Animin is the generic name for any transapient, whatever its origin (ai, alife, biont, vec, or xeno) that has traits and capabilities of a being of the first toposophic or higher but does not have an analytical form of intelligence. It may appear to operate by instinct, or may have a form of intelligence that humans and other ordinary Terragens cannot comprehend. Such entities may entirely lack self-awareness, and have very few characteristics in common with human or human-derived sophonts.
The existence of animins shows that consciousness does not evolve in a linear fashion, and that at each toposophic level there is a broad landscape of possible mentalities. In conventional toposophic mind-space diagrams, animins generally lie completely outside the human, transhuman and posthuman volumes. Their unpredictable nature is sometimes compared to a force of nature; for this reason animins are often known by the alternative name 'elementals'.
The animins are extremely diverse, more so than the better recognized transapients, but they typically interact less with modosophonts and have little to do with civilization as ordinary sophonts understand it. They are nevertheless highly valued and sought after by artists, eccentrics, mystics, and lateral thinkers of all kinds. Such quests are hazardous. Many animins are reclusive and some can be dangerous if approached; they are even less predictable than other transapients. There are perhaps several hundred billion such beings in known space.
Animins appear to be particularly widespread in the Panvirtuality and Diamond Network.
- A-lifes - Text by Anders Sandberg and Steve Bowers
Beings evolved in artificial life simulations. Instead of being designed like AIs, they evolve in a Darwinian way within a virtual environment (see Software Based Evolution).
- Artificials - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
generic term for any sophont of a non-biological nature [noun]
- Queen of Pain - Text by Darren Ryding
According to folklore the Queen of Pain is a vast animin power or godling who has captured several of the most sadistic and evil sophonts in the Terragen Sphere and punishes them in a hell of her own devising. There she keeps them alive and conscious indefinitely while feeding upon their suffering.