New answers tagged

2

They are in a competition with rules, right? So each of them gets a smartphone with GPS, linked to a smartwatch with GPS and an integrated heartbeat monitor. The smartphone permanently tracks the box position by GPS. The phone also links by Bluetooth or a similar technology to the smartwatch. The phone then transmits the phone position and the relative ...


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After many years of development, brain–machine interfaces (like those Neuralink wants to develop) are a reality. They rapidly become popular and "everyone" has one implanted.¹ After a few years, the percentage of the population with that implant is about the same as those having a smartphone nowadays (which are themselves replaced with mind-calls)....


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Yes, it exists on animals, ships and planes They are respectively called echolocation and active radar systems. Why is that? These systems work by emitting sounds, light or electromagnetic waves and use the bounce back to find your prey or your opponent. However while these systems are really good at catching a target, they are emitters you can catch on your ...


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Yes. While similar to a subset of this answer I give you a worked example in the Chip Fab Here they use lithography to apply different chemicals in patterns on a piece of silicon in layers. There are several layers of abstraction that have gone on in this process. The "program" was designed. the logic to implement that was derived. the logic gates ...


3

Absolutely As another answer points out, smiths of the past knew how to make "good steel". They had no idea why it worked, or that what was really happening was alloying carbon with the steel, because the atom hadn't been discovered yet, never mind identifying "carbon" and "iron" as independent chemical elements. All the same ...


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I don't know that this is worthy of a full answer of its own, particularly as you have already marked a solution, and I am sure it is a thing you have thought about already... However! The key stumbling block in all the answers posted so far is "impervious". This could mean one of two things: Figuratively: The key to understanding the technology ...


1

What a splendid notion! I'm thinking hydraulics with steam providing motive power. You could mechanically adjust gun alignment for beds hydraulically coupled to a sight and trigger command station. Ideally there would be a way to remotely couple "trim controls" from the command station to the adjustment system for a given gun. Some smaller guns ...


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We have no fundamental understanding of how Quantum Mechanics "works". Those who 'understand' don't. It 'just does'. Albert Einstein violently disliked QM's "spooky action at a distance" - but experiments since his death have confirmed the reality in our reality of such "nonsensical" effects. And yet, QM is arguably the most ...


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The easiest way to accomplish this is to create a replicator. Require use of one of the artifacts during the process of assembling a new one. In this step, the device does something, which proves quite essential, even if nobody knows what it is doing. One might draw a corollary to reproduction, actually. People did it for quite a long period of time ...


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To continue on from JRE's example of the microwave oven, there is actually a thruster design that works on the same principle called a radio frequency resonant cavity thruster. Currently we can build them, but we aren't sure if they work (NASA Advanced Propulsion Physics Laboratory tested it and said it worked, but others haven't been able to replicate the ...


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Yes - and we've been doing it for a long time As a very simple modern day analogue, consider the forging of steel. There are many levels to understanding, but at a very basic sense when we began forging steel it was a happy accident that led to a significant mythos of what you had to put in the iron to make it stronger (lots of "interesting" ...


4

You don't need alien artifacts - that's how the things currently are. The other answers mention DC motor, or light switch, that can be copied without understanding. But is our "understanding" any better? We do know that the motor works because Lorentz force acts on charges moving in magnetic fields, but why does it? We can bring Maxwell equations ...


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No Assumption: The target civilization is technologically capable of replicating the Clarketech. Assumption: The duplication results in an object that is 100% identical to the original. In other words, you can't replace a miniature fusion generator the size of a coin with a battery that only lasts a micro-second and claim to have duplicated the object. Every ...


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Yes, why not? I'm going to crib from The Crystal Spheres, Ask a Foolish Question and The Naked God. And The Last Question for good measure. You say we have a K-IV civilization - something like the originator race of AAFQ: Of the race that built him, the less said the better. They also Knew, and never said whether they found the knowledge pleasant. They ...


3

Yes, consider a satellite phone. You can have something you understand but cannot replicate, that's fairly easy, but there is only one believable ways to have something you can replicate but do not understand. You only have part of the device, PCman hints at this. like having a cellphone is great but a cellphone does not work without the cellular network. A ...


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Perhaps they have a recipe rather than a blue print. Maybe they are told to synthesize a particularly complex range of chemicals, arrange them in a complex matrix of other compounds and are then told to add x, y and z in a specific sequence and at specified temperatures. They follow the exact instructions and the mixture suddenly starts to self organize ...


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"Clarketech"... OK, if you insist. In one of the passages quoted in Clarke's "The Lost Worlds of 2001", somebody at a White House reception makes the old joke about humans being replicated by unskilled labour. Most things about what makes "a man a man for a' that" are still mysteries to the people who insist on making more of ...


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Loading Yes. Since you have steam cannon (historically marginally practical steam or hydraulic cannon came later than practical gunpowder cannon), all you have to load are the shells and the pressure spikes should be lower. Aiming That is more tricky, unless there are mechanical linkages between all the guns in the battery and an aiming post. But then one ...


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Clockwork It seems very reasonable. With clockwork we can make very precise timings, even with semi-irregular intervals. Like putting in a shell, increasing pressure via piston pumps, releasing it to fire and resetting the gun to the previous state, ready to be reloaded. Even if the heat might be different and the pistons might slow down, the clockwork would ...


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Maybe this is obvious from your use of the word "Clarketech," but FWIW, this is exactly how magic spells work in most systems, right? The spellcaster knows how to reliably reproduce the effect of "wingardium leviosa" (namely "repeat these nonsense words in this order"), but doesn't have a clear picture of why it should work. If ...


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I think it is for surely feasible. Steam trains are the prototype of steampunk technology. And they have an automatic way of refilling the cylinder with steam for moving the wheels. You just need to modify the design so that instead of moving the crank it launches the projectile and then reloads the chamber. The servants would then only assist with keeping ...


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Yes, the drive is NOT what enables Hyperspace travel. The "Hyperspace Drives" your people are discovering and duplicating are merely the activators, the "keys", to the actual mechanism that is not available for scrutiny. Maybe it is in an alternate parallel dimension, maybe it is something programmed into the very fabric of space. As a ...


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Certainly Understanding isn't required on every level. Someone can make a watch with a schematic and the parts without ever understanding the battery. Even better. When they made the electron microscope they didn't understand how small they were looking at first. They researched something that they knew had smaller wavelengths than light, allowing for higher ...


2

If it's within our fabrication tolerances, of course we can. To copy tech at a high level, there's really 2 parts to: Scan it in. How accurately can we turn the atomic layout into a computer model? Print it out. How accurately can we turn that model into a physical thing? Scanning we can do really well if properly motivated. It's totally possible to: ...


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Yes, but It must be fundamentally designed to be copied by a civilisation with a given minimum technological capability. This is the story of the first Krikkit starhip. They copied it from a "crashed starship" that rather than being the geniuine article was in fact a full blueprint for a starship carefully engineered such that they would be able to ...


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Maybe. Take a wound stator DC motor, If you can identify steel, iron, and copper in a motor you find (or are given) then you can build a mechanical copy of it. If you build your copy precisely enough, then applying an appropriate voltage (with enough current) to the power connections will make it run. If you copied it precisely enough, then the copy will ...


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Potentially, as long as: The artefacts are capable of self replication If an elder race is specifically trying to gift technology to a younger one they wouldn’t risk misunderstandings or confusion getting in the way. A much simpler and easier thing to do is make a high tech 3D printer that the younger race can use to print all the components for another 3D ...


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I don't think it is plausible: an assembly is more than its individual parts. Take a car engine: one can replicate all its components, but when they are put together without the knowledge on how to properly sync the valves with the piston the end result will be a CLANK BANG not a running engine. Even worse if one takes something that has software or IC in it....


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They will wear out faster and either be weaker or heavier (or both) this can very easily be compared by looking at cannons and guns made of the materials. Bronze and iron cannons as well as smaller guns were produced at the same times. Bronze is weaker, heavier, more costly (rarer materials), and softer(wears out faster), but it does work. The big ...


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Barrel pressures will be lower. High velocity rounds require high barrel pressures and the tensile strength of bronze may not be up to that in the way steel is. But there is a workaround. Consider mv2 which describes the kinetic energy of a projectile. As it increases with the square of v you get more bang for your buck (so to speak) by increasing v. In ...


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There's a broadness to this question that sort of encompasses a lot of various engineering issues. While it's true that general bronze (and here I'll mean specifically the tin/copper version) does not match up to steel, there are still measurable values for what that bronze CAN do. As such the firearms would be built with those limitations in mind. To keep ...


1

Transportation A spherical house is easier to move than a square one. Assuming smallish houses made of light materials, you could just roll them to some other place. One reason would be winter migration. There could also be reasons to move house constantly: high winds, rock/mudslides or other dangerous natural phenomena. It could also simply be a building ...


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Because they build with giant bladders and concrete. You need a source of pressurized air and a bunch of water. Ideally, you also have some sort of shellac. The mountains probably have a large chasm that has a strong, regular wind. It probably also has natural spring very high up. For the cement, it benefits from having lime and volcanic ash, but there are ...


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Orthogonic (right angles) architecture has not been the norm for most of human existence. It became predominant with the invasions and spread of imperial building technologies, which then violently eradicated the indigenous vernacular architectures. The reason that round and curved types of organic dwellings seem to be common in highland mountain areas is ...


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Not a Sphere but close This is one building from the TV series "Raised by Wolves" The design can be made from uncut stacked stone and doesn't require timber beams of which could be hard to get in a mountainous region while stone is plentiful. It doesn't require timber and doesn't require mortar, just plenty of rock. Here's the ones from Star Wars ...


1

I submit for your consideration, ancient mapmaking and land navigation. If you have a visually distinctive landmark of a known fixed width, you can cut notches into a stick and hold it at the correct length, and get a surprisingly good idea of your range to a target based on how wide it currently is in your field of view. If you can get ranges along two ...


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Snow. Sometimes they get extreme snow fall, a near-sphere is the best shape to resist this load.


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Balloons. Balloons are round. Whatever they use to make their houses, they have to blow them up like a balloon. Maybe stiched animal hides? Something like paper mache built up over a bladder structure? Maybe a mixture of bird feathers, straw, fluff, and tar, like birds make their nests out of, but with a roof - like a wrens' nest.


2

Because this is a desert and you need cooling Higher ceilings in a building give a very useful passive cooling effect. A couple of years ago, I went on holiday to Gambia, staying at an eco-lodge. The lodge owner had built round mud-brick houses with high round roofs. In spite of the high daytime temperatures outside, the temperature inside was always ...


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Round, almost hemispherical houses have been popular for thousands of years in dangerous climates like Skara Brae in the Orkney Islands. No reason why the same arguments for comfort (minimum surface area for warmth) and low wind resistance wouldn't apply in mountainous regions just as much as in windswept sub-arctic islands. It's a reasonable question for ...


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Although the knowledge is lost in the mists of time, the mountain is really a volcano. After being nearly wiped out, ancestors built spherical houses so that they could quickly escape an eruption by simply rolling down the slopes. The volcano hasn't erupted for a thousand years and the inhabitants have forgotten why they build in this way but it is their ...


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Access to a building material which makes spherical constructions easier than angled ones. Like a tree which tends to grow curved trunks. Or very large animals with curved bones (although large land animals are uncommon in mountain regions - they are usually much better adapted to plains). Or shrubs with long and thin but flexible branches. They lack the ...


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Circular cultures There have been plenty of "circular" cultures in history. It seems not too many steps from there to spherical houses, which I'm pretty sure have existed as well. The circular or spherical shape can help deflect water, snow and mud streams that they might get in contact with, so the house can take much more pressure from nature. ...


4

Hazardous gas and liquid mitigation - and structural integrity. These underground settlements are full of nasty surprises, pockets of hydrogen gas, pockets of methane, pockets of propane from unattended stoves (you didn't say what year this was set. Bottled LPG is frequently used as a heat and cooking source), pockets of water, pockets of carbon dioxide, all ...


28

A sphere is, among all the solids, the shape that minimizes the ratio between surface and volume. Since heat is dissipated through the surface, it makes the house more energy efficient, which in mountain region is surely a benefit. Which is why also animals living in cold regions tend to be more rounded, to waste as little body heat as possible. Just to give ...


2

You can't--there's nothing to distinguish data memory from system memory. Even if you could somehow wipe the memory (quite questionable) you would brick the phone, not just erase it.


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Cannot be done directly. "eliminates all the data in the phone (memory card included) or PC" -- you are talking of probably up to three different memory storage technologies, and two of them are not even sensitive to EMPs, requiring extreme electrical discharges instead. Or lots of heat. The kind of electrical charge buildup, or magnetic flux ...


0

Singularity is just a useless math abstraction All versions of the singularity scenarios just assume that the AI is some sort of logical abstraction, unbound by anything except its own intelligence. In real complex reality though, various complications will get in a way of the possibility of a runaway self-improvement cycle, and some of these complications ...


4

Won't work, especially not without a trace. Those phones will have different operating systems, from current Android versions over various outdated Android versions to iOS. Perhaps even a Windows phone. An exploit would have to work against all of them. That leaves brute electromagnetic force, which will leave a trace. Or brute kinetic force. Or you could ...


0

Simple is best - why not simlpy imagine a personally tailored deep hole underneath each skeleton? Feel free to add lava or acid or whatever, but honestly, just literally disappear the dirt from beneath them, let them disappear down that hole, then rain down hell from above at your leisure. If it was me, I would imagine each hole leading down to the Moho Line ...


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