213 votes
Accepted

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 ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 115k
169 votes
Accepted

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
  • 115k
141 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 "...
L.Dutch's user avatar
  • 287k
135 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Separatrix's user avatar
  • 118k
128 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Syndic's user avatar
  • 6,582
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
119 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 ...
Serban Tanasa's user avatar
97 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 ...
SZCZERZO KŁY's user avatar
97 votes
Accepted

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.
Leo Adberg's user avatar
  • 1,378
87 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Secespitus's user avatar
  • 17.7k
80 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Willk's user avatar
  • 305k
77 votes
Accepted

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.
Caio Nogueira's user avatar
72 votes

How would deafening as punishment be carried out?

There is historical record (although old and unreliable) that, in 1031 or 32, Vazul, the grand prince of Hungary, was blinded and deafened using molten lead to make him unsuitable as king. It was not ...
Peter Tölgyesi's user avatar
71 votes
Accepted

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 ...
celtschk's user avatar
  • 31.4k
71 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/...
Sarriesfan's user avatar
  • 3,000
67 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 ...
Andrey's user avatar
  • 5,042
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
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 ...
user's user avatar
  • 29k
56 votes
Accepted

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 ...
ShadoCat's user avatar
  • 19.7k
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 ...
Thesaurus Rex's user avatar
54 votes

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

How about this? The stone goes into a church/temple/palace. The accused in any trial has the right to demand a Trial by Stone instead of the usual legal process, but only before that process starts. ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 115k
54 votes

Why zero tolerance on nudity in space?

Spacesuits are compulsory The human body is ill suited for leaving the confines of Earth. Spacesuits serve a variety of necessary functions in order for humans to operate in space like temperature ...
nullpointer's user avatar
  • 8,689
54 votes
Accepted

Why would spaceships still practice venting precious air?

The same reason why some ships keep illegally washing their tanks in the open sea instead that in the certified facilities: because it's cheaper. Keeping a working filtering and recycling system for ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
  • 287k
53 votes

Help! Our merchants keep turning into villains!

To the honoured Ebyssybl Mollassand, Unfortunately my agency will be unable to assist until you are willing to take a holistic solution to this problem. Your continued insistence on using freelance ...
Separatrix's user avatar
  • 118k
53 votes

A road system with no traffic rules - what sort of vehicle is best?

While the scenario painted may seem quite bizarre and downright deadly, the fact of the matter is, minimal traffic regulation does not necessarily mean you need to drive an Challenger 2 Tank just to ...
elemtilas's user avatar
  • 40k
48 votes

Why would the Federation ban escape pods that come with manual override?

Regarding the paperwork of the ban itself, the equivalent treaty that we have at present is the SOLAS Convention, regarding the Safety Of Life At Sea - established in the wake of the sinking of the ...
FacticiusVir's user avatar
48 votes

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

The real problem is that the stone does not actually force you to speak truth. So when you speak a half-truth or a misleading truth it will still identify it as a lie. A clever person could still ...
David Cram's user avatar
48 votes
Accepted

A Society Built Around Theft?

A similar system was used in the spartan agoge Boys were intentionally underfed to encourage them to steal food for themselves; however, they were severely punished if caught. This was part of the ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
  • 287k
47 votes

How could a private corporation take over the British government

Technically, the United Kingdom is a Theocratic Dictatorship, ruled by the whim of HM the Queen, which is normally expressed through parliament. That means that any change of law, up to and including ...
Werrf's user avatar
  • 15k
46 votes
Accepted

Why would a country persecute people with autism?

A fictitious (not fantasty) story is set in a third-world country sometime during the 70s or 80s. The country operates similarly to any semi-developed country in central or south America. The ...
RonJohn's user avatar
  • 17.6k

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