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213 votes
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Why zero tolerance on nudity in space?

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

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 ...
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  • 97k
140 votes

Can a casino system prove my (divine) luck as cheating?

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 "...
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  • 236k
138 votes

How does Santa protect himself from IP lawsuits?

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 ...
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  • 114k
135 votes
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Why would the Federation ban escape pods that come with manual override?

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 ...
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  • 114k
127 votes

How to enforce a Ban on Vegetarianism

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 ...
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126 votes
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Why would the government ban flamethrowers in a zombie apocalypse?

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 ...
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  • 6,283
116 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 ...
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  • 1,468
115 votes
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How does Santa protect himself from IP lawsuits?

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 ...
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  • 2,748
115 votes

Truth Stone: Effects on the justice system, and criminal world

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 ...
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98 votes
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What is a good reason for every spaceship to carry a weapon on board?

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.
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  • 1,279
97 votes

Dragons and aviation bureaucracy

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 ...
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94 votes

Can a casino system prove my (divine) luck as cheating?

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 ...
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87 votes
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What questions should I ask myself when designing a legal system for a fantasy world?

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 ...
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80 votes
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How could a law exist that allows victims to be arrested for the crime against them?

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 ...
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79 votes
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Punishment in pacifist society

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 ...
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  • 272k
78 votes
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A road system with no traffic rules - what sort of vehicle is best?

Horses They are smart enough to not crash themselves on others, even if their riders are completely drunk.
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71 votes
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Using international waters to avoid legal punishment

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 ...
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71 votes
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What is valid evidence in a world with perfect CGI technology?

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 ...
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  • 30.9k
69 votes

Why would the government ban flamethrowers in a zombie apocalypse?

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/...
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  • 2,960
66 votes

Can a casino system prove my (divine) luck as cheating?

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 ...
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  • 4,922
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 ...
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60 votes
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How would law enforcement be different if we could talk to the dead?

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 ...
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60 votes

How does Santa protect himself from IP lawsuits?

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 -- ...
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  • 944
58 votes
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Could you claim a space station as a country?

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 ...
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  • 48k
57 votes

What is valid evidence in a world with perfect CGI technology?

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 ...
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  • 28.6k
57 votes
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Why would Patent Terms be extended to centuries?

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 ...
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  • 18.8k
56 votes

How to enforce a Ban on Vegetarianism

¿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 ...
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  • 1,098
55 votes

How to enforce a Ban on Vegetarianism

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 ...
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  • 3,453
55 votes

Why zero tolerance on nudity in space?

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 ...
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