Social Interaction Technologies

Citizen 4
Image from Juan Ochoa

Throughout the Civilized Galaxy and beyond, citizens interact in various ways. Some of the technology and ideas that enables this goes back thousands of years, having it's original foundation in the networking technology of Old Earth information era (itself the development of earlier ways of relating), while others require more advanced technology.

Very common is the personalized ai 'calling card/personal asst. program' that either automatically or on request provides a quick summary of what types and levels of interaction are desired/acceptable/survivable by the citizen in question. This info can be downloaded into the other beings implants to a special memory cache which might inform their actions/activities accordingly.

A more primitive and lower tech / lower bandwidth version of this can provide the information as a dossier which the receiving entity would need to read/absorb ahead of time (we're having Dr. suchandsuch over for dinner, don't forget to read eir profile so we don't poison im).

Another widely used method is to segregate groups based on broad characteristics (this area of the club is configured for class 4 entities only. Class 5 entities are one floor up in the gas giant atmosphere section etc.).

Yet another method often used, especially when dealing with social intercourse and interactions between members of very different clades is the "environmental code". Each race has a code that defines out what type of entity they are (warm blooded oxygen breathers who like light freq of this range and this gravity level have one code, cold blooded methane breathers who like 2Gs get another and so on). When entered into the appropriate device a personalized environment bubble is rapidly generated. Of course still this does not cover things like etiquette.

Finally, sophonts may (and often do) choose to socialize in the virtual (or the utility fog projections of virch) rather than the real. Inter being faux pas is therefore be limited to social rather than literally lethal. At least as long as the socialization space was limited in the level of input that it would accept.

 
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Development Notes
Text by Todd Drashner

Initially published on 28 July 2003.

The idea of an environmental code is inspired by the writings of Larry Niven in his Draco Tavern stories.