Hot answers tagged

125

The uncanny valley would suffice: The uncanny valley is theorized to detach us from the corpses of our dead friends. We strongly dislike things which have a similar level of human likeness as a corpse does. If two groups were close but not quite the same, it would be very possible for each group to fall into the other group's uncanny valley, generating ...


89

As presented, you show that you don't actually understand tribalism, racism, sexism, or pretty much any other -ism. Let me explain, but don't look for politically correct terms or comfortable lies. Systemic racism comes from one of many sources: Endemic social pressures. (If your child doesn't have certain traits, they will not be 'desirable' mates, and ...


74

The trick is not to pass the law itself. Instead, you pass a law creating a Street Safety Office, which shall issue regulations (that have the force of law) concerning people's comings and goings. Then you only appoint non-cat people to the SSO. Bonus points for hiding the creation of the SSO in a big Street Safety Act that includes crossing guards outside ...


67

If they don't need to eat, drink or sleep what motivation do they have? Most of our technology was created to help achieve one of the three. It sounds like they should have basically no technology, no curiosity, no drive for exploration. Since none of these give them an evolutionary benefit, unlike humans who need to seek out new resources and thus are ...


50

It's just not realistic for a human-like species to not investigate something like this. Curiosity is, in many ways, a required trait or byproduct of intelligence. It's needed to explore, learn and push the bounds of knowledge. People study and examine everything they can lay their hands on. Another species that shows intelligence (even disregarding what we ...


48

Odor would probably be the easiest way to justify an enduring race hatred. Just as there are pheromones, which induce attraction within those who smell them, there are probably also anti-pheromones which induce negative emotions and even hatred. Make your blue skinned people's pheromone an anti-pheromone for the orange skinned people and vice versa. ...


45

Simple, they just reproduce slowly. They reproduce by passing down their spirit to their offspring, so this might work as 1:1 reproduction, thus does not increase their number, or more than one offspring, but combined with incredibly long life cycle - 1000 years to 2000 years. You can even make them have practically infinite lifespan, causing only the ...


37

Controlled release of a Hate gland Greetings, Visitor Human. You wish to know why Alien Orange and Alien Green hate each other? Very well. Come, sit here on the Orange side, with me. Ours is a rational species with a long history, and a wealth of medical knowledge. We've applied it mainly to ourselves. We have our love, our hate, jealousy, hope, like you. ...


33

The Athar are creatures of living stone. This makes effectively indestructible and, possibly, immortal (this last point is left for the OP to decide conclusively). Therefore, it is highly improbable there would be any creatures, animal or humanoid, living on their continent who could harm them. This suggests they have been living in peace for millennia. The ...


31

Three suggestions: One: I would suggest "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen". Some aspects of steel production use a lot of heat. In a fantasy story, steel would be produced by ancient, medieval, or early modern methods, instead of by modern industrial methods, and so would involve more manual labor close to the steel than modern steel ...


28

They are Fae In most lore, faeries hate, hate, hate iron. It is offensive and toxic to them. It's not so bad in your world. Iron is to your fae as di-isocyanates are to us humans. Touching bare iron feels bad, but skin is a good barrier as long as they don't overdo it; and they can work with cool iron using common PPE like gloves and long-sleeve shirts. ...


26

It would be the same situation. First let me point out that I'm as white as can be, my genes are literally 99.9% European. Generally a white male is as blind as possible to the effects of racism, but I have black friends so I can totally talk about this... Humans in power subjugate those who are not in power. Men do it to women, weaker men, people of ...


26

Athar are made of stone, and stone is hard, you are right. But stone is also heavy and can be attacked by acids. Your Athar can very well be extremely slow creatures, very afraid of warm vinegar or any other acid (I am assuming with medieval technology acid rains are not a thing, though that would be a limiting factor for them) used by the humans to keep ...


24

Nationalism means a feeling of superiority over other nations which serves as a way to differentiate oneself from them. Possible ways to achieve such superiority without promoting racism are: Religious fanaticism: "Elbonia is the holy land of our great gods who love everyone no matter which race they are. Except those sinners in Elbinia who do not worship ...


24

This is similar to PipperChip's "compact" answer - I'd recommend a formalized treaty. The creatures agree that, in the absence of a treaty-breaking event, they will obey human laws when interacting with other humans - so no murder, eating, stealing, etc. Treaty-breaking events would be something like: Breaking a human law against a creature. Studying a ...


23

These are all just fine. Stand between 6 and 7 feet tall Just feed them well, this is not far off from human average height. Nothing magical required. Have crude weapons Ok, well they're basically 15 year old human children. Crude weapons is all they can make. Reproduce quickly & reach sexual maturity at age five Reproducing quickly will be a ...


22

When it comes to design and process questions I will often recommend utilizing the tools created and available with Dungeons and Dragons. In this instance it doesn't particularly matter if you are creating a monstrous race, an animal race, a humanoid race or some hybrid. 1. Animal, Monster, Humanoid or Hybrid This is pretty strait forward. You have to ...


22

"Sophonts", plural of "Sophont", has commonly been used in Science-Fiction since the 1960s. It is a term for an intelligent/sapient being (the Greek root words are "sophós", meaning "wise", "clever" or "intelligent", and "ṓn" - the present participle of "eimí" - which means "being", "existence", or "that which is") Alternatively, along the same lines, ...


21

Physical Abilities You can start by looking at how humans could differ physically from other races: Running Humans are good at running long distances without getting tired, especially in the heat, where it has been argued that there is no creature on earth better at running long distances than humans. Early hunters used this ability to get food by ...


21

The one answer that doesn't involve outright magical hand-wavery is common ancestry. Whatever caused the species to split into separate races or even species occurred long enough ago, and the resultant groups were isolated from one-another for long enough that they changed in different ways. When they eventually came back into contact with one-another, ...


21

You actually have a few options, each with their own prerequisites. Stuff the anti-cat people legislation into something else that no one will pay attention to. This happens all the time in government. Random, totally unrelated content gets shoved into a piece of legislation. In this case you need some sort of large and or boring piece of legislation. ...


20

Steel mills are loud, hot places fraught with many dangers. If your race is biologically particularly sensitive to loud sounds and vibrations, it would be very difficult to get workers to produce much steel. Add in some sensitivities to say asbestos (maybe the only insulator on your planet) and it could become cost prohibitive to produce steel and still give ...


19

Well, it depends a little if you want it completely unknown, or only mostly unknown. Because it's certainly the case that some events become a "good day to bury bad news". Specifically - if something sufficiently news-hogging is going on, then the media doesn't pay much attention to the 'normal' going on in Parliament. Just recently we have a mild example ...


19

Well people does a pretty good job. Some definitions for people mean exclusively humans human beings, as distinguished from animals or other beings. But, some definitions relate more to multiple individuals the entire body of persons who constitute a community, tribe, nation, or other group by virtue of a common culture, history, religion, or the ...


18

There are a few relatively simple answers to this. First, have nationalism be based on religion. You mentioned that there is one pantheon, which presumably actually existed (with physical evidence existing to back that up). Even with that, different kingdoms may place different levels of importance on different gods, and that may be used to fuel some of the ...


18

What you are looking to do is create a weakness for a species. You see all of the benefits of stone, but you haven't written in any of the downsides. A limited level of sensitivity would be very effective. Stone doesn't feel. It would be hard to do things like tie complicated knots without the astonishing sensitivity we have in our fingertips. Or you ...


17

Some simple methods to prevent inhumane study: It's taboo. The human's culture and/or religion is such that these creatures simply ought not to be studied as we would other critters. Research which studies this ability is shunned, not used, as it is unethical/taboo. It's too dangerous. These things can control fire, and while they do not generally eat ...


17

I'll take a few liberties with this question, namely: For the purposes of this question "race" will include species. I will not go into the detail of working the Chinese Zodiac. I'll assume we are talking about creatures that you may confuse with animals. I'll base my approach in engineering. I'm not an expert, this is not a treaty. Consider other points ...


16

There are a number of issues with fast nerve conduction. Whether this is achieved by photons travelling down organic fibre optic cables, or electrons travelling down organically deposited wires, we get a situation that, over any typical distance found in an organism, a signal takes effectively zero time to be transmitted. This differs from many animals' ...


16

One thing no one else has mentioned yet... do it 'by accident'. Two real life examples: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/oops-did-texas-ban-marriage/ "This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage." One thing that is "identical…to marriage," of course, is ...


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