Technology Main Image
Image from Bernd Helfert

For thousands of years, throughout the known galaxy, technology has enabled the colonisation of solar systems and the spread of life and intelligence. Technology has varied greatly, both in the application and purpose, in the depth of control over matter and energy, in level, and in the basic material that is used to work with. The type and level of tech will determine the society and the type of subsapient, sapient, and transapient beings that are able to comfortably exist therein, their ability to exploit and recycle resources, support creativity and info flow, and dissipate thermal pollution (the latter a serious problem with higher tech grades). Often several tech types will coexist on a single world or habitat. The interconnected matrix of tech that pervades known space under transapient supervision and control is known as the technosphere.

  • Cryptotechnology - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    The design of tech intended, deliberately or by accident, to be obscure. Theoretically, anything, even macroscale dumbtech, can be cryptotech. The term however is more often applied to more dramatic high ultratech, transapientech or godtech creations. And while many cryptotechnologists tend to be higher toposophic minds whose motives and logic are often incomprehensible to lower beings, it is also possible for a dedicated and highly augmented ordinary sapient to design simpler forms of cryptotech; perhaps as a hobby, a joke, a unique craft, or a form of memegineering.
  • Existech - Text by Anders Sandberg in his Transhumanist Terminology
    Existential technology. Any technological framework for self-determination and mastery over one's own destiny.
  • Glossary  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev and Steve Bowers
    Words used in the Orion's Arm scenario
  • Hyposphere - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    The technogenic infrastructure that supports the everyday functioning of galactic society. Whole layers of sentience, technology, and virtualities are embodied and encoded here.
  • Imhotep  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    [1] [historical] administrator/scribe/priest/physician/architect who designed the first pyramid.
    [2] [noun or adj.] Generic term for an exceptional su or suborg using augmented reality for eir research.
  • Industrialization - Text by Stephen Inniss, after the original by M. Alan Kazlev
    The development of a manufacturing sector in a region's socioeconomy. The actual effects of industrialization vary dramatically according to the level and the type of the technologies employed and according to the local culture's prior experience with managing those technologies.
  • Macroscale - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    On the human scale. Intermediate between the micro- and the megascale. Generally, anything from 10-3 to 104 meters. Macroscale tech tends to be 'dumb' (unable to react to the environment), unless it is informed by and built up from micro- meso- and nano-scale components.
  • Mesoscale - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    [1] The scale larger than the nanoscale (10-9 m) and smaller than the microscale (10-6 m); the exact size depends heavily on the context; usually around 10-7 m.
    [2] Anything between nanoscale and megascale.
  • Metrology - Text by M. Alan Kazlev, from the original by Robert J. Hall
    The science of precise measurement, dealing with a variety of physical properties of materials and structures and both simple and complex systems, on both the nano (nanometrology) and macro scale, and the various associated tools and techniques for this. An important element in engineering design and manufacturing process.
  • Microtech  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Technology on the microscale (10-6 metres), including microelectronics, microbots and finely structured materials. Common among Terragens since the Information Age.
  • Nanoscale  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    On, or working with or at, the scale of individual molecules. A nanometer is 10-9 meters, which is the width of five carbon atoms. A single hair from a human baseline, by way of comparison, is about 85,000 nanometers in diameter.
  • Nanosphere - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Generally, the part of a — usually nanoindustrialised or nanodeveloped — world (or more rarely habitat) that is pervaded or saturated by nanodevices — the realm of nano-interaction. Typical angelnets for example constitute a nanosphere.
  • Progression of Technology in the Terragen Civilisation  - Text by Todd Drashner and Steve Bowers
    A short outline of the development of technology in the Orion Arm.
  • Technoanimism  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    A common memeplex that reached currency in the Interplanetary Age with the advent of sentient and sapient ais, bots, and vecs and widespread gengineering and provolution.
  • Technocracy  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Government by technologically superior elite.
  • Technological Taboo  - Text by Mike Parisi
    Variant of the Encyclopaedia Everythingiana Worldbuilding Competition. The object of the game (whether real or virtual) is to achieve the highest "general" level of technology possible, while avoiding one or more specific "taboo" techs.
  • Technology - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    An evolving process of invention; the creation of tools and devices to shape and control the environment. Technology can be very simple - as in shaped wood or stone tools, or even use of naturally occurring sticks and rocks, to very complex, as in hyperturing-based nanotech, or archai built godtech. Technology is a defining mark of some (but by no means all) sophont species and civilizations.
  • Technology Timeline  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Some technological events and discoveries of importance.
  • Technomage  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Broadly speaking, any individual who uses technologies that are clarketech ('magical') to the surrounding population. The word is used in at least three distinct senses.
  • Technomegism  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Doctrine that the final cosmic state will be one of intelligence augmentation and unlimited progress, enabled by ultratech and godtech of high toposophic entities.
  • Technosphere - Text by Mitchell Porter in Anders Sandberg's Transhuman Terminology
    [1] An expanding sphere of civilization/technology, spreading outwards using von Neumann Probes or simple colonization. Judging from how most life behaves, it will gradually restructure matter and energy inside itself in various ways.
    [2] The totality of AI-ruled space.
  • Universal Constructor - Text by Anders Sandberg in his Transhuman Terminology
    A (hypothetical) machine (such as an ideal nanofab) capable of constructing anything that can be constructed. The physical analog of a universal computer.
  • Wizard's Apprentice Problem - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Failing to give a program or nanotech device a correct stopping condition.
Related Topics
Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev

Initially published on 27 June 2000.

See Also
Core Technologies