24

Measurement units have followed a fairly standard pattern. Originally things are compared to something that both parties recognise. It could be a specific thing (the Washington monument) or a general thing (a banana). No one is really measuring anything accurately, so this is good enough. Next people start to measure things against their own standard. ...


15

You give your own answer! When that size variation was a problem, they could standardize, somewhat, by using the body part of a ruler/monarch/lord/etc. instead of just some random individual. There is some historic individual who has made a big impression on all of these involved races. Measurements reference body parts and famous exploits of this ...


9

Well, for one, it's unlikely that having multiple races would affect using body parts for measurement; humans come in varying shapes and sizes after all, and that's why we moved to more objective forms of measurement as our technology allowed for it. At most, you'd wind up with a situation where they say things like "that's an orc-foot long" or "that weighs ...


8

We have used non-human body parts for measurement before. Roman roads were just broad enough to allow for two horses to go side by side on them. If anything, though, the usage of body parts from onespecies might make the other feel misrepresented. This may lead to tensions which will hasten the adoption of some sort of universal, scientific measure. The ...


8

Youngsters. The first computers read and wrote punched cards or punched paper tape; they did not have any kind of user interface where being blind or sighted mattered. It was perceived as major revolution when some smart technician adapted a typewriter to be able to print computer output; electric teletypewriters were then adapted so that operators could ...


6

They could, but there's no real need to. You can just focus sunlight on a static boiler that generates steam to run past a turbine, through a condenser, and back (in liquid form) into the boiler. Just like closed-cycle turbine engines on Earth. That lets you limit thermal cycling of the components, which will increase lifespan, and better specialize the ...


6

Measurements were originally derived from things aside from the human body. The acre was originally the amount of land that could be plowed by a yoke of oxen in one day, and eventually became defined as a strip of land a furlong in length and a chain wide, with the furlong the length of a furrow said oxen could plow in one go before having to rest. What's ...


6

I see no differences in how computer would have developed. The first computers used punched cards to take input and give output (one of the favorite prank among nerds in those days was to swap two random cards in the physical folder containing them, when the owner was not paying attention), and graphics came much later. And the reason is that when you move ...


5

No Spacefaring implies advanced rocketry. Rocketry implies a long history of tinkering with different propellants. If this race is not particularly peaceful, they would have a lot of military applications for combustive propellants before they achieve their first space flight. They may not discover black powder the first, and weapons development may take a ...


4

Different races world most likely still use their own body parts among themselves. When interacting with other races they would learn to change between units. If the races have been in contact with each other for a long time, it would be easier to use measurement units taken from elsewhere in their nature, from animals and plants common enough that ...


4

I think the biggest difference would be in the development of user interfaces. If computers had been designed primarily by and for blind users, I imagine a much more sophisticated version of the Refreshable Braille Display would be in common use by now. I'm imagining a grid of keys instead of a single row forming a kind of tactile screen. This would allow ...


4

An aquatic species would be unlikely to develop firearms. Their notion of chemistry would likely evolve from much different needs. They could conceivably develop biological based knowledge sooner than humans did since the sea, like the rainforest is a fast bio reactor generating new genotypes at fantastic rates. If they did need thermal energy to smelt ...


3

Look at the Holy Roman Empire. Basically every city and principalia had its own units. This shows us two things concerning your question: Firstly that people could life and trade with different units of measurement and second that those units supposedly based on body parts lost their reference after a while. For example the Hessian Klafter was 2.5m, ...


3

If you already have standard measurements for, e.g. time, you could base things off of that. E.g. a candle that is tall enough to burn in one hour is a candle-length. Sure, some one-hour candles might be taller than others, but the same is true for the body-part measurements that would otherwise have been used. If a certain type of candle has been around ...


3

They could continue to use their own body parts, and simply be aware of conversions and other rules of thumb. If a human and a halfling are negotiating for some number of feet of cloth, they should establish which culture's "feet" are being used. (Or, maybe they don't and this is one way unscrupulous vendors try to swindle people in your universe.) In pre-...


3

The reason people used body parts was its something everyone could reference. Given that's not the case with multiple fantasy races, then they'd likely use some other common reference. Perhaps they'd measure lengths in bananas. Or Elephant tails. How much is that rope? Its 2 coppers per Narwhal tusk.


3

which substance has the higher possibility to be the spinal cord of their technology? In our world such a substance is oil, because it allowed us to have cheap and widely available energy. In your fantasy world it can be whatever substance is at the base of their technology: it can be oil, it can be fantasium, you define it when you shape their technology.


3

Yes, but it won't solve the problem. At that point, it'd be less of a gun, and more of a wide bore camera which has a gun attachment. Facial recognition is getting better all the time, and just recognizing a human face it pretty easy. You need wide bore, because guns, especially rifles, are aimed at one person at a time, not groups, so you have a wide bore ...


2

In principle, this setup could run with some tweaks (already addressed in other answers and comments). But the showstopper here is small radiator surface area, especially on the cold side. It wouldn't help you any to concentrate heat with a parabolic reflector on the sunny side, if the dark side lacked the capacity to radiate it away. The system would get ...


2

No, it won't work. What you have put in the picture is just a fancy version of a moka pot, therefore it's not going to work to produce energy. If you want to set up a power generator using a Rankine cycle, you need to have a pump to compress the liquid water. There are four processes in the Rankine cycle. The states are identified by numbers (in brown) ...


2

There will be limits on this. The solar flux on Mars is about 43% that on Earth. The Mars day is 24.5 hours. So you need to have corresponding amounts of surface area. You need area to absorb the heat. Possibly you could set up some kind of system such as SEGS to collect the heat. This is a large collection of mirrors that concentrate heat on a central ...


2

Creating a special metal as mentioned in one of the comments, and your hunch about Vibranium-like substances is probably the best way to go. I'll elaborate. A substance which provides something like nuclear energy. This can be categorized as a special metal as well, so having a special metal with any properties that you desire to generate an economy as ...


2

Focus not on the target but where they are shooting If you had a smart gun with a GPS system, the gun could be locked to only work in permitted locations. A "home defence" pistol works only in the home. Hunters can shoot in set hunting areas. Sports shooters can shoot in gun ranges. Gun won't work in schools, movie theaters and malls. It's possible but ...


2

Your aquatic species could develop any level of technology we Telurians (People of Earth) have developed using the same processes we've developed but they might have different motivations. How they interact with their world will determine the form of their technologies. Do they have two arms or twenty? Do they have fingers or suckers? Assuming they have ...


2

We're in this exact situation on this planet right now: Within one part the planet, the one type of aliens use one system, whereas in the other part the other aliens use another system. So the answer to your question is: Wherever the aliens do not talk to one another, they use their own system, but if the one alien tries to sell something to the other ...


2

Why not use the size of the Earth itself? This is, after all, how real life got both the nautical mile (conceptually one minute of latitude, or 1/21 600 of the circumference) and the meter (1/40 000 000). It can be measured with good-enough accuracy using the knowledge available to Eratosthenes (276-195 BCE). Of course, as technology improves, more ...


2

Use circles. The angles would be consistent regardless of the size of the circle, especially if you make them concentric to evaluate them. Then use the distance the stars move in a particular time frame. Perform a few calculations and you can come up with latitude and longitude and from defining a unit of measure as the set fraction of the distance ...


2

I think a good technology to consider in comparison is the telegraph. The telegraph also began as a technology processing bits of information that while accessible, in that they used the sound/touch of tapping, was also cumbersome to use in that it required the user to learn a specialized code to both input and interpret. So, you had a specialized profession ...


1

Biology first Human technology began with fire. Once we learned to make fire, we learned how to melt and shape metal. Chemistry, too, stems mainly from fire; heating and burning things to figure out what they were made of. An aquatic species is going to have a hard time going this route, but they have an advantage that land-dwellers lack - the richness of ...


1

The 'Problem' and the Answer If you're disallowing body parts as the foundation unit, even if they're the body part of a particular individual, then that leaves other physical objects, and repeatable physical phenomena. For example, one culture might use a {unit} defined as the length of the shadow of some famous monument, taken at local noon on the ...


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