203 votes
Accepted

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
  • 89k
145 votes
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What is the least "world changing" reason why the government would pay for you to keep a llama during your 44th year of life?

There are a few reasons the government might want you to own a llama for a day: IT could be a religious rite of some sort. If llamas are held in high esteem by priests and government, and they want ...
Khail's user avatar
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140 votes
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What would be the possible issues with an IQ based voting system

The most obvious issue applies to all weighted voting systems, whoever gets to define the tests has power to influence the vote. Say everyone on the IQ evaluation board is of a particular political ...
Josh King's user avatar
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112 votes
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Effects of "know before you vote" political system

What you're describing is essentially a literacy test. The biggest concern here is that this test could be manipulated to exclude certain groups of people. For example, the state of Louisiana used a ...
kuhl's user avatar
  • 1,551
109 votes

Can Communism become a stable economic strategy? How?

You need perfect information, uncorruptable leaders, and an enforcement mechanism. Why does communism sort of work at a small scale (small groups < 15) but hit tons of problems at large scale? ...
sdrawkcabdear's user avatar
107 votes

What is the least "world changing" reason why the government would pay for you to keep a llama during your 44th year of life?

It's a computer error. The original constitution of the country mandated that all people aged 43 should consume more foodstuffs containing umami, to improve public health. However the spell-checker ...
alephzero's user avatar
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106 votes
Accepted

Why does the Conjoined Alliance of Space Travellers keep producing red uniforms?

The red suits are optional, worn by crew members who find a post-scarcity life too boring and risk-free for their liking. As a group they see themselves as the elite, willing to sacrifice themselves ...
Callum Bradbury's user avatar
92 votes
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Why would the richest and strongest country on Earth consistently fail at Big Projects?

Germany isn't the richest and strongest country in the world, but many would consider it rich and strong, and it has 80 Million citizens, not 320 Million, but still ... And yet, we're completely ...
Guntram Blohm's user avatar
91 votes

What would be the possible issues with an IQ based voting system

The problem is what IQ actually measures. My father was a collector of IQ tests, and I (and my sisters) took well over a dozen before graduating high school. And we reviewed them, and learned the '...
Amadeus's user avatar
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91 votes

What event would cause a huge, dominant nation to adopt the language of a smaller, inferior one?

When the Roman conquered Greece, they were so fascinated from their civilization that they put a straw in that land and started avidly sucking their culture. It was common practice for students to ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
  • 287k
90 votes

What is the least "world changing" reason why the government would pay for you to keep a llama during your 44th year of life?

A reclusive multi-billionaire wanted to show how ridiculous government intervention can be. So in his will he left a bequest in perpetuity - two dollars to the government, no strings attached, for ...
Hugh Bothwell's user avatar
90 votes
Accepted

Why is there only one wizard's guild?

This Ain’t a Law Firm, it’s a God Damn Bar Association —Fall Out Boy You are correct in that there are many law firms, but for the entire state of New York, there is only one Bar Association: The ...
Daniel B's user avatar
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84 votes

Would a 100% simulated war be a way to solve national conflict?

No, this won't solve national conflict Why? Because it doesn't solve the main reasons FOR national conflict. Consider some of the main reasons to actually invade or go to war with another country: ...
Aify's user avatar
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84 votes

Feasiblity of this "slave king" political system

This way madness lies. I'm working on a hypothetical political system similar to a monarchy except that the (conscripted) king in question is essentially a slave to the nation, The word "democracy"...
StephenG - Help Ukraine's user avatar
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
83 votes
Accepted

Is conquering your neighbors to fight a greater enemy a valid strategy?

"So, I have a group of 6 small kingdoms (in a medieval low fantasy world) that share a lot of their culture, since they were just one country in the past. In my story, a powerful nation (let's call it ...
AlexP's user avatar
  • 89k
83 votes

Politics and Zombies: Designing a balanced zombie plague that could realistically destroy civilization due to poor decision-making

Zombification as a Cure for Death: Scientists make a breakthrough, a biological treatment for aging. It is so effective, that government agencies can't resist the pressure to approve it, OR the ...
DWKraus's user avatar
  • 63.6k
81 votes

I duplicate the U.S. President. What happens?

You would be arrested. Both Presidents would be isolated away from each other and taken into custody. The Vice President would take control of the country. An unidentified attacker just used ...
Avernium's user avatar
  • 8,694
77 votes
Accepted

Are there any rules or guidelines about designing a flag?

From the excellent article titled The 5 Basic Principles of Flag Design: While not rules, there are 5 basic principles. Keep it Simple: A flag, they say, should be so simple that a child can draw it ...
TrEs-2b's user avatar
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75 votes
Accepted

Selling the right to kill one's convicted abuser: how could an NGO make this profitable?

Live-Streaming Have you ever heard of Twitch? The streaming platform that allows you to let other people watch you play a game and give you donations if they like to watch you play? Where hundred or ...
Secespitus's user avatar
  • 17.7k
74 votes

Can Communism become a stable economic strategy? How?

No system with humans is ever truly stable. They just have different instabilities to deal with. If you think about it, the stable state for humans is "dead." To remain alive, we need a constant ...
Cort Ammon's user avatar
  • 132k
69 votes
Accepted

Why combat machines in this world are colorful

It is Urban Camouflage The International Style of Architecture, well known for is hundreds of different shades of greys, off-white, near-black, and beige was popular throughout most of the 20th ...
Nosajimiki's user avatar
  • 92.5k
66 votes
Accepted

How do I have a Dictatorship keep its dictator out of international headlines?

There a few "no-nos" for a dictator. As long as he's following those rules, everything is Ok. Don't anger western nations. Better off, put a good friendly face. Don't harbor terrorists or drug lords. ...
Alexander's user avatar
  • 42.2k
66 votes

Why is there only one wizard's guild?

Because: Once upon a time the plural of 'wizard' was 'war'. (Pratchett) and this left large sections of the planet uninhabitable. Over time the more excitable wizards killed each other off and ...
Separatrix's user avatar
  • 118k
65 votes

What would be the possible issues with an IQ based voting system

If you're giving everyone exactly as many votes as their IQ - the effect on the actual vote doesn't appear to be very much at all. See the below table for a population of 100 million to illustrate - ...
danl's user avatar
  • 1,715
65 votes

How to make this "friendly war" plausible?

The Kingdom that founded Siege has collapsed so it can't officially declare an armistice. Siege don't want to publicly admit this. There is no King to declare an end to hostilities anymore. The ...
user72058's user avatar
  • 3,365
65 votes

Why combat machines in this world are colorful

Fighting enemies who see differently These days deer hunters tend to wear vests that are highly visible to other hunters (in order to reduce the chance of being shot accidentally) but are effective ...
KerrAvon2055's user avatar
  • 27.5k
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
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62 votes
Accepted

Would a National Army of mercenaries be a feasible idea?

This practice was done all the time in Medieval Europe, the most famous being the Swiss Guard which was formed in the late 15th century and were stationed as guards in foreign courts until 1847 ...
hszmv's user avatar
  • 10.9k
59 votes

Are there any rules or guidelines about designing a flag?

There are no hard and fast rules … There will always be outliers. The national Flag of Nepal is rather unique: In fact, to construct it accurately requires 24 complex steps. Here's a video with ...
type_outcast's user avatar
  • 7,255

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