Augmentics

Cyborg Reconstruction
Image from Keith Wigdor
Cyborg Reconstruction, by Keith Wigdor

Augmentics refers to the technology of augmenting or modifying the body, abilities, and characteristics of a biont or vec, whether for cosmetic, ascendic, or other purposes. This includes bioware, cyberware, wetware, and so on.

Body Modification is accepted as a right and a part of everyday life on many of the worlds of the Civilized Galaxy; this is the result of thousands of years of progress in biotechnology and, perhaps more importantly, a long, slow process of change in society towards acceptance of the right of a sophont to change eir characteristics.

 
Articles
  • Ainstinct  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Artificial (later Artificially Intelligent) instincts first developed during the mid-Interplanetary Age.
  • Algernon - Text by Steve Bowers
    Interplanetary age name for an individual who has had unsuccessful intelligence augmentation treatment of some kind; many different types of augmentation treatment were developed to boost baseline human mental capacity, but many of these did not work. From a (now lost ) Information Age fable, Flowers for Algernon.
  • Archanarchy  - Text by Steve Bowers, additional material by Luke Campbell, Michael Zimmet and Mark Ryherd
    The view that one should should seek to void all limits on one's freedom, including those imposed by the laws of nature.
  • Ascension Compensation Mods  - Text by Cyborgdreamer
    Modifications that allow an ascended individual to interact with former associates more easily
  • Asomniac  - Text by Ryan B
    Organism whose physiology has no sleep requirement; very common in vec and AI clades.
  • Augmentation  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Enhancing natural physical or mental abilities through the use of organic, cybernetic, bionano, or hylonano technology. The resulting augment is a person whose physical or cognitive abilities have been biologically and/or technologically expanded beyond the range of baseline humans.
  • Backup  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    A recording of the entire physical mind/body state of any entity created with the intent that it might be replicated at a later date.
  • Bailout Device  - Text by David Jackson
    Backup device intended to actively preserve itself in an emergency, if necessary by finding a new host.
  • Baroquification  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Behavioural crypsis among modosophonts and transapients.
  • Bioborg  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Bioborgs are humans, animals, or other lifeforms, heavily modified via biocircuitry, biomachinery, biosymbers, bionano, wetware, etc (collectively: bioware). No inorganic components (other than some occasional support or reinforcing structures) are used at all for any of these augmentations.
  • Biomechanics - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Science that deals with the biont body as a mechanism to which the laws of physics are applied to study, treatment, and augment movement and athletic performance. Includes kinesiology, sports science, kinetic and athletic bioware and cyberware, and other topics.
  • Biomedical Engineering - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    The design and development of medical technology, especially medical nanotechnology. Includes design and development of customized medical nanobots, synthetic biomaterials, large, small, cellular, and subcellular-scale body imaging and sensors, bio- and cybernetic implants and augmentations.
  • Biomod - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A biotech or bioborg augment or mod, especially one that can be easily or relatively easily applied to any biont, bioborg, cyborg, biovec.
  • Borg - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Generic term for a biont who uses radical bio-organ or cyborg augmentation to modify eir phenotype or body.
  • Brainstorm  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Semi-legal drug occasionally used by baselines/near- baselines seeking to solve a complex problem without the assistance of an ai.
  • Crashcache  - Text by Todd Drashner with contributions from David Jackson and John B
    Emergency medical/disaster survival device designed to safely contain the mind-states of multiple numbers (sometimes very large numbers) of sophonts.
  • Cybernetics  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev and Stephen Inniss
    In popular usage, the study of the creation of cyborgs through the use of dryware/hylotech such as mechanical, electronic, and bionic implants, augments, and neuroprostheses. In technical usage, the study of communication and control systems based on regulatory feedback, with application in a number of fields such as sociology, memetics, biology, engineering, artificial intelligence, and information theory.
  • Cybertechnology - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    The designing and developing of hylotech (dryware) technological enhancements for the biont body and nervous system.
  • Cyrano Mod  - Text by David Jackson
    Self-contained memetic-processing suite that monitors the conversation and analyzes the data being fed to it by physiological sensors with the purpose of suggesting dialogue that might favorably promote the user's desired outcome.
  • Direct Neural Interface  - Text by Ad Astra
    Standard neural interfacing allowing direct brain-localnet connection.
  • DNI - Text by Stephen Inniss
    An acronym for Direct Neural Interface.
  • DNI: Capabilities and Components  - Text by Ryan B
    Direct Neural Interface equipment and operation details
  • Endoskeleton (biology) - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Framework or skeleton inside the body, used as attachment for muscles and organs, as opposed to exoskeleton.
  • Enhanced Reality (ER) - Text by M. Alan Kazlev after the original in Anders Sandberg's Transhumanist Terminology
    Information Age to present. A personalized view of reality, the result of filtering, translation, and addition of new perceptions, such as annotations, information or virtual objects; essential for any sapient being to function in most of the civilized galaxy, and interact with all but the most basic tech. Unlike VR, which is immersive and only deals with virtual objects, ER involves improved interaction with real objects and situations, in addition to virtual objects.
  • Enhanced Uploads  - Text by Daniel Eliot Boese
    aka partial brain emulations, aka expanded brain emulations, aka Improved [Biont|Cyborg] Encoding Protocols, aka etc
  • Evocation  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Partial copy created from external data recorded in a sophont's exoself
  • Existech - Text by Anders Sandberg in his Transhumanist Terminology
    Existential technology. Any technological framework for self-determination and mastery over one's own destiny.
  • Exoself  - Text by Anders Sandberg; modified by Steve Bowers
    Systems linked to the self in a cooperative way, extending the mind and the body. Especially used about the systems supporting an uploaded personality, providing information, virtual reality and monitoring.
  • Exoskeleton  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    An external skeleton as found in arthropods, or a suit of protective sealed powered armour worn as clothing, or similarly protective modifications or augments of the body.
  • Extended Color Convention  - Text by Omeganian
    Colour vision outside the conventional visible spectrum
  • Fastman Lifestyle, The  - Text by Jorge Ditchkenberg
    A subculture of humans, or occasionally bionts of other clades, whose goal is to obtain all their energy and organic compounds through internal technologies and thereby avoid eating.
  • Fenestra - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    [1] Biont anatomy: a natural hole or opening in a bone or other hard structure, to allow the passage of nerves, blood-vessels, etc.
    [2] Bioborg armor: a small opening for feedlines, and other vessels.
  • Genotypic Augmentation - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Modification or augmentation that effects only the genotype of the gametes and descendants of an organism. Genotypic augmentation is biological or genetic modification or augmentation that effects only the genotype of the gametes and descendants of an organism. It does not alter the characteristics of the user, or of clones from the user's somatic cells, but it does modify that of all of the user's offspring. Contrast with phenotypic augmentation.
  • Godmod - Text by Todd Drashner
    Slang for a bodymod that is designed and/or undertaken by a hyperturing or higher level mind for use on a baseline or near-baseline being. Usually the result of a bargain or deal made between the two. Very highly valued and semi-mythical although there are a few documented instances.
  • Group mind  - Text by Steve Bowers
    A permanent or temporary collective mind; see also hive mind, tribe mind
  • Handtech  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    Technology that replaces, or augments, biological limbs, or acts as manipulators for aioid entities.
  • Haptic interface, Haptics - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    In non-DNI virtual reality systems, the physical actuators that provide the user with a sense of touch, including the sensing of pressure and temperature. Still used by some anti-cyborgization clades and phyles today.
  • Helpers, Icons, and Fetishes  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Semi-sentient software assistants.
  • Hemi - Text by John B
    An offshoot of Brainstorm, Hemi has much reduced side effects and greatly enhances one hemisphere of the brain. A person suffering an artistic 'blockage' might take a dose of Right Hemi to break through the blockage, or a would-be composer take it to provide talent which might otherwise be lacking. Hemi, due to its even more severely psychologically addictive nature, is illegal in all but the rarest communities. Left Hemi, incidentally, handles mathematics...
  • Heteromorphs  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Modosophont bionts, usually but not always humans, who have altered their physical form until they are substantially different from their original form.
  • Immortechnics  - Text by Mark Plus, in Anders Sandberg's Transhuman Terminology
    Collectively, the technologies which are applied to attempt radical life extension, such as calorie-restricted dieting, cryonics, medical nano, uploading, etc.
  • Inaxun  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    INtelligence Augmentation XUNware. Popular public domain transapient subarchailect gnostic interface distributed by the Xun Polity, TRHN.
  • Inline University - Text by Max M. Rasmussen, in Anders Sandberg's Transhuman Terminology
    Nanocomputer or general computronium implant or implants serving to increase intelligence and education of their owners, essentially turning them into a walking university. Especially common on Ken Ferjik, Alexandria, and other university worlds and megastructures.
  • Intelligence Augmentation (IA)  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Artificial means of increasing or assisting the natural intelligence of a biological organism; often using Direct neural interfacing with external intelligent agents and other devices, allowing improvements to memory, processing ability and processed sensory input. Electronic augmentation was favoured by the Augmentation Activists, a group of augmentors who converted many thousands of humans in the Interplanetary Age, often against their will.
  • Internalnet - Text by Ken Clements, in Anders Sandberg's Transhuman Terminology
    An information network inside a living body, for example between nanochondria, bionic implants or external wearable computers.
  • Jainist Cellular Augments  - Text by Glen Finney
    A techno-religious movement predominantly among bionts that grew out of Jainism.
  • Laundry, The  - Text by Daniel Eliot Boese
    An everydaytech facility for cleansing, repairs, custom alterations, and more
  • Lifelog  - Text by Steve Bowers
    The practice of recording a person's experiences and opinions in a comprehensive multimedia diary form.
  • Living Tattoo  - Text by Todd Drashner
    A form of decoration that consists of one or more species of gengineered micro-organism being introduced into the skin (or fur, or feathers, or onto the shell, scales, or carapace) of a sophont and then induced to develop in a manner that results in a visible pattern or image being displayed.
  • Melder  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Six legged oxygen breathing symbiote/parasite with the ability to meld itself to a wide variety of lifeforms.
  • Memory Box - Text by Todd Drashner
    Data storage unit used to contain the mind-state. Also contains a digitized copy of the owners biocode to allow the nano- construction of a new body if the original is destroyed. A standard memory box is a rectangular solid approximately of dimension 3x1.5x.75cm. Memory boxes are typically copied at least three times and the copies kept in separate locations. They are also built to be as close to indestructible as their owners can afford. A standard design typically involves multilayer buckytube shells interspersed with foamed ceramic thermal insulation.
  • Memory Grubs  - Text by John B
    These relatively short, damp wormlike creatures were created deliberately in the 33rd century AT to fulfil a role - to help baselines organize and recall memory better.
  • Memory Retrieval  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    If one has a constant learning rate and a brain (or equivalent) of any given size then eventually the oldest memories are forgotten unless an effort is made to refresh them. If one decreases the learning rate then senility is a danger. As an alternative one can add extra memory - which in the long run means becoming posthuman (or postbiont, postvec, etc.) to manage all that information. Another alternative is to undergo periodic "childhoods" where the brain is made more plastic and one forgets a bit but not everything from previous incarnations, but this entails some loss of identity and some personality shift. Corporations like Psyber Retrievals, Inc - "Let us remember it for you!" - offer memory storage units for this reason.
  • Mnemonet - Text by Todd Drashner
    Biocybernetic network of nanodevices grown in an organic brain and working to constantly record the owners brain activity and memories. The contents of the network are periodically downloaded to a central file and integrated into the mind-state stored there. If the owner dies for some reason, the mind-state is activated and instantiated in a new body to continue the life of the original. Mnemonets are also used to expand the memory of the user when the original organic memory has reached its limits due to the length of the users lifespan. In the more advanced systems, mnemonets designs are written into the gene-code of all citizens so that they develop as part of the natural growth process of a fetus and child.
  • Moodomorphic  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Clothing, bionano or hylonano augments that alter themselves, or even the appearance of the wearer/user, according to the mood of that individual. Some individuals and clades regularly morph their entire bodies in this way. Hence, moodomorpher, moodomorphist, etc.
  • Morphological Freedom  - Text by Max More, in Anders Sandberg's Transhuman Terminology
    The option and decision to alter one's bodily form at will through technologies such as augmentation, genetic engineering, nanotechnology and uploading.
  • Morphotype  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    In biology, or in the study of clades, a shared shape and general appearance, regardless of origin or relationship. The result of convergent evolution in natural beings, or of common design solutions or purposeful imitation in artificial beings.
  • Nanobones  - Text by Tony Jones
    A bionano process whereby portions of a subject's skeleton are converted into bionanocomputers, using bionanomachines, which run off the subject's blood supply.
  • Nanostasis  - Text by Steve Bowers with comments by John B
    A means of preserving biological life in suspended animation over long journeys or in unsatisfactory environments.
  • Olfactory Array  - Text by John Edds
    A device used to detect volatilized and fluid-phase chemical compounds suspended in air, or another fluid medium.
  • Optimal Persona - Text by Modified from Max More in Anders Sandberg's Transhuman terminology
    In high choice societies and individuals, an imagined model of the ideal person or entity one wishes to become. The Optimal Persona is the ideal self, the higher (and continually developing) individual, which can be attained through augmentation, yogic development, and other techniques.
  • Optimodding - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Using augments and mods to enhance one's abilities in a balanced and optimal way. Also known as Balancemodding. Optimodding gives just as many benefits and enhancements as other approaches, but requires a slower and more mature approach, rather than rushing in and acquiring the flashiest glittermods or biggest powermods. In the Sephirotic worlds and polities, transapients advise sapient augmenters of the best augments and morphotypes to experiment with, while at the same time not limiting the creativity and freedom (including freedom to make mistakes) of the lower sapients.
  • Overcharge  - Text by John B
    This is a deliberately destructive biostimulant cocktail designed to greatly amplify the capabilities of the baseline body. It is often considered to be the 'last gasp' of the pure baseline warrior concept.
  • Pantropy  - Text by Steve Bowers
    The practice of adapting humans (and other bionts) to live comfortably in a planetary environment rather than attempting to change that environment to resemble the home world.
  • Perceptions Shows  - Text by John B; additions by Stephen Inniss
    'Perceptions' is the common name for a type of reality show usually shown on grey or black-legality stations.
  • Phenotypic Augmentation - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Biological or genetic modification or augmentation that effects the phenotype only. It alters the characteristics of the user, and sometimes also that of clones from the user's somatic cells, but it does not modify the user's offspring. Contrast with genotypic augmentation.
  • Pimple Socket - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A microscopic interface socket by which a biont can use cyberware (e.g. DNI) without appearing like a "buttonhead". The name cames from the fact that the socket itself is surrounded by a small bump or pimple that allows the user to find it even without augmentations.
  • Polysophonce  - Text by AI Vin, with additions by Steve Bowers
    Entities that have multiple minds (some of which need not be fully sophont) operating in a single body.
  • Rinomolitic Matrix - Text by M. Alan Kazlev based on original idea by Kevin Self
    A self-reproducing crystalline matrix that has the ability to interface with a sentient nervous system and enhance its cognitive abilities. The substance is a nano-lifeform, a kind of wild nanocomputer apparently designed for interfacing, originally discovered on Kariton.
  • Skill Module  - Text by Ryan B
    A class of software augment that operates by interfacing with a sophont’s central nervous system to provide and/or teach a specific set of skills.
  • Starlight Gene Patch  - Text by James Ramsey
    An interactive library and gengineering instrument that adapts a biont to local day/night cycles and the wavelengths of available light in a new environment.
  • Sunwing Augment, The  - Text by AI Vin
    The Sunwing Augment allows an augmented human to fly without mechanical aid with the added bonus of photovoltaic power collection.
  • Supersophonts  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev, with additions by Steve Bowers, Luke Campbell and Todd Drashner
    Clarktech seeds which confer super-powered augmentations to users.
  • Technoetics - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Nanotech wetware or firmware distributed through the cerebral cortex (and sometimes the entire CNS and ANS) that is able to detect realtime electrochemical neuronal activity, reconstructing the whole (through the cerebral cortex, as well as CNS and ANS reflexes) and translating it into an authentic noetic gestalt or stream of consciousness that can be used for non-destructive real-time uploading, technotelepathy, or cyberfacing with devices in one's immediate environment, or with a higher toposophic seraiph or ai. Technoetics differs considerably in efficiency and authenticity according to the sophistication of the particular wetware/firmware/software used.
  • Technotelepathy  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev and Steve Bowers
    Use of commlinked technoetics to enable two (or more) entities to experience the same sensorium and stream of consciousness, sometimes without the knowledge of one (or more) parties.
  • Thought-Stream Recorder  - Text by Domagoj K
    A cybernetic device that continually records a sophont's thoughts into a log that can be inspected later. Typically used in conjunction with DNI, it is employed for forensic, introspective, research, and security purposes.
  • Touchlink  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Tactile control interface used to connect a users onboard system with external devices without the use of radio or optical transmission technology.
  • Transbiomorphosis - Text by Adaptecd from Max More, in Anders Sandberg's Transhuman Terminology
    [1] (Interplanetary Age, First Federation, Terran Federation): The transformation of the human body from a natural, biological organism into a superior, consciously designed vehicle of personality.
    [2] Genetekkers, Genen, Zoeific Biopolity, TRHN - dramatic modification of one's biological form, not necessarily into a superior (although sometimes that) but just a different form, as a lifestyle choice or artistic expression.
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation  - Text by Loopquanta
    Non-invasive neural interfacing using magnetic fields.
  • Ultimate Muscles  - Text by Luke Campbell
    Artificial, very strong, muscle-like machines.
  • Vacuum Equipment  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Thinsuits, airdust, nanolungs: the basic requirements for vacuum survival.
  • Vasculoid Circulatory Replacement System  - Text by Steve Bowers and Ryan B
    Artificial Blood
  • Vision Chip - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Information Age implant used by baseline and nearbaseline humans, involving silicon emulation of the human retina that captures the algorithm of early mammalian visual processing, and an algorithm called center surround filtering. By the early interplanetary age this was replaced by bioware, except among some dedicated cyborg clades.
  • Wetlet - Text by Fernando Peña D'Andrea
    Name given to organic devices grown so that they can be plugged into various sort of nanotech or compatible devices or other bio devices. The common uses range from medicine-producing glands to (the most common) neural aids. The first transapients made wide use of these devices in order to complement their mental abilities. The ancient designs from Solsys in pre-Nanoswarm times have long since been superseded by more sophisticated neogen, bionano, and synano devices but are still popular with some bioborg clades.
 
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Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev

Initially published on 06 February 2002.