TL;DR: Don't do it. People think nothing of having different equipment and training for use in air, on the ground, on water and underwater. Cryonic and roasting atmospheres, super high pressures, vacuum and microgravity conditions are different environments and you should equip and train your warfighters appropriately for each. Lets have a think about the ...


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Some key features that would need to be taken into account are: The presence or absence of gravitational acceleration The presence or absence of an atmosphere at a range of compositions and pressures The possibility of encountering and moving in liquids such as water and methane A wide range of operating temperatures Some limitations that must be recognised ...


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Complete rewrite In general, one-size-fits-all approach is not good. Instead, same basic vehicles will be customized for a given environment, just like RL tanks and airplanes are customized for terrain where they operate (heating and no-freeze lubricants for Arctic, AC and dust control for Iraq). First, you need to keep the crew supplied with air. So air-...


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