Trope-a-Day: Projected Man

Projected Man: A common representation-format for artificial intelligences (and other infomorphs) – although a majority of AIs do not use biosapience-shaped avatars, preferring more abstract neomorphic shapes – and telerepresentation users both.  In some cases, may not be a simple trigraphic (hologram, to speakers of non-deeply-SFnal English who don’t realize the difference), but a reality graphic, projected non-matter with actual physical presence (see: Hard Light), referred to as an aquastor.

Trope-a-Day: Mind Hive

Mind Hive: Several – arguably, most people qualify as at least a mild form of this, since the habit of running a muse, a personal assistant AI, on your implanted headware is close to ubiquitous.  Of course, actions aren’t by consensus in that case, but the habit of turning your body over to said AI for boring maintenance-type functions while you go do something more interesting in virtuality is also close to ubiquitous, so.

But there are more than a few mental architectures that work this way deliberately, especially among native infomorphs that use ‘shells only for specific tasks and so tend to have them run by consensus of a team of specialists, rather than assuming that one-shell-per-process is “natural”.  And even relatively simple high-coordination AIs have multiple consciousness loops/narrative threads in order to multitask effectively, whereas most biosapiences only have one; of course, they share all data in real-time, so may not quite qualify.

And, of course, the “Ocean of Mind” of the Transcend is a functional soup made up of teleological threads derived from aspects of the transcended hyperconsciousness, the uploaded personalities of the dead, and instantiated expediters based on local entelechical maxima.  Thus, arguably, the Hive Mind is also the biggest Mind Hive of them all.

Trope-a-Day: The Faceless

The Faceless: Lots of people who, for one reason or another, need to go around all day wearing environmental/vacuum suits for one reason or another.  (Although facial-expression v-tags are quite common to reduce the effect of appearing to have no expression.)

Also, more than a few infomorphs who are not only faceless, but also bodiless.  Although keeping communicating in this way, special circumstances aside, betrays either an appalling lack of grasp on biosapience psychology, or else just plain rudeness.

Trope-a-Day: Digital Avatar/Myself My Avatar

Digital Avatar/Myself My Avatar: Ubiquitous in the Empire and other noetic societies; as mentioned under Body Surf, people fairly regularly swap bodies for work, for visiting hostile environments, or just for the hell of it; or issue them to forked copies or fragments of themselves.  Of course, that may well not count for the purposes of this trope, since it’s a body-swap rather than remote control, but equally, the same bodies can be and are teleoperated remotely by people – especially infomorphs – when the communications lag is not a problem.  Also, of course, avatar instantiations are common in virtualities used for everything from work through commerce to entertainment, and in those cases, equally, one’s mind is not in the virtual body in any sort of meaningful way.

(It’s really quite hard to tell, in general, without checking the public identity tag for the long version of their name-identifier, even though it is a custom for teleoperators of physical bodies to refer to themselves through them as “this extension” rather than “me”.)

Trope-a-Day: Death Is Not Permanent

Death Is Not Permanent: The entire purpose of the noetic backup and reinstantiation technology.  And given that people can keep redundant backups spread out across multiple star systems (a standard feature of your incarnation insurance), actually inflicting permadeath on someone is really damn hardDeath Is Less Expensive, too, since while keeping a clone-body of yourself on standby is a premium service, walking around in an off-the-rack body – or just living as an infomorph – while they grow you a new custom job is less so.

(It’s got a lot cheaper since the first people did it for, oh, a few billion esteyn.)

Sysadmins Wanted, Infomorphs Preferred

SYSADMINS WANTED, INFOMORPHS PREFERRED – Site systems administrators wanted to manage long-range extranet relay stations in the Expansion Regions. Infomorphs preferred, cybershells and bioshells accepted but must provide own IMS44 hab module and breathing gases if necessary. Companions accommodated at own expense. Skills required: IIP, extranet interchange routing, cloud servers, auton agent management, local-space mesh, including wireless EM and whisker-laser, metashl scripting, tangle, blacknet protocols, and interchange perimeter security (min. 6 wall-clock years live experience). Psych requirement: no to minimal negative isolation response. 2-year contract, pays 24k over standard for hardship/hazard, full backup cover and personal bandwidth allowance. Contact Litheia Elethandrion, Sophont Contracting, Outer Ring Netweavers, ICC.

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.