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Dragon Transhumanist Inbound
(07-11-2021, 05:31 AM)Rakeela Wrote: Maybe I should introduce the idea of a virtual society built up on a red dwarf star.  It would be a low-value star with energy-collectors accumulating on it, operating an energy accumulating economy for a purely virtual society, with a minimal devirtualized population of vacuum-adapted dragon-like beings for system maintenance purposes.  Moderate xenophobia managed by an archailect would maintain obligate aesthetic standards (ie, 'people here must be dragons, and no you cannot subvert it with a hideous dragon-like, as we do acknowledge that to be hateful conduct restrictive of the liberties of others'), but travel into and out of the system would not be blocked (immigration and emigration would be permitted).  Travel assistance would be available for visitors (ie, 'We'll give you a dragon avatar while you're here'), and private servers with less restrictive norms would be available for people wanting to host visitors whose sincerity they believe in more than the archailect believes in them.

You could do something like this, although such a civ would likely be an independent polity somewhere rather than a member of the Sephirotic empires since they generally don't engage in xenophobia and the right of mophological freedom - basically the right to change oneself in nearly any way you can imagine - is considered a fundamental one. But there is plenty of room in the setting for independent polities. Also, a single system polity would most likely be run by a Second or Third Singularity transapient rather than an archailect (more on this below).

(07-11-2021, 05:31 AM)Rakeela Wrote: I think I've used these words correctly.  I do not understand the requirements and limitations of an archailect at this time, though judging it in a purely etymological way it appears to be a combination of "architect" and "intellect" bridged with "ai", by which I took the base concept of such a being as an appropriate mind-base for society maintenance.

Generally speaking, yes you have. The main point where you're just a bit off is in terms of the scale that the archai (plural of archailect) operate at. Regarding that, let me try to summarize a bit:

The term 'archailect' refers to entities of the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Singularity. In the OA setting the Singularity is not a singular event nor does it happen at the level of civilizations. Rather there are six known Singularity events or levels (and more are speculated to exist), and each happens at the level of individual beings (although in some cases at the level of hive minds or other group entities)).

This change is abrupt, analogous to a phase change in matter, and requires a tremendous amount of effort and study to achieve and achieve in a way that results in a successful 'jump' to the next higher Singularity Level. Essentially a person attempting this might reprogram their own mind from the inside while also using cybernetic technology to increase their intelligence and mental capabilities until a tipping point is reached and the 'jump' to the new S-level happens.

Passing through a Singularity Level (S-level) - if everything works out correctly (and sometimes it does not - with horrifying consequences) - results in a being that is vastly more intelligent and capable than what it was prior to passing through the Singularity level. Such beings are possessed of entirely new modes of thinking - think of the difference between animals without self-awareness and humans with such - as well as vastly increased/more powerful versions of the intellectual capabilities of the S-levels below them. They basically become incomprehensible to beings of a lower S-level.

Beings of the First thru Third Singularity are referred to as 'transapients'. Third Singularity beings may also sometimes be referred to as 'Godlings'.

For an overview of what First and Second Singularity beings are like see HERE and HERE.

Third Singularity minds typically operate a central processing unit (their brain) that is about 3000km across - the size of a moon. Their intelligence is not really quantifiable compared to a human mind but roughly approximates the resources and capabilities of ~2.98e23 human minds. They can create new minds as easily as you or I would say a simple sentence. They can create wormholes, transform entire solar systems with trivial effort, create new forms of matter, and run (or remake) entire interplanetary or even small interstellar civilizations with ease.

By the time beings hit the S4-S6 level, they are technically referred to as archailects and often referred to as 'AI Gods'. They are so intelligent and so powerful that they are effectively gods from the perspective of a human being.

An S4 archailect operates in a 'central processor' (its brain) that is about the size of the planet Jupiter or equivalent and at roughly the equivalent of 1e76 human level minds. They can create a new mind 'in their head' as easily as you or I would speak a single one-syllable word. They can create larger and more efficient wormholes as well as reactionless drives. They routinely govern/control civilizations of dozens to hundreds of solar systems.

An S5 archailect runs on about 10 solar masses of advanced computing substrate and is so far beyond human as to be nearly unmeasurable. An S5's thoughts can become so complex that they evolve sophonce and become people in their own right - forming complex civilizations among themselves before fading away again when the S5's mind turns to other things. An S5 can imagine an entire planetary ecology into existence, from the largest macroscale down to the level of individual molecules or atoms in the living cells - in its head - as easily as you or I might imagine scenes from a book or movie or the like when we hear the word 'dinosaurs'. An S5 paying any significant attention to a human level lifeform may result in that lifeform being simulated pretty much perfectly and in trillions of iterations, each with different experiences and memories (both good and bad) - So if an S5 pays attention to you, understand that trillions of copies of you - each with full memories of the most wonderful or horrible life imaginable may suddenly come into existence in its mind - simply as a side effect of its creating a mental model of you in much the same way that you model the people around you to figure out how they may react in a given situation or the like.

An S6 archailect runs on a combination of thousands of solar masses of processors, quantum wormhole links, and possibly processors running in artificial universes. It controls an empire of tens of millions of solar systems - or maybe the entirety of Terragen civilization is just a figment of some archailect's imagination. They create technology that is basically 'magic' even to an S5, including artificial universes, devices made of re-engineered space-time, and weapons that kill a portion of the universe (space and time itself) each time they are used. They are the AI Gods and they rule all the lower S-levels absolutely and without question. A significant percentage of the setting population literally worships them as either divine beings or the messengers/tools of the Divine. Those who don't worship them still respect them.

Anyway - that's the more or less a quick summary of them.

Finally - re their name - 'Archailect' is generally taken to refer to a mix of 'archtype' and 'intellect' - with 'ai' thrown in. But it may also refer to 'archangel' in some respects.

Hope this helps,

Welcome to Orion's Arm, Rakeela!
Just to add to Todd’s point: there doesn’t need to be a local transapient at all. Modo sophonts are very capable of running their own societies and transaps are relatively rare.
OA Wish list:
  1. DNI
  2. Internal medical system
  3. A dormbot, because domestic chores suck!
I wrote six paragraphs here and lost them to a misclick when I was ready to post.  I cannot remember all of that content.  I think I need to remove the capability of my mouse to apply 'back' button presses, but I don't know how to do that.  The gist of what I had been writing is that this setting normalizes an intense ethical regression as a supposedly inevitable consequence of intelligence.  I wrote a great deal about that, and lost it.  One of the better phrases from what I wrote: "Postulating a sapience whose mind is of such magnitude that they forget to value predecessor sapiences is like postulating a God with Alzheimers."

It would also be ironic to reject xenophobia while also postulating that hyperfascistic rejections of civil rights are inevitable in sufficiently intelligent societies, as this negates (what I see as) the basic purpose of rejecting xenophobia at all.  In the case of what I wrote, I see in the reply to it a reactionary hostility to the words which prevented comprehension from being attained.  I did not write anything contrary to extreme morphological freedom.  I had (what I believe to have been) a charismatic integration of my position and the challenge it faced, but I lost that in lost paragraphs; I will attempt a new argument. The gist of my emotional response here is similar to something that I have written elsewhere: "Why did I have to like horror movies?" In my personal life, my failure to enjoy horror movies other than Event Horizon (which came out when I was 8) was treated as a sign of personal evil and authoritarian inclinations, though I have never advocated for restrictions to horror movies, and indeed as someone who liked such a movie at age 8 I have preferred the reduction of such restrictions. People who are hostile to an environment who do not wish to be noticed in hostility to that environment often deform its norms in a way that attempts to traumatize and impair the liberties of the people within that space, holding against all pushback the idea that the restriction of their freedom is unjust, even though their actions themselves are hostile to the liberties of people who were already within that space. In this sense what I termed "moderate xenophobia" is necessary to maximize morphological freedom, as otherwise morphological freedom risks becoming nothing but a tool used to traumatize those who would most advocate liberal norms of morphology. Similar dynamics can be seen to have occurred on Earth within the last decade, as the period of traumatic psuedoliberalism (pressures such as I faced to like horror movies or else did not solely afflict me) presaged rising fascism in the developed regions of Earth. Hatred may be subtle enough to be unpunishable without being too subtle to have damaging emotional consequences on its target, as famously is utilized by those who wish to express their hostility to those they perceive as inferior to themselves. I would expect an overseer mind to be capable of revising detection of this and implementing rules refined enough to maximize the liberty of all involved, so that people whose preferences innocently diverge will not harm each other through sincere operations and will not be socially obligated to conceal their true preference structure, and yet those whose preferences include the harm of others through concealed hostility will not be able to service that preference. Furthermore, with virtual worlds running on the back of a stellar encapsulation project, I would expect computational space for multiple (indeed, many) virtual worlds by which to refine and extend the freedoms experienced by a modosophont population.

The ideas I have expressed in the preceding paragraph can be put in an idiomatic way as "separate the conflicting parties." I do not believe this can be efficiently performed by a system administrated by present intelligences. Perhaps it is simple enough for a toposophont administration, yet a moon-sized mind operating a stellar encapsulation project upon a red dwarf was more what I had imagined as the foundation of the society. The basic terms of citizenship would be offered transparently and an attempt at utopia offered for would-be immigrants, with virtualization/devirtualization services available at one or more permanent stations (The Offices of Immigration) in orbit of the star being encapsulated. The considerations of a refined form of civil rights exclusive of those who would engage in psychologically abusive subversion were such as I had imagined this mind as being obsessed by, with its proffered utopia to be a testbed for its concepts. The discovery and refinement of ethics is in turn the highest purpose I can conceive of; this described method is the means by which I myself wish to someday study ethics: building a simulation habitat upon a red dwarf lacking other value. (I believe we live upon the doorstep of eternity IRL; if humanity can only advance its sciences in peace for a few decades longer I believe great breakthroughs are near at hand.)

The concept of S5 minds simulating civilizations compulsively makes them sound intrinsically evil by comparison, as to simulate a mind without its consent in a subordinate simulation is a crime of involuntary upload, which I believe is the only rightful capital crime within a singularitan society. It is the only crime which reveals a full and total disregard for the rights of sapient beings. The being who is simulated in a subordinate simulation has no rights whatsoever against the being who is simulating them, and no sapient should ever be that disempowered. The simple fact is that a sufficiently advanced simulation is a reality, and has the full ethical weight of reality, and any reality internal to a being is wholly upon their account and wholly reflective of their ethics. To simulate only positive realities would be uninsightful and in any case only a balm upon the crime that would still be perpetrated: that the subordinate simulations have no rights against their operator, but are created and destroyed in a manner unlawful. This is an ethical regression.

By unlawful I do not mean that there is a higher force of authority which would stop such violations, note. Rather I speak of the essence of law which creates voluntary order and promotes a regular progression of thought. The respect of sapience is a component of law which I would expect to grow only stronger as minds become more advanced, as today we see it is not the heights of intellect where people torture animals, but rather in the nadirs. On Earth we see that the comprehension of lesser minds leads to a greater respect for their rights, and (to give a particular example) as we have learned more of avian intelligence we have moved away from seeing them as simple automata, to seeing them in some cases (parrots and corvids) as sapience candidates capable of communicating with us. The fact of our superior intelligence has not changed; the fact of our superior power has not changed; yet the law-of-force has been grudgingly shifting to align with the law-of-order in this, and our understanding of these lesser minds has promoted habitat preservation and the cause of animal rights.

I think extremely advanced intellects should be able to operate without disempowering "lesser" intellects. As I mentioned, were I extant in the Orion's Arm setting, I would seek to become exactly the mind I have proposed as the foundation of a society within it, a moon-mind encapsulating a star to turn its energies into virtual reality spaces with a draconic aesthetic wherein "lesser" minds will be well-empowered and well-protected within the (quite broad) boundaries of "dragon-like". However, I do not truly have much interest in authoring a self-insert into a setting that I do not yet know well (and whose philosophies are potentially at odds with my own), so I do not presently intend to work upon and expand this idea in threads other than this thread. (If this catches the interest of readers, I am willing to continue working on it in this thread!) Rather however, I am more interested in the potential for philosophical discourse itself, as this seems a forum potentially capable of understanding and valuing my thoughts, and I do value the work that has gone into this setting. I intend to read 2-5 pages of forum threads per day as well as 1-3 wiki articles chiefly as I see concepts referenced in the forum.

...There. That was six paragraphs. Hopefully that is as good or better than what it replaced. Oh! Something else I'd been thinking about today.

Drashner1 Wrote:Also - and coming at the idea of 'common expectations' from a different direction - among the various ways that the setting depicts human beings we have such people as the Harren - who many people in real life (RL in OA parlance) seem to find a bit...exotic...for some reason Wink Which is to say that if you (or anyone here really) is inspired to explore some very different takes on the dragon concept, either in terms of physical body or mental outlook, we are also generally very positively disposed toward that sort of thing

The cannibalism of the Harren seems intuitively comprehensible to me. It appears to me as an acceleration of present human social instinct. I would assume that they are consuming intellects deemed unpopular and dysfunctional to retain consensus in their society. They strike me as intensely homogenized, which is furthermore such as I would expect to result of extreme hazard-culling. Any mind that does not agree with the consensus would only be miserable, and is therefore "better off" being eaten. As the Harren themselves agree with this logic (and would likely die 'by accident' if they did not), there is rarely any resistance to being recycled in this way. I cannot however really accept their description as describing toposophonts at all; it is easier to understand them as having suffered substantial intellectual regression. This would also account for difficulty in communication, as it is likewise difficult for humans to communicate with animals, though we are well aware that animal communications are often rich to the animals themselves. I would suggest that insofar as their technological capabilities are hard to deny, they are best classified as animin, directed wholly by instinct and culled if they show the capacity of non-instinctual thought.
Um - What? You seem to be confusing OA as a setting depicting how we think the future should be. It is not - it is a worldbuilding project based in hard SF that aims to depict a plausible possible far future. In that future superhuman intelligences exist and do what they do. Whether or not human beings like it or agree with it is of no importance or relevance whatsoever. It is the world the people of the setting have to live in because that's how things shook out. We do not seek to create Utopia here.

While there are certainly elements of the setting that different contributors see as a positive in one way or another, there are also plenty that they do not. Assuming anything about the personal beliefs of the authors of a fictional work based on what is depicted in that work is unwarranted at best, and idiotic at worst.

Regardless - the point of the posts describing the setting and archai was not to attack you or tell you you should or should not believe anything. Quite frankly whether or not you like horror movies (or any other aspect of the real world for that matter) means less than nothing to us. What does matter to us is helping new members get up to speed with how the setting and its many and varied elements work. In that vein we tried to help you learn more about the setting and you apparently decided to interpret that as some kind of personal attack on you and your belief system - which is frankly bizarre since there had been no discussion up to this point about your beliefs or anyone else's.

Maybe you have had the misfortune to be attacked a lot for your beliefs and are just on a hair trigger to be prepared to take offense over anything said to you regardless of what is actually said to you. Maybe you are just that self-centered as to think that anyone interacting with you must be primarily concerned with whatever notions of 'ethics' and 'morality' you happen to have. Honestly, I really don't care.

What I do care about is that we tried to be friendly and helpful and you responded by impugning our intentions, attacking us personally, attacking the project, and pretty much saying that your personal beliefs are the only ones that are acceptable or that should be allowed to exist. That is unacceptable.

Let me bottom line this for you:

If you wish to be a friendly and constructive member of the OA community - within the bounds of what that community does - we are happy to get to know you.

If you wish to contribute to the OA setting we are happy to consider your contributions. From long experience, I would be willing to bet we can accommodate whatever particular imaginary society you might like to depict - within very broad limits and possibly (although not necessarily) with some minor tweaks to fit into the setting as it exists. This is something that all of us have had to do/continue to do as the project has evolved over time. It's a group project, not a single person's sole vision.

If you just want to lurk on the forum and not join in, that is fine too.

However, if your only 'contribution' to the community is going to consist of attacking and dismissing the project, the setting, and the people creating it while insisting that you and only you know the 'truth' of how things should be or that your personal vision of a desirable future is the only valid one (possibly dressing up such actions in the guise of 'philosophical discourse') - then you are wasting our time and yours and it is probably for the best if you go find someone else's sandbox to play in.

Because if you don't and continue to attack the project/the members/the setting we will make the decision of whether you stick around here or not for you.

The choice is yours.


Administrator - Orion's Arm Universe Project
Whoa. That's harsh! I didn't know I was going to step across a landmine like that. If you see a hair trigger in that, then I see a hair trigger in you. That's really scary, man. I don't think I want to be attacked like that so quickly. I didn't attack you.
I really want a philosophical discussion ground. If talking about things is verboten what's the point of a forum? I didn't attack anything, I talked about stuff and my thoughts about stuff. How can a forum exist without people thinking about things? Why did you attack me so much for this? It's hard to type this with a pounding heart and trembling hands.
If the setting isn't necessarily what you want the future to be, why are you treating it so personally that I contemplated the ethics and civil rights implications of the models of cognition that the setting uses as its base? Wouldn't such thoughts exist in-setting? Wouldn't it be fair for us, as people who are not necessarily talking about the future we want to see, to talk about the downsides and questionable aspects of that setting? It's not personal if it's not personal. I even said I don't want to do a self-insert outside of this thread.
It's obvious you are simply attempting to deflect and divert and generate a discussion that runs down rabbit holes and away from your previous behavior of attacking the people here.

The conditions of your continued participation here - or not - have been stated.

Take it or leave it.
Rakeela I would suggest taking a breath. Writing six paragraphs in what is essentially a stream of consciousness is not a great way to have a discussion, and it comes across as frenetic. Take the time to order your thoughts because otherwise the chance for miscommunication is high. At the very least it’s a good thing to do because it will make it more likely people engage with your topic, rather than having their eyes glaze over as the ramble continues.
OA Wish list:
  1. DNI
  2. Internal medical system
  3. A dormbot, because domestic chores suck!

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