Neumann

Nauri 3
Image from Juan Ochoa

Neumanns are self-replicating autonomous machines, residents of interplanetary or even interstellar space. Though some varieties of vec may have onboard neumann capability and may also be called neumanns, the term 'neumann' has more typically been used to refer to neumann-capable vecs who work in space. Often these space-borne vecs are employed for exploration or military service in regions far removed from the nearest stargate. Under the right conditions, a neumann is able to build a working copy of itself using materials in its environment. In the case of neumanns active in interplanetary space these resources are typically asteroids, comets, or small moonlets. Use of Neumanns is often discouraged by centralists because of their tendency to become self-sentient and act in unpredictable ways, even on occasion founding entire clades and empires. However neumanns are too valuable in opening up the frontier and in the occasional war so they continue to be used. It is impossible to estimate accurately the number of turingrade or superturing neumanns, motherships, daughterships, turingrade and higher drones, and macroscale self-replicators of various kinds, but given their fecundity and the fact that they are concentrated in regions of the Periphery that often lack census data they account for a larger proportion of the sophonts in the Terragen Sphere than most residents of the Civilized Galaxy realize.

 
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Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev
additions by John B, Stephen Inniss, Todd Drashner
Initially published on 14 August 2001.