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  • $\begingroup$ Is the following question within scope? worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/156548/… $\endgroup$ – overlord Sep 25 '19 at 14:17
  • $\begingroup$ Hello, I posted a question a week ago, does anyone have a comment please? $\endgroup$ – Vogon Poet Oct 30 '19 at 2:21
  • $\begingroup$ @JBH Hello. I am not a new user, but I have a question that I'm uncertain about whether it should go in Worldbuilding or Physics. Should I post it here to get feedback on this? $\endgroup$ – Qami Oct 23 '20 at 17:15
  • $\begingroup$ @Qami This is the right place. Generally speaking, if your question is a real-world question with no direct worldbuilding conditions, it would go to physics. If it's a real-world question with specific and identified worldbuilding conditions, it should be here. $\endgroup$ – JBH Oct 24 '20 at 4:04

27 Answers 27


Graduated Questions List

In accordance with Sandbox Overflow!, answers containing graduated questions will be deleted. This answer 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!

  1. Gravity magic - How does it work?

  2. How can animals of various species organize themselves against a super-predator?

  3. How could indestructible materials be used in power generation?

  4. Modification to Chariots for Heavy Cavalry Analogue for 4-armed race

  5. In what ways would cryomancy affect the food eaten by medieval people?

  6. Comprehensive Worldbuilding Outline

  7. How can I design a glamour spell for a creature that meets certain requirements??

  8. Anatomically Correct Huldra

  9. How can I refine the rules of precognition to make it valuable in a fast paced enviromment?

  10. Ambush tactics for dummy witches?

  11. How can I build a school around a particular form of magic?

  12. How can existing methods of plumping, genetic modification, and gmo feeding be altered to accommodate the need for plumper, meatier human food stock?

  13. What is the lower bound for lightspeed? / What is the upper bound for Lightspeed?

  14. Designing a magic-compatible polearm

  15. How can power levels matter in a magic system that emphasizes control?

  16. How can religions without a hell discourage evil-doing?

  17. Why would non-kinetic weapons be used for orbital bombardment?

  18. Kinetic weapons - establishing an upper limit when dealing with grey goo

  19. How can an elder god's corporation remove suspicion from its plans while preserving its clandestine monopoly?

  20. How can you eliminate dreaming without affecting REM sleep?

  21. The North Star in the ancient world sky

  22. https://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/152522/plants-and-animals-switch-places-how-could-this-have-happened

  23. How can I motivate mages to recruit individuals for a pyramid scheme of evil?

  24. How can I prevent corporations from growing their own workforce?

  25. How can having multiple casters for a spell create excess heat?

  26. How can you discreetly advertise underground death matches?

  27. How can I shift my country's immigration policy to a skills based approach?

  28. How big could dinosaurs get with super strength and durability?

  29. How can reincarnation lead to a second personality?

  30. How can a long lived species deal with generational shifts in society?

  31. Adapting to a sonic world

  32. How can my hammerspace safely "decompress"?

  33. Can We Prevent an Impact Winter Extinction with Modern Technology?

  34. What would cause a sapient race to evolve oral castration as a core cultural part of reproductive intercourse?

  35. How easily can a medieval granary explode?

  36. Long Term Evolution of Double Planet System in Close Orbit

  37. How to create fictional earth ecosystems with lots of megafauna which can plausibly coexist?

  38. How can an illness's make one's eyes turn green?


Very long background description, but two somewhat different questions at the end, so it might have to be split

I'm describing a worldwide Corleone family in a medieval setting. Then I ask about if it is feasible, but specifically two aspects of it: the organisation itself and the method of pressure. I'm curious if folks think that this should be two questions, which means I'll essentially be copy-pasting the lengthy part with only one of the two questions at the end.

Could a Godfather-style favour-based control system span a much larger territory?

I'm still working on my A world government in the 1400's idea, and started developing how exactly they keep control over their "subjects". I haven't settled on a name for this authority yet, but let's use the World Bank (WB) for now. I found some similarities with the crime organisation as depicted in The Godfather, and thought a different approach to the WB would be to view it as a logical extension of that.

By "Godfather-style control system" I mean the following:

  • You have a charismatic leader figure (the Don) with a few dozen underlings that are directly on his payroll (the family itself and the permanently employed assassins).
  • The organisation has control over a number of powerful or useful people through a favour-system; they ask him to make things happen, and he does it, counting on those people to pay him back at some other time.
  • Those who do not pay back, or those who disrespect his authority, are threatened to keep in line (🐴🛏️), and if they still resist they meet an "unfortunate accident".
  • Anyone not important or useful is ignored. This organisation doesn't pave the sidewalks, they work parallel to the government.

Now, the WB replaces some nouns in the above description with other nouns, and expands the territory over the entire world. Specifically:

  • The leader figure is a council, and there's local representatives in every territory. The local representatives are charismatic and actually make most of the bargains. There is a small private army on their payroll.
  • The WB has control over influential or useful people across the world, through the same favour/violence-system, but most prominently among those are fellow bankers who can almost be called subsidiaries. They are still autonomous but can be "persuaded" to not invest in someone, or cancel the loans. Anyone wealthy is going to be someone they want on their side.
  • They keep the bankers in line with the threat of violence, but they use the banks to threaten anyone else; they have the power to bankrupt entire nations, and can therefore threaten both local and sovereign rulers.
  • Still, the rulers themselves are de facto sovereign. The world government only intervenes when necessary to keep themselves in power, or to stop wars (which would cause economic disruption). In fact, most of their interactions with governments are quite peaceful; for example, Nation A will print and spread some of the WB's propaganda books, and in return the WB pressures Nation B to stop certifying privateers to hunt Nation A's merchant fleet. They often act more like diplomats than like an overlord.

So there's some interesting overlaps with the Godfather-style organisation, but there's also some great differences. I'll list those as well:

  • Technology. This is still the 1400s. My resolution is to give the WB an instant communication system which they use to keep in touch with their distant underlings. Basically, they have a magical equivalent of the telephone.
  • Scale is the most important one. A mafia's "territory" was limited to part of a city, and they neighboured rival syndicates. I think that giving the WB not just the communication device, but the monopoly over it (non-WB people physically cannot use the telephone), would prevent any rivals from rising up. There's also the fact the local representatives would help strike local deals, accounting for the differences in culture.
  • I view the WB as less violent than the Corleone family: their main method of pressure is economic. They have trained assassins for when things get out of hand, but they prefer soft power. They are themselves filthy rich and can grant any willing agent a fortune.
  • They are also less proactive. Peasants can curse the WB on the streets and the WB won't mind. You only exist to them if you're influential, or if your ambitions run counter to the WB's interests. That means that fewer people have reason to hate this government, meaning they have an easier time staying in power.

But one weakness remains that I am aware of:

  • Their influence is only worth something if there are still agents in the region. This is the late middle ages; travel was slow. Now, this planet is not quite Earth: it is smaller, and more interconnected. The distances and level of interconnectedness are the equivalent of the polygon between Bengal, Aksum, Tangiers, London, Astrakhan. So everyone is at least aware of one another, even if getting to the other end of the world still takes months.

With that background out of the way, here's my essential questions:

  • Can a favour/violence-based system work over great distances, assuming communication is instantaneous but travel isn't?
  • In a 1400s setting, is controlling a nation's bankers and rich people enough to control the sovereign?
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ It's called Feudalism. $\endgroup$ – The Daleks May 21 '20 at 18:40
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The Roman republican political process was based on patronage (a godfather-like system). Josephus records that Herod, even though he was on the edge of the empire, spent a great deal of time cultivating patrons in Rome with expensive gifts, both locally made Judean things, and purchasing and giving over foreign assets (such as a park in Egypt, if I'm remembering correctly). $\endgroup$ – James McLellan Jun 2 '20 at 19:22
  • $\begingroup$ The patron-client relationship was a fundamental aspect of Roman social life, with extensive legal recognition, starting with the Law of the 12 Tables; table VIII, law 21: patronus si clienti fraudem fecerit, sacer esto "if the patron defrauds his client, he shall be accursed / consecrated to the [infernal] gods". $\endgroup$ – AlexP Jun 22 '20 at 15:16

What use would Gryphons have in Warfare?

Here is the draft I wrote:

If gryphons were real and trainable what use would they have in warfare?

  • The gryphons from head to hind legs would be about 7-8ft long and the gryphon would be about 5ft-5ft 5in tall. They would look somewhat similar to this:

enter image description here

  • They would take about 1 1/2-2 years to perfect basic commands (walk, run, fly, stop, back up, slow down and speed up, and how to return to their rider when called).

  • They would take about 3-4 years to be ready for combat ( not run from noise or fire, ignore smells like blood, deal with rider shifting weight while using a weapon, know the difference between the rider using a weapon and movement controls, work without reins, and used to balancing with an armored rider.

  • They can run at a max of 35 mph and fly at a max of 62 mph.

So if these were the characteristics of gryphons what uses would they have in warfare?

Note: This world is in a medieval level of technology. Also just ask me if you need more information about the gryphons.


I was hesitant to post this because it felt to ''clunky'' in some way to me, not detailed enough, and I think it had bad formatting. So what could I do to improve these issues?

  • $\begingroup$ 1. I'd slightly re-word the question - instead of "what uses" I'd go with something more like "how best to use them in a battlefield". It seems you already want them in battle, so asking "what uses do they have" suggests that maybe they aren't useful in combat. Yet are apparently trained. Instead, if you ask how to best use them, then you shift the focus into what you are really interested in. $\endgroup$ – VLAZ Feb 15 at 20:29
  • $\begingroup$ 2. You mention "riders" but there isn't a lot of details there. Maybe you need a separate question to make sure they are suitable to carry a person if they are roughly the size of a horse. Or simply state that they can do it, so thus aspect doesn't need to be explored. $\endgroup$ – VLAZ Feb 15 at 20:29

What are the proper terms to describe and further explore this phenomenon? or, Trying to extrapolate social dynamics and a state's fate in its interaction with the state producing " laws masses tend to consider absurd"

This might a be a complicated topic and I am not good in asking the question. Luckily I got a hint to post here in the sandbox. Happy to discuss. Note: as we discuss something which might appear not clear and absurd to most people, even to myself, the side effect could be you consider this same question not clear either absurd.

Maybe there are many questions which need to be carefully cut out. So.. enough pre-words.. Here comes the question post.


While in reality this could be just an exception either fake news, imagine a copy of our world where such effects start developing on large scale:

Please help me to find proper academic words for this situation if seen as a phenomenon (source reliability and generalization put aside)

Policemen would collect money for a NAS (network area storage) from a discounter to exchange work documents. Photographs would be exchanged via WhatsApp on private smartphones. GDPR is just thought up by theoreticians, they say.

Same for physicians, use Skype for beaming of CRT images..

Side note: using WhatsApp by GDPR is formally a crime.

With the question how to find proper terms I aim to get an idea what is happening. Does this something to do with some erosion like effect? I.e. this is not an English language question because I just do not know how to discuss such effects in either language.

UPDATE okay we are talking about masses including people working for the state ignoring a law ruling complicated and abstract to have an impact in the daily life.

Also, while everybody knows their communication can be shared with some ominous hacker groups (risk and historical fact) and intelligence services (fact), and the law possibly aims to prevent this, nobody cares?

Let's take a similar situation in terms of a law which does not really work but by that criminalize people even without any real benefit to anybody, as it seems at least.

  • In Russia, it is a crime for a Russian to enter the country's border if you do not have your Russian passport, because you have to. It's no exception and subject to prosecution, up to several years jail, with absolutely no exception (like a deceased member of family). In fact, many Russians ignore that, and enter the country with foreign passports, in most cases not for criminal purpose. Nobody really cares, but these people become this way a potential subject to criminal prosecution for their lifetime.
  • One much more broader example comes to my mind, applicable to the whole world actually. How high is the extent of people care to read all the EULAs and privacy statements they accept every other day? To read all contracts they sign and think over it? Is there a new type of illiteracy out there?

This is again a circle "state produces a law - nobody cares including the state - big question mark" but in the answers I would like to stick to the affairs around "Cloud Act vs GDPR vs population ignoring the laws which aim to protect them and the state from another country's digital - and maybe long term total - supremacy and power domination".

UPDATE1 maybe the root problem is that through evolution of complex structures in economics and rules in our society we approach/pass a complexity level we can handle? This would also explain the hope in AI tool support. But what is then the future?

UPDATE2 People ask me to compress the question into one sentence. Here what it looks like then:

Is there a way to model the fate of the state from given examples, maybe through extrapolating social dynamics of given examples, while it is producing laws, which masses tend to consider absurd and look ways to overcome as if finding an easier way to live, hence criminalizing themselves, yet there is luckily no mass punishment for absurduous law in this state?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It's much clearer to understand now, I'm still not sure how to confine it to fit, but the material you've written gives us more to work with. Some may suggest the Politics stack as an alternative venue for this. It seems to be an enormously complex issue, which I would like to understand. I'll go away and think about this, hopefully voices wiser than mine will speak their minds too. $\endgroup$ – A Rogue Ant. Aug 28 '19 at 0:03
  • $\begingroup$ thank you, @Chickensarenotcows! $\endgroup$ – J. Doe Aug 28 '19 at 9:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Hi @J.Doe I find the entire question very confusion to read. From what I can tell (based on a google translate of the article), Is this what you are asking "There is a Proper way to do something. People then bypass this proper way because there is an easier way." Please highlight your question, because I believe the large part of this question are just examples and don't add much to it $\endgroup$ – Shadowzee Aug 29 '19 at 5:21
  • $\begingroup$ @Shadowzee That's how I thought about it too, at least to some extent. What I'd like the OP to do is condense the question into a single sentence, then try working on giving it context. $\endgroup$ – A Rogue Ant. Aug 31 '19 at 3:37
  • $\begingroup$ @J.Doe Could you read the last couple of comments and respond? $\endgroup$ – A Rogue Ant. Aug 31 '19 at 3:38
  • $\begingroup$ Well the thing to bypass things in an easier way might be rather a small part of the answer but definitely not the question. $\endgroup$ – J. Doe Aug 31 '19 at 4:39
  • $\begingroup$ Well the thing to bypass things in an easier way might be rather a small part of the answer but definitely not the question. The condensed 1 sentence is really more or like "Is there a way to model the fate of the state, maybe through extrapolating social dynamics of given examples, where extrapolate social dynamics on this state, while it is producing laws, which masses tend to consider absurd and look ways to overcome as if finding an easier way to live, hence criminalizing themselves, yet there os luckily no mass punishment for absurduous law in this state?" $\endgroup$ – J. Doe Aug 31 '19 at 4:45
  • $\begingroup$ @J.Doe I'm not seeing a world building aspect in this question and the question itself it seems more related to politics or law. As far as I can tell, there seems to be 2/3 questions all very similar which you role into the theme of subverting the law. First, is people bypassing the law for easier alternatives. The Second is people breaking the law, but authorities ignore it. The third is about the legality of EULAs and terms of use. Can you confirm if the summary I gave is correct? $\endgroup$ – Shadowzee Sep 1 '19 at 23:42
  • $\begingroup$ @Shadowzee hi - the world building aspect is: " imagine a copy of our world" What you refer to, are all aspects/examples of the question, but not the question itself. So unfortunately the answer is that your summary seems to be wrong. Apologies. $\endgroup$ – J. Doe Sep 2 '19 at 16:29
  • $\begingroup$ I'm also a bit baffled when reading this question. You're looking for words used in real-world academic literature about parallel worlds? Or suggestions for Orwellian terminology that would work to describe this interaction between technology and society? One thing that might help clarify the question is trying to ask it in a single sentence that stands alone (something you could start a conversation with) and then separating out all the examples at the bottom. $\endgroup$ – Dubukay Sep 3 '19 at 1:08
  • $\begingroup$ @Dubukay The condensed 1 sentence is really more or like "Is there a way to model the fate of the state from given examples, maybe through extrapolating social dynamics of given examples, while it is producing laws, which masses tend to consider absurd and look ways to overcome as if finding an easier way to live, hence criminalizing themselves, yet there is luckily no mass punishment for absurduous law in this state?" $\endgroup$ – J. Doe Sep 3 '19 at 13:01
  • $\begingroup$ @J.Doe Okay wow, I totally missed that from the question. Would an even more condensed version be "How stable can a government be that produces absurd laws that criminalize the majority of the population if it doesn't enforce them?" I'm trying to rephrase your statement here to make sure we're on the same page here. $\endgroup$ – Dubukay Sep 4 '19 at 16:47
  • $\begingroup$ @Dubukay part of that but you've missed out that laws seem to be too absurdous to follow to the population. $\endgroup$ – J. Doe Sep 4 '19 at 17:15
  • $\begingroup$ @J.Doe I see. So this is a dictatorial/authoritarian government that isn't at all run by the people? But they also aren't planning to replace it. $\endgroup$ – Dubukay Sep 4 '19 at 17:33
  • $\begingroup$ @J. Doe, are you still working on this question? To keep the Sandbox clean, the protocol is to delete any drafts that haven't seen any edits in a month and have had a notice like this one for a week or more. If you're still working on it, please edit the question to let us know how we can better help you! $\endgroup$ – overlord Oct 9 '19 at 15:18

how can biological transmutation be conceptualized?

Transmutation is the process by which a substance is changed from one form into another. A mage known as Bellatrix Umbridge as discovered a way to use these methods as a way to reincarnate herself in the case of death.

The ritual takes place in three parts, and requires three separate spells. First, a living victim is restrained and put into a magically induced coma. Then, another spell transcribes runes into the victim, which mimic the runes inscribed into Bellatrix herself. Finally, the victim is turned into a large crystal that is put into stasis until activated. When Bellatrix dies, her soul is immediately transported to the crystal, where it reforms into a new body. At its completion, she emerges as a younger version of herself.

The problem here is the requirement requires a living victim in order to work. Mutating someone organically, such as turning a prince into a frog, or farmer into a pig, makes sense because you are simply changing someone into a another biological form or state. However, the transmutation spell transforms an individual into an inanimate, non-living artifact during the process, which would essentially kill them.

How can I create this form of magic that fulfills the parameters of this spell?

  • $\begingroup$ "Bellatrix Umbridge as discovered" -> has. Can you give a bit more background of what the magic is capable of? You're saying that turning a prince into a frog makes sense, even if there is a large discrepancy between the forms and the weight. However, if that's possible with your magic, then what can one do with, say, a victim in magic sleep - can they also survive indefinitely or for a very long time (e.g., sleeping beauty's 100 year nap)? Is it using (roughly) fairytale logic and what are the general limits? $\endgroup$ – VLAZ Sep 24 '19 at 14:51
  • $\begingroup$ @Incognito, are you still working on this question? To keep the Sandbox clean, the protocol is to delete any drafts that haven't seen any edits in a month and have had a notice like this one for a week or more. If you're still working on it, please edit the question to let us know how we can better help you! $\endgroup$ – overlord Oct 22 '19 at 17:30

How quickly can a homunculus grow without killing its host?

Demons need to possess human bodies in order to exist on the mortal plane. However, a human body is fragile, and unable to contain the demonic essence for long. This leads to these bodies breaking down after a short period of time, killing the host and sending the demon back to the nether-realm. What is needed to avoid this is a specially prepared body that is built to hold a demonic essence. These are called homunculi, artificial organisms built in the shape and appearance of a human, but designed specifically to contain a demon permanently.

Homunculi are created through a process called preformationism. Within each of our sex cells contains an animanalcule, or preformed human. Development in the womb is therefore the process of enlarging the human until it is large enough to be born. Homunculi are born to dark witches through this alchemical process in the same way as regular humans. These beings are created through the use of dark rituals and magical potions, and made to gestate inside a living human. Homunculi take the form of a large lump of flesh, similar to a large tumor or a group of cancer-like cells, that would grow to the same size as a 9 month fetus. After it is born, the unformed substance is placed in powder of ground sun stone, sulfur, magnet, and green tutia, which will cause the amorphous blob to grow a human skin.

This abnormal being lacks a soul from God due to the unnatural creation of its birth. This makes it the perfect vessel for a demon, who can bond with this empty vessel permanently. Unfortunately, it takes a much shorter time to incubate, which is a total of forty days. Of course, this is very dangerous for the mother, who would experience all the symptoms of a real pregnancy at a rapid rate of growth. The dark witch obviously would want to survive the process. What is needed is a specialized potion that would need to be taken periodically throughout the process. What must this potion do in order to provide for a safe delivery?

  • $\begingroup$ So, basically, all your homunculi come from female unfertilized eggs? Is there a reason why waiting for the homunculus-tumor to grow to baby size? Why not extract it already when it is only fist-sized after around 30 days? Is the homunculus-tumor recognized by the witch's body as friendly, or is there an immune system response? Does it otherwise gestate like a normal baby (= in uterus, with placenta as blood filter), or does it grow somewhere else in a different fashion? $\endgroup$ – subrunner Oct 17 '19 at 12:09

How Do You Catch an Alien That Can Compartmentalize?

My story has an alien species. These aliens:

  • Look identical to human beings
  • Cannot be discovered by scans of any kind
  • Act like humans

However, they have a very special ability: They have the ability to compartmentalize certain memories, knowledge, and thoughts for a set period of time. This blocks their own access to this information while the "timer" is running. It can be thought of as kind of a specialized, timed amnesia.

The aliens can set any length timer they desire. It could be as short as 5 seconds, as long as 50 years, or any other amount. However, they cannot gain this information during that time period, no matter what.

This is an Earth-like world with modern-day technology.

Scenario: An alien gets taken in by the government for questioning in regard to a recent terrorist attack. The government does not know this person is an alien. But then the alien compartmentalizes all information they know in regard to the attack, and there is nothing that can reveal them as being related to the incident. In fact, they can even remove their knowledge of being an alien. They essentially become completely, but temporarily innocent.

Assume that you are someone (anyone) that knows the aliens exist and what their powers are, but that you want to continue to keep it secret from the world. Their existence is not common knowledge.

So if you know that these aliens exist and can be hiding in plain sight:

How do you discover who is an alien, without violating human rights?

For this question, answers should not involve:

  • DNA testing
  • Torture or captivity
  • Passing laws that affect or make exceptions to human rights

Because these methods violate human rights. And if you're using it to find out whether someone is an alien, then you obviously don't know for a fact they are an alien.

Similarly, for this question, assume that you cannot pass laws allowing indefinite incarceration on suspicion alone. This prevents us from keeping someone long enough for a potential alien's timer to expire.

  • $\begingroup$ Does the government know about these aliens in general and their capabilities (you only mention yourself)? And is there like an alien diplomat they can visit? You also will need to address the very obvious issue of DNA testing in the question. $\endgroup$ – Shadowzee Oct 11 '19 at 6:17
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    $\begingroup$ DNA testing is pretty routine for law enforcement purposes, all around the world. I'd also point out that ignorance ain't innocence... you can protest as much as you like, but if there's enough evidence pointing at you, you're going down. Is there something I'm missing here? $\endgroup$ – Starfish Prime Oct 12 '19 at 13:57
  • $\begingroup$ This question seems too restrictive. The aliens can perfectly protect themselves from divulging information and no amount of coercion or even physical tests would be able to reveal it. At best, one can have outside evidence of the alien (unknown that it's an alien) doing something. So, it seems like the only way to know the truth is to know the truth. It's circular, as you cannot rely on a confession or any other test. $\endgroup$ – VLAZ Oct 14 '19 at 11:52
  • $\begingroup$ Is this question okay for posting? It is okay to me if people decide that figuring out who's an alien is impossible. $\endgroup$ – overlord Oct 17 '19 at 18:13
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    $\begingroup$ Every society has a different definition of human rights, your constraints are very opinion based. Even if you did choose to set a standard, such as the United Nations Universal Declaration, determining if a right was violated is not black-and-white. It’s decided in a court. History has never solved the problem of finding aliens (Japanese Americans detained in WWII) while respecting everyone’s rights. $\endgroup$ – Vogon Poet Oct 28 '19 at 15:04
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    $\begingroup$ Consider removing the rights violation problem altogether, find something that works, then as a second question make the process either ethical or acceptable given the circumstances. If your society is being invaded, it will be under martial law already so individual rights sort of go out the window for the greater good. $\endgroup$ – Vogon Poet Oct 28 '19 at 15:07

how can I combat the laziness of millennials in society?

In this world, a God known as Dea has warned the world's population of the impending rapture very early in earth's history. It has been well known from her to the people that the rapture would occur on an 100, 000 years from now on an exact date. During that time period, certain signs and events occur with no doubt that they come from God to slowly lead up to the final days as a reminder, and have been well documented. Now, we are within the last 1000 years of this world's cycle, in which humans both living and dead will be absorbed by God and the world will be set. The final generations of this period will live to witness the last millennia of this cycle, and hence are known as "the millennials".

Humans have an average lifespan of about 200 years. Most people go through life wanting to leave some kind of impact, in order for them to be remembered. Some want to leave an important legacy of achievement, so their names and accomplishments won't be forgotten. Others want to make a better future for their children so that they can enjoy a better life than they did. Whatever the reason, it serves as a motivator for us to leave something behind to say that we were here.

However, knowing exactly when the world will end and the moment of your death changes things. The millennial generation understand that their legacy will be no -existent after the world resets. The next version of humanity will have no knowledge of them, making whatever their achievements were pointless. Their memory and history of their world will become irrelevant, as if they never existed.This will become more pronounced the closer you get to the final date. Everyday will be a party, filled with orgies, drugs, and drunken debauchery to celebrate the end of the world. (We are all going to die anyway, why not go out with a bang? It is better to burn out than fade away after all). Or fatalistic, anti-social behavior that leads to chaos and anarchy.

The goal is to keep society running as smoothly as possible, without any disruptions, either by nihilistic attitudes or lecherous activities. People should go on as normal as possible until the apocalypse, where they would be consumed and absorbed by God to become one with the human consciousness.

How can I accomplish this with the final generation?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I don't think using the word Millenials is correct for this correction. Focusing on the Final Generation before everyone dies would be more appropriate for your question. Also, does everyone believe in this Gods Warning? or is it something like those Cults who believe the end is coming and then the world just keeps on going belief. $\endgroup$ – Shadowzee Oct 8 '19 at 22:26
  • $\begingroup$ Not everybody is familiar with the minutia of American neo-protestant eschatology; you may want to either explain what "rapture" means in this question, or else choose another phrase (end of the world?). (Hint: the most common meaning in contemporary English seems to be "transport of mind, mental exaltation or absorption, ecstasy; esp. ecstatic delight or joy" in the words of the OED.) (I remember when I first read a passage where the word had the specific American neo-protestant eschatologic meaning and it took me quite some time to realize what it was all about.) $\endgroup$ – AlexP Oct 10 '19 at 13:11
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    $\begingroup$ Obvious dumb answer: why keep society running? to what end? I mean, without some sort of carrot, all you've got is stick, but maybe that's what you're after. $\endgroup$ – Starfish Prime Oct 12 '19 at 14:04
  • $\begingroup$ Honestly, unless the fact that the world will end is kept secret, I can't think of any good reason why these "millenials" would want to bother keeping society running. $\endgroup$ – Globin347 Oct 30 '19 at 19:25

You can clone anything at all - but only for 500 milliseconds, and you change the world! What did you do?


I have a retro-causality device similar to Douglas E. Richards' used in Split Second but based on more hard science, less magic.

You have a box as big as a refrigerator. It's a "Telecloner" which teleports something by sending it back in time, making a temporary clone from the "destination" time in the past, until the "origin" time in the future. See the diagram:



  1. Mouse A exists.

  2. T2 = 0.5 seconds before the mouse A is teleported. The mouse A appears in the teleported location

  3. T1 = Mouse A vanishes from the teleportation area (It is not "destroyed" like a Star Trek transporter - it traveled back in time)

  4. Mouse A exists in the teleported location alone.

Logistics dictate that up to 3 times per day, anything up to the size of a microwave oven can be teleported between 5 and 50 feet away by sending it back in time 0.5 seconds. The machine can't work when moving, but it is installed anywhere you want (a bank, office building, garage, back of a truck, port-O-potty, etc. and can teleport anything inside a safe, a drawer, room, garage, etc. as long as it is not moving when started.)

When the thing goes back in time, it exists twice: The original is waiting to teleport; and the teleported object is already at the destination (it went back). When the device activates 0.5 seconds after the object exists at the teleport destination, the original ceases to exist.

Here is a list of things you've Telecloned:

enter image description here

What is the most profitable or beneficial thing a person could do with this technology?

Intro: Through M-Theory calculations I have conceived of a retro-causality device which can prevent a small focussed region of space from moving forward in time and space, very briefly. The operation is included below if you need it, but you should only need to read the bold bit below then dig deeper if you have questions. What happens to the test object?

Because it exists before it leaves it is essentially a clone for that brief time (if you push a button to send yourself back 2 minutes, you exist two minutes before you push the button so there are two of you until you push the button). (My device can NOT do 2 minutes BTW)

It teleports objects in a very specific direction depending on what time and date it is. Why? The object does not move, but the earth does, so it appears wherever that point in space was a split second ago. This is universe-centric anchoring.

How it works / Constraints
- The Geek Section:

The string theory formulas are not important for this question. The device focuses on a small region and cancels out the vibrations of the cosmic strings, simply superimposing adjacent strings out of phase creating a "flat" space. What this does is "anchor" that space to the Higgs Field (which is scalar and does not move in relative reference frames) for a fraction of a second.

The end result is that the region of space (and whatever is in it) stops flowing forward. It is as if the region is a boat on a river. When the vibration of the cosmic strings is cancelled out (by overlapping other strings 180-degrees out of phase), the boat gets "anchored" and stops moving. The river (time) however keeps moving forward around it. Logistically, the longer you hold the boat at anchor, the more strain is on the anchor line and the anchor lets go very quickly. At that point the boat begins moving with the water again. However, it is now BEHIND the current time. The effect is that the displaced space (and whatever is in it) comes into existence in the past - before it leaves. In the present

  • This device can only push an object back a fraction of a second; possibly 1 second at best. More reasonably only a couple milliseconds depending on the power source. You won't be having conversations with yourself or passing lottery numbers back.

  • The object is anchored in both space AND time - but the Earth moves. That means, because the Earth is spinning and traveling at several thousand miles per hour, the anchored space rejoins the time stream very far away from where it started (at the exact point in space which was there earlier).

  • The object briefly exists twice: It "enters existence" in the past, before you actually anchor it. Then, when the time overlaps the "original" finally disappears.


This seems like a list question and I’m trying to focus it to a meaningful application. I have a very detailed invention which has quirky operation, but that’s just the way the physics works. It’s messy, cumbersome, and unpredictable. Unlike most time travel which magically keeps you in the same place in a spinning planet, or just moves time around you, this tries to realistically introduce a device that moves something to the very-near past and the consequences are part of the story.

Time machine based power supply or weapon is all I have for ideas. But assume this technology was mainstream and your neighbor had one. How would it improve their daily grind? Or in contrast What are the dangers involved? How could it be abused or broken to create a crisis in the home? I’m looking for the “shocking consequence” of this technology on modern middle-class life.

  • $\begingroup$ I briefly imagined a use as a burglary device. Imagine you place your valuables in a safe deposit box however the box was in the target zone of the telecloner; their goods can be removed (and theoretically replaced) without ever touching the lock. But I didn't want to pollute the well, that's a bit more complex than I wanted. I was imagining a shade-tree tinkerer has had a stroke of genius. $\endgroup$ – Vogon Poet Oct 30 '19 at 19:43
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    $\begingroup$ But anyway, thanks for the comment. Is there any reason I shouldn't post it? $\endgroup$ – Vogon Poet Oct 30 '19 at 19:44
  • $\begingroup$ I can't think of any obvious reason not to post, but perhaps you should wait for a few more people to accept. $\endgroup$ – Globin347 Oct 30 '19 at 19:55
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry about my earlier comment- It got cut off partway through. I was going to suggest a way to make a safe without a door, but it's questionable how useful that actually is. $\endgroup$ – Globin347 Oct 30 '19 at 19:56
  • $\begingroup$ Oh I am awash with useless applications! Hence the question :) $\endgroup$ – Vogon Poet Oct 30 '19 at 20:38
  • $\begingroup$ (a) The looping concept of time travel has been done before, perhaps most famously (or infamously) in the movie Primer. (b) Asking the best/worst of anything is always grounds to close a question. It's 100% subjective (no matter how you look at it). Please remember that SE's model (in its full glory) is one-specific-objective-question/one-best-answer. I usually leave out the word "objective" as it's not normally the problem. Yours is not an objective question. (*continued*) $\endgroup$ – JBH Aug 31 '20 at 16:02
  • $\begingroup$ Here's why: what you're basically doing is saying, "I've invented this cool idea, now I need to build a story around it, where do you think I should go next?" That's VTC:too-story-based because "best" is always conditioned on the needs of your story. You're trying to put the cart before the horse by asking us to throw spaghetti at a wall for you. Please avoid that. You're responsible for your story. You should come up with the goal you want to achieve, (simplistically, "how could I use this tech to save my wife?") and we'll help you use the rules of your world to achieve it. $\endgroup$ – JBH Aug 31 '20 at 16:08
  • $\begingroup$ @JBH The use of the word "best" or "most" are not necessary in the question, however based on this graduated question trying to make precogs valuable, I am asking "how could I make this tech profitable" given the rules of the stated world. Yes, I am brainstorming, but "most profitable/valuable" are not needed. There are no bad ideas, it's all fodder to create a conflict. Would it be better to ask "What would change in a world like this?" $\endgroup$ – Vogon Poet Aug 31 '20 at 17:42
  • $\begingroup$ I'm just warning you that opinion-based terms and story-based problems are frequently closed. Keep in mind, one-specific-question/***one-best-answer***. We all understand there are no bad ideas, but if you're not asking an objective question for the purpose of finding a best answer, you have a high risk of closure. Open-ended questions are simply not suited to SE's model. Remember that SE is not a discussion forum. $\endgroup$ – JBH Aug 31 '20 at 17:52
  • $\begingroup$ Would you say the same advice applies to the "how can I make precognition valuable" question? Did they get lucky, or am I doing something different? I could not see a clear difference. $\endgroup$ – Vogon Poet Aug 31 '20 at 18:04
  • $\begingroup$ And thank you for your valuable feedback, BYW $\endgroup$ – Vogon Poet Aug 31 '20 at 18:21

Using the Universe Sandbox 2 simulator I created two habitable moons orbiting a class two gas giant, which orbits an sun like star. One of the moons has an albedo of .77. I looked up other celestial bodies that have a similar albedo and Venus was one of them. When I did more research on why Venus’s albedo was so high it was mentioned that the atmospheric cloud composition was responsible. It’s mostly carbon dioxide but it says clouds are also made up of sulfuric acid. That sounds like a toxic combination, which wouldn’t be good for human habitability.

I’d like to have a lot of clouds to help reflect away a lot of the reflected solar radiation coming off of the gas giant. What should the clouds be made of in order to get the albedo of .77 correct.

The gas giant has a higher albedo of .81 because there is a lot of water vapor in its atmosphere. I was thinking the moon could have a lot of water vapor in the atmosphere, but didn’t know if it was possible to do that. If it really is that simple how would I get a lot of water vapor into the atmosphere of the moon to account for the high albedo? I know covering the moon with ice would increase it’s albedo, but I’d prefer not to do that. Also, if water vapor in the atmosphere works out would that lead to constant rain on the moon?

I have more information on the gas giant and moon if it’s needed, I’m not sure what would be relevant but if any specs are needed please let me know. Thanks.


I want to create a shell world build around a pretty heavy object. In this object a god is sealed away who is using almost all his power to prevent being crushed.

I was thinking about using a neutron star as this core object. However, for story purposes I need to be able to free him. So my question is, can we starlift a neutron star? If no, what other objects can I use?


Scale of damage caused by a night of forced sleep?

One of the main plot elements of my story is a series of trials an unknown entity imposes on humanity, by periodically putting week-long curses on every human on Earth over the age of 13. There are other fantastical elements at work here, but for the purposes of the following question, they're irrelevant.

Now, for a while I've been struggling to come up with a good first "curse" to hit humanity with, one that would be dangerous in its own way, but wouldn't be so disruptive to modern society that it would threaten societal collapse from the week of lost productivity and infrastructure neglect. That way they have time to make contingency plans for when the entire adult population is eventually fully incapacitated for a week.

However, I've recently been entertaining the idea that perhaps I only need the part of the world my characters live in to dodge a bullet with the first one, and that causing massive chaos elsewhere in the world might be good for the story. But first I need to get a scale for how catastrophic this particular idea I have would be for the rest of the world.

Suppose the first curse, which begins at 12:00 EST, renders every adult on Earth unconscious as long as it isn't daytime where they are. They don't have to be directly exposed to the sun to stay conscious, but the second the sun goes down, they instantly black out and won't wake up until the next sunrise.

I imagine the places where it's daytime when this happens will have enough time to make reasonable preparations once they put two and two together from the footage online and on TV of places where it's already night and places where the sun is just rising, but in those places where it's already nighttime and it just instantly hits anyone who's still awake, my gut tells me this would cause a lot of damage. For just one example, crashing airplanes would cause massive fires that nobody over the age of 13 can put out or even escape, which would each kill hundreds of people by the time anyone's able to do anything about it. But I really feel like I can't even begin to grasp the consequences this would have on a country where this happens.

If, six hours before sunrise, everyone over the age of 13 were rendered incapable of being conscious until the run rises, what damage would this do to a modern developed nation in those initial six hours?

  • $\begingroup$ I think this is really broad. You mention airplanes but just think about land traffic - that will be a mess with a lot of casualties. And that's literally just traffic - we also have other whole sectors like services, factories, and others that can lead to fatalities and even worse - incidents like fires. Which then brings us to emergency services - the first fire that starts after sundown (and there can be a lot) will never be contained by the fire department. Nobody will also be treated in hospitals - both casualties of this event and any existing patients. It's A LOT OF STUFF. $\endgroup$ – VLAZ Dec 15 '19 at 13:35
  • $\begingroup$ @VLAZ Yeah, I was worried it was too broad. The information I'm trying to gather from this is the scale of the crisis the country would be dealing with by morning, and whether it would be something they could recover from, something that would reduce them to a third world nation overnight, or something that would essentially be an apocalypse that would leave most of the country dead. How should I rephrase the question to be able to get that information? $\endgroup$ – Jason Clyde Dec 15 '19 at 15:05
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    $\begingroup$ Feels like you should probably concentrate on how to prevent a catastrophe - what elements and factors can be put in to make sure whatever country that is remains intact after the night. Or perhaps, how to cause a catastrophe. You should specify the parameters you're after - having a nuclear power plant be out of supervision for an entire night might lead to an enormous disaster for not only this country by neighbouring ones, too. For comparison, some car crashes and missed production for one night are more survivable. So, focus on the end goal. Too many factors to guess the actual result. $\endgroup$ – VLAZ Dec 15 '19 at 15:20

How can you determine whether a person has been demonically possessed after the fact?

I am Phoenix Wright, an attorney who is considered the best in the world. My current case involves a football player accused of two counts of first degree murder. He had supposedly killed his wife and her lover after discovering them together when returning home. After leading the police on a high speed car chase, he surrendered himself to the authorities.

My client claims to have been possessed by a demon at the time of the murders, and had been controlled by the malevolent spirit for some time before them. After the murders, the spirit left his body, dumping him with the responsibility while cackling that nobody would believe his story. As he was not in control of his actions, we plan to present this as evidence to the courts.

The existence of demons have been known to the public for some time, as they have occasionally crossed the barrier separating our world from theirs. They manifest in physical forms to wreck havoc on society, only burning into ash after they have sustained significant damage. They are also known to possess living organisms. However, humans that have been killed while being possessed also burn to ash, leaving behind only a blackened stain on the ground. No documented cases exist in which a human survived possession, as they are usually killed in the pursuant conflict with authorities.

An ancient religious text speaks of a carpenter-turned spiritual leader who once exorcised a demon called "legion" from the body of a young man. Various other texts speak of exorcisms by holy men to free people from possession. However, in my research both historical and folkloric, I have found no information on how to determine if someone was possessed by a demon after the fact. This would make proving my client innocent rather difficult.

Is there any way to determine whether or not a person has been possessed after the evil spirit leaves them?


How can mitochondria DNA overtake the nucleus?

The Scarlet King is an eldritch god formed as the manifestation of the tension between the modern world and the pre-modern world and the rage it creates. Originally it existing as the concept of there being something greater than man, such as gods or the supernatural, or magic. As modernity approached and people began to understand their world through science and technology, the tension between both worlds raged and led to it's creation.

As magic has disappeared from the world, the Scarlett king must enter our plane through normal means. This god was being into the mortal world through one of the king's brides as completely human. However, his mitochondria DNA came from this demon. Mitochondria DNA is separate from the DNA of the nucleus, which comes from it's human parents and takes up most of the cell. It is donated by the mother and provides energy to the cell, although has genes separate from it.

What I need is a scientific explanation for the mitochondria to take control of the cells in the body. This will slowly transform the child into the demon it was meant to be. How can I make this happen?

  • $\begingroup$ Is there some reason it can't do what viruses do, i.e. trick the cells ribosomes into working for the virus instead of the nucleus? $\endgroup$ – Ryan_L Apr 2 '20 at 6:16
  • $\begingroup$ Try reading Blood Music sometime. I suggest the novel version; the short story, while good, doesn't provide as much relevant information. $\endgroup$ – The Daleks Jul 27 '20 at 13:04

Why use horses over jeeps?

The setting is post-Space Age. Humanity has conquered the stars, and found a wide variety of uncharted, habitable planets. Making landfall on an uncharted planet is forbidden under most circumstances. There are two guiding principles behind the ban: "Safety need be guaranteed. A pristine environment shall remain so."

Of course, that doesn't mean nobody lands there. There are three main reasons why people go planetside, whether authorised or not:

  1. An extensive survey is necessary for a planet to become "charted", and part of that survey requires actually getting a human on the ground.

  2. Civilians and criminal organisations may also decide to land and build a small colony or base of operations illegally.

  3. Specific military operations, which include (but is not limited to) arrest or kill orders, raids on illegal bases, or building classified facilities and other classified activities.

Jeeps and rovers are used to carry personnel and materiel around when needed. These use a variation on the electrical engine, which is to say they run clean. Some people however use horses, camels, llamas, or other ride-able animals.

The question is: why though? What use case would make a horse more desirable and useful than a jeep?

  • $\begingroup$ Questions seeking justification are usually closed as opinion-based. Consider this: you have a technology dichotomy, you can travel interstellar space... but you want to use horses. An argument could be made about why you're using jeeps. No gravitics? No hovercraft? No airplanes? It's rare to use a horse in a 1st-world society today other than for entertainment/culture. You might get better insight by expressing this Q as a reality-check, meaning you propose a situation (I'm going to use horses because...) and let people comment on the "reality" of the proposition. $\endgroup$ – JBH Jun 27 '20 at 13:45

In a medieval society with gigantic insects and arachnid which ones could be useful.

so i'm thinking of a medieval society in a world with giant bugs. let's say the honeybee was about the size of a house mouse for reference. The reason would be due too increased oxygen from huge plants like in the past so most of the world is like a dense forest (or at least the world that is currently forrest). would any insects benefit humans and which insects would become worse or more deadly. would aphids be used in the same way as ants like cattle. would any insects be used for transportation or cargo shipment. what about military purposes for gigantic insects.


What obstacles would a single continental landmass create for a conquering army?

The baratheon empire is the largest kingdom in the world today, encompassing most of Europe. It's king, Stannis the Mannis baratheon, has the dream of uniting all the world's people under his righteous banner. With the most dominant and powerful empire in the current world, he can systematically challenge other rulers through conquest. Fortunately he has an added benefit: The world's nation's are connected to each other on a single continent.

In the real world, their are supposedly seven great landmasses( Africa, north and south America, Australia, Europe, Asia, and Antarctica). These areas are separated by large bodies of water, preventing these cultures from interacting with each other often. Long voyages must travel for months over oceans to reach new lands to promote trade or conquest. This makes it difficult to maintain an empire across vast distances due to the slowness of communication.

In the world of the baratheon kingdom however, earth never separated into multiple continents and remained the single landmass known as Pangea. This removes the burden of sea travel since an army can just walk from place to place. A powerful force can conquer s territory and lay down roots, then simply move on to a different region. Slowly with determination, they can spread out more quickly without the burden of seas and oceans. This would make world conquest simpler.

How can a single continent make world conquest for an empire more difficult?

  • $\begingroup$ The classical world is one landmass: Africa, Asia and Europe are connected. In particular, Europe is just a very large peninsula of Asia, about the size of the Arabian, Indian and Indo-Chinese peninsulas put together. There is definitely no "large body of water" between Europe and Asia. (There is a long mountain chain on the boundary, but it's neither particularly tall nor particulary fierce.) You can go from Paris to Beijing on foot, if you have the time and the inclination. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Sep 6 '20 at 14:35

How would Isaac Newton defend Charles Darwin?

In my world, when a person dies and goes to Heaven, God may encrown him/her to an angel.

Isaac Newton was encrowned to Angel of Force and Embodiment of Classical Mechanics. Other angels didn't like that, for his works during his life were tremendous. Many residents in Heaven used to believe Heaven was on the sky, or stars had "complete" aspects. Newton's works destroyed all such beliefs. As a consequence, he had few friends/companions/peers or whatever. Fortunately, as time passed and more and more spirits entered Heaven, more and more spirits followed him.

But another event struck Heaven. Charles Darwin was encrowned to Angel of Broods and Embodiment of Ecology! Many residents in Heaven feared his works, for they thought his works might imply that "Humans are as worthy as animals," or vice versa. Darwin himself regarded such concerns as mere misconceptions, for they are confusions about fact judgements and value judgements. Still, he had even fewer friends than Newton.

Newton reminded himself from Darwin, and decided to defend him. Darwin was happy for this. Newton would convince residents of Heaven that Darwin's works are not to be feared, by works of Newton himself. How?

  • $\begingroup$ When you say "cover for him," you mean act in his support? When I first read your question title, I was wondering if Darwin was prone to singing and why Newton would want to cover him? That word needs to be replaced with a clear definition of what you are expecting Newton to do. However, as written this is a fishing-for-ideas question that's very vague. We know nothing about the heaven of your world or what actions Newton could take. I can't speak for others, but I have no experience debating with angels. What specific problem are you trying to solve? $\endgroup$ – JBH Aug 30 '20 at 17:49
  • $\begingroup$ @JBH It's semantically same as, "If Isaac Newton was still alive when Charles Darwin published his work, how would Newton defend Darwin using Newton's works?" $\endgroup$ – Dannyu NDos Aug 31 '20 at 10:08
  • $\begingroup$ Cool. As a recommendation, avoid colloquialisms. We have users all over the planet, many of whom speak English as a second language. It's better to avoid the potential confusion. As for the question proper, it might be too broad and/or ambiguous - but I could be wrong. But I'd be as specific as possible. Is there one, specific "work" of Darwin (the more specific, the better) we can focus on? Defending all of Darwin's works, encompassing dozens of books would take dozens of books. That's too much. (*continued*) $\endgroup$ – JBH Aug 31 '20 at 15:48
  • $\begingroup$ To avoid the potential of the question being closed, focus on one, single concept or one specific aspect of Darwin's ideology and ask now Newton would defend that. If you felt you were unable to extrapolate an entire story from that example, you could ask for a second (but, to be honest, it's more likely that the single example would be enough to move you along). $\endgroup$ – JBH Aug 31 '20 at 15:52

Is it possible to make money or otherwise gain advantage from random prescient dreams?

Albert has a pretty weird condition: he sometimes encounters situations he had a dream about, sometimes months ago. The situations are generally mundane, because he is a normal human. They're about him watching TV with his family, playing games alone, sometimes sitting in class. Every time he encounters a situation like that, his first thought is "wait, I dreamt about this before".

Now, these dreams are seemingly completely random in all ways: he can't induce prescient dreams, he can't choose what to presciently dream about, the timespan between a dream and the event happening is random as well, and the dream can happen at any time during his sleep when he is able to dream. It might be possible for Albert to influence any of these, but he hasn't found any way yet.

They're also completely like normal dreams: he can't read anything inside the dream, he can't remember them unless he wakes up during the dream itself (apart from when he thinks "wait, I dreamt this") and he can't influence the future by changing his dream. As with normal dreams, waking up during a dream makes most of the dream fade into obscurity, unless something in the dream was particularly memorable. He also cannot tell a prescient dream from a normal dream until the situation of the dream happened.

Thus far, Albert has only made limited use of this effect: if he notices in the real world that a dream event is taking place, he is suddenly significantly more alert of his situation and pays attention, even if he can't remember exactly what happened in the dream. He believes that during his school days, he avoided a situation getting out of hand multiple times.

Like with anything in any world, he wants to start exploiting this condition and gain a benefit from it. Assuming he can't figure out a way to control the dreams himself, how could he gain any benefit from this situation beyond the general "I'm alert because of Deja Vu"?

(Any similarities between Albert and living people, including the author of the question, is purely incidental)

  • $\begingroup$ If you search the site, you'll find that we've hosted "I can see into the future, how do I make money?" questions before. They're almost always closed as opinion-based or story-based because whether or not your prescient can make money depends too much on what kind of knowledge you, the OP, allow them to see. Can they see the outcome of horse races? slot machines? card games - gambling. The stock market? commodities market? etc? - investments. Can they see a senator with his mistress? black mail. But that's always up to you and what opportunities exist are always an opinion. $\endgroup$ – JBH Oct 21 '20 at 16:50

Making a modern day 9mm gun-glaive?

First there are many pictures online on glaives and on fictional ones. But I'm not sure if it is allowed to copy them here, is it?

The idea is that I have this programmer, doomsday prepper living in the USA that is preparing for the apocalypse as he might have stumbled upon evidence that things are not going well.

This man lives in the USA so access to gun is not an issue. Financially speaking just a little shy of 20 million USD. He has extensive gun and gun smiting knowledge and knows a bit about engineering things in general, like fixing cars and so on. And just because it is fun he knows about making melee weapons. Nothing too fancy just basic stuff like spears and shields.

The proposed design as follows. Imagine a long metallic rod of about 1.5 meters. It ends with the glaive part which is like a single edged broad blade. The blade has a thick spine and measures about 0.9 meters.

Anyway the problems with a gun glaive is would it be too heavy to unbalance the weapon? I thought so then I remembered that halberds had 2 things on on each side. So I don't think this is a problem. Is it?

Second the magazine. Is very easy. I thought to basically put something like a reversed, barrel flush with the rod, sub machine gun on top and have a top magazine. Then I remembered the wonderful Calico Light Weapons System. It has a helical magazine and so I can have it not protruding of the weapon. Basically the barrel would be aligned with the rod and magazine would set behind it as the unique magazine can feed the gun without it being like a normal magazine. Just search the weapon name and you would get it. The FN P90 is another obvious example. And for a bonus it can have a 100 rounds magazine.

Problem is: How the heck would you fire it? OK. Extend the trigger to a lower place on the shaft? But here are my problems.

How would that work in the first place? Pressing a button?, rotating something?


Lastly would it be reliable?

This is not a precision gun. It is like fun project, surprise it will be needed. Sighting is not an issue because you can just mount a laser there. Also is ejection a problem? Can't I just tilt the whole thing a bit?

So. How many questions do I have here? What is missing exactly from my question?

Of course if I'm missing something else just mention here.


Creating an eternal and inconspicuous prison on a planet, without too much fiction on the science, is it possible?

In the past a war between an entity and a race of galaxy wide empire ended when the elders of that race sacrificed themselves to imprison that entity on a planet. The entity did not even consider that option because characterization.

Long story short they trapped the entity on a planet with this particular dilemma: If the 100X50 meters prison is breached or comprised in anyway the thing gets loose. The magical seals there keep the entity imprisoned.

There are no method of actually destroying the entity as he has magic. For an easier time imagine the sort of power that the Martian Manhunter has that makes him become like air. So all earthly and scientific methods of destroying anything will end in that entity becoming like thin air and escaping. Please I don't want to argue about the magic in my world, consider it a thing if you would.

At this point that galactic wide empire race was reduced to handful of people and keeping a millennia vigil as in the stories does not seem possible for 2 reasons

  1. They don't have the people. Maybe now they do but in the future other intelligent races would appear and what happens if an exploration ship lands with a hard headed captain who insists on fighting them and once the fighting is over they go around exploring and you know the drill.
  2. Leaving any signs of the existence of intelligent life on the planet would only lead to more attention and a lot of exploration. Much like on earth. Even if they draw a skull with 2 bones on the entrance a foolhardy explorer would brush it off and go in.

Solution? They make a prison on that patch of ground and hide it.

That's where you come in. I can easily say: They used Phlebotinum atop the prison which made it invisible to all forms of detection while equally resistant for all sort of natural and unnatural things. Don't you just love Phlebotinum!

But I'm looking for something more science based. As in simply taking what we know and expanding it or increasing it...etc to try to understand if it can be done or not. I'm looking for something scientific.

The only 2 criteria are that is must be

  1. Eternal or as eternal as possible. This should mean that things within that area need to be undisturbed by natural events or phenomenons.
  2. Really inconspicuous. Like underground or underwater.

Which leads to the whole thing about the problem of making something to last so long.

Could it be done without exceeding our current theories and speculative theories without getting into pure fiction?. If yes then how?. And if no what is the next best thing?

The closest thing I can think off is making something that gets stronger with time and elements. Like that more pressure you apply to that block of material the stronger it gets...etc.


Is it too long?

Is it unclear?

How many questions do I have?

What other problems or suggestion can you help with?


Ward against g-force – How would it work?

Isaac Newton is now Angel of Force and Embodiment of Classical Mechanics. As a consequence, one cannot harm him by mechanical means. For example, blades, blunt weapons, and firearms cannot damage him. But there is one thing he must be seriously warded against: G-force.

That's because of his magics. Without being warded against g-force, his magic could kill himself. They include:

  • Telekinesis. This applies force to an object remotely. This obeys his 3rd law. That is, the force will create an opposite force on him.

  • Manipulation of coefficient of restitution (abbr. COR). When he collides to an object, he can manipulate the COR. The more COR is, the stronger the sudden force on him is. The resulting heat can damage him, though.

  • Manipulation of coefficient of friction (abbr. COF). When he contacts an object, he can manipulate the COF. Assuming he was airborne and just contacted an object, the more COF is, the stronger the sudden force on him is. Again, the resulting heat can damage him.

As you might've just noticed, his magics obey the 0th and 1st law of thermodynamics, but may disobey the 2rd, 3rd, and 4th law of thermodynamics.

Of course, he could be warded against g-force by having another magic, but as a trend in Heaven, he wants to accomplish it by non-magical technology instead.

Also please consider the serious factor lurking behind: Relativity. As concepts of relativity were known in Heaven when he decided to replace his magics by technologies, it is a serious factor to consider.

He should not be warded against the followings, though:

  • Thermal hazards

  • Chemical hazards

  • Biological hazards

  • Optical hazards (a.k.a. Laser)

  • Radioactivity

Because his body still mostly resembles a human. He is actually an anthro wolf.


This is based off of Preserving Order In Post-Apocalypse Labyrinths (As shelters!), I'm trying to focus on and cover each point in more detail to gain additional insight here. In this case, it's Point 1.

Premise: After the discovery of eldritch horrors and the existence of magic (never mind the subsequent apocalypse), people went underground. Special shelters called Labyrinths channel the chaotic energy of the one eldritch horror the humans managed to slay into powerful magic that protects them from discovery and supplies the shelter’s energy needs. (Think Cthulhu equals clean energy =) ) However, the Labyrinth has some interesting effects, only one of which we'll cover here:

Point 1: Anyone living inside is biologically immortal; they don't die from old age, poison, or disease (including cancer) and regenerate all but the most extreme damage (think axolotl) but they can die from starvation, dehydration, and oxygen deprivation. Basically, people age until they are at their physical prime, and then their aging stops right there.

Additional Considerations:

There are fifteen Labyrinths, distributed all over the world, with two million per each Labyrinth. As part of a poorly planned movement to unite humanity as a group, the survivors were distributed between different Labyrinths, causing these Labyrinths to have a multicultural population. This may cause conflict; the survivors were distributed randomly, and the politicians (who want to keep power and rule over the survivors) and the wealthy (who invested money and want to claim power) will conflict with the poorer people (who will likely despise the expenses and corruption of the wealthy and elite and fight against their attempts to control them).

As for overpopulation, the first generation will turn to crystal right after the next generation reaches 25. (In this case, a generation is a group of people born and living contemporarily.) This sudden, strange, and quite possibly horrifying transformation will have a psychological and societal impact; how would people feasibly deal with/prepare for that?

Axolotl-like regeneration will make medical care a whole lot easier; they can regenerate their eyes, spinal cord, and even parts of their brain. Combined with the immunity the Labyrinth dwellers will have for poison and disease, hospitals should become largely irrelevant, since only a few things would need to be treated (largely malnutrition and dehydration, which would be rare inside the well-planned Labyrinth, and perhaps heatstroke and hypothermia). This would force medical professionals to seek other employment, so what impact would that have on them?

If more information is needed, please let me know. As always, I appreciate your input and feedback. Thanks in advance!

  • $\begingroup$ "...,with two million _[what?] per each labyrinth._". Guess it's people, but just want to be sure :p. Also, I don't quite understand :'( : People are immortal, but they transform into crystals, quite the same as dying. It's a comment you should see ^^. How the next generation is determined as "arrived"? Is it like one person reach 25, the one elder become a crystal, or is it when x% of people reach age 25, then all elder cristallize? If it's the latter, you should explain the conditions for someone to be considered as the new generation. $\endgroup$ – Tortliena Feb 20 at 15:06
  • $\begingroup$ Just saw the time of answer. Is this question still of actuality ^^'? $\endgroup$ – Tortliena Feb 20 at 15:08
  • $\begingroup$ @Tortliena: great advice, thank you, I'm still working on this question but progress isn't exactly quick in this question's case. $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Feb 21 at 3:57

Can an Earth-like world of shallow, global, seas be stable over geological time?

Shallow sea world - plausable geology? Would a shallow ocean planet be possible? both address shallow seas but don't touch on global oceans of reasonably uniform depth without dry land or more importantly the ability of planets to retain liquid water over geological time in the absence of tectonic activity that would otherwise create topography. So my question is can a planet with earthlike gravity and composition have a shallow global sea, in the range of 2-5m that is stable over geological time? Particular attention needs to be given to the mechanisms and parameters that need to be met in order to allow liquid water to persist on a planet that I expect to be geologically quiescent when our current understanding would seem to indicate that such a world would be stripped of atmosphere and hydrosphere without the magnetosphere of a geologically active world and the climate stabilising effects of geologically driven processes such as the inorganic carbon cycle.

Tags earth-like geology tectonics deep-time

  • $\begingroup$ I don't know enough about geology to talk about the factual content, yet I think I can talk about the form ^^. I know I have the attention of a child, but I must admit I had to read multiple times, especially the last part to have a grasp of what you are asking :'(. It's skyrocketing at a little more than 18 on the gunning fog index, which is also an hint you might want to cut some sentences into smaller ones? Also, got lost at the beginning 'cause you start with two links, but you don't tell that they are other questions on this site ^^". $\endgroup$ – Tortliena Feb 15 at 16:50

Implications of Adventurer's Aura

Okay, so this questions concerns my explanation for the recruitment mechanic in RPGs. Basically, all adventurers (as well as "heroes" and "villains") have an aura about them that gives someone a sense of who they are. An adventurer that is trustworthy, with a good heart, will give that impression to those around him. However, this also means a villain will have an ominous presence; people will feel that he/she means serious trouble.

This same aura elevates the bonds formed between comrades; people tend to sense and gravitate to kindred spirits, and an adventurer's aura enhances this effect, making companions and followers come to them naturally. An aura also interacts with that of others; thus the bonds forged by battle, adventures, or even familiarity ("Hey, Gustav the Blacksmith. I had a feeling you needed some help?") can become spiritual connections.

Finally, as if all that wasn't enough, an aura calls to those who seek adventure, a greater cause, or perhaps even a place to belong and/or companionship. Thus, an adventurer will not only attract followers, but gain them naturally. I believe this perfectly explains why people come out of the woodwork to support and even join the 'Chosen One' in so many stories and games, but I am a bit concerned as to what this means for society in general.

Surely people will start to recognize that people are drawn to join adventurers, heroes, and villains in lives of danger and that it is dangerous to associate with them, yes? "Oh no, Maria! Don't serve that man his food! He's an adventurer; get close and you'll end up pledging to follow him to the ends of the Earth and beyond!" So my question is What Implications Would the Aura Of Adventurers Have On Society?

Specifically, would people avoid adventurers and see them as akin to sirens (AKA "they lure you into danger"), be careful around them ("Don't talk to him, don't get too close, or you'll find yourself in leather armor fighting Orcs") or act based on their aura ("Okay, I feel that guy's trouble, so I'll be polite but distant and avoid him as much as possible, but that girl strikes me as good-hearted and helpful, if a bit hotheaded, so I'll ask her to help me").

Additional Information:

Please assume the standard medieval fantasy here; I've been told there is no standard medieval society, but I believe most people understand what medieval fantasy entails. I'm asking how people would respond to and account for an adventurer's aura in society; in other words, if people would avoid them like the plague, stay aloof around them, or just judge them by their auras. How people will react when auras come into play, in other words. The aura phenomenon is recognized subconsciously; the idea is "I feel he's a good person at heart" or "he gives me the creeps"

  • $\begingroup$ Okay, so I'm not sure exactly how the Sandbox works; any help will be deeply appreciated. $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Feb 15 at 20:05
  • $\begingroup$ Well, it's easy, comments are in comments, non-relevant anymore comments should be removed, and when you think you're done and published the question, edit the promoted questions answer to add your own, and delete your question here. $\endgroup$ – Tortliena Feb 16 at 13:18
  • $\begingroup$ Regarding your question, which seems to be the same as the one you posted and which was closed (usually it's the other way round, first sandbox, then posted on WB ^^), one point that ticked me automagically is asking about the whole society. You should know by the number of times people told you that, it's really broad and butter, and therefore prone to opinion-based and focused closures ^^. Think differently, simulate what would happen from your viewpoint, then check the places you're not really sure about. $\endgroup$ – Tortliena Feb 16 at 13:22
  • $\begingroup$ Giving you an example I made myself : Instead of asking what would it mean to have multi-sized species on the society, I told myself "Ok there are mouses and bear men in my world, how would their day-to-day life be?", then I faced the issue of furnitures. How the two can live together in harmony, with minimal furniture use efforts? This became my WB question. $\endgroup$ – Tortliena Feb 16 at 13:26
  • $\begingroup$ And based on the answers of this question, it balances out and helped me know whether it's a good idea to have multi-sized species as a whole, and widened the possible consequences of this (if mouses use this kind of furniture, then the architecture changes, and so on...) $\endgroup$ – Tortliena Feb 16 at 13:29
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you very much Tortliena! I will take your advice. $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Feb 16 at 17:53

How would future generations of different colonies across far flung space forget about one another?

This question might seem like another question asked before: "Would descendants of Earth people stranded on another planet eventually forget about Earth?"

...And there was some crossover, but I think my question might still be valid in that it covers a few differences. Let me explain:

In my scenario humans are genetically modified to live on several different worlds. In short their bodies are made to be able to survive and thrive on various planets environments. These modifications are internal and external, they're humanoid but have several different physical appearances that help them survive on their individual world. For example one strain might have gills, another lighter bones and wings, another immensely powerful musculature.

The question is this: What event(s) could happen that would make these colonies forget about one another so much so that if they met again many years later they might think they were aliens instead of just separate branches of humanity?

EDIT 4-22-21:

I thought of this and found a layman's definition on wiki:

Embryo space colonization is a theoretical interstellar space colonization concept that involves sending a robotic mission to a habitable terrestrial planet, dwarf planet, minor planet or natural satellite transporting frozen early-stage human embryos or the technological or biological means to create human embryos. The proposal circumvents the most severe technological problems of other mainstream interstellar colonization concepts. In contrast to the sleeper ship proposal, it does not require the more technically challenging 'freezing' of fully developed humans.

So could this be part of an answer? Maybe the first generation of humans on any given colony planet is brought up this way, so they have no knowledge of Earth, or of one anothers missions, other than what they are given by whoever is their caretaker? What if their caretaker chooses to withhold that knowledge (to create a pristine society?), or dies before disseminating it? What if the caretaker is an AI with a different agenda?

EDIT 4/27/21:

Maybe the better question is why would the engineers of these missions not want the missions to have knowledge of Earth or one another?

  • $\begingroup$ How do I attract attention to this question? $\endgroup$ – Len Apr 28 at 3:42
  • $\begingroup$ It's a little complicated to bring in a topic which is quite close to yours; Not impossible though; Can you tell me what bothers you in the question you point out? It'd be a good starting deviation from the original one. $\endgroup$ – Tortliena Apr 30 at 16:33
  • $\begingroup$ @Tortliena, My problem with the answers to that question is that A) they don't take into account that humans who colonize another planet would have all kinds of means of preserving information. How would ALL that information get lost? B) It doesn't have the added wrinkle that the colonizers are genetically modified to be different from colony to colony And C) and that I'm talking about multiple colonies as opposed to one. Could I maybe do a "piggybacking on this question" type thing? $\endgroup$ – Len Apr 30 at 16:53
  • $\begingroup$ Hmm... With (A), you're more worried with the answers quality/quantity than a missing keypoint in your topic, it's more worth adding on a bounty than creating a new question. Still, as far as I've read the question you're going from, there are much more answers than just "the physical data crumbles as fast as a sugar in a cup of tea". You have as much as "dictatorial auto da fe" as "it disappears naturally, look how I could forget my genealogy" answers, too. $\endgroup$ – Tortliena May 1 at 1:33
  • $\begingroup$ For (C), I think it's a misconception : If you lean on the century sides (you won't forget your history in decades, anyhow), there will always be "multiple colonies" as long as people live apart from each others, even as they originate from one or another, as they will form new cultures over time. And it's even more true as the environment changes. If colonies were made at different times, yes, the first one would not know about the latter, but the reverse is not true and the knowledge of multiple colonies could be still spread out. $\endgroup$ – Tortliena May 1 at 1:33
  • $\begingroup$ All in all, if I went for a new question and wanted to address one of your worries, I'd go with (B), but instead of asking whether they'd lose their origins, I'd wonder whether they'd be able to notice common traits at first glance, or if they'd need to check the genetic code to find out that they're the same species, and therefore have probably the same origin (whatever it is)? If they found they're very similar genetically wise, what would be the reason they're still thinking them as "aliens"/another species and not as fellow humans? $\endgroup$ – Tortliena May 1 at 1:34
  • $\begingroup$ Tell me if I'm wrong, but I think your key issue is not that they lose their origin, it's the fact they recognize each other as similar. Because as soon as they do that, the hypothesis of a common origin would be brought up, whatever they think that origin could be. And if that hypothesis comes up, you will probably lose your chance to have them seeing each other as extraterrestrial beings (excepted racism). $\endgroup$ – Tortliena May 1 at 1:34
  • $\begingroup$ In order to ask it that way, you'd need concrete subspecies examples, more than what you currently tell, if there aren't, it's impossible for anyone to make a guess on the matter, either because it doesn't match what's in your mind, or because it's too generic and can be freely answered "yes" or "no" with some context people would add themselves. $\endgroup$ – Tortliena May 1 at 1:34
  • $\begingroup$ @Tortliena Wow, thank you for giving this so much thought. You're correct about my key issue. The story would be about two or so of these cultures meeting centuries later and not realizing that they're actually both human offshoots. I haven't knocked out all the details yet, obviously, but the "aha" moment, as it were, would be when some smart character comes along and figures it out. So the question would become "how could they not already know? What happened that made them forget or lose that knowledge?" $\endgroup$ – Len May 2 at 7:07

Does changing E = MC^2 something closer to E=M break the universe?

I've been thinking through my magic system and keep running into the problem of wanting to have magic be able to affect both energy in the universe (light, sound, motion, etc.) and be able to create and manipulate matter. But I keep running into the problem of creating matter would require huge amounts of energy, energy quantities that would mean that the same magic user is a walking atomic bomb.

My gut instinct is to change how much energy equates to a unit of mass, but I'm concerned changing this might have significant side effects (other than the obvious one of nuclear power/weapons being less viable).

I already looked into changing the speed of light and discovered that way too many things break if I significantly reduce it. So instead I'm wondering what might break if I just change the E and M relationship. So I'm willing to remove C from the equation (perhaps putting some other constant in its place).

I don't know what E=MC^2 'links' to and so I don't know what other parts of physics will change if I modify the equation in my world.

Is my universe going to break if I change E=MC^2 so that there is less energy in a unit of mass? And if so, what does it break and how does it break it?

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  • $\begingroup$ Hi Lupus. The way you've asked the question is likely to cause problems on Main. If you're asking from the perspective of physics in real-life as we know it, the answer is yes. Everything breaks. But it's your universe. Nothing will break unless you allow it to. Will it cause physics to change? Yes. Basically all of it. But how much of it do you really need to care about to meet your needs? Note that questions like this are difficult for us because SE is intended for specific questions and there's no specific answer here (i.e., what would break? How would it break?) (*continued*) $\endgroup$ – JBH 8 hours ago
  • $\begingroup$ Remember that SE's model is one-specific-question/one-best-answer and that the help center states that questions must be answerable (among other things). So, knowing that it's your universe and any rule you wish can be bent to whatever degree you want, do you have a specific question to ask? $\endgroup$ – JBH 8 hours ago
  • $\begingroup$ I am wondering, why don't you reverse the equation and multiply the "efficiency" of magic on matter by 300000 or so? Or put another way, magic power is ridiculously reduced when you don't interact directly with matter? $\endgroup$ – Tortliena 7 hours ago
  • $\begingroup$ @Tortliena that's a consideration that I had while going for a walk after I posted. $\endgroup$ – Lupus590 2 hours ago
  • $\begingroup$ @JBH I want to stick to real life physics as much as possible for ease of developing my world, I want my magic to feel like a part of the physics of the universe and not something that willfully ignores/overwrites it when used. $\endgroup$ – Lupus590 2 hours ago

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