Slow Gods and Fast Gods

Archailects and other transapients which experience time at different rates

Image from Steve Bowers

Although transapients and archailects generally use data processing which is intrinsically faster than biological data processing, they are often physically large, and this tends to slow down their overall performance. In order for a jupiter-brain or a matrioshka brain to reach a consensus in all of its constituent systems, messages must pass between the locations of all these systems until they all agree. Since data-bearing messages are limited to the speed of light, this places an absolute limit on the speed of thought in a large intelligent object.

The light-speed limit can be circumvented to a certain extent by the use of Hayward class wormhole that can be incorporated into massive objects such as matrioshka brains because they have a lower requirement for asymptotically flat space in their immediate environment. A network of Hayward wormholes can be arranged into a so-called in a wormhole bus, which will effectively decrease the amount of time messages take to pass from one side of a very large intelligent object to the other.

Slow Gods

Not all archailects and transapients use these methods to accelerate their thinking. The common name for such entities is Slow Gods; high toposophic entities who, for their own varied reasons, eschew the use of wormhole buses, and whose processing speeds are thus limited to the speed of light.
  • Some of these entities, such as the Boondock Boddhisatva of the Middle Regions, dislike wormholes because they do not like the idea of such potentially dangerous things existing within their brains, or have had problems with such things before. Some gods of this type do, however, use Wormholes placed at a safe distance and/or behind layers of protection to link their various nodes together.
  • Some, such as Farview in the Red Star M'Pire simply use unusual slow technologies (in Farview's case its 'ecology mind') that do not lend themselves to faster processing.
  • Others, again such as Farview, came late to the use of Wormholes, and now use large Wormholes to move data stored in computronium from place to place in mass beams, thus precluding the use of nano-gauge Wormholes within that computronium.
  • Some gods run slowly in order to conserve energy; for example, running at a slower clock speed allows them to continue to function even if their solar collectors do not meet the needs of their infrastructure.
  • Some have philosophical objections to the use of wormholes.
  • Others again, such as the Great Ecologist and the enigmatic Schmirchen Vublet Schmirchen, have less obvious reasons for not using them or limiting their use.
Because the modules making up the overall transapient entity can be as widely distributed as for any other high transapient entity, the overall entity will therefore run, and think, much more slowly than one using wormhole buses. However, they can be just as intelligent and powerful as faster transapients. Thus their name.

Entities of this type usually organise themselves so as to devolve those things requiring fast response to faster local sub-entitles which can be of quite high toposophic level themselves. Because of this, Slow Gods often have as much in common with high toposophic hive-mind entities than with Gods per se, although they are still, at an overall level, gods.

In some cases Slow Gods also have to compromise between different factors that affect their speed. For example, an AI without Wormholes but which wished to move up the SI scale could build more computronium in other star systems, but would then be slow due to the limits of light-speed. On the other hand they could build a thicker Dyson swarm around just their one star system and re-allot the energy from the star in smaller proportions to the greater amount of computronium. Then they would be slow because of energy limits.

Fast Gods

Alternately, a very large or widely distributed entity might choose to make extensive use of communication gauge wormholes, often linking sub-brains which are separated by many light years. Entities which use such space-time shortcuts extensively are known as Fast Gods, although this category is often reserved for only the very fastest archai.

The exact physical nature of the Greatest Archailects of the Sephirotic Empires is not known, but it seems very likely that these entities make extensive use of wormhole buses, both within their various nodes and on an interstellar scale. Information may also be sent via Traversable Wormholes at a very high bandwidth. These large distributed entities are sometimes known as W-Brains or wormhole brains.

The processing speed of the greatest archailects may be increased even further by the use of one or more Tipler Oracles; these are believed to exist outside the normal space-time metric, and can process data much faster than matter in our universe. Tipler Oracles may be gathered closely together to increase their inter-connectivity, or connected via wormhole bus at greater distances.

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Development Notes
Text by Tony Jones and Steve Bowers
Initially published on 17 January 2011.