No More Technology: What Can Bring Us Back to the Stone Ages? | World Building Questions

No more technology — and when I say technology, I’m referring specifically to electronics.

What can bring us back to the stone ages or a time before computers and smartphones?

In this episode of The Other Epic Story Vlog, I discuss a key factor that drives my story, which is set in a tech-free future, a time when people lived confined to their local communities and is limited by the resources and information they have.

While I discussed the consequence in the story, I don’t ever address the cause, and as a writer and world builder, I myself — at a minimum — must understand it. So what can cause the world to black out and loses hold on the riches that is modern technology?

I jot down three possible causes:

1) Solar flares: Known as coronal mass ejections, plasma and magnetic fields caused by the disruption of the sun can fry all of Earth’s power grids.

2) Limited resources: Many of the elements used to develop electronics are in limited supply, such as ruthenium (used for hard drives) and hafnium (used for processors).

3) Human error: As we start to automate more and more of our process, human error can cause a chain reaction, where unanticipated issues to override fail-safes.

… and a bonus factor… oooohhhh….

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Can a Society Exist Without Crime?

It’s pretty wonderful to think of a place without crime, but is such a concept possible?

Hypothetically, yes and no… See, crime is a social construct. What is deemed illegal in one society can be perfectly normal in another. Take legalization of cannabis, for example, one day it was illegal to smoke weed, the next day, it’s perfectly fine.

When I was building my fictional world, a fictional city to be exact, I wrote that that city had no crime. I now know that simply stating that is lazy writing. What do I mean by there having no crime? Is nothing illegal? Is everybody so enlightened that they don’t participate in any criminal activity?

Lazy writing isn’t a crime, but in this episode, I dig into that topic and unpack what I really meant when I wrote that my city had no crime.

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Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari: Read it if you’re world building

Earlier this year, I downloaded an audiobook: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind — thinking it’ll be an educational listen and nothing more. Yet, as I started to get through it, I realized that there was a connection between what I was hearing and what I was creating.

While working on my novel, I’m creating culture, religion, laws, languages, etc. just like humanity at the dawn of time. Sitting there on the couch one night, I had an epiphany.

When world building there is no better template than the place we are already residing in. The number one take away I got from the book by Yuval Noah Harari is that so much of human society is through imagined constructs and stories.

From religion, culture, currency, government, social hierarchy, gender equality, and so on, all these are examples of life we consider to be tangible, but it isn’t… it’s a set of beliefs and it can be modified. And while you can certainly set off to change these aspects in real life, I first encourage you to take those elements and use them as a springboard to invent your own world.

If you are interested in reading Sapiens: a Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari, here is an affiliate link to Audible: https://amzn.to/2yJxUBo

How to Invent Your Own Measurement When World Building

Weight, volume, speed, and time: there are many aspects of daily life that we have to measure in order to function and communicate with those around us.

An agreed-upon unit of measurement is essential in society, and the way we measure things says a lot about our culture. It’s only natural that when we start writing and world building, we feel encouraged to invent our own type of measurements to create a more unique society. It’s much like creating a new language.

The thing is, in order to have an immersive world, we need to understand how different units of measurements are invented. We can do this by learning about the history of some units of measurements.

In this video, I take a quick leap back in time to get some inspirations… and then I take a crack at explaining the ones I created in my epic novel. I hope this video can show you what works and what doesn’t work when inventing units of measurements.

Have fun!

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The 3 Rules of World Building

So you want to build a world, well, like anything, there are rules you have to follow. A world cannot function any which way you want, there are certain elements and mechanics that you have to understand first in order for your intelligent readers to accept what you have made.

When you think of the world you live in it is easy to see all that is around you as a series of random events, but in reality, everything that exists and occurs is the result of something else (cause and effect). Mountains do not simply appear out of nowhere, an Earth-shaking event had to occur in order for the mountains to sprout: tectonic plates. In every event or with every existence, there is a cause.

Nothing happened by accident. Everything follows a rule, and so does world building. In today’s episode, I’m going to talk about 3 rules you must be aware of when you start building your world.

The 3 Rules of World Building:

  1. The environment – landscape, plants, climate, animals
  2. The intelligent life – race, culture, language, religion
  3. The impending change – climate change, approaching war, a death of a family member

These are elements you will have to follow in order to have an interesting and believable place for your characters to inhabit. Hell, even thinking about these aspects will be enough to launch you in many ideas for your world. That’s the magic of world building. So much of it, you haven’t even thought about yet.

Interested in learning more about writing, editing, and the art of world building? Follow my vlog and join me as I write an epic story.