Dotties
Gerontomorphic beamrider / Deeper clade that originated on Yang during the nanoswarm dark age. The loss of some important technologies resulted in the development of a gerontomorphic clade around Yang, not unlike the newrobisonite geronotomorphs.

During the nanoswarm dark ages, the isolated colony became a caste-based Gerontocracy. They were able to resist the Federation's cultural imperialism for some centuries and retained their traditional physiology as a mark of pride. They were even joined by other gerontomorphs fleeing the Federation, such as the Newrobisonites of Oberon

By the middle First Federation period the Yang Gerontomorphs came to be known as the Dots or Dotties. This was originally a joke popular among their paedomorphic contemporaries, and is based on traditional Chin and Penglaist cosmology. According to this, the cosmos is understood as the interplay of yin and yang, represented by the tai chi diagram. In the yang (white) half there is a black dot, representing yin. In the yin (black) half is the inverse, a white dot (yang). Since yang is associated (in the system of correspondences) with youth, and yin with old age, the Yang Gerontomorphs were called the dot of yin in the world of Yang. Further associations were the Late English word "dotty" (which is how the gerontomorphs were considered by their contemporaries) and the appearance of age spots on the skin.

Eventually the originally meaning became obscure (although superbright memetic pranksterism is also suspected), and the Dotties used the term with pride. As the beamrider network was extended throughout known space, they followed, becoming an official member-clade of the Deeper Covenant in 3827. The long slow sedate lifestyle of the beamriders suited the Dotties admirably, and the older they became, the higher the status within their own community.

The movement soon fell out of favour among outsiders, and today there are very few Dotties under seven thousand years old, although a number of similar gerontocratic and gerontomorphic clades have developed elsewhere. Dotties can be recognised by their grotesque hypergerontomorphism, with richly tattooed and bejewelled ears that extend to the floor (sometimes with small wheeled or legged remotes supporting them), noses a meter in length, and highly decorated skin that hangs in huge folds, sometimes concealing much of the face and body. Despite being of no more than sapient grade (since toposophic augmentation is considered a way of avoiding the "natural aged condition"), most Dotties display a sense of annoying superiority to all other clades, especially those that favor paedomorphic bodysculpting.
 
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Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev

Initially published on 28 September 2003.