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(07-19-2020, 06:24 AM)Madine Wrote: [ -> ]I like the ideas discussed above. Given existing articles on postscarcity economic concerns, megacorps existing as an evolution or "mission creep" of RL for-profit businesses into something else, rather than a direct continuation of corporate capitalism in space makes sense.

One suggestion I might add is that minor polities, particularly those originally written in the early phase of the project with somewhat ambiguous or outdated mentions of transapients, might be good places to experiment with writing megacorp/Great House/groupmind S1 equivalent societies.

I really really like your suggestions here! Smile It actually triggered some additional notions combined with something posted on another thread and led to the following post, which I'm copying here since it doesn't really fit with the main focus of the thread where I first posted it:

I'm increasingly of a mind that the OAUP should start looking into exploring other types of transapient experience/intelligence/insertcorrecttermhere beyond or apart from our long running exploration of transapients. Both at the level of the animin (and whatever other transapient adjacent entities the founding members may have left lying around from the early days or that we can think up in future) and also at the level of exploring the 'landscape' of alternate forms of transhumanism as is being dabbled in over on the thread about the nature of the megacorps (and Great Houses and who knows what else). Madine's post from today - as well as extherian's on the OA culture thread - actually inspired a whole new train of thought around this. Smile

We've always mainly focused on the 'vertical' axis of the toposophic landscape (S1, S2, etc.) but have historically done comparatively little with the 'horizontal' axis beyond speaking in terms of DNI and augments increasing what different variants of humans can do. More recently Rynn has been leading the charge on exploring the possibilities that come to light when motivations and minds can be modified fairly quickly, easily, and safely via psychoware.

Moving even further afield (and this is the bit inspired by Madine's and extherian's posts) we have civs like the Emple-Dokcetics - but not a whole lot else in the space of 'other ways of being transhuman' that start to step well away from the 'human centric/modo centric' explorations we usually do.

Long story short (I know - too late!): We've spent a lot of time and attention exploring a particular type or range of the transhuman condition. But there are potentially lots of other types/ranges we could also explore within the OA setting and even within the framework of parts of the EG that are there - but not really fleshed out, such as the various 'minor' and 'associated' and 'non-aligned' polities (or even some of the 'major empires' we've not fleshed out) that currently don't have much more than a name or maybe a few paragraphs of description dating from 20 years ago.


Thoughts?

Todd
Agreed, there are likely a number of unexplored possibilities for both mind-spaces and societies that become possible with the combination of clade shifting, psychoware, and mental augmentation. I had a bit of inspiration last night, and came up with the following (note: definitely not a full article yet, hence posting here rather than the EG board, just an idea combining "megacorp metamorphoses into something else" and "flesh out an existing minor polity").
===========================================================================================
Sagittarius Sphere: Megacorp-descended empire (defunct)
Symbol: A stylized bow and arrow over a spreading outcropping of corals and anemone
Location: Sagittarius arm, centered around the area opened up by the Tunh wormhole
Psyche, art, and culture:
Metapsychology: Centered around symbiosis – multiple disparate entities aiding each other. The discrete self as an emergent property of many parts, each of which is a complex system in its own right.
Society: Fundamental unit was the Division, a group mind with transapient capability originally descended from mind-linked corporate collaboratives. Divisions possessed self-awareness and unique personalities that tended to remain metastable. Modosophont individuals who were formally part of a Division were known as saibo (cells), and fulfilled various cultural and psychological roles within a Division as well as contributing to its net processing power.
Culture and Art: Complex both in depicted events and in shades of meaning represented. Narrative media often feature multiple perspectives (sometimes simultaneously, depending on the information processing capabilities of the creator and viewer). Archetypes include nascence – unconscious and later conscious development of one’s ideal persona, and alliance – navigation of a web of social, economic, and technological relationships comprising life in Sagit Sphere, and the distress that rapid changes in said web can bring.
Government: Overall, a confederation united by shared cultural and psychological factors, with high-level planning carried out by the Directorate. At the level of individual habitats and worlds, various transapient Divisions engaged in benevolent panarchy.
Technology level: Ultratech common, but always in the hands of Divisions and their constituent members. True transapientech devices up to S2 capability used for important services. Late in the Sagittarius Periphery War, Third Singularity technologies such as stellar conversion weapons and Q-mirrors were observed.

“To visit Kaja Ring is to be exposed to a bewildering array of experiences. The citizens and saibo are at any time engaged in a constant swirl of negotiations, celebratory parties, contests, and plots. I never observed any sophont genuinely deprived of necessities (though many are quite resentful if they cannot access a clarketech artifact or gain the ear of a Division bent to their cause)"

"In particular, the behaviors of the saibo confound me, even after I have spent time a great deal of time with various constituents of the great corporate-minds of the Sagittarius Sphere. They tell me that they have both the happiness of their own selfhood with its little indulgences and idiosyncrasies, along with an unshakeable sense of belonging to the greater organism. But from time to time I notice their larger-than-life personas that go deeper than acting, the ease with which they occasionally drop unnerving insights about myself, or their description of being driven by imperatives that they do not fully comprehend. And in these times I wonder whether the pressures and terrors of the universe will eventually cause my own polity to adopt such a system?"
Yethin Oram, ambassador from the Cinnabar Allied States to the Sagittarius Sphere.
===========================================================================================

Thoughts and criticisms would certainly be appreciated - is this the kind of thing that you think could work to flesh out more types of toposophy?
One concept I've been thinking about for a while is rewriting either the Ambi Limis or Restored Ambi Limis articles along these lines. Essentially, the idea is that the human colonists of the Perseus rift decide to recreate the traditional hierarchy that the Conver Limis built themselves on. So they have Superiors/Cyborgs at the top, with Provolves and Vecs serving their as pets and workers, but the twist is that the humans engenerate themselves as these beings. Rather than enslave non-humans, the humans themselves are roleplaying as both the masters and slaves.

All of this is enforced through psychoware and a hivemind topology that manages the responsibilities each type of being has towards the others, in a manner not unlike Confucianism. The 'rulers' of this system have a responsibility to provide stimulating work and challenges to amuse the 'lower' beings in the hierarchy, who 'serve' the interests of their 'rulers'. In reality, the whole charade is something closer in nature to the Silent Ones and their mysterious traditions rather than the supremacist empire that the Conver Limis was.

Since these beings function as hiveminds, they have an intuitive grasp of their role within the collective and instinctively adjust their behaviour according to the needs of other beings in the hierarchy, often in strange and counterintuitive ways like mock warfare or ritualised economic crashes. They operate at the transapient level and live out archetypes from Conver Limis history whose significance is beyond the ability of modosophonts to appreciate.

Outsiders might mistake it for a conventional Great House at first, only to notice recurring patterns and historical cycles over a long enough time period, as if the citizens were incapable of learning from their mistakes, when repeating these mistakes in new and interesting ways is the entire point of the culture. I imagine that it would seem profoundly disturbing to someone from the Utopia Sphere or Communion of Worlds.
Need to give this a deeper read later, but at first blush - I love it!! Big Grin

Note that there is an existing Sagittarius Sphere article in the EG - but it's ancient at this point and while we'd ideally like to be able to merge the two in a way that retains at least something of a nod toward the older article, at first blush I don't see any problem with making your re-imagined version the main part.

Note finally that the Sagittarius Sphere is spun off from the article about the Sagittarius Transcultural Cooperation - which is a 'current' empire in the setting that has a lot of mentions, but comparatively little internal detail - and is an even older article than the Sag Sphere article.

Depending on how things shake out (and how deep into this you wanted to go perhaps), we could potentially have what you describe be the current STC rather than the past Sag Sphere. Or use this for the Sag Sphere and then go on to further develop the STC in terms of a logical progression from the earlier Sag Sphere or the like.

Not required by any means but just throwing it out there for consideration.

Cool stuff!

Todd
Hive minds as a general concept are a largely unexplored element of OA.

As I understand it, Anders was skeptical about the viability of such so relatively little was done with them. But that was long ago and this is a new version of OA. Smile

Group minds/Hive minds might come in a vast variety of flavors and types that could be explored.

And of course any other 'non-OA standard' explorations of transhumanism/posthumanism should be run up the flagpole for consideration as well.

Todd
(07-20-2020, 02:09 AM)Drashner1 Wrote: [ -> ]Need to give this a deeper read later, but at first blush - I love it!! Big Grin

Note that there is an existing Sagittarius Sphere article in the EG - but it's ancient at this point and while we'd ideally like to be able to merge the two in a way that retains at least something of a nod toward the older article, at first blush I don't see any problem with making your re-imagined version the main part.

Note finally that the Sagittarius Sphere is spun off from the article about the Sagittarius Transcultural Cooperation - which is a 'current' empire in the setting that has a lot of mentions, but comparatively little internal detail - and is an even older article than the Sag Sphere article.

Depending on how things shake out (and how deep into this you wanted to go perhaps), we could potentially have what you describe be the current STC rather than the past Sag Sphere. Or use this for the Sag Sphere and then go on to further develop the STC in terms of a logical progression from the earlier Sag Sphere or the like.

Thanks Todd! I was looking at the Sag Sphere article for some inspiration - some of the terminology is a little unclear (as you mentioned, the article is very old), but given references in the Sag Sphere and Soft Cathedrals articles on the use of star-busting conversion weapons, I was conceptualizing the original toposophic of the Sphere leadership as 1-2, with a (possibly) perverse ascension to the Third Singularity leading to WMD use against the Cathedrals and eventually to archailect intervention.

Honestly, I hadn't considered the idea of using the social structures we've been discussing for the Y11K STC, but it's intriguing! The only reservation I have is that STC article makes the Transcultural Cooperation out to be very loosely organized and diverse, and I'd feel bad going against the spirit of articles (even when revising).
(07-20-2020, 02:34 AM)Madine Wrote: [ -> ]Thanks Todd! I was looking at the Sag Sphere article for some inspiration - some of the terminology is a little unclear (as you mentioned, the article is very old), but given references in the Sag Sphere and Soft Cathedrals articles on the use of star-busting conversion weapons, I was conceptualizing the original toposophic of the Sphere leadership as 1-2, with a (possibly) perverse ascension to the Third Singularity leading to WMD use against the Cathedrals and eventually to archailect intervention.

Honestly, I hadn't considered the idea of using the social structures we've been discussing for the Y11K STC, but it's intriguing! The only reservation I have is that STC article makes the Transcultural Cooperation out to be very loosely organized and diverse, and I'd feel bad going against the spirit of articles (even when revising).

I completely understand - and certainly not pushing you to take this any further than you feel like/are comfortable going with it. Smile

That said - and in the spirit of just brainstorming and sharing something that popped into my head as I read the second part of your post here:

What if the STC was loosely organized and diverse - but was a loosely organized and diverse cooperation of different types of group minds/hive minds in a multitude of types and flavors?

Taking this either a bit further or in a slightly different direction - what if the STC (working to rehabilitate itself after the past excesses of the Sag Sphere) transformed itself into a sort of ongoing 'Worlds Fair/Friendship Conference/etc.) kind of thing devoted to promoting cooperation and understanding among the most diverse and 'inhuman' minds of the Terragen Sphere? So it is home to/visited by many different flavors of group and hive minds, animins, xenos, and the weirdest of the weird Terragens (by our standards anyway). And over time it also came to be a preferred (or at least oft used) location for inter-empire diplomatic and cross-cultural events and such. Plus whatever other related things we can think of?

This could provide a place (but not the only place!) to play with 'non-standard mental and cultural designs' in the setting in a sort of sandbox setting (as in lots of different reps from lots of places visit there) and also something a bit different from the 'standard' Sephirotic empire.

For an added cherry on top, it would make sense of the 'transcultural cooperation' part of the name. Big Grin

Just a thought or two,

Todd
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