Trope-a-Day: Final Death/Deader than Dead

Final Death/Deader than Dead: Very much to be avoided.

Fortunately, rather hard to inflict.  Sure, you can kill the body (corpicide) readily enough, with enough bullets or other regular weapons – get both hearts, or shred the brain, or pulverize the whole thing.  But then the fun begins.  First you need to get the vector stack where the immediate backup of their mind-state is stored (and hope that it didn’t come with an emergency bug-out transmitter, or it’s already too late).  In a biological body, it’s somewhere near the base of the brain, but close enough to the surface to pull quickly in an emergency – in humanoids, the back of the neck is usual.  Cut below it and yank.  Then you’ve got to destroy that, which may itself require some exotic methods, since they’re designed to survive very large explosions up close, but is still possible.

So far, though, all you’ve done is given them some amnesia (unless they’re a Fusion or a synched cikrieth set of full-fidelity forks, in which case you need to go hunt down all their other instances, too.  Actually, you probably want to go assassinate their utility forks anyway, on general principle), because they have a backup.  In the absence of bug-out devices, it’s probably a few hours, maybe a day or two old, but at some point – quite likely right now, if they were on-line when you killed them – their incarnation insurer is going to stick said backup in a new body, and then they’ll be alive again.

So you have to crack their incarnation insurer’s security, physically or virtually, to destroy the backup copy of their mind-state.  Actually, you’re going to have to do that quite a lot, since given the business that they’re in, incarnation insurers generally keep at least triple-triple redundant copies of people’s backups, including keeping older copies, and do so in physically isolated – scattered across multiple star systems – and heavily network-secured locations just to be sure.

But if you can manage that trick, you’re good.  As long as they don’t have any backup backup copies stored in data havens, entrusted to friends, secured in hidden Oort bunkers on long-term proceed-unless-canceled wake-and-restore programs…

(And that’s even before we get to those strange folks who open-source themselves.)

Yes, permadeath is hard to arrange.

(This, incidentally, is another reason why the penalty for cognicide is so high – given all of this, in most cases it’s impossible to do without serious forward planning and therefore lots and lots of cold-blooded premeditation.)

Forking Etiquette

FORKING.  While under most circumstances – and where full dividuals are concerned – it is always correct to treat each and every fork of a given person as that person, as indeed will be the case after their remergence, there are certain special rules of etiquette that apply to the forks in particular times and places.

Where derivative forks are concerned, one should always bear in mind that their consciousness is modified to fulfill the particular purpose of their creation, and their ability to interact outside of the parameters of that purpose is necessarily limited. It is therefore considered polite to treat each fork as an instance of its original when they choose to interact with you, but not to initiate interactions with them outside simple courtesies.

One particular rule to be noted is that while it is permissible to attend multiple simultaneous social occasions through the use of forks, one should not – even if one is embracing the cikrieth lifestyle – attend the same social occasion in multiple forks. This rule does not apply to Self-Fusions, for whom all knowledge is instantly shared, but since forks do not share knowledge in real-time, the potential for awkward situations to arise is such that the practice is best avoided.

In some newer social sets a practice has arisen in which parties are attended by individuals utilizing multiple forks specialized and garbed appropriately to represent different aspects of their valessef, with the convention that each should be addressed only on matters pertaining to their particular aspect. While this may represent a worthy innovation, it should not be assumed to be permissible unless invited specifically; the general practice should always be as above.

– Madame Allatrian’s Guide to Exquisitely Correct Etiquette

Trope-a-Day: Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence

Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Not generally considered to be a result of uploading, even though by many standards becoming an infomorph might qualify.  On the other hand, it arguably is what happens slowly over many people’s lifespans as they adopt more and more cognitive enhancements, take up the cikrieth lifestyle of living multiple independent lives with a single synchronized self, and possibly end up as Self-Fusion group minds.  And it’s quite definitely what happens upon eventual, voluntary death when one uploads into and merges with the metamind of the Transcend.