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.