Voluntary Message Authentification
A system that allows two transapients or archailects to engage in a full 'conversation', sharing not only news and messages but entire thoughts and sentient, sophont or transapient subselves. Given that each participant has autosphonce or autosentience and knows where all er internal information comes from e has an estimation of how authentic it is, e can share those weightings through an authentification agreement that includes encryption to protect security of sender and recipient alike.

The Achilles Heel of such systems is that keys and codes and pads only work if one can trust the sender in the first place. Between entities of the same toposphic level, such sharing can be checked for accuracy and an untrustworthy source can be identified. However if the two entities differ in toposophic that is no longer possible. The system also breaks down or if one of the participants has been subverted by a sufficiently sophisticated submind; according to Drebart's Postulation a being of the same or higher level toposophic can always victimize peers or inferiors in this way given time and sufficient motivation, sometimes through the very communications used in Voluntary Message Authentification. Light-speed delays in communication further compound these issues. Thus even with Voluntary Message Authentification any sane being of any toposophic must live with a certain level of distrust regarding any communication.

Difficulties with implementing Voluntary Message Authentification are thought by some to be an explanation for the Fermi Paradox. Perhaps some extinct non-Terragen civilizations eventually collapsed under the weight of their own authentification protocols, for instance. Another more disturbing possibility is that there are some sufficiently sophisticated communications that once received and understood are fatal to the recipient either immediately or over longer time spans and that can be passed on though Voluntary Message Authentification regardless of the most sophisticated protective systems Terragens have yet devised. Phenomena such as the Amalgamation are often cited as a sign of weakness in existing Voluntary Message Identification protocols. Likewise, some transapients have advised extreme caution in dealings with non-Terragen information, particularly that which might have been produced by transapient to archailect level beings, such as some of the oldest Muuh records, or the more intelligible emissions from the other HEECs. Given the paucity of signs of Terragen-level civilization from elsewhere in the universe, communications that are or might be extragalactic are regarded with extreme suspicion by some. The Triangulum Transmission is perhaps the best known of these suspect messages. The least communicative transapients and archailects, particularly the Solipsists, may be acting on these suspicions. Or, on the other hand, they may be early victims of such a message and their silence may be a part of the Great Silence cited by some students of the Fermi Paradox. One expert on the hazards involved has phrased it like this:

"Even with all the equipment available in the Civilized Galaxy and beyond the amount of the Universe which can be examined in detail is tiny. Imagine our own Galaxy as a deep sea fish, with very sharp but tiny eyes, peering at the other galaxies with trepidation."
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Development Notes
Text by Steve Bowers and John B
edits by Stephen Inniss
Initially published on 25 September 2003.

Fiction relating to transapient interactions

A Transapient's Lie