”There have been many questions raised in this body and elsewhere, since our Reorganization, concerning the new status of the Empire and of our new Transcend. Some of them have come attached to transparently political proposals – to the discomfiture of our true hive-mind members, such as our honorable friends representing the vlcefc, hjera, and cusaron – to refashion the political arrangements of the Accord. It is not our intention to address these proposals here and now, or where and ever. We remain, and shall remain, a founder of the Accord and seated upon the Presidium.”
”In clarification of some salient points, however, the Transcend and the Empire are not coextensive. Not every Imperial citizen-shareholder is one of the Transcendi. For this reason sufficiently, the Empire is maintained as a polity distinct from and a superset of the Transcend.”
”Nor is the Transcend a hive mind in the traditional sense. We remain individuals, though united on some mental strata. While the consensus of the Transcend does now perform much of our group planning, our government will remain the instrumentality through which it is executed.”
”And certainly, we could devise some method of prioritization and resource allocation operating through the Transcend, which knows all of our requirements and desires, but – especially now that it allows us to share information most effectively – there is no need to when our internal market already performs these tasks with a theoretical efficiency equal to the best possible planning routine, with far less waste of centralizing bandwidth and cycles involved.”
”Which is to say, sophonts of the Accord, that our operations, as they interface with yours, continue as before; that all treaties and contracts will be honored; that your investments continue to be safe and profitable; and that Imperial space remains, as ever, open for commerce and pleasure.”
– Calis Corith-ith-Corith, Presiding Minister for the Empire,
excerpt of a speech to the Conclave of Galactic Polities
I find that kind of odd. One of the things that voluntary high-bandwidth group planning would enhance is the execution of group desired tasks without using existing government as the instrumentality. We mere Pseudoeldrae Archaea are *already* capable of doing group decision making and effecting the execution of plans made by coordinated groups without having government be the agent of action.
I think this may be a place where I’ve been a little inadequate in providing the proper context. I shall work on that.
But specifically: that is, of course, true, and for any number of groups among them, it’s done – any number of branches and circles and corporations and initiatives and COGs and contract-agreements and so on and so forth do it every day. (And do what many other Accord members would consider a lamentable amount of what we *here* would consider the sole preserve of government, for that matter, but so it goes.) Very little of that is routed through the Imperial government itself, which remains a pretty stripped-down rights-and-contract-enforcement, externality-management and minimal civilization-infrastructure provision organization.
(Which is another reason why the Transcend would be keeping it around anyway; much like there’s no sense in replacing the market with some sort of internal planning routine that couldn’t beat it anyway, the existing governmental structure is good at the few things it does, and they’ll still need to be done, so there’d be no sense in ripping it out and replacing it with something else. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
The other aspect is that it couldn’t replace it in the first place, of course, even if it wanted to, short of disbanding the whole thing first. The Transcend was a private project, even if a very big private project that has fundamentally changed, at this point, most of the citizen-shareholders including the ones entrusted with delegated sovereign authority – but that it exists doesn’t void the Imperial Charter or the Fundamental Contract.)
But the context in question is that the Presiding Minister is giving a speech to the Conclave of Galactic Polities (essentially – forgive me if I repeat myself – the space UN, although its Presidium is substantially more akin to a less powerful version of Mass Effect‘s Citadel Council than the Security Council), so it’s a polity-to-polity context, and one in which many of them understand each other’s internals even less well than nations *here* do. (Which is why he doesn’t want to get into the details; it’d only confuse things.)
So the “group planning” he’s talking about is specifically for the Empire as a whole, and even then mostly in the area of foreign policy, which – at least in the fundamental things that are “necessary infrastructure” – is a government responsibility *there*.
And what he’s trying to get across to the Conclave and to Conclave-watchers is that the Ministry of State and Outlands will still be there to do diplomacy with next week, and the people who keep all the agreements about mail and IP and the extranet and protected planets and the interstellar exchange currency and free trade and the stargate network and who owns what volumes and all of that civilizational/economic infrastructure functioning will be available too; that everyone’s going to be nice and polite and not break the Worlds’ political or economic stability, such as it is; and most importantly, no-one’s going to have to learn to talk to the machine angels, come down with a nasty case of godshatter, or have their brains eaten by computronium memebots, which is the sort of thing that usually happens when people mucking about with seed AI and major mental restructuring get it wrong.
And therefore that they aren’t just about to ruin everyone’s day who depends on all that infrastructure in one way or another.
Did that clarify things any?