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62 votes
Accepted

Why not continue to prevent murders?

There are several intertwined issues here. Human rights of the Pre-Cogs The Pre-Crime system depends in a crucial way on the constant participation of the Pre-Cogs, held in a (not necessarily ...
Praxis's user avatar
  • 111k
58 votes
Accepted

Why "In politics, the tripod is the most unstable of all structures"?

The tripod is truly the weakest political structure The balance of power in a political tripod is only stable as long as everyone wants to win and all players would rather prefer the status quo to a ...
Falco's user avatar
  • 1,033
58 votes
Accepted

Is there any evidence that Voldemort was a nationalist?

Voldemort's nationalism does not necessitate a connection to the UK. The term nation is often used as a shorthand for nation state. However, in itself it does not necessarily imply a shared ...
Misha R's user avatar
  • 13.3k
41 votes

Why "In politics, the tripod is the most unstable of all structures"?

You actually have the answer in your question. Three legs together are very stable, yes, and two sides will act to balance out the third. In Dune, there are three groupings that keep one side from ...
Dranon's user avatar
  • 4,186
31 votes

Who declared the Last Alliance to be the "last" and why?

Elendil and Gil-galad named it as such. Had they not defeated Sauron, they would literally have been the last alliance. The Last Alliance of Elves and Men was indeed so great that it is noted to be ...
Voronwé's user avatar
  • 26.4k
30 votes

If Dumbledore could take on Grindelwald, why didn't he take on Hitler?

Killing Hitler won't end World War II. There's way too many factors fueling World War II, and remember, up until about half way through, it looked very much like Nazi Germany was going to win big. ...
Zoey Green's user avatar
  • 8,251
30 votes
Accepted

Where do the regions of Westeros appear to align as of the season 6 finale?

The following is the political alignment of the regions in current timeline:                                                                        The North Currently held by Starks who are opposed ...
Aegon's user avatar
  • 48.2k
27 votes
Accepted

Author of 60s/70s sci-fi novel called Sphere, about a clear personal transport device made from Martian technology

It's Shield, not Sphere. The author is Poul Anderson. The cover image you describe brought it back immediately. Just in case there is more than one book with a "Cover illustration [that] showed ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
25 votes

Why "In politics, the tripod is the most unstable of all structures"?

It is just an historical reference. The most famous triumvirates are those of Rome (up to the point that you name them "First Triumvirate" and "Second Triumvirate", and everybody understands what are ...
SJuan76's user avatar
  • 5,148
21 votes

If Dumbledore could take on Grindelwald, why didn't he take on Hitler?

Because of the International Statute of Secrecy. Leaving aside the history of World War 2, intervention in Muggle affairs is strictly off-limits. The Statute of Secrecy forbade any disclosure of ...
The Dark Lord's user avatar
19 votes
Accepted

Under which kingdom are the Iron Islands?

The Iron Islands were a part of the Kingdom of Isles and Rivers. Before the Targeryen invasion, House Hoare ruled over the Iron Islands and the Riverlands. House Hoare was the Royal House of the ...
kuhl's user avatar
  • 2,381
18 votes
Accepted

Short story in which social scientist writes constitution of sewing circle to win a bar bet, ends up fearing for his life

This is "The Snowball Effect" by Katherine Maclean (1952). A sociology professor, challenged to prove his theories of the dynamic growth of organizations, rewrites the rules of a smalltown ...
Valorum's user avatar
  • 702k
14 votes

Under which kingdom are the Iron Islands?

The Seven Kingdoms confusion Seven Kingdoms were the political entities which existed at time of Aegon's landing on shores of Blackwater Bay. Number of these political entities has always varied from ...
Aegon's user avatar
  • 48.2k
14 votes

Who declared the Last Alliance to be the "last" and why?

The trend throughout the Second Age clearly showed the decline of the Eldar (mainly the Noldor) and the rise of Men. Indeed, Gil-galad recognized this early on, in a letter to Tar-Meneldur in S.A. ...
chepner's user avatar
  • 3,834
13 votes

What political system does Star Trek's Federation operate under?

The other answers don't address the basic question of whether the Federation is a democracy, so I just wanted to point out that in the TOS episode "Errand of Mercy", we do get confirmation that it is, ...
Hypnosifl's user avatar
  • 57k
13 votes

Why "In politics, the tripod is the most unstable of all structures"?

I think maybe I misunderstood the quote. The structure itself is stable and self-reinforcing, as the question argues, but it's rather the shifting alliances that is unstable. As previously mentioned,...
congusbongus's user avatar
  • 5,151
12 votes
Accepted

Poul Anderson short story about a communitarian town with two curmudgeons who have conflicting views

The is "The Last of the Deliverers" published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, February 1958. The story is set in an idyllic town and narrated by a boy who is puzzled about ...
Mark Olson's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

Has Steve Rogers ever explicitly endorsed or supported a political party, politician or candidate?

I used to be a regular reader of "Captain America" comic books, but not for many years now. So my information may be out of date . . . but in at least one story in my collection, published in the late ...
Lorendiac's user avatar
  • 27.4k
10 votes
Accepted

Why did Lords of Vale swear allegiance to a Northman?

Just because the Knights of the Vale chanted "King in the North" doesn't mean that they are submitting to his rule. They might simply be recognising him as literally King of the North (and ...
pajevic's user avatar
  • 556
10 votes

Short Story about Candidates for president. They are connected to a "God Game" - electric shocks for interventionism

This sounds almost like "The Short Ones" by Raymond E. Banks, told from the point of view of the artificial life forms, the "Short Ones", that tech designers on Earth created. The ...
Occam Shave's user avatar
  • 5,083
9 votes
Accepted

Looking for a science fiction omnibus where one of the stories had mock combat games for political purposes

You should look for When the People Fell and We the Underpeople, both published by Baen Books around 2007. This is the complete Cordwainer Smith corpus, and will contain both stories that you've ...
Jeff Zeitlin's user avatar
  • 8,052
8 votes

Anyone running for office declared insane so leaders were selected by some other method

In Clarke's Songs of Distant Earth there is this description of the political system on the planet Thalassa: "Thereafter, selecting a head of state was relatively unimportant. Once it was ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 52.1k
8 votes

Anyone running for office declared insane so leaders were selected by some other method

It is paraphrased from Douglas Adams: “To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: ...
Stone True's user avatar
8 votes

Where do the regions of Westeros appear to align as of the season 6 finale?

At the end of Season 6, there are 4 kings/queens that the regions of Westeros are rallying behind. The King in the North - Jon Snow The North (as seen when Lyanna Mormont, et. al. declared Jon the ...
kuhl's user avatar
  • 2,381
8 votes

Why "In politics, the tripod is the most unstable of all structures"?

There are a lot of issues with a "tripod" in politics. Remember that politics is not like a stood. The legs are not rigid. They are energetic entities attempting to optimize their own life goals. ...
Cort Ammon's user avatar
  • 1,908
8 votes

Book about a new laser rifle built by a new inventor

Committee of the Whole by Frank Herbert. Previously identified in Looking for story about man on televised trial, presents plans for laser gun The main character is William Custer. He is called to a ...
John Rennie's user avatar
8 votes

Can an individual apply to become a Federation citizen?

Apparently so. The Federation, according to DS9: The Never-Ending Sacrifice, has policies and procedures for the request for, and granting of, Federation citizenship from non-member-species applicants....
Valorum's user avatar
  • 702k
8 votes

Did "Enterprise" feature any particularly progressive political points?

Well, the "Breaking the Ice", as one example, showed how Archer was slowly overcoming his racism regarding Vulcans. And it was racism: sure, he had an explanation as to why his dislike was &...
Keith Morrison's user avatar
7 votes

Why didn't Cersei want Eddard Stark dead?

Royal Canadian Bandit's answer is pretty much it. I will however expand on that. Why Cersei needed Eddard Stark's cooperation? Varys explained why Cersei needed Eddard Stark in AGOT: “Cersei is ...
Aegon's user avatar
  • 48.2k

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