Reality Intertextualization Project
In 6851 AT the Keter Dominion announced the Reality Intertextualization Project (RIP). Its stated mission was to detect other realities, determine, if possible what conditions were like in these realities and to contact any intelligent beings that may live there. It was to be run by Eternal Foliation, an S5, and based in several of eir recently built Matrioshka Hypernodes in the Ull Cluster. Construction then began on comm-gauge wormholes, what appear to be gravitational wave detectors, and various clarketech devices of unclear purpose. The project is still ongoing and regularly announces its discoveries via the Known Net.
The RIP has claimed a great deal of success in its mission. To date, they have discovered 453,644 realities or 'realms' aside from our own. For most of these, it has not been possible to deduce anything about them aside from the fact that they exist. However, for 2,351 realms, it has been possible to study their characteristics. These realities, and the data collected about them, have been the subject of intense modeling by the RIP.
In 10495 the RIP claimed to have detected indisputable evidence of intelligent life in Realm Mho-Kold Epsilon. The Project has sent devices for communication with this realm's inhabitant(s), together with a comm-gauge wormhole, to a point further along the galaxy's Sagittarius Arm. It is expected to reach its destination in 170 years. This discovery ignited a major revival of interest and concern about the RIP across the Terragen Sphere. Critics of the RIP point out that these will almost certainly be the most alien beings ever encountered, even more so than Hildemar's Knots, and so communication with them may be extremely difficult if not impossible. Additionally, this being's or civilization's motivations are totally unknown, and there is no reason to assume they will be friendly. On the other hand, RIP evangelists say there is no reason to think they will be unfriendly either, and see this as the chance to contact, and perhaps even merge with, a culture which could be even grander than our own.
The archai have not responded to inquiries about what 'intertextualization' really means, and have not provided significant details about where or what these realities are. The reason for this refusal is itself fertile grounds for speculation. Accordingly, the nature of the RIP's realities has been the subject of millennia of debate amongst modosophonts and low transapients, and there is no consensus, nor even a majority opinion, on which hypothesis is correct. It may even be that several are correct. Nevertheless, the modosophont-comprehensible hypotheses that have emerged, listed from most to least accepted, are:
1. The other realms are other branes, alongside our brane/universe in the higher-dimensional bulk. The RIP's comm-gauge wormholes have been observed oscillating relative to one another, and it is hypothesized that this creates a moving wavelike disturbance in the bulk. Reflections of this disturbance can then be used to detect what is out there. It may also be that tiny baby universes or 'minibranes' are being created and 'thrown' across the bulk, and the effects of these collisions are being detected and analyzed. Or, the minibranes have detector devices in them that pass their data through a comm-gauge wormhole to the RIP. It may even be that the 'thrown' minibranes attempt to somehow connect to the full-sized branes they encounter, via another wormhole.
2. The other realms are baby universes created by long-gone xenosophont civilizations, and still connected to our universe via tiny wormholes. These universes may have been created and then abandoned after their purpose was fulfilled, or they may have been used for transaturation ascensions, and may or may not still be inhabited. They may have left the connection open to our universe in order to covertly monitor events here, or in case it became useful later. Very short wavelength gravitational waves would be needed to find these wormholes, and the RIP has indeed been observed creating such waves. Only for those wormholes that are relatively nearby would it be possible to detect what it might be like on the other side, and it may be that this is the difference between the 2,351 realms we can learn details about and the rest that we cannot.
3. The other realms are subsectors of dark matter and dark energy. Each operates according to its own set of physical laws, but interacts with each other and with regular matter only very weakly or not at all. The RIP attempts to create disturbances in these sectors to measure what interactions occur and thus what laws are in effect there.
4. The other realms are related to ours via a mathematical transformation. The first century roboticist Hans Moravec once speculated something like this might be possible. In the modern era, it has been controversially suggested that there may be other realms in transformations involving dualities in Z-Theory. The complex nature of the compactification of the bulk and of the brane we live on is said to allow a large number of alternate descriptions related by various combinations of dualities which interchange large and small compact dimensions. If some of the dimensions interchanged include the three large dimensions that we live in, then they can be transformed mathematically using alternating anomalies in the renormalization flow in the low and high energy limits. These other realities would, in effect, be reflections of ours through one of a large number of different mirror transformations in which our large-scale phenomena become smaller than the Planck scale in their reality, while what to them are large-scale phenomena are hidden beneath the Planck scale in ours. However, many other physicists state that branes cannot 'overlap' in this way and that it is meaningless to speak of anything existing below the Planck scale in any reality.
5. The nature of these realms, and of how the RIP detects them, is simply not comprehensible to modosophonts. Given the other major modosophont hypotheses about the RIP's realities are well understood and are scientific topics that can survive inter-toposophic translations, the possibility that the RIP is examining something beyond modosophont comprehension is raised in most discussions on the topic.
6. These realms, and indeed the entire RIP, are a hoax perpetrated by the archai. They may do this to cover up the real purpose of this infrastructure. Or, it may be that they see some purpose in this kind of memetic engineering, and in making modosophonts believe in other realities.
Assuming the RIP's results are real, the 453,644 and counting realities detected by the project have major philosophical and futurological implications. It may be that these realms are the answer to the Fermi Paradox. Advanced civilizations may migrate to these realities in transaturation ascension events, leaving our reality behind. On a darker note, it may be that hidden dangers live in these realms, that destroy expanding civilizations. These implications mean that the RIP will likely continue to be watched closely by Terragens.
Text by Crossroads
Original version by Anders Sandberg; updated 24 July 2018. Idea #4 and other physics input by Roger
Initially published on 22 December 2001.