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* ''VideoGame/DivinityDragonCommander'': In the ending, the alliance destroys all their advanced technology and reverts to cobblestone houses and well water, out of fear that the demons who taught them could continue to interlace insanity and mind-control into the equations, as they did to the emperor's children and half the nation. Unfortunately, this turns out to be a horrible idea as it allows centuries of racial discrimination, genocide, and everyone's pants are down when [[''VideoGame/DivineDivinityIITheDragonKnightSaga Damian re-invents plasma cannon frigates]].

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* ''VideoGame/DivinityDragonCommander'': In the ending, the alliance destroys all their advanced technology and reverts to cobblestone houses and well water, out of fear that the demons who taught them could continue to interlace insanity and mind-control into the equations, as they did to the emperor's children and half the nation. Unfortunately, this turns out to be a horrible idea as it allows centuries of racial discrimination, genocide, and everyone's pants are down when [[''VideoGame/DivineDivinityIITheDragonKnightSaga [[VideoGame/DivinityIITheDragonKnightSaga Damian re-invents plasma cannon frigates]].

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*In ''Literature/FineStructure'', a large portion of the plot is driven by the observation that not only are fantastical supertechnologies being discovered on a regular basis, but that, mysteriously, each one can only be used once, after which point [[CosmicRetcon the laws of the universe are altered to render such technology impossible.]] Eventually it is revealed that [[spoiler:this phenomenon is the work of an omnipotent being called the Imprisoning God, created by [[BigGood Mitchell Calrus]] to trap him and [[EldritchAbomination Oul]] within the universe by forbidding any technology that can be used to escape the universe. After the [[ApocalypseWow conclusion of the story]], when Oul is destroyed, the Imprisoning God's purpose is fulfilled, and ceases to exist, making all previously-forbidden technology free to use again.]]


* ''VideoGame/DivinityDragonCommander'': In the ending, the alliance destroys all their advanced technology and reverts to cobblestone houses and well water, out of fear that the demons who taught them could continue to interlace insanity and mind-control into the equations, as they did to the emperor's children and half the nation. Unfortunately, this turns out to be a horrible idea as it allows centuries of racial discrimination, genocide, and everyone's pants are down when [[''VideoGame/DivineDivinityII Damien re-invents plasma cannon frigates]].

to:

* ''VideoGame/DivinityDragonCommander'': In the ending, the alliance destroys all their advanced technology and reverts to cobblestone houses and well water, out of fear that the demons who taught them could continue to interlace insanity and mind-control into the equations, as they did to the emperor's children and half the nation. Unfortunately, this turns out to be a horrible idea as it allows centuries of racial discrimination, genocide, and everyone's pants are down when [[''VideoGame/DivineDivinityII Damien [[''VideoGame/DivineDivinityIITheDragonKnightSaga Damian re-invents plasma cannon frigates]].

Added DiffLines:

* ''VideoGame/DivinityDragonCommander'': In the ending, the alliance destroys all their advanced technology and reverts to cobblestone houses and well water, out of fear that the demons who taught them could continue to interlace insanity and mind-control into the equations, as they did to the emperor's children and half the nation. Unfortunately, this turns out to be a horrible idea as it allows centuries of racial discrimination, genocide, and everyone's pants are down when [[''VideoGame/DivineDivinityII Damien re-invents plasma cannon frigates]].


* In one episode of ''Series/TheOuterLimits1995'' a time traveler was sentenced to death in the future for possession of her machine, because the US of that era banned all sophisticated technology. She appeals to the Supreme Court, which appears sympathetic. However, ''another'' time traveler then arrives with a bomb, demanding they [[EnforcedTrope enforce]] this idea due to fearing the problems advanced technology caused that led to the ban. The ClipShow used by both time travelers shows that, in either case, human civilization may be doomed. If humans retain the ban, then a deadly plague will wipe out the majority of humans. If the ban if lifted, then the plague will be cured, but human arrogance will result in a failed FirstContact with another race, who will then proceed to rain death and destruction on Earth.

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* ''Series/TheOuterLimits1995'': In one episode of ''Series/TheOuterLimits1995'' "Final Appeal", a time traveler was sentenced to death in the future for possession of her machine, because the US of that era banned all sophisticated technology. She appeals to the Supreme Court, which appears sympathetic. However, ''another'' time traveler then arrives with a bomb, demanding they [[EnforcedTrope enforce]] this idea due to fearing the problems advanced technology caused that led to the ban. The ClipShow used by both time travelers shows that, in either case, human civilization may be doomed. If humans retain the ban, then a deadly plague will wipe out the majority of humans. If the ban if lifted, then the plague will be cured, but human arrogance will result in a failed FirstContact with another race, who will then proceed to rain death and destruction on Earth.



* In ''Series/{{Sliders}}'', one episode has the team end up on a world where the atomic bombing of Japan during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII has imbued a great fear of progress in people, resulting in the US banning technology over a certain level (40's or 50's). Arturo is nearly arrested for possessing a digital watch. Unfortunately, the timer isn't working right, and they have ended up in the one world where they still use vacuum tubes and haven't heard of integrated circuits. The Quinn of this world is dead, because the lack of meaningful medical advances has resulted in him dying from polio. His father possesses illegal tech. It turns out that the Bureau of Anti-Technology has been secretly stockpiling and studying all the advanced tech they have confiscated, expecting the ban to be overturned in the near future, which would allow the Bureau higher-ups to become instantly rich over all the patents they would file.

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* In ''Series/{{Sliders}}'', one episode "Gillian of the Spirits" has the team end up on a world where the atomic bombing of Japan during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII has imbued a great fear of progress in people, resulting in the US banning technology over a certain level (40's or 50's). Arturo is nearly arrested for possessing a digital watch. Unfortunately, the timer isn't working right, and they have ended up in the one world where they still use vacuum tubes and haven't heard of integrated circuits. The Quinn of this world is dead, because the lack of meaningful medical advances has resulted in him dying from polio. His father possesses illegal tech. It turns out that the Bureau of Anti-Technology has been secretly stockpiling and studying all the advanced tech they have confiscated, expecting the ban to be overturned in the near future, which would allow the Bureau higher-ups to become instantly rich over all the patents they would file.


* This is being done by the [[OurGnomesAreWeirder Gnomes]] of ''Literature/APracticalGuideToEvil'', who have such an enormous technological advantage over the other races that any society that begins to research any "[[MedievalStasis forbidden]] [[FantasyGunControl technology]]" are given three warnings before being competely wiped out.

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* A Russian novel has a colony on a planet whose star is unusually active and is constantly throwing up strong electromagnetic fields that interfere with most advanced technology. Only specially-shielded ships are used to travel to the colony. When a Middle Eastern nation takes over the colony, the Russian and German Empires send a joint fleet of their own to liberate the colony... using German UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo tanks. And the German soldiers here are the friendliest you can find, which is saying something, considering that this is a Canadian colony.
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* ''Literature/ArrivalsFromTheDark'':
This is initially assumed to be the case in ''Envoy from the Heavens'' on the planet Osier by Ivar Trevelyan, as the planet has been truck in MedievalStasis for nearly a millennium. He eventually discovers that there are many naturally-explainable factors that contribute to this state of affairs, which also explain why certain inventions have never become popular or were outright banned. For example, early steam engines tend to explode, resulting in them being done banned and abandoned. The Osierans believe that their world is flat and surrounded by a ring of their chief god. Attempting to reach the [[OurGnomesAreWeirder Gnomes]] ring would result in the gods becoming angry, which is why no one sails far from the shore, unaware of ''Literature/APracticalGuideToEvil'', who have a pristine continent on the other side of the planet. The only inhabited continent is largely ruled by an extremely stable empire, and that stability further discourages innovation. When Ivar suggests making a saddle for the local equivalent of a draft animal (which are only used to pull chariots), the locals are horrified at burdening such majestic creatures with the weight of a person, precluding them being used as mounts. [[spoiler:There is an enormous advanced alien race watching over the planet and countering human efforts to introduce progress, but they don't do any more than stop humans, believing in their own version of the AlienNonInterferenceClause (i.e. never interfere except to save a species)]].
* In Jerry Pournelle's early ''Literature/CoDominium'' stories, the Bureau of Technology puts all scientific and
technological advantage over advancement under tight controls to prevent the creation of any devices that would threaten the stability of society.
* In the future Earth of the ''Literature/CouncilWars'' series, the omnipresent AI taking care of the planet, Mother, strictly controls how much energetic reactions can be used, with an upper limit that can't normally be breached, for public safety. When everything goes to hell, this means that firearms and explosives are impossible, and even most engines beyond very low-pressure steam ones. On
the other races hand, they've got several millennia of genetically-engineered crops and animals, previously-built supermaterials, and the odd item provided by the people who still have access to the [[ClarkesThirdLaw Clarke-level tech]].
* In Frank Herbert's ''Franchise/{{Dune}}'', artificial intelligence is banned by religious taboo ("Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of man's mind," according to the Orange Catholic Bible) dating back to the [[GreatOffscreenWar Butlerian Jihad]]. This is interpreted to mean pretty much all forms of electronic computing are proscribed; mentats are trained to process information at speeds and volumes far greater than normal humans and Spacing Guild Navigators look into the future to safely plot interstellar travel routes.
* On ''Literature/{{Gor}}'' the [[SufficientlyAdvancedAliens Priest-Kings]] will smite anyone they catch experimenting with "forbidden technology" such as firearms. However, they do allow experimentation in some areas, such as medicine, which has advanced to the point
that the Goreans are basically indestructible to disease and age.
* In the GenreThrowback SpaceOpera novel ''Literature/GrandCentralArena'', certain technologies just don't work in the Arena, including AI, nuclear reactors, and nanotech beyond certain limits.
* In Sean [=McMullen's=] ''Literature/GreatwinterTrilogy'', satellites called ''sentinels'' use [=EMPs=] to destroy
any society electric devices.
* In ''Literature/HarryPotter'', magical spells can prevent certain technologies from functioning. On Hogwarts school grounds, things like guns, automobiles, or anything electronic simply won't work. Also, it's against the rules to enchant high-tech items. There are also completely inexplicable technologies
that begins don't even have moving parts; things like "paper notebooks" and "pencils".
* The entire plot of Daniel Suarez's ''Influx'': The "[[GovernmentAgencyOfFiction Bureau of Technology Control]]", formed shortly after UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, has suppressed all the "[[ScaleOfScientificSins disruptive]]" technologies developed during the latter half of the 20th century, and makes full use of everything they've seized
to research any "[[MedievalStasis forbidden]] [[FantasyGunControl technology]]" maintain that advantage. Five big things they've monopolized are given three warnings before being competely wiped out.cold fusion, ArtificialIntelligence, {{Nanomachines}}, the ''CureForCancer'', and '''[[TheAgeless immortality]]'''.
** One darkly funny thing is that [[spoiler:fusion was developed in 1985, and the Director of the BTC immediately imprisoned the designer and ''stole credit for it'', even thought it would only be known inside the Bureau. What makes it funny is that over the course of the next 28 years, he's had to do it '''a hundred and twelve more times.''']]



* ''Literature/TerminalWorld'' by Creator/AlastairReynolds features a [[BigDumbObject giant megastructure]] known as "Spearpoint", a spiraling tower that is the last city on Earth. Within it, various technological levels are enforced by reality itself; the laws of nature seem to change between the levels. The higher up the tower, the more advanced technology becoming possible the higher up one goes. One of the lower levels is called "[[SteamPunk Steamtown]]", a higher up level is called the "[[TheFifties Neon Heights]]", and even further up is "[[TurnOfTheMillennium Circuit City]]". It's implied that people from the top of the tower, the "[[CrystalSpiresAndTogas Celestial Zone]]", cannot even ''go'' to the lower levels, due to the advanced nanotech in their cells that starts to break down as soon as they go outside their zone. Most of the world outside of Spearpoint can only support basic machinery - [[ZeppelinsFromAnotherWorld Swarm]] relies on basic combustion and steam engines for its movement. In the [[ForbiddenZone Bane]], the laws of physics break down enough that anything entering it ceases to function, including living beings; the ground of the Bane is a lifeless desert.
* In Creator/VernorVinge's ''Literature/ZonesOfThought'' series, the physical laws of nature seem to vary depending on how far one is from the galactic core. Such that, the further you get away from the core, the more advanced technology is able to be. Earth is located in the "slow zone", [[MundaneDogmatic where physics works as we currently understand it]] (i.e. faster-than-light travel is impossible, no such thing as anti-gravity, etc). Further out is called "[[Mohs/WorldOfPhlebotinum The Beyond]]", where things like [[CasualInterstellarTravel FTL travel]] and ArtificialIntelligence become possible. Farthest is "The Transcend", a zone where [[ClarkesThirdLaw magic and science lose any distinction]] and you have things like powerful [=AIs=] becoming akin to ''gods''.
* "The Rapture Of The Nerds", collaboratively written by Creator/CoryDoctorow and Creator/CharlesStross, is set in the aftermath of TheSingularity: a countless number of humans have [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence left Earth]] by [[BrainUploading uploading their minds]] to a network of {{Nanomachines}}, which have proceeded to consume every stray molecule of matter in the solar system not in contact with the homeworld. The remaining un-"raptured" population who have chosen not to join the network enforce a ban on similar technologies through a "technology court". Citizens are randomly signed up to serve on this court (as per the book's origin as the short stories "Jury Duty" and "Appeals Court" would imply), and their job is to evaluate the random bits of super advanced flotsam-and-jetsom that occasionally fall to Earth as "gifts" from the nanomachine network. The technology court is tasked with determining what new technology's effect on society at large will be, and anything too dangerous or too advanced (that might cause another singularity in the remaining population) is destroyed.

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* ''Literature/TerminalWorld'' by Creator/AlastairReynolds features a [[BigDumbObject giant megastructure]] known as "Spearpoint", a spiraling tower that is In ''Literature/TheLostRegiment'', the last city on Earth. Within it, various human nations on the planet Valennia have been stuck at the same technological levels level they arrived with, meaning Roum and Cartha are enforced by reality itself; stuck at the laws of nature seem to change between same level they were in during the levels. First Punic War back on Earth, while the Rus are stuck in the state of the Medieval Russians. Since the masters of Valennia are the 9-foot-tall HumanAliens that constantly travel in [[TheHorde Hordes]] and expect tribute from their "cattle" (their word for humans) subjects in the form of grain and [[IAmAHumanitarian human meat]], they make sure that the cattle never get too advanced to threaten the Hordes. Even the Rouman army is a far cry from the famed Marian legions in the heyday of the Roman Empire but mostly consists of untrained rabble with a single poorly-equipped legion at the center. The higher Hordes themselves descend from a powerful starfaring civilization that has built a vast PortalNetwork, of which Earth is a part. The Tunnels activate at random times, scooping up people and bringing them to Valennia. After their civilization has bombed itself back to the tower, Stone Age, the more Hordes have chosen to maintain their primitive nomadic way of life, eschewing advanced technology becoming possible and burying any ancient relics they find. At one point, the higher even got their hands on some FrickinLaserBeams from a race of StarfishAliens (a typical example of RockBeatsLaser) that have also ended up one goes. One on Valennia, but threw the weapons into the sea. Everything gets turned on its head when the 35th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment and the 44th New York Light Artillery Brigade (along with a steamer) get scooped up by a Tunnel in the midst of the lower levels is called "[[SteamPunk Steamtown]]", a higher up level is called UsefulNotes/AmericanCivilWar and brought to Valennia. Suddenly, the "[[TheFifties Neon Heights]]", MedievalStasis is broken by a RagtagBunchOfMisfits who have the know-how to turn a bunch of Medieval Russians into an industrial power in a matter of years and even further up form a "modern" (by Civil War standards) army out of illiterate peasants.
* In the ''Literature/OldKingdom'' series, most technology rapidly degrades into ruin in the Old Kingdom: the rule seems to be 'anything not made by hand'. There was one guy whose outsider pen pal always uses machine-made paper, turning every letter he sends into an annoying exercise in forensic science. This
is "[[TurnOfTheMillennium Circuit City]]". It's implied because most technology fails in the presence of magic (this also means that people from the top of Perimeter Guards are armed with both guns and swords, because any magical creature that gets close enough will make their guns fail).
* In ''Literature/ThePillarsOfReality'',
the tower, the "[[CrystalSpiresAndTogas Celestial Zone]]", cannot even ''go'' to the lower levels, due to the Guild of Mechanics has a lot of relatively advanced nanotech in their cells that starts to break down as soon as they go outside their zone. Most of the world outside of Spearpoint can only support basic machinery - [[ZeppelinsFromAnotherWorld Swarm]] relies on basic combustion and steam engines for its movement. In the [[ForbiddenZone Bane]], the laws of physics break down enough that anything entering it ceases to function, technology, including living beings; the ground rifles, radios, trains, and rudimentary computers. However, it is quite insistent that nobody else can have this stuff, which naturally generates a lot of resentment among people who have to live with medieval-ish technology. Part of the Bane is a lifeless desert.
* In Creator/VernorVinge's ''Literature/ZonesOfThought'' series,
plot of the physical laws of nature seem first book deals with a city which tries to vary depending on how far one is from the galactic core. Such that, the further you get away from the core, the more advanced defy its enforced technology level.
** The
technology is able to be. Earth is located in also literally an enforced level, as the "slow zone", [[MundaneDogmatic where physics works as we currently understand it]] (i.e. faster-than-light travel ultimate source of mechanics guild tech was broken into levels which the founders of the guild chose which to stay at.
* This
is impossible, no being done by the [[OurGnomesAreWeirder Gnomes]] of ''Literature/APracticalGuideToEvil'', who have such thing as anti-gravity, etc). Further out is called "[[Mohs/WorldOfPhlebotinum The Beyond]]", where things like [[CasualInterstellarTravel FTL travel]] and ArtificialIntelligence become possible. Farthest is "The Transcend", a zone where [[ClarkesThirdLaw magic and science lose an enormous technological advantage over the other races that any distinction]] and you have things like powerful [=AIs=] becoming akin society that begins to ''gods''.
research any "[[MedievalStasis forbidden]] [[FantasyGunControl technology]]" are given three warnings before being competely wiped out.
* "The ''The Rapture Of The Nerds", of the Nerds'', collaboratively written by Creator/CoryDoctorow and Creator/CharlesStross, is set in the aftermath of TheSingularity: a countless number of humans have [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence left Earth]] by [[BrainUploading uploading their minds]] to a network of {{Nanomachines}}, which have proceeded to consume every stray molecule of matter in the solar system not in contact with the homeworld. The remaining un-"raptured" population who have chosen not to join the network enforce a ban on similar technologies through a "technology court". Citizens are randomly signed up to serve on this court (as per the book's origin as the short stories "Jury Duty" and "Appeals Court" would imply), and their job is to evaluate the random bits of super advanced flotsam-and-jetsom that occasionally fall to Earth as "gifts" from the nanomachine network. The technology court is tasked with determining what new technology's effect on society at large will be, and anything too dangerous or too advanced (that might cause another singularity in the remaining population) is destroyed.



* In ''Literature/HarryPotter'', magical spells can prevent certain technologies from functioning. On Hogwarts school grounds, things like guns, automobiles, or anything electronic simply won't work. Also, it's against the rules to enchant high-tech items. There are also completely inexplicable technologies that don't even have moving parts; things like "paper notebooks" and "pencils".
* In the Literature/OldKingdom series, most technology rapidly degrades into ruin in the Old Kingdom: the rule seems to be 'anything not made by hand'. There was one guy whose outsider pen pal always uses machine-made paper, turning every letter he sends into an annoying exercise in forensic science. This is because most technology fails in the presence of magic (this also means that the Perimeter Guards are armed with both guns and swords, because any magical creature that gets close enough will make their guns fail).

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* ''Literature/{{Safehold}}'': The [[PathOfInspiration Church of God Awaiting]] enforces MedievalStasis through the Inquisition and the Proscriptions of Jwo-Jeng, which suggest torture and immolation as the best way to curb scientific advancement. Those rules are, however, bent and broken more than a few times gunpowder was introduced because a noble wanting to use it for mining bribed the Inquisition, and in the present day, the Empire of Charis pays little more than lip service to the Proscriptions. They do try to stop progress from going too far, however, as another enforcement mechanism is a set of orbital platforms that, if they detect strong enough power sources, will unleash a [[KineticWeaponsAreJustBetter kinetic bombardment]] capable of devastating a small continent though most Safehold citizens aren't aware of that.
* In ''Literature/HarryPotter'', magical spells can prevent certain the ''Literature/StarCarrier'' series, the Sh'daar Masters limit any development in four specific areas of technology for all their subjects but have no problem with the rest. This is the main reason for their conflict with the humans who refuse to abide by the ban. These so-called GRIN technologies from functioning. On Hogwarts school grounds, things like guns, automobiles, or anything electronic simply won't work. Also, (Genetics, Robotics, Information technology, and Nanotechnology) are believed to be the key to achieving TheSingularity, which is what the Sh'daar fear.
* In the Weis/Hickman ''Literature/{{Starshield}}'' books, the laws of physics aren't constant, but regional. Here, Newtonian/Einsteinian physics apply, over here
it's against the rules to enchant high-tech items. There are also completely inexplicable technologies demons and magic, over there it's sorcery.
* ''Literature/TerminalWorld'' by Creator/AlastairReynolds features a [[BigDumbObject giant megastructure]] known as "Spearpoint", a spiraling tower
that don't even have moving parts; things like "paper notebooks" and "pencils".
* In
is the Literature/OldKingdom series, most last city on Earth. Within it, various technological levels are enforced by reality itself; the laws of nature seem to change between the levels. The higher up the tower, the more advanced technology rapidly degrades into ruin becoming possible the higher up one goes. One of the lower levels is called "[[SteamPunk Steamtown]]", a higher up level is called the "[[TheFifties Neon Heights]]", and even further up is "[[TurnOfTheMillennium Circuit City]]". It's implied that people from the top of the tower, the "[[CrystalSpiresAndTogas Celestial Zone]]", cannot even ''go'' to the lower levels, due to the advanced nanotech in their cells that starts to break down as soon as they go outside their zone. Most of the world outside of Spearpoint can only support basic machinery - [[ZeppelinsFromAnotherWorld Swarm]] relies on basic combustion and steam engines for its movement. In the [[ForbiddenZone Bane]], the laws of physics break down enough that anything entering it ceases to function, including living beings; the ground of the Bane is a lifeless desert.
* A Russian duology by Aleksandr Mazin (''Time for Change'' and ''The Morning of Judgment Day'') feature a world
in the Old Kingdom: the rule near future where nature itself seems to be 'anything not made by hand'. There was one guy whose outsider pen pal always uses machine-made paper, turning every letter he sends have rebelled against advanced technology. After a series of seemingly random catastrophes, which were correlated with research into certain areas of science which some may find questionable, a global ban was placed on specific fields of science and an annoying exercise in forensic science. This international agency was set up to keep tabs and stop any illegal research. At the end of the second novel, China outright ignores the ban and launches a manned mission to Mars (spaceflight is because most technology fails one of the banned areas). However, just as the ship is about to reach Mars, all Chinese-speaking people in the presence of magic (this also means that world who are watching the Perimeter Guards transmission are armed with both guns rendered mute. The protagonist's father points out parallels between this and swords, because any magical creature that gets close enough will make the [[Literature/TheBible Tower of Babel]] (i.e. humans attempting to reach the Heavens) and postulates that, perhaps, humanity is meant to stay on Earth.
* In Creator/LSpragueDeCamp's ''Literature/ViagensInterplanetarias'' stories, the planet Krishna has a generally Medieval level of technology, and human visitors have to have psychological blocks implanted in
their guns fail).minds to prevent them from releasing any technology. It's not so much to protect the locals as to protect ''other'' planets from the Krishnans, who have all the unpleasant habits of feudal societies -- [[HeManWomanHater vicious misogyny]], [[SlaveryIsASpecialKindOfEvil chattel slavery]], [[DisproportionateRetribution killing people for insulting them]] -- stuff that would be catastrophic if practiced with spacefaring technology. Several of the stories center on innovative ways to get around this restriction, as they make it clear that they'd trade a ''lot'' of gold for weapons to kill their enemies. A particularly clever one is a parrot trained to dictate technical manuals when the TriggerPhrase is spoken.



* The [[PathOfInspiration Church of the God Awaiting]] in ''Literature/{{Safehold}}'' enforces MedievalStasis through the Inquisition and the Proscriptions of Jwo-Jeng, which suggest torture and immolation as the best way to curb scientific advancement. Those rules are, however, bent and broken more than a few times - gunpoweder was introduced because a noble wanting to use it for mining bribed the Inquisition, and in the present day, the Empire of Charis pays little more than lip service to the Proscriptions. They do try to stop progress from going too far, however, as another enforcement mechanism is a set of orbital platforms that, if they detect strong enough power sources, will unleash a [[KineticWeaponsAreJustBetter kinetic bombardment]] capable of devastating a small continent - though most Safehold citizens aren't aware of that.
* In the GenreThrowback SpaceOpera novel ''Literature/GrandCentralArena'', certain technologies just don't work in the Arena, including AI, nuclear reactors, and nanotech beyond certain limits.
* On ''Literature/{{Gor}}'' the [[SufficientlyAdvancedAliens Priest-Kings]] will smite anyone they catch experimenting with "forbidden technology" such as firearms. However, they do allow experimentation in some areas, such as medicine, which has advanced to the point that the Goreans are basically indestructible to disease and age.
* In the Weis/Hickman ''{{Starshield}}'' books, the laws of physics aren't constant, but regional. Here, Newtonian/Einsteinian physics apply, over here it's demons and magic, over there it's sorcery.
* In the future Earth of the ''Literature/CouncilWars'' series, the omnipresent AI taking care of the planet, Mother, strictly controls how much energetic reactions can be used, with an upper limit that can't normally be breached, for public safety. When everything goes to hell, this means that firearms and explosives are impossible, and even most engines beyond very low-pressure steam ones. On the other hand, they've got several millennia of genetically-engineered crops and animals, previously-built supermaterials, and the odd item provided by the people who still have access to the [[ClarkesThirdLaw Clarke-level tech]].
* A Russian novel has a colony on a planet whose star is unusually active and is constantly throwing up strong electromagnetic fields that interfere with most advanced technology. Only specially-shielded ships are used to travel to the colony. When a Middle Eastern nation takes over the colony, the Russian and German Empires send a joint fleet of their own to liberate the colony... using German UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo tanks. And the German soldiers here are the friendliest you can find, which is saying something, considering that this is a Canadian colony.
* A Russian duology by Aleksandr Mazin (''Time for Change'' and ''The Morning of Judgment Day'') feature a world in the near future where nature itself seems to have rebelled against advanced technology. After a series of seemingly random catastrophes, which were correlated with research into certain areas of science which some may find questionable, a global ban was placed on specific fields of science and an international agency was set up to keep tabs and stop any illegal research. At the end of the second novel, China outright ignores the ban and launches a manned mission to Mars (spaceflight is one of the banned areas). However, just as the ship is about to reach Mars, all Chinese-speaking people in the world who are watching the transmission are rendered mute. The protagonist's father points out parallels between this and the [[Literature/TheBible Tower of Babel]] (i.e. humans attempting to reach the Heavens) and postulates that, perhaps, humanity is meant to stay on Earth.
* In Jerry Pournelle's early ''Literature/CoDominium'' stories, the Bureau of Technology puts all scientific and technological advancement under tight controls to prevent the creation of any devices that would threaten the stability of society.
* In Frank Herbert's ''Franchise/{{Dune}}'', artificial intelligence is banned by religious taboo ("Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of man's mind," according to the Orange Catholic Bible) dating back to the [[GreatOffscreenWar Butlerian Jihad]]. This is interpreted to mean pretty much all forms of electronic computing are proscribed; mentats are trained to process information at speeds and volumes far greater than normal humans and Spacing Guild Navigators look into the future to safely plot interstellar travel routes.
* In the ''Literature/StarCarrier'' series, the Sh'daar Masters limit any development in four specific areas of technology for all their subjects but have no problem with the rest. This is the main reason for their conflict with the humans who refuse to abide by the ban. These so-called GRIN technologies (Genetics, Robotics, Information technology, and Nanotechnology) are believed to be the key to achieving TheSingularity, which is what the Sh'daar fear.
* In Creator/LSpragueDeCamp's ''Literature/ViagensInterplanetarias'' stories, the planet Krishna has a generally Medieval level of technology, and human visitors have to have psychological blocks implanted in their minds to prevent them from releasing any technology. It's not so much to protect the locals as to protect ''other'' planets from the Krishnans, who have all the unpleasant habits of feudal societies -- [[HeManWomanHater vicious misogyny]], [[SlaveryIsASpecialKindOfEvil chattel slavery]], [[DisproportionateRetribution killing people for insulting them]] -- stuff that would be catastrophic if practiced with spacefaring technology. Several of the stories center on innovative ways to get around this restriction, as they make it clear that they'd trade a ''lot'' of gold for weapons to kill their enemies. A particularly clever one is a parrot trained to dictate technical manuals when the TriggerPhrase is spoken.
* The entire plot of Daniel Suarez's ''Influx'': The "[[GovernmentAgencyOfFiction Bureau of Technology Control]]", formed shortly after UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, has suppressed all the "[[ScaleOfScientificSins disruptive]]" technologies developed during the latter half of the 20th century, and makes full use of everything they've seized to maintain that advantage. Five big things they've monopolized are cold fusion, ArtificialIntelligence, {{Nanomachines}}, the ''CureForCancer'', and '''[[TheAgeless immortality]]'''.
** One darkly funny thing is that [[spoiler:fusion was developed in 1985, and the Director of the BTC immediately imprisoned the designer and ''stole credit for it'', even thought it would only be known inside the Bureau. What makes it funny is that over the course of the next 28 years, he's had to do it '''a hundred and twelve more times.''']]
* In ''Literature/TheLostRegiment'', the various human nations on the planet Valennia have been stuck at the same technological level they arrived with, meaning Roum and Cartha are stuck at the same level they were in during the First Punic War back on Earth, while the Rus are stuck in the state of the Medieval Russians. Since the masters of Valennia are the 9-foot-tall HumanAliens that constantly travel in [[TheHorde Hordes]] and expect tribute from their "cattle" (their word for humans) subjects in the form of grain and [[IAmAHumanitarian human meat]], they make sure that the cattle never get too advanced to threaten the Hordes. Even the Rouman army is a far cry from the famed Marian legions in the heyday of the Roman Empire but mostly consists of untrained rabble with a single poorly-equipped legion at the center. The Hordes themselves descend from a powerful starfaring civilization that has built a vast PortalNetwork, of which Earth is a part. The Tunnels activate at random times, scooping up people and bringing them to Valennia. After their civilization has bombed itself back to the Stone Age, the Hordes have chosen to maintain their primitive nomadic way of life, eschewing advanced technology and burying any ancient relics they find. At one point, the even got their hands on some FrickinLaserBeams from a race of StarfishAliens (a typical example of RockBeatsLaser) that have also ended up on Valennia, but threw the weapons into the sea. Everything gets turned on its head when the 35th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment and the 44th New York Light Artillery Brigade (along with a steamer) get scooped up by a Tunnel in the midst of the UsefulNotes/AmericanCivilWar and brought to Valennia. Suddenly, the MedievalStasis is broken by a RagtagBunchOfMisfits who have the know-how to turn a bunch of Medieval Russians into an industrial power in a matter of years and form a "modern" (by Civil War standards) army out of illiterate peasants.
* In ''Literature/ThePillarsOfReality'', the Guild of Mechanics has a lot of relatively advanced technology, including rifles, radios, trains, and rudimentary computers. However, it is quite insistent that nobody else can have this stuff, which naturally generates a lot of resentment among people who have to live with medieval-ish technology. Part of the plot of the first book deals with a city which tries to defy its enforced technology level.
** The technology is also literally an enforced level, as the ultimate source of mechanics guild tech was broken into levels which the founders of the guild chose which to stay at.
* This is initially assumed to be the case in ''[[Literature/ArrivalsFromTheDark Envoy from the Heavens]]'' on the planet Osier by Ivar Trevelyan, as the planet has been truck in MedievalStasis for nearly a millennium. He eventually discovers that there are many naturally-explainable factors that contribute to this state of affairs, which also explain why certain inventions have never become popular or were outright banned. For example, early steam engines tend to explode, resulting in them being banned and abandoned. The Osierans believe that their world is flat and surrounded by a ring of their chief god. Attempting to reach the ring would result in the gods becoming angry, which is why no one sails far from the shore, unaware of a pristine continent on the other side of the planet. The only inhabited continent is largely ruled by an extremely stable empire, and that stability further discourages innovation. When Ivar suggests making a saddle for the local equivalent of a draft animal (which are only used to pull chariots), the locals are horrified at burdening such majestic creatures with the weight of a person, precluding them being used as mounts. [[spoiler:There is an advanced alien race watching over the planet and countering human efforts to introduce progress, but they don't do any more than stop humans, believing in their own version of the AlienNonInterferenceClause (i.e. never interfere except to save a species)]].
* In ''Literature/WorldWar'' technological development by the Race is tightly controlled to prevent it from disrupting their society (thus endangering the Emperors' rule). This harms them after they attempt to conquer Earth, as humans develop much quicker. Their scientists also work along the "approved" lines of research, firmly believing that anything that has been concluded before is an incontrovertible truth rather than a theory that can be proven wrong. This bites them in the ass in the final novel, where [[spoiler:humans develop FasterThanLightTravel, while the Race is only beginning to realize that their long-held belief about it being impossible is wrong]].
* In Sean [=McMullen's=] ''Literature/GreatwinterTrilogy'', satellites called ''sentinels'' use [=EMPs=] to destroy any electric devices.

to:

* The [[PathOfInspiration Church of the God Awaiting]] in ''Literature/{{Safehold}}'' enforces MedievalStasis through the Inquisition and the Proscriptions of Jwo-Jeng, which suggest torture and immolation as the best way to curb scientific advancement. Those rules are, however, bent and broken more than a few times - gunpoweder was introduced because a noble wanting to use it for mining bribed the Inquisition, and in the present day, the Empire of Charis pays little more than lip service to the Proscriptions. They do try to stop progress from going too far, however, as another enforcement mechanism is a set of orbital platforms that, if they detect strong enough power sources, will unleash a [[KineticWeaponsAreJustBetter kinetic bombardment]] capable of devastating a small continent - though most Safehold citizens aren't aware of that.
* In the GenreThrowback SpaceOpera novel ''Literature/GrandCentralArena'', certain technologies just don't work in the Arena, including AI, nuclear reactors, and nanotech beyond certain limits.
* On ''Literature/{{Gor}}'' the [[SufficientlyAdvancedAliens Priest-Kings]] will smite anyone they catch experimenting with "forbidden technology" such as firearms. However, they do allow experimentation in some areas, such as medicine, which has advanced to the point that the Goreans are basically indestructible to disease and age.
* In the Weis/Hickman ''{{Starshield}}'' books, the laws of physics aren't constant, but regional. Here, Newtonian/Einsteinian physics apply, over here it's demons and magic, over there it's sorcery.
* In the future Earth of the ''Literature/CouncilWars'' series, the omnipresent AI taking care of the planet, Mother, strictly controls how much energetic reactions can be used, with an upper limit that can't normally be breached, for public safety. When everything goes to hell, this means that firearms and explosives are impossible, and even most engines beyond very low-pressure steam ones. On the other hand, they've got several millennia of genetically-engineered crops and animals, previously-built supermaterials, and the odd item provided by the people who still have access to the [[ClarkesThirdLaw Clarke-level tech]].
* A Russian novel has a colony on a planet whose star is unusually active and is constantly throwing up strong electromagnetic fields that interfere with most advanced technology. Only specially-shielded ships are used to travel to the colony. When a Middle Eastern nation takes over the colony, the Russian and German Empires send a joint fleet of their own to liberate the colony... using German UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo tanks. And the German soldiers here are the friendliest you can find, which is saying something, considering that this is a Canadian colony.
* A Russian duology by Aleksandr Mazin (''Time for Change'' and ''The Morning of Judgment Day'') feature a world in the near future where nature itself seems to have rebelled against advanced technology. After a series of seemingly random catastrophes, which were correlated with research into certain areas of science which some may find questionable, a global ban was placed on specific fields of science and an international agency was set up to keep tabs and stop any illegal research. At the end of the second novel, China outright ignores the ban and launches a manned mission to Mars (spaceflight is one of the banned areas). However, just as the ship is about to reach Mars, all Chinese-speaking people in the world who are watching the transmission are rendered mute. The protagonist's father points out parallels between this and the [[Literature/TheBible Tower of Babel]] (i.e. humans attempting to reach the Heavens) and postulates that, perhaps, humanity is meant to stay on Earth.
* In Jerry Pournelle's early ''Literature/CoDominium'' stories, the Bureau of Technology puts all scientific and technological advancement under tight controls to prevent the creation of any devices that would threaten the stability of society.
* In Frank Herbert's ''Franchise/{{Dune}}'', artificial intelligence is banned by religious taboo ("Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of man's mind," according to the Orange Catholic Bible) dating back to the [[GreatOffscreenWar Butlerian Jihad]]. This is interpreted to mean pretty much all forms of electronic computing are proscribed; mentats are trained to process information at speeds and volumes far greater than normal humans and Spacing Guild Navigators look into the future to safely plot interstellar travel routes.
* In the ''Literature/StarCarrier'' series, the Sh'daar Masters limit any development in four specific areas of technology for all their subjects but have no problem with the rest. This is the main reason for their conflict with the humans who refuse to abide by the ban. These so-called GRIN technologies (Genetics, Robotics, Information technology, and Nanotechnology) are believed to be the key to achieving TheSingularity, which is what the Sh'daar fear.
* In Creator/LSpragueDeCamp's ''Literature/ViagensInterplanetarias'' stories, the planet Krishna has a generally Medieval level of technology, and human visitors have to have psychological blocks implanted in their minds to prevent them from releasing any technology. It's not so much to protect the locals as to protect ''other'' planets from the Krishnans, who have all the unpleasant habits of feudal societies -- [[HeManWomanHater vicious misogyny]], [[SlaveryIsASpecialKindOfEvil chattel slavery]], [[DisproportionateRetribution killing people for insulting them]] -- stuff that would be catastrophic if practiced with spacefaring technology. Several of the stories center on innovative ways to get around this restriction, as they make it clear that they'd trade a ''lot'' of gold for weapons to kill their enemies. A particularly clever one is a parrot trained to dictate technical manuals when the TriggerPhrase is spoken.
* The entire plot of Daniel Suarez's ''Influx'': The "[[GovernmentAgencyOfFiction Bureau of Technology Control]]", formed shortly after UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, has suppressed all the "[[ScaleOfScientificSins disruptive]]" technologies developed during the latter half of the 20th century, and makes full use of everything they've seized to maintain that advantage. Five big things they've monopolized are cold fusion, ArtificialIntelligence, {{Nanomachines}}, the ''CureForCancer'', and '''[[TheAgeless immortality]]'''.
** One darkly funny thing is that [[spoiler:fusion was developed in 1985, and the Director of the BTC immediately imprisoned the designer and ''stole credit for it'', even thought it would only be known inside the Bureau. What makes it funny is that over the course of the next 28 years, he's had to do it '''a hundred and twelve more times.''']]
* In ''Literature/TheLostRegiment'', the various human nations on the planet Valennia have been stuck at the same technological level they arrived with, meaning Roum and Cartha are stuck at the same level they were in during the First Punic War back on Earth, while the Rus are stuck in the state of the Medieval Russians. Since the masters of Valennia are the 9-foot-tall HumanAliens that constantly travel in [[TheHorde Hordes]] and expect tribute from their "cattle" (their word for humans) subjects in the form of grain and [[IAmAHumanitarian human meat]], they make sure that the cattle never get too advanced to threaten the Hordes. Even the Rouman army is a far cry from the famed Marian legions in the heyday of the Roman Empire but mostly consists of untrained rabble with a single poorly-equipped legion at the center. The Hordes themselves descend from a powerful starfaring civilization that has built a vast PortalNetwork, of which Earth is a part. The Tunnels activate at random times, scooping up people and bringing them to Valennia. After their civilization has bombed itself back to the Stone Age, the Hordes have chosen to maintain their primitive nomadic way of life, eschewing advanced technology and burying any ancient relics they find. At one point, the even got their hands on some FrickinLaserBeams from a race of StarfishAliens (a typical example of RockBeatsLaser) that have also ended up on Valennia, but threw the weapons into the sea. Everything gets turned on its head when the 35th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment and the 44th New York Light Artillery Brigade (along with a steamer) get scooped up by a Tunnel in the midst of the UsefulNotes/AmericanCivilWar and brought to Valennia. Suddenly, the MedievalStasis is broken by a RagtagBunchOfMisfits who have the know-how to turn a bunch of Medieval Russians into an industrial power in a matter of years and form a "modern" (by Civil War standards) army out of illiterate peasants.
* In ''Literature/ThePillarsOfReality'', the Guild of Mechanics has a lot of relatively advanced technology, including rifles, radios, trains, and rudimentary computers. However, it is quite insistent that nobody else can have this stuff, which naturally generates a lot of resentment among people who have to live with medieval-ish technology. Part of the plot of the first book deals with a city which tries to defy its enforced technology level.
** The technology is also literally an enforced level, as the ultimate source of mechanics guild tech was broken into levels which the founders of the guild chose which to stay at.
* This is initially assumed to be the case in ''[[Literature/ArrivalsFromTheDark Envoy from the Heavens]]'' on the planet Osier by Ivar Trevelyan, as the planet has been truck in MedievalStasis for nearly a millennium. He eventually discovers that there are many naturally-explainable factors that contribute to this state of affairs, which also explain why certain inventions have never become popular or were outright banned. For example, early steam engines tend to explode, resulting in them being banned and abandoned. The Osierans believe that their world is flat and surrounded by a ring of their chief god. Attempting to reach the ring would result in the gods becoming angry, which is why no one sails far from the shore, unaware of a pristine continent on the other side of the planet. The only inhabited continent is largely ruled by an extremely stable empire, and that stability further discourages innovation. When Ivar suggests making a saddle for the local equivalent of a draft animal (which are only used to pull chariots), the locals are horrified at burdening such majestic creatures with the weight of a person, precluding them being used as mounts. [[spoiler:There is an advanced alien race watching over the planet and countering human efforts to introduce progress, but they don't do any more than stop humans, believing in their own version of the AlienNonInterferenceClause (i.e. never interfere except to save a species)]].
* In ''Literature/WorldWar''
''Literature/{{Worldwar}}'' technological development by the Race is tightly controlled to prevent it from disrupting their society (thus endangering the Emperors' rule). This harms them after they attempt to conquer Earth, as humans develop much quicker. Their scientists also work along the "approved" lines of research, firmly believing that anything that has been concluded before is an incontrovertible truth rather than a theory that can be proven wrong. This bites them in the ass in the final novel, where [[spoiler:humans develop FasterThanLightTravel, while the Race is only beginning to realize that their long-held belief about it being impossible is wrong]].
* In Sean [=McMullen's=] ''Literature/GreatwinterTrilogy'', satellites Creator/VernorVinge's ''Literature/ZonesOfThought'' series, the physical laws of nature seem to vary depending on how far one is from the galactic core. Such that, the further you get away from the core, the more advanced technology is able to be. Earth is located in the "slow zone", [[MundaneDogmatic where physics works as we currently understand it]] (i.e. faster-than-light travel is impossible, no such thing as anti-gravity, etc). Further out is called ''sentinels'' use [=EMPs=] to destroy "[[Mohs/WorldOfPhlebotinum The Beyond]]", where things like [[CasualInterstellarTravel FTL travel]] and ArtificialIntelligence become possible. Farthest is "The Transcend", a zone where [[ClarkesThirdLaw magic and science lose any electric devices.distinction]] and you have things like powerful [=AIs=] becoming akin to ''gods''.



[[folder:Live-Action Television]]
* In ''Franchise/StarTrek'', the Federation is prohibited from developing its own cloaking devices due to a treaty they signed with the Romulans (which is like saying only one side can have submarines). The exact nature of the treaty and the situation behind its signing is never specified in canon sources, so it's unclear whether the Romulan Empire similarly agreed to restrict itself technologically, or if the Federation forswore cloaking technology in exchange for territorial concessions.[[note]]The actual reason was to give an in-universe explanation for why the Federation doesn't have cloaking devices, despite stealing a fully functional one from the Romulans in a ''TOS'' episode and despite both the Romulans and Klingons (the other two most powerful nations in their region of the galaxy) employing them extensively. The out-of-universe reason is that cloaking was deemed an ability more suited villains, creating a disadvantage for the Federation heroes to overcome.[[/note]]
** A whole ''[[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration TNG]]'' episode is devoted to trying to cover up one such attempt at developing it in violation of the treaty. This attempt had catastrophically failed because the rogue Starfleet officers tried to leapfrog the Romulans with a cloaking device that would render a ship both invisible and ''[[{{Intangibility}} intangible]]''...and then the device malfunctioned while the test ship was [[TeleFrag passing through an asteroid]].
** In ''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine DS9]]'', the Romulans give the Federation a single cloaking to mount on a single ship (the USS ''Defiant'') in order to jointly scout the Gamma Quadrant (on the other side of the Bajoran wormhole) and assess the threat of the Dominion, but impose strict limits on its use (it can ''only'' be used in the Gamma Quadrant for anti-Dominion operations, and every other Federation ship is still forbidden to have a cloaking device). Restrictions which the Federation proceeds to ignore every time they find a cloaked ship useful within the Alpha Quadrant. If the Romulans ever found out, they were willing to look the other way because the ''Defiant'' and its cloaking device were never used against ''them'', only against forces that were at the time mutual enemies of the Federation and Romulans.[[note]]If they didn't find out about this abuse, the fact that the Romulan intelligence agency was [[MoleInCharge run by by a Federation spy]] probably helps explain why.[[/note]]
** The game ''VideoGame/StarTrekAwayTeam'' features a modified ''Defiant''-class ship whose holo-masking system tries to sidestep the letter of the treaty, if not the spirit. The USS ''Incursion'' can appear as any other ship, even sending out falsified transponder signals. Not true cloaking, but definitely useful for infiltration. The ship made a cameo in a ''VideoGame/StarTrekArmada II'' mission. The Romulans later steal the technology and use it to attack the joint Federation-Klingon ''Unity'' station. After the Klingons grumble about not being told about the tech, the Federation bans it too.
** The Franchise/StarTrekExpandedUniverse novel ''Serpents Among the Ruins'' reveals that the act of terrorism that preceded the Treaty of Algeron (the one banning cloaking tech for the Federation), known as the Tomed Incident, was orchestrated by Starfleet Intelligence and the captain of the USS ''Enterprise''-B in order to make the Romulans look like violent and dishonorable extremists and get the Klingons on their side. They knew ahead of time that the Romulans would insist on the Federation banning all cloaking technology but didn't care. In reality, only six Romulans and no Federation citizens died during the incident (involving a Romulan starship performing a suicide run at an asteroid and disabling containment of its quantum singularity while at warp). The thousands reported killed were, in fact, already dead whose deaths have been quietly covered up.
* One episode of ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' featured a planet where most advanced technology was rendered useless by a power-draining machine, set up to keep the colonists beholden to their original masters. Much awkwardness results when it turns out that [[TheNapoleon Rygel]] is a descendant of said masters.

to:

[[folder:Live-Action Television]]
* In ''Franchise/StarTrek'', the Federation is prohibited from developing its own cloaking devices due to a treaty they signed with the Romulans (which is like saying only one side can have submarines). The exact nature of the treaty and the situation behind its signing is never specified in canon sources, so it's unclear whether the Romulan Empire similarly agreed to restrict itself technologically, or if the Federation forswore cloaking technology in exchange for territorial concessions.[[note]]The actual reason was to give an in-universe explanation for why the Federation doesn't have cloaking devices, despite stealing a fully functional one from the Romulans in a ''TOS'' episode and despite both the Romulans and Klingons (the other two most powerful nations in their region of the galaxy) employing them extensively. The out-of-universe reason is that cloaking was deemed an ability more suited villains, creating a disadvantage for the Federation heroes to overcome.[[/note]]
** A whole ''[[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration TNG]]'' episode is devoted to trying to cover up one such attempt at developing it in violation of the treaty. This attempt had catastrophically failed because the rogue Starfleet officers tried to leapfrog the Romulans with a cloaking device that would render a ship both invisible and ''[[{{Intangibility}} intangible]]''...and then the device malfunctioned while the test ship was [[TeleFrag passing through an asteroid]].
** In ''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine DS9]]'', the Romulans give the Federation a single cloaking to mount on a single ship (the USS ''Defiant'') in order to jointly scout the Gamma Quadrant (on the other side of the Bajoran wormhole) and assess the threat of the Dominion, but impose strict limits on its use (it can ''only'' be used in the Gamma Quadrant for anti-Dominion operations, and every other Federation ship is still forbidden to have a cloaking device). Restrictions which the Federation proceeds to ignore every time they find a cloaked ship useful within the Alpha Quadrant. If the Romulans ever found out, they were willing to look the other way because the ''Defiant'' and its cloaking device were never used against ''them'', only against forces that were at the time mutual enemies of the Federation and Romulans.[[note]]If they didn't find out about this abuse, the fact that the Romulan intelligence agency was [[MoleInCharge run by by a Federation spy]] probably helps explain why.[[/note]]
** The game ''VideoGame/StarTrekAwayTeam'' features a modified ''Defiant''-class ship whose holo-masking system tries to sidestep the letter of the treaty, if not the spirit. The USS ''Incursion'' can appear as any other ship, even sending out falsified transponder signals. Not true cloaking, but definitely useful for infiltration. The ship made a cameo in a ''VideoGame/StarTrekArmada II'' mission. The Romulans later steal the technology and use it to attack the joint Federation-Klingon ''Unity'' station. After the Klingons grumble about not being told about the tech, the Federation bans it too.
** The Franchise/StarTrekExpandedUniverse novel ''Serpents Among the Ruins'' reveals that the act of terrorism that preceded the Treaty of Algeron (the one banning cloaking tech for the Federation), known as the Tomed Incident, was orchestrated by Starfleet Intelligence and the captain of the USS ''Enterprise''-B in order to make the Romulans look like violent and dishonorable extremists and get the Klingons on their side. They knew ahead of time that the Romulans would insist on the Federation banning all cloaking technology but didn't care. In reality, only six Romulans and no Federation citizens died during the incident (involving a Romulan starship performing a suicide run at an asteroid and disabling containment of its quantum singularity while at warp). The thousands reported killed were, in fact, already dead whose deaths have been quietly covered up.
* One episode of ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' featured a planet where most advanced technology was rendered useless by a power-draining machine, set up to keep the colonists beholden to their original masters. Much awkwardness results when it turns out that [[TheNapoleon Rygel]] is a descendant of said masters.
TV]]



----
* On ''Series/{{The 100}}'', the Mountain Men have prevented Grounders from using guns, and possibly other pieces of advanced technology, by slaughtering the village of any Grounder that picks one up. Even when they go to open war against the Mountain Men, the Grounders' phobia of guns is so entrenched that they still refuse to use them.
* ''Series/BlakesSeven''. Cloning is restricted to the pseudo-religious Clonemasters. The Federation knows YouCannotKillAnIdea, so this way they BlackBox the technology, yet keep it available as a GodzillaThreshold if needed.
* One episode of ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' featured a planet where most advanced technology was rendered useless by a power-draining machine, set up to keep the colonists beholden to their original masters. Much awkwardness results when it turns out that [[TheNapoleon Rygel]] is a descendant of said masters.



* When the Series/{{Mythbusters}} work to replicate an urban legend or dubious story, they generally restrict themselves to the tools and techniques that the parties involved in the original events are reported to have used. In the interest of time and efficiency, they will bend their rule and use power tools for things like making a cannon out of a tree trunk.

to:

* When the Series/{{Mythbusters}} ''Series/{{MythBusters}}'' work to replicate an urban legend or dubious story, they generally restrict themselves to the tools and techniques that the parties involved in the original events are reported to have used. In the interest of time and efficiency, they will bend their rule and use power tools for things like making a cannon out of a tree trunk.trunk.
* In one episode of ''Series/TheOuterLimits1995'' a time traveler was sentenced to death in the future for possession of her machine, because the US of that era banned all sophisticated technology. She appeals to the Supreme Court, which appears sympathetic. However, ''another'' time traveler then arrives with a bomb, demanding they [[EnforcedTrope enforce]] this idea due to fearing the problems advanced technology caused that led to the ban. The ClipShow used by both time travelers shows that, in either case, human civilization may be doomed. If humans retain the ban, then a deadly plague will wipe out the majority of humans. If the ban if lifted, then the plague will be cured, but human arrogance will result in a failed FirstContact with another race, who will then proceed to rain death and destruction on Earth.



* On ''Series/{{The 100}}'', the Mountain Men have prevented Grounders from using guns, and possibly other pieces of advanced technology, by slaughtering the village of any Grounder that picks one up. Even when they go to open war against the Mountain Men, the Grounders' phobia of guns is so entrenched that they still refuse to use them.



* In one episode of ''Series/TheOuterLimits1995'' a time traveler was sentenced to death in the future for possession of her machine, because the US of that era banned all sophisticated technology. She appeals to the Supreme Court, which appears sympathetic. However, ''another'' time traveler then arrives with a bomb, demanding they [[EnforcedTrope enforce]] this idea due to fearing the problems advanced technology caused that led to the ban. The ClipShow used by both time travelers shows that, in either case, human civilization may be doomed. If humans retain the ban, then a deadly plague will wipe out the majority of humans. If the ban if lifted, then the plague will be cured, but human arrogance will result in a failed FirstContact with another race, who will then proceed to rain death and destruction on Earth.
* ''Series/BlakesSeven''. Cloning is restricted to the pseudo-religious Clonemasters. The Federation knows YouCannotKillAnIdea, so this way they BlackBox the technology, yet keep it available as a GodzillaThreshold if needed.

to:

* In ''Franchise/StarTrek'', the Federation is prohibited from developing its own cloaking devices due to a treaty they signed with the Romulans (which is like saying only one side can have submarines). The exact nature of the treaty and the situation behind its signing is never specified in canon sources, so it's unclear whether the Romulan Empire similarly agreed to restrict itself technologically, or if the Federation forswore cloaking technology in exchange for territorial concessions.[[note]]The actual reason was to give an in-universe explanation for why the Federation doesn't have cloaking devices, despite stealing a fully functional one from the Romulans in a ''TOS'' episode and despite both the Romulans and Klingons (the other two most powerful nations in their region of ''Series/TheOuterLimits1995'' a time traveler the galaxy) employing them extensively. The out-of-universe reason is that cloaking was sentenced to death in deemed an ability more suited villains, creating a disadvantage for the future for possession Federation heroes to overcome.[[/note]]
** A whole ''[[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration TNG]]'' episode is devoted to trying to cover up one such attempt at developing it in violation
of her machine, the treaty. This attempt had catastrophically failed because the US of that era banned all sophisticated technology. She appeals rogue Starfleet officers tried to leapfrog the Supreme Court, which appears sympathetic. However, ''another'' time traveler then arrives Romulans with a bomb, demanding cloaking device that would render a ship both invisible and ''[[{{Intangibility}} intangible]]''...and then the device malfunctioned while the test ship was [[TeleFrag passing through an asteroid]].
** In ''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine DS9]]'', the Romulans give the Federation a single cloaking to mount on a single ship (the USS ''Defiant'') in order to jointly scout the Gamma Quadrant (on the other side of the Bajoran wormhole) and assess the threat of the Dominion, but impose strict limits on its use (it can ''only'' be used in the Gamma Quadrant for anti-Dominion operations, and every other Federation ship is still forbidden to have a cloaking device). Restrictions which the Federation proceeds to ignore every time
they [[EnforcedTrope enforce]] find a cloaked ship useful within the Alpha Quadrant. If the Romulans ever found out, they were willing to look the other way because the ''Defiant'' and its cloaking device were never used against ''them'', only against forces that were at the time mutual enemies of the Federation and Romulans.[[note]]If they didn't find out about this idea due to fearing abuse, the problems advanced fact that the Romulan intelligence agency was [[MoleInCharge run by by a Federation spy]] probably helps explain why.[[/note]]
** The game ''VideoGame/StarTrekAwayTeam'' features a modified ''Defiant''-class ship whose holo-masking system tries to sidestep the letter of the treaty, if not the spirit. The USS ''Incursion'' can appear as any other ship, even sending out falsified transponder signals. Not true cloaking, but definitely useful for infiltration. The ship made a cameo in a ''VideoGame/StarTrekArmada II'' mission. The Romulans later steal the
technology caused that led and use it to attack the ban. The ClipShow used by both time travelers shows that, in either case, human civilization may be doomed. If humans retain joint Federation-Klingon ''Unity'' station. After the ban, then a deadly plague will wipe out Klingons grumble about not being told about the majority of humans. If tech, the ban if lifted, then the plague will be cured, but human arrogance will result in a failed FirstContact with another race, who will then proceed to rain death and destruction on Earth.
* ''Series/BlakesSeven''. Cloning is restricted to the pseudo-religious Clonemasters. The
Federation knows YouCannotKillAnIdea, so this way they BlackBox bans it too.
** The Franchise/StarTrekExpandedUniverse novel ''Serpents Among
the technology, yet keep it available Ruins'' reveals that the act of terrorism that preceded the Treaty of Algeron (the one banning cloaking tech for the Federation), known as the Tomed Incident, was orchestrated by Starfleet Intelligence and the captain of the USS ''Enterprise''-B in order to make the Romulans look like violent and dishonorable extremists and get the Klingons on their side. They knew ahead of time that the Romulans would insist on the Federation banning all cloaking technology but didn't care. In reality, only six Romulans and no Federation citizens died during the incident (involving a GodzillaThreshold if needed.
Romulan starship performing a suicide run at an asteroid and disabling containment of its quantum singularity while at warp). The thousands reported killed were, in fact, already dead whose deaths have been quietly covered up.


When magic is involved, this might delve into a [[TheMagicVersusTechnologyWar Magic Versus Technology War]] (since areas where magic works may not allow technology to work, and vice versa). For a rather specific example (when it's played literally), see MedievalStasis. Compare with SchizoTech, where differing levels of technology are all mashed up together. Compare DecadeDissonance, when this sort of things arises naturally, not due to any enforcement. See also YouAreNotReady, which might be the justification for keeping certain areas at a lower tech level.

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When magic is involved, this might delve into a [[TheMagicVersusTechnologyWar Magic Versus Technology War]] (since areas where magic works may not allow technology to work, and vice versa). For a rather specific example (when it's played literally), see MedievalStasis. Compare with SchizoTech, where differing levels of technology are all mashed up together. Compare DecadeDissonance, when this sort of things arises naturally, not due to any enforcement. enforcement.

See also YouAreNotReady, which might be the justification for keeping certain areas at a lower tech level.level; NoTechButHighTech, the idea that only technology from recent centuries (circa Industrial Revolution) and beyond counts as technology.

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** The technology is also literally an enforced level, as the ultimate source of mechanics guild tech was broken into levels which the founders of the guild chose which to stay at.


* In ''Franchise/StarTrek'', the Federation is prohibited from developing its own cloaking devices due to a treaty they signed with the Romulans (which is like saying only one side can have submarines).
** A whole ''[[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration TNG]]'' episode is devoted to trying to cover up one such attempt at developing it.

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* In ''Franchise/StarTrek'', the Federation is prohibited from developing its own cloaking devices due to a treaty they signed with the Romulans (which is like saying only one side can have submarines).
submarines). The exact nature of the treaty and the situation behind its signing is never specified in canon sources, so it's unclear whether the Romulan Empire similarly agreed to restrict itself technologically, or if the Federation forswore cloaking technology in exchange for territorial concessions.[[note]]The actual reason was to give an in-universe explanation for why the Federation doesn't have cloaking devices, despite stealing a fully functional one from the Romulans in a ''TOS'' episode and despite both the Romulans and Klingons (the other two most powerful nations in their region of the galaxy) employing them extensively. The out-of-universe reason is that cloaking was deemed an ability more suited villains, creating a disadvantage for the Federation heroes to overcome.[[/note]]
** A whole ''[[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration TNG]]'' episode is devoted to trying to cover up one such attempt at developing it.it in violation of the treaty. This attempt had catastrophically failed because the rogue Starfleet officers tried to leapfrog the Romulans with a cloaking device that would render a ship both invisible and ''[[{{Intangibility}} intangible]]''...and then the device malfunctioned while the test ship was [[TeleFrag passing through an asteroid]].
** In ''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine DS9]]'', the Romulans give the Federation a single cloaking to mount on a single ship (the USS ''Defiant'') in order to jointly scout the Gamma Quadrant (on the other side of the Bajoran wormhole) and assess the threat of the Dominion, but impose strict limits on its use (it can ''only'' be used in the Gamma Quadrant for anti-Dominion operations, and every other Federation ship is still forbidden to have a cloaking device). Restrictions which the Federation proceeds to ignore every time they find a cloaked ship useful within the Alpha Quadrant. If the Romulans ever found out, they were willing to look the other way because the ''Defiant'' and its cloaking device were never used against ''them'', only against forces that were at the time mutual enemies of the Federation and Romulans.[[note]]If they didn't find out about this abuse, the fact that the Romulan intelligence agency was [[MoleInCharge run by by a Federation spy]] probably helps explain why.[[/note]]


* This trop is why the church of Yevon rules the world in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX''. According to their teachings, men became too lazy and proud as technological progress evolved, culminating in the appearance of [[EldritchAbomination Sin]], who destroyed almost all of the world and technology. Nowadays, the church strictly controls the diffusion of "machinas" to prevent Sin for destroying it utterly and labels as heretics anybody who uses or pleads in the favor of technology. [[spoiler: It's all a lie.]]

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* This trop trope is why the church of Yevon rules the world in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX''. According to their teachings, men became too lazy and proud as technological progress evolved, culminating in the appearance of [[EldritchAbomination Sin]], who destroyed almost all of the world and technology. Nowadays, the church strictly controls the diffusion of "machinas" to prevent Sin for destroying it utterly and labels as heretics anybody who uses or pleads in the favor of technology. [[spoiler: It's all a lie.]]


* PlayedForLaughs in ''WesternAnimation/Futurama'' when Fry becomes a cop and pulls over a scientist for breaking the law of Lorentz's invariance by going [[FasterThanLightTravel 15 miles per hour faster than the speed of light]].

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* PlayedForLaughs in ''WesternAnimation/Futurama'' ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' when Fry becomes a cop and pulls over a scientist for breaking the law of Lorentz's invariance by going [[FasterThanLightTravel 15 miles per hour faster than the speed of light]].

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* PlayedForLaughs in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' when Lisa invents a PerpetualMotionMachine and Homer scolds her, saying "In this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!"
* PlayedForLaughs in ''WesternAnimation/Futurama'' when Fry becomes a cop and pulls over a scientist for breaking the law of Lorentz's invariance by going [[FasterThanLightTravel 15 miles per hour faster than the speed of light]].


* On the ''WesternAnimation/MenInBlack'' animated series, the agents mention that some alien technology should not be discovered by humans until X years later.

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* On In the ''WesternAnimation/MenInBlack'' animated series, the agents mention that some alien technology should not be discovered by humans until X years later.later.
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBros'', Doctor Venture manages to invent teleportation but the [[GovernmentAgencyOfFiction OSI]] forces him to keep it under wraps so that he doesn't tank the global economy by wiping out several industries (namely auto, oil, mailing, etc.) at once and cause the elite to come after him.


* In ''Literature/HarryPotter'', magical spells can prevent certain technologies from functioning. On Hogwarts school grounds, things like guns, automobiles, or anything electronic simply won't work. Also, it's against the rules to enchant high-tech items.

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* In ''Literature/HarryPotter'', magical spells can prevent certain technologies from functioning. On Hogwarts school grounds, things like guns, automobiles, or anything electronic simply won't work. Also, it's against the rules to enchant high-tech items. There are also completely inexplicable technologies that don't even have moving parts; things like "paper notebooks" and "pencils".


* "The Rapture Of The Nerds", collaboratively written by Creator/CoryDoctorow and Creator/CharlesStross, is set in the aftermath of a {{Singularity}}: a countless number of humans have [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence left Earth]] by [[BrainUploading uploading their minds]] to a network of {{Nanomachines}}, which have proceeded to consume every stray molecule of matter in the solar system not in contact with the homeworld. The remaining un-"raptured" population who have chosen not to join the network enforce a ban on similar technologies through a "technology court". Citizens are randomly signed up to serve on this court (as per the book's origin as the short stories "Jury Duty" and "Appeals Court" would imply), and their job is to evaluate the random bits of super advanced flotsam-and-jetsom that occasionally fall to Earth as "gifts" from the nanomachine network. The technology court is tasked with determining what new technology's effect on society at large will be, and anything too dangerous or too advanced (that might cause another singularity in the remaining population) is destroyed.

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* "The Rapture Of The Nerds", collaboratively written by Creator/CoryDoctorow and Creator/CharlesStross, is set in the aftermath of a {{Singularity}}: TheSingularity: a countless number of humans have [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence left Earth]] by [[BrainUploading uploading their minds]] to a network of {{Nanomachines}}, which have proceeded to consume every stray molecule of matter in the solar system not in contact with the homeworld. The remaining un-"raptured" population who have chosen not to join the network enforce a ban on similar technologies through a "technology court". Citizens are randomly signed up to serve on this court (as per the book's origin as the short stories "Jury Duty" and "Appeals Court" would imply), and their job is to evaluate the random bits of super advanced flotsam-and-jetsom that occasionally fall to Earth as "gifts" from the nanomachine network. The technology court is tasked with determining what new technology's effect on society at large will be, and anything too dangerous or too advanced (that might cause another singularity in the remaining population) is destroyed.

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