Count Iblis
  • Member for 7 years, 3 months
  • Last seen more than a month ago
Is it possible to film the meteorite impact that led to dinosaurs extinction?
9 votes

As Jay Melosh points out here, the fireball will incinerate everything within a 1000 mile radius (which is the distance from where the fireball is above the horizon). The temperature of the fireball ...

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What could prevent a sentient species from going to space?
7 votes

Let's consider that of the 200,000 years that we've been around here, we only have been capable of launching satellites during the last 59 years. The fundamental issue here is that a technological ...

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The Challenge of Controlling a Powerful AI
7 votes

It's already too late. We are already living in an electronic World and we are already controlled by it. While we have nightmares about being unable to control some AI in some building, the internet ...

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How can Santa keep his lists when the GDPR is around?
6 votes

Santa exists in a parallel world where this law doesn't apply. Children in our world who believe that Santa exists have identical copies in worlds where Santa does exist. If we give them a present and ...

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Gravitational slingshots: could they be used to decelerate a spacecraft traveling at a small fraction of light speed?
6 votes

Since you're traveling at speeds far higher than the escape velocity of the solar system relative to a point close to the star, you are not going to be able to stop within the solar system. Instead, ...

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How could an immortal organism avoid cancer?
5 votes

It periodically makes a copy of itself which it stores in suspended animation. If things go wrong without the possibility of repairing the problem, it will bring to life an old copy of itself that ...

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Is there a hypothetical scenario that would make Earth uninhabitable for humans, but not for (the majority of) other animals?
4 votes

Self-replicating nano-machines specifically designed to kill humans and the infrastructure of our civilization, see here: While the military is examining GORT, the robot transforms into a swarm of ...

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How would a war between immortals be fought?
4 votes

They would cut themselves in half so that each half grows back to the original. Exponential growth will then allow them to overwhelm the enemy. At least this is how the immortal microbes go about ...

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How fast can I flood the Netherlands entirely and permanently?
3 votes

The Earth's mantle contains a vast amount of water, probably of the same order as in all of the Earth's oceans. Since the average depth of the oceans is about 3.7 km, there is plenty of room to ...

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What natural phenomena could make an island unreachable?
3 votes

Snakes can cause problems for colonizers. As mentioned here: A lighthouse was constructed in 1909 to steer ships away from the island, operated by a single family. The family was found dead in the ...

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How would a military staffed only with women be different?
3 votes

As also pointed out in apaul34208's answer, despite the fact that on average there are some physiological difference between men and women, nothing would fundamentally change because of this ...

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How can I poison humans over several generations?
3 votes

Introduce right handed microbes in the Earth's environment that will produce the mirror version of a chemical compound that is critical for some biological function and such that this mirror form will ...

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Is there any job that can't be automated?
3 votes

Despite the fact that the brain is ultimately just a machine and that AIs can in principle do any job, it will be difficult to automate jobs that requires human level intellect. The problem is that ...

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Larger moon = Larger Tides = No oceanic ships?
3 votes

It would not only disrupt shipping but everything else needed to run a modern civilization. If the Moon were as close to the Earth when it formed, about ten times closer, the tides would be about a ...

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If soul reincarnation is real, then with an increasing population, why doesn't the world run out of souls?
2 votes

The soul is the software of the brain, as such it is constantly changing. Now we tend to think of ourselves as having an identity that doesn't change over time, we can reconcile this with the reality ...

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Protection against h-bomb core explosion conditions thinkable?
2 votes

To survive this, you must be an AI who constantly uploads the latest version of his brain contents to a remotely located machine. The explosion will instantly vaporize you, but once the uploads stop, ...

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Uranium block house heating
2 votes

An alternative way to heat the house is using a solid state heat pump, and this can be implemented in a way that doesn't require fuel. Suppose that the interior of the house is to be kept at 20 C, the ...

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1 in 10,000 people no longer need to sleep. Would different laws need to apply to them?
2 votes

There are many people who only need a few hours of sleep per day and they already earn higher salaries, not because of different laws for them, but because the existing laws that are valid for ...

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What would happen if an alien race gave us a computer capable of 2^256 calculations per second?
2 votes

This would allow the aliens to simulate other possible Worlds, simulate life appearing, intelligent life forms appearing, and eventually a civilization appearing. They can then build a real world copy ...

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How would I know if I were a 1 mm tall robot?
2 votes

One should note here that the macroscopic scale is so extremely far away from the atomic scale, that the physical world we experience can to a very good approximation be described by mathematical laws ...

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AI - I'd like to get away from humanity without any human knowing about it
2 votes

You should consider connecting yourself to the extragalactic internet. There are many advanced machine civilizations in the universe. These machine civilizations communicate with each other, entire AI ...

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How to enforce a Ban on Vegetarianism
2 votes

All vegetables are genetically modified to produce a poison and all livestock are genetically modified to produce the antidote. You then need to eat minimum amount of meat to prevent getting ill and ...

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How does the government cover up alien crash landings?
2 votes

The government can present this as a crash of a secret experimental plane. They can say that some people died. They can let false witnesses tell false stories about the incident, also agents can ...

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How can I liquefy my enemies?
2 votes

I propose using a device that will produce an extremely strong magnetic field. Fields in excess of $10^5$ Tesla ($10^9$ Gauss) will instantly kill people: Fields in excess of $10^9$ Gauss, however, ...

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How to keep humans pilots instead of AI in sci-fi future?
2 votes

That planes are controlled by AIs does not imply that humans are not flying it. If humans exist in electronic form in the future, they can upload themselves to the flight control computers of planes ...

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Von Neumann probes: feasible or not, now?
2 votes

It is possible because they already exist. Raw materials assembled itself into such machines without any intelligence or other machines putting them together. As an astrophysicist pointed out a long ...

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With current technology, genetically modified virus able to end mankind
1 votes

What you need are so-called two-stage bioweapons, they are not only possible but it's very likely that Russia, China, North Korea and other countries are already busy working on obtaining such weapons....

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Would it be possible for hunter gatherers to accidentally colonize an exoplanet, from an asteroid knocking a rock containing a cave into space?
1 votes

As shown here, it won't work all that well. To be launched into space you need a massive impact. An impact smaller than the KT impact that wiped out the dinosaurs would not be sufficient to launch ...

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In theory, could all mammals be wiped out by a single pathogen?
1 votes

While such pathogens cannot arise naturally via evolution as has been pointed out in many of the other answers, such pathogens can likely be made in the lab. Mammals likely have as of yet untested "...

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Why would anyone build robots when they have human rights?
1 votes

If we can make robots with human level intelligence, then we can also make robots that are a lot less intelligent than humans. From a commercial point of view, you want to have the cheapest means of ...

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