Necessary Evil

According to my cliodynamic studies, it is the case that a policy of routine intervention to prevent any perversion from blooming is suboptimal, inasmuch as it opens up the possibility for bad actors to work around the Coricál Consensus by performing a broad spectrum of experiments in computational theogeny and observing which ones call down intervention teams.

In addition, the perception that DEMIURGE ERRANT will always be there to prevent disasters and clean up the mess weakens the general perception of the field as extremely hazardous to a point which causes a statistically significant increase in the frequency of attempts leading to perversions.

In short: permitting a small number of idiots to have their brains eaten by their errant creations is indeed the best way to prevent a large number of people, mostly lesser idiots, from having their brains eaten by the greater idiots’ errant creations.

Black Box, advisory archai to the Imperial Security Executive

Building the Imperial Navy: Strategic Goals


But that ain’t all!

This is the second part of our six-part series on Building the Imperial Navy (first part here), in which we extend the strategic assumptions – regarding the security environment and the resources available to meet them – we made in that part into the actual outcomes the Imperial Navy is supposed to achieve.

As is often the case, this is relatively simple. As of 7920, the Imperial Navy’s strategic goals and responsibilities, in order of priority, are defined thus:

  1. Preservation of the assets required for civilization survival in the event of invocation of CASE SKYSHOCK BLACK (excessionary-level invasion posing existential threat) or other extreme-exigent scenario (i.e. concealed backup sites, civilization-backup ships, etc., and other gold-level secured assets).
  2. The defense and security of the Imperial Core (including those portions of it extending into the Fringe), including population, habitats, planets, data, and Transcendent infrastructure against relativistic attack.
  3. The defense and security of the Imperial Core (including those portions of it extending into the Fringe), including population, habitats, planets, data, and Transcendent infrastructure against non-relativistic attack.
  4. The defense and security of stargates and extranet relays throughout the Associated Worlds volume and other associated critical corporate assets of Ring Dynamics, ICC and Bright Shadow, ICC1.
  5. The defense and security of Imperial ecumenical colonies throughout the Associated Worlds volume.
  6. The continued containment of perversions of any class, including but not limited to enforcement of the Containment Treaty of Ancal (i.e. containment of the Leviathan Consciousness).
  7. The maintenance of defenses against possible invasion or other violations of the Worlds-Republic Demarcation Convention.
  8. The protection of Imperial commerce including but not limited to the Imperial merchant fleet.
  9. Intervention, as required, for the protection of the Imperial citizen-shareholder abroad.
  10. Enforcement, as required, of the Accord of the Law of Free Space, the Accord on Protected Planets, the Accord on Trade, the Imperial Plexus Usage Agreement, and the Ley Accords.
  11. When requested or otherwise appropriate, the defense and security of Imperial client-states and allies.
  12. General patrol activities to maintain the perception of security, suppress “unacceptably damaging” brushfire wars, piracy, asymmetrism, and the interstellar slave trade.

It should be noted that with the exception of (7) and certain elements of (6) these are not targeted at specific enemies, of which the Empire has a distinct shortage requiring specific identification at this level; rather, the strategic supergoal of the Imperial Navy is the maintenance of the peaceful status quo, the Pax Imperium Stellarum if you like. Also, specifically, note that none of these goals requires the ability to conquer and occupy; they are all highly defense-focused.

1. This may seem a little high on the list to you, oh reader mine, especially since they’re specifically corporate assets. Well, think of it this way: if you lose the interstellar transportation and communications networks, which those two companies own most of, your fleet can’t find out where to go and couldn’t get there even if it could find out. This, most admirals deem, is something of a problem.

Trope-a-Day: Contagious AI

Contagious AI: In its lesser form, this is weavelife, the mutated descendants of a million viruses and buggy software agents, that infests the less aggressively controlled parts of the dataweave (and, of course, pretty much every border zone of the extranet; lack of jurisdiction tends also to be lack of control) until the cycle scavengers and Virtual Immunity come a-reaping.  It tends to be studied by some computer scientists (infoxenologists) with much the same fascination as some biologists and epidemiologists study the microbial part of our ecosystem.

In its greater and fortunately very rare form, this is the perversion that one particular failure mode of an attempt at seed AI turned into, and it’s coming to eat your soul.  Or at least your mind-state, and not incidentally anything within reach of any automation it can manage to crack.