Theme Hierarchy Reference Sheet


societycross cultural issue

alien point of view alternate points of view attitude towards the dead commoner's point of view conflict of privacy preferences cultural exchange enemy point of view foreign point of view future point of view multicultural community past point of view primitive point of view religious point of view when in Rome
AI point of view, incorporeal point of view, transcendental point of view adapting to life in a foreign culture, conflict of cultural norms, foreign customs, learning about a foreign culture science as magic to the primitive

societyinternational issue

appeasement policy arms race arms trade competition among nations conflicting systems of jurisprudence diplomacy diplomacy vs. force détente exported pollution extradition first contact international politics international sanctions nuclear proliferation political asylum political neutrality reconciliation between two peoples sporting to promote peace terrorism the morality of colonization transnational conflict over a claimed territory transnational conflict over a shared resource transnational conflict over environmental concern transnational conflict over historical revisionism transnational conflict over political ideology transnational institution for peace war
diplomatic negotiating diplomatic compromising, establishing diplomatic relations, factions joining forces against a common enemy, interfactional mediation, ... war crimes weapons of mass destruction aerial bombing of cities, atrocities of war, civil war, civilians suffering in war, ...
diplomatic maneuvering wartime comfort women biological weapons, chemical weapons, nuclear weapons

societynational social issue

educational issue environmental issue form of government gender issue law and order issue military issue political issue public health issue sociocultural issue socioeconomic issue sociotechnological issue special interest group issue
child labor, creationism, historical revisionism, illiteracy in society, ... environmentalism human overpopulation pollution in society waste management climate change and bureaucratic inaction, eco-terrorism, endangered species, handling of industrial accidents, ... political ideology anarchy, aristocracy, autocracy, caste system, ... sexual norms in society equal career opportunities for women, female education, female independence, forced fatherhood, ... crime in society treatment of prisoners violence in society war crimes black markets in society, body snatching in society, bullying, capital punishment, ... military secrecy antigovernment militia movement, desertion, drugs to control soldiers, prisoners of war, ... indoctrination in society abuse of authority, abuse of real power, activism, anti-war activism, ... MMORPGs in society, alcohol in society, epidemics in society, genetically modified food in society, ... relations between social groups in society Christmas traditions, antiscience in society, arranged marriage, celebrity culture in society, ... commercialism in society immigration in society social inequality unethical corporate practices adds in society, apartheid, big banking in society, community of abandoned children, ... machines in society the Internet in society autonomous weapon systems in society, cryogenics in society, data privacy, genetic engineering in society, ... child power, child's point of view, feral children in society, orphans in society, ...
exported pollution life extension leading to overpopulation oil spills in society toxic waste management contraposed political ideologies fascism socialism capitalism, communism, extremism, feminism, ... homosexuality in society abortion, bestiality, birth control, bisexualism, ... murder in society theft in society aircraft hijacking in society, arson in society, art forgery in society, bank robbery in society, ... prisoners being exploited for entertainment gun violence in society wartime comfort women covert military operation government indoctrination, military indoctrination hatred in society prejudice in society commercial made-up holidays in society border-wall building in society, treatment of immigrants healthcare inequality, inequality in the justice system corporation interfering in politics workers replaced by machines Internet crime in society, social media in society
anarchy vs. rule of law, aristocracy vs. bourgeoisie, conservative vs. liberal, cooperation vs. competition, ... Nazism Christian socialism lesbianism, male homosexuality avunculicide, dominicide, filicide, fratricide, ... burglary in society hatred of exceptional people ethnic hatred racism in society AI prejudice in society, class prejudice in society, lookism in society, prejudice against ex-convicts, ...
anti-intellectualism in society antisemitism in society, racial supremacism

societyproblem of language and meaning

Flatland communication problem ambiguity in ancient texts communicating with deaf people communicating with someone who speaks a different language gestural language incompatible modes of communication language change language of musical notes learning languages pictographic writing system ritualistic communication symbolism the limits of language understanding by metaphor untranslatable words

societysocial ethical issue

human rights issue medical ethical issue social ethical dilemma
AI rights animal rights exploitation of sentient beings the right to privacy animal cruelty, animal testing, children's rights, civil rights, ... unethical human experimentation The Hippocratic Oath, deciding what is best for the patient, doctor assisted suicide, doctor lying to comfort a patient, ... the ethics of interfering in the internal affairs of other powers choosing between murderous regimes, deferring to unappealing laws in a foreign society, destroying one people to save another, eye for an eye justice, ...
killing an artificial person the killing of animals child exploitation, worker exploitation the right to privacy of thoughts unethical psychological experimentation the ethics of interfering in less advanced societies

speculative fiction theme

speculative fiction themecrackpot theory

Atlantis Bermuda Triangle Counter-Earth God is really an alien Hollow Earth Jack the Ripper was really an alien Phaeton hypothesis alien abduction alien experiment alien impregnation of human females alien origin of a technology alien origin of near-death experiences alien origin of religious claims alien origin of the human race alien secretly living among us aliens inspiring great people aliens meddling in history aliens talking to us in our dreams ancient alien archive ancient aliens ancient puzzle conspiracy theory crackpot aging theory crackpot theory of cattle mutilation cryptid déjà vu extrasensory perception fake aphrodisiacs flying saucer theory of UFOs immortal secretly living among us intelligent dinosaurs lost continent of Mu machine living secretly among us mystical aura people meddling in history psychic detective secret society conspiracy theory speculation that the Devil is not so bad after all the Devil was really an alien the Greek gods were really aliens the Mayan gods were really aliens the genius was really a time traveler the ghost was really an alien the historical figure was really an alien the vampire was really an alien time traveler secretly living among us
Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster, Yeti, living dinosaur aliens meddling in history, time traveler meddling in history

speculative fiction themeextraordinary experience

psychedelic experience what if I became telepathically linked with someone else what if I could only speak the truth what if I found myself in a different time what if I found myself in a strange place what if I had a secret guardian what if I had an extraordinary ability what if I met an extraordinary person what if I underwent a physical metamorphosis what if I were a man who got pregnant what if I were in a tight spot what if I were not subject to the normal process of aging what if an aspect of my personality was slightly different what if my life were different what if my personal identity came into question what if my thoughts became reality what if someone around me changed what if the fate of the world was in my hands what if the people around me changed
what if I caught a glimpse of the future, what if I found myself in the future, what if I found myself in the past, what if I lived backwards in time but kept my present memories, ... what if I could life in a fantasy world, what if I could never go home, what if I could travel around inside a human body, what if I found myself in a high gravity environment, ... what if I met a Viking, what if I met an historical figure, what if I met my distance descendants, what if I met my double, ... what if I grew in size, what if I shrank in size, what if I turned turned into a plant, what if I were gradually turning into stone what if I was held captive and made an exhibition object what if I became accessory to a friend's crime, what if I became separated from my parents, what if I couldn't move because of a poisonous animal, what if I couldn't trust the veracity of my senses, ... immortality, rapid aging process, what if I aged backwards, what if I could be young again, ... what if I lived an alternate life coping with a life-changing event, what if I became extremely lucky, what if I could do anything I wanted without repercussions, what if I could trade in a family member for someone else, ... what if I found myself in the body of another person what if I became a simulation, what if I discovered that I was a facsimile of someone else, what if I found out I was a different person than I thought I was, what if I found out I was a simulation, ... what if I could edit my lover, what if I found out my lover was despicable, what if a loved one became possessed by a malevolent entity, what if my partner switched gender, ... what if everybody and everything was frozen in time, what if everyone lost control of their inhibitions, what if everyone suddenly started to communicate differently, what if everyone turned into zombies, ...
what if I was a specimen animal in a zoo what if I were in a coma-like state what if I found myself in a body of the opposite sex, what if I found myself in the body of a child, what if I found myself in the body of an alien

speculative fiction themehow to commit a crime and get away with it

how to crack a safe how to murder someone and get away with it how to rob a bank and get away with it

speculative fiction themespace colonization

colonization of Alpha Centauri colonization of Earth colonization of Mars colonization of Mercury colonization of Pluto colonization of Venus colonization of the Moon colonization of the Sun

speculative fiction themespeculative ability

magic powers speculative ability related to another being speculative ability related to own body speculative ability related to own mind speculative ability related to physical things speculative ability related to reality at large
mind to mind interaction ability speculative communication speculative remote living body manipulation speculative personal body manipulation speculative personal locomotion speculative personal resilience clairvoyance dream walking, memories from past lives, remote projection of self telekinetic ability ability to make things disappear, electricity manipulation ability, pyrokinetic ability, thought materialization ability time slow down ability, unbounded thought powers
telepathic ability mind attack ability, mind control ability ability to communicate with animals, ability to communicate with plants remote harming ability healing ability speculatively magnified ordinary personal ability invisibility ability, self-healing ability, shapeshifting aquatic ability, flying ability, teleportation ability immortality, imperviousness to physical damage, unkillable attribute precognition, prophetic ability, remote viewing, retrocognition telekinetic machine manipulation ability
mind reading ability deadly touch ability X-ray vision, super hearing, super intelligence, super reflexes, ...

speculative fiction themespeculative being

artificial being biologically distinguished being culturally distinguished being emergently intelligent being fictional character come to life inanimate object come to life legendary being locationally distinguished being mentally distinguished being monster shape distinguished being size distinguished being supersoldier transcendental being
android genetically engineered person virtual person brain augmented soldier, cyborg, disembodied head, robot helper, ... animal and plant patterned being hybrid being inhospitable environment dwelling being inorganic being parasitic being sexually distinguished being being composed of autonomous parts, being that feeds on electricity, being that feeds on emotions, being that feeds on radiation, ... assimilating beings, culturally symbiotic beings, space refugee beings, xenophobic isolationist beings anthropomorphic object come to life wish-granting being Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster, Santa Claus, Yeti, ... extraterrestrial being subterranean being ooze dwelling being, two-dimensional being binary thinking being, collectively intelligent beings, dream walking being, emotionless emotion craving being, ... undead being giant monster, mummy, shadow monster, the Bogeyman, ... shapeshifter ball-shaped being, blobform, brain-shaped being, incorporeal being microscopic being Lilliputian being, giant person, giant space amoeba, living planet, ... drug enhanced supersoldier, genetically engineered soldier
android clone of a person genetically engineered soldier ancient artificial custodian, artificial autonomous sentient coworker, digital clone of a person, virtual lover amphibian-like being, ape-like being, avian being, canine-like being, ... human-arthropod hybrid centaur, cyborg, human-alien hybrid, human-amphibian hybrid, ... bedrock dwelling being, black hole dwelling being, ooze dwelling being silicon-based being crystalline being, dark matter being, electromagnetic being, fire-based being, ... neural parasite biological computer virus, invisible parasites, life force draining being, parasitic bug aliens, ... cyclical mating cycle being, gender neutral being, lethal mating practice being, multi-gendered being genie in a lamp spaceborne being Ganymede extraterrestrial, Jovian extraterrestrial, Martian extraterrestrial, Moon people, ... bedrock dwelling being, mole people incorporeal spirit living corpse bio-mimicking life form neural parasite brain memory virus, metal eating microscopic organism, microscopic sentient life form, sentient nanomachines, ...
human-arachnid hybrid, human-insect hybrid rock being brain memory virus giant space amoeba, living space cloud, living spaceship, space protozoa, ... ghost undead skeleton, vampire, zombie brain memory virus
personal haunting

speculative fiction themespeculative habitat

El Dorado arcology artificial island artificial planet city planet desert planet domed city floating city habitable asteroid habitable moon habitable planet in a binary star system habitable planet in a trinary star system hollowed out asteroid habitat ice planet isolated prehistoric land magical land in the sky military training moon ocean planet off-world prison colony parallel earth rotating space habitat terraformed planet twin earth underwater city water planet to the core
geoengineered planet

speculative fiction themespeculative reality

collapsing bubble universe four-dimensional space multiverse non-Euclidean space parallel universe reverse universe speculative natural object speculative natural process the universe is a dream the universe is a simulation two-dimensional space universe in an atom universe-in-a-box
parallel antimatter universe dark matter nebula, edge of the universe, galactic barrier, localized time distortion devolution, discrete time, human thought virus, life force transfer, ...

speculative fiction themespeculative society

alternate history dystopia institutionalized human blood sports society multi-species civilization robotic civilization single-gender society society consisting of only children society in which victims sentence their own assailants society living in space society with a maximum age limit speculative future event subterranean civilization telepathic society thoughtcrime society utopia what if a child had power over adults
what if Britain had won the American Revolutionary War, what if the Nazis had won, what if the Roman Empire never fell ads everywhere dystopia, bureaucratic dystopia, communist dystopia, consumerist dystopia, ... female-only society, male-only society existential risk to civilization World War III, peace on Earth, the technological singularity, what if every woman suddenly got pregnant at the same time, ... ruling elite utopia technologically enabled utopia technology-free utopia utopia based on a view of human nature utopia based on exploitation of a group free market utopia, kill all humans utopia, start-over utopia
anthropogenic existential risk to civilization force of nature existential risk to civilization threat from extraterrestrial life council of wise-men utopia, machine controlled society, master race controlled society, mind controlled society genetic engineering utopia, hive mind utopia, machine controlled society, post-scarcity economy utopia, ... neo-Luddist utopia, noble savage utopia free love utopia, kumbayah utopia, peaceful telepathic utopia utopia on the back of android labor, utopia on the back of human clone labor, utopia on the back of slave labor
institutional risk to civilization technological risk to civilization close encounter with a stray artificial object approaching astronomical object event catastrophic solar event atmospheric dissipation, catastrophic flood, collision with a parallel universe, food crop pandemic, ... accidental alien destruction of planetary civilization attack from outer space alien brought pandemic, attack from Inner Earth, being wiped out by more powerful aliens, invasive life form from outer space, ...
annihilation by WMDs ecological destruction atrophied civilization, global warming, overpopulated world, war of mutual annihilation destructive biotechnology AI takeover, autonomous weapons system killing everyone, out of control scientific experiment, planet being cracked apart by nuclear blast, ... asteroid impact, close encounter with a passing astronomical object, moon slowly spiraling into a planet, planet being flung out of its orbit dying sun, expanding sun, planet scorching solar flare, sun going supernova accidental alien destruction of planetary ecosystem attack from outer space by a genocidal enemy, attack from outer space by a giant spaceborne being, attack from outer space by a powerful conquering enemy, attack from outer space by a world eating machine
annihilation by a device that stops fusion in a star, annihilation by a planet busting device, nuclear holocaust, orchestrated asteroid bombardment depletion of a vital natural resource cloning-related replicative fading, human-made pandemic, self-replicating gray goo consuming the world

speculative fiction themespeculative technology

artificial intelligence biological technology gravity manipulating technology human enhancement technology invisibility technology matter manipulating technology mind altering technology simulated reality spacetime manipulating technology speculative device speculative energy generation technology speculative engineering speculative nanotechnology speculative weapon stasis technology synthetic food
android virtual person AI assistant, AI companion, AI safeguards, ancient artificial custodian, ... bioengineered crops, bioengineered human pathogen, biological computer, biological machinery, ... anti-gravity technology, artificial gravity technology artificial organ body implant body part transplant brain implant cure for an as yet uncurable disease life extension technology prosthetic device accelerated growth rate therapy, aging machine, appearance altering technology, body swap, ... invisible spaceship, personal invisibility cloak, planetary invisibility cloak food synthesizer, give-you-anything scanner, matter duplicator, matter replicator, ... brain-computer interface duplicate of a person memory erasure memory implantation technology mind transfer technology augmented reality, dream world generating technology, intelligence augmentation technology, intelligence boosting device, ... digital afterlife, simulated hunting ground, virtual reality, virtual reality choose your own adventure, ... device bigger inside than outside, history altering technology, space folding travel technology, time freezing device once speculative device pod or booth-like device self-replicating machine speculative handheld device speculative torture device speculative vehicle speculative wearable device asteroid deflector, automatic butchering machine, automatic surgery machine, dream materializer, ... cold fusion device, fusion power, geothermal energy from Earth's interior, human battery, ... astronomical-scale engineering engineered space structure planetary-scale engineering sub-planetary-scale engineering self-replicating nanomachines, sentient nanomachines autonomous weapons system, death ray, handheld multifunction super gun, human implanted suicide-weapon, ... suspended animation stasis box food pill
android clone of a person ancient artificial custodian, artificial autonomous sentient coworker, digital clone of a person, virtual lover artificial blood, artificial brain, artificial ears, artificial eyes, ... human implanted suicide-weapon brain transplant, colon transplant, eye transplant, fetal transplant, ... brain stimulating implant, cranial aggression implant cure for Alzheimer's disease, cure for acromegaly, cure for baldness, cure for blindness, ... anti-aging technology, revival long after death bionic arm, bionic hand, bionic leg, face patch, ... brain implant plug-in learning device android clone of a person, digital clone of a person mindwipe punishment implanted memory punishment mind uploading X-ray machine, ankle bracelet, camera doorbell, dictation machine, ... teleportation device baby incubator pod, disintegration chamber, sonic shower, suicide booth, ... self-replicating nanomachines handheld X-ray device, handheld lab, handheld multifunction super gun, handheld organ extractor, ... pain belt, pain booth, pain buzzer, pain collar, ... spaceship submarine airliner, airship, flying boat, flying car, ... speculative glasses speculative suit ankle bracelet, face patch, jet pack, life-support belt, ... stellar engineering Dyson sphere, galactic communication network engineered orbital structure engineered trans-orbital structure space station space library, space mirror, space telescope, sun gun, ... artificial planet, asteroid mining, changing the orbit of a planet around its star, geoengineered planet, ... speculative city artificial island, local weather control system, undersea tunnel cryogenic technology
brain stimulating implant, cranial aggression implant interstellar teleportation Bussard ramjet, biological spaceship, flying saucer, intangible spaceship, ... nuclear submarine vision beyond the visible spectrum glasses diving suit, environmental suit, powered exoskeleton, spacesuit, ... stellar rejuvenation orbital weapons mining a planet from orbit, space elevator space dock arcology, domed city, floating city, underground city, ... cryogenic suspension punishment

speculative fiction themespeculative travel

journey into the underworld space travel time travel travel inside a human body travel into the Earth voyage at sea voyage under the sea
teleportation device intergalactic space travel, interplanetary space travel, interstellar space travel, interstellar teleportation, ... grandfather paradox, the genius was really a time traveler, time machine, time portal, ...
interstellar teleportation

speculative fiction themesupernatural ability

the human condition

the human conditionhuman idea about life

a danger shared can bring people together a person's true character is revealed in a time of crisis actions have consequences appearances can be deceiving be careful what you wish for be mindful of first impressions be vary of fraudsters be wary of strangers beauty is in the eye of the beholder being famous is not all it's cracked up to be best laid plans often go awry better to have loved and lost curiosity killed the cat evil can come in the guise of good fortune favors the bold give them a finger and they'll take the whole hand hardship makes you stronger hate begets hate if it ain't broke don't fix it if it sounds too good to be true it probably isn't true ignorance is bliss it's what's on the inside that counts live by the sword die by the sword misfortune unites money can't buy happiness money can't buy love opposites attract people may not always live up to their reputations quality is more important than quantity reliance on a single point of failure is unwise the boy who cried wolf moral the dangers of wishful thinking the enemy of my enemy is my friend the flip side of a promotion the flip side of being in power the flip side of immortality the grass is always greener on the other side the greatest among us is the smallest in another world the importance of being frugal the importance of reputation the price of freedom is eternal vigilance the road to hell is paved with good intentions there is no substitute for experience there is nothing to fear but fear itself there is someone for everyone there is value in redundancy those who do not remember the past are condemned to relive it true beauty comes from within we are valuable beyond what we can offer to others we need a balance between rationality and emotionality we need our darker side in moderation what is ugly might still be good with great power comes great responsibility you can't beat the odds in the long run you can't eat money you can't force someone to love you you have to take chances to get ahead
evil can come in the guise of beauty

the human conditionhumans in group

a danger shared can bring people together belonging competition among friends defeatism in groups demagoguery family affairs getting along together in a confined space for an extended period group bonding group morale human social position humans at work humans in hierarchy humans interacting inebriated interaction insubordination invasion of privacy keeping secrets manners mass hysteria misfortune unites mistrust leading to group dysfunction negotiation peer pressure there is strength in unity there is value in diversity working together under stress
coping with a family issue coping with a problematic family member divorce human childhood human parenting black sheep, dark family secret, family dispute, family financial problem, ... coping with being a laughing stock, coping with being famous, coping with being of mixed race, coping with being pitied, ... company team building, coping with a stingy employer, coping with being ill on the job, discipline in the workplace, ... pecking order control by intimidation, going over someone's head, hero worship, leadership, ... cooperation getting along in spite of disagreement betrayal, bluffing, clash of Wills, clash of wills, ... sportsmanship, table manners negotiating deadlock
coping with being eclipsed by a family member controlling family member, embarrassing family member custody battle coming of age adolescence, childhood as an outsider, childhood aspirations, childhood imaginary friend, ... educating a child parental disappointment in child caring for a baby, coping with a meddling parent, custody battle, deadbeat parent, ... the unappreciated and unimportant at the workplace two heads are better than one working together in spite of disagreement
rite of passage into manhood children and candy from strangers, discipline of a child, intellectual development of a child, teaching children about death, ... fatherly disappointment in a son, motherly disappointment in a son

the human conditionhumans in pairs

human interpersonal relationship
friendship human familial relationship rivalry romantic relationship romantic relationship issue a person and their clone, agent and client, boss and employee, coping with a friend who is suffering from depression, ...
faith in a friend, falling out of friendship, female bonding, male bonding, ... husband and wife in-law relationship parent and child sibling and sibling aunt and nephew, aunt and niece, brother and brother, brother and sister, ... female-female rivalry, male-male rivalry young lovers beauty and beast romance, boyfriend and boyfriend, boyfriend and girlfriend, cross cultural romance, ... human romantic relationship choice romantic infidelity bondage sex, coming out of the closet, controlling partner, coping with a failing marriage, ...
newlywed couple brother-in-law and sister-in-law, father-in-law and daughter-in-law, father-in-law and son-in-law, mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, ... father and son mother and son father and daughter, mother and daughter sibling rivalry teen romance choosing between lovers, leaving one's old life for love, love vs. career, love vs. faith, ... extramarital affair
father and son rivalry, fatherly disappointment in a son motherly disappointment in a son

the human conditionindividual human experience

human challenge in life human character human dreaming human emotion human thinking about self human tough decision human way of life purpose in life
coping with life issues coping with problematic people coping with the death of someone facing adversity facing death human emotional issue human health condition human in danger suicide coping with being in a heat wave courage honor human character stereotype human characters in contrast loyalty obsession pride chastity, childishness, chivalry, competitiveness, ... remembering bygone days coping with memories of a lost love, fantasy romance, remembrance, thinking about one's accomplishments in life fear jealousy love anger, boredom, compassion, contempt, ... exercising self-control human self improvement human worrying about self letting go of the past rationalization of a belief human life choice human self-sacrifice personal ethical dilemma personal life and death dilemma personal practical dilemma survivalism Golden Rule way of life, anti-technology way of life, atheism, carefree way of life, ... human aspiration human need human pleasure
coping with being a danger to those around you, coping with being abandoned, coping with being an outcast, coping with being an underachiever, ... coping with a bad boss, coping with a drunken fool, coping with a greedy heir, coping with a grumpy old coot, ... coping with the death of a colleague coping with the death of a family member coping with the death of a lover coping with suicide, coping with the death of a fellow compatriot, coping with the death of a friend, coping with the death of a pet, ... human vs. human human vs. institution human vs. nature human vs. technology human vs. the occult good vs. evil, human vs. inexplicable adversity, human vs. monster, surviving in a post-apocalyptic wasteland coming to terms with one's own death, coping with a terminal illness, facing one's own execution coping with having a bad day, coping with memories of a lost love, coping with saying goodbye forever, coping with unwanted sexual urges coping with aging human addiction human mental condition burning the candle at both ends, coping with a bad hangover, coping with a bad sunburn, coping with a disability, ... coping with being at the brink of destruction, coping with being injured, coping with being lost in space, coping with being lost in the forest, ... talking someone out of suicide courage in the face of death family honor female stereotype male stereotype mad scientist stereotype, old woman as a witch stereotype, survivalist stereotype, the Ancient Egyptian stereotype, ... EQ vs. IQ, commoner vs. intellectual, extrovert vs. introvert, generous character vs. mean character, ... choosing between conflicting loyalties, loyalty to a cause, loyalty to a friend, loyalty to a group, ... obsession with a life-dedicated project, obsessive love pride in an achievement pride in one's family attitude of superiority, hubris, pride in one's community, pride in one's team, ... reminiscence about one's youth human phobia childhood terrors, facing one's darkest fear, fear for one's life, fear of abandonment, ... romantic jealousy familial love romantic love parental love holding one's tongue, repressing one's desires, stepping up to the task, swallowing one's pride, ... becoming a more emotionally sophisticated person, becoming a more self-assured person, becoming a nicer person, developing one's social skills, ... coming to terms with things beating one's self up, becoming like what you oppose, being ashamed of who you are, being bitter about one's life, ... letting go of a lover career choice contemplating suicide leaving one's old life behind Faustian bargain, adopting a child, choosing between allegiances, choosing between love and family, ... human self-sacrifice for another sacrifice for an idea, sacrifice for one's beliefs, sacrifice self and crew to foil an enemy, selfless service compromising one's ethical principles for personal advantage compromising one's ethical principles vs. great need conflict of duty breaking the law for personal advantage, breaking the law to cover up another crime, choosing between conflicting loyalties, choosing between just causes, ... assisting in suicide, cannibalism to survive, killing for personal advantage, killing to save a loved one, ... risk taking vs. playing it safe carrot vs. stick, choosing between equally futile actions, choosing between equally unappealing possibilities, decision making in the face of uncertainty, ... survivalist stereotype human professional aspiration the desire for a simpler life human physiological need human safety need human self-actualization need human self-esteem need human social need passion for acting, passion for amateur radio, passion for antique cars, passion for classic films, ...
coping with the death of a subordinate coping with the death of a child, coping with the death of a parent, coping with the death of a sibling, coping with the death of a spouse coping with the death of a spouse human vs. captivity human vs. self facing a conspiracy, facing a genius adversary, facing a home invader, facing a hostage situation, ... facing persecution by the government, human vs. Kafkaesque institution human vs. beast charting unknown territory, facing a vermin infestation, facing an epidemic, human vs. affliction, ... human vs. sentient machine human vs. zombie coping with time passing you by drug abuse addiction to fortune telling, addiction to sensation, compulsive spending, gambling addiction, ... human phobia mental illness psychological stress withdrawal from society Messiah complex, Stockholm syndrome, acute anxiety, anger management issues, ... bridezilla, clingy girlfriend, dumb blonde stereotype, female attraction to bad men, ... womanizing man awkward expecting father, beards, dumb jock stereotype, inattentive male partner, ... pride in one's own creation parental pride arachnophobia, claustrophobia, fear of being alone, fear of being late, ... filial love, fraternal love, love of a pet, maternal love, ... infatuation epic love, forbidden love, impossible love, love at first sight, ... accepting reliance on others, coming to peace with one's self, coming to terms with having to give up on a dream, coming to terms with living in a new environment, ... accumulation of wealth vs. personal development, choosing between job opportunities, family vs. career, friendship vs. career, ... breaking with tradition vs. suicide, honorable suicide, life with a handicap vs. death leaving one's old life for love sacrifice to prevent mass death donating an organ to save a life, helping a stranger in need, sacrifice for a child, sacrifice for a friend, ... benefiting from someone else's work compromising one's ethical principles vs. self-preservation killing in self-defense, killing to survive duty vs. conscience duty vs. compassion, duty vs. desire, duty vs. duty, duty vs. friendship, ... gambling with a body part, taking a high-stakes wager vs. walking away passion for archaeology, passion for astronomy, passion for charitable volunteering, passion for collecting Data, ... the desire to have children, the need for rest and recreation, the need for sleep attachment to one's livelihood, the need for freedom, the need for privacy the desire for personal development, the desire to advance one's career, the desire to pursue one's dream, the lust for gold, ... the desire for glory the desire for fame, the desire for prestige, the desire for redemption, the desire for vengeance, ... attachment to one's land, attachment to one's people, crew's attachment to their ship, the desire for justice, ...
bird in a gilded cage, facing life in captivity resisting a temptation facing a ferocious beast, human vs. venomous animal alcohol abuse arachnophobia, claustrophobia, fear of being alone, fear of being late, ... delusional point of view coping with being crammed up in a confined space with other people, coping with stress at work, coping with the rigors of command, cracking under pressure, ... escape from reality the Casanova stereotype first crush, obsessive love, young boy infatuation sacrificing one's self to contain a pandemic prostitution vs. poverty obeying the rules vs. acting for a just cause the desire for glory in battle

the human conditionwhat life is like

college life descent into crime facing the demise of a personal enterprise from zero to hero life in academia life in the corporate world life in the military life on the high seas rise to prominence from humble beginnings what civilian life is like in times of war what electioneering is like what is it like to fall from grace what it is like as a private investigator what it is like as a spy what it is like in a legal proceeding what it is like in a medical emergency room what it is like in a medical facility what it is like in an insane asylum what it is like in boarding school what it is like in high school what it is like in law enforcement what it is like in prison what it is like in showbiz what it is like in the fashion industry what it is like in the publishing industry what it is like on a passenger flight what it is like to be a loser what it is like to be a struggling artist what it is like to be high what it is like to be homeless what it is like to be impoverished what it is like to be in a cult what it is like to live through a military occupation what it is like to work as a prostitute what it is like to work as tech support what it is like to work in the hospitality industry what society is like in times of war
parody on life in academia what it is like in a combat zone psychedelic experience

the pursuit of knowledge

the pursuit of knowledgehuman professional activity

gastronomy sports
the game of baseball, the game of basketball, the game of pool, the sport of boxing

the pursuit of knowledgethe domain of faith

organized religion superstition
the afterlife the soul Catholicism, Christian socialism, Christianity, Judaism, ... communicating with the dead haunted object magic object magic word spirit possession sympathetic magic the supernatural Japanese folklore, animal guide, astrology, collective dreaming, ...
punishment in the afterlife reincarnation séance haunted painting, haunted statue, haunted vehicle magic potion wish-granting magic object magic bag, magic healing object, magic portal, see-anywhere device true name demonic possession voodoo doll black magic, ghost hunting
love potion magic lamp with genie, wish-granting shooting star

the pursuit of knowledgethe domain of reason

art vs. science classical philosophy modern science the art of war the fine arts and the humanities
aesthetics ethics human nature metaphysics what is truth astronomy scientific discipline superseded scientific theory topic in science topic in technology agility vs. strength, booby trap, brains vs. brawn, brinkmanship, ... film appreciation history literature appreciation the theater acting, art appreciation, calligraphy, creative writing, ...
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life in British colonial India, life in Victorian Britain