Alternate Worlds: in which empathy is literal

Everyone feels everyone else's pain, hunger, fear, joy, etc, at a level of strength inversely proportional to the distance between them. If there is a hungry person nearby, you feel their hunger. If there is a happy person nearby, you feel their happiness as your own. Would this world be better, or worse? People would …

Alternate Worlds: in which the lottery is mandatory and the winner is either bankrupted or has all debt cleared

Every day a random identifying number is drawn, and the citizen selected has their wealth neutralized. If they have a positive net worth, the excess is taken and put into the lottery's pool. If they have a negative net worth, the balance is cleared using funds from the pool. In this world, anyone could instantly …

Alternate Worlds: in which the same people keep being born

In this world, there are a set number of ways our DNA can combine to produce a child. There are generations worth of people who looked exactly like you in the past, and you can know based on this, what you'll look like as you age and what kind of health problems you will have. …

Alternate worlds: in which ghosts are real

Jane dies and finds herself still in the world, but unable to interact with it, or be seen by anyone. Around her are the 107 billion other people who have also died throughout human history. How would ghosts find ways to oppress and abuse each other? They have no money, strength, physical appearance (or do …

Alternate Worlds: in which everyone sleeps at the same time

A genetic switch in our brain sends us into a deep sleep for 8 hours every day at exactly the same time, no matter where on earth you are.  If you are in an area where that 8 hours lines up with all your daylight, then that's just how it is. People tend to move …