Computronium Bell-curve theory
Controversial theory that, as sophonts ascend the toposophic scale, the volume of computronium ey need for each successive ascension gradually levels-off and eventually goes negative past a point (yielding a bell-shaped curve representing the volume of computronium needed at a given toposophic level), as the sophont discovers newer, more efficient modes of thought and denser computing substrates which require lower volumes (not necessarily less mass) of computronium.
Support for this theory comes from the observation that entities of intermediate toposophic levels that are created whole-cloth by higher toposophic entities (who presumably have access to more advanced and greatly miniaturized tech that even a sophant of the level ey are creating might not be able to work with effectively, as few baseline bionts are able to easily get eir minds around the full intricacies of eir own biology), usually have more compact substrates and use less computronium (volume-wise) than entities of the same toposophic level who initially ascended from lower levels.
According to this theory, the star-spanning archailects occupying Jupiter or Dyson-sized nodes represent the middle of the scale (the "top" of the bell-shaped curve where the volume of computronium required is greatest, but the toposophic level actually intermediate), with still higher-toposophic entities (who if the theory is correct have access to fabled planckscale technology) occupying progressively smaller and more compact substrates composed of ever more exotic tech, or possibly just uploading emselves into the quantum foam imperceptible to ordinary sophonts.
Though many agree with the basic idea of this theory some claim it is based on the precept that the hardwiring of the S:4 and higher sophonts may be smaller but surrounding infrastructure might be more voluminous. For instance S:4 and other is alleged to involve hard-to-predict spikes in energy consumption, which cause the need for dyson sphere-sized grids of energy-collectors. Another means used by the more "occult" (hidden) higher sophonts was to find neutron stars and pirate the rotational energy contained in these. In fact the ascensiologist Skewak theorized that "...whereas sophonce at a given level would not incorporate a physical expansion like S:3 or lower but rather would have to rely on a multitude of possible means to acquire or harvest energy....". Shewak further speculates that extreme Sophont levels of S:6 and higher would look upon the gravitational spin of neutron stars or the appetite of black holes with certain appetite.
Text by Mike Parisi, additional material by Dagon
Initially published on 22 January 2004.
page uploaded 22 January 2004, last modified 24 December 2007