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When you use me, you only ever see what I have become instead of what I really am.

I can be used to do powerful things, but I can be very fragile at my core.

Through time, I have changed lives!

Unfortunately some choose to hate me, and others choose to embrace me.

I am used around the world in many different ways.

My family is huge, and yet still getting bigger.

It is important not to forget about my elders, as they are still needed (by some).

Do you know what I am?

Hint:

You can look at me, but not touch.

Hint #2:

I'm not as old as world war 1.

Hint #3:

Some that have 'used' me, are now amongst the richest people in the world!

I apologize for not adding the second hint into the original riddle. This would have helped greatly reduce the scope. (I wasn't expecting for some answers to be so similar in description but not the same answer)

(Make sure your answer can fit every line)

I have tried to keep this one more broad to make it a little more difficult. If necessary I can give some hints later, but I think someone will be smart enough to solve it before that. :)

[It seems keeping it broad was not such a great idea]

Spoiler!! This will almost certainly give the answer away! Only look at if you gave up and would like to know:

stackoverflow.com/

My apologizes on this riddle as it was not executed as well as I would have liked, but hopefully some people enjoyed it (and maybe got stumped). It was difficult for me to give effective hints/help without just giving out the answer.

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This seems extremely broad but I've added one which I think covers them all perfectly. we'll see if others come up with other solutions but i think there will be many so be warned. $\endgroup$ – Vincent Apr 24 '15 at 20:30
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    $\begingroup$ I guess I can add a few more lines to it if it seem extremely broad :P $\endgroup$ – Mark N Apr 24 '15 at 20:32
  • $\begingroup$ How can you use something without touching it? you don't have to answer that since it's probably a vital part in the puzzle (but i'm just pointing it out) $\endgroup$ – Vincent Apr 24 '15 at 21:04
  • $\begingroup$ @VincentAdvocaat I'll answer your question with an example: Electricity. We all use it but don't touch it when we do (hopefully :p) $\endgroup$ – Mark N Apr 24 '15 at 22:13
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    $\begingroup$ It's still quite broad though... Lots of technology answers would still fit all clues (e.g. CPUs, operating systems, encryption, etc) $\endgroup$ – Alconja Apr 27 '15 at 22:49

12 Answers 12

6
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Try 2!

Computer Code (i.e., C, C++, etc). Maybe a specific one (if so, I'm lost as to which one).

When you use me, you only ever see what I have become instead of what I really am.

We use code every day when we use computers, phones, etc., but we see the programs rather than the actual running process in the device.

I can be used to do powerful things, but I can be very fragile at my core.

Some programs are very powerful, but one small bug can ruin it (or one stupid $@^#ing semi colon in the wrong place. Two hours of my life....)

Through time, I have changed lives!

Technology and code have changed millions of lives.

Unfortunately some choose to hate me, and others choose to embrace me.

Some are against advances in technology or newer programming languages, while others love them.

I am used around the world in many different ways.

Different places in the world like different types of coding, and use it for different things.

My family is huge, and yet still getting bigger.

There are so many programming languages, it is almost ridiculous, yet more are being developed constantly.

It is important not to forget about my elders, as they are still needed (by some).

The basic coding languages are still used. If I am not mistaken (not a programmer by trade) Python still has C at its core.

Hints:

You can look at me, but not touch. We can see code as we right it, but can't touch it.


I'm not as old as world war 1. Computers and coding are a more recent developement.


Some that have used me, are now amongst the richest people in the world! Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, etc.

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  • $\begingroup$ Good job! Would you consider this riddle a little to broad/tough still? $\endgroup$ – Mark N Apr 28 '15 at 19:21
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks to Alconja, Vincent, Deepak, itriedacrab, Alex, and Narmer for your ideas. $\endgroup$ – Aggie Kidd Apr 28 '15 at 19:22
  • $\begingroup$ @MarkN It was a little broad, but with the comments it came into focus pretty well. I like it! Makes a lot of sense now. $\endgroup$ – Aggie Kidd Apr 28 '15 at 19:23
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It's probably a wrong answer, but I'll give it a try

it's a nuclear reactor

When you use me, you only ever see what I have become instead of what I really am.

we don't see a nuclear reactor but we can see what it can provide (electricity, mouvement)

I can be used to do powerful things, but I can be very fragile at my core.

We can use a nuclear reactor to generate electricity or power boats, but the core of it is fragile in some conditions (see Fukushima for instance)

Through time, I have changed lives!

Nuclear reactor provide a lot of energy which help countries to develop

Unfortunately some choose to hate me, and others choose to embrace me.

Some people are against that type of energy (Germany) and some love it (France)

I am used around the world in many different ways.

There is different use of a nuclear reactor (this one is weak) and also different types

My family is huge, and yet still getting bigger.

There is already a lot of those but more are planned

It is important not to forget about my elders, as they still needed (by some).

The old reactors are still needed but we have to take care of them so they can still provide energy

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6
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My answer is

A scientific theory

When you use me, you only ever see what I have become instead of what I really am.

Scientific theories aren't the same thing as their applications. People learn about scientific theories in relation to their applications.

I can be used to do powerful things, but I can be very fragile at my core.

Scientific theories have led to incredible achievements, but every scientific theory is subject to question and just one single piece of evidence can invalidate an entire theory.

Through time, I have changed lives!

This is pretty much self-explanatory.

Unfortunately some choose to hate me, and others choose to embrace me.

There is a large anti-science movement in the world, while other people take science and scientific theory as the key part of their worldview.

I am used around the world in many different ways.

Another one that is self-explanatory.

My family is huge, and yet still getting bigger.

There are many scientific theories, and more are being formulated/discovered all of the time.

It is important not to forget about my elders, as they still needed (by some)

Older scientific theories are generally simpler, and thus easier for educational purposes. We still learn of various outdated and invalidated models for various things (such as the structure of an atom). While the real applications use the newer theories, older ones are still used where they're accurate enough for general purposes.

You can look at me, but not touch.

Scientific theories can be shown to a person, but they're not physical things, and thus cannot be touched.

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4
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The answer is:

IPhone (or actually any other smartphone who has multiple models)

When you use me, you only ever see what I have become instead of what I really am.

If you use a smart phone you see many things, often a small gaming device but it used to be and is in essence a phone

I can be used to do powerful things, but I can be very fragile at my core.

you can do powerful calculation with a smartphone, as a matter of fact it is more powerful than the computers NASA used to send the Apollo missions. A smartphone (just like a computer) uses CPU cores.

Through time, I have changed lives!

A smartphone (or normal phone) saved lives (calling emergency services) and it changed many because everything became easier.

Unfortunately some choose to hate me, and others choose to embrace me.

Many people hate Iphones, some love them. but in a broader sense some people find mobile phones (smartphones) are ruining people's socials skills, others accept it.

I am used around the world in many different ways.

well a smartphone has many different applications.

My family is huge, and yet still getting bigger.

iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4, 4S, 5, 5S, 6 are all part of the family.

It is important not to forget about my elders, as they still needed (by some).

People still use older iPhones (with different sizes and older iOS versions), so app developers need to keep that in mind.

I would like to thank Pacoverflow for his additions for the last 2 sentences.

As for the hint:

if you have siri you can look at your phone but you do not have to touch it to use it, you talk to it. <- ye this one doesn't fit 100% xD


An other answer:

a woman. bear with me here.

When you use me, you only ever see what I have become instead of what I really am.

Haha use :P well if you 'use' a woman she becomes an object instead of the person she really is.

I can be used to do powerful things, but I can be very fragile at my core.

Woman (love) are a power to be reckoned with but at their core woman are fragile and precious.

Through time, I have changed lives!

every great man (in history) has had a woman supporting him, isn't that how it goes? A woman can often change a man's live.

Unfortunately some choose to hate me, and others choose to embrace me.

Some hate woman (many women hate other women), some hat them because of their beliefs (in the bible a woman was tempted to take the forbidden fruit). Do i even need to explain the embrace part? ;) if you know what i mean.

I am used around the world in many different ways.

women are very versatile, they are used as babysitter, businesswoman, teacher (etc)

My family is huge, and yet still getting bigger.

well obviously any person's family is big, we're descendants of millions and still continue to grow (childbirth)

It is important not to forget about my elders, as they still needed (by some).

parents are the reason we are all here, they are also still needed for love and attention. (also to watch over the grand kids).

As for the hint:

you can look at other woman (which you are not married/engaged/in a relation ship with) but you can most definitely not touch

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  • $\begingroup$ I have updated the question. The last line might not be as easy to fit ;) $\endgroup$ – Mark N Apr 24 '15 at 20:50
  • $\begingroup$ Hm you might want to add some hints soon @MarkN, as Vincent's answer does fit with everyline? I'm going to answer computer, which I think it would be the same thing. $\endgroup$ – Alex Apr 24 '15 at 20:53
  • $\begingroup$ @Alex I posted this answer before Mark added the last 2 lines to his riddle, working on that now, though i'm tired so i'll see how far i'll get. $\endgroup$ – Vincent Apr 24 '15 at 20:54
  • $\begingroup$ @MarkN I'd say his answer still fits. iPhone, iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4, 4S, 5, 5S, 6 are all part of the family. People still use older iPhones (with different sizes and older iOS versions), so app developers need to keep that in mind. $\endgroup$ – pacoverflow Apr 24 '15 at 20:58
  • $\begingroup$ I added a hint. It's difficult for me to add more hints without just making it obvious :p $\endgroup$ – Mark N Apr 24 '15 at 21:00
2
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Okie... Let me give it a try. It is

Google Maps or any Maps application

When you use me, you only ever see what I have become instead of what I really am.

We only see it as an application and not what it really is, A complex code.

I can be used to do powerful things, but I can be very fragile at my core.

We can find different locations in every corner of this world. But the code is fragile, one little mistake in code can ruin the whole application up.

Through time, I have changed lives!

Over years, google maps have seen some major changes starting from GoogleBlog to where it is now.

Unfortunately some choose to hate me, and others choose to embrace me.

Quite not fit this, but may be it refers to some people who don't like referring to an application for navigation., instead rely on paper maps.

I am used around the world in many different ways.

It is being used around the world.

My family is huge, and yet still getting bigger.

Google maps now have, Google moon, Google Sky, Google Mars etc and is still growing.

It is important not to forget about my elders, as they still needed (by some).

It refers to paper maps which are still being used and sold through out the world.

Hint:

You can look at me, but not touch.

We cannot touch google maps, if we try we rather be touching a monitor or phone screen. :p

I'm not as old as world war 1.

Started in 2005

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  • $\begingroup$ You are close! But it's not exactly google maps. $\endgroup$ – Mark N Apr 27 '15 at 20:11
2
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Here's a guess:

The Internet

When you use me, you only ever see what I have become instead of what I really am.

Most only see the result of using The Internet, i.e. web pages, music, etc.

I can be used to do powerful things, but I can be very fragile at my core.

The Internet is used to do so much, it's taken over so much of what used to be slow processes. Sites/servers can be attacked in a multitude of ways.

Through time, I have changed lives!

Self-explanatory

Unfortunately some choose to hate me, and others choose to embrace me.

There's a sort of pride in the older age groups in not being computer literate.

I am used around the world in many different ways.

People can use The Internet for so many things...

My family is huge, and yet still getting bigger.

The Internet is a network of networks, with networks still being added.

It is important not to forget about my elders, as they still needed (by some).

I'm guessing this is some sort of private network?

You can look at me, but not touch.

You can monitor network traffic, but you can't touch The Internet...

I'm not as old as world war 1.

The Internet came into being in the 60's.

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2
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Could it be:

Computer

When you use me, you only ever see what I have become instead of what I really am.

Computer in nowadays do more things than just 'compute'

I can be used to do powerful things, but I can be very fragile at my core.

Powerful things of course, but can be destroy with ease

Through time, I have changed lives!

Live style or medicial equipment

Unfortunately some choose to hate me, and others choose to embrace me.

I dun know this one, hate can be subjective.

I am used around the world in many different ways.

sensor, phone, watch, laptop to name a few

My family is huge, and yet still getting bigger.

No doubt

It is important not to forget about my elders, as they still needed (by some).

Old machine that some people are still using

IMHO it is a little too board as I could name a few others that fit into the riddle. I come up with this answer after seeing the hint "after WWI"

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1
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This is wrong, but beautifully fits most of the hints.

Democracy

When you use me, you only ever see what I have become instead of what I really am.

Democracy, like every type of system of government, can't be literally applied. You can get close to it, but never have a pure democracy. The most famous not applicable government system is pure socialism, which is utopian

I can be used to do powerful things, but I can be very fragile at my core.

Democracy is widely known as the best type of government, and indeed it is, giving people the power. But if the core, the parliament, is rotten, with corruption and hypocrisy, everything falls apart.

Through time, I have changed lives!

Well, this is obvious.

Unfortunately some choose to hate me, and others choose to embrace me.

Dictatorships and oligarchy exists all over the world, exactly as democracy itself.

My family is huge, and yet still getting bigger.

There are a lot of types of democracy and more are being created every year

It is important not to forget about my elders, as they still needed (by some).

Democracy is the logical consequence of monarchy. There are still some countries with monarchy as type of government, like Belgium, Spain, England...

HINT 1:

You can see democracy in action, but since its a concept you can't touch it.

HINT 2:

Well, this simply ruins everything :P

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  • $\begingroup$ A good guess. It seems people are starting to get on the right train of thoughts now :) $\endgroup$ – Mark N Apr 27 '15 at 13:10
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I'm thinking that it's something like

Nuclear power. It's a little farfetched, I know, but you can't actually see the nuclear reaction happening, as described in the first line, and nuclear power is very strong, but also fragile, or unstable. Some people don't like the use of nuclear power, and some do. You can use it to make bombs, or power homes, and people are still developing nuclear power.

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1
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Going along the lines of Narmer, I can argue this fits, but a bit of a stretch on hint 2....

A constitution or other written laws

When you use me, you only ever see what I have become instead of what I really am.

We see what written laws have become when we use them, but we don't see the actual document.

I can be used to do powerful things, but I can be very fragile at my core.

Some laws are very old, and very fragile, but have established nations or started wars.

Through time, I have changed lives!

Many people have been changed by different laws.

Unfortunately some choose to hate me, and others choose to embrace me.

Anarchists, rebels, warlords, maybe even government leaders seem to hate laws, while police and respectable citizens often embrace and follow them.

I am used around the world in many different ways.

There are many different laws around the world depending on the government.

My family is huge, and yet still getting bigger.

Lots of current laws, and governmental bodies are always making more.

It is important not to forget about my elders, as they are still needed (by some).

Some older laws are still in place, but many old laws have been addapted to modern times.

Hints:

You can look at me, but not touch. We can see law in action, but hard to touch it.


I'm not as old as world war 1. Some governments and laws were established at the end of WWI

Some that have used me, are now amongst the richest people in the world! Some have abused governments, laws, and corruption to become very rich.

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  • $\begingroup$ This is partially correct!..the latter in a form yes, but only for 'those who can't break them'. $\endgroup$ – Mark N Apr 28 '15 at 18:08
0
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I'd say

Coral

In fact, you use and see the skeleton, not the living creature. It's used to make jewels and talismans (symbols of power), but it's fragile. Many different organisms live in a coral during its formation. Some love it and wear it (embrace), those actually hate it since they destroy a delicate fauna. Coral is around the world in the forms of bracelets and necklaces.

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  • $\begingroup$ Is the "family" of corals getting bigger? My understanding is that a current problem is that coral is diminishing in recent times. $\endgroup$ – Glen O Apr 25 '15 at 9:04
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My Answer is:

Stem Cells

My reasoning is

When you use me, you only ever see what I have become instead of what I really am.

Stem cells are considered important due to their potential for growth (they have the possibility of becoming any cell)

I can be used to do powerful things, but I can be very fragile at my core.

Could cure disease but just single cells

Through time, I have changed lives!

Adult stem cells are used to treat leukaemia and heart disease

Unfortunately some choose to hate me, and others choose to embrace me.

Stem cells are a controversial topic - religion, politics, science, and etc

I am used around the world in many different ways.

Several advances in various countries

My family is huge, and yet still getting bigger.

population growth or increased availability of stem cells

It is important not to forget about my elders, as they still needed (by some).

the main controversy is due to fetal stem cells but, as stated earlier, adult stem cells are used to treat various conditions

Hint 1:

You can look at me, but not touch:

Answer:

The point of stem cells is that when introduced to other cells they grow as those cells (so when touched by other cells they stop being stem cells)

Hint 2:

They are not as old as World War I

Answer:

Though stem cells are as old as humans, at least, the first application wasn't developed until a 1968 bone marrow transplant

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