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134 votes
Accepted

How can you possibly stop/kill a person who has the ability to stop time?

Allow me to generalize all of the other answers: No matter what his abilities, he can't prevent something if he doesn't know it's happening. So bullets, poison, lasers, stabbing etc. all work if ...
DJClayworth's user avatar
  • 4,079
75 votes

Is it possible to encode a message in such a way that can only be read by someone or something capable of seeing into the very near future?

Sure it is, and we can use modern technology to do it (NB: This relies on being able to see into the future further than the OP requirement, but if that's an acceptable change in scale, this would ...
Tim B   II's user avatar
  • 54.1k
72 votes

Why would it be unfortunate for a day length to vary in a planet; other than that Java API developers need to work a few hours more?

It really bugs them What you've probably misunderstood is what the term "Java developer" actually denotes. Java developers are a small mammal similar to civet cats in Indonesia both in physical ...
nullpointer's user avatar
  • 8,709
59 votes

If reality were frame-rate based, how could we detect it?

Collision penetration by velocity. As a starting note, we cannot talk about a graphics fps, and only a physics fps. Graphics fps only exists to the outside observer, we can only experience our ...
Andrey's user avatar
  • 5,042
59 votes

Is there any reason why The Chosen One should bother to do anything if their victory is prophesized?

The Prophesy is Assured, but the Identity of the Chosen One is Not The Prophesy does not tell you who the chosen one is, but it does tell you about the nature of the chosen one. If a man has ...
Nosajimiki's user avatar
  • 95.8k
57 votes
Accepted

How do you defeat a time-stopping Dark Lord?

Oh, the possibilities... I'm assuming that even in 'stopped time' our villain still has a metabolism to be able to do things. Poison This one is ideal even for non-magical folks. It comes in a wide ...
Werrf's user avatar
  • 15k
57 votes
Accepted

How do you tell time on a world with 9-year days?

Terrain objects I imagine these nomads are following the same paths every year as they perpetually circle the planet. In that case, since there are no seasons or months, each group's time cycle would ...
kingledion's user avatar
  • 85.5k
54 votes

On a tidally locked planet, would time be quantized?

Just because the heavens don't tick doesn't mean Earthly stuff won't tick as well. People are going to count their heart beats, breaths and bowel movements. Humanity may have used the sky as its ...
The Square-Cube Law's user avatar
52 votes

How can you possibly stop/kill a person who has the ability to stop time?

Drop him off a cliff You've said gravity applies, but you haven't mentioned whether his metabolism still runs, it could be that poison would work perfectly well. Does everything in his close world ...
Separatrix's user avatar
  • 118k
51 votes

What parts of a spaceship would still work 100 million years later?

Time is relative. You may simply assume that the spaceship flew close to the speed of light (relative to the planets your people are living on) through a rather empty part of the universe (so it won't ...
KGM's user avatar
  • 1,261
49 votes
Accepted

What happens when the date becomes too long?

Fantasy and real world dates rarely pass 10.000 because cultures don't tend to survive that long. Date systems generally start with a significant event as 0: rise of a king, birth of a prophet, ...
Mormacil's user avatar
  • 8,777
47 votes

Fantasy alarm clocks

He needs a Clepsydra (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_clock). Basically, a reservoir filled with water, with a puncture through which water flows at a constant rate. These clocks have been well ...
Pablo Oliva's user avatar
46 votes
Accepted

How would I coordinate meetings with people on Mars?

The same way we do now. I work for a multinational company, with colleagues distributed across a dozen time zones. When I need to schedule a meeting with many people, I simply open Outlook, and look ...
Nuclear Hoagie's user avatar
46 votes

Is there any reason why The Chosen One should bother to do anything if their victory is prophesized?

Victory, but at what cost? It is only the victory that is prophesized. But a victory can be a good or a bad one. Maybe the chosen one dies. Maybe he's left crippled, mentally or physically. People ...
Infrisios's user avatar
  • 2,478
43 votes

Where should we store our brains?

Inside 1.5 million robotic whales A blue whale has a volume of around 220 cubic metres. Assuming a cubic brain jar with sides of 25cm, you can comfortably fit 32 brains in one cubic metre. If you ...
Tom O'Daighre's user avatar
42 votes

On a tidally locked planet, would time be quantized?

"I'll be back before one could walk to the lake." If not an exact sense or measurement for time, maybe they'd have an approximate one based on distance. Just as we say "an hours' drive&...
Andrew Cheong's user avatar
42 votes
Accepted

How much would a language change over 500 years completely cut off from its source?

The first thing to examine is, what are those "Byzantines"? Are they for-real Byzantines, that is, inhabitants of the city on the Bosphorus from the 7th century BCE to the 4th century CE? Are they ...
AlexP's user avatar
  • 91k
42 votes
Accepted

Could agriculture still be developed by intelligent species that lack the concept of past and future?

If they have no sense of past or future, they live in a continuous present, answering the stimuli they are getting right now: pain? move away! hunger? eat! Thirst? drink. Nothing more than an amoeba. ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
  • 291k
39 votes

Theoretically, can time be controlled locally?

In modern physics, the only thing which is capable of altering the flow of time with respect to two points in space is gravity. In general relativity, the passage of time and gravity are inherently ...
Cort Ammon's user avatar
  • 132k
38 votes

How can you possibly stop/kill a person who has the ability to stop time?

Poison If time still runs for him even while stops your time, it means his bodily functions also are still functional, hence the poison will work as well. Of course it would need to be a poison ...
F.P's user avatar
  • 733
37 votes
Accepted

If reality were frame-rate based, how could we detect it?

Actually, the world as described by the standard model of particle physics cannot account for time intervals lower than the Planck time, which is approximately $5.4\times 10^{-44}s$. But the current ...
G. Fougeron's user avatar
37 votes

Ideas for a human convenient, long term date system spanning many trillions of years

Frame challenge: no such dating system is practicable What is the use of a dating system? Obviously, the use of a dating system is to tell when an event took place, or to tell when an event will take ...
AlexP's user avatar
  • 91k
37 votes

What can be used as a galaxy-wide time reference?

galaxy-spanning time reference Nothing These kinds of things work on Earth because anyone's relative speed to anyone else does not reach a considerable fraction of the speed of causality ($c$). ...
The Square-Cube Law's user avatar
36 votes

Fantasy alarm clocks

Here is a little 2 part mechanism that might work (though it's a stretch) As part of the sundial, place small panes that are lenses. My brain has concocted a mental image of the cathedral with a huge ...
Paul TIKI's user avatar
  • 21.7k
35 votes

Is there any reason why The Chosen One should bother to do anything if their victory is prophesized?

IS IT DETERMINISM? Your question hinges on free will and determinism. There are two possibilities: Deterministic Universe In this prickly scenario the universe is deterministic. Not only is the chosen ...
Daron's user avatar
  • 66.2k
33 votes

How do you tell time on a world with 9-year days?

For Months/Seasons: The terrain. Presumably they will be in the same place every nine years, and they know where they are relative to the cycle. You'd get the Month of the Great Salt Lake and so ...
amflare's user avatar
  • 1,343
32 votes
Accepted

Is it worth colonizing a planet that travels near the speed of light?

My gut instinct is "no: don't colonize." The biggest problem I see with this planet isn't the cold: it's time dilation. Politically, most civilizations can't even send diplomats there - and with ...
Ghotir's user avatar
  • 4,591
32 votes

How can I penalize using accelerated time in Full Dive Virtual Reality?

Brains can simply not function that fast. To process that much information your brain requires rest (AlexP elaborates on this in their comment: to retain information, the short-term memory needs to be ...
Joachim's user avatar
  • 4,666

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