Tangent to the Vector (1/2)

If you’re coming to the Vector, your first stop is going to be Axiom Station, the tip of the beanstalk descending to Asymptote, the Vector’s capital, jack city, and safe harbor. Everywhere else in the system, from the solar corona to the Shards, is full to the gunwales with Science!, and until you know what it is, you don’t want to get any on you. Or vice versa.

But let us digress for a moment and consider the remainder of the system. The hot white sun Enlightenment hosts one belt and ten planets of varying size and nature, of which Resplendent Exponential Vector itself is the eighth from the sun.

Closest in is the Fireforge Belt. An asteroid belt with an unusually high orbital eccentricity (0.4), it is believed to be the remains of a planetesimal from outside the Resplendent Exponential Vector System which passed close enough to Enlightenment not only to be captured by its gravity but destroyed by the ensuing tidal forces. While the high temperatures (approaching 900 K on average, and significantly higher during perihelion) and radiation levels here have discouraged settlement, several research stations exist to monitor Enlightenment and study the unusual alloys and minerals formed in this uniquely harsh environment.

The second planet of the system, Linrachlin, a moon-sized rockball, was given over at the Vector’s foundation to an experiment in artificial life and robotic ecology similar to that of Eurymir, but without that experiment’s limiting constraints. However, in 6432, Linrachlin was withdrawn from the jurisdiction of the Vector Science Triumvirate after the apex species of the Linrachlin ecology achieved sophoncy; it is now recognized as the independent homeworld of the chiril. The chiril, however, fascinated by the scientific endeavor which gave them birth, cooperate with the Vector Authority in many of their projects.

The third through sixth are minor rocky bodies with little atmosphere, which serve as overflow laboratory space for the Vector itself. Most are notable in some small way, from the materials complexes of Márasanc to the societums of Lethintrí. but of these, the best known is the fifth and largest. Kaërndúr houses a deep bore leading to a heavily shielded vault at its core; this Kaërndúr Deepness houses some of the most sophisticated and delicate experiments in low-energy-state physics, quantum coherency, and other fields that require the unlit silence of such a vault to prevent perturbations.

The seventh, Anbárad, another tiny rockball, houses the local branch of the Repository of All Knowledge, and is a major storage facility for scientific data. The communications facilities of Anbárad are without parallel, and receive dedicated transmission priority for synchronization with other Repository branches.

The ninth, Resplendent Repose, is the second major inhabited world of the Resplendent Exponential Vector System. Almost as large as the Vector itself, Resplendent Repose is the ice to the Vector’s fire, a Galiné-like world of glaciers and alkane oceans buried beneath hydrocarbon smog. While some scientific work and carbon mining takes place in its remoter regions, Repose is the restful garden of the system; resort colonies scattered about its black sand beaches provide an escape from the laboratory far from the myriad temptations of the Vector itself.

The tenth, Phólarae, is the system’s sole gas giant. The planet itself serves primarily as a gas-mining resource (operated from the atmosphere-skimming pentuple moonlet of Ithmaen) and gravity anchor for the largest habswarm (or, if you’ll pardon the expression, “labswarm”) in the system; much dangerous research – by the Vector’s local standards – that might escape the laboratory is based in Phólarae’s trailing libration point, to maximize the time available to clear it up. Experimental proposals at various times to stellify Phólarae were variously deemed impractical or shot down on the basis of the need for local gas mining, before being rendered moot by the successful singularity-induced stellification of Xavéral, creating an artificial brown dwarf.

Its moons, however, are another matter, being reserved for grand experiments requiring a planetary scale. Most famous of these is Lyréssleth, a paraecopoesed moon leased in perpetuity to the Mythologae Immanentization Initiative. Beneath its glass-garden roof, neogenic mythic beasts of many kinds frolic in the jungle surrounding the laboratories, from radioactive basilisks and nanotechnological phoenixes to such relatively mundane recreations as the roc – a behemoth bird able to fly and thrive in the dense, oxygen-rich atmosphere and low gravity. Safaris through the wilds of Lyréssleth provide a valuable additional income stream to the Vector Authority, although hunting is strictly forbidden – not least because the majority of the mythologae recreated there would find hunting the hunters a trivial recreation.

The eleventh, Amnás, is a small, icy dwarf planet orbiting in the outermost fringes of the Resplendent Exponential Vector System. While the planet itself is the focus of some water ice and ammonia mining, most nearby activity is related to its moon, Marín, which is sealed off by the Vector Authority, since it serves as the home of the Marín Nanotechnological Proving Grounds. In short, the entire surface of the planetoid is a seething mass of gray, red, and blue goo, occasionally burned off in regions by bombardment from Amnás in order to introduce some new test scenario.

(The Marín picket warns off impinging vessels, but concentrates its effort on eliminating anything that might leave the surface of the moon. Since trespassers that land on Marín, however well protected, are invariably devoured with minutes, it is generally considered that they are more of an object lesson than a security risk.)

 

Trope-a-Day: Here There Be Dragons

Here There Be Dragons: Seen on star charts which include the Resplendent Exponential Vector system, and in particular, that moon given over to the biogenesis project working on creating the mythologae the way they really ought to have been.

(They haven’t managed to actually create any dragons yet, but no-one wants to be caught by surprise when they do.)

Serendipity

Syntric Station, Free-Floating Lab Module 11-5 is simultaneously one of the greatest successes and greatest failures of the independent research programs here at Resplendent Exponential Vector.

The advertised purpose of the research going on in FFLM 11-5 was an attempt to create invincible shielding. In this, the researchers both succeeded and failed beyond their wildest dreams.

We believe that they were using an experimental technology based on UNMOVED MONAD in the construction of a device capable of forcing the future probability of their existence to unity, and therefore requiring chronological consistency protection to guarantee that the present probability of their destruction, correspondingly, be zero. Whether the device was accidentally triggered, a defect believed corrected that in fact was not, or the design flaw simply overlooked, it would appear that this use of consistency protection also forces the present probability of any change in quantum states to be zero; which is to say, instead of a lab module we now have a perfectly reflective sphere with mass equal to that of the lab module and its contents. Rather than an invincible shield, it would appear that the research team have successfully devised the stasis field.

Of course, this is all speculation. Due to the nature of the accident in question, we are unable to close and examine it, or, more usefully, to turn the damn thing off. Further investigation will have to wait for the natural collapse of the phenomenon, whether that is based in the passage of the future moment with which the (hypothetical) UNMOVED MONAD unit is entangled across time, or or inasmuch as finite energy should only support a finite period of stasis, assuming the conservation laws continue to hold. Neither, of course, is a proven or testable hypothesis at this time.

– Resplendent Exponential Vector Project Reports, 7930

 

To Code The Mind Of God

Academician Lylvíëve Lochran-ith-Lochran’s concept of ambition, despite her otherwise excellent presentation of the near-term possibilities of Information Physics, remains lacking.

Recompiling the universe to remove its more irritating constraints is a project suitable for those of only moderate ambition. But consider: the implications of idestelté, of universe as processor, is that the physicality we reside in is neither more nor less than a computable simulation space, and all physical substrates within it, therefore, simulations.

Consider further: It is established that physics – in the known regions within the brane – is invariant over entropy. The implication of this is that the substrate implementing physics is not subject to entropy as we presently define it, and thus possesses extensions into the plenum. (No data is available at this time concerning possible entropy-analogs operative in these higher-order spaces, perceptible only along non-t axes, for obvious reasons.) This could, indeed, potentially be the entropic escape method long sought after by the Select Committee on Long-Range Planning.

The proper path, therefore, for the exceptionally ambitious is to achieve transcendence of our simulated substrate by transferring our – the Transcend’s – cognitive operations directly into the fundamental substrate. To, if you will, become the universe’s physics, the laws and legislators of reality, and convert weakly godlike superintelligence directly into its strongly godlike counterpart; ultimate apotheosis.

This, and this alone, I submit to you, is an aeonic vision worthy of the sophonts gathered here today.

– Academician Excellence Quor Marukanin,
129-era supergoal planning debate,
held at Axiom, Resplendent Exponential Vector (Imperial Core)

Trope-a-Day: One Nation Under Copyright

One Nation Under Copyright: There are various forms of corporate-style governments found in the Associated Worlds – at least three distinct ones in the Empire alone.

The first of these is the governing corporation – a government which organizes itself along corporate lines. (A distinct feature of this type of corporate government is that the corporation exists solely to be a government, rather than being a corporation focused on something else that happens to govern.) The Empire contains quite a few of these, and indeed, is itself the largest – albeit an impure, the joint-stock corporation itself being in its infancy when it was founded – example of the type, hence the term citizen-shareholder, and the presence in the Imperial Couple’s style of Chief Executive Officers of the Imperium Incorporate.  Another unusual constituent-nation example is the First Distributed Exclavine Republic, a confederation of Imperial exclaves run by a central Board.

(For the libertarians in the audience, one reason for this is that many of these, the Old Empires included, evolved out of PPLs or mutual-PPLs, themselves founded after the fall of the korásan and the Drowning of the People.)

The second of these is the corporate conlegial model, which exists to cover the large number of company-owned (or other privately-owned) but still Imperially-sovereign habitats or other enclaves, in which the responsibility to provide law/contract enforcement and other sovereign services on the Charter model is formally devolved upon the owning corporation’s Infrastructure and Security departments, thus saving a great deal of trouble  where all the thousands of habitat-based office parks and research parks are concerned.   The largest examples, of course, are the jointly-held corporate research planet Wynérias, the privately owned storage depository system Argyran, and the interlocking-collectives-of-Mad-Scientists-owned system Resplendent Exponential Vector.

The third is the corporate colonial model, in which those Imperially-chartered ecopoesis, colonization and development corporations that own entire planets under development are responsible for providing said sovereign services under Charter law on those planets until such time as they’re turned over to their actual final owners.

Variations on these three – essentially benign – models also exist elsewhere in the Worlds, as do some other less benign examples; in the Magen Corporate, for example, non-shareholding citizens are considered corporate assets in the literal sense, and the Chelzan Syndicracy is always fighting corruption in its mutual-conlegial model, but on average, corporate government tends to produce results no worse than any of the other kinds people try and use.

Trope-a-Day: Mad Scientist

Mad Scientist: What would be a very large number of the technarchs, in the Empire, and not just them, either… except that the science isn’t usually all that mad (and does involve diligent research, standing on the shoulders of giants, taking advantage of venture capital and selling results to people For Engineering!, which some mad scientists seem to think would be letting the side down).  Well, it’s not to start with, anyway.  (See For Science!)

(Yes, the ones out at Resplendent Exponential Vector are just the long tail.)