Image from Bernd Helfert

An intuitive knowledge interface deeply integrated into the mind of a sophont to the point that it operates in the same way as a sense, but one that provides knowledge rather than images, sounds and so on.
The entity with the Knowsense simply wonders about something - whether something they are sensing or something they are thinking about - and their Knowsense interprets this, finds out about it, and feeds it back into the mind of the sophont in a manner identical to the sophont remembering something they already know, thus making it an entirely intuitive and transparent process.

Many nearbaselines, superiors and transapients possess a version of this sense.

Some more Ludd entities consider Knowsense to be something that weakens a sophont, by allowing them to stop using their own memory and brains in favour of Knowsense providing everything they need to know. They disparagingly refer to this technology as 'Nosense'. Some polities which consider there to be some truth to this prohibit the use of Knowsense in individuals until they have become adults (however that may be defined in a given polity).

Other more paranoid commentators consider that Knowsense is allowing potentially biased and misleading information into the depths of ones mind. Its proponents acknowledge that this could be a problem if it were not for the fact that there are so many other channels in Terragens society through which this could be done.

There are a number of documented cases where the over-use of Knowsense in a society or polity has led to the inadvertent creation of a hive-mind society.

Knowsense is known by many names across Terragens space, including the terms Godsense and Datamind. In some places Knowsense is known as Psychometry, based on its similarities to the mythical psychic power of that name.

There are a number of new mental disorders that Knowsense highlights, particularly ones in which some of the symptoms are actually reflections of real understanding. They really are out to get you, and the voices in your head really are telling you who you ought and ought not to kill.
In some cases these 'disorders' have proved to be due to the hacking of an individual's Knowsense, or by overrides added to it by a dystopian government. Because of these cases, most versions of Knowsense have as high levels of security as possible.
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Development Notes
Text by Tony Jones
Initially published on 06 February 2006.