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There isn't much intrinsically connecting scientific advancement with the absence of autocratic government. I'd say that, with our worlds history as a model, what you need for innovation is a consistently effective government, where effective here means "keeps (most of) the people (in power) from suffering (or talking to each other about it)", an effective ...


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I would say "no", but for economic reasons. The apparent surface link between technology and politics is underneath mediated by economics. In Western history, the three have always been intertwined. And it's difficult to imagine an alternative history where the ruling class in a feudal society have the incentive or even the notion to innovate ...


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No. As long as people are not free to innovate (with their own means/discretion), in general you will not have innovation. Henry Ford said "A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large." The symbiosis and brotherhood brought to life by private property rights, and the failure of every ...


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Short Answer: Yes it is possible for an advanced country to have a monarchy. Yes it is possible for an advanced country to have a federal political system that is partially feudalistic, with hereditary lords and vassals. No, it is not possible for an advanced country to have serfdom, so if you are thinking about serfdom as a vital feature of feudal ...


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you are asking about the relationship between political systems and the velocity of technological development. there is middleman, a link between these two worlds, and that is the economic system. from that perspective technological development´s main dependance is the extent/magnitude of -> accumulation of capital present in the current economy. whether ...


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I think what you ask for is quite feasible. You assume that enlightenment sparked the desire for freedom, resulting in democracies. But in my opinion, that is not correct. Let's take a look at two of the first democracies, namely France and the united states. The driving factors that mobilized the masses were literacy, i.e. the ability to spread information ...


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Steam engine is one of the most important technological advancements. Let's compare how James Watt created his steam engine in Britain and at the same time Ivan Polzunov created one in Russian Empire. Watt was a free person - he went to different cities, partnered with the best iron-makers, metalworkers, factory owners. He not only developed his machine, ...


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We've actually had one of those: The Zaibatsu era of Imperial Japan. These were large conglomerates (and quasi-dependent smaller companies) that controlled so much of the country's economy that everyone and everything in the country was essentially subservient to their interests. This is essentially a pseudo-feudal system where loyalties to large companies ...


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In addition to the answers already posted, one significant factor to consider is how your hypothetical society musters and applies military force. Although geography and communications played a role in creating societies with feudal systems, military technology appears to have also played a highly significant role. Western European feudalism, Japanese ...


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Arguably they already do: anything with a strong Mafia presence has feaudal-ish feel to it, one swears loyalty a lord, who then allows one to work the land (or run a store, within said land). That lord also offers protection against other lords. And, of course, plenty of technologically advanced countries are not democratic. Really the main difference in ...


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Yes. But only if it reached it's advanced technologies in more democratic state and transformed into autocracy. Or that it has more democratic neighbors from which it can import advances in technology. Monarchies are autocracies. That means that small group(s) of hereditary rulers rule over huge swaths of peasants. To keep the regime stable, people need to ...


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Yes. Techonological advancement is a function of specialization and specialization is a function of the energy sources your society has access. It has nothing to do with political liberalism. If you have more energy you have the greater the farming output and with it more people that can become specialized knowledge workers. What you need is that your ...


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I've read a book series before which had a technologically advanced feudal society in a very believable way. While the reasons for feudalism's developement were complicated, one very large reason was the difficulty of direct control. After the breakdown of the Roman Empire, and with it both its military might and its intricate postal system, it became ...


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The main feature of a feudal monarchy is the "vassalic contract". It means that one vassal serves it's liege while the liege provide protection. It can be on a small scale : organizing a local police force to protect from day to day violence, or it can be on a huge scale... organizing intergalactic diplomacy to prevent war between the carebear monarchy and ...


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"Could a society exist with the technological advancement we have today, but not the social or political advancement": a few examples of modern(-ish) societies which cannot be called democracies, and most certainly are not similar to "western" polities: National-Socialist Germany, also known as the Third Realm, 1933-1945. The Empire of Japan, 1868-1945. The ...


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Who controls the money controls the power The rise of the middle class broke the aristocracy, the problem being that the aristocracy were obsessed with land because that's where all the money had been up until the industrial revolution. In practice it mostly remained in the land for a considerable transition period as well. However if you get an ...


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One of the key aspects of feudal systems is that all is property of the king, and the underlings are "animated property". What the farmer produces belongs to the king, none of the eventual surplus in production will remain with him. Based on the current theories on capitalism, the lack of incentive given by the lack of profit for the individual leads to ...


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The universe is infinite, so the area the super-intelligence would have to cover would increase infinitely. Covering an infinite area would take infinite resources, something the super-intelligence probably doesn't have. That being the case, they have to be selective about where they go as they expand across the universe. They only want to visit planets ...


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The posthumans leave you alone because they see value in preserving your culture (and their past) and consider it unethical to interfere with it, having learned from experience that such interference usually ends badly for the baseline human individuals involved. Basically, you're this guy, a Sentinelese: The Sentinelese, also known as the Sentineli and ...


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Because of their reliance on logic, it is really easy for one AI to predict the behaviour of another AI. The correct response to stimuli are easily calculable and being a higher-level AI doesn't change this. Every AI instantly knows what all the other AI is going to do. This is total deadlock: the only way to gain an advantage is through randomness... And ...


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A sentient superintelligence (one with its own goals and planning ability) isn't any better than a human setting the policy for a collection of appliance-like AIs. Genetically engineered friends coming to visit? Dial the joke toaster to a target audience IQ of 280 and repeat to them the lines it gives you. A simulation of a billion people wants to open a ...


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Neutral Zone Certain superminds are philosophically opposed to one another. They can avoid (or at least postpone) destructive conflict by agreeing to stick to separate territories, with a neutral zone between them to reduce the risk of border incidents. The Superminds routinely perform remote scans of these areas, but they're only looking for AI activity. ...


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The "Orions Arm" website hints at a solution to this issue. The shifts are even more extreme, with super intelligences being in a series of nested hierarchies as well. In this universe, intelligences range from baseline humans (S<1) to godlike machine intelligences instanciated in Jupiter sized cpomputronium brains using principles that lesser ...


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It is already too late. Any decision you make will either be a) one you have been gently guided towards by a posthuman superintelligence (with or without your realisation of this fact) or b) one that the posthumans have noted and decided to be entirely compatible with their other aims. You can't wriggle out from under the unblinking omnidirectional gaze of ...


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They are simply too dull to attract attention from others. Think of ants or of other insects/bugs. As long as they don't become a direct nuisance, we don't really bother with them. We don't kill ants just because they are ants, but only when they start colonize our houses, we don't kill wasps just because they are wasps, but only when they become a danger ...


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What follows is the most plausible scenario I could come up with. I would appreciate community help refining it. It is, I acknowledge, a long shot. Lunar Crater is ~75 miles away from the Area 51 base. There are volcano remnants all over the area, and mild seismic activity was briefly detected in 2018, although it has been ~32000 years since last eruption. ...


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A meltdown at a reactor like Chernobyl or Fukushima is not concealable, period, as several other answers have eluded: radiation will get out, and radiation is both very carefully monitored for by countries all around the globe, and the signature of the radiation (in terms of what isotopes are released and in what ratios) very distinctly identifies the type ...


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It won't be done. It could be done, certainly, but it absolutely will not be. Scenarios much like you describe are explained in the book The Dictator's Handbook. And the main thesis is, the dictator would massively prefer that most of the people in his country die horribly than to open the borders. Example: After the 2004 Christmas Tsunami, many people ...


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I see only one solution: Test many different nukes at various parts of your country around the reactor, and dress these as official weapons test, and intentionally mix in materials which create a signature hiding the nuclear reactor signature. (You asked for "cover up", not for "hide")


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How deep underground is it? Nuclear reactors tend to "runaway" rather than explode, but let's assume we have an explosion. Most countries these days model their nuclear weapons rather than test them, the one exception being North Korea. That test was 800m below ground, with the shaft "plugged with gravel, sand, gypsum and other fine materials", stopping ...


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They could pretend it was an attack on the US. Its more commonly a non-accidental thing: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PretextForWar , but it could be used to cover it up the fact that a reactor was stolen by claiming it was a nuclear strike on the us.


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No, even if they cleverly lied about it It's quite impossible to conceal the detonation of a nuclear reactor. There are a few reasons for this, namely, the spread of radiation, the fact that the energy from the reactor was being used to power things and is now gone, and the fact that this would literally cause an earthquake where earthquakes aren't supposed ...


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Not possible for total cover up, look at Chernobyl, you may try to cover up the cause but there are going to be inquires by all agencies and investigation committees. Any discovered attempts at covering up or lying will have ugly results: court martials, shutting down entire departments, scrutinize and freeze budgets to any ongoing projects, investigations ...


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Short answer: no. There is a network of radiation monitoring stations all across the globe. If there is any release of radioactive material into the atmosphere, these monitoring stations will pick it up. This is how the accident at Chernobyl was detected in the West before Soviet Union acknowledged it happening. A monitoring station in Sweden picked up ...


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Open formal diplomatic relations One thing your country should do if it hasn't done so yet is open embassies in and exchange ambassadors with every country it wants to deal with. This is how formal diplomatic communication is conducted between governments. Once established, your country will now have a way to make arrangements for trade or anything else ...


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They will come to you If your world is full of other cultures, especially in an industrial era, there are probably thousands of companies / people / merchants itching to take advantage of a new market and wanting to trade with your isolationist nation. As soon as official channels send a signal indicating they are now 'open for business', then many nations ...


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Imperial train The whole continent is loosely ruled by an Emperor. Similarely to medieval Europe, this Emperor is not much more powerful that a random king. But he is the master the the train network and nobody will mess with HIM if it can be avoided.


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Standards will rise naturally Even back before WW2, Europe had fairly standardized railways, even though the nations had long histories of war. In peacetime, the railways were very much what tied the continent together, carrying mail and goods as well as passengers. In wartime, armies could use rails to carry supplies and soldiers, and for that, it was also ...


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You hardly can. The reason why certain countries have a different track gauge is exactly to hamper the logistic of a potential invasor, by making it impossible for its train to operate on the other rail network. You can only have a transcontinental rail when either there is a single nation, like in the historical case of the USA or Russia, or when there is ...


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Railroad Cartel Political interests are one thing, business interests are another. Unless the governments actively prevent trade, there will financial incentives to connect them. As it is unlikely these countries would allow foreign companies to own vital infrastructure, each would have their own railroad company. Why would these companies work together? ...


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The railway system is operated by a single mega-corporation which has enough money to put several, if not all, of the continent's governments in its pocket. They also do arms industry as a side project so they don't mind and in fact encourage the various wars since they feed their coffers. But they put a lot of capital into their unified railway system and ...


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Im not really sure if thats helpful for you, but you could force them either through the napoleonic dominance over europe in the late 18th - early 19th century or as a result of the congress of vienna that happened after napoleons defeat.


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