Tag Archives: Story Idea

World Delete Button

What would the world be like if there was a world delete button?

The world is in chaos. A now deceased scientist designed and built a button which, when pushed, will delete the Earth. The world already knows that it works because the first button he made deleted a 100 mile crater in the US, the second button he made deleted Africa, and the third button he created deleted the moon. Each of the buttons self-destruct when pushed, blowing up everything in a precise, planned radius. No buttons other than the scientist’s last button still exists. Its radius is set to 10,000 miles, and another thing: it’s wired so that if it goes farther than 100 miles from the earth’s surface, it will detonate automatically.

What would the nations do to get a hold of that button? It’s indestructible by any known means, and it can’t leave the planet, so they can’t get rid of it. Hiding it would only work for so long, and no country would want it to be unguarded, less some mad civilian were to try to push it. None would want to use it themselves, but they certainly wouldn’t want the others to have it. There would be wars and wars over which country would hold the power to delete the planet, meanwhile all the capable nations would be looking for ways off the planet. Whoever controls the button and is no longer on Earth would have the ultimate bargaining power in any trade opportunity with Earth; they might even just try to take it over. On the other hand, if you got off Earth but didn’t have the button, then you’d  be the one who’d be threatened with destruction.

However, if the button COULD get off the planet, the actual goal would be to get to another planet, but only if you are going to be able to have the button at that time. Thus, the constant warring over the button. Following that idea, it’s scary to think of someone who would threaten to delete the earth, have the power to follow through that threat, and actually be willing to do it if his demands are not met. Actually, that would be quite terrifying. With that happy thought, here’s a note to all who read this: DO NOT BUILD PLANET DELETE BUTTONS (please). It wouldn’t be very fun.

~ George

Complete Amnesia

What if someone completely forgot everything, and not just memories but also words, images, tastes, everything. How would someone with this “Complete” Amnesia describe the world? They wouldn’t know colors or textures, verbs or nouns. They wouldn’t even know what colors, textures, verbs, or nouns were or that there even was a such things. What if that person tried to describe what he “saw” in a book? Over all, I think it’s be pretty interesting.

~ George

World Idea: No Passing This Point

Imagine there was a civilization which has a mysterious floating point in its center. No one knows what it is, but if anyone goes outside a certain distance from it in any direction they quickly die due to unknown causes. However, if they make it back into the radius before they die they are completely returned to normal. This society is extremely advanced, and has managed to make contact with other such societies with their own mysterious floating points. Due to this communication, they learn that all the bubbles of civilization are different, some are larger, smaller, expanding, shrinking (uh-oh), in a desert, on an island, etc.

There are a couple of different ways that the “outside” could be portrayed.

  • It could be as if everyone was on Earth, but if any living thing left the spheres of protection then they’d die. In that case, the inhabitants would be able to see things such mountains and oceans outside their sphere but not be able to interact with it.
    • If this was the case, it seems likely that the spheres were made for the protection of life, because whatever was outside of them was extremely dangerous. Too bad they don’t know how, when, or why the spheres were made
  • Another possibility is that only humans are forced to stay inside. If anyone left then they’d die, but the pets, livestock, and plants could survive outside the invisible sphere.
    • A world such as this, with humans being the specific target, is more suspicious, and seems to be more likely to be caused by sentient life who were trying to keep humans (or specific types of humans) captive. Aliens maybe?
    • Also, if the spheres become crowded, this could lead to some interesting farming techniques, which might involve leavingall of the livestock outside of the radius until the farmers needed them. This way they don’t have to worry about leaving space for food as the population grows
      • In fact, if the place is highly advanced they could do almost all of their work outside of the radius using drones. They could have everything we have today by building factories far away from the sphere and having farms (or maybe no farms, if no life can leave the sphere) cared for by robots. The exception to having everything we have would be space to run around in, which would probably lead to a booming industry for virtual reality, maybe even inter-sphere competitions if they could get it to work
  • Another possibility is that it’s a little planet/moon/asteroid of sorts (something big enough to have about one city, but not much more), but no one can get far from the surface. Maybe the dot would be at the center of the planet. They would still be able to see the stars and do astronomy, but they wouldn’t be able to leave
    • Of course, while that wouldn’t be too hard on our civilization, due to lack of resources for interplanetary missions, this is an advanced civilization which probably could get between planets with ease. Not being able to leave could be a real problem for them
  • A fourth possibility is that outside the sphere is simply nothing, and if anything made of matter leaves it simply disappears. It’d be a sort of “edge of universe”, and there would be absolutely no way of expanding beyond the sphere. Perhaps things that aren’t matter* could still leave, such as light, but it’d also make sense if nothing that we regularly interact with could leave; after all, it’d be the literal edge of the universe, there’d be nowhere to leave too. I don’t know how the different “universes” would communicate with each other, but it’d be extremely interesting

~ George

* matter: things that have mass and take up space

Culture Idea: Chance Based Currency (Part 2)

The next part of my explanation of the Chance Based Currency idea!

(See part 1 here: http://evansforever.com/culture-idea-chance-based-currency-part-1/)

The first problem I’d like to address is that it would be very hard to deal with large sums of money.

  • Using high felix dice, like a 100 felix die, would make the seller risk gaining only 1 F in exchange for an item. On the other hand, the purchaser is also risking paying 100 F for the item. On average, the seller would make about 50 F per sell, but that’d only be after a while.
    • As said in the first post, all the seller can do to decrease the risk of having a low F roll is to refuse to accept high felix dice. However, if the government is like ours (the US), then it’d be against the law to not accept currency the government has decided has value.
      • In the US, if someone tries to pay you with legitimate US currency (and you’re in the US), unless you accept the currency the buyer has the right to take whatever it was that he was purchasing without paying you. The dice government might have similar laws, or they might only have laws for specific dice types, or maybe none at all
  • Another problem would be having to make a 100 sided die. Perhaps the government would make dice that go up in intervals greater than 1. If so, then a 100 felix die could be ten sided, going up by ten, or 20 sided going up by five, or maybe even 5 sided, going up by 20. This would clearly affect the formula to calculate average F, which would become as follows: Divide the max felix of the die by two, then add (the lowest value it can roll*1/2).
  • This would put the 10 sided 100 felix die’s average F at 55, the 20 sided 100 felix die’s average F at 52.5, and the 5 sided 100 felix die’s value at 60! Wow, and I thought this system was interesting already, but with accounting for minimum values as  well  as  maximum values makes this all the more fascinating
    • And what if the die didn’t go up by the same interval each time? What if you had a 100 felix die, but it had only 6 sides, which were 1,2,3,4,5, and 100? It’s still 100 felix, because felix is the potential roll, but it would have nowhere near the purchasing power as the other examples given.
    • If this were the case, the way you’d calculate the average F is by adding together all the sides and dividing that number by the number of sides on the dice. For example, 1+2+3+4+5+100 =115, 115/6=19.1666667, which is the average F of that die.
    • This method could work with other dice, for example 1+2+3+4+5=15, 15/5=3, which we already know is the average F for a 5 sided 5 felix die (man, now I have to say how many sides it has also…), but it’s harder and more time-consuming than the normal calculation.
    • Another thing I thought of about this idea is that it’d provide another way to gamble without any felix loss; roll an “x” sided die which has all of its faces equal to zero but one, which would be some high number. Perhaps the government would earn extra money by selling dice such as these to gambling houses.

That’s all for now

~ George

Culture Idea: Chance Based Currency (Part 1)

What if there was an economy which had legal tinder that was made of dice? I’m going to call the currency Felix (“lucky” in Latin). For example, a two felix “bill” would be a two-sided coin, a six felix “bill” would be a normal 6-sided dice, and I don’t know how they would work with hundred felix “bill”‘s. When you pay for something, you pull out your dice and roll them. Whatever value they land on is how much they are worth for that transaction; you could have a 100 sided die, but if it lands on 1 then it’s only worth one dollar. Perhaps when paying something, you have to bring out enough dice to have the price be halfway between the minimum you could roll and the maximum you could roll (I’ll explain that more later), and after the cashier checks to make sure that everything adds up properly you roll the dice. You pay whatever value that comes up is, whether cheaper than or more expensive than the original price.

This could lead to an interesting treatment of the value of money. Here’s some math to explain: You’re buying a new hammer that is worth 5 F [F is absolute money (after the die has been rolled), and felix is potential money (pre-roll), e.g. a 10 felix die rolls 5 F]. If you have a 5 felix die, you still probably wouldn’t be able to afford it. This is because, on average, the die wouldn’t roll a five, and thus, on average, the seller would lose money. The seller doesn’t want to lose money, so he wouldn’t sell the hammer for a 5 felix die.

The way you’d calculate the average value of a die is to divide the top value it could roll in half and add 0.5. The additional 0.5 is because the die can’t ever roll zero, so it’s not the halfway point between the top value and zero that you’re looking for, it’s the halfway point between the top value and one. This would place the average value of the 5 felix die at 3 F. To get you’re hammer you need an average of 2 more F, so if subtract 0.5 from 2 and double the outcome you see that you’d need a 3 felix die to complete the transaction (I assume that a culture based on this currency would figure out how to make a three-sided die).

So now you have two dice which have an average F of 5, enough to satisfy the shopkeeper. You roll your dice. The 3 felix die lands on one, good for you, but the 5 felix die lands on 5, for a total of 6 F. Your heart sinks. The shopkeeper happily pockets the dice, having earned an extra F, and gives you the hammer.

Later, your friend sees the nice quality of your hammer and gives you a 9 felix die to buy him one. The interesting thing about this situation is that a 9 felix die also has an average value of 5 F, even though a 5 felix die + a 3 felix die = 8 felix. The difference is that every die has a minimum roll of 1, so the minimum F for two dice is 2, meanwhile the minimum F for one die is 1. The added price of 1 felix accounts for the added risk to the shopkeeper of 1 felix.

You visit the shopkeeper again, and he seems a bit worried about your 9 felix die, but doesn’t stop you from using it to pay. You roll, and his fears are confirmed. The die landed on 2, giving it a value of 2 F, 3 F less than the asking price! You can see that the shopkeeper is upset at being shortchanged as he pockets the die, but you’re elated. You can’t wait to get the hammer to your friend so that you can tell him what a steal you got it for.

In this system, most sellers would always want to be paid in the highest number of the lowest denomination dice they could get, at least for the more important deals,  so that they are guaranteed at least a certain amount of F, even though the fewer dice that are used the higher the felix value is. Some shopkeepers wouldn’t allow dice with too high of a felix value to be used to purchase items, meanwhile others might make a sale by requiring the average F to be less than halfway between the top value and one. Gambling would be easy in this culture; simply have both players roll a 100 sided die (or whatever they use instead) and switch dice. One might roll 50, and the other might roll 20, who gets 30 F while maintaining the same amount of felix.

After all that though, the only more flawed currency system that I’ve seen anywhere (not that I’ve looked for any) was this one:

Alternate Currency

(Source: http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/512:_Alternate_Currency)

I can’t decide which flaws I should go over first, but this post is too long already, so I’m going to split it into a number of smaller parts focusing on specific problems with this system and addressing them. These I will write and publish those parts until I’ve gone over this idea thoroughly, or I’m tired of it.

~ George

Story Idea: The Hidden Extra

What if someone got the rights to a bunch of different popular books and inserted the same extra into each book? No one would know where in the book the extra is, and perhaps they wouldn’t even know which books have the extra in it! It would become a little “Easter egg” for those who found the “Hidden Extra” in their book, especially since not all the books would necessarily have it (if it was inserted after the book became popular). Eventually, maybe the hidden extra guy could create a story that somehow links all the books and hidden extras together. Also, who knows? Someone might have already done this, but hasn’t revealed it yet. Brandon Sanderson has started something like this, inserting the (extra) character Hoid into at least three of his different book series, and (I hope) is planning to explain how they connect. As cool as it may be for Sanderson to be connecting his own books’ universes together, imagine how awesome it would be to have the universes of the books of several different authors all connected!

~ George

Story Idea: “Spoiler:…” part 2 of 2 – “…Everyone Dies”

Please read part one before reading this, so you can understand the conversation this came out of.

After thinking about the last idea, the “Spoiler: Someone Lives”, this came to mind. What if there was a book which had a cliffhanger in which everyone is about to die, then the book ends. Actually, there are a number of books like that, and when you read one you just have to wait for the next book to see how they save themselves from dying. But what if the sequel, when published, was simply “They all died” or something similar. Then there was never another book afterwards, and “They all died” was simply the ending, not a fake ending. Perhaps the book would have a preview of the next book at the end, and it was simply:

  • TITLE: They all died.

Or perhaps:

  • THEY ALL DIED: The End.

I can just imagine how horrible that would be. I don’t know what the story would be like, but it’d sill be interesting to see if someone could pull it off. Perhaps the story was about a bunch of immortals who’s dearest wish was to die. Then at least the ending would be good. Either way, “Spoiler: They all die” would indeed be a huge spoiler.

~ George


Story Idea: “Spoiler:…” part 1 of 2 – “…Someone Lives”

While me and a few friends were talking about the Ranger’s Apprentice books, someone said “Spoiler: Someone Dies”. If you’ve read the books, then this would be an extremely obvious spoiler, because the series has many wars and fights. I then said “Spoiler: Someone Lives”. After laughing, I thought: What sort of book, outside of the horror genre, would it be a spoiler that someone lives? How could you craft the book in such a way that at any point in the book it is a legitimate spoiler that someone actually lives? Remember, this isn’t a horror book, and in general most people think that the hero will do something miraculous and they will all be saved. How could you trash that thought, without making the book a horror book? I don’t know, but it’d be interesting.

~ George