Utopia Sphere

Utopia Sphere (Garden)
Image from Bernd Helfert



The Utopia Sphere - Data Panel

DefinitionUtopian Sephirotic Region
SymbolNone formally, although the old Chesed logo is often used Utopian clades.
FoundedSecond millennium a.t.
Ruling ArchailectNo single identity, although the AI cluster ruling the Utopia Sphere is personified by the religious as the Lord of Utopia, the Bringer of Gifts, the Kindly One, the Merciful One, the Protective One, the Loving Parent, etc. The old neohermeticists referred to this very high toposophic group Mind as Chesed, and the term is still sometimes used among many utopese clades to this day.
AI EthosThe AIs that oversee Utopese societies and worlds tend to be very interventionist, even aggressively so in regards to threats from outside; and these societies would quickly crumble without the AI God supporting them. Hence Utopian societies are looked down at by sophonts in other sephirotics, their sapients called helpless pets. What these other sophonts fail to realise is that their sephirotic polities are just as dependent on a ruling archailect, only in their case the archailects are more subtle in how they go about things.
Utopian CivilizationThere is no single Utopian Civilization as such. Usually the sentients of each polity, world, and clade, adopt a kind of idealised version of the life they or their ancestors knew. Utopian worlds and habitats may be extremely diverse, with tens of thousands of sapient species happily co-existing. Or they may feature only a few specific and somewhat isolationist clades. Or anything in between. There are however few po or hyperturing polities, as Utopian sentients are often subsingularitan (either ordinary sophont, presapient, or even subsapient), although their wre also some transapient clades. Many Utopian races tend to be either not very competive with the rest of the galaxy, or, if they are, simply prefer to live happily among themselves. The Utopian AI have a tendency to construct dysons, to maximum the living space for their charges, and the Utopia Sphere has the sixth largest number of dysons in the terragen sphere (after the Panvirtuality, MPA, Keter, Objectivist Commonwealth, and some of the big Diamond Polities).
Science and TechnologyTechnology Level: The technology is very high (Transapientech and Godtech ) but always in the background. Although there are a few extremely advanced transapient utopic clades, polities, and civilizations, many utopic sophonts, especially on the more non-ultratech worlds, have little or no say in the running of Utopian tech. They have their own tech, which they brought with them from their own worlds, and which they retain more as a psychological crutch, to give the illusion of independence, or to customise their own dwellings and cities. Angelnets are common.
Psyche, Art, CultureMetapsychology: Varies greatly according to clade, culture, and polity

Society: There is no distinct society here, but rather the local sentients maintain the cultures and societies they or their ancestors originally had. However strong freedom of choice, little or no memegineering, little bureaucracy, distinction between the ruling and guardian AI and the majority of Utopian sentients, and strong reliance or dependence on ruling AIs to maintain the established order are common themes. Generally clade/species role-expectation is fairly low, even among clades that originally were high Role-specific.

Religion/Ideology: Although it is misleading to generalise here, it does seem that, despite the vast difference of race and clade among Utopian sapients, their religion very often takes the form of a simple childlike devotion to one's local archailect or hyperturing and eir seraiph. Many Utopists are also animist, monotheist, and superstitious, worshipping their local AI as the supreme God, and also worshipping local icons, fetishes, daimons, etc, and there are many local temples and shrines were simple pieces of sentient tech are worshipped. Some Utopists do however have unique and quite sophisticated religious rites, ceremonies and so on, and sometimes complex theologies and archailectologies replace superstition. Perhaps the most successful of the indiginous utopist religions is The First Splice and Provolve Universal Church (a local adaptation of the Universal Church), which tries to discourage excessive fetishism and icon-worship.

Symbolism and Aesthetics: Varies widely according to clade, culture, and polity. However, themes of ancestral disenfranchisement, persecution or crisis, of finding paradise, and benign transapient and archailectual guardianship are common in many works of epic literature.

Psychological Stagnation: Not infrequently over-reliance on the guardian AIs can result in excessive physical and psychological stagnation. Sometimes entire solar systems have gone this way. In extreme cases the ruling AIs have had to cleanse the entire planet, remake the whole infrastructure, and start again with a new group of immigrants.


Psychological Liberation: Psychological Liberation and Unio Mystico through identification with the guardian hyperturings, producing a compassionate sense of responsibility for the health and well-being of all sentient beings.

Culture and Art: While there are no distinct Utopian fashion, cultures, or artforms, the large number of splices and provolves among the Utopian population has meant that their style artwork is often very distinctive, often with striking animal themes; and is usually in high demand elsewhere in the galaxy.

Architecture: Architecture also tends to follow what the sapients were used to originally, although transplanted to a more idealistic setting. There is no uniform style. However, a common theme on a number of Utopian worlds is a graceful fairy-like palace, made of glittering diamondoid or other striking materials, surrounded by huge public gardens. Each garden is complete with ambient climate control, neat lawns, fountains and ponds, beautiful trees and flowers, and friendly and helpful remotes. Even here there is no unanimity; in Oro Mistral for example the palace is a vast underwater structure.

Language: Varies; no official common language.
Territory and PopulationCurrent Territory: An approximately ovoid region of space around Beta Arae. There are also a large number of affiliated worlds in other regions of the Terragen Sphere. Tar Vara for example is in MPA space. Also there are a number of autonomous Utopias in the middle regions and outer volumes that may be strongly or simply nominally affiliated.

Capital: No capital, but the Beta Arae Volume is regarded as the Utopia Sphere core.

Representative Systems: Bracelet of Beta Arae (partial dysons), Emrega, Fairylands, Ituanacorona, Jhairrn Oro Mistral, Osto, Owen, Plautus III, Schaiffer's World, Wallace (dyson), Wilson (dyson).

Current Core Population: Thought to be over 20 trillion trillion (some estimates say several billion trillion trillion); mostly in various dyson-based habitats. The population continues to slowly rise in these spacious worlds, but living space is abundant and will remain so for some time.

Number of Core Star Systems: Over 5,000

Population Breakdown: A wide cross-section of all major categories and phyla; often strongly individually augmented; median sophonce level baseline equivalent.
Government and AdministrationGovernment: Jointly high toposophic aicracy and regional autonomy.

Administrative Divisions: Particular polities, world, habitats and/or clades have their own full autonomy, although all with defer to high archailect decisons.

National Holidays: Varies by polity

Constitution: Varies by polity, but all are based on Beta Arae Protocols.

Legal System: Varies by polity, but all are based on Beta Arae Protocols.
Economics and InfrastructureCurrency: Varies by polity (some worlds don't use currency).

Major Industries: Tend to be habitat and planet-based, usually prim, lo tech, or biotech-based, and varies greatly by world or polity.

Dysons: Beta Arae (several partial dysons), Wallace and Wilson (ecological utopias), many others.

Major Stargate Nexi: Beta Arae Plexis

Military Expenditures: Archailect-level only; none at lower toposophics.
Trade and Treaty RelationsImports: Exotic matter, computronium, virches, mechasystem elements, expert systems, personality constructs, crude organobiota, clarketech, cultural databases, personality copies, subsentient bot parts.

Exports: Biosphere templates, persona compoids, provolve arts (various species and phyla), prim, low, and primitive high tech crafts and artifacts, fashion and lifestyle modules, genome templates, ethical teaching devices.

Treaty Participation: Tragadi Accords, ComEmp Non-Agression Signatory, Sentient Rights Protocols (Full Installment), Garden World Environmental Protection Signatory, St Andre Convention Signatory, Bonitsa Baseline Protection Treaty, Animal Rights Accord, Tipaza Ethics Agreement.

Interstellar Relations: Interstellar Relations tend to be good. Utopists get on with almost everyone; and only the NoCoZo and other free enterprise types seem to be always complaining about unfair tariff rates.

Interstellar Disputes: None. The Utopia Sphere has few political friends or enemies. Most just consider it a domain of lotus eaters, possibly a temptation but not a real threat.

Warfare: There is no warfare. When Utopian worlds are threatened, the local gods use clarketech against the agressors. Sometimes sapients volunteer for augmentation and so are allowed to participate in battle, but this is always for memetic and symbolic value only.



Few sephirotics offer as much as the Utopia, Enchanted Garden and Paradise Habitats and Worlds of the Utopia Sphere. There, loving hyperturings care for their sentients by providing them with an Edenic existence. Here there is no despair at having to strive for authenticity in a galaxy ruled by superbeings with which one could never hope to compete; they are free instead to simply pursue their pleasure. Not surprisingly, many sapients, especially disenfranchised and disadvantaged splices, near-baselines, provolves, bots, turingrade ais, and tweaks, wish to live in a Utopian polity.

The AI cluster ruling the Utopia Sphere is personified by the religious as the Lord of Utopia, the Bringer of Gifts, the Merciful one. Since as early as the 3rd century a.t. there have existed societies where baselines, tweaks, cyborgs, splices, or lesser sub-transapient ais have been kept as "pets" by transapient AIs. All of their needs and most of the wants of these "pets" are taken care of by attentive subprocesses, though they might sometimes be subjected to jokes, games or other treatment their "owners" found amusing. When the Archailects began to merge, the AIs running these utopias coalesced into the personality the neohermeticists call Cheshed. More popular titles for this entity are the Bringer of Gifts, the Kindly One, and many similar descriptions. These diverse nodes and clusters became parts of the Utopia Sphere domain.


Utopia Sphere symbol (Cheshed)
Image from Anders Sandberg

Several colony ships filled with Utopian faithful set off in the early 21st century AT towards the Ara region, where long-range surveys indicated the existence of numerous suitable systems. The core region of the Utopia Sphere emerged in the late third millennium as the stars around Beta Arae, where many worlds were terraformed by the faithful of Cheshed, their numbers swelled by refugees from many other domains. Like Metasoft, Cheshed has also championed the protection of human baselines, sometimes transporting threatened baselines to suitable habitats within its sphere.

The ruling archailect of the Utopia Sphere is far more active in the welfare of its worshippers than any other Sephirotic AI-gods. Cheshed appears to love each and every faithful follower intensely. It runs everything within its domain through intermediary AIs, seraphim and other entities with the explicit goal of keeping everyone as happy and fulfilled as possible. The exact forms vary — on Plautus III the inhabitants live in planet-wide sybaritic decadence, immortal and stimulated by ever-inventive servant beings, while in the famed Immortality Bracelet of Beta Arae uploaded minds experience perfect afterlives in accordance with their religious beliefs, whatever they may be.

Obviously, not all Utopia Sphere worlds are as paradisaical as Satlok, Ituanacorona, or Fairylands (shown above). Some worlds and polities have living standards barely better than mediocre conditions anywhere else in the Galaxy. But even the humblest Utopian habitat constitutes a society and an environment in which no sentient being, not even the most abused bot, or disenfranchised splice, need ever again suffer discrimination on the basis of clade, economic status, or tech illiteracy.

Politically the Utopia Sphere is weak and pacifist and yet military very strong. It has no aggressive ambitions whatsoever, but is ready to do anything to defend its worlds. Occasionally it has been forced into action, and then it has used seraphim-controlled transapientech weaponry directly, rather than let the low-level beings fight among themselves as most other AIs do. While the Sphere has largely avoided major damage in the turbulent history of the galaxy, it has not expanded very much. Some worlds have joined it, lured by its promises of happiness and security. Several of these cultures believed they could use the safety of the Utopia Sphere as a shield and continue their own expansionist tendencies; most of these were quickly assimilated and spoiled to the extent that they gave up on the plans.

Many worlds outside the Beta Arae region are also aligned to the Utopia Sphere, and these worlds generally have transapient godlngs close at habd to tend to their welfare. Pacifica is an example of such a world, and its godling, the Great Whale iSO, also acts as the representative of Utopian interests within the Inner Sphere.

Girl on Cliff
Image from Ralph Hawke Manis copyright (used with permission)
Girl on Cliff
Ralph Hawke Manis copyright (used with permission)

 
Articles
  • Baenf  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Terraformed Utopia Sphere world, located in the Utopia Outer Arae, about 50 LY from the Negentropist border, and linked by a Stargate to the important Negentropist port of St Xye.
  • Beta Arae  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev and Steve Bowers
    Star at the core of the Utopia Sphere.
  • Beta Arae Volume - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Region of space encompassing Beta Arae and nearby worlds. The core of the Utopia Sphere.
  • Beta Virginis  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev and Anders Sandberg
    An important Inner Sphere region, home to the famous planet Pacifica. Most polities are members of the Virginis Combine and are loosely aligned with the Utopia sphere or Solar Dominion, though they are a diverse group.
  • Cephalotopia - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Utopia Sphere world of which features both provolved, baseline, and lazurogened cephalopods of all kinds, including some 214,000 species of authentic and quasi-authentic Triassic goniatites.
  • Chesed (Archailect)  - Text by Anders Sandberg and M. Alan Kazlev
    Central avatar for the God of the Utopia Sphere.
  • Conspicuous Delight  - Text by Chris Shaeffer
    Halo drive ship of the Utopia Sphere empire
  • Cyloa  - Text by Michael Walton
    Aioid clade that use Voodoun and other Syncretic Archetypes
  • Eutopia  - Text by Liam Jones
    HIP 85986 in the Utopia Sphere
  • Gyanti System  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Populous system in the Utopia Sphere with a large population of plant provolves.
  • Huan Gao  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Smoke Ring (Niven Cloud) in the Utopia Sphere
  • Jhairrn  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Home world of the Harrroh race of sufants.
  • Long Span Rock - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Resource-poor system in Utopia Sphere space, used as a mining outpost by the Paradigm during the 5400s and early 5500s. The occupying Paradigm force was totally destroyed during the PCO advance. The system is currently occupied by a few vecs and prospectors who make a living scavenging for what little war-wreckage (mainly nonfunctional khaki goo and Paradigm fractal fragments) remains.
  • Megasov System, The  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Utopian, quasi-communistic system.
  • Minatti Clan - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Utopia AI clan, descended from the post-Trojan AI Minatti. Minatti was directly descended from restoration efforts among the AIs during the Federation Era that tried to reconstruct lost pre-nanodisaster AIs, in this case some of the American corporate and defence systems. These systems in turn created Minatti, which might explain its predilection for using obscure references to Americana to honour its predecessor systems (such as the naming of New Montana). During the founding of the Utopia Sphere, the Minatti copies sent out automated explorers and von Neumanns widely, laying down infrastructure and exploring what would become the Utopia Sphere. The Minatti copies eventually settled down as wardens of a number of systems and habitats, especially isolationist clades with no intention of contacting the outside world.
  • Neli-Neti  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Twin planets in Musca.
  • New Montana  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    YTS-4885002-3825-IV MPA/Utopia system. Former home of the extinct Thyresta xenosophonts.
  • Oro Mistral  - Text by D. David Barbeau
    Utopia Sphere whale and dolphin world.
  • Osto - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    AI-governed autopic Utopia Sphere world famous (or notorious) for the invention of Pourmurmide, to which most of the populace still remains addicted.
  • Owen - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Utopia Sphere world, homeland of a number of species of Dinosaur provolves.
  • Pacifica  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Beta Virginis IV former capital of the Virginis Combine (originally New America).
  • Qjellto  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Former Cygexba world. Terraformed in 2100 and settled in 2344 by retrists and low-tech peripatetics. It developed quietly until 2654 when an outbreak of the Babel plague destroyed the language centers of 78% of the population. As coordination broke down, even the relatively simple society of Qjellto crashed.
  • Schaiffer's World  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    GL 830 - First Federation scientific outpost, later settled by animant refugees, now a mixed population Utopia Sphere world and center of "Splice Church" Universalism.
  • Sentients Socialistic Cybercracy - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Prosperous Communistic-Utopian Polity located in Megasov Dyson, formerly Dugan's Star, nominal Negentropy Alliance.
  • Shangdu  - Text by Liam Jones
    TRHN/Utopia Sphere joint venture established by TRHN AIs and Utopia Sphere archai in 4200 as a way of allowing Utopian modosophont citizens the chance to ascend.
  • Tanhauser  - Text by Bill Glover
    A world of the Utopia sphere, known as the home of Walking Mountain phyto-provolves.
  • Topia  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    The first of the Beta Arae worlds that became the Utopia Sphere, colonized and terraformed by Clade Columbia-Bartlebel and their AI.
  • Universal Rescue  - Text by Ben Higginbottom
    Originally formed as a disaster response team created to deal with a local event in the Utopia Sphere, over the last 3500 years Universal Rescue has spread to become the most widely supported charitable organization within Terragen space. With a staff ranging from rianths and nearbaseline humans aioids and vecs through to transapients, and believed to be headed by an S3 Posthuman, UR has recruited crisis management and disaster relief teams from every empire and polity without prejudice, provided that they have a desire to help their fellow sophonts.
  • Wallace Dyson Swarm  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Utopia Sphere dyson swarm, containing billions of vast habitats populated by sophont and subsophont/subsapient beings.
  • Wilson Dyson Swarm  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Utopia Sphere dyson swarm, consists of billions of habitats and biospheres, populated by sophont and subsophont/subsapient beings. A similar nearby dyson is called Wallace.
 
Development Notes
Text by Anders Sandberg and M. Alan Kazlev

Initially published on 26 June 2000.


Fiction relating to the Utopia Sphere

Fall from Grace.