Trope-a-Day: Data Pad

Data Pad: The slate, a once ubiquitous accessory before the advent of the fob terminal, the wearable, and the neural lace, and still quite common because it’s useful to pass data around (of course, smart paper does just as well for this, but…). Also, people kind of like working with their hands.

Also note that this is a way to share one or more documents on one person’s device among multiple people having a coffee together, not a stack of one-document-per-device data pads ending up in in-trays, this not being Star Trek:

picard-padds

Seriously, this is the dumbest thing ever committed in television SF. Except possibly the baryon sweep, or the temperatures a couple of hundred degrees below absolute zero, or the cutting of holes in an event horizon, or… well, okay, those were all bad science. This is just total fail of common sense.

Incursion (1/3)

FROM: BORDERLINE DEFENSE MATRIX (107 – CHARACH)
RECEIVED AT: BORDERLINE DEFENSE MATRIX COMMAND
RELAY TO: CINCSPIN (CS LIBERTY’S PRICE)

***** EXPEDIENT
***** FLEET CONFIDENTIAL E256
***** SITREP

INCURSION INCURSION

TRANSIT DETECTED REPEAT TRANSIT DETECTED SIGNIFICANTLY EXCEEDING TREATY PARAMETERS AT REPUBLIC GATE, CHARACH SYSTEM.

ESTIMATED TASK FORCE STRENGTH INCLUDES 8 SHIPS OF THE PLANE AND MULTIPLE SUPPORT VESSELS, INCLUDING MULTIPLE CIVILIAN PASSENGER TRANSPORTS AND FREIGHTERS.

ANOMALY DETECTED: TASK FORCE HAS ACTIVE TRANSPONDERS. THESE TRANSPONDERS IDENTIFY THE MILITARY COMPONENT AS KNOWN REPUBLIC NAVY VESSELS, CONFIRMED BY PROFILE DATA, BUT DO NOT IDENTIFY THEM AS UNITS OF THE REPUBLIC NAVY.

TASK FORCE IS PROCEEDING ON COURSE FOR VISARL (VANGUARD REACHES) STARGATE, ESTIMATED INTERCEPT IN 14 HOURS.

MORE FOLLOWS.

AUTHENTICATION HATRACK RATCATCHER GALLANT FLARE BISCUIT LINELAYER / 0xCEEE8273B231AA04

 

All My Base Are Belong To You

Numeric base, that is.

So far, for the most part, I have been handling this via Translation Convention, since exactitude has not been of crucial importance, and expecting people who care about such things to pick up that for a people who use duodecimal (base-12) notation, a century is naturally 144 years, a millennium 1,728, etc., etc.

This has been seeming to me increasingly inadequate, given potential and real confusion when I talk about lengths of time, etc., using my authorial voice rather than in-character, as well as differences between metaphorical and literal usages, and so on and so forth.

Where it has now broken down completely is in writing a piece involving people using two different number bases, in which an duodecimal millennium (1,728 years) and an octal millennium (512 years) aren’t even close to the same thing, and neither, for that matter, is particularly close to a decimal millennium. That’s stretching it even for metaphorical purposes.

And I would prefer not to just start dropping numbers in untranslated Eldraeic, etc., into the text, because that’s something that has no correspondence or roots at all for the English-speaking reader to figure out.

So I’m thinking of coining some new English words for use in an updated Translation Convention, such that things can be made clear. Or at least consistent.

Power Decimal Duodecimal Octal
x1 ten dodectave (12) octave (8)
x2 hundred dodecen (144) octcen (64)
x3 thousand dodeciad (1,728) octiad (512)
x6 million grand dodeciad (2,985,984) grand octiad (262,144)

(I’m not using “dozen” for 12 in duodecimal because I suspect that that would lead people to believe that they’re counting by twelves in base ten, which is misleading. Much the same reasoning applies to “gross” for 144, and also that “grossury” as a period of time sounds like a place you buy unpleasant food.

Instead, for time, we have the “dodecentury” and the “dodecennium”, which should parse better and are at least reasonably euphonious.)

Naturally, there’ll be footnotes and a numeric appendix in published works for those encountering these coinages for the first time.

Comments and thoughts, anyone?

 

Questions: On the Nature of the Transcend

The current set of questions I have to answer is on various aspects of the Eldraeic Transcend. These are, I think it is necessary to say, complicated for metaphysical and/or ontological reasons all tied up with the nature of Transcendent soul hierarchies.

Specifically, the manner in which a singular collective consciousness is yet and at the same time a multilayered cooperative of archai (its high-level routines: all eikones are archai, but not all archai are eikones – there are others, like Unification and the Virtual Immunity) and simpler artificially-intelligent routines (such as the exarchs), a churning soul-ocean of teleological threads, and most importantly the collective of all the soul-shards (or, to use the technical term, entelechically-annealing recursively-optimal distributed logos bridges) existing as part of the mind of every one of the Transcend’s constitutionals.

One of the most notable consequences of this is that the Transcend is everybody and everybody is the Transcend in a very real and significant sense.

So:

What, exactly, is its legal status in practical terms? Does it count as a natural or legal person in its own right?

What, exactly, is the legal status of the eikones within it? Do they count as persons separate from the Transcend as a whole?

In a word, unique.

It has a legal personality. In fact, strictly speaking, it has several dozen legal personalities corresponding to different parts of its soul hierarchy. They all count as legal persons for administrative purposes – but those legal personalities are more or less tailored to the specific requirements of the entity in question.

Are they “citizen-shareholders” of the Empire itself and thus subject to the same (admittedly relatively loose) legal restrictions, or does their contract with their followers and with the Empire (perhaps through the mediation of the Imperial Couple) follow a different scheme?

In a manner of speaking.

On one hand, neither the archai nor the Core are citizen-shareholders in a technical sense, inasmuch as they aren’t that kind of legal entity. On the other hand, they are effectively so, because they are made of/participate in their constitutionals, who all are citizen-shareholders. On the gripping hand, their relationship with their constitutionals is governed by a different scheme inasmuch as they are part of them and vice versa, and the Contract doesn’t presume to interfere between a soph and a soph’s mind.

Is the Transcend considered an integral part of the Empire, or is it a separate entity whose respective coadunates happen to have a high degree of overlap? Or maybe something in the middle?

Technically, it’s a mostly separate entity (give or take certain minor provisions in the Twelfth Amendment); in practice, people tend to think of them as the same, because 98+% of Imperial citizen-shareholders – with most of the exception being zeroth-generation immigrants – are also Transcendent constitutionals. (What it offers is exceptionally desirable especially when you’re the one person in the neighborhood who doesn’t have it.)

It is a one-way relation, though: all Transcendent constitutionals are Imperial citizen-shareholders, even though not all citizen-shareholders are necessarily constitutionals. That is a deliberate choice on the Transcend’s part: a key part of its mission statement is perfect liberty with perfect coordination, and it would be counterproductive in that respect to create a situation which parts of itself might be at allegial conflict with other parts.

Do the “sophont thought-forms” it generates in its normal operation count as separate people in their own right?

Strictly speaking, yes. They aren’t recognized persons, however, even though an unusual kind of natural persons, unless they apply for recognition as such (in the same way as any AI not created as sophont can do should it “wake up” and develop a logos). Most do not: they are unusual sophonts, being after all thoughts, and most are as such pretty ephemeral, and even the ones who aren’t are very peculiar and focused sophonts to whom it would never occur to do so.

(Technically, the eikones are examples of sophont thought-forms, or strictly speaking, sophont memeplexes.)

Who / what owns the core infrastructure it runs on?

It does, mostly, one way or another. The core at Coricál is owned directly, as are the synapse moons, unity spires, and thought-forests. The brains and exoself hardware of its constitutionals are, of course, owned by those constitutionals – which in turn, metaphysics being what it is, means that it also owned by the Transcend, and vice versa.

It also buys a lot of bandwidth from Bright Shadow and a lot of processing power on the cycle spot market, which infrastructure is owned by its providers.

 

Trope-a-Day: Creating Life is Awesome

Creating Life is Awesome: …do you really have to ask?

Of course creating life, and sophoncy, and sophont life is awesome! It’s the perfect blend of science, art, unfettered seizing of the power of the gods themselves, and kicking entropy recursively in the wing-nuts by creating an ordered order-creator! What could be awesomer! (…yet.)

Just remember, you’re creating living beings and children, not tools – these aren’t bioroids, for example – and minions. We have, um, certain ethical rules (the Prime Rule of Genesis: “You have the right to be created by a creator acting under what that creator regards as a high purpose.”) and laws about that (see Article XIV, for example) – although, one notes, there remains absolutely nothing unethical about the act of creation itself, as long as one’s motives are sufficiently pure.

(Yes, For Science! qualifies as both a high purpose and a pure motive for these purposes.)