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up vote 13 down vote accepted

In accordance with http://meta.worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/1728/sandbox-overflow, answers containing graduated questions will be deleted. This is designed to be a repository for all those questions that have graduated. It is a community wiki answer, so add in your question here, at the end of the list once it is posted on the main site!

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Ringstadt: Which of my streams are spring-fed, and why?

Aside from that ghastly thing behind the abbey, yeah. No need for iodine in this city, unless you feel like drinking from the harbour basin that is.. haha!

Quartermaster of the Foreign Casern to Hans M'wambe, Lance Corporal Aspirant Mechanic, after the latter proclaiming disbelief about people drinking directly from wells on the streets.


[SANDBOX NOTE: This question will remain in the sandbox for a bit longer due to, as mentioned in the comments, the need of a proper (or at least partial) weather map to know where precipitation happens and where not]

This question is a spin-off to this question about the topography in the below map. Please refer to it for general questions or observations about the map & area.

This spin-off is about determining which of the streams marked on below map could & should be spring-fed. Or, alternatively, which of the streams can absolutely not be originating from a spring.


Streams & Springs:

From my reading up on springs on wikipedia I understand that I can have a spring at I5, fed by the seepage of the peat bog further north and above it.

But how would springs further up work, e.g. some of those feeding into the upper lake, or the into the river? Do I need to have lakes/ponds further up that have no direct outflow or are there also other ways?

Ringstadt topological map

Legend:
 brown                ->  topological lines, 10 meters each
 light blue -line-    ->  streams, rivers
 light blue -shaded-  ->  bodies of water
 turquoise            ->  peat bog
 olive                ->  reed marshes

Each grid-cell is 400m by 400m.

Q: Which of my streams are spring-fed, and why?

Answers should go about either explain which streams would be springs, and why or go about the inverse and explain which streams would not be spring-fed, and why.

A good answer will, in either case, at least address the following topics:

  • What kinds of springs are feasibly encountered in this mapped area?
  • Are there any parts of the map that are obviously missing streams?


Sandbox Questions

This question is designed as a follow-up in a series of questions accompanying me during the process of designing and mapping out my fictional city 'Ringstadt' (fancy German title based on the fact that the city has a circular wall with a 2 mile diameter).

This question will be one of a bunch exploring different details of the topographical map I drew in the series' primer. The features being explored in this and other questions have originally been decided as being distracting from the main problem and thus been marked as spin-offs.

  • Information I would like to get from asking this question:

    • Which of the streams I marked on the map could/should be fed by springs?
    • What kind of spring would be best for each of these and why?
  • Standard Sandbox Stuff:

    • Is this question feasible for the WB format?
    • Any better ideas for the title?
    • Any better ideas regarding the tags?
    • Is the partitioning of the question contents making it easier or harder to read the question?
  • To make an informed judgement on this we're going to need to have a look at the prevailing weather, springs are only required in rainshadows, elsewhere it's "it could a spring but doesn't have to be." – Ash Aug 19 at 17:57
  • @Ash that is a very good point; this question is now likely to remain in the sandbox for a month; unless I manage to find very easy to comprehend material about weather patterns – dot_Sp0T Aug 19 at 18:01
  • Also we need to know the underlying geology to understand where, if at all, springs are possible, springs need permeable material (rock, sand, or gravel) for the water to flow through and usually impermeable layers as well. – Ash Aug 19 at 18:04
  • Agree with @Ash’s comment, to which I’ll add that springs and aquifers normally form above small faults in areas where a cap on the water table is cracked. Without a detailed geologic map it’ll be hard to make accurate predictions. – Dubukay Aug 25 at 15:21
  • Seems like a better questions is: where are the springs? But with the geological information asked for by Ash. – kingledion Aug 29 at 15:44
  • @kingledion the part about propose geological information is that i don't understand geology enough to provide that data. I am planning on writing to geology questions following the resource q. But that'll take time – dot_Sp0T Aug 29 at 16:07
  • Just a tip about tags: while it's only about the process itself and not about creating the geographical features, you might be interested in the map-making tag, since you seem to be working on such things a lot lately. – FoxElemental Sep 4 at 13:23
  • @FoxElemental i am aomewhat sure that the proposed tag is about processes and techniques to represent features and things. While this question is about understanding the stuff how it works with an example (basically it could evolve into a second run of the 2014 series) – dot_Sp0T Sep 4 at 15:37
  • Hi @dot_Sp0t, are you still working on this question? If it’s going to wait a lot longer, it’d help keep the Sandbox clean if you were to delete this question then undelete it when you’ve got time to work on it again. – Dubukay Oct 23 at 15:18

The main reasons why I'm sandboxing this question:

  • It seems long winded, but perhaps I shouldn't remove provided detail
  • I feel it may lack clarity
  • "Politically stable" seems like a weak requirement as in poorly defined.

Designing semi-independent militia with nobility connections as politically stable

The setting is high medieval and vaguely European. Culturally monarchies exist, as do orders of nobility. Religion can be found, but is more of a side note than a strong force either politically or in the common man's life. Magic does exist, but isn't something used by man, but rather a menace men must face (such as magical creatures attacking a farming community).

I'm aiming to create a militia, we'll call the Militia.

The description that I have is as follows.


The Militia contains many soldiers who function much like knights. Each soldier may have duties or a living outside of his functions in the Militia, depending on the demand the Militia places on him. The Militia is called upon to solve community issues ranging from bandits to dealing with the aforementioned magical menances when the need arises. They may also engage in supplemental military forces, per the Militia leadership's decision. When not actively carrying out the Militia's commands, its soldiers are seen as informal leaders of small communities, something like a sheriff.

The militia, and by extension its soldiers, do not have technical legal authority, but they typically exercise it in practice. This is due to the fact that governments do not aim to stop soldiers enforcing the law as long as soldiers do not make their own law, and do not "step too far out of bounds." Generally Militia soldiers stopping thieves in a backwater farming community is seen as a boon rather than a burden as it removes a burden from the king spending from his coffers to do the same.

Each soldier is sponsored by a member of nobility financially. This noble pays for the soldier's arms, armament, horse, other equipment, and personnel that the soldier might require. In this manner the Militia is funded privately, and in this manner nobles have influence on its members. A soldier remains a soldier without sponsorship, and may switch between sponsorship freely.

By matter of custom, the noble's name is openly associated with the soldier (used in introductions), and nobles have the accepted right to parade around their Militia soldier at social gatherings.

Soldiers are sponsored by one noble (or noble family) at a time. Sponsorship is considered a long-term commitment. It's quite common for nobility to sponsor soldiers based geographically near them, or soldiers who grew up in the noble's region.

A soldier typically trains his own replacement (with Militia approval) although the Militia leadership can sponsor whomever they want, approved by Militia vote.

Militia leadership are not sponsored by nobles (instead taxing the soldier's sponsorship) and do not have lives outside the Militia. Militia leadership answer to no one, but can be removed from power by vote of the soldiers.

The exact nature and composure of Militia Leadership is undetermined by me, and can be designed by any answers if needed.

The Militia expands across multiple kingdoms, and is beholden to no king directly.


Having this military/semi-military force existing alongside/outside standing kingdoms seems like it would render it unstable, either from the kingdoms trying to destroy it or from the Militia attempting to usurp power from the kingdoms. The only real check and balances in its design are:

  • The distributed purse-string control of nobles
  • The democratic control of Militia leadership by Militia members
  • "Honorable practice."

To this end I would like to add to this design, or adjust existing elements to make the organization more stable.

Without involving religion or magic, and leaving the organization as ultimately independent from external parties, how can I make the Militia politically stable from outside forces and towards kingdoms?

  • So I think putting things in dot point for is going to help cut a lot of unnecessary information, especially when describing the soldiers and sponsorship. For the final bold text, I'm a bit unsure about the "ultimately independent from external parties" line. I feel like you mean, independent from parties in the kingdom, because otherwise they would be stable from outside forces and "towards kingdoms?" Is the Militia spread across multiple countries? usually I would imagine they are centered around towns. – Shadowzee Oct 24 at 2:51
  • I think part of the difficulty balancing this system is that I don’t see any reason for the Militia to actually exist. Why wouldn’t the nobles just fund elite soldiers within the monarchy system, thus gaining the goodwill of the king and strengthening their own defenses? Why do they feel like they need to undermine the authority and power of their king? – Dubukay Oct 30 at 16:09
  • This is a reminder about keeping the Sandbox clean: are you still working on this draft? If so, please edit it to show how we may further help you. If not, please edit your draft to shorten it to something like "Not posted: title" and delete it. The current guidelines are that a draft is eligible for deletion after 30 days without an edit from the OP and a comment like this one for at least 7 days. – Dubukay Nov 9 at 20:41

How to bring order to an infinite-dimensional telepathic ability?

The ability to telepathically communicate with and control any of your infinite other-dimensional selves is rare, but exists!

Rules for how this works:

  • Although dimensions and possibilities are infinite, there is somehow a constant. Those born with the telepath ability in one dimension, have the ability in all dimensions that person exists in.
  • Communicating with another you consists of essentially taking a back-seat in their mind and speaking thoughts at them. You receive all senses but only one person at a time can control the body.
  • You can fight mentally for control of the body but with a massive advantage to the person who is in their own dimension.
  • Doing "something" in one of your other bodies establishes neural pathways and teaches that thing to them remarkably fast.
  • As you can only telepath with yourself, there exists a sense of self that is loosely defined, try and think of it in a spiritual sense. There are some dimensions where you don't exist and thus, are not able to "travel" to. You may be dead, never conceived, there may be a boy in your family around your age who isn't you. Twins are not both you. There is only one or none you's per dimension.
  • There is an infinite number of dimensions but you can interact with just one additional dimension at a time. You can multi-task fairly well with telepathy and are able to complete ordinary activities and conversations in both dimensions at once.
  • Other dimensional selves can and do spontaneously enter your mind and talk about/ask/demand various things as an approximation it happens about as much as you do to them.
  • Travelling to a new dimension is 100% random, you can not pre-emptively search for specific characteristics
  • Dimensional selves you have already made contact with exist in your memory and you can choose to travel to those dimensions at will

As a young child, telepaths often travel a lot forming relationships with their like-minded selves in other dimensions and using pooled knowledge to learn new skills. However, every new dimension you travel to forms the connection both ways and it becomes increasingly chaotic the more new worlds you visit. If someone were to know 5000 other selves, then when they need to fly an escape helicopter it would all be a jumbled mess and they wouldn't remember which of their selves took flying lessons. Because of this, telepaths are predominately limited by their mental, organisational capacity.

A certain character knows A SOLUTION that will allow telepaths to better use their ability. Somehow, this solution allows any given telepath to notably increase the number of skills they have access to via their other selves. Worldbuilding.se What is this miraculous solution and how did this character know about it?

Answers must fit within the logic of my universe but do not necessarily have to include people/concepts from other dimensions. Answers will be judged based off how how well the solution can be applied, and whether or not it would actually improve the number of dimensions you can handle.

  • You may be interested in Dunbar's Number, the theoretical maximum number of people that a single person can know well. It's between 150 and 200. Human minds don't have the space required for infinity. On real Earth, in relation to a single person, there are effectively infinite other people on the planet. You run out of time long before you run out of people. I suspect these telepaths will only care about other bodies that are "close" to them. – Green Sep 10 at 13:42
  • By imposing memory limitations on these telepaths plus making it so that some dimensions are more expensive to visit than others; these constraints should drastically reduce the effective number of dimensions from infinity to say, 100. – Green Sep 10 at 13:43
  • I'm not sure where the second comment is coming from? Yes there are memory limitations and you can't possibly know every self from every infinite dimension. You have a limited life-span/memory and can only visit one at a time. This is the entire point of my question? – Jesse Sep 10 at 14:45
  • There is no "expense" for visiting another dimension. – Jesse Sep 10 at 14:46
  • You ask for optimization of a number of other selves. I don't see any criteria that I could use to create an optimal number as an answer. I see a limitation on other selves based on mental capacity but that merely forms an upper bound, not an optimal. – Green Sep 10 at 17:00
  • @Green ahh I see the misunderstanding now. I am not asking for a number. I am asking for a personal method of increasing a person's number IRRESPECTIVE OF WHAT EXACTLY THAT NUMBER IS. Maybe you keep a diary, create a personalised siri databse to where you write down details, apply some diplomatic theory to form agreements between your other selves to do something that will allow you to better keep track of who is who. I am looking for answers of this nature... – Jesse Sep 10 at 17:20
  • I'm looking for ways one might improve. – Jesse Sep 10 at 17:28
  • Ill make a heavy edit to focus from a characters perspective, let me know if it clears up my questions intention – Jesse Sep 10 at 17:34
  • Thank you, that's much clearer. – Green Sep 10 at 17:45
  • You may want to read up on Vinge’s principle, as relating to your last edit. It’s the proposal that for a character in a story to solve a problem, you as the author must be at least as smart as the character to come up with what you’re doing. Now, I’ll admit that outsourcing to Worldbuilding makes “an author” a heck of a lot smarter, but there are still impossible problems that no human mind can solve. – Dubukay Sep 17 at 16:33
  • @Dubukay I think Vinge's principle (I have promptly read up on it) is actually the exact reason I am asking Worldbuilding. See, I am not looking for an impossibly intelligent reason. Asking Worldbuilding is allowing me to potentially write about a solution with more variety than what I personally understand but that some other person with some different interests might be able to understand well. This variety of perspectives is exactly why I asked Worldbuilding, but it also seems to be the chief reason my question is on hold. I don't really know where to go from here. – Jesse Sep 18 at 0:14
  • @Jesse an answer not existing shouldn’t be a reason for on hold. More likely there was an issue of clarity correct? – The Great Duck Oct 11 at 23:02
  • @TheGreatDuck As it was explained to me, it was put on hold less because there is no answer/lack of clarity and more because I was allowing for both magical and non-magical solutions. However, if you have any suggestions for improving the clarity ill happily include it. – Jesse Oct 12 at 0:45
  • @Jesse i was merely making an observation. I find it clear enough. Closing for opinion based I could see but allowing for magical or non magical answers doesn't even make sense. Can you please link to the original question? I need more context on this as what you are saying sounds to me like someone made an error in judgement, but maybe I'm just not seeing the full context here. – The Great Duck Oct 12 at 2:43
  • 1
    @Jesse If you’re going the reality-check route, I would actually stop editing your old question and instead start a new one, perhaps with a link back to this one so it isn’t closed as duplicate (it wouldn’t be, but sometimes that happens). In it, state your problem concisely and then propose a solution, then ask if it’s feasible or why it might not work. – Dubukay Oct 31 at 1:51

Worldwide lightning storm

Tags: (notice there is no biology tag, that is not part of the question)

Based off this question and my answer to it. I want to my answer to see if it is plausible.

The premise of the original question is as follows- there is a field of set size (presume a 3 dimensional sphere about the size of a person) in which all electrons that enter it instantly disappear, via magic or advanced technology.

After discussing this in the chat and again a second time, it seemed that I wasn't communicating my question well enough, so I am going to try asking it as a separate question.

The question:

In my answer, I propose a giant lightning storm ensues in the following way: electricity in the air jumps into the field. The air that gave up the electrons is ionized and becomes plasma. Plasma is a good conductor, so atoms near the plasma will give up electrons to the plasma, and the plasma will act as a wire into the field where the electrons vanish. Then the newly ionized plasma will act as a wire for other atoms nearby, and the cycle will repeat. Because of this, I expect lots of lightning to expand outwards from the field and quickly grow.

After checking whether plasma is conductive, I realized that the lightning will keep expanding. The electrons will have an easy path through the plasma to the field, so the storm will engulf the entire planet and steal all of the electrons.

Is my question realistic? Will the lightning expand enough to spread across the globe? My second guess was that the same process would reach the solar wind, and the atoms there would conduct electricity from the sun to the field on Earth. Is that possible?

What I don't care about:

  • I don't care about the initial explosion.

Some of the other answers to the question explain that there will be an earth-shattering explosion when the field is created. Assume for the purposes of this question that this field is created in such a way that there is no initial explosion.

I want this to happen:

Because of the way the field is created, when air naturally enters the sphere, its electrons will disappear and the now-positive atoms will repel. Ideally, these atoms will come out of the field at a moderate speed, hitting other atoms out of the way. The process will balance out, so there is no violent explosion, only atoms entering and leaving as plasma. Green did a good job of explaining this on the chat:

Exiting protons will push back against incoming neutrals. Eventually, some kind of equilibrium will be reached between incoming neutral air and outgoing ions. I don't have any idea of the net current between these two areas but I imagine there will be some.

  • I don't care about people in the field

Assume that there is nothing except air and ground in or within 1km of the field when it is first created, and the field rests on the ground.

  • I don't care about electrons in neutrons

Assume that the field only removes orbiting electrons, not ones in neutrons. Ash pointed this out in the chat, and I want the nucleus to stay together.

If by "completely ionized" you mean you rip the electrons out of the neutrons then the nucleus will pop as it's now all protons that repel each other.

Questions for sandbox:

  • Should I change the title?
  • Is this question clear enough?
  • Am I asking too many questions?
  • Do I need a list of requirements for this question?
  • Is there anything else that should be changed?
  • And another discussion ensued. chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/message/47199224#47199224 – John Locke Oct 16 at 14:51
  • Title is wrong. If you want to reality check an answer, do it, but ask it in a way that makes it decent stand-alone question. Like I did here, for example: worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/q/103721/809 - title clearly states what question is about, and references to answer I was checking was not obligatory read. One could answer my question even if previous one was deleted with all its answers. – Mołot Oct 17 at 10:18
  • @Mołot Thank you, that helps a lot. – John Locke Oct 17 at 10:34
  • Glad to help. I did my homework when I was about to ask that moon question, why not to share what I learnt, right? – Mołot Oct 17 at 10:38
  • Huh. I wonder if this plasma would only affect the air, or whether you’d also suck the electrons out of the ground and thus the chain reaction would resonate to the Earth’s core and turn the planet into a big ball of protons. – Dubukay Oct 30 at 15:47
  • @Dubukay I thought it would be too complicated to ask about, and I didn't want to worry about this scenario, so I decided it wasn't important to consider. – John Locke Oct 30 at 15:49
  • As far as question structure goes, you spend a lot of time explaining what you aren’t looking for - understandable, given the criticism you’ve had to respond to, but probably overkill for the main site. I think stating your premise first (region in which electrons disappear) and then stating your expected effects (worldwide plasma storm) along with the logic should go very first. At the end, you can state what you aren’t interested in as the final paragraph or in list form. Right now it’s a bit difficult to tell exactly what your question is because it’s surrounded by other stuff. – Dubukay Oct 30 at 15:51
  • @Dubukay Thanks, I reordered it. – John Locke Oct 30 at 15:55
  • @JohnLocke I think you’ll get answers/comments asking the same thing, so you may either want to add that as an additional “I don’t care about this” point or alter the mechanism so that only air molecules are affected. – Dubukay Oct 30 at 16:10
  • I think the reordering helped me a lot, thanks! – Dubukay Oct 30 at 16:11

How to accurately detect children with super strength?

We are in a world very similar to ours. But, one day, 1% of the children that are turning 10 are gaining super strength (this is an ongoing process : from that date, all the children under 10 may potentially obtain that super strength at their 10th birthday). This phenomenon is roughly evenly distributed geographically, so no country really has a higher share of these children compared to their population.

This super strength can range from having the strength of a strong adult male (for most of them) to truly ridiculous feats like being able to punch through walls and run hours at 50 km/h without being tired (extremely rare). It isn't lost as they age and grows at the same proportion the strength of a normal child would. The muscle mass isn't increased and there are no apparent changes to their body.

Governments of the world, after initial analysis of this phenomenon, decided it would be better to know exactly which kid has super strength and which kid doesn't. They enacted new laws requiring that children on their tenth birthday submit themselves to testing, and the results of that test are put on a special global database, so people can know if necessary if they have super strength or not. Not having done that test is grounds for arrest and being forced to perform it.

The main problem is the test itself. There is no other way to detect these "super kids" than measuring their strength/speed/stamina etc. but the governments are worried that parents may instruct kids to fake a lower strength and avoid registration as a person with super strength.

Is there a way to be certain that the kids are giving their all at the test, or is there a physical test where strength can be determined regardless of if the kid is trying to dissimulate their super strength?


Sandbox Questions

  • Is the question valid? My first question got closed as too broad and I'd like to avoid to ask new invalid questions.
  • Is the question clear enough? I'm a bit worried about the first two paragraphs.
  • 1
    @BaldBear please do not answer in comment. use comments here to make the question ready for the main site, and answer using answer field there. – Mołot Nov 7 at 12:21

Continent Skydome Impact on Weather

Tags:


The question

I asked recently in this question how paranoid aliens afraid of going the way described in "War of the Worlds" would sequester native flora and fauna in a preserve.

One of the coolest answers I saw was for the establishment of a dome, fifty kilometers high, around my nature preserve, to preserve native wildlife in its natural form. For now, don't worry about the native wildlife outside the dome. They're dead. How will the weather and climate be like within my dome?

Example of Skydome Skydome Map

Notes:

  • This preserve is going to be about 2000km by 2000km.
  • The climate around it is mixed forest, similar to the Caucasus
  • The preserve is going to be located at about 60 degrees of latitude
  • The dome goes all the way down to seafloor or bedrock
  • The dome is transparent

An answer should have:

  • Explanation on effect towards climate compared to outside dome
    • Explanation on effects on temperature
    • Explanation on effects on precipitation
  • Explanation on effect towards interior weather
    • Explanation on effects on storms/fronts/convection
    • Explanation on effects on clouds and cloud cover
  • Bonus (not required): explanation of how this affects external weather patterns

Sandbox Questions

Saw this question, is it too close to this question? How would a force field dome over a city affect the weather? Is the tag likely to make it too difficult to answer? Is the scope too large?

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  • Is the “dome” 50km tall, or is it a dome (1000km tall)? The answers will be a bit different depending on the answer – Dubukay 13 hours ago

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