Myths and Rumours

myth
Image from Steve Bowers

For every new discovery, there are countless myths and rumours that perpetuate through the Known Net, intriguing sentient beings with astonishing reports. Some myths date back to the dawn of humanity, or in the case of the myths of xenosophont cultures, much earlier even than that; others are relatively new and have evolved in response to the immense and awe-inspiring mystery of space.

Some myths and rumours are started deliberately, as memetic experiments by the Archailects or lesser gods; some tales are started maliciously, by the many subversive or secretive factions and entities who have different agendas to the mainstream culture.

 
Articles
  • Alien  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Generic term for any non-terragen sapient being. The term xenosophont is also equivalent.
  • Angel Plasma  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    In classical Tiplerism, the extremely hot state of the collapsing universe, where supposed superintelligences ("Angels") exist as computational systems somehow encoded in the particle interactions.
  • Atlantis (lost continent)  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Mythical lost continent on Old Earth.
  • Bayesjutsu  - Text by Daniel Eliot Boese
    A formalized discipline of rationality; a martial art of mind rather
    than of physical motion.
  • Blood Angel  - Text by Darren Ryding
    Transapient servants of the Queen of Pain
  • Boneless  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Apparently mythical creature.
  • Bottleworlds  - Text by Tony Jones
    Vast simulated environments and virchworlds where the inhabitants do not know their reality is an emulation, and may be poorly treated.
  • Brain Plague  - Text by John B
    Rumour among the independent/Hider polities coreward from the Sephirotic wormhole networks concerning a malady of some unknown vector where the victim seems to disassociate themselves from their prior memetic set and instead begins to take up a strong xenophobic, biophilic memeset.
  • Breakfast Crew, The  - Text by John B
    The Breakfast Crew is a SI:3+ intellect with multiple instantiations located in the N-Gamma Ivadi system with a large number of helper-instantiations of lower intellect. They appear to be working solely on an artifact they have dubbed, "The Breakfast", apparently after an old advertising campaign whose tagline was, "Data - not just for breakfast anymore!"
  • Chaos, The  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Myth of impending collapse in the Terragen Sphere.
  • Collector Ship  - Text by Darren Ryding
    One of the many ships used by the Collectors - servants of the Queen of Pain.
  • Collectors, The  - Text by Darren Ryding
    An (apparently) mythical ultratech secret society that is reputed to dwell beneath the surface of an unknown planet in the Hinterworlds, in stories dating from the 10,300s A.T. onwards.
  • Creeping Consolidation  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    The increasingly popular rumour that the archailects and higher hyperturings are slowly undermining the non-archai empires.
  • Daemons of the Trump  - Text by James Ward
    In 9923, the Sidene system, located in the Periphery, fell victim to a fleet of highly advanced ultratech warships. For several years this was the extent of knowledge on the subject, but in 9948 another system, Adice, was attacked and managed to send information to other systems. The local powers have pieced together what they can.
  • Dawn Hunters  - Text by Anders Sandberg and M. Alan Kazlev, with additional suggestions by Steve Bowers.
    Apparently mythical entities from the galaxy's ancient past.
  • Enforcer Objects  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Automatic stealthy weapons left behind by extinct aliens
  • ESP - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Extra-sensory perception, natural (non -ultratech or -cybertech - mediated) clairvoyance, precognition, and telepathy. Part of psionics. Very few clades or groups believe that such a thing even exists.
  • Esper - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    One who (supposedly) possesses natural extra-sensory perception and is able to direct it voluntarily. See also psionics.
  • Evanescence  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Unexplained disappearances, also sometimes called vanishings
  • Fair Folk, The  - Text by Steve Bowers
    A diminutive clade of individuals who practice technomagic.
  • Farm Analogy, The  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev and Anders Sandberg
    Infamous forgery circulated on the net in the 430's purporting to be an authentic post from one AI to another, showing how they undertake "people farming".
  • Femtotechnology / Femtotech  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    An imaginary technology cluster. Users of the word imagine a technology or set of technologies that rearranges matter on the femtoscale with something analogous to nanotechnology's scope and precision.
  • Filium's Proof  - Text by Peter Kisner
    Suggests (but does not actually prove) that there might be some obscure or unseen forces working even beneath the facade of hoaxes and layers of archailect sponsored super powers.
  • Foo  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Unidentified objects in the sky and in space.
  • Futurological Congress, The (Civilisation Ship)  - Text by Steve Bowers
    A civilisation ship with an unusual quest.
  • Galaxy Brain  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev modified from Anders Sandberg's Transhumanist Terminology
    A form of distributed intelligence; an intelligent being with parts spread across an entire galaxy. If not linked by wormholes, the internal communication lags would be on the order of tens of thousands years.
  • Gate(s) of Hell - Text by Jorge Ditchkenberg
    Mythical biont from the mythology of virtual beings who first introduced evil and corruption into the ancient unspoiled virtual world. In many aspects it is similar to Satan in Christianity.
  • Gestgangs - Text by Michael Beck
    Rumoured, no one knows if they're real or not. Or rather, those who know aren't telling. Gestgangs are renegade group minds that, according to rumour, lurk in cities and kidnap ordinary individuals to force them into the group mind. Many scholars consider this to be one more form of urban folklore.
  • Hominid Merge Entity, The  - Text by John B
    Mysterious merged being associated with a large number of unexplained disapperances
  • Hundunggok  - Text by Thorbjørn Steen
    A mythological creature from the Lortunun Mythos.
  • Ilahlu Barrier, The  - Text by Michael Boncher
    A myth about alien wormholes.
  • Inhibitor - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Hypothetic super-powerful alien race or races proposed to explain why most advanced civilizations fail after only a few tens of thousands to a few millions of years. The Dawn Hunters are the most popular example of inhibitors, although it is not known if they even exist, or if they do, if they really are inhibitors.
  • Legend: Time Travel  - Text by Michael Boncher
    Over the eons, many have claimed that travelling backward in time is possible.
  • Lovecraftism  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Mythos revolving around a crypto-dualistic chaos-cosmology; teaches that known space is a small island of light, beyond which, and in the interstices between which, are other intelligences of a much older nature. The name refers to an atomic age fabulist who popularised this worldview, but modern lovecraftism differs in a number of important elements.
  • Medusa Fractal  - Text by Xaonon
    A hypothetical mathematical figure which, when seen by a baseline or near-baseline human, sets up a feedback loop that sends them into a permanent catatonic state.
  • Meerlinda Nano-disaster  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev, additional material by Steve Bowers
    Nanodisaster possibly caused by alien nanotech.
  • Morgan - Text by Brian McKinley
    Para-mythological folk heroine from the early Interplanetary Age. Sighted many times but never confirmed to exist. Likely classed as a Superior. True origins remain unknown.
  • MPA-Freemason Connection - Text by Glen Finney
    There is a persistent rumour among baseline and nearbaseline conspiracy theorists that the Mutual Progress Association was founded by an ancient and semi-secret society that was in existence since before the Information Age: the Free Masons. Theorists cite as evidence the penchant of the MPA for megascale structures and the identification of the Ruling Archailect of the MPA as "The Great Architect", a term they claim was used by the Free Masons for God. They cite as further circumstantial proof the idea that this is not the first time that the Free Masons have been involved in starting polities, including such ancient examples as the Old Earth nation of America, or the First Federation. None of these rumours has ever been verified. Enthusiasts point out that neither have such rumours ever been disproved.
  • Mythical Xenosophonts  - Text by John B with additions by Steve Bowers
    Legends of hidden aliens in the midst of the Orion Arm civilization.
  • Nimbus Project, Infiltration of - Text by John B
    It is thought that the first phase of the Nimbus Project is being heavily datamined/infiltrated by various warchives and polities for useful information and tech designs.
  • Orion's Arms  - Text by Glen Finney
    Alternate realities simulated in virtual reality.
  • Picotechnology / Picotech  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    An imaginary technology cluster. Users of the word imagine a technology or set of technologies that rearranges matter on the picoscale with something analogous to nanotechnology's scope and precision.
  • Platypus War, The  - Text by Jorge Ditchkenberg
    A widespread Terragen fable regarding memetic effects; it may or may not have a historical basis.
  • Poltergeists  - Text by David Jackson
    A class of technohaunts given corporeal existence through the exploitation of angelnet security flaws.
  • Queen of Pain  - Text by Darren Ryding
    According to folklore, the Queen of Pain is a vast animin power or godling who feeds upon the suffering of the most sadistic sapients, keeping them alive and conscious indefinitely.
  • Quiet Zones  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    Among the colonised worlds, some appear to be abandoned or overlooked.
  • Reach of Gaia, The  - Text by Graham Hopgood
    A variety of rumours and myths that suggest GAIA, the transapient overseer of Old Earth, made at least one attempt to establish an eco-colony far beyond the limits of the current era Terragen Sphere.
  • Restorers  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Like the Dawn Hunters, a possibly mythical ancient race.
  • Scavenger, The  - Text by John B
    A semi-mythical computronium thief.
  • Semblance of Eternity  - Text by Matt, Dagon, and John B
    Disputed alien artifact.
  • Serendib  - Text by Jorge Ditchkenberg
    Legendary/mythical very advanced hider colony in the Inner Sphere.
  • Siddha - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A sophont that possesses siddhis, or a clade made of such beings.
  • Siddhi - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Yogic attainments in the form of supernormal powers. Literally, "perfections". Perfect attainment, full accomplishment, phenomenal powers acquired through holiness especially by Yogis. Includes control of autonomous body functions (without nano or bionano), supernormal strength, psychic visions, levitation and so on, allegedly without technological aid. The status of some siddhis remain controversial, but others have been shown under laboratory conditions. The Old Earth Tantrics of northern India and Nepal and Tibetan yogis were famous for their siddhis, as were the Interplanetary Age shapers. Even today, siddhis remain an important element in the culture of some Genen tantrika subclades. The term is derived from Old Earth Sanskrit usidng the verbal root sidhsidh.
  • Siddoptimal - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A neogen that has been maximised for a competence and talent in siddhis.
  • Skalosak  - Text by Darren Ryding and Steve Bowers
    Mythical member of the secret sect known as the Collectors.
  • Specialist, The  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Quasi-mythical individual (or possibly a group of individuals), wandering the Wormhole Nexus and nearby worlds largely incognito getting involved in local issues of great potential relevance.
  • Surhomme  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Enigmatic asexual posthuman clade, associated with various consciousness-altering phenomena.
  • Svalbard Transap, The  - Text by Daniel Eliot Boese
    Mythical transapient believed by some to have been involved in the Nanodisaster.
  • Technohaunts  - Text by Michael Boncher
    Bits and pieces of incomplete or incorrect deletions, random programming errors and other strange activity caused by ultratech, transapientech, and godtech that seem supernatural or mysterious to those of lower tech and/or toposophic levels.
  • Teleportation, FTL - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Unconfirmed rumors of teleportation effects that occur at superluminal velocity. Despite popular belief in some less educated and more eccentric and non-scientific nearbaseline cultures who claim that archai civilizations, and advanced hypothetical alien races have this technology, there has never been a single instance of FTL teleportation that has ever been validated. In fact FTL teleportation, like any form of FTL, would disrupt causality, and is not possible in this physical universe.
  • True Plain Sight, The - Text by Todd Drashner
    The true Plain Sight (assuming it even exists) almost never has contact with the rest of Terragen society. Their possession of secret or restricted information comes from a combination of centuries of developing their hacking skills (much like the Cyberian network hackers, also the subject of much fiction) and simply being present, but hidden, when some secret event/communication happened to occur in their presence/local node etc. They simply pass through a restricted node or access a secret file out of curiosity rather than some desire to actually do anything with the information. They are, the most part, almost totally indifferent to the things that concern most members of galactic society. They ghost through the data nets on their own mysterious errands.
  • UFO  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Old myth that xenobionts traveling in small disc shaped craft had been visiting Earth for thousands of years prior to the first Singularity.
  • Undead Army of Dan Sanders, The  - Text by Somes Jung Hallinan
    One of the quirkier legends in the Terragen sphere.
  • Unscanned Market - Text by John B
    A semi-mythological portion of the NoCoZo economy dealing with unregistered ("unscanned") products. These products are either incredibly cheap, or not normally available due to sophont rights or other moral or societal restrictions. The best confirmed independent estimates of the Unscanned Market indicate that it is at best a small fraction of a percent of the GCP of the NoCoZo, even if various demagogues inflate the estimate by some factor.
  • Vanishment   - Text by Stephen Inniss
    Complete erasure of an entity from history and common memory. Possible within a virch that has no external records, or wherever personal memories may be accessed and revised by some central body and external records are not present. It is commonly believed that in the Civilized Galaxy in the modern era cases are rare and voluntary, but this was not true in the past and is not true elsewhere. The true extent of this practice is not known since successful Vanishment does not leave any record of whoever or whatever was erased.
  • Void Swarms  - Text by Marcel Lossi
    Hypothetical god-tech entities consisting of numerous linked void motes.
  • Warpship That Returned, The  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Urban myth/folklore that revolves around a hypothetical "warpship"; often involves messianic overtones.
  • Watched, The  - Text by Michael Boncher
    Higher transapient entertainment involving manipulation of the lives of lower toposophic beings.
  • Wishing Box, The  - Text by Michael Beck
    There has never been any empirical evidence for the existence of Wishing Boxes. Despite that, the story refuses to die.
  • Wup, Origin of - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    It has been suggested (although this has never been confirmed) that the whole Wup movement originated as a flame war among high toposophic level minds. "An infestation of Wup" (general term, like "a gaggle of geese") may have been among the insults AI might use on each other.
  • Wup, Positive Effects of  - Text by John B and M. Alan Kazlev
    Despite its apparently antisocial consequences, it is thought that wup is considered useful enough for a number of empires to keep (and even encourage) it, even if it annoys low level transapient and sophont Negentropy Alliance minds.
 
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Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Image by Steve Bowers
Initially published on 23 October 2002.