May Contain Nuts

Cydon’s Cyborg Cuisine

A restaurant chain catering specifically to those with unusually energy-hungry augmentations without external power sources, Cydon’s Cyborg Cuisine (CCC) provides a dizzying selection of dishes across several Imperial cuisines designed specifically for their, or rather their fuel cells’, special requirements.

That is to say, CCC’s back-end chefs and nutritionists have found a way to pack close to the theoretical maximum quantity of fats and simple sugars into each mouthful, while still leaving the food tasty and suitable for semi-regular consumption, unlike more typical offerings to this market, such as Biogenesis’s Proven-Potency Power Paste, Steeleye Labs’ high-erg fuel bars, or even Peregrinate’s Minty Sugar Slab. Sorry, guys!

All of the food available at CCC is vat-grown or synthetic, of course, but such is to be expected when nature simply cannot pack that much energy into a bite.

Finally, while it is company policy not to question the details – or for that matter existence – of customers’ augmentations, those closer to baseline accompanying their cyborg friends to CCC are strongly urged to confine themselves to the Lily-Livered side menu.

Eating CCC’s regular offerings without both an augmented digestive system suitable to process them and the sort of augmentations they are intended to power has been observed to have side effects including but not limited to acute gastrointestinal distress, angina, atherosclerosis, cerebrovascular insult, cholelithiasis, diabetes, diarrhea, generalized steatosis, hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, jaundice, myocardial infarction, pancreatitis, steatohepatitis, and death. A waiver is included with each meal.

– Restaurant Review, from the Mer Covales Advertiser

Not Even Wrong

There are those, in the field of biotechnological and medical ethics, who class anagathics as dangerous and addictive, inasmuch as ceasing to take your life-extension drugs results in a plethora of aging-related side-effects, followed by death.

The absurdity of this position and the farcical nature of its enforcement naturally ensure that it is a common state of legal affairs across the Expansion Regions.

– 6200 Annual Report, Riverside Eubiosis Foundation, ICC

Things to See, Places (Not) To Go (14)

Jarnobu (Torch Radiant): While the system is controlled by the League of Meridian, Jarnobu is not counted among their 83 member worlds.

At first, this might seem puzzling, inasmuch as Jarnobu proper is a garden world eminently suitable to hosting sefir life, with a mild climate and a biosphere which is unusually compatible, biochemically speaking, with the sefir and their commensal species – to the point that native foods are edible without extensive preparation.

However, in a cruel twist of irony, it is this very biochemical compatibility that makes Jarnobu a unique form of sucker bait. While the native flora and fauna is certainly edible, it is also saturated with compounds which serve as potent euphoric and psychoactive drugs on sophonts with sefir-style nervous systems, many of which survive long enough ex vivo to be a constant low-level presence in the planet’s air and water.

Thus, Jarnobu does not resemble a traditional failed colony world, appearing to be a pleasant, low-technology, pastoral world – if one populated by people with a marked tendency to grin all the time, giggle at the slightest provocation, stare in fascination at their own appendages, and on occasion, fall over. Nonetheless, it is classified as one by the League.

No regular passenger or freight service calls at Jarnobu, and even visits by tramp traders are rare. (The world has no starport facilities beyond areas of cleared ground and landing beacons.) However, orbital scans show numerous abandoned junker hulks and homesteader pods on the planetary surface, regular immigration by means of which is presumably responsible for maintaining the planet’s population and technology.

Unusually, there have been few long-lasting attempts to export Jarnobun drugs to other worlds, and those which have persisted have been run by non-sefir syndicates. It appears that the difficulty of maintaining long-term chemical isolation in an environment where a seal failure will directly lead to precisely the kind of carelessness apt to induce a cascade has discouraged all but the most persistent.

Another View From Outside

Some comments excerpted from an early edition of “The Lonely Galaxy® Unofficial Guide to Working with the Empire’s People”:

General

  • Augmentation is a way of life in Imperial space, and there are probably millions of different augmentations on the market. Do not rely on knowing what one of them ought to be able to do; be sure about what that one is able to do before you throw out a challenge.
  • Death: they don’t. They find it very silly that you do. Do not get into this argument.
  • Death: do not lose, bury, or incinerate that little marble. That contains their most recent backup, and you will not be popular if you make them use a cold backup instead. Treating the restored backup as a different person will also not go over well, and these people treat philosophy as a combat discipline.
  • Don’t take them to the fixed-price all-you-can-eat buffet. All those augmentations take energy, and that comes from food, and you are definitely underestimating how much all they can eat is.

    This also applies to open bars.
  • Every Imperial has a high-powered quantum computational device optimized for an information-dense society in their head. Try not to be alarmed if they accidentally decrypt all your secure networks by accident. For them, this is the equivalent of accidentally reading a sign when looking at it. It’s very difficult not to do.
  • They will be armed, which they think is something all good neighbors do. Do not attempt to take their weapons away. At best this will be taken as a personal insult, and not a reason to hurt you.

    Don’t attempt to hint at them making you uncomfortable, either, or you might be inviting a race to see just how far the definition of “sidearm” can be stretched.

    Historical evidence suggests that it’s a long damn way.

Ciseflish

  • Don’t attempt anything tricky when writing a contract with a ciseflish. Trade is their life, and they’ve seen it all. They will walk right through your own carefully-hidden loophole, then celebrate over drinks you weren’t expecting to have paid for.
  • Never, ever gamble with a ciseflish unless you’re prepared to lose everything you bring to the table. The little guys are basically magic when it comes to memory, probability, and anything else involving numbers.

Dar-Bandal

  • Don’t confuse them with their non-uplifted ancestors, the bandal. This isn’t a particularly easy mistake to make, since they’re larger, wear accessories, and talk, but it’s worth mentioning anyway since it’s also a particularly stupid mistake to make when dealing with a highly successful apex predator’s smarter cousin.
  • If you’re not convinced yet of how stupid that mistake would be to make, these were highly successful apex predators who, post-uplift, are also one of the most socially adept species in the galaxy. Two words: social predators.

    Give them enough reason to be furious, and even hitherto uncontacted species in the Ancíël Clouds will giggle when they see you walk by.

Eldrae

  • All Imperials are prickly to one degree or another about trespasses on their person, property, or reputation, but the eldrae turn this up to thirteen. Avoid playful punches, don’t try a friendly insult, and for the love of sanity, ask before you touch their stuff.
  • They often travel with companion animals, called bandal. They will expect to be able to take them everywhere, and will not be happy if this is not permitted. The bandal themselves are usually friendly, and making friends with them is often a good way to make friends with their person. On the other hand, harming them, especially the young ones, is quite definitely a good way to bring down an entirely disproportionate reaction on your head. Be nice to the puppies.
  • If you are their manager, try to remember that you’re in charge. It may be hard to do in the face of unbounded self-assurance, but they will give you whatever is in the contract.

    Don’t micromanage. You contracted them to do a job, they believe, not to listen to your uninformed opinions about their profession. Basically, whatever they’re actually doing, imagine that you’re trying to teach your high-priced corporate lawyers how to lawyer, then don’t do it.
  • If you are their manager, remember that they don’t have to give you anything that isn’t in the contract. Requests outside its scope will be treated as “asking for a favor”, with reciprocation expected, and sticking your nose into their affairs outside the job will likely result in having it chopped off.

    (Metaphorically. For a first offense.)
  • They get bored quite easily. This boredom rapidly turns into either seeking new experiences, or tinkering with things. If you find yourself assigned as minder, escort, or guide to a visiting eldrae, make sure you have a lengthy list of approved activities lest they start making their own fun.

    If they are hired to work on equipment that belongs to you, make sure that it’s clear where the boundaries lie. The resulting improvements are usually beneficial, but it’s something of a surprise to take a day off and come back to find that your corporate network’s been completely redesigned just because your on-duty sysadmin had time to have a better idea.
  • What another species might turn into a sexual harassment case, they’ll turn into a knifing.

    Honestly, we can’t find it in ourselves to criticize this much.
  • Yes, they’re incredibly smug. It’s a racial trait. You aren’t going to be the one to change this.

Esseli

  • They will probably comment on various bits of your biology that could be improved, possibly while coming uncomfortably close to your personal space. They really can’t help it, but will usually back off after one or two reminders. If only because they find people who aren’t interested in their biological Art quite boring.
  • They are every bit as good at biotechnology as they think they are, and can probably deliver on whatever improvements they suggested. However, as their current form suggests, they have a great deal of trouble understanding why anyone might prefer retaining their current appearance instead of having the six awesome new organs they just dreamt up. Caveat emptor!

Galari

  • They absolutely are as serene as they look all the time, and simply will not seem as passionate, especially angry, as you think they ought to be about things. It probably comes from not having glands.

    This having been said: the galari love and hate as strongly as any other sophont – they just don’t become overly heated about it. Do not make the assumption that they aren’t wrathful just because they aren’t yelling at you about it, lest you find yourself on the wrong end of a calm, serene, and entirely cold-blooded destruction of everything that made itself sufficiently distasteful.

Kaeth

  • Don’t accept drinks from them, or get into a drinking contest with them, unless you know that your liver is rated for what you’re getting into and/or your incarnation coverage is paid up, preferably both. Kaeth booze hits the average liver like a toxin-carcinogen-acid cocktail garnished with ground glass, and on fire.
  • Don’t steal their lunch, obviously.

    But actually, don’t stand even next to their lunch. It is almost certainly poisonous. It is probably radioactive, and may be alive. All three is not off the table.
  • If a kaeth has a companion animal, it is quite likely to be an extremely dangerous large carnivore. Do not attempt to pet, feed, or stand close to Mister Snugglescales without checking first.

    If said companion animal appears to be small, cute, adorable, or harmless, the odds are good that it’s even worse than that.
  • The full-contact body-check is just how they say hello. They are doing their best to keep it turned down around all the squishies, and request your forgiveness for any accidents that may occur.

Summary

No, you can’t take ’em.

Tech Disparities

LOT #7233-9985

A PAIR OF RED LEATHER RADIATION SHORTS WITH GILT TRIM AND JEWELED EMBELLISHMENTS

Estimate: Ex. 920,000 – Ex. 1,280,000
Lot closes: 0.896 Kp

Description

Lot #7233-9985 is a pair of protective shorts designed for a non-tailed, digitigrade species (the entark) fashioned from red leather taken from an unknown animal, with a lead-impregnated lining of imported pseudosilk. The shorts are trimmed in gilt with metallic gold thread, with ruby embellishments set into the waistline, and carved-ruby buttons along the fly.

A unique item acquired in the liquidation of a private collection, lot #7233-9985 is the sole remaining example of its kind left over from the Ental Throne’s ill-fated war rocket program. Having been contacted in their early industrial period, a number of misconceptions existed in the entark mind of the era concerning the design and operation of starships and, in particular, atomic rocketry. As such, virtually all materials connected to the Throne’s war rockets were destroyed in an attempt at historical erasure. Indeed, it is believed to be the sole item remaining intact.

This item, recovered from the Throne’s personal flagship by person or persons unknown, is a set of leather stoker’s dress shorts impregnated with lead for radiation protection when shoveling radium into the war rocket’s atomic furnaces. (An extremely limited protection, since in accordance with the Throne of the time’s personal proclivities, such shorts comprised the entire uniform for the crew of the flagship.)

Condition Report

The item is fully provenanced and in excellent condition, having been well cared for in its time in various collectors’ hands. The leather remains supple, and all embellishments are intact. A detailed report on gem quality is available on request, but the majority of the value of this item is a product of its unique historical circumstances.

Since the Ental Throne’s war rocket program was never completed, the item was never exposed to significant levels of radiation. Routine checks were nonetheless carried out and show levels not exceeding normal background.

Words That Can Hurt You

Whatever one’s position on the dubious assumptions behind the cliché “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words shall never hurt me” and its unfortunate persistence in many societies, these are not assumptions which the Empire shares. Indeed, it has a fine selection of words to describe an entire taxonomy of words that can hurt you, sorted by the specific manners in which this is so.

Today, though, we concentrate on one specific subset of these: the traälathkháln laras (from alathkháln, “the pain of new understanding”, and laras, “word”). These are the words which can hurt you because, Eldraeic being a precise language, they require you to confront and resolve the fuzziness of your assumptions in order to voice them.

Specifically, let us consider the English word “hypocrisy”, “the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform”. This is a term which in one word combines motivations from peccadillo to abhorrence, and acts from near-passive to motivated malice, and one whose broad spectrum is leveraged in many a motte-and-bailey argument with the intent that one’s conscious fraud will be considered an unconscious peccadillo, and one’s opponent’s vice versa.

Eldraeic, meanwhile, has three top-level terms which cover this territory, and does so in such a way that while one might argue over which is in play in a given instance, it is at least clear which claim you are making.

These terms are:

qané tracorlíë niril (lit. “insufficiently robust soul”): that hypocrisy which derives from weakness; giving in to a forbidden temptation. Usually albeit not always a peccadillo – let he who has never sneaked a second doughnut cast the first stone – but in any case, not involving any deliberate intent to deceive, nor implying that your commitment to the principles you espouse is insincere. Merely that you struggle to be perfectly adherent to them.

tracorlíë maurqártill (lit. “soul-fraud”): that hypocrisy which is deliberate; espousing one thing and choosing, in a state of talcoríëf, to do another. Not a peccadillo, as you might expect of any compound word which has the component maurqártill in it. Definitely implies insincerity and false commitment; almost certainly fighting words.

traürlis corlíë (lit. “false-soul”): Implies that you would have to have principles in order to falsify them, and therefore that you cannot be a hypocrite since no-one would ever have believed anything you claimed about having them in the first place. A verdict of damnation. Break this one out, and someone’s walking away from the conversation dead.


Other Related Words

  • urlis: false, logically untrue; oppose talis.
  • maurlis: from mahar “make” + urlis, therefore “manufactured falsity”, or lie
  • maurqártill: from maurlis + qártill “price”, therefore “liar’s price”, or fraud1
  • corlíë: soul, (poetic) mind-state
  • niril: robust, durable

  1. Obviously, not all fraud is as simple as “lying about prices”, but ultimately, all fraud does involve deceiving someone about the exchange-value of something, even if not directly expressed in monetary terms.

The Heat of Battle

“Next in our study of how climatic and ecological events affect military and logistic strategy, we will be studying the Cold War.

“Taking place on Qern (Aris Delphi), in the years 7199-7223, the Cold War was directly caused by such an event. Following the asteroid impact of 7197, the ensuing particle winter caused catastrophic temperature drops with associated crop loss, glaciation, power grid failures, thermal infrastructure inadequacy, and so forth all across Qern’s southern hemisphere.

“In response to this, the southern powers – initially independently, but later united as the Austral Alliance – waged war against first the tropics, and later the more southerly regions of the less-affected northern hemisphere – in an attempt to seize territory that was both warm enough to allow food production and relatively survivable conditions, and which was not in imminent danger of being buried under a mile-high ice sheet.

“At first, the war was inconclusive and poorly prosecuted on both sides, with the shattering of the northern powers’ economy by the impact – immortalized forever in the term Qern cost center – and the increasing failure rate of the southern powers’ equipment as the temperature fell, not to mention the disruption of both sides’ command and logistic chains by the increasingly harsh weather.

“However, with the ingenuity of desperation, the southern powers in particular devised a range of cold-adapted military technologies, including snowdrills, ice-boats, bergpiers, and more, as well as crude but serviceable adaptations to existing technologies compensating for thermal embrittlement, frost- and flood-damaged terrain, and the erosive, corrosive environment of a particle winter. It is these technologies, and the modifications they imposed on logistics and strategy in the latter period of the Cold War, that we shall be examining in these next four lectures…”

– from a lecture series delivered at the Imperial War College

Essential Services

Transdivine Tectonic Computation Array: The supercomputers that manage attitude control and station-keeping of the Cirys swarm, thus ensuring that the orbits of god’s planet-sized organs never intersect and collisions are appropriately averted. While its original and primary node is buried deep in the substructure of the Centropolis of Cal Secalár, secondary elements of the Array are located in multiple hexterranes distributed throughout the body of the swarm.

– A Theoanatomic Gazetteer, 3rd ed.,
Coricál Ailék Board of Applied Geography

Copier Humor

The Rogue State’s Guide To Imperial Diplomacy

diplomatic cruiser: an embassy with guns on it

diplonought: an embassy with continent-cracking guns on it

neutral: a place where you don’t shoot at the embassy, and it doesn’t shoot back

ally: a place where the upgunned embassy is probably on your side

client-state: a place where the upgunned embassy is definitely on your side

satrapy: a place where they don’t bother putting guns on the embassy

diplomatic immunity: a courtesy awarded by host nations to diplomats in return for the reciprocal courtesy

diplomatic impunity: “I have a dreadnought. Your argument is invalid.”

peace delegation: see diplonought

– printout found in a duplicator, Conclave Drift

Winds of Winter

“Eight million esteyn,” Merith Amézel said, gazing out at the blanket of white dusted across the plaza, hiding the mosaic that, on clear days, reflected the Thunderbird Applied Meteorology logo. “Eight million. That is what your damnfool stunt cost us.”

A cough came from behind him, but he didn’t turn.

“Let’s recap, shall we? You retasked three orbital mirrors and four echelon mirror systems to heat the ocean and put moisture into the air, along with creating shepherding air currents to ensure the moist air traveled along the right path and gained enough altitude to freeze. You redirected upper-atmosphere vectors across half the southern continent to put a cold downdraft in the right place to drop the ground temperature, and then deployed half the local fleet of cloud-seeding drones to ensure it precipitated out as snow directly over Cant Maris. Then used the same systems again to wrench those upset weather patterns mostly back into place. Do I have that right?”

“I also,” a soft voice said, “had the area swept with laser brooms to make sure we had a clear, bright sky today.”

“And you had the area laser-swept.” He turned, at last, and fixed the dar-e’sevdra standing before his desk with a gimlet eye. “At a total cost of eight million, one hundred and forty-two thousand, nine-hundred eighty-five esteyn, and requiring your co-workers to spend something like the next two months working overtime to get the ripples damped. Would you care to justify this series of actions?”

The feathers on his errant Regional Weather Supervisor’s wings ruffled, but she stood firm, and looked him in the eye. Merith approved.

“No justification. I take full responsibility for my actions, and -“

“No, Regional Weather Supervisor Leiril, I’m not looking for a formality to put on your contract termination. It’s your motives that I want to know.”

“The new colonists.”

“The ones who came in from Tessil on Wind-Carried Leaf?

“I had a few drinks with a group of them a couple of weeks ago, and they were talking about never seeing snow at Winterlights on Tessil, and how disappointed they were that they still wouldn’t, Cant Maris being in the southern hemisphere, so I thought maybe….”

“…you could give that to them?”

“Yes.”

Merith’s lips quirked. “A rather better reason than most. Very well. Consider yourself relieved of duty for the next two weeks, and we will be exercising clause 4/v/i of your contract with respect to a penalty equivalent to two months’ average consideration. Dismissed.” He swiveled back around to face the window, and the blanket of snow beyond.

What!? I, uh, mean – what? The cost…”

“Did you think you were the only one?” he said, noting approvingly a group in the distance negotiating the terms of a snowball-deléhain. “We’ve given ourselves near-godlike command of the forces of nature, and temptation is what it is. Everyone who’s ever made it to Senior Regional Supervisor has a wild-weather incident on their record, so we budget for them. One wild-weather incident,” he added warningly. “But we can hardly be more severe to you than we all have been to ourselves.”

“Yes, sir. Thank you.” She paused for a moment. “If I may ask – what was yours?”

“Extreme skywriting.” Merith grinned at her over his shoulder. “Look it up in the records, if you like. Now leave an old man to watch his clients play.”

Worldbuilding: Theory of Mind

So, let’s talk about Theory of Mind.

Well, okay, not that theory of mind. The theory of how minds work in the ‘verse, and so the theory behind most sophotechnology, since this topic has come up on the Discord recently.

(Much of the below was heavily inspired by Greg Bear’s Queen of Angels, in my opinion one of the best pieces of SF exploring psychology and cognition. I heartily recommend it.)

The first division sophotechnologists make in analyzing mind-states is logos and psyche, or to give them their longer names, personality organization algorithm and incrementing memory string.

The logos has been discussed before. It is, for sophont minds, where the magic happens. Volition, paracausality, nondeterminism, all that good stuff. It’s also a seed crystal for mind. Drop a logos into a free energy medium where quantum computation is possible, and it’ll start spinning out mind around itself, like a seed crystal in a supersaturated solution. This is how digisapiences are made, for example.

It is also, unfortunately, mostly a black box, although some studies and classifications of it have been made from the outside. (Imagine how pleased that makes the AI wakeners.) Further study is ongoing, but poses both extreme technical and equally extreme ethical problems.

The psyche is everything else. So what is everything else?

(Actually, let’s get one special case out of the way first. That special case is the consciousness loop, a specialized agent which organizes your narrative thread of consciousness. This is the agent which is responsible for autosentience – self-awareness – to whatever degree you have it, that endless stream of status updates on your thoughts that runs through your head.

Note: it’s not in charge of anything. It’s just a glorified journal file that brings order to chaos. This is why those experiments seem to show that you acted before you thought of acting; the decision was made elsewhere in the psyche. What you think is you thinking of something is actually just that thought being written to the log…

…humans do not have very good autoscience. For one thing, just think of the sheer amount of cognitive activity going on that you remain completely unaware of.

And for that matter, autoscience is not a strictly necessary part of minds at all! Self-awareness is not a prerequisite of even quite advanced cognition, although it is needed for sophoncy.)

The psyche is essentially a Minskian society of mind, a frothing sea of agents – mental subroutines – running independently and, for the most part, in parallel. Individual agents are no more than scraps of mental code – major mental structures come from their agglomeration into larger routines of various types: talents, memes, memories, subpersonalities, and so forth. The interaction of all of these, the chorus, produces the mind as we know it.

The most basic agents arise from evolution and brain structure. Some remain that simple all the way through: the agent responsible for, say, heartbeat doesn’t need much more to perform its function. Others are spun out by the logos – simple builders, shapers, generators. Yet more are generated by other agents or higher structures, the mind shaping itself according to archetype and input from memory and sensorium.

But the key to understanding the mind is the higher structures. These include:

Primary personality: The primary personality isn’t, if we’re being strictly technical, very different from a subpersonality in structure; its distinction is that it has emerged during individuation as the dominant voice in the chorus. It is the structure most readily identifiable with the conscious self, but that’s at best only a limited part of the picture – it spends much of its time enmeshed with subpersonalities, talents, and agents all of which color it a great deal, and of course also with the logos.

Subpersonality: Among the largest of structures, each reflecting a major personality aspect. (You can find a whole bunch of Jungian archetypes here.) Probably the best known are the animus/anima/animin, the gender-modeling routines, but there are also things like occupations (your “on-the-job” personality), parental models, your with-this-group-of-close-friends personality, etc., etc. They aren’t independent; they mesh with and color the primary personality when brought forward.

(If one were to devise a theory to explain plurality/dissociative identity disorder in this paradigm it would be subpersonalities which had grown to the point of overshadowing the primary, or become independent primaries; they may also have accompanying sets of talents which are exclusively or mostly-exclusively invoked by them, which adds to the complexity when it comes to determining legal divergence of identity.

This is also something that can be and is done intentionally to produce useful mental subfunctions, similar to Aristoi’s daimones.)

Talents: Talents are smaller complexes of agents encapsulating particular skills, or parts of a skill, called forth when they are required. “Skill” for these purposes includes instincts, emotions, and so on and so forth. “Anger” is a talent – or set of talents – every bit as much as, say, “Tying a Tie” or “Tightrope Walking”, or “Administering Kubernetes Clusters”. They are not necessarily passive; the “situational awareness” talent-cluster is entirely capable of making itself known when other cognitive activity triggers it, for an obvious example.

Memes and memories are both actually subclasses of talents, in this sense: a meme is simply a talent encapsulating an idea, much as a memory is simply a talent encapsulating a remembered concept, in each case along with its various associative linkages. These are mostly passive until something happens to poke their associative linkages: things like PTSD are what happens when they aren’t passive enough and force themselves on the primary personality.

The talent class also includes mental models, mini-eidolon talents formed in the image of other minds for the purpose of predictive empathy.

Implications for Identity

Identity is… messy. Even identity of primary personality doesn’t constitute identity of identity, since there is so much else intermeshed with it that goes to make up the mind. Especially since, being a chorus, virtually all of the elements that go to make up a mind can be shared, even without going to the level of a conflux or a Fusion.

Thus, to a considerable degree, identity is also arbitrary.

For legal purposes, identity is defined by delta-divergence of the mind-state entire, even those parts that may be shared.

For practical purposes, individuality is defined by legal identity plus substrate separation. Hence, immediately after Bob forks, Bob is now a single identity, but two individuals.

Implications for Sophotechnology

This nature of the mind also enables other sophotechnologies. Situational subpersonalities and parapersonalities, for example, work by injecting a full subpersonality into the chorus. Skillware and microskillware operate by injecting talent-level routines, as does mnemonesis by injecting memory-formatted talents. Other technologies, like memory redaction, work by isolating and removing specific talents and patching the associative linkages; other thought-viruses add to these effects by temporarily suppressing some subpersonalities or talents and promoting others, while full psychedesign or meme rehab effects this permanently.

(This is a delicate art due to the complexity of the chorus and its internal balances, but it’s basically what therapy – making use of the mind’s self-editing capacity – and other psychiatric treatment is doing now, indirectly, rather than by direct mental surgery.)

Even such interface technologies as cathexis, synnoesis and vastening work, ultimately, by integrating outside cognition into the chorus, as do collective-consciousness systems like confluxes, Fusions, and the Transcendent soul-shard. (Although with that last we then get into the complexities of soul hierarchies, which is beyond the topic of this post.)

Macrophage

“A number of high-biotech polities have taken the immune system as a model for their military forces. What seems an exotic, even amusing quirk when looked at from the point of view of rank titles and equipment designations is much less amusing when you’re drowning in sticky goo, encapsulated, and actively being digested.”

– A Virus Speaks: A Memoir of the Myriasoma War

Anywhere, Anytime, Anything

INTRODUCING

from Creation Mechanics, ICC

THE FIRST

free-space precision fused material deposition 3D printer

THE CREO 144

The Creo 144 does not open new frontiers in the field of 3D printing. That’s because the Creo 144 has no frontiers. Its unique combination of 3D printing and autonomous drone technology makes an end of volume limitations.

Replacing the conventional framework of an enclosed 3D printer with independently mobile print heads, using helium for neutral buoyancy and ducted fans to move with minimal effect on the print area – combining filament magazines, extruders, and hot ends – the Creo 144 is the first 3D printer able to print objects of arbitrary size along every axis, on any surface1.

Creo 144 Features:

  • Infinite Print Size: given a suitable surface, there is no limit to the size of object that a Creo 144 can print.
  • Infinite Variety: while the Creo 144 ships with four filament-deposition drones, the Creo control unit can handle up to 144 drones, including alternative modalities such as paste extruders, laser etchers and cutters, and so forth.
  • Accuracy: In still conditions, the Creo drones maintain the 0.03 fil accuracy expected of modern 3D printers, and retain greater than 0.12 fil accuracy at wind speeds below 6 knots.

For more information, see our ‘weave site:

e.pl.creation-mechanics:htp

PREORDERS OPEN NOW
RELEASES SPRING 1812


Note: print bed may be required for certain materials. See the Creo-B series of modular print beds which can be combined to form a single bed of any size.

A Little Too Smart

The Esmérel secretary is a breed of long, low-set bandal with short legs and a deep chest, possessed of great speed, stamina, and grace, as well as a remarkable intelligence and ability to memorize and perform complex tasks without distraction. Secretaries nominally weigh around 30 pounds, and come in a variety of coat colors, most notably the blue-merle pattern found in the original Imperial Service lineages.

Historically, the Esmérel secretary was bred out of a number of southern Selenarian herding lineages to serve as aides in the Selenarian imperial bureaucracy, running messages and performing other minor office tasks. (Indeed, many older Service buildings still contain the special doors and passages built for these bandal on their rounds.) In the modern era, they are found in many roles as general assistants and work-partners in the office and in the home, as well as companions and personal helpers.

– Know Your Bandal: A Short Guide to Floofy Cladistics

Esmérel dupe: Found primarily in older paper records, an “Esmérel dupe” is a duplicate index entry dating to the early years of the use of Esmérel secretary bandal in the Imperial Service; specifically, duplicate index entries created by those ingenious devils who discovered that extra ear scritches and belly rubs could be earned by delivering the same document to the archives twice.

– Dictionary of Imperial Service Jargon, 36th ed.

Eldraeic Words of the Freedom

A quick conlang note inspired by a conversation I was having elsewhere, in which my interlocutor was vexed by people talking as if lack of choice due to government (i.e., coercive constraint) was a reduction in freedom, whereas lack of choice due to poverty, illness, disability, etc. was not.

The relevant part here is my claim (which included mention of my conlang) that we can once again blame it on English, that lazy and imprecise language, for lumping two distinct concepts into one single word and hoping no-one is rude enough to point it out, resultant confusion be damned.

The Conclave of Linguistics and Ontology, you see, has higher standards of precision. The Eldraeic word usually glossed as liberty, or freedom, is jírileth, which literally means “a life of choices”, and insofar as it’s talking about freedom from constraint, it includes the latter natural constraints and much more, right up to making amendments to natural laws, punching out the Second Law of Thermodynamics, and installing a few doors in infinity. “A prison the size of the universe is yet a prison! I will not be bound!”

(Its excruciatingly technical definition, the one used in the ethical calculus, would be “optimization of the phase-space of individual volition”, or slightly less jargonically, “affording each the greatest scope of will”).

This is the one which they put on the Imperial motto, because if there’s one thing the Empire’s citizen-shareholders aren’t afraid of, it’s tackling really big ideas.

The former, on the other hand, is mere ulqóras, a shortened form of ulquor kóras, literally meaning “absence of coercive power”, and while much more fundamental to ethics, it’s also a much, much smaller concept. And the problems attached to it are far, far simpler to solve — if one can manage to refrain from choice-theft.

Laager

A drink dating back to the tank battles of the Southron War, hence the pun, and kept alive by veterans who miss its sharp burn and acute abdominal pains, laager is not beer, but rather a distilled spirit. Specifically, while it can be – and has been – distilled from any number of fermented grains or tubers, it gains most of its character from the method of production – namely, taking advantage of the curious fact that a complete fermentation and distillation system could be crammed into the engine compartment of a TT-19 Werewolf tank, constructed almost entirely from field-available spares, without significantly impairing the performance of the engine.

Color: Clear, with occasional variations towards translucent gray-blue.

Flavor: Raw, bitter, brutally strong alcohol, with a hint of motor oil and cordite.

Recommended: For those with excellent health coverage, and no sense of taste or smell. Alternatively, it serves well to clean engine parts, strip paint, and fuel small stoves. Has been known to spontaneously combust in rich atmospheres.

By the numbers, less than three in twelve habitual drinkers go blind, most not permanently.

– Bottles of the Empire, 2448 ed.

Contracervisial

SECURE STORAGE CATALOG RECORD 23-0-119674
FACILITY 23 / LEVEL E / CELL 1138 / NICHE 4-11
BLACK UNCLASS
HAZARD RATING: NEGLIGIBLE

DESIGNATION: The Antibeer

HANDLING PROCEDURES: No physical (baryonic matter) contact beyond border of magnetic bottle. Ensure radiation shielding remains in place except when work with this item is in progress to prevent scintillation effects. Maintain electrical power supply to containment at all times; in event of power failure exceeding two (2) hours in length, execute special disposal protocol CT-14. Not for cismaterial consumption.

DESCRIPTION: A synthetic fermented drink, the Antibeer is the product of a somewhat ill-advised wager made during an afterparty following the sixth day of the 147th Conference on Particle Physics Applications. After a heated and liquor-enhanced argument over the merits of Academician Perna Medanis-ith-Medanis’s proposed method for the production of stable higher-order anti-atoms and their orderly combination into anti-molecules, a challenge was offered and accepted, and the participants in the aforementioned argument procured the use of the host institution’s particle physics laboratories.

The end result of this was a small quantity (approximately 125 ml) of liquid antimatter composed primarily of antiwater and antiethanol, packaged in a modified commercial magnetic bottle with a handwritten label attached, designating it “The Antibeer”.

The Antibeer itself was voluntarily surrendered for secure containment, on the proviso that it be returned to its developers for testing when and if, in the future, an antidrinker should exist capable of consuming it.

Conspiracy Theory

“This is SERIOUS. They’re building GIANT hexterranes that they can flatten out ENTIRE PLANETARY CRUSTS onto! They’re going to use them to pack all their WORLDS into that fancy Cirys sphere of theirs and go MARAUDING around the galaxy – or maybe the universe, or even beyond the universe with enough reality engines – like a cosmic pinball of SMUGNESS and DOOM, sucking SUNS of LIFE to live FOREVER!”

– seen on the
Important Information (Please Reproduce and Disseminate) memeweave

“What the egg-sucking fuck is this guy smoking, and please stop him.”

– seen on the
Important Disinformation (Please Parody and Reeducate) memeweave