Trope-a-Day: Electric Instant Gratification

Electric Instant Gratification: Exists, in a variety of forms as unsubtle as classic “wireheading”, known as “electrobliss” – only much simpler to implement, since you can actually achieve it perfectly well with transcranial magnetic stimulation – or orgasmatronics through more subtle pleasures like slinkies with better-than-life emotional tracks, all the way up to the really subtle things like neuroviruses that will not only rewire your brain for endless pleasure, it will overcome the alpha baseline’s removal of the pleasure addiction/tolerance systems (as the general solution to electrobliss and drug addiction) by imprinting a philosophy designed to justify the endless pleasure involved into your personality.

Trope-a-Day: Eldritch Abomination

Eldritch Abomination: There have been a few elder races and Gone Horribly Right seed AI, and other postsophont entities, that are not terribly, shall we say, sophont-friendly, or indeed sophont-comprehensible.  (Start with the Leviathan Consciousness, and work down the list.)  And statistics – and bright EM spots elsewhere in the galaxy – suggest that there are probably more than a few more of those out there.

Do not ask.  You might find out.

Clearly, This Is The 1.0 Release

Responses to the advent of Information Physics, and the proposal that the universe, in essence, is a self-simulating simulation, a program using itself as a processor, usually fall into one of four classes.  The ambitious immediately wonder how we can apply this in the short-term to build better, faster, more fundamental using-the-same-techniques-as-the-universe – or possibly built out of small universes – processors, ushering in a whole new revolution in computer technology free from all the inconvenience of leptons and photons and other messy materiel.

The exceptionally ambitious, contrariwise, begin formulating a long-term plan to recompile the whole damn thing without various of its more irritating limitations, usually involving removing the Luminal Limit and making some serious revisions to the Laws of Thermodynamics.

The curious, pointing out correctly both that a logos will run in just about any medium possessed of the ability to execute certain non-deterministic mathematical operations and sufficient free energy, and, indeed, that the evolution of so many disparate forms of sophont life demonstrates that they also arise spontaneously in many different places, wonder who might be living in the interstices of our natural laws, and how we might go about contacting them.

And the incurably paranoid, agreeing with the curious, go on to wonder if these fast-running fundamental-stratum information lifeforms are coming to eat all our brains, or worse, if they already have?

– It Thinks Therefore We Are, Lylvíëve Lochran-ith-Lochran

Trope-a-Day: Elaborate Underground Base

Elaborate Underground Base: The Imperial Military Service (various, with special props going to the Imperial Navy’s hollow hangar moon at Palaxias IIb), the Imperial Emergency Management Authority’s Crisis Citadels, more than a few data havens, the original location of Argyran Depository, the Nightfall Complexes (retreats for city populations in the event of nuclear war, asteroid impact, etc.), and oh, yes, all the entire cities built down there by people who just found that they liked it…

Trope-a-Day: Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette

Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: This is the stereotypical – and yes, actually, very common – look for the eseldrae race, with actual close-to-cream-white skin, and usually differing only in hair that may be dark brown, rather than black.  Many of the kireldrae can also carry it off, although their skin is translucent enough to give it a faintly blue tinge rather than pure white, and genetic atavisms sometimes give them very outré hair colors rather than the more common dark brunette.

Trope-a-Day: Easy Sex Change

Easy Sex Change: Reinstantiation (see Body Surf) into a body of the appropriate sex, if available, will do it instantly; meanwhile, if that’s not available or desirable, a day or two spent in a medical vat while the proteus nanomachines take you apart and reassemble you appropriately will do the job.  Neuter and hermaphrodite are, of course, also options.

Of course, this just changes physical sex.  Gender identity and sexual orientation are different matters – which are dealt with by appropriate editing (animus-anima remapping, et. al.) of the relevant regions of one’s mind-state vector to suit – a service usually offered by the same clinics that offer the physical change.

(See also: In Just Seven Days…)