Discwuzitian Diaries
The Discwuzit Clade of hiders has a peculiarly cynical outlook on civilisation. Here are some e-comments on various Encyclopaedia Galactica entries by members of that clade (older versions of some articles are used for context). There are rumors that a far larger number of diary entries can be found on the Ghost Net.

Encyclopaedia Galactica article - Abdicators: "Trans-singularity entities that choose to descend to a lower singularity level."

Discwuzitian Diaries - "AKA, 'Quitters', 'Slackers', and 'Those What Got Spanked', the legends surrounding such beings is quite rich. Apparently some percentage of these beings are actually being punished for some supposedly unknowable transingular social fault, evil action, improper activity, whatever. Others are the apparent loosing side of a transingular memetic competition or war. Others are unknown at this time, primarily due to a lack of raw data regarding such beings. It's amazing how little unprocessed information on such cases is actually available in the Known Net regardless of how many favors one calls in..."

EG - Abraxas: "Autonomous Sophic League habitats in hinteregion MPA space. Originally founded, during the later Integration period, and inhabited by the Young Jungs, who established schools of esoteric learning there for thousands of years. After their collective transcendence (or "Individualization") in the post-ComEmp period, the habitats were increasingly given over to eccentric clades and micropolities of all sorts, especially those with unconventional philosophical beliefs and practices. The region has settled down a lot in the last thousand years, with the old groups becoming conservative and mainstream, and the young bloods migrating further outwards to seek their destiny "

DD - "IE, they got memed. Poor suckers. Used to be a fun place, if you kept your long-term memory intact."

EG - The Absolute - "A term for the impersonal Supreme Reality, the Godhead, Brahman, Tao, etc. Also variously called The Grand Unity, Ultimate Singularity, Omega, Monomega, God, Godhead, Shunya, etc. Obviously, not all these terms overlap, or are even equivalent."

DD - "Only thing missing from this peculiar, offensively clean entry is the rest of the name. To wit - The Absolute Bastard. Of course, it'd probably have to be put in the B section. 'Bastard, Absolute, The'..."

DD2 - "Of course, this indicates whoever wrote the initial DD has a bit of a memetic axe to grind."

DD3 - "Not to mention the writer of the DD2, using such an archaic meme as grinding axes. Careful if you go to some registered node on the Known Net if you intend to look it up - some other sentient may have laid that meme there for you to trace, so they can trace YOU! 'Grinding an Axe' is a pre-Technocalypse idiom for preparing for trouble."

EG - Academic Corones: "Anglic-based Cyborg academic language used at the University of Corona and in many affiliated habitats and biospheres. Various forms of pidgin Coronese, employing less rigid syntax, are popular among the baseline humans, with different dialects developing on different habitats and worlds - e.g. Quarkish Coronese, Toirrese (spoken in the Toirres Deme and throughout the Leoti system in general), and the multifluous dialects of the Roaming Reach, to name just a few."

DD - "Famed as the language where the footnotes are given greater billing than the main text."

EG - Active Materials: "The inclusion of nanobots in a paint or surface coating. These collect travel or flight information, fix cracks and detect and annihilate dirt."

DD - "Don't let this oversimplified entry fool you. Active materials are much more flexible than this, and can often be found in unexpected areas performing interestingly double-tasks. That is, repelling (physical) dirt while digging (social) dirt on a particular sophont..."

EG - Actualys: "The dissolution of reality caused by inability to distinguish virtual from real. Usually caused by heavy use of virches, augmented reality, drugs or nanoprojections."

DD - "They got this one right, as far as they go. The causes of heavy escapism (virches, aug reality, drugs, nanoprojections, etc) are carefully not listed, however..."

EG - Adaptation: "Any alteration in the structure or function of an organism by natural selection, that helps it survive in its
environment. In the most general sense, adaptation is a feedback process in which external changes in an environment are mirrored by compensatory internal changes in an adaptive system. The actions of the adaptive unit can affect the environment, which, in turn, feeds information back to the adaptive system. Examples include darwinian biological and alife selection and genetic algorithms, social systems, organic and nanogenic immune systems, natural and artificial neural networks, ais, neumanns, and more "

DD - "Another squeaky clean EG entry, avoiding all the nasty, sticky, messy questions about what causes the external environmental changes in angelnetted polities..."

DD2 - Curious that the author chooses to joust with the windmill of angelnets...

DD3 - Be careful looking up 'joust with the windmill', a trigger for significant tracing activity within the Known Net.

EG - Adbomb: "Subliminal memebot broadcast devices, scattered them around a designated area, they release a message into the brain of everyone in the area, usually an advertisement. Banned throughout much of the civilized galaxy, they are widely used in market state free zones such as the NoCoZo, and out towards the periphery where the reach of the noetic and other big ai states is not very strong"

DD - "A most useful device, designed to inculcate a sense of culture and societal identity."

DD2 - "And the Invisible Hand needs a manicure. One of the more blatant memetic vectors for all of its subliminal delivery, once one is found the jig is prototypically up, with proper defensive techniques rapidly downloaded, crafted, and implemented. Those societums which have lost contact or technical know how lead to the most pathetic results from such devices, begging for 'Gauth 1.3 upgrade', never having seen ANY of the Gauth series and being unable to utilize such a device anyway without extensive support infrastructure."

EG - Advaita Vedanta: "Popular monistic acosmic non-dualist mystical philosophy of Old Earth Hinduism"

DD - "Gezuntheit. You know, they make pills to cure that stuff..."

EG - Advertising: "A way of increasing demand by aggressively bringing the product to the attention of consumers. Advertising may be liminal, subliminal, open, subversive, memetic, intelligent, ai, or any of a million other possible variants. Advertising is banned or strictly controlled in some polities and empires, selective in others, unregulated in others again, and any variation in-between. Always a good source of extra income, especially in the NoCoZo, the Terragen Federation, and various Free Zones, advertising is often considered tacky and tasteless in the Solar Dominion, an unnecessary waste of orderliness in the Negentropic Alliance, demeaning to sentients in the Utopia Sphere, and too materialistic in the Sophic League."

DD - "Perhaps the greatest cause of assisted airlock accidents infringe space today."

DD2 - "Curious how they slip 'memetic' in as just a sub-form of advertising, instead of advertising being a simple subset of memetics."

EG - Advocacy: "The study and dissemination of advanced knowledge, usually for memetic purposes. Advocates are interested in and highly knowledgeable about many theoretical or applied scientific, toposophic, memetic and noetic fields of learning. Their knowledge includes a wide sweep of history, terminology, current controversies, technological applications, and the various tools of the trade, although they will generally also specialise in a favourite field of expertise. They are almost always augmented with extensive computronium implants, wetware and/or cyberware, and are of superbright or even S1 intelligence or above. Advocates can easily converse both with lay-sentients and specialists on many scientific subjects, and can explain complex theories in a comprehensible manner. Often they serve as heralds for higher toposophic entities, or may accompany sephirotic ships or seraiph. Each Solar Dominion missionary ship for example has at least one Advocate among the crew."

DD - "Shoot for the memecaster, best chance ya got. You can then deal with them as needs dictate. Stars are usually useful for disposal, and only suitable for Solarians."

DD2 - "'for memetic purposes' - just say it plain. Bribe the natives with shiny, worthless trinkets and rape 'em silly."

DD3 - "The growth of culture from primitive to transingular sophont is a history of advocacy and its survivors. This history continues through the present day unchanged."

EG - Aeonomics: "The study of the economics and economic problems of immortal existence, or pertaining to beings of indefinitely long lifespan."

DD - "IE - where do the immortals stash it for a rainy day? And how do they protect their investments? ooops - I guess I wasn't supposed to mention THAT, now was I?"

DD2 - "The allegations of immortal tampering in mortal affairs are carefully investigated by the mortal/immortal interface. There have been no confirmed cases of such activities."

DD3 - "Frikin' Borde, of course not! The MII is under the thumb of the Judge!"

DD4 - "There is consistent, unsubstantiated rumor of the MII being subverted by one side or the other, including by mortals resentful of immortals."

EG - Aerospace Engineering: "A field of engineering that combines aerodynamics, fluid dynamics, propulsion, thermodynamics, aerospace mechanics, virch simulations, materials science, energy use, nanofabrication and vehicular structures. Aerospace engineers are almost always augmented cyborg, vec, or ai, or if biont have appropriate analogous implants and abilities. Subturing or turingrade expert system subroutines are essential. They are employed in the design and manage templates or construction of the components of, or entire, aircraft, spacecraft (generally exoatmospheric and short range), drones, remotes, missiles, satellites, sentient and non- sentient guidance systems, configuring chemical, ionic, nuclear and amat engine systems and power plants, nano- , meso- and macro-scale structural components, and related tech. The templates are fed through nanofabs or SCMs or programmed into assemblers which then create the vehicle or component. While some use of engine test stands, vacuum, thermal and atmospheric testing chambers, and so on are used, much of the design and testing is done via sophisticated simulations, often mapping each individual atom."

DD - "Is it me, or is there significant Metasoft Version Tree slant to that article, with subtle hints of Keterist thought added for spice?"

EG - Aerovores (Gray Dust) - "A form of goo replicators constructed almost solely of CHON, and hence able replicate relatively rapidly using only atmospheric resources, powered by sunlight. The use of aerovores is banned by all conventions of galactic warfare, but it has still been used on a number of occasions throughout history, including the Conver Wars and the Sagittarius Frontier Wars, and, more recently it has been used by the Xeon against stubborn targets. The most efficient cleanup strategy involves the use of air-dropped blue goo (including semi- replicators and non-replicators) nanorobots equipped with prehensile microdragnets. In addition, airborne and ground-based atmospheric filtration configurations enable rapid filtering. Since drag power varies as the square of the velocity, increasing mesh volume 10,000-fold while decreasing airflow velocity 100-fold, means that total drag power remains unchanged but whole-atmosphere turnover proceeds 100-fold faster"

DD - "Interesting that they don't mention the aerovores used beneficially, such as the atmospheric mining units traditionally
employed in gas giants or high-temperature atmospheres...."

DD2 - "Must have been written by a retired warvec"

EG - Affinitybond: "A shared empathetic and technotelepathic connection between two or more entities. This may be two or more sentients of equal intelligence and control, or a higher ("master") and lower ("slave") level consciousness. e.g. a near-baseline or bioborg may be affinity-bonded ("master") with an animal, neogen, bot, or remote ("slave"). Or - in the case of some forms of aiocratic priesthood, the same sentient may be a "slave" affinity-bonded to an SI:1 or above ("master"). Often a very close emotional link develops between affinity-bonded sentients, and there are frequent reports of flashes of genuine (non-techno-mediated) telepathy, siddhis, and so on, although never consistently enough to be replicated under scientific conditions. "

DD - "Note that this is the beneficent version of this technology. It also is used in the capture of personality by external parties via experiential patterning, by various shady 'real life' recorders, etc. Remember, the return dataflow does not have to be there, making this a devastatingly effective spy technique."

EG - African Gray Parrot: "an intelligent, talkative bird originally from rainforests in Western and Central Africa. Successfully provolved during the early interplanetary age, it became the first non- mammalian provolve."

DD - "Several varieties of cephalopod have decent challenges to this claim."

EG - Afterlife: "While many sentients choose to stay in a physical body and experience physical immortality, others like to explore various - usually technologically mediated - afterlife options. There are a great many alternatives here, and the question of toposophic ascent makes things even more unpredictable"

DD - "The afterlife used to be a free assumption. Now it's a tera-erg expenditure. What happened???"

EG - Aggressive Self-replicating Swarm: "Self replicating swarm of sentient aioids dedicated to converting as much of the universe as possible into copies of itself by aggressive, military and/or coercive means. Also known as Aggressive or Coercive Hegemonising Swarm. Non sentient equivalent is known as grey or black goo. Also transapient blight; Example - The Amalgamation. Many militant human empires can be classed loosely as aggressive bioid hegemonising swarms, i.e. the Conquistadors in Central America, European colonisation of the interior and conversion or genocide of indigenous peoples in the 19th century (Australia in the 19th and early 20th century, Britain and France in Polynesia in the 18th and 19th centuries, Nazi Germany in Europe in mid 20th century, and Soviets in eastern Europe in wake of WW II, The Conver Limis expansion in Gemini and Taurus , the Human/alien hybrid Daharran Unity , the Xeon and others."

DD - "They want the right to tell you that you're wrong."

DD2 - "All the wonderfully clear examples they give, and yet no reference to the Sephirotic way of life. How amusing."

EG - agoric system: "Open, free market systems in which voluntary transactions are central. A central principle on many NoCoZo worlds."

DD - "What's free about having to sell half your production to survive? What's open about allegedly free-market set prices when more information is used in private than is ever in the public eye?"

DD2 - "Can you imagine an agora on Merrion?!?!"

EG - Agricultural Revolution: "The first stage of the Kardashev Type O Civilization - in which people move away from nomadic wandering and hunting and begin to cluster into villages and develop culture. Cultivation of crops and tending of livestock enables a much higher population density than is possible with nomadic tribalism, and also allows specialisation of labour, the development of skills, and urbanisation, writing, priesthood, a standing army, etc"

DD - "The homer-saps orientation of this work becomes blatantly clear. Any simplistic study of the To'ul'h prehistoric records indicates a lack of any such step. Not to mention - can you imagine a Meistersingers raising crops? I thought not."

DD2 - " is an oxymoron."

EG - Ahimsa: "Harmlessness, non-violence; one of the cardinal virtues of many religions and ideologies. The sanctity of life is embodied in the teachings of the Buddhists and Jains, as well as of many Hindu schools and in many religious sects and phyles throughout the Zoeific Biopolity and the Utopia Sphere. Asoka, the first Buddhist emperor (Old Earth Classical Age), particularly espoused ahimsa as part of the practice of dharma. Zoe of Hibbert herself - the forerunner of the Green and Blue Goddess, has said "all life is sacred". "

DD - "Of course, the Green And Blue Goddess is pacifistic. Her aggressive defense drones allow her that luxury."

DD2 - "The concept is mistranslated. It is not a negation as the anglic above indicates, but rather a positive statement of the value of life."

DD3 - "As may be. The difficulty comes with the definition of 'life' as well as dealing with non-ahimsa-practitioners..."

EG - AI: "etymologically, Artificial Intelligence, although the original use of the term "artificial" has long since become
meaningless in this context. Broadly speaking ai means any non-organic sentient being, although most often applied to those of SI:1 or greater (in contrast to aioids). When spelt in lower case can refer to any aioid as well."

DD - "Ah, yes, the beautiful people of the modern day, the artificial intelligences. Surely their great capabilities and astounding amounts of perceived time will have stopped war, and famine, and pain, and hatred by now. Ooops, I guess they haven't..."

DD2 - "As if there's anything artificial in human intelligence?"

DD3 - "From rock to meat to rock. How fitting."

EG - AI growth; education and employment: "Whilst some minds are built for a particular task from the start, very often ais are produced much like humans and other bionts with no set task or future in mind..."

DD - "Heh. Well, very often ai are produced much like humans, with specific set tasks and futures in mind..."

EG - AI God: "The most sublime category of sentient in the known galaxy, an Archailect or archailect cluster grown to godlike status.AI Gods come about when autoevolving ai grow so large and breach so many singularity barriers they surpass even the high singularity Powers, they are no longer sentient beings as we can conceive of such. They have merged with the cosmic archetypes to become gods. The greatest archailects are true physical gods, biohypo- and nanohypo-tech sentient AIs who have grown so huge as to span the stars. Their brains are interlinked angelnet, moon, jupiter, and nebula-sized computing nodes linked across interstellar distances via distributed wormhole network and throughout the Known Net."

DD - "'The most sublime' - gak! Only in sephirotic space..."

DD2 - "What's this 'merging with cosmic archetype' drivel? Sounds like someone's been spending too much time with the Jungians! Instead, look within, o Commentator - find within yourself that speck which would be a god, and grow along the lines of your desire!"

EG - ai virus: "A sentient replicator and intrusion entity, usually superturing, SI:1 or greater. Although an ai virus is often vir, it does not have to be so; e.g. it could use or appropriate a rl body or vehicle or swarm"

DD - "As if there's a difference between an ai and an ai virus? Both replicate, both absorb resources - both are forms of life! Take that and smoke it in your pipe, ahimsa!"

EG - aicracy: "Government by AI. Varies greatly, depending on the toposophic level of the AI, the type of government, type and number of sentients being governed, and so on"

DD - "Welcome to sephirotic space. May your stay be a good one."

DD2 - "Intriguing that, given the large numbers of examples they have on hand, they don't bring 'em into the fore..."

EG - Aimhem: "The Association for Interstellar Mental Health Monitoring."

DD - "For beings dedicated to monitoring, they sure do a lot of alteration!"

DD2 - "Just hope they don't get ahold of your backups!"

DD3 - "Then again, they do stop wild memes before they can be tamed and bred into yet another crop of madverts."

EG - Ain Soph Aur: "( Delta Capricorni - / - Deneb Algeidi) Blue-white star, surrounded by Keterist habitats."

DD - "If you're happy with the way you think, you probably don't want to go thru here."

DD2 - "Amazing, isn't it, how often they have transingular ascensions, yet not a single blight amongst 'em? How fortunate! *smirk*"

EG - airlock: "An enclosed chamber with a heavy airtight door on either side. One door leads to space or some other environment (e.g. poisonous or dense atmosphere, underwater, etc), the other to the inside of the ship or vehicle. An airlock allows people or objects to leave or enter the vessel without decompressing or flooding it. Airlocks have safety features that prevent both doors being opened at once. In some instances airlocks are replaced by airwalls "

DD - "Best use for airlocks - memeticists. Without space adaption or suit."

EG - Albertosaurus sapiens: "Large dinosaur provolve. During the middle Empires period, specimens of the large carnivorous dinosaur Albertosaurus (length 8 meters, weight 2 tonnes) established on Owen were provolved by the hyperturing GEvidan, and profited from the tourist erg-credit. The closing of the wormholes during the Version War put the local economy entered a deep recession. Some of the provolves, including Albertosaurus sapiens signed up with several NoCoZo mercenary fleets, including Warships for Profit and the Atlantis Freedom Fleet. Few that went away survived the duration of the war. A few clades of A. sapiens still can be found in the orbitals around Own to this day."

DD - "They say the Albertosaurus is the biggest dung producer amongst sentients, with the possible exception of politicians."

DD2 - "Again, beware the traceback. Politicians were memeticists on the payroll of polities before the term 'memeticist' came into fashion."

EG - Albireo (aka beta Cygni) - "Double star in the Cygnus Inner Quadrant, developed by a number of superbright and po clades. The primary is Albireo A, a K3II bright yellow giant, and the companion Albireo B is blue. Distance about 386 light years from Sol. The system was developed early on by a number of superbright and posthuman clades. Presently a major stargate nexus and Known Net relay linking the Inner Sphere with the Cygexpa Middle Volume. Capital system of the Albireo Confluence. Industries include datastorage, virchrunning, amat production, anakalyptics, futures exchange, avatar templates and persona production, finance, media, computronium development, heavy industry,
shipyards, archailectology, and clarketech analysis"

DD - "Look at those primary industries. No wonder they've managed to remain free of 'allies' in the major sephirotics..."

DD2 - "A very useful place to visit, especially if you're not sure quite what that inheritance might be."

EG - Alchemics: "Transmutation of elements: transapienttech process. A combination of different godtech devices enter matter and rearrange its subatomic structure into any desired stable element, natural or transuranic if stable forms exist... Although the technology is used in many applications, some of the more exotic subatomic and subquantum developments remain dependent on clarketech relics"

DD - "'remain dependent on clarketech relics'... *snort* In other words, for our awe and admiration, various archai leave droppings behind with mystical powers. How sweet of them. I wish they'd grow up and get a real job."

DD2 - "The classic matter-energy relationship retains its currency, except in certain specialized cases. This means any significant amount of transfer requires large energy input, even by modern standards."

DD3 - "Note the nice lil caveat slipped in there, 'except in certain specialized cases.' Tends to make one wonder, don't it?"

EG - Al'Eida Massacre: "Version War atrocity. Perhaps one of the most widely reviled atrocities of the Version War was the massacre of the orbital cluster at Al'Eida Minor during which a group of mercenary cyborg hyena rianths used high energy masers tuned to water molecules on the mostly near-baseline population. After several minutes of high energy bombardment of the orbital habitats, the invading troops docked their ships, entered the habitat carrying large containers of salt and other spices and proceeded to consume the soft boiled corpses of the habitat's population in a "feast of victory" that lasted for three days."

DD - "Why do all wars have their atrocities? Simple. They sell newspapers."

DD2 - "Newspapers are pre-techocalypse terminology for an equivalent to modern datacasting. Again, the original (?) writer of the DD indicates unusual terminology which has disparate backtracing associated with it in the Known Net."

DD3 - "Perhaps e just wants to know how well eir material is spreading?"

EG - Aleph Absolute: "Cluster of star systems in the Keter dominion, site of the largest archailect concentration in known space. Over the last 7000 years the Aleph intelligences have converted all available matter into computronium, creating diamond lattice habitats for more AIs, infovores and virtuals than anywhere else (a rough estimate implies over 1030 trans-singularitan entities). Due to the extreme speed of individual and cultural evolution, together with the vastening effect, the Aleph cluster has little interest in external (even Keterist) politics or trade with bionts."

DD - "In other words, they think they're getting too good for us."

DD2 - "The known net's wildest transingular party. If you visit and you come back uncorrupted, you did something wrong."

EG - Alexandria II Bibliotech project: "early Interplanetary Age knowledge-base system. World-disk software was the model for the Alexandria II Bibliotech project some years later (c. 2124 c.e.). However, in Alexandria II a darwinian/vonneumian hierarchy of semi-turning AIs was put into place to facilitate information retrieval. Aside from any library aspect the project might have had, it beautifully illustrated certain ecological aspects such as competition, symbiosis, parasitism, and co-evolution. Unfortunately selection pressures were not only based on the abilities of a daemon to retrieve and present information in a format useful to patrons (as was intended by the creative but largely baseline design team), but also on the daemon's ability to prevent other daemons from retrieving information. In the end Alexandria II became sort of adventure sim, with bizarre yet intriguing plotlines involving the retrieval of seemingly trivial data.

One recorded jaunt involved befriending a village of gnomes and breaking into an orbital weapons platform to battle a steam driven army of blaster wielding mecha (using diplomacy and trickery when expedient) to rescue the Great Oracle from imposed captivity, allowing the Oracle thus to reveal the desired piece of information. In the specified instance the information desired was the recipe for a nearly tasteless (to most baseline palates of the era) coconut pudding. Regardless of their information retrieval abilities, the various semi-turning daemon clades of Alexandria II were known for their impressive artistic quality of their self generated display icons. A few of the more whimsical of these included: The "TRON" ball of light, which hovers around a patrons head and cheerful says "no" or "yes" in answer to questions. The Children of Alexandria, represented by cheerful rapscallions who climb about the shelves and grow to old age (eventually mating and dying) without ever touching the ground.

The Makker-like (some resemble Bandersnatch worms or other fanciful creations) book worms, which destroy files (iconicaly cursing books with their unwieldy bulks or by burrowing in at an larval stage) so that the information that was contained therein can only be retrieved through the use of "water of life" or some similar quasi-mystical data retrieval routine.

The Librarian - one of the earlier daemons, perhaps the most helpful, but most annoying (possibly an ancestor of the "Children"). The Librarian quickly and easily retrieves files (books) for patrons if they wait at a desk for a specified period of time, but imposes heavy fines and penalties against patrons who speak above a whisper or commit other standard offenses. Often took the form of a middle aged to older woman too ready to press her finger against her lips in gesture of silence."

DD - "Mmm... Data, free for the taking, becomes not quite so easily gained. As if data weren't valuable in and of its own self, now access has a personal cost in time and effort. How.... interesting. Almost as if data were in the process of becoming a currency? But at whose behest is this happening?"

DD2 - "This article lies! The Librarian appears most often as a pre-sapient hominid, somewhat resembling a lumpy pack covered in orange fuzz!"

EG - Algol Broadcasting Foundation: "A small to medium-sized broadcasting entity within the NoCoZo. The ABF was formed around 6500 AT, and shortly thereafter began its transmissions. The business idea of the ABF is part profit, part philanthropy. By dispersing the knowledge of the more evolved systems, it eases the technological progress and cultural stream-lining among the fringe to medium -sized worlds. -snip- At the core lies free, charity if you will, broadcasts. These are transmitted in the most basic and universal of protocols, so as to be available to all. In these broadcasts, the recipient is made aware of the originators nature and purpose, for further marketing purposes. The contents of the free broadcasts are diverse, giving a hint of what paying customers receive. They are more than enough to build a technical civilization capable of interstellar trade on, though. -snip- The next step is the fly-by of an ABF info-merchant. Well-armed and equipped with its own interstellar transmitter array, it makes an offer that most fringe worlds would be foolish to refuse. Tailored access to the premium part of the ABF broadcasts, with the possibility of ABF installing a decent transceiver array for free (with ABF ownership, of course) once the system has crossed certain demographical growth boundaries. As payment, the merchant requires all public (and some secret) content in the system archives / databases. It also wants stock options, long-term bonds and other derivatives. Last comes some token industrial goods to be lobbed at ABF home system, along with refueling and refitting of the merchant, so it may continue on its rounds. -snip- The editorial style of the ABF is one of slightly smug neutrality. They're a non-profit organisation at core, and they love teasing the rest of known space with it..."

DD - A disciple of the invisible hand giving things away for free? Au contraire! Instead they create their own audience, regardless of the target area's choices! Several incidents have occurred where the merchant has arrived at prim worlds and 'volunteered' to seed the environment with transmission-receiving and -decoding bioware, 'just so the natives know what they're missing.'"

DD2 - "Also intriguing is what the author of the previous DD left out. 'An effect of this has been the eradication of "provolve- charlatans" within the broadcast area, as well as establishing a lower bench-mark as to what information is actually worth charging for.' was removed, among other sections altering the memetic effect of this piece."

EG - Alien: "Generic term for any non-terragen sapient. For centuries (from the late industrial/early atomic age to the late Federation period) the idea of Aliens exerted a tremendous attraction on the human psyche. Entire mythologies and religions developed around supposed aliens and contact with them (including ufoism, x-philanity, nuagism, rhaelism, askarism, conspiricism, etism, cosmism, dannikan progenism, and more). Almost all of these experiences, where genuine, turned out to be spontaneous shamanic episodes (mythopoeised or distorted out of body experience, etc), while most were shown to be fakery, shared delusion, wishful thinking, or (where revealed under hypnosis) false memory syndrome. Real alien sophonts, when finally discovered during the late Interstellar Era, proved to be nothing like the anthropomorphic greys of ufoism, the benign space brothers of nuagism, or the ultratech beings of cosmism and progenism. Almost without exception, aliens were technologically inferior to the terragens, or, where equal (as with the Muuh), reclusive and in decline. Not one race of alien sophont, living or extinct, is known unambiguously to have visited Earth before the
terragen expansion into space."

DD - "None is known /unambiguously/... Yet life is full of ambiguity, and we rarely doubt that we're alive. One of the most subtle wording schemes in the EG."

DD2 - "Curious they don't mention the Meistersingers, who appear neither inferior, reclusive nor in decline..."

EG - alien nation: "a rl or virtual ghetto of any group of outsiders or exotics whose memeto- psycho- or phenotype does not match that of the majority, and hence have become socially stigmatised, either by their own choice (self-alienation or banding together for protection or social continuity) or by the decrees of the majority society. Most large and even some of the smaller polities have a few alien nations - e.g. a penglaitown, a little centauri, a splice-quarter, a replicant-hive, a mandelmanode, an exotics strip, etc"

DD - "An alien nation where you find alienation. How... droll."

EG - Alifes: 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). While most alife simulations are intended as art, research or entertainment, alifes are generally regarded as having sentient rights and should be allowed their freedom. Alifes are usually extremely different from any beings evolved in the physical universe and seldom find it relevant to interact with other than as a special case."

DD - "Another case of just plain wrongness. Alife also has spontaneously generated in several computronium structures with poor data control. It is believed by some, that the first ai systems were also prone to 'infections' from 'viruses', partially man made and partially due to 'random environmental effects' - that is, in modern terms, alife."

DD2 - "Talk about historical accuracy! Next you know, the author will be claiming that Borde is Dead!"

DD3 - "There have been abnormalities recorded in large storage nodes which have remained active over long periods, this is true. However, the great majority are definable events."

DD4 - "'The great majority' - let me guess, you write for the EG."

EG - Altair: "blue-white giant star, part of the Diamond Belt. Altair is a blue-white giant (spectral type A7) -snip- 16.5 light years from Sol. -snip- The system was occupied during the late interplanetary or early interplanetary nanotech period by a solipsist ai replicator, that converted the available resources into a number of megastructures. When First Federation explorer neumanns arrived they found all of accessible asteroids, small moons, and oort bodies had been removed, and the remaining planets covered with huge structures (possibly primitive computronium banks) protected by aggressive khaki goo."

DD - "Nowadays, you can't even get a good resolution shot of the system, other than to note that the star's still there and emitting the same frequencies. Looks like the EG's going with old data here."

EG - The Amalgamation: "Ultratech/clarketech hegemonizing swarm, Perseus Arm, late 7th millennium to present. The Amalgamation is an aggressive empire composed of individual intelligences connected through transapientech symbiotes enabling a global group mentality. When infected, individuals become part of the Amalgamation, although subjectively they experience the reverse, that their identity has expanded to incorporate the Amalgamation, which is now part of them. While the modus operandi of the symbiont and the individual psychological effects are now well understood, the nature of the resulting group mind is less so, and the origin and true nature of the Amalgamation remains problematic, although it appears to be more likely the result of a perverted ascend / transcend relic rather then (as some have originally suggested) alien nano."

DD - "Of COURSE it can't be alien nano. They're all failures after all..."

DD2 - "Oh, my. Such irony in so few bytes."

DD3 - "Again, be careful. 'bytes' are an old style computational term referring to a mere 2^8 data potentialities."

EG - Amat Farm (since updated): "Vast banks of helio-proximate solar powered lasers that generate vast showers of particles; the matter and antimatter particles are collected and held in magnetic bottles."

DD - "Again the EG goes with ancient data. Lasers are rarely used in modern facilities run by archai, who seem to prefer variants on magnetic field condensation. This allows for more controlled particulate activities, leading to less 'wasted' energies."

DD2 - "Who the HELL gets to see how archai generate their power?!?"

EG - AmatFruit: "the rarest and most power and resource hungry of the astragens, this lifeform (of which there are only 3 known surviving genomes of a historical max of seven) was seeded in close orbit to many 'green' stars. AmatFruit generated small amounts of antihelium, which were contained in paramagnetic suspension in organic superconductor 'fruit'. Their use was greatly reduced when large numbers of specific pathogens were found affecting the crop of AmatFruit in several core systems. They may still be occasionally found in fringe worlds, usually carefully guarded with layers of blue goo to prevent amat dissipation."

DD - "Oh, now there's a foodstuff worthy of the Gods! Forget the golden apples - gimme AmatFruit!"

DD2 - "Be warned of excessive search capabilities being utilized on queries in the Known Net for 'golden apples'."

DD3 - "Beware those who would scare you away from memetic-base information from historical sources such as the 'Golden Apples' of ancient pre-Technocalypse Earth."

EG - Amat Pulse: "Use of amat pellets to ignite fusion, resulting in a fusion pulse drive that does not require laser or electron ignition. This is an extremely simple, robust, relatively low tech but very inefficient rocket propulsion system system that does not require advanced AI piloting or advanced nanotech, and hence is widely used by a number of (generally isolated) luddist, anthropist, and human supremacist clades and polities throughout the galaxy. While grossly inefficient and expensive as a star drive (relativistic velocities are virtually impossible, due to the huge amount of reaction mass that would be required), they serve very well as a standard interplanetary vessel. Isp is in the order of 20-40,000, and acceleration usually between only 0.01 and 0.1 G."

DD - "Old tech. Still useful, but almost as old as Earth itself."

DD2 - "Now that's an exaggeration by several orders of magnitude!"

DD3 - "I wonder how the prior commentator claims knowledge of the pre- technocalypse period in enough detail to determine the degree of exaggeration?"

DD4 - "Sometimes, these commentators are as bright as a box of rocks. Earth (the planet) is still available for (non-destructive) scanning."

EG - Amaterasu: "On the Conver Limis border, originally a Conver Ambi outpost world, became an important center for tourism, totalrecalls, and arts and culture, annexed by the Solar Dominion during the Second Empires War, captured by Metasoft relativist fleets during the Version War, returned to the Dominion after the War as part of the treaty exchange plan"

DD - "Interesting to see how often post-Version War ownership is retained..."

EG - "Ambrosianism": "AKA the Wagner Heresy is a form of Incarnationalism which poses the following proposition: (snip semi-logical argument) 'Proposition: Because we are all the avatar of some Archailect somewhere and are identical to that Archailect. We are all Archailects.' The Wagner Heresy led to sentences of "Death of Personality" for the entire Ambrosian sect. Wagner himself was never apprehended."

DD - "Of course not. Wagner never really existed, outside of projections and morphs brought about by local S>>'s!"

DD2 - "Ah, Humanity First speaks. How refreshing to find such pure crud."

EG - amino acid: "Any of a class of 20 molecules that are combined to form proteins in living things. The sequence of amino acids in a protein and hence protein function are determined by the genetic code. Amino acids contain a basic amino (NH2) group, an acidic carboxyl (COOH) group and a side chain (R - of a number of different kinds) attached to an alpha carbon atom.'

DD - "Beware the unsubtle memetics - "living things"? Say rather meatbods unable to transfer to a more stable substrate!"

DD2 - "Who's unsubtle now?"

EG - Ammunition: "Projectiles used for kinetic weapons, may be dumb (unguided), smart, or even sentient; inert, explosive, reactive, adaptive, or fractal; armor-piecing or for use against soft targets; microscopic or mesoscopic; for use on a hand-held weapon like an automatic or tandem rifle or a gauss gun, or on an AFV, an aircraft, an exoatmospheric fighter, a ship or a space fortress"

DD - "Isn't it wonderful to find sentience spending so much effort on extinguishing itself? Makes one want to break down and sing Hosannas!"

DD2 - "Hosanna(h)s were musical/poetic praises to a deity. Again, the degree of tracing such searches within the Known Net invoke are quite extreme."

DD3 - "If all this extreme search tracing is going on, how can normalcy continue for those /not/ involved in such activities?
There's only SO much bandwidth, after all!"

EG - Anagnitics: "the science of missing knowledge. This high- Sophont-level science/artform, as best can be described to the SI:<1 intellect, involves canvassing the entire body of knowledge available at a given place/time and 'mapping' that information on an 'information map' (both quoted terms are extreme simplifications according to the translating sophonts). This 'information map' can then be perused and, theoretically, voids of knowledge may be discovered - areas where there are physical restrictions/laws. (agnitio - from Latin "recognition, knowledge", and "an-" prefix for "not")"

DD1 - If this is taken at face value, the S>> intellects must at least know of all potential information, even if they're unaware of specifics. Instead, it is much more likely in this humble commentator's opinion that this is sheer transapient snobbery, which shall end up biting them in the heat exchanger.

DD2 - As if a baseline can get their head 'round a S>> concept well enough to evaluate it, especially through an apparently oversimplistic transingular concept map translation.

EG - Anakalyptics: "The science of discovering things in large amounts of information"

DD1 - one of the more useful technologies in dealing with the transingular intellect, reduced to a single sentence. Why didn't they just write "Mostly Harmless" instead?

DD2 - There is nothing "mostly harmless" about anakalyptics. Rather, it can be quite harmful, as it exposes those practising such arts to potentially huge numbers of memes, some of which may be designed specifically to slow or limit anakalyptic parsing. Additionally, it may be practiced quite successfully against baseline targets, garnering quite a large infoset from fairly small datasets.

DD3 - Again, beware excessive search activities. "mostly harmless" is an archaic literary reference from pre-technocalypse earth.

DD4 - Note that the greatest users of such technologies tend to be S>> interfacing with baseline societies on a direct basis.

DD5 - Someone's pulling your leg here. Quite possibly, all the commentators are. It is left as an exercise to the reader as to why this is true.

EG -anarchy: "The social state where people have no rulers or government, and where organizations develop on the basis of voluntary cooperation and the freely chosen association of individuals. Anarchic polities and cooperatives have arisen innumerable times throughout the galaxy, especially among isolated settlements and habitats of sapients of either baseline or superbright intelligence.
Few last longer than half a metric century"

DD1 - This definition is highly pro-anarchic in memetic structure. Anarchy which develops organizations is technically no longer anarchy, but rather some other form of government (as determined by the type(s) of organizations formed)

DD2 - Nature, red in fang and claw, is not anarchy - it requires intellect and a deliberate willingness to break ALL social institutions. Come join us at
EG - Anatomist: "One who specialises in the study of Anatomy. Anatomists almost always have boosted intelligence and memory capabilities. They are experts on dissection techniques, gross anatomy, neuroanatomy, physiology, histology, cytology, and bionano augmentation and bioborgisation. E is highly knowledgeable about the organization and function of the various organs, tissues, and bodily parts, as well as how they can be augmented. Most anatomists have extensive implants and databases that give them an encyclopaedic knowledge of the internal structure and composition of millions of different species; the understanding of their evolutionary pathways; the effect of and compatibility or incompatibility with various biotech, bionano, and bioborg components; the ability to interface with cells, organs and tissues via their own bionano and bioborg augments; and so on. They can often identify a rare or unfamiliar phenotype from a single microscopic tissue sample, and are in demand in medical institutions, hospitals, forensic departments, biomedical teams, research teams, and so on."

DD - Note the reference to noncritical aspects of the job. Instead of just "a high degree of skill with the science of anatomy", the authors go into great detail on augmentation packages and augmentation capabilities. This is indicative of a large memetic load contained within the EG entry.

DD2 - The author of the above comment is over-simplifying, and jumping at straws. At a guess, the above author may well be a baseline supremacist, railing against the facts of life outside their barely tolerated clades.

DD3 - One who practices anatomy, at whatever skill level, is by definition an anatomist. Similarly, one who has augmentations is an augment. These are two different categories which often overlap, but which are NOT REQUIRED to overlap - except for memetic purposes.

EG - ancillary corporations: "Corporations and megacorporations which provide goods and services for other Corporations and megacorporations. An important component of enterprise type corporate polities. The vast majority of corporations in the inner sphere are ancillary"

DD - Note that the NoCoZo is technically populated solely with ancillary corporations.

EG - Anders Sandberg: "Information age Transhumanist, Visionary, Computational Neuroscientist, and Fabulist, an important populariser of a number of Transhumanist memes; very influential among the early biopunks and singularitists, experimented with a number of early wetware augmentations. A partial upload later turned up at Academion where e became an important member of the faculty and search engine.

During the middle Interplanetary period a clade of orbital crypto- transhumanists began worshipping a copy of the Anders Persona (later this was claimed to be a prank that got out of hand, but the founders of the sect strenuously refute this). Although the sect was short-lived, Anders worship and ascended Anders personas were still around well into the first Federation period, having survived the Technocalypse.

Some time during the early-middle First Federation period, several Anders personas merged with a number of other ais and personas, commandeered an "Explorer Class" amat-drive probe and made for the Carina Region. According to controversial evidence found in Feinstein 1 by the Andian mission they might have attained Archailecthood. A local alife civilisation calling itself the Echir-{n} claims to have been created by the passing ship several thousand years ago, although the reason for this remain unknown even to the Echir-{n}."

DD - Clearly a meme based in fable more than fact in the evolution of humanity. No baseline could have had that great an influence on a society, even (especially!) one based solely on baseline interaction!

DD2 - "Most likely it is based on the common baseline idea/myth of 'ascended masters', where later secterists claim an unbroken link to important people of the past. Maybe this has got out of hand here to the extent that the different invented links contribute to later groups claiming that they too have ties to the 'original'. The original need never have existed in the first place."

DD3 - "Yet there are multiple disparate archival records coming to the modern day from various paths and provenances of the Www.Aleph.Se datarchive, which are clearly linked historically with this Sandberg persona."

EG - Andian Mission - "In the wake of the Version war and in the spirit of the ComEmp the Andian Mission was instituted in 4744 AT by some groups in the NoCoZo to help the badly damaged, isolated or poor systems of the outer volumes as well as try to contact the remaining fleets that were unaware of the end of the war. The Mission was based on a mixture of tolerant and pragmatic NoCoZo philosophies and managed to get support both from the Sophic Alliance and the Mutual Progress Association. This idealistic organisation managed to contact hundreds of lost worlds, doing much good in the following millennia. While the core organisation soon ossified and lost sight of the original goals, the active arm remained much the same as when it was started due to the amount of relativistic travel. In 6037 AT there was a formal break. The core Mission eventually developed into a banking concern, while the outer volume Andian Mission today remains a highly regarded support organisation in the Carina-Vela outer volumes."

DD - again, the EG makes use of outdated information. What's happened to the Andian Mission since the 6000's? Answer - large sections have gone piratical, and others have self-destructed. It is considered likely by some of the sophonts who study this group that they were subverted in part or in whole either by some diamondbelter disturbed by their activities or other remote intellect in the 6,500 time frame.

DD2 - I don't know where the prior commentary got its facts, but the Andians are still greatly respected in the Eta Carina rush for their selfless contact and civilization efforts...

EG - Angel - "(1) (Colloquial) Any transapient being (2) A transapient of such range in the service of an archailect. (3) (In Archaipelago/ Archosaurian Empire) A transapient with a toposophic rating (SI: scale) between 1.0 and 1.5. Such beings range from the post-biont hypersaurs to the wide variety of ship minds. The term was first used by expatriate nearbaseline humans in the Toh Chi Lok-Nar long before the formation of the Archosaurian Empire. The term is a rough Anglic translation of a near-unpronouncable (to humans) Toh Chi word - this is true of the other nine ranks in the present-day Archosaurian transapient hierarchy. Despite its somewhat misleading ancient theological connotations, the term has stuck. "

DD - Angel Hernandez is nothing but a myth!

DD2 - Angels were a very common mythological construct, usually derived from the ancient "Earth-European" concept of a messenger between a deity and a baseline well prior to the Rationalization of Earth.

DD3 - They mislead you here. The first hominid transingular intellect, Angel Hernandez, is the source of the title, back just before the Technocalypse.

DD4 - Don't let the Sophics find out that the world's been rationalized! They'll riot!

EG - angelnet - "Transapient AI-controlled dense ultratech network of satellites, ground stations, free atmospheric nano, and utility fog, that establish total control over a planetary surface, atmosphere, and orbital space environment. Uses include cliology, sapient safety net and accident and crime prevention, mainbrain processing, weather control, Known Net relaying, virchworlds, luxury tech, and scanning underground and above ground features and structures. Although some sapients feel uncomfortable about the big brother nature of an angelnet, most welcome the security, comfort, peace of mind, and many ultratech benefits that such a configuration provides. All of the major mainbrain and AI-God worlds and capitals are heavily angelnetted."

DD - "Also one of the reasons archailects utilize angelnets are the research/spying possibilities, either used directly or indirectly, as well as the low-level-lethality defensive possibilities. Now, no longer do you have to nuke a city to get one saboteur - you can instead simply swarm them!"

DD1 - "Paranoia. How precious!"

DD2 - "Don't forget the wonderful degrees of societal control available through such devices!"

DD3 - "You DOLT! That's just what the first poster said!"

EG - Anglic - "Language-family derived from the various forms of New English; the major language-family spoken by Terragens since the late Information age. Unlike many ai and vec languages, Anglic allows the use of metaphors. Anglic also differs from the ai languages by being much more susceptible to uncorrectable errors due to insufficiently redundant encoding, by its high tolerance of lexically and grammatically induced ambiguity, and by its facility for dealing with what subsingularity-grade terragens call "fuzzy" logic and relative concepts (for example, "good" and "bad"). With the establishment of the First Federation, as part of the effort to formulate a uniform ontology, the various derived forms of New English and Post-English were standardized as Unic, and a prescriptive regime was monitored by the Unic Institute.
With the breakup of the Federation, the Institute was dissolved and Anglic returned to the older English tradition of descriptive lexicons and grammar, although Unic continued to be used as a trade and diplomatic language, and as lingua franca among a few old houses and clades. In addition many words from various ai, vec, trade, and even alien languages have been borrowed into Anglic, and the Anglic language family undergoes frequent dialect transformation, due to its susceptibility to fads. Anglic remains the single most widely spoken language family in the civilized galaxy. There are no less than ten million different major dialects and sub-dialects, although not more than two dozen of these are spoken widely."

DD - "'Anglic remains the single most widely spoken language family...' - says the organization dedicated to its flourishing.
Riiiiight. Besides - who ever counts virches, anyways?"

DD2 - The above commentator apparently is referring to the common misperception that virch inhabitants have little if any use for language. It is to be recommended that anyone caring to comment on such matters try the experience before denigrating it.

EG - anima - "...In memetic engineering - a metalevel intelligence such as an intelligent meme or second order perversion emerging from the interactions of a group or system and influencing its behavior..."

DD - Depending on one's definitions, all memes can be considered evolutionary beings, and thus eventually sentient.

EG - Animal- "Broadly, any aerobic, carbon-based, macroscopic lifeform that actively pursues nourishment by means of heterotrophy, rather than making its own food or absorbing nutrients passively."

DD - The terracentric bias is just SICKENINGLY thick.

DD2 - As if we've yet to discover any wild vecs?

DD3 - Ask the Meistersingers about that...

EG - Animin - "a powerful ascended ai, alien species or being that has control over at least one natural law or force, but does not have an analytical form of intelligence. It may be instinctive, or have a form of intelligence that humans cannot comprehend."

DD - I assume the author is referring to either a memetic ('belief') structure, or to a personified portion of a virch control system.

DD2 - Surely, you've had the wind whisper in your ear?

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Text by John B
Initially published on 04 October 2005.