May He Live Forever

HADRAL DINÍTAL, FIRITAL (TIFRELLE RING) – Civil war looms today in the nation of Dinítal, the current “senior power” in the Firital System.

The governance of Dinítal has suffered from a degree of instability over the past four months, since the popular King Terris IV slipped into a coma following a ground-car accident, with the interim regency council bitterly divided between supporters of Queen Dervan II, an adherent of the Accelerationist faction in local politics, and the estranged Prince Ravol, who has been cultivating contacts and favors among the Geotraditionalist and Theosophist factions.

Following consultations with her personal advisors, the Queen has ordered the uploading of her spouse using imported reinstantiation technology. While this news was greeted with circumspect joy among the most fervent supporters of the King and the Accelerationists, wide condemnation has come from the Geotraditionalists, who accuse the Queen of attempting a coup, using this ruse to create an eternal monarchy, and from the Theosophists, who consider all such sophotechnologies blasphemous and soul-disfiguring. While Prince Ravol has issued a statement condemning the Queen’s actions on both these grounds and stating, in an attempt to reach out to royalists, that it was clearly no desire of his father’s, he has received only lukewarm support from either principal faction: it was widely known that King Terris did not consider the Prince fit to succeed him, and both factions seem loyal to the King’s previously expressed desires for the moment.

While as yet open conflict has not broken out, all three factions are maneuvering to place themselves in favorable economic and military positions, and unless there is a radical chaotic shift towards diplomacy or mutual secession, the eventual outbreak of violence seems to be clionomically inevitable.

Meanwhile, Transitory Caliph Naven of the Holy Firitalic Empire (Remnant), the remaining fragment of the planetary governance in place before the Bombardment of Firital, expressed firm support for the Theosophic position in general and Prince Ravol’s claim in specific, stopping just short of an offer of military alliance, while alleging undue offworld influence from various postsophont and consensual powers. While such allegations have been a staple of communiques originating from the Holy Firitalic Remnant, it is disquieting to see them coupled with this new reach for temporal authority in clear violation of the post-Bombardment continuation agreement.

– the Accord Journal

Trope-a-Day: Mind Probe

Mind Probe: Available in a couple of forms; the alethiometer, a highly sophisticated lie detector which works by dynamic mind-state analysis, and the more advanced form, which is obtaining a static copy of the mind-state (via Brain Uploading, which fortunately is possible non-destructively these days) and dissecting it for whatever information you need.  Since this latter is being done on a separate non-running copy of the target’s mind, it has the advantage (for them) of not causing hallucinations, pain, or brain damage, but also the disadvantage (for them) of being entirely irresistible by anything they can do.

Trope-a-Day: Emergency Transformation

Emergency Transformation: This is another thing that tends to happen a lot – not so much for the Imperials themselves, who are used to changing bodies, and for that matter substrates – “at home I’m a humanoid; at work I’m a squidbot” –  like other people change suits, but as you might expect from people who do that, they do keep the appropriate scan-and-compile machinery around when a friend of theirs seems to be about to get dead, because, well, the standard medical treatment for that is to have your brain scanned, your mind-state compiled, and your selfness reinstantiated in another body equipped with proper universal noetic architecture.

This works about as well as you might imagine when you consider the number of people in the universe who remain fundamentally uncomfortable with the algorithmic view of mind (“souls are software objects”) even if they aren’t actual biochauvinists/carbon chauvinists, or who are concerned that some immaterial essence isn’t going along with the transfer, or some such.  And, of course, the Imperials are about as equipped to deal with this one as they are the Cloning Blues (“What sort of fucked-up society spreads memes like this around anyway?”) in the sense of not really having much empathy for any position quite so weird.

And there’s only so far slapping people upside the head with science will go.  Or explaining yet again that if you think you’re you, and remember being you, and act like you, then you are you to within all relevant standards of you-ness, ‘kay?  And, hey, you got immortality, light-speed-plus travel and optional superpowers out of this deal, so could you maybe stop whining for a minute and learn to enjoy not being dead already?

Yeah.  Like that.

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.