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218 votes

Logical reason why my dystopian government exiles rebels instead of killing them?

Sun Tzu wrote: never corner the enemy. Always give them a chance to escape. If you kill all the dissidents you catch, they'll fight to the death. They have nothing to lose by staying in a cave ...
Cadence's user avatar
  • 38.5k
203 votes

How can a banker successfully (and safely) lend money to an autocrat?

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 ...
AlexP's user avatar
  • 92.3k
180 votes

What would an immortal-run American bank have to do to secretly maintain bank accounts for immortal customers?

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 ...
jdunlop's user avatar
  • 32.4k
170 votes

Why would a Dystopian government promote education to its citizens, instead of ignorance?

Well they wouldn't want them to be "educated" in the classical sense, but they would want them to be "schooled" in the 20th-century sense. Taking children away from their parents and making them ...
workerjoe's user avatar
  • 6,619
168 votes

Can I reduce the crime rate by penalizing criminals' children socially?

Well, there is at least one country operating that way (pp. 24, 27, 35 of the report). Perhaps it stops some crime, but that country is not a nice place to live. Most criminals do not believe that ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 117k
125 votes

Can I reduce the crime rate by penalizing criminals' children socially?

There is a flaw in what you expect. In your scenario, you are assuming that only men can commit crime.The other side of this story is as follows: Alice does not marry Bob. Bob finds Kate. Kate also ...
atakanyenel's user avatar
  • 1,563
120 votes

Where should a galactic capital be?

It is important to realize that there is a historic context to a capital. This means a lot of things, and let's look at some Earth capitals to compare: Washington D.C. makes no sense as the capital ...
Marshall Tigerus's user avatar
111 votes

Logical reason why my dystopian government exiles rebels instead of killing them?

It is the last remnant of the history that started the revolution. Almost all history has been rewritten; but the one thing everyone still remembers, is that this all started because the Bad Old ...
Frames Catherine White's user avatar
99 votes

How could we fake a moon landing now?

In this reality, it would be impossible to successfully fake a moon landing at anytime. The moon landings happened. They were real with real competitors watching every move. A little back history will ...
gwally's user avatar
  • 4,437
97 votes

Logical reason why dystopian government controls what people wear?

Control the Supply The citizens of your dystopia work in a government-controlled factory. They shop in a government-controlled shop with government-controlled prices. What does the shop have in stock? ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 117k
86 votes

What would be the pros and cons of a merged military and police?

Police and Military should never be merged. They have different missions and are set up completely differently. If you look at countries in conflict, and those that are stable today, you see a ...
flox's user avatar
  • 22.4k
85 votes

How do I make my dynasty last 1000s of years?

It's nice to see someone acknowledging that maintaining a dynasty for more than a few centuries is a very, very difficult proposition: too many fantasy works casually write 'and the House of X has ...
Montefeltro's user avatar
  • 1,545
84 votes

Can there be a theocracy that also practices religious tolerance?

First, as already covered in this answer, a theocracy can be more concerned with people following its rules than with people following its god. Historically some Muslim rulers were like that, such as ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
78 votes

Taxing the superhero industry

Add a two tier tax that targets heroes doing property damage. First, a small flat tax for all heroes to help cover any damages incurred by villains and subsequent hero suppression of said villains. ...
Clay Deitas's user avatar
  • 4,262
76 votes

How to keep democracies from falling behind technologically?

Yes, the notion that democracies are inferior is completely wrong Autocracies might be better at a short-term scientific blitz (i.e. you know exactly what you need, and you can concentrate all ...
Laetus's user avatar
  • 2,762
74 votes

How might a government pass a law without the population knowing?

The trick is not to pass the law itself. Instead, you pass a law creating a Street Safety Office, which shall issue regulations (that have the force of law) concerning people's comings and goings. ...
MissMonicaE's user avatar
  • 1,088
73 votes

How do the Martian rebels defeat Earth when they're grossly outnumbered and outgunned?

Using WMD against Earth will cause entire Earth to unite and demand revenge. Instead, I propose the same way that US gained its independence (while still requiring supplies from the old world): find ...
Bald Bear's user avatar
  • 10.7k
70 votes

How can you prevent a theocracy from being inevitable when religious leaders have power over nature?

There are simply too many things on your plate Do you know how hard it is to make seasons change? How delicate the process is to make the souls ascend? You mispronounce one syllabe and grandpa ends ...
Pavel Janicek's user avatar
67 votes

Developing a government that can hide an immortal ruler (and their secret to immortality)

Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead. - Benjamin Franklin The only way this can be kept a secret is if the immortal (let's call him Bob) is the only person to know the secret. If anyone ...
Ghotir's user avatar
  • 4,591
67 votes

Why would an immortal make good on his loan?

Credit ratings should take care of this. Yes, an immortal might technically have eternity to pay off their loans - but nobody will want to lend any more money to an immortal who is currently millions ...
IndigoFenix's user avatar
  • 29.1k
67 votes

Logical reason why dystopian government controls what people wear?

Reason number one: it removes people's individuality. Reason number two: the act of controlling a citizen's personal life makes the government feel omnipresent and all-seeing. Reason number three: it ...
Ian's user avatar
  • 619
65 votes

What is the earliest point in history that Big Brother could exist?

In the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) a system very similar to Big Brother was in place, though not relying on technology, but using human informants only. It was set up by the Stasi: Full-...
L.Dutch's user avatar
  • 292k
64 votes

Logical reason why my dystopian government exiles rebels instead of killing them?

Don't confuse a dystopian government with, for example, Nazi Germany. Nazi Germany was led by (IMO) a madman, but it wasn't broken. Dystopian governments are broken. It's more than simply ruthless, ...
JBH's user avatar
  • 127k
64 votes

Is it practical to make English the global language?

The Russians did it: the Russian Empire, and its successors the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation established Russian as the language for official and inter-ethnic communication. It worked. ...
AlexP's user avatar
  • 92.3k
64 votes

Lying is illegal. How to make joking not an offence?

It will be a crime for civil servants to misrepresent or present false information with the deliberate intention of deceiving fellow government officials or members of the public while acting out ...
Cyn's user avatar
  • 20.4k
63 votes

Would it be possible to alter the memory of an entire population within 2 generations?

Trivialize the holdouts The KKK is an American terrorist organization. It used to have massive power. In the 1940s, Stetson Kennedy went undercover and started leaking the KKK's most guarded secrets ...
Andrew Brēza's user avatar
62 votes

How could we fake a moon landing now?

You can't. I'll try for a shorter answer than my peers'. Anyone can send a probe to the Moon if they've got the money and the motivation. In fact, China sent a couple ones in the last 12 years. A ...
The Square-Cube Law's user avatar
61 votes

How far away could two countries be to have a relationship in ancient times?

I know you are expecting a distance answer but I'll give a time answer. A good rule of thumb is a maximum of one to three months of travel. There are exceptions, but most civilizations that have ...
ShadoCat's user avatar
  • 19.7k
60 votes

How can a barren island state comprised of morons maintain positive GDP for decades?

not going into the discussion on "does IQ really measure intelligence or not?" Putting in practice the word of Koalemos is deemed the highest honor in their society, therefore those with the ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
  • 292k
57 votes

How do governments keep people accountable for contracts and oaths in a civilisation without a writing system?

Important oaths could be sworn in front of witnesses. Less important oaths would rely on reputation. Reputation would be important to one survival, and if you somehow manage to trick a large number ...
gmatht's user avatar
  • 3,906

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