Cybercosm, The
Image from Avengium

A Universe of Universes.
That's the only way I can describe it.
Within a hour of me there are more virches than stars in the galaxy,
Trillions of worlds with millions of inhabitants.
Gazing at the network I run slow;
golden threads connecting brilliant pearls,
nebula of colour denoting dominant physical models,
Waves of data like music of the spheres.
The Universe is a wasteland for life,
The Cybercosm has filled it.

Excerpt from Tyrol's Travel Notes: Interviewing Uploads

A cybercosm may refer to either an individual virtual environment or a network of virches with a significant level of social interaction, often sharing the same physical infrastructure. The network of virches operating throughout the Nexus and Lightway is often referred to simply as the Cybercosm (capitalised), or occasionally "The Greater Cybercosm" when differentiating from ahuman or xeno networks.

The exact extent of the Cybercosm is impossible to determine for certain. There is a constant eb and flow as new virches are spawned, stored, deleted, closed off or opened up. The prevalence of fast running virches complicates this process further as their denizens spawn and delete new environments at an elevated rate. It is estimated that the Cybercosm of the Current Era contains 10^20 virtual universes with some 10^6 using a fundamental physics models comparable to the Ril. The rest fill a spectrum of increasingly alien and baroque models, from simple alterations of physical constants through different dimensional numbers to abstract mathematical environments human-like mindtypes cannot grasp. It is thought that the cybercosm of the Solipsist Panvirtuality dwarfs that of the Greater Cybercosm by many orders of magnitude. However as very few of the Panvirtuality worlds allow outsiders to enter almost nothing is known about it for certain.

Within virches speaking in terms of geographic position with other virches is often meaningless as it is impossible to point in any direction within one and be pointing at another. In this respect a cybercosm can be thought of as a multiverse with many orthogonal universes' that inhabitants can travel between. However the physical infrastructure to run virches creates a pseudo-geography due to latency. Thus maps of any cybercosm appear as networks with virches as nodes and connections varying in length representing the latency between them. For virches running on the same processor these connections are very short, often negligible, whereas processors separated across space (such as within an orbital band, Matrioshka or the Nexus as a whole) are significantly larger. Cybercosm maps are also dependent on a particular point of view. Viewing such a map in a fast running virch will result in the connections appearing larger as subjectively the latency is more pronounced. This effect is mitigated or exacerbated depending on the clock rate of the other virches with latency being shorter to virches with comparable or faster clock rates and longer with those that are slower (as it takes the internal mechanisms and citizens of said virches longer to reply). Virches running slower experience relatively less latency and can sustain meaningful relationships with more distant virches in the network (even those on the other side of the nexus). For this reason it is quite common to find chains of relationships between fast and slow running virches in close proximity and slow virches across greater separation.

Some of the oldest Inner Sphere virches (grouped together by their ancient name "The Realities") have been in continuous operation for over 9000 years according to the coordinated Nexus calendar. Internally the subjective history of these virches ranges from two-to-four orders of magnitude larger. The gulf in timescale as well as accumulated differences in physical models make older, faster running virches increasingly difficult to communicate with from a Ril perspective. This has led some to wonder just how many terragens there are in the cybercosms that disregard, or even are unaware of, the vast physical civilisation surrounding them.
Image from Bernd Helfert
  • Alcor and Mizar  - Text by Steve Bowers
    These two star systems in the Plough are an important point of contact between the Solar Dominion and the Solipsist Panvirtuality.
  • Alfirk Panvirtuality Swarm  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Solipsist Panvirtuality swarm with some degree of contact with the Sephirotic Empire worlds nearby.
  • Arctic City Virch  - Text by Darren Ryding
    Popular interactive virch series of the Interplanetary Age.
  • Arcturus Institute of Alternate History  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    The Arcturus Institute is a Cyberian organization, so named because it was founded by a society of uploads who were living in a set of cybercosms around Arcturus. It specializes in speculation on possible branching in early Terragen history. Some members engage in simulations, up to and including entire virch or embodied societiums of sapient beings.
  • Auvilhuveldt, The   - Text by Worldtree
    The Auvilhuveldt formed a series of virtual worlds with non-discrete types of intelligence, nested within higher dimensional geometries. It was generally considered to be incomprehensible to outsiders.
  • Dimension of Violence, The  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    The Dimension of Violence was a virtual environment theme especially popular among young radicals of the Integration. In its rich iconology resided beings such as the creation parodies, the turnip humans and the feared dictator RatHitler.
  • Dreamscapes, The  - Text by Ryan B
    The cybercosms of the Zoefic Biopolity are seamlessly integrated into the real landscape.
  • Final Cosmic Eating Establishment, The  - Text by Worldtree
    The Final Cosmic Eating Establishment is a cybercosm in the Groombridge 34 system that allows virtual beings uploaded into it to ((taste)) the flavors from a simulation of one possible (though unlikely) end of the universe, following the path of collapse into a "Big Crunch".
  • Fractaroni Spaghetti Worms  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Transapient clade of a-life/neogen hybrids.
  • Gaia Engelbrech   - Text by Thorbørn Steen
    A virtual world located inside a moon node near the fringe of Keterist space.
  • Gigaverse, The  - Text by ProxCenBound
    Inner Sphere system with a long and storied history, now best known for a Matrioshka Hypernode hosting one billion virchworlds, mostly with exotic physics and sensoria.
  • Gridwood  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Popular virtual environment found across the Zoeific Biopolity, as well as in cybercosms in the Red Star M'pire, Terragen Federation, NoCoZo, and Sophic League.
  • 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
  • Heavtal  - Text by Arrittrobi
    A virtual museum presenting a wide range of musical genres from across Terragen history.
  • New Sol - The Sol-Multiverse  - Text by Craig Higgs
    Binary red dwarf system containing a dyson swarm and a large number of virtual and real alternate ecosystems.
  • Noosphere, The  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Cybercosm based discussion forum employed by various transingularity minds to converse and perhaps argue about those questions and issues that are of long-term or theoretical interest to minds at SI:1 and above.
  • Orion's Arms  - Text by Glen Finney
    Alternate realities simulated in virtual reality.
  • Perseus Pirates Virchworld  - Text by MacGregor
    Virchworld in Groombridge 34 from 3122-3375 AT.
  • PolyCubicSpace  - Text by Addemup
    A virtual world of endless cubes within the Quint Dyson Swarm
  • Quint  - Text by Ryan B
    Virtual mega-society consisting of approximately one quintillion modosophonts housed in a matrioshka brain. Loosely affiliated with the Technorapture Hypernation.
  • Reticulate Causality  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Another virtual project of the Kappa Cassiopeia system is an attempt to reproduce multi-directional causality using a net-like, or reticulate cybercosm.
  • Secrets Inscribed in Caustics  - Text by Liam Jones
    Secrets Inscribed in Caustics is a largely abstract environment designed to accommodate many alien mindform types
  • Sepulchre Variations, The  - Text by Liam Jones
    One of the oldest collections of virchworlds, consisting of a vast array of grotesque and eerie iconography adapted to hundreds of different clades.
  • Silent Planetarium, The   - Text by The Astronomer
    A modosophont-accessible cybercosm depicting the universe beyond the Terragen sphere
  • Solsys Civil War Virch  - Text by MacGregor and Todd Drashner
    The Solsys Civil War is a long-running fiction virch set during an ahistorical depiction of the last days of the First Federation.
  • The Gods Ourselves  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Popular virch roleplaying game where the players become archai.
  • Vanishment   - Text by Stephen Inniss
    Complete erasure of an entity from history and common memory. Possible within a virch that has no external records, or wherever personal memories may be accessed and revised by some central body and external records are not present. It is commonly believed that in the Civilized Galaxy in the modern era cases are rare and voluntary, but this was not true in the past and is not true elsewhere. The true extent of this practice is not known since successful Vanishment does not leave any record of whoever or whatever was erased.
  • Virchbuilder Packages  - Text by Tony Jones
    Types of software used to create virtual worlds.
  • Virchuniverse - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Generally, an aggregation or collection of thousands of interconnected virchworlds or cybercosms, all sharing the same basic ontology and lay-out, to make traveling from one to the other easier. Sometimes also used to designate a single extremely large virchworld.
  • Virchworld  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A virtual world; usually at least partially self-contained, or apparently so, may or may not include sentient beings; generally part of a cultural community across computer/cyberspace/matrix networks.
  • Virtual Gardens  - Text by James Ramsey
    A class of virtual worlds and universes created by artists and hobbyists.
  • Virtual Haven  - Text by John Snead
    Virch clade and phyle found on over 200 worlds.
  • Virtual Labyrinths  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    Virtual environments can be used to confuse or contain as easily as to educate or entertain. Virtual Labyrinths, known by a variety of names across the Terragen sphere (Subtillion Traps, Epistemogrifiers, Dreamweirs), are one of the most deadly of these forms of confusion.
  • Whisper  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Planet covered in a sophont grassland xenoecology, perhaps of artificial origin.
  • World of Forking Paths, The   - Text by Mark Ryherd
    Gliese 33, supposedly the oldest continually inhabited paygeesu virch in the Terragen Sphere.
Related Topics
Development Notes
Text by Todd Drashner
Updated by Ryan B (2018)
Initially published on 31 December 2007.

Additional Information