New answers tagged

0

To solve sleep dependency You need a much larger brain with duplicated brain pathways as well as two separate hormonal balances. You would achieve that by having two different hormonal responses depending on a neural pathway. One is active when hormones are "high", one is active when it's "low".The problem is in the "switching" when you could hallucinate ...


1

I'm not sure if this helps, but in case you have not read it yet, there is a book called The World Without Us, by Alan Weisman. There we learn how long the nuclear plants and buildings will last if there are no humans left (they disappeared from one day to the next) to maintain them. Since your story is about the sudden loss of technology, some of the ...


0

The 1632 series is a many-book-long exploration of this topic. In this series, a 1999-era West Virginia town transfers technology to early-modern-era Earth. The premise that that the Americans arrived via time travel implies that faster-than-light travel is possible, even if the Americans have no idea how. The first technologies that the Americans seek to ...


0

The 1632 series is a many-book-long exploration of this topic. In this series, a 1999-era West Virginia town transfers technology to early-modern-era Earth. The premise that that the Americans arrived via time travel implies that faster-than-light travel is possible, even if the Americans have no idea how. The first technologies that the Americans seek to ...


1

REM sleep cycles in the human brain can last from about 10 minutes each to about an hour each. A person is typically not using most of their brain at any given moment. Therefore its logical that most of the brain (the unused parts) could be asleep at any given time without loss of function. Divide the brain into multple lobes (the more the better) that ...


1

There is a huge difference between a brain that has evolved to depend on sleep and a brain with an evolutionary history that deals with the brain's needs in other ways. During sleep the body goes into a different modus, and there are a lot of things happening in the glans, brain and biochemistry. Take clams for instance; there are some species that are ...


2

Your question boils down to describing the gravity along the radius of an empty shell, and gets an answer in a basic lecture on gravity The sphere's interior(where I am envisioning their habitation region exists)? By the shell theorem, inside a shell the gravity given by the shell is null in every point, assuming an uniform distribution of mass. ...


1

Many answers so far identify the primary issue as social/cultural, but none feel like they hit that aspect squarely. I started thinking about it, then realised that the book "Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" was actually the prototype for a good answer. So I'll draw freely from that book, below. Your problem is that your aliens are a small group ...


2

The other answers are excellent and thought provoking, but I’d argue that you need to invent the printing press almost immediately. Without reasonable speed of instruction, it will be difficult to teach the necessary skills to bootstrap many of the other improvements. Of course, this does require a significant push for literacy, but I'd argue that many of ...


4

If the goal is truly technological transfer, nothing meaningful is going to happen in a year. There is a saying I've encountered while working in sales-related capacities, which is that you never sell a product, you sell the lifestyle that a product makes possible. I think that that's an important element here. Early interactions will be largely gifts, as ...


4

I've seen people saying that vertebrates need sleep. Well, not only them. Cephalopods also experience brain activity similar to REM sleep. Insects sleep also. For example, fruit flies have been found to take rests at certain periods in their circadian rhythms, staying still for 2 hours or something, exhibit very poor or near zero response to stimuli. This ...


1

Just curious, but are you familiar with the premise of alternate dimensions in Stranger Things? In the show which you should definitely watch, scientists at Hawkins Lab open a hole into another dimension by tearing a hole in spacetime with 'normal' energy. It's actually been shown that if we can access other dimensions, our best bet is to tear through ...


1

There are two sides to the problem. The first is technical and it's easy--if you can get the training tools and information to children, the next generation will have the full level of understanding and knowledge the race is capable of receiving, you are done training them and they will be as advanced as your children of the same age (assuming the same ...


3

I think there's a lot of wiggle room here, so you might need to clarify your question. For example, what is "sleep"? Would it be ok to be responsive to stimuli, but incapable of conscious thought? That would require only a small amount of additional cells to handle not sleeping (or none at all, given that we will be awoken by a strong enough stimulus -- ...


2

Some basics which are freebees (as in, teachable immediately): The wheelbarrow Iron plow Oxen yoke The stirrup Some slightly longer-term (but simple): The flying buttress in architecture Punctuation Standardized spelling The caravel in ship design The printing press Utensils for food Crop rotation Calculus Watches CPR Emergency medical procedures An ...


3

Not so much of an answer, but I'm not allowed to comment yet. Anyway there is an Anime currently airing called Dr. Stone featuring some guy who seems to know basically everything from todays science. The plot is, that every human was petrified for several thousand years and thus every piece of technology is gone. So he wakes up and finds some other humans ...


24

The situation you describe is almost exactly (part of) the plot from the book "A Fire Upon the Deep". Which in my opinion presents a very plausible level of success. In fact the specifications you offer (1 year-ish time period, lack of homeworld contact for the high tech people) match the conditions in the book very closely. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...


2

From a technology point of view, aliens can create and study a set of independent (advanced weapons required for negotiations with authorities) small closed guilds a-la "free masons" which would be able to keep (and develop very slowly) technologies on semi-religion basis in generations. The technologies should be a set of precalculated tables and some "...


28

A year isn't going to cut it, you're looking at about a generation at least for any noticeable progress. The problem is the lack of industrial base. Medieval society is a hair's breadth above subsistence farming. Technology is largely driven and supported by population pressures, without that they don't have the need to progress nor to maintain anything you ...


3

First, you need to understand why we need to sleep. Sleep is to pay a debt with interests Let's put it in this way: Imagine that exists a creature just like us, but does not requires to sleep (later we see this). The body and mind will have some features, like move X kg/hr, and to solve Y problems each hour. That will be limited by available energy, matter, ...


11

Basic sanitation, including the germ theory of many diseases. Animal husbandy and plant improvement based on Mendelian genetics. If they have the data and sensors, mid-term weather forecasts. Imagine a serf knew that there would likely be two more dry and sunny weeks before the harvest is due. Food preservation technologies like canning (this requires jars ...


2

Though we don't know exactly why we need sleep, we do know that there are biological processes that occur during sleep that aid in things like memory. And things like cleanup and maintenance, I want to say? So, theoretically, I suppose if there was a way to cause those biological processes to occur during wakefulness, that would do it. If those processes ...


1

since they are peaceful i guess computer (they can make advance robotic right?) that would help them for increase production and workforce to early industrialize them, or as revolutionary warfare like drone warfare. that unless they dont get accused as satanic or witch by the mass or religions though. and when i say computer, i mean an advance automaton(...


9

While multi-brain and multi-hemisphere answers have been posed, they all result in some loose of function while one part of the cognitive system is down. This seems against what the OP is looking for since he does not want dolphin style torpor. However, computer scientists have already devised a number of systems called RAID controllers to be used by ...


6

Brain with three hemispheres The state in dolphins and some birds that could keep some functions while sleeping is achieved by working with only one of the hemispheres of their brains while in "sleep state" the other part is resting. If you add an extra hemisphere that would support the "awake" part with their normal functions you could cycle between them ...


0

It is not "faster than light", but if you had (and its a big if) the Portal Gun (https://theportalwiki.com/wiki/Handheld_Portal_Device) you could have a sub-light drive that worked like this. Design Create the two portals facing one another across a room in your spaceship. Put a mag-lev track between them and start speeding up a train. As you speed the ...


0

Instead of a reflective layer of aluminium, you can technically use the principle behind gradient optical fibre and use multiple films of transparent materials to guide the laser along the surface of the hull and redirect it. The gradient has to be such that no matter what angle the laser hits, it would work.


0

I think if you build the ship wall out of retroreflectors, with a layer of high melting point material below, then you've got the perfect defence against attack lasers. Any laser directed at your hull will be, to a large percentage of the energy, directed right back to the attacking ship. And the layer below makes sure that the heat from what gets absorbed ...


29

Polycephaly is a medical condition, in which an animal has multiple heads. This is a special type of conjoined twin. 2 is the most common form, but there is at least 1 case of 3 heads documented (a turtle). In many cases, each head is capable of sleeping independently of the other, allowing your Biological Creature to function without turpor. In some ...


22

Just use an alien. If it has a large brain you can't get around sleep, every organism we know of with a brain that is enlarged (complex at all) sleeps and will die if denied it long enough. There is just no escaping sleep. As long as you use earth life you have no options. All life on earth with brains share a common ancestor, so sleep is likely due to ...


1

[Fiction] Sleep is a natural stress reliever. In humans, and even in animals, you can expect a lack of sleep to lead to a situation of Hypertension. So, any sentient animal species that doesn't sleep at all has to be really stressed, which means its lifespan will be short lived. Next, not sleeping is akin to an extreme case of insomnia which is ...


0

Sleep is mostly required for highly intelligent lifeforms or lifeforms with complex memory functions as far as I know (bacteria don't sleep). This is different from physical rest, which is for conserving energy. As such, a life form with two independent brains, that take turns, would probably not need to sleep, since each brain sleeps half the time in turn, ...


6

You don't need new organs you just need a few tweaks to the way the brain operates & Dolphins have already solved this one for you, obviously they sink if they stop swimming & if they sink they drown so they can't sleep, well they do, but they sleep one hemisphere of their brain at a time. There's some evidence that dolphins can display slightly ...


0

The thing that kills lasers at range is beam spread. A laser spreads a lot less than, say a flashlight, but it does spread. That makes the energy density go down. It is the energy density that burns through a ship. If the energy density isn't enough to damage the hull, it just heats the target and, as you pointed out, you lose the heat war. So, things ...


3

Once you handwave out FTL and then handwave out thermodynamics, The handwaving for various flavors of the two combined conditions is pretty negligible. So, I'd say that it doesn't really matter. However, if you want a method of zero net energy: One method might be to have the ship travel in some form of hyperspace where it can draw energy from something ...


5

I envision this like a regenerative brake. You could have something like this using a 4th spatial dimension to skip across between sections of your own folded 3 dimensional plane. You kick yourself up to a higher "dimensional potential energy" - sort of like you put energy into your train to get it moving, or get up to the top of a hill with your sled. ...


0

Which laser? There are many kinds of lasers available with wavelengths from radio "masers" all the way to ultraviolet "excimer" lasers, potentially more available with technological progress. And there is no known material that fully reflects all these wavelengths. For example, aluminium does have a dip in its reflectivity in the infrared 700nm – 900nm ...


0

It's been my assumption that a laser would be an effective weapon at short enough ranges that a pulse can vaporize hull plating. "Short range" is a tricky thing to quantify. It very much depends on your own tech level assumptions and requirements, and as you haven't communicated them to us then I can't really speculate. The shorter the wavelength, the ...


1

Wallpapering spaceship with 2-5 mm aluminum (steel would be much better) and active cooling will save you from any reasonable laser if you keep your distance. 80% dissipating energy is only for laboratoy lasers. For powerfull "battle lasers" only 0.1% - 5% of energy goes to the beam. And the beam itself greatly looses energy density with range due to ...


1

Reflective surfaces will always help deflect some of the power, however no material is capable of reflecting 100% and some of that energy will always be absorbed. So even if you have a 99.99999% reflective surface, you still absorb a tiny bit of energy which is the main point. A laser is powerful because it can focus a decent amount of energy into a very ...


5

It depends on the power that is being fired at you. Conventional mirrors are not 100% reflective. They normally reflect a bit more than 90% of the impinging light, meaning that around 10% of that power is absorbed or transmitted. If you are targeted with a mW laser, 10% of that are peanuts, and you don't have to worry. If you are targeted with a petawatt ...


1

Raiders by themsevles tend to be small and squashable (by military state standards) so give them the opportunity to not get squashed but continue their raiding under certain restrictions. This is have pirates of the new world operated - a British pirate would be given a letter of marque saying they wer enot really pirates, but "independant agents of the ...


1

Little-known science fact: It's actually possible to have a gas that's denser than water at room temperature. Well, almost. At the pressure required, it'll technically be a supercritical fluid, which will act like a gas in many ways. Specifically, you'll want to use supercritical xenon. At something like 100 atmospheres of pressure, xenon actually becomes ...


1

1) The ruling clan is the Bank. Like in Game of Thrones. If you step out of line, they will call in loans and encourage other factions to take you out (in return for economic advantages). Further, raiders grab lots of stuff, which means they may acquire stuff that's useful to others, but not themselves. The go-to "fence" at which to sell your unwanted items ...


1

You could fool viewers on the ground with a space elevator that didn’t go all the way to the ground but instead stopped at cloud layer. If the castle produced its own mist cloud underneath, from the ground, it looks like a tall tower that sticks out into space with nothing holding it up except clouds.


11

Give them a larger threat I have two examples of this being used with pirates in culture and history. The first one you are probably familiar with: Pirates of the Carribbean 3 - the pirates of the world basically elect a unified fleet commander in response to the threat of British vessels threatening to ruin all their livelihoods. The body that enforces ...


34

There is a problem with raiders. They don't build. Some historians used the label Gunpowder Empire for an empire where only the central government had the means to produce siege guns and the vast amounts of ammunition they required. (This catchphrase is a simplification, of course.) Assume that only the ruling dynasty controls shipyards and factories to ...


2

Might makes right Like all empires do. The leaders have power over others, be it firepower, numerical superiority, wealth, information, influence, resources, a super weapon or pure charisma. Perhaps the leaders have control of the only starship building facilities. Maybe the only fuel refinery capable of producing starship fuel. A vast network of spies so ...


5

Religiously the Artarkans believe that only through raiding (to obtain offerings) and conquest that the Gods will be satisfied and will prevent the destruction of the universe (think Aztec or Assyrians) You got your answer right here. Only do they worship a god-emperor and not gods. As it happens Ar'xhir the Conqueror is, in fact, the highest of the gods ...


3

What you are describing very closely resembles feudal Europe. Lack of reliable communication and transit meant that local lords were very autonomous in their day to day activities allowing them a lot of freedom go out raiding and fighting among themselves, but everyone was sworn to a lord who was sworn to a higher lord who after so many layers was sworn to a ...


Top 50 recent answers are included