Mutual Progress Association
Image from Anders Sandberg

The Mutual Progress Association - Data Panel

DefinitionMajor empire, Inner Sphere and Middle Regions
SymbolMPA logo (three interlocking circles surrounding a star) and interactive module
FoundedThird millennium a.t.
Ruling ArchailectThe ruling S6 Archailect has generally been known as Binah since Eir ascension during the Oracle War.
The S5 archailect of the Djed and Kiyoshi sectors is variously known as The Great Architect, The Creator of Structures, or the Dream Factory.
AI EthosThe Archai that oversee MPA societies and worlds tend not to be directly interventionist, preferring to work as avatars or through memetic, seraiphic, and toposophic guidance of transapient administrators and aivisers.
CivilizationMPA culture is dedicated to the construction of megastructures; however the cultural development of each colony is left almost completely open. Unlike other Sephirotic Empires, the MPA has few distinctive cultural traits apart from materialism.

An abundance of megastructures - especially dyson swarms, smoke bands, ribbon worlds, dimple worlds, shell worlds, and banks orbitals, is the most distinctive characteristic of the MPA; all these structures are found elsewhere, but not in such numbers.
Science and TechnologyTechnology Level: Transapientech and Godtech in all the core worlds and megastructures, although many sparsely populated habitats and megastructures may be inhabited by nothing more than prims or lo teks.
Psyche, Art, CultureMetapsychology: Varies greatly; may be pragmatic or idealistic. Often creative. Love of practical, technological approaches is common.

Society: Very varied and idiosyncratic.

Religion/Ideology: No specific or official ideology, but tends to strongly resist missionaries of other polities and empires. MPA Materialism is reasonably widespread.

Symbolism and Aesthetics: Varies by individual polity or culture.

Culture and Art: None specific to the MPA, although engineering is regarded as a practical art form by many peoples in the Association.

Architecture: Highly variable; ambition and originality are considered virtues.

Language: MPA Galactic
Government and AdministrationGovernment: High toposophic aiocracy with a large amount regional autonomy.

Administrative Divisions: Regional governments are usually cyberdemocracies, or benevolent technotheocracies.

National Holidays: Varies by polity

Constitution: Varies by polity, but all are based on Beta Arae Protocols.

Legal System: Varies by polity, but all are based on Beta Arae Protocols.
Economics and InfrastructureCurrency: The famous MPA Credit is standard, but local currency varies by polity and some worlds don't use currency at all.

Major Industries: Tend to be habitat and planet-based, usually prim, lo tech, or biotech-based, and vary greatly by world or polity.

Dysons: Too many to list; the dyson shells of the Kiyoshi sector are most heavily populated. The Mutual Progress Association has the second largest number of dysons in the terragen sphere (surpassed only by the Panvirtuality). Most of these are as yet unused, quadrillions of cubic kilometers of living space.

Major Stargate Nexi: Medius, Kiyoshi, Kepleria, Metropolis Ring City, Revoltpri, many others.

Military Expenditures: Percent of GDP: low.
Trade and Treaty RelationsImports: Exotic matter, reactionless drive cores, computronium, ISO parts, mechosystem elements, ecology modules, expert systems, personality constructs, crude organobiota, clarketechproducts, cultural databases, personality copies, bot parts, hylo/bio/sy-nano templates, cultural templates.

Exports: Amat, biosphere templates, engineering databases, natural selection genome variation maps, habitat thousand-year leases, ISO parts, megastructure components, gluon cables, clarketech products, mechosystem elements.

Treaty Participation: Tragadi Accords, ComEmp Non-Aggression Signatory, Sentient Rights Protocols (Full Instalment), Garden World Environmental Protection Signatory, St Andre Convention Signatory, Bonitsa Baseline Protection Treaty, Animal Rights Accord, Tipaza Ethics Agreement.

Interstellar Relations: Tend to be good, mostly centered on peaceful trade and avoiding conflict. Most neighbours are happy with this, and few would wish to awaken the military hyperpower the MPA would become were it to direct its industrial dysons to military output

Interstellar Disputes: Currently none.

Warfare: While avoiding conflict whenever possible, the MPA has a formidable industrial capacity when it decides to tool up, and few empires could survive an attack by swarms of giant relativistic MPA autowars.

As the rush towards the stars began to solidify into the New Empires there were many non-aligned worlds. Most eventually failed or were absorbed into Sephirotic empires, but a sizeable fraction formed the Mutual Progress Alliance (much later Association) in the early to mid third millennium a.t. as a way of resisting the emerging missionary Sephirotic civilizations. Largely lacking a cohesive agenda the Alliance kept a low profile towards the other empires, a practice that with a few exceptions has continued for millennia. The joke goes that the Association has never taken a stand for or against anything and never will — but that should not be construed as any policy or implication of policy.

The highly diverse worlds of the Alliance spent much energy acquiring — and later, when their own archailects had advanced sufficiently, building — efficient wormhole links, and have concentrated on energy trade and technological exchange in order to better keep up with the other empires. Over time this practical and pragmatic tendencies became the defining trait of the Alliance. Just as its sister empire the Sophic League welcomed many very different religiously inclined worlds, the new archailect Association tended to attract practical, technological cultures little interested in building politics on ideology.

Over the millennia the Association has become known for a number of daring and highly visible megascale engineering projects such as the rotovator networks of Djed, the Dyson spheres around Kiyoshi, the Platonic shells of Kepleria, the multiple Banks Orbitals of Mirac, and the artificial planets in the Pilar region, just to name a few. Good engineering, whether that means developing a more practical home or re-ordering an entire solar system, is regarded as a practical art form by many peoples in the Alliance. In all else, practice and practicality are valued over theory and ideology.

For most of its existence the MPA has done its best to trade peacefully with the other empires, by avoiding troublesome issues entirely or by allowing its constituent worlds to decide them individually. Occasionally it has been unable to do that, and in these rare occasions the Mutual Progress Association has been sorely tested. During the Version War the Alliance at first tried to remain neutral, and likely hoped to benefit as all the others were beating each other to pieces, but soon it found itself being attacked others who wished to deny their enemies access to the MPA's wormhole network.

MPA Logo
Image from Anders Sandberg

The NoCoZo has always provided good customers to the MPA, as have the Utopia Sphere, the Keter Dominion, and the Zoeific Biopolity (which often leases large habitats as living space for eir subsophont ecologies). The neighbouring Negentropy Alliance is much more troublesome, having consistently pushed the border outwards and attempted to forge strictly binding trade deals.

The MPA was attacked in the Early Current Era by a faction of Diamond Network subversives, to devastating effect. Since the Oracle War the Mutual Progress Association has been engaged in reconstruction work, following damage to, and destruction of, several worlds and megastructures.

  • Amphista  - Text by Liam Jones
    The Amphista are a clade of vecs who specialise in habitat engineering.
  • Arkab Prior B - The Necklace  - Text by Steve Bowers
    MPA system with hundreds of Bishop Ring Habitats. Part of a binary system with Arkab Prior A.
  • Arron's Prospect - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Solar system in Turner I Plexus, provisionally MPA but with Old House Cygexpa interests, most well known for the artefacts left by HIE-233-MPE the Jacks, a race of extinct jovian xenosophonts.
  • Artists of Gleia  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Alife designer collective at Merrion Apogee (NoCoZo), Jensan (Sophic League) and Outpost 5478 (TRHN) that since the 5800's have designed specialized clades of alife to enhance the universe. The Artists were in 7478 declared a honorary state in the MPA.
  • Bilatism - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Techno-religious style widespread in MPA 6900-7300, centred around extreme evolutionism and the vision of organic growth as the underlying dynamics of civilizations and gods.
  • Binah (The Great Architect)  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev and Steve Bowers
    The ruling archailect of the Mutual Progress Association.
  • Blue Star Dysons  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Dyson Swarms constructed by the New Beneficence in MPA space
  • Bonfire System, The  - Text by Mike Miller
    Middle Regions MPA world, a Transapient-arbitrated cyberdemocracy
  • Byrdis (also known as Kaa Yvanti)  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    A 40,000 kilometer long former beanstalk orbiting Kaa Yavanti which was severed during the Refutology war and has now become an independent habitat.
  • Cableville  - Text by Liam Jones
    Vast Topopolis (Macaroni world) affiliated with the MPA.
  • CPNC Civilization Ships, The  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A massive ship holding vast amounts of data; originally designed as a protection against the collapse of civilisation.
  • Djed  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Eta Sagittarii - Mutual Progress Association capital. Known for its rotovators.
  • Dream Factory, The  - Text by Todd Drashner
    The most powerful local Archai within the MPA, distributed between Djed and Kepleria.
  • Erniac, Erniac Government - Text by Anders Sandberg
    MPA political movement in the 6000's, seeking closer alliance with the STC and transformation of the materialist aesthetics into a colonisation aesthetic.
  • Eschatronics Unlimited  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Sterilization corporation/clade from the MPA, handling the dangerous but profitable work of cleaning up after uncontrolled transcendence events. It is notable for employing baselines and baseline-equivalent nearbaselines in some positions.
  • Executioners of Gesima  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    An unusual solution for a state that has the death penalty but regards state-run executions as unacceptable.
  • Fractaroni Spaghetti Worms  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Transapient clade of a-life/neogen hybrids.
  • Galbydeia Torus  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Mutual Progress Association space-time engineering project.
  • Gargamadua Stripworld  - Text by Steve Bowers

  • Gigerant Travelling City  - Text by Ryan B
    A Caravansari settlement in the Kyoshi C component, formed by the union of 300,000 family omnicraft that had been journeying as a community for a generation.
  • Gordelpus  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Central MPA system, colonized by the Kathelian Confederacy in the 2700's.
  • Greenice of Palmas  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    MPA-Keterist mind designer and ascendist.
  • Gurth Hexanode Repository, The  - Text by Thorbørn Steen
    Vast databank on the border between MPA and Negentropy space occupying six Dyson swarms
  • Halcyon (20 Leonis Minoris)  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Inner Sphere system. Halcyon was an early member of the MPA.
  • Harri Ho (cybercosm) - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Cybercosm in the MPA, part of the Cyberian Countzerogibson Band of Computronium Civilizations, Tonkin Dyson, Djed Plexus. Named after Harri Ho
  • Hoopworld  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Torus shaped metastable artificial solid planet.
  • Ixeway (HIP 94595)  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    MPA system; M-type star near Ascella, the site of the original Argus Array.
  • Juggernaut Class  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev;
    Excluding the Keterist battle-moons (which are more ISO than Capital Ship), these are the largest warships ever built in Terragen history. The approach of a Juggernaut Class vessel is an awesome sight: a cylinder some 280 kilometres in length and twenty five kilometres in diameter, accompanied by a swarm of giant autowars that are dwarfed to apparent mote-size by their parent vessel.
  • Karol Ring, The  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A Banks Orbital constructed at HD 144585, Kiyoshi Plexus, MPA, during the ComEmp. A center of finance, edutainment, recreation, and historical and fabulist recreation.
  • Kathelian Confederacy - Text by Anders Sandberg
    MPA polity, founded in 2378 by a group of wormhole engineering AIs. To some extent the Confederacy was an AI House, owning a sizable wormhole manufacture infrastructure, controlling several systems and having many allied biont clades. Their ethos was strongly aligned with the concept of the engineer-god, expressing its divinity through design and creation. It persisted largely unchanged until 6304, when large parts of the ruling AIs vanished into apparent transcendence; this both weakened and centralized the Confederacy, making it consolidate into a mere four-system polity. Politically the Confederacy remains very much MPA mainstream, with some Meketuur influences.
  • Kemshola, Qristan  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    MPA philosopher, fabulist and metacognitivist from Tyron band, Djed, born 4169 AT. Kemshola was born with a high sophotect genome in one of the Tyron extended families. Extensively networked from early childhood, Kemshola became interested in the problems of ontology and emergence that had so far been largely ignored by the practicalist Djed philosophical schools.
  • Kepleria  - Text by ProxCenBound, D. David Barbeau, and Steve Bowers
    Famous MPA megastructure consisting of multiple dyson shells, each following the form of one of the platonic solids. One of the Seven Terragen Wonders of the Galaxy.
  • Kiyoshi  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Four MPA Dyson shells in a quintuple system at the coreward edge of the Inner Sphere
  • Lesser Machtet  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    MPA techno-religious artistic style.
  • Makama - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    House Stevens system; part of the Mutual Progress Alliance.
  • Medius  - Text by James Ramsey
    Densely developed, highly industrial MPA system.
  • Metropolis Ring City  - Text by ProxCenBound
    Sometimes known as Urban Cloudscapes City, or simply The City, a ten million km diameter Banks Orbital entirely covered in urban habitat.
  • Morogai (also called Ho'th'lhu'ooht) - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Planet where in 5840 AT the statesbeing and power Ho'th'hss'to'luh underwent ascension to at least second singularity level, possibly more. The computronium conglomerate housing the post-To'u'lh association has become known as Ho'th'hss'lho University, an important nexus of post-To'u'lh and posthuman education in the middle region MPA.
  • MPA Materialism  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Ideological-cultural stream dominant in the MPA. It has been said that unlike the other empires, the MPA was created first, then its guiding philosophy. The original member worlds were more unified by their interest in counteracting the emerging empires, especially the NoCoZo, Conver Ambi and Solar Dominion, than creating a common culture. However, the memetic isolation caused by their refusal of the other empires was a fertile breeding ground for an unique culture.
  • MPA-Freemason Connection - Text by Glen Finney
    There is a persistent rumour among baseline and nearbaseline conspiracy theorists that the Mutual Progress Association was founded by an ancient and semi-secret society that was in existence since before the Information Age: the Free Masons. Theorists cite as evidence the penchant of the MPA for megascale structures and the identification of the Ruling Archailect of the MPA as "The Great Architect", a term they claim was used by the Free Masons for God. They cite as further circumstantial proof the idea that this is not the first time that the Free Masons have been involved in starting polities, including such ancient examples as the Old Earth nation of America, or the First Federation. None of these rumours has ever been verified. Enthusiasts point out that neither have such rumours ever been disproved.
  • MPA-Keterism - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Syncretistic mixtures of MPA materialism and Keterism. The combination is an extroverted form of Keterism, seeking not just the individual perfection and maximization of potential, but also the awakening of potential wherever it exists. Widespread in the MPA, and often influencing the local politics. It is often recognized by the use of the dictum "Everything strives". Particularly dominant in the Jewelled Habitats in the Arkab Prior B necklace.
  • New Magnitogorsk  - Text by Steve Bowers
    System with highly magnetic gas giant
  • Nuihab - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Phoebus Sector, MPA system - was visited in 4815 by the Diogenes, the first MPA Museum Ship.
  • Oikoumene Dyson  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    MPA dyson swarm at Zeta Serpentis.
  • Oracle War, The  - Text by Steve Bowers, with comments by Todd Drashner and Terrafamilia
    A conflict between the Oracle Machines, the MPA and the Communion of Worlds.
  • Parallax (world) - Text by Anders Sandberg
    MPA planet in the Erdece volume. While the surface is almost totally desert, the water in the notably high atmosphere forms several impressive cloud layers. A popular vacation spot for various aerial sports, famous for the skycities and the Parallax Immunological Institute.
  • Pen-y-Ghent System  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Mutual Progress Association middle regions system; includes the Ribblehead Societeum World.
  • Potato (Asteroid Habitat)  - Text by Mike Miller
    An asteroid habitat in the Bonfire System
  • Purcell  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Type 2 shellworld inside a Neptune-type planet
  • Reflective Balance Mutuality, The  - Text by Liam Jones
    Independent polity of the Shimmerers.
  • Revoltpri - Text by Anders Sandberg
    MPA system, used by the AIs of Kiyoshi as transit point and storage of wormhole pairs.
  • Ribblehead  - Text by Steve Bowers
    In the MPA hinteregions, the third planet in the Pen-y-ghent system, home to 500 distinct low tech nation-clades.
  • Ridgewell   - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Chi Herculis V, Eugaian with indigenous xenoecology.
  • Ridley Ridley  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Nearbaseline omniphage chompion.
  • Rungworld  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Site of an early Oracle-related conflict. The Rungworld includes several hundred 10,000 km McKendree Cylinders linked together in a ladder-like ring.
  • Sadalmelik  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Alpha Aquarii; Rianth orbitals and rings.
  • Shimmerers, The  - Text by Liam Jones
    Neogen/Neumann clade in the Serpens outer volumes.
  • Skypirates of Ember, The  - Text by Mike Miller
    Hobbyists who stage competitive sky battles in outsized aircraft, styling themselves as 'pirates'.
  • Tar Vara Habitats  - Text by James Ramsey; some modifications by Stephen Inniss
    Habitats in the Medius system; one of the Terragen Sphere's better examples of Perfect Art.
  • Tawattaran (Garden World)  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Former home of the extinct Thyresta xenosophonts.
  • Technobylatic - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Adj., referring to the techno-religious style known as Lesser Machtet.
    The meaning is a pun on the Anglic prefix techno-, and the Olykky word nobylatiz, uncollapsed/uncollapsable wave function. Originally a derogatory term for Lesser Machtet, but gradually accepted as the standard name for the style.
  • Threshold  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Sco BH-76 Black hole. Used for burial ceremonies.
  • Tips and Suggestions - Text by Steve Bowers
    MPA Comedy series narrowcast on the Known Net, starring the Five Pasta Twins (including Tony "Makaroney" Alrami). Typical Suggestion: "If you suffer from free fall sickness, why not drink lots of brightly coloured liquid before a spaceflight and pretend to be a Wup. Then demand performance fees from your fellow passengers."
  • Tohul (To'ul'h Homeworld)  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    The homeworld of the To'ul'h species. It is a hot gardenworld of the Tohulian type. It has long been under the rule of a Caretakerist transapient O'hoth'so'toh 'Smoking Mirror'.
  • Toney 'Makaroney' Alrami  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Media star turned professional sculptor from Arkab Prior B.
  • Uservere Affair, The  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    MPA megacorp which collapsed, causing a major crisis in the hypereconomy of the Sephirotic Empires.
  • Version War  - Text by Anders Sandberg, M. Alan Kazlev, Peter Kisner, Aaron Hamilton
    A major Inner Sphere war of the Fifth Millennium.
Related Topics
Development Notes
Text by Anders Sandberg and M. Alan Kazlev
Additional material by Steve Bowers
Initially published on 23 July 2000.

Full Data Panel added November 2011
Additional Information