Hot answers tagged

211

Housecleaning in Zero-G Think through the amount of body hair and skin flakes a human sheds each week. On Earth, you take a vacuum cleaner or a mop. Still, fluff collects in hard-to-reach places. No big deal, really. The combination of zero-g and artificial life support systems makes fluff a greater problem in space. The solution? Almost-full-body clothing ...


154

Well, there is at least one country operating that way. Perhaps it stops some crime, but that country is not a nice place to live. Most criminals do not believe that they will be caught. Most criminals do not plan for the long term, let alone generations. Depriving the children of legitimate life choices will guide them towards criminal choices. So what I'...


137

It's fairly simple really, patent and copyright only apply within the borders of a country in which the product is registered. There are various international systems but no universal treaty. Since Santa is manufacturing outside an area where these treaties apply, he's not bound by copy protection laws. Since he's not selling the items, they can't be taken ...


135

For "clear" probabilistic games (like roulette, where the probability of victory are well known, and 1/37 on a single number) they can easily tell, on statistic base, if you are cheating or not. For "unclear"probabilistic games (like the equivalent of Windows solitaire, where it's not yet clear what are the chances of victory) they might not be able to tell ...


131

Only a very small number of senior crew on a starship know how to properly plot course and speed to best effect and efficiency. Everyone else has their role but it's not navigation. Escape pods that automatically choose their destination, and don't allow the occupant to interfere, will return the largest number of persons to a safe destination. Any ...


125

The only thing worse than a zombie chasing you... is a FLAMING zombie chasing you! Your zombies don't immediately die once set ablaze. Sure, EVENTUALLY enough of their flesh has burned off to render them immobile, but until then they spread the fire to houses, forests, and humans nearby. The danger from raging wild- and city fires is too big to justify for ...


124

Simple: Mandatory public meat-eating. A somewhat related historical example occurred in Spain from the 16th century onwards. The Jewish and Muslim religions were banned, and eating of pork was a common way to demonstrate that one was an authentic Christian.


114

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 has a charge of damaging public property(or something else). No one would also marry Kate, that's why Bob and Kate are perfect match. As they are already ...


113

Scenario 1: The King declares: "I have decided to use the Truth Stone to root out any and all corruption in my administration." Stone vanishes from behind 5 supposedly locked and guarded doors, with nary a trace the very next day. King Terren reloads. Scenario 2: The King declares: "I have decided to use the Truth Stone to root out any and all cheating ...


112

There are several options to resolve this paradox: He is getting sued all the time, it's just that nobody wants to make a big PR deal about this. Imagine the damage to your brand if it became known that you are suing Santa, of all people. He is getting sued all the time, he just doesn't care. He can continue his shady business unabashed year after year ...


98

For the same reason some do in real life. Ship (or landing pod) landing isn't perfect so when they arrive back on earth the astronauts need to defend themselves against hostile animals or scavengers.


93

Dragons would run the FAA One day, you're flapping along, torching pigeons, and those runty little ground creatures that taste good with ketchup start making an awful racket. "Must be that Henry Ford again," you think to yourself. Humans these days and their internal combustion engines. Something sounds different this time. You look around and do a double ...


90

Casinos don't need to find out that you are cheating. Or to be specific, how you are cheating. For example card counting is not cheating, but when the casino discovers you are getting the upper hand in black jack they just politely ask you to leave. Casinos also share a database of their visitors and so they can mark certain customers as "not welcome". ...


86

Assuming you have a basic list of things not to do and penalties set up you may wish to start asking about the bureaucratic process: Who can accuse people? Everyone, or only the elite? Who can catch people? Is there a police force? Are they from a government or a company? Or can everyone try to right the wrongs done to him/ his family/ ...? Who can judge ...


78

Horses They are smart enough to not crash themselves on others, even if their riders are completely drunk.


72

Here are a few possible laws and traditions that could create such a situation (some more credible than others). Guilty by lack of evidence A law was passed to deter people from doing false accusations. If the plaintiff can't prove the crime did happen, he is systematically charged and convicted for said crime. If the judge asks for too many pieces of ...


71

Cryptography. If the surveillance camera contains a private key which it uses to sign its footage, that's a piece of evidence you cannot fake without having access to the camera's private key. Any piece of digital data could be required to have such a cryptographic signature in order to count as evidence. To prove that some image or other digital data ...


70

Most countries have signed the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea. (The United States haven't but they largely honor it nonetheless.) This convention defines various types of sea zones, which I won't go into here; Part 7 applies to the high seas, i.e. the areas that have no connection with any state. The convention specifies rights and obligations related ...


69

The punished becomes a tree. It is not punishment so much as sentence; a time away from his familiar world. The punished is not insensate during this time. He experiences the world as a tree - the light and dark, wind and sun, the comings and goings of the forest animals. Trees know suffering - insects chew his leaves, storms and ice crack his branches, ...


68

There are some species of fungi were their spores can be dispersed by large fires. This is a link to an article on the transport of spores in the smoke from biomass fires. http://www.patarnott.com/atms360/pdf_atms360/04034Mims.pdf There are also some plants that require forest or bush fires to enable their seeds to germinate, although fungi are not plants a ...


64

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 their functions as government representatives. This works just fine. Jokes and sarcasm are temporary. The government worker moves on and then tells the ...


61

Here is what you should do. Play progressive slots that can pay out hundreds of thousands on one win, and someone has to do it. This will not alert the casino in any way. You will also get a huge crowd. Progressive slots work kind of like the lottery. Every play sets aside some money for a jackpot. One lucky winner gets the jackpot. Pick one that has ...


60

Several ideas what would be different: Better murder cases: You can ask a person who did murder them. And possibly you could use it as evidence in court Different inheritance rules You can summon recently deceased person and ask them who should get what. And obviously, you could make sure the deceased person can decide about conditions (like: You get my ...


59

I'm not supposed to reveal any of this due to NDA, so don't tell anywhere where you heard this: Santa has no IP problems due to secret compulsory license treaties that date back centuries -- manufacturers have to grant a free license to Santa to manufacture toys, in return, Santa contributes to the media blitz that causes the marketing frenzy every holiday ...


58

You can claim whatever you want. Calling something a country is a generally pointless designation if it's unrecognized. However, he might have a significantly better chance of getting recognized than a typical seasteader. Elon has a lot of resources and might be able to rally enough engineers to design and build this space station. If he can then use it as ...


57

I think you are missing the fact that generally speaking, even in courts of today, no single piece of evidence is sufficient for a guilty verdict. Sure, technically speaking, you can make an image that is awfully difficult to tell that it is fake, and present that as evidence in a case. But if the other side disagrees, they will present their own evidence ...


55

1 - We're icky There is a hygienic dimension to clothing. As mammals, especially placental mammals, we're always secreting and shedding something -- sweat, oil, hair, dead skin, and many other substances that are unnecessary and inadvisable to list. The areas we cover up are notorious for making right messes, and even the more acceptable areas may be ...


54

The House Vegetarian Activities Committee Many answers have been given, most of them pretty practical and uninvasive (considering). But practical and uninvasive is not what governments are going for with these kinds of laws. Sure you can instute mandatory public meat eating, but that's like making a communist salute the flag. They'll eat the meatloaf to ...


54

¿How do you tell if a person is vegetarian? Test the microbiota. The population of microbies in the gut is a function of diet, drug treatments, etc.(See, for instance, this article.) The procedure would only require a stool sample, from where the DNA would be extracted and analysed. Given the volumes you have to process, the whole procedure can be fully ...


54

Time will do it. There is continuous pressure from long lived corporations to extend the length of patents. The more power corporations have in your universe, the longer patents will end up. There is a reason why the length of patents were set as they are. The patent is designed to give the inventor/designer a short term monopoly so they can recoup the ...


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