Aurarch Larquen Archés-ith-Aic, of Éävalle


Princess-Regnant Iridal Ejava, of Cúrallémar


to the


Éävalle-Cúrallémar Border War

* * *

Come with us as once again epic battle is joined on the Plains of Cúrallé,
and the forces of Éävalle and Cúrallémar clash once more at Opaline Valley.

Thrill to the sight of military technology ancient and modern!

Bear witness to the glory and the terror of battle in every age!

In special celebration of the 7,200th anniversary of the first daehain battle waged upon this ground, the Imperial Legions have contributed units to the spectacle: detachments from the 26th Legion, the Doom Heralds, will be fighting alongside the forces of Éävalle, while detachments from the 33rd Legion, the Fists of Lightning, will join those of Cúrallémar.

Will Cúrallémar retake the Valley from its southern neighbor? Or will Éävalle retain it for another twelve years?

Join us. Súnarast 16-24. The battle begins at dawn.

* * *

“An unforgettable military spectacle.”

– the Ameri Occurences

“A fun week for all the family. Well worth your time.”

– the Marúsmar Chronicle

* * *

(The Éävalle-Cúrallémar Friends of War respectfully remind you that
audience participation is prohibited under the terms of applicable
bonding insurance. Your cooperation is appreciated.)

In The List Of Ways In Which I’m Not Writing Utopia…

…for humans, anyway, is this Slate article, from which I quote:

It’s all a lie. This is the thing about creativity that is rarely acknowledged: Most people don’t actually like it. Studies confirm what many creative people have suspected all along: People are biased against creative thinking, despite all of their insistence otherwise.

“We think of creative people in a heroic manner, and we celebrate them, but the thing we celebrate is the after-effect,” says Barry Staw, a researcher at the University of California–Berkeley business school who specializes in creativity.

Staw says most people are risk-averse. He refers to them as satisfiers. “As much as we celebrate independence in Western cultures, there is an awful lot of pressure to conform,” he says. Satisfiers avoid stirring things up, even if it means forsaking the truth or rejecting a good idea.

Even people who say they are looking for creativity react negatively to creative ideas, as demonstrated in a 2011 study from the University of Pennsylvania. Uncertainty is an inherent part of new ideas, and it’s also something that most people would do almost anything to avoid. People’s partiality toward certainty biases them against creative ideas and can interfere with their ability to even recognize creative ideas.

To say that this is spectacularly non-adaptive to the local cultural conditions *there* is – not that it’s even all that adapted to modern human culture vis-a-vis plains ape tribes – perhaps, an understatement of only moderately lesser magnitude than saying that our physiology is somewhat non-adaptive to skinny-dipping on Titan.

“You wake up. Your house has been moved overnight to another town. That, at least, you were expecting. What you weren’t expecting is that the new town is built entirely within groves of bioengineered trees, and you already have an e-mail from the Architectural Aesthetics Encouragement Circle and Neighborly Greetings Committee asking if you’re staying long. But, hey, they attached welcome cookies! Nom. Your next e-mail is from your accountant, apologizing for not being able to get back to you sooner due to being at a convention. You spend first breakfast trying to decide if you’re more surprised to learn that your accountant is a space whale who lives in the solar corona, or that your accountant practices her profession as a hobby, being a millionaire six times over from her licensed fan-genomes for the fictional pets of small, equally fictional magical equines.”

It’s now half an hour into your waking week, and you have absolutely no reason to believe that the rest of it will be any less… interesting, or at any lesser rate.

If you weren’t born and raised with the understanding that conformity is some sort of bizarre mental illness of the psychotically dull (probably hyponeiria, but hey, we have an entire DSM of these things) – well, you’ve got to learn to love surfing on the chaos. Or it will drive you nuts.

(Those looking to obtain the full collection of situational stress disorders may try also going nuts from the way that everything is nonetheless perfectly orderly – with perfectly intersecting automated traffic and shiningly pristine streets and so forth – at the same time that it’s utterly anarchic. The cognitive dissonance has been known to confuse the hell out of visitors, which in turn confuses it out of the locals, who can only say “Well, y’know, anarchy isn’t chaos,” as if it was the most obvious thing anyone’s ever said in the entire history of obviosity.

It never helps.)

Which is not to say that only risk-insensitive NT-dominant extremely neophiles need apply, of course – just that it appeals to a set of personality types that are skewed very much off the standard human baseline.


Trope-a-Day: What You Are In The Dark

What You Are In The Dark: Teir (honor, in the Eldraeic sense) and the Code of Alphas are very, very clear on this point.  Honor is not face or reputation; they are not honor.  They are nice rewards for it, but you should throw them away unquestioningly if the necessity to choose between them comes up.  It doesn’t matter if no-one else will know; you can never escape knowing, and by knowing, being.  (And even if you redact your memory afterwards, you’ll always know that there’s something you couldn’t know.)

Trope-a-Day: What Measure Is A Non Super

What Measure Is A Non Super: (now merged with Muggle Power) Technically, by the letter of the Universal Accord on Sophont Rights, every sophont from the humble baseline to the most transcendent of the Powers and Potentialities has an identical set of rights.  Sure, the latter has much more scope within which to exercise them, but they are equally protected from infringement.

Not all, however, of the postsophont Powers & Potentialities (say, the hegemonizing Leviathan Consciousness) are friendly and agreeable on that point; and even mere transsophonts, if ethically challenged, can develop something of an attitude regarding all these wretched untermenschen.  These are the ones who make up a respectable fraction of Renegades and Renegade-equivalents.

Trope-a-Day: What A Piece Of Junk

What A Piece Of Junk: Subverted.  While there are lots of near-obsolete or actually obsolete ships plying the spacelanes, the state of modern technology especially in the nano-self-repair field means that the Worlds’ equivalents to the Firefly­-class tramp freighter, for example – which are every bit as cheap and now-antiquated as their analog – are still a bunch of Shiny Looking Spaceships that could’ve just rolled off the production line, if they’ve got mechanics even half as awake as Kaylee Frye.  (If they have one that’s actually as good, they fly like it, but they can’t help looking like they should, too.)

Honestly, you should be more worried about all the prototypes out there, including all the prototype modifications made by engineers who are almost as clever as they think they are.

The Importance of Murdering Gods

Jade Nekotenshi asks:

So, I was reading Meditations on Moloch, by Scott Alexander (http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/07/30/meditations-on-moloch/), and I couldn’t help but notice the parallels between his Elua and the Eldraeic Transcend.

Is that why the Transcend came to be, to vanquish Moloch, as it were? It certainly seems like, at least at its core, the Empire has largely managed to contain the destructive consequences of coordination problems.

(…you really want to read or have read that link before continuing.)

Well, after all, the whole project of civilization, in one respect or another, is to vanquish Moloch: the Empire as a whole – governance, businesses, branches and circles, COGs, reputation networks, obligators, markets, a million million sub-coordination mechanisms are all, to one extent or another, lights burning against the dark, each correcting every other.

As have been any number of arbitrarily selected projects to improve people, from education to biomodification to cyberization, in the interest of promoting better coordination per se and increased likelihood of same through increased tendencies to enlightened non-Molochian self-interest.

(Note, here, for example, that the fish-farming story given at II/3 in the post depends on the Steves and Mikes of the world making certain characteristic cognitive errors which are endemic among humans. Likewise the craziness that is Vegas, seen in III. The Citizen Eugenics Board has been working on deleting tendencies to make those sort of errors, et. al., from the eldraeic cognome for millennia.)

((It is also perhaps worth noting at this point that Elua, as conceived, represents the aggregated preferences and values of [baseline] humans, i.e., human nature. The Transcend doesn’t give a damn for “eldrae nature”, any more than mainstream eldraeic philosophy does, on the grounds that it’s probably as imperfect as the rest of the universe. It operates on the basis of the perfected ideal version of eldrae nature, what I suppose we might as well call angelic nature, which two will eventually converge over time as the grand process of personal and cultural self-improvement advances.))

But the Transcend is, in some of its parts, a very high level of expression of this tendency and so you are entirely correct to identify it as such. It’s an impossible circle-squarer – which is to say, by creating a collective-consciousness superorganism that manages to be one mind and a trillion minds simultaneously, with perfect information for all, it exists to deliver perfect liberty and perfect coordination at the same time, and therefore destroy Moloch.

Or at least as close an asymptotic approach to that exalted state as an ever-growing Cirys swarm of computational elements can deliver.

But that’s the short and medium-term plan. In the long-term, destroying Moloch alone isn’t enough: the plan there is to do away Moloch’s daddy, Gnon – which the Flamics call Entropy – because the perversity of any given evolved-sophont system is a mere subset of the perversity of what is, at base, a fundamentally broken universe.

And this is where I switch to Destiny metaphors.

The Transcend is, like the Traveler, a gardener. It “builds gentle places, safe for life”. It “builds new life, against the onset of ruin, towards a gentle world”. It architects laws of conduct, elegant dances of civilization. It spreads order, peace, harmony, and progress. Enlightenment. Love.

This is all true. This is the nature of their iteration of Elua. But it is not complete.

Because, insofar as it possible to comprehend its long-term plans, the Transcend also shares the ambition of the Vex. Its long-term plan is to understand everything and, to steal a perfectly cromulent phrase, build an emperor for all outcomes – and thereby to transcend physicality and overwrite itself on the informational substrate of the universe, becoming an inseparable property of the universe.

When perfect liberty and perfect coordination become fundamental to reality, superordinate to mere physical law – when Moloch and Gnon have been utterly extirpated as defective and obsolescent functions – and every quantum moves in accordance with Transcendent values…

…perfection will have been achieved.

And that alone is sufficient victory.

Trope-a-Day: We Will Spend Credits in the Future

We Will Spend Credits in the Future: While somewhat played straight out towards the Rim Free Zone with its ergcred, a currency whose name is never abbreviated at the front, for the most part we will spend exvals in the future.  (See: Global Currency).

This may have something to do with the way that those proposing currencies named “credit” were, somehow, all accidentally lynched by rampaging mobs of accountants who knew exactly where this would end up. Like the trope example says:

“So as you can see, on 10 June we credited 35 credits to your line of credit and debited 7 credits from your debit card. Then we debited 8 credits from your line of credit and credited 14 credits to your debit account.”


Not-a-Fic-a-Day: Securing Security

Remember my last not-a-fic-a-day?

Well, it’s happening again with the world’s latest aggravation, so here, have some less than subtle fictional commentary on that.


From: Metropolitan Security Bureau, United Viridian States

Subject: Isinglass secure dataplaque
I.4 series B
Issue: Court order received by us requiring creation of decryption tool
Priority: Urgent


Ref: Case 411187 (“Request to decrypt user data”)


Customer’s government requested decryption of contents of Isinglass model I.4 secure dataplaque, serial number B1117-1.4-311246, pursuant to a local legal case (see referenced case 411187). As this is not technically possible and against corporate customer data protection policy, standard brush-off sent.


We have at this time received a copy of your court order dated 7123-04-02 requiring us to create and deliver a decryption tool capable of replacing the security firmware on Isinglass model I.4 secure dataplaque serial B1117-1.4-311246.

We have the honor to inform you that since so doing would be a clear violation of our corporate customer data protection policy, which is a contractual matter, we must adamantly refuse to do so at this or any other time.

For the avoidance of doubt, however, we also ask you to be advised that we are in any case incapable of creating such a tool. By design, the security firmware of the Isinglass and other secure terminal equipment, along with all cryptographic keys and other data required by said security firmware, resides within a dedicated (“Secure Enclave”) nanocirc, designed not to permit external update, and enclosed in quantum security mesh which will cause immediate hardware self-destruction if the nanocirc shell is penetrated by any device or other instrumentality capable of modification or observation.

(Updates to the security firmware require physical replacement of the dedicated nanocirc which, consequentially, replaces all cryptographic keys and therefore renders unreadable all data stored on the device unless it has previously been transferred to another device under the control of the previous firmware.)

This design, you will note, was specifically chosen to prevent any of our engineers as individuals, or Aleph Null Systems as a corporate entity, from being coerced into bypassing our customers’ security or creating a tool with which this can be done.

Will ye, nil ye, we can offer you nothing but a petabyte of scrambled bits.

Giljen Diasteros
Senior Security Engineer, Aleph Null Systems


Per standing company policy, since a court order is involved, forwarded to the Legal Division.

Per special company policy SD/412: Coercive Sovereign Liability Management, also forwarded to the Security Division, copy to the Counterforce Liasion Office.

– gd/SSE



Trope-a-Day: We Will Not Use Photoshop in the Future

We Will Not Use Photoshop in the Future: Oh, we definitely will, and we will also virtually film as-real-as-life virtual reality, too, just to make life more fun.  But to nod in the direction of what nobody ever seems to not add, there’s a reason why all security cameras, most lifelogs, and a lot of other devices that record video automatically geotag, device-certify and cryptosign everything, and this is it.

Similar precautions, of course, in this sophotechnological future are needed for reliable memory.

Braking Without Breaking

“Your attention please, gentlesophs and adjuncts; Flight Commander Aimne speaking. In twelve minutes time, we shall commence our deceleration burn to enter Talentar orbit and make rendezvous with Avétal High Port.

“As you may know, the Wanderer Station cycler intercepts Talentar orbit at high transit velocity, and as such making orbit requires a substantial velocity change. Our flight plan therefore mandates that we decelerate at six standard gravities.

“At this time, therefore, please ensure that your acceleration couches are facing full for’ard, upright, and locked. Any loose objects may become dangerous projectiles under thrust; please ensure that any such are stowed. For your comfort and safety, we advise that you remove any objects – especially if heavy or possessed of hard edges or corners – from your front, or upper, pockets, and stow them in the g-safe container provided. If you have a full bladder, you should empty it before the burn commences. If you are not familiar with acceleration couch procedure, this would be an excellent opportunity to study the provided reference data. Any passengers with special medical requirements for high-gravity maneuvers should make themselves known to the purser without delay.

“The thrust alarm will sound one minute before burn commences. Please ensure that you are in your acceleration couch, with restraints fastened, at that time. For your comfort, check that clothing beneath you is smooth and wrinkle-free; minor discomfort is greatly amplified under thrust. Your arms should be resting on the provided rests; do not cross them or place them in your lap. Check that your headrest is properly adjusted and place your head in contact with it, without turning it to either side. Remember that even a short drop at six gravities may cause serious injury. Do not attempt to release your restraints or move about the cabin while the burn is in progress; even if you are able to do so, such activities endanger your fellow passengers.

“If it is necessary to interrupt the deceleration burn for any reason, it may resume at any time without warning, or unanticipated attitude corrections may be required. For this reason, again, please do not release your restraints or leave your acceleration couch until I have announced the end of the maneuver.

“The current temperature on Avétal is 214 absolute, and the vacuum is hard out today. On behalf of the company and the other members of the crew, thank you for flying Amphiplanetary.”


Trope-a-Day: We Will Not Have Pockets in the Future

We Will Not Have Pockets in the Future: As mentioned in Waistcoat of Style, both sexes wear waistcoats simply to provide adequate pocket space for their collection of little gadgets for this and that and the other thing.  So, averted to the point that there’s actually a specific garment to provide the future-pockets.

Fleet Communications

A commenter raises an interesting point with regard to fleet communications, which as we have seen in various places, tend to look like this:






…to wit:

One thing about these: while I understand the stylistic motivation of using all-caps (reminiscing to WW2-era (and later) communiqués, in Isif’s world, that makes no real sense. In WW2, the all-caps was a result of having no distinct-case (and some bright chap thinking it was better to have all-caps, even if they are a lot harder to read).

I do not have a ready solution to carry the “fleet communiqué” vibe easily, but I think just the rest of the format (headers, enumeration, the “Ends.” trailer) would be good enough™.

Well, here’s the reasoning behind it. But first, I will note that not all communication to and from fleet vessels looks like this. We also see some that comes over more normal channels, which looks like this:

From: Executor Major Garren Melithos, Uulder Shore Constellation Adhoc, Imperial Exploratory Service
To: Cmdr. Leda Estenv, Flight Administrator, CS Iron Dragon
Subject: Checking up

Your Mr. Sarathos is shaping up as well as can be expected here after his transfer. Per his request, we put him to work on the hush-hush clean-up of Ekritat’s atmosphere after his oops, and he’s doing a good job there so far. Chastened, but competent.

My colleagues have some similar projects lined up for him after this. If all goes well, we might just manage to salvage him and his career.


…so what’s the difference and why the stylistic change?


The latter is just plain old extranet e-mail, sent out over SCP (Secure Courier Protocol), and which works the same way as any other e-mail, which is to say while rather more complicated than ours (involving the use of presence servers to first link name to location, and then routing protocols to link location-of-mobile-subnet – which is to say, starship – to current-network-location), is nothing special and can transmit arbitrary formatted data. It’s routed at standard-traffic priority, being routed over light-speed links between stargates until it gets to its destination system, then over laser tightbeam between relay stations and finally to the starship’s own receiver. Since it’s going to a military destination address, the protocol probably coerces the notrace, noloc, and deepcrypto bits on, but yet.

The former, on the other hand, is an action message, being sent over the Navy’s own GLASS PICCOLO system, which piggybacks on the extranet for some routing purposes but doesn’t use standard protocols. That’s because it’s optimized for speed, security, distribution without presence servers if need be (for starships running in communications silence), etc., but most of all minimal size, because the GLASS PICCOLO system uses the IN’s private tangle channel backbone wherever it can appropriately do so for speed, but once a tanglebit has been used in communications, that tanglebit is gone forever. It can’t be reused, only replaced. And if you’re coordinating a war, you don’t want to find yourself running out of tanglebits to do it with.

So it does have some relevant constraints. Not so much lack of distinct case – think of it more like the ELF communications the US Navy used to use, except the constraint is not speed of transmission, it’s the potential permanent consumption of the transmission medium.

GLASS PICCOLO messages are converted into five-letteral code-groups – which is why the language in them tends to be stilted, because you aren’t reading what anyone actually wrote, you’re reading the computer transliteration of the code-groups – signed, compressed, encrypted to the recipient key, and squirted out on the GP network as a single-packet datablip. The recipient’s communication computers reverse the process.

All of which is to say: it’s a deliberate stylistic choice, yes, but the reason I’m invoking those very different-looking historical communication formats is to suggest to the reader that these messages indeed ain’t like those messages.

(One side note: it’s not a matter of lacking distinct case, I append for those who aren’t keen minutiae-watchers, because none of the three major Eldraeic alphabets – runic, pen, or brush-optimized – actually have a concept of letter case. Which of the alphabets either of the above would be displayed in depends on the personal UI customization of the comms officer reading them.

There might be a tendency for slight runic to predominate, since as its hexagon-based letterals and numerals are all identical in size, it was the alphabet used by the people who designed the original fixed-width computer terminals and predecessor devices, but everyone *there* has had a WYSIWYG system for more years than humanity’s had writing, these days…

But from a Doylist perspective, all-caps makes a convenient Translation Convention.)


Trope-a-Day: We Will Have Perfect Health In The Future

We Will Have Perfect Health In The Future: Seeing as the top level of medical treatment in the advanced civilizations is to replace your body with a brand new one, fresh out of the tanks and still with that new flesh smell… played very straight.

Somewhat subverted inasmuch as regular medical technology (genetic engineering, artificial immune systems, healing vats, nanosurgeons, etc., etc.) makes it rather more efficient just to stay there and fix the current one than move for minor illnesses, but then, being able to spray a nanofluid up your nose and have your respiratory infection vanish in under an hour is close enough to perfect health for most purposes.  (This, of course, only being necessary in the case when you’ve managed to contract something genuinely new, or else failed to keep up with the service packs for your artificial immune system.)

Trope-a-Day: Wetware Body

Wetware Body: Bioshells, when inhabited by digisapiences.  No more difficult than the opposite, or indeed putting biosapient minds in them, or digisapiences in cybershells.  Also, not known for any side effects; a digisapience in a bioshell is no more emotional than it would have been anyway, although it may take them some time to get used to bodily sensations.

Early Days

“You’re adorable.”

Her laughter rang through the bridge like the tinkle of ice on silver bells.

“You worked so hard on that speech. I can tell. And you’ve been putting so much effort into trying to get it right. You’ve been cleansing populations left and right, and enslaving your subjects, and torturing, raping and slaughtering your way across half a continent. You’ve broken just about all the rules of civilized warfare, all while screaming to the heavens about your inevitable victory and your love of dying for it. And now you’re going to start burning people alive if we don’t break orbit immediately? Someone has been studying the ways to look and feel like terrifying, ruthless, unstoppable badasses… from second-rate cliché-ridden watchvids.”

“And yet here I am, and it turns out I don’t have to feel anything at all to depress this one… little… switch.”

– from the bridge logs of CS Inclement,
Lt. Cdr. Caliéne Sargas-ith-Sargas commanding

Trope-a-Day: Weird Trade Union

Weird Trade Union: As is to be expected for a Privately Owned Society, the Empire has associations for everything. The Accidental Sapience League, The Belter Work and Welfare Association, the Board of Merchane Propriety, the Council of Forthright Tongues, the Edifacient Sodality of Bakers and Pastrywrights, the Fellowship of Natural Philosophy, the Free Minors’ Eleemosynary COG, the Functionality of Mechanicians and Clockwork Engineers, the Guild of Formal Obligation, the Heralds of the Glorious Atom, the Invisible Exchequer, the Orderly Amalgam of Farspeakers, Senders, and Learned Scriveners, the Society of the Ivory Flower, the Windrider’s Fellowship… and thousands of others.

Of course, none of these are actual trade unions.  Fraternities, mutual-assistance and benevolent associations, professional bodies, standards-setters, qualification-issuers and old-sophs’ networks, yes, absolutely, but the attempt to cartelize the supply of any good or service, labor included, is one of those things upon which the Market Liberty Oversight Directorate frowns very hard indeed.

If you’re lucky, they’ll send someone around to break your legs.  If you’re unlucky, they’ll send someone around to audit you, and the resulting externality-correction fine will make you wish they’d just sent someone around to break your legs.


Darkness Within (23): Ping

ping ping ping ping ping

Grid minus two, plus eleven. Negative ping response.

This is taking too long. It’s been almost two of my three hours. And so far…

ping ping ping ping ping

Grid minus one, plus eleven. Negative ping response.

…no sign of the cutter. Just some small scraps, nothing big enough by half. Now…

ping ping ping PING ping

Grid zero, plus eleven. Positive ping response. Profiling.

…maybe? Ah, crap. It’s clean, but it’s tiny. Can’t be any more than a toolbox.

ping ping ping ping ping

Grid plus one, plus eleven. Negative ping response.

So be it. Five minutes. Then I make for the aft…

ping ping ping ping ping

Grid plus two, plus eleven. Negative ping response.

…section. No delays, Isif. No more scanning. Just make the run you can.

ping PING PING PING ping

Grid plus three, plus eleven, positive ping response and — void gods’ imperceptible excrement! Thirty by eight, cylindrical profile! That’s the damn cutter!

navmod<- !gyrospin exec (spotter::current)

I’m coming for you.


Questions: Identity

Some identity questions from Specialist290:

We all know by now the contempt with which a good citizen-shareholder regards the continuity theory of identity,

For new readers not familiar with the Eldraeverse status quo and thus who might not know by now, the dominant theory of identity in the technologically advanced parts of the Worlds is Moravecian pattern identity theory, which the locals would sum up thus:

“‘I’ am the equivalence class of all sufficiently ‘me’-like processes.”

– Fundamentals of Sophotechnology

Continuity identity theory (i.e., that identity depends on continuity of consciousness) is by and large disdained because empiricism kicked it repeatedly in the head as neurology, cognitive science, and eventually noetics and sophotechnology developed. If none of sleep, comas natural and induced, major seizure disorders (which disrupt all electrical activity in the brain, personality and consciousness included), transcranial magnetic suspension of consciousness, or being cryonically frozen down to meatglass half a degree above absolute zero, then thawed out and woken up again break your continuity sufficiently to stop you being you… well, thus they refute it.

but as far as the consensus of those who give serious thought to such matters goes, how does mainstream Imperial philosophy view the other two extreme points on the personal identity triangle:

1. The idea that there is no such thing as a substantive, continuous identity at all, but only a series of momentary perceptions that are constantly destroyed and regenerated moment-to-moment, and that there is no identity that exists in “the present” because the brain can only compute events and perceptions that occurred in its subjective past; and

I suspect the mainstream view there is simply that it’s a category error – the equivalent of looking at a film and saying “there are only individual frames”, or looking at an object and saying “there is no object, all there are are atoms”. Or possibly looking at a drawing of a three-sided figure, and after observing the paper and the graphite marks on it, demanding to be shown which part of it the triangle is.

“Fix your reference frame”, in short.

2. The idea that the only necessary and sufficient cause for a sophont’s identity is the mechanism of sophonce itself, as all other possible determinants of a personality can be reproduced outside of a sophont mind, thus making the statement “There is only one numerically identical person, who is all sophonts in all places and at all times” true?

That one’s harder to refute inasmuch as no-one has yet – despite their best efforts – figured out how logoi (personality organization algorithms) actually work, even if they can grow them from seeds (at which point they tend to be unique). It is rendered even more complicated a question because logoi are non-deterministic algorithms, and executing a mathematically identical logos twice may and probably will produce different results.

(Here’s the really wacky thing. That’s not a property of the substrate. That’s a property of the mathematics. It doesn’t matter how you execute the logos or what you execute it on, certain operations will always produce non-deterministic results. Philosophers there tend to assume this is a product of whatever piece of fractal intricacy spawns volition and paracausality and other interestingly bizarre properties of the sophont mind, and then argue endlessly over the details because it turns out that describing it in noetic math is within delta of infinitely easier than explaining what it actually means.

Whether or not there is an identical mechanism for sophoncy buried inside all of them or not, and for that matter whether or not any of the things currently considered part of the logos can be reduced to conventional deterministic algorithms in the same way that the rest of the mind can, in the absence of Research Not Appearing In This Book, be left as an exercise for the late night dorm bull session of choice.)

That being said, the man on the street would probably point out that just because you can reproduce an alternator outside a car doesn’t mean that the car no longer includes the alternator… and a mind-state stripped all the way down to a logos won’t even run.

Additionally, are (or were) there any notable polities, creeds, or other associations that hold (or held) views close to these extremes in the Associated Worlds?

Not yet, canonically. Although I can see the latter spawning any number of wacky religious movements along the way.

(Continuity identity is probably the second most common – found among more backward civilizations, appealing as it does to pre-sophotech primitives because it matches their intuitions about how things work.)


Of Interest: Starfighter Inc.

Seen in the referrers, some kind words said here about The Iron Concord.

Ordinarily, I wouldn’t link to such things simply to flatter myself – oh, who am I kidding, of course I would – but in this case I’m doing so because in the course of checking out said referrers I have learned about Starfighter Inc., a “hard-science driven, zero-g experience where players can spin, tumble and strafe their way through a gritty frontier universe” that I had somehow previously missed hearing about, which may well be of interest to readers here.

(And since the lead designer, the sayer of said words above, also did mission and story design for the very well regarded X-Wing series, I for one will be keeping an interested eye upon it.)