Notice to Querents

Okay. I regret having to do this, because by and large I enjoy engaging with my readers and satisfying their curiosity, but —

I am, as of now, declaring a complete, conclusive, and perpetual moratorium on all “gotcha” questions. (I am not providing a definition, because definitions can be gamed; if you think it’s one, it probably is.) This is because endless nitpicking of edge cases in legal, ethical, and social systems are – whether or not it’s intentional – turning my openness into an Internet comments section on a political web site, and are about as enjoyable to engage with as an Internet comments section on a political web site. This is, obviously, rather toxic to my creativity, mood, and digestion, even leaving aside that most readers, I believe, would rather that I wrote new stuff rather than reciting Space Libertarianism 101.

Other questions – even on legal and ethical issues – continue to be welcome, but you may feel free to assume that in this particular area, if an outcome seems Obviously Bloody Stupid, that it doesn’t work that way in the absence of citeable canon evidence that it does without needing me to explain to you exactly how.

That is all, and this change in policy is not up for debate.

 

Debt Stylin’

living debtstyle: Living scandalously in debt or accumulating debts faster than one can reasonably be expected to repay them (not simply monetary debts, but also long-term oath-contracts, promises, favor-trades, other commitments, or even reputational liabilities). Used to indicate that the speaker considers the referent to be unreliable, “on the road to Default”. The term can be applied personally, organizationally, or nationally.

Eldraeic As It Is Spoken: Precisionist-Grade Communication for the Unsophisticated Outworlder

 

At The Ending Was The Word

Thirty-Six Paths of Illumination, the (n.): A memetic mystery cult designed for the Imperial Exploratory Service by the Word of Command, ICC, the Thirty-Six Paths are designed as a means of handling severe cases of exodeism (q.v.).

In many cases, when primitive species conclude that it is necessary and proper to worship the “Shining Ones”, the “Great Star Gods”, or other such epithets, creative theology leads them to conclude that denials of divinity are merely a test for them, or indicative of avatar incarnation, or some such. In such cases, extreme denials or proof of non-divinity tend to cause severe backlash, societal disruption, and cultural implosion is not unknown, leaving aside the consequences for the unwilling gods.

Thus, the Thirty-Six Paths of Illumination are intended as a pathway to slowly and carefully wean exodeists and their societies from their faith in a manner designed to minimize the resulting personal alathkháln and societal consequences; a thirty-sixth level adept of the Paths is fully aware of the reality of the situation and equipped to join in enlightening those below.

Other visitors to worlds in which exodeism is prevalent and the Thirty-Sixth Paths are in effect are requested to cooperate by non-contradiction with the program, and warned that memetic safeties and countermeasures are woven into the memeplex.

– A Star Traveler’s Dictionary

 

Diplomatic Incident

kchellis> So, what’s the problem this time?

socularios> Cleaning up the diplomatic fallout from last night’s dinner at the Isliar Primarchy embassy.

kchellis> What could possibly happen at a Primarchy dinner? Those things are so boring that you’re tempted to shoot yourself in the head just to get it over with.

socularios> Got it in one.

kchellis> What?

socularios> Someone invited Chemelé Sarithos.

kchellis>

socularios> Who only made it through the appetizers before announcing “Bored now”, then drawing her sidearm and – leaving the party. In a manner that gave the Ambassador’s mother a case of the vapors, spoiled the atmosphere for the rest of the guests, and ruined the soup, too, confound it.

kchellis>

kchellis>

kchellis> Did she offer any explanation beyond that?

socularios> She’s a three-hours-prior restore. And before you ask, she said that if it was that dull, she probably didn’t want to remember even the part she was there for.

kchellis> Right.

kchellis> I’ll draft the formal apologies if you’ll dragoon our idiot cousin into making some informal apologies. I presume we’re assuming that the Primarchs wanted to generate an incident to get something out of us?

socularios> That we are. Any suggestions on the dragooning?

kchellis> Chemelé’s been living debtstyle for a while now, so talk to her grandmother, Kiril. No-one crosses Old Lady Sarithos, especially not her new least favorite grandchild.

– Ministry of State & Outlands, “Oops” memeweave

Encyclopaedia

The Alathciera (lit. “weave-of-knowledge”) is the great encyclopedia published by the Repository of All Knowledge. It is a hypermedia encyclopedia containing 3×1218 bits of information, making up 2×1211 articles, based on the Repository’s 9,000 years of scholarship, and making up an abridged set of the full holdings of the Repository of All Knowledge. The Alathciera is intended to hold descriptions of all the classic literature and art of the Transcend and the Empire before it, and also all the key information in science, economics, history, and technology, over the entire lifespan of civilization; all represented in the Universal Syntax and automatically presented, searched, and translated on-the-fly into whatever formats and languages are desired by its users by integrated AI expert systems. The Alathciera is, thus, widely considered the definitive reference work for the civilized galaxy.

The interface provided for you, the Anglic reader, is a more limited flat-media hypertext interface, lacking the sophisticated artificial intelligence adjuncts which the original systems possess, and the ability to access technologically advanced media forms such as mnemonetic templates or parapersonalities. Trigraphic media have been converted to digraphics where possible. We apologize for the inconvenience, but regret that such compromises are inevitable in the provision of remote service to Middle Information Era worlds.

What would you like to know?


Contact

Please communicate any comments or requests with regard to this implementation of the Alathciera to:

00-1-00104-67203-1182
Lumenna-Súnáris (Imperial Core)
Coronar
Fealath Region
Street of Studious Works
Repository of All Knowledge
Alathciera Board of Translators

How I Wonder What You Aargh

Cirys superzorcher (n.): A hypothetical weapons system in which the various elements of a Cirys swarm (q.v.) are equipped to function as the radiative elements of a phased-array laser. Such an array, with an effective aperture equal to the diameter of the swarm, would theoretically be able to deliver a substantial portion of the total solar output of the contained star in a single beam against targets located at interstellar distances.

Occasional peaceful uses for such beams have been mooted, including laser sail propulsion (although it should be noted that there is little call for such craft on a larger scale than existing propulsion arrays – which have the advantage of being mobile – can handle, and the ability to build a laser-sail craft capable of surviving such propulsion is questionable), long-distance, including extragalactic, communications (a matter of great interest to the Elsewhere Society), and even remote power generation and delivery.

However, while condemned by Cirys Aendyr himself – who is said to have wept when this application of his concept was brought to his attention – the most common proposal is to use the Cirys superzorcher as the weapons system implied by its name. The ability to place so much power on target (a figure of the order of 108 exawatts for a Hearth-class star) across interstellar distances, capable of vaporizing lithic worlds and severely damaging gas giants and stars, is peculiarly attractive to certain types of mentality, especially when it is considered that the purely photonic beam of a superzorcher is substantially more difficult to detect than a typical RKV, and cannot be practically intercepted or recalled.

As such, while the Cirys superzorcher requires a high degree of technological advancement and autoindustrialism to produce (a potential currently limited to the Empire and certain other Core Markets) and is in any case a prohibited weapons system (classified as a Tier I star-killer under the Ley Accords), an informal consensus exists among the Presidium powers that the construction of such a device by any polity, within or without the Worlds, may be reasonably interpreted as notice of intent to commit gigacide, and as such is a legitimate cause for preemptive defense of the highest order.

– A Star Traveler’s Dictionary

A Brief Conversation About Death Games

Inspired by this comment:

I’ve always been of the opinion that, given the Associated Worlds’s existing tech base and attitudes towards continuity of personal identity and such, there must be a “small” subculture of thrill-seekers who deliberately expose themselves to lethal danger purely out of curiosity as to what death actually feels like — and more than a few probably get hooked enough on the “rush” to try it again.


“That’s what you want the Greater Immortality for? To kill yourself to experience death?”

“Well… yeah. I’ve always wondered, and you –”

“Have never experienced death.”

“Huh? You’re an orbit-diver. I’ve watched you burn up!”

“Because you can’t experience death, kid.” The speaker sighed, and crooked one finger for another drink. “You don’t exist to experience death. Something of a definitional problem in experiencing the experience of no longer having experiences, you might say. Now, the lead-up to dying, that you can experience – free clue, it feels like pain – but the very next moment you’ll remember is waking up in a nice white room and having your resurrectionist call you a moron. If you managed to kill yourself thoroughly enough, you won’t even remember why. And that experience? I can give it to you right now, right here, no charge.”