49 votes
Accepted

When countries combine, how do they pick a new name?

Sometimes, they do merge their names; for example, Tan-ganyika + Zan-zibar $\rightarrow$ Tanzania. Italy was a place before it was a country. It is pretty natural for a country which occupies the ...
AlexP's user avatar
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28 votes
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How to justify a racist empire's use of other sentient species as shock troops?

You mentioned the Ottomans. Well, there were the Janissaries, who started out as slave soldiers. The Romans had their auxiliaries. The Nazis, among others, used penal battalions. For that matter, ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 114k
18 votes

Would the use of sulfuric acid "piranha" weapons be considered chemical weapons, and thus, War Crimes?

White phosphorus usage in war is forbidden on human targets according to the 1980 convention of Geneva, because it causes deep and painful burns. Similarly, expanding bullets are forbidden in war, ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
  • 283k
17 votes

How can a matriarchal society be maintained?

Cultural Inertia Culture changes slowly. Look at the real world. The difference between men and women was largely erased in the industrial revolution. But we are still grappling with sexism in its ...
Daron's user avatar
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17 votes

What are the practical reasons for a species of humanoids to all wear sexy, revealing clothing?

Hot Climate Your ant people live in a hot place and the most practical clothing is minimal clothing or no clothing at all. On top of this, their eusocial biology relies on pheremones being produced ...
Daron's user avatar
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17 votes
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Why could the militaristically superior dwarves who are the only ones with magic weapons be isolationist?

The dwarves don't want to risk their big advantage. So far as the dwarves know, they are the only ones who have the secret of forging magic weapons and armor. But once they're forged... they're just ...
Cadence's user avatar
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16 votes

When countries combine, how do they pick a new name?

It will depend on political facts You have to ask yourself two questions: Why are these countries merging? How will the newly formed nation be organized politically? The bottom line is that naming a ...
Tom's user avatar
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14 votes

How can a matriarchal society be maintained?

This is something that does not need solving You are essentially doing a "Midi-chlorians": providing a explanation that the audience do not want, to a dilemma that does not exist. Why does ...
MichaelK's user avatar
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14 votes

How to justify a racist empire's use of other sentient species as shock troops?

The untouchables deal with trash Race as a caste system is a very common combination, especially in empires. See India, the Spanish empire in Latin America, etc. The lowest castes in a society may be ...
Daniel B's user avatar
  • 19k
11 votes

What are the practical reasons for a species of humanoids to all wear sexy, revealing clothing?

Why does naked = sexy if you're an alien bee? You're presupposing that something humans find sexy (exposed skin and reproductive organs) is also sexy to your alien race. It would quite likely just.. ...
K. Morgan's user avatar
  • 3,508
11 votes

Could a monarchy keep control of an empire just though controlling immortality?

No Too many riches in a too small group of people, with too small protection. Use force, kidnap those gifted people together with their riches, now either you are immortal or very rich, or both. The ...
Vesper's user avatar
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10 votes

How can we have a three-way space race?

No nukes, and it probably still won't work The key problem here is that space assets are strategic assets. Nation states can accept losses of tactical assets - a certain number of military personnel, ...
KerrAvon2055's user avatar
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9 votes
Accepted

Could a monarchy keep control of an empire just though controlling immortality?

Could a small group of people without a large army, religion, or a large civil presence maintain law and control if not management over very rich, organized, and greedy entities [...]? Yes totally, ...
datacube's user avatar
  • 1,845
8 votes

How can a matriarchal society be maintained?

It is an issue of Psychology and Sociology, not Physiology To make a matriarchy outcompete a patriarchy, you do not need to improve the personal fitness of a specific leader, you need to improve the ...
Nosajimiki's user avatar
  • 90.1k
8 votes

When countries combine, how do they pick a new name?

There's a few options going for Historical precedents: 1: A Colonized country (e.g. taken over by force) - New old country name - see: New England, New York, New South Wales, New Zealand etc. 2: ...
TheDemonLord's user avatar
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8 votes
Accepted

Why would people colonize a ring of desert islands?

Resources have always been a good reason for colonizing or even just claiming territories, no matter how inhospitable. And you don't need to be at a nuclear fission technology level to need resources: ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
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7 votes
Accepted

Would the use of sulfuric acid "piranha" weapons be considered chemical weapons, and thus, War Crimes?

Yes and No. I'm going to start this with 'I am not a Lawyer'. Protocol III to the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons which may be deemed to be ...
TheDemonLord's user avatar
  • 22.4k
7 votes
Accepted

The interplanetary cold war

It is possible, but I think the hatred between the governments, and the demands of the colonies and outposts, need to remain relatively modest to keep the war cold, as this scenario does have a few ...
bificommander's user avatar
7 votes

How can we have a three-way space race?

On Equilibria A 3-way political equilibrium isn't actually a sustainable equilibrium any more than a 2-way political equilibrium is sustainable. Such systems don't remain stable without feedback ...
mangr3n's user avatar
  • 171
7 votes

How to justify a racist empire's use of other sentient species as shock troops?

Why would we waste our Precious, pure blood children - when we can use inferior Xenos instead When it comes to an expanding Empire - Children are one of the most precious resources - they are the ...
TheDemonLord's user avatar
  • 22.4k
7 votes

How to justify a racist empire's use of other sentient species as shock troops?

You gave the reason yourself they thrive well in the environment they're invading All the empire has to do is say that they are well-suited to it. This does not even require a belief that they are ...
Mary's user avatar
  • 28.3k
7 votes

Why could the militaristically superior dwarves who are the only ones with magic weapons be isolationist?

This is a pretty common question which is most often answered 1 of 3 ways: Option #1: They have long reproductive cycles Humans live short lives, and when they have children, they have them back to ...
Nosajimiki's user avatar
  • 90.1k
6 votes

How would remnant tech impact the formation of a tribal "big man" government?

I expect that this society would organise itself not around strongmen but around elders, effectively decomposing into clans. For anyone whose extended family lives nearby, this arrangement may not ...
ihaveideas's user avatar
  • 3,868
6 votes

What are the practical reasons for a species of humanoids to all wear sexy, revealing clothing?

I am not going to get into the premise of this: this sounds a bit like a masculine wet dream. However, if you want to look up weird fashion, you could look up Edward II of England and Piers Gaveston. ...
Richard Kirk's user avatar
  • 7,825
6 votes

How to justify a racist empire's use of other sentient species as shock troops?

The emperor can mask the cannon fodder usage as a magnanimous gesture toward the oppressed: "see, as of today you folks are worth less than the dust on my servant car, but if you fight for the ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
  • 283k
6 votes
Accepted

What kind of regulation do dangerous space sports get?

If nothing outside such competition can be destroyed or damaged, neither directly nor indirectly, then it's possible that practically anything can be allowed. The more there can be collateral damage ...
Jani Miettinen's user avatar
6 votes

Could a monarchy keep control of an empire just though controlling immortality?

Yes, but not directly. You can control immortality - fantastic, but what does that get you? Not much in the way of combat or politics or economics or really anything. What it does get you is control ...
controlgroup's user avatar
  • 2,026
6 votes

Why could the militaristically superior dwarves who are the only ones with magic weapons be isolationist?

Maybe they have a superior military because of their isolationism. For whatever reason, they want to stay in the territory they have and be left alone, but they are afraid that their neighbors will ...
zwol's user avatar
  • 703
5 votes

Why would people colonize a ring of desert islands?

There are a few good reasons why these islands might be populated The undesirability may be the point People might be moving to these islands in small groups because no large country tries to claim ...
SilverShadow's user avatar
  • 1,464
5 votes

Would the use of sulfuric acid "piranha" weapons be considered chemical weapons, and thus, War Crimes?

It will only exist, if it overcomes a meaningful threat; so, it would be legal if used against that threat. Piranha solution is not a particularly useful biochemical weapon. The amount needed to ...
Nosajimiki's user avatar
  • 90.1k

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