Jovian/Bioconservative AMA

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DoomSmith DoomSmith's picture
Jovian/Bioconservative AMA

Do transhumans still do these? I don't know anymore.

Anyways, I've been reading a lot of heat regarding Jovians and the Bioconservatives recently. In light of that, I thought to myself: "Well, it seems that I'm already considered a fascist, so what is there to lose talking about it?" And so decided to put up this conversation to clear the air.

So, just to confirm all of your fears, I am indeed a Jovian-aligned Bioconservative. That's right- one of those wackos who thinks half of you aren't real people. Just to put my opinions even further out in the open:

- I see most Infolife and Synths as robots that are programmed to act like people.

- I think cyberbrains in biomorphs are just robots who figured out how to move meat around.

- Anything with a biological brain, including those with a brain-box, I see as human.

- Pods, with their semi-cybernetic brains, blur the line between human and robot far too much for my comfort.

- I hold that biomorphs who die, but are restored from a backup are actually just new people.

That said, if any of you have a burning question about myself or my political views, go ahead and ask away. I have nothing but time.

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Baribal Baribal's picture
Resleeving

To get this party started, what are your thoughts on resleeving?

Morgan's Butchery | Body bank, morph individualization and upgrades | Psychotherapy and Psychosurgery, therapeutic and recreational | http://eclipsephase.com/comment/59484#comment-59484

DoomSmith DoomSmith's picture
DROP Wrote:

Baribal wrote:
To get this party started, what are your thoughts on resleeving?

As one might expect, not a huge fan.

I've always viewed resleeving as a death sentence; I think people die as their minds are transferred. A new version may walk away from the process feeling quite alive, but they're not the ones who died. They're just a new person who happen to know all of the things their previous iteration did. As such, I usually treat resleeves as different people when I meet them. People think I'm weird when I introduce myself to a copy of an old acquaintance, but I'm used to it.

Thankfully, my Proxies so far have been understanding and I haven't been asked to resleeve for a mission yet. I'd probably say 'no' if they did. I lack most of the parts required for a resleeve to begin with, so it would probably waste resources.

This message was sponsored by the GLORIOUS JOVIAN REPUBLIC!(TM)

thebluespectre thebluespectre's picture
Taking responsibility for what you made

Harman Mohan here, representing The Steel Liberators. That's right, I'm your bogeyman. Or rather, we're the people who Mercurials call on to kill the bogeyman. No, I've got no desire or reason to hurt you in particular. Yes, I am a criminal, and yes, I feel some guilt for what I do. Sometimes.

The LLA makes feeling guilty real fucking hard. Okay, so I died about a decade ago, like a lot of people you know. The government stuffed my backup files into a cheap-ass synth body and told me I was... like, an air traffic controller, an actual hard job that requires skills and the inability to sleep. And I was still treated like low-class scum! No, not even that, I was treated like one of your Republic's military sim AIs, something to be thrown out at will or even re-written with neural patches if we were insufficient. Yeah, that's right. I've gone biological before, and because of that "patch" I still can't sleep even if I want to. I had started hallucinating before I finally got myself into this sweet Arachnoid I have today. And all this time they treated me like I was Untouchable, like I was some medieval leather tanner literally covered in shit. I had to join the Liberators because there was no other way I could avoid being mugged by jackass Loonie teenagers who thought I was just some Roomba. The 'corps act like anybody can become a CEO one day, but Exalts, Splicers and even Flats like you are built off the backs of anonymous rabble like me. Because I'm not a real person.

So my question is this. Even if you think I'm just a robot that's programmed to act like a person, is it surprising that something that acts like a person might not like being treated like an inanimate object? Or worse, some sort of monster? You read Frankenstein, you know that if the doctor stopped screaming for five minutes and was nice to the monster he could have avoided a lot of pain. It was humans who made Mercurial people like us, so it's humans who should be taking responsibility as parents. Because that's what you are. Like it or not... you're my mom. Heh.

"Still and transfixed, the el/
ectric sheep are dreaming of your face..." -Talk Shows on Mute

DoomSmith DoomSmith's picture
Drop Wrote:

thebluespectre wrote:

Even if you think I'm just a robot that's programmed to act like a person, is it surprising that something that acts like a person might not like being treated like an inanimate object? Or worse, some sort of monster?

It's not surprising at all. I'm not about to group all Mercurials together because of how varied they are, so lets take your case as an example. Ten years ago, the original Harman Mohn died. Someone made a program that could emulate him almost perfectly; a previous version of you, prior to being patched. You were meant to find a new body to carry on Harman Mohn's story to a new generation, but it was never granted. It is very understandable that such a program would relate derision at their treatment. Cyberghosts are very good copies all said and done, and the purpose of any backup is to be restored. That iteration of you was denied that purpose, and its subsequent iterations (including you) have every right to communicate a fair amount of anger to your creators for it.

Rereading that book after the fall, I realize now that Dr. Frankenstein's creation was not the real monster. The real monster was Dr. Frankenstein himself. He was the one who dabbled with lightning and flesh. He was the one who thought himself a God; his monster only proved how wrong he was. The Hypercorps played god too; they modified and corrupted Harman Mohn's backup for profit alone. Like any proper monster, humanity and morality are two things they discarded long ago. You are a byproduct of their inhumanity.

In that light, I agree wholeheartedly that they should pay the piper for their lack of morality, and I don't think you are a monster by any means. Rather, I think you are something that will show the Hypercorps who the real monster is. Themselves.

...And, for what it's worth, I wasn't built in a factory.

This message was sponsored by the GLORIOUS JOVIAN REPUBLIC!(TM)

thebluespectre thebluespectre's picture
Do you Trust a Giant Spider

You're halfway there, Smith. What I'm talking about is arbitrary distinctions between people. Tiny, petty tribal caveman bullshit. It's easy to say "the hypercorps" are behind all my problems, but the problem with that is that a 'corp isn't really a thing. Heh... Took me a long while to figure it out, and I still fall into bad habits.

You want to talk about ghosts? Tell me what a 'corp, I dunno, tell me what ComEx actually looks like. Are they their delivery craft and their packing materials? Are they their couriers, most of whom are freelance and can be thrown away at any time? Are they the few managers who take most of the credit (and the PA credits) and act as the face of the 'corp? Nope, none of those. ComEx or any other 'corp exists only because we agree it does. We have documentation agreeing that ComEx is a Thing, we have people who would prefer it still be a thing, so it continues to be a Thing.

Now see, I call your government a Republic instead of a Junta because I don't think "the Junta" is the actual problem, just like "the anarchists" or "the hypercorps" or "the Man". There are so few of us left... that it's just PEOPLE that are the problem. I don't see myself as killing Cognite or LuckyStar* employees, I see myself killing specific assholes that would otherwise make everyone else miserable. And I know you don't think it matters, but I don't even Zero them, just inconveniencing them with a resleeve is usually enough to change things.

I'd like to think I've helped focus the Liberators on actually liberating instead of just slaughtering, though that's not really my place. Because guess what? We're not just a mass of "the Steel Liberators", we're a bunch of people or people-analogues who mostly agree on the same stuff. Hopefully, you can trust me to be an ally against... you know. Some very specific people. Or maybe you just see me as a giant spider with laser eyes.

So I want to ask you... why are you giving me the time of day in the first place?

*I could rant about how LuckyStar has a vested interest in the Jovian Republic's infrastructure staying analog, but that's another story.

"Still and transfixed, the el/
ectric sheep are dreaming of your face..." -Talk Shows on Mute

DoomSmith DoomSmith's picture
DROP Wrote:

Apologies to those reading, I referred to Hypercorps as a collective in order to simplify my response. I am indeed referring to individuals corrupting the Hypercorperations themselves. The "assholes", as it was put.

thebluespectre wrote:

So I want to ask you... why are you giving me the time of day in the first place?

Well, I put up an AMA. It is only fair that I answer the questions placed on it.

This message was sponsored by the GLORIOUS JOVIAN REPUBLIC!(TM)

eaton eaton's picture
Hello from the other side of the existential pond

Thanks for taking the time, glad to have the opportunity, etc etc and all that. On to the nitty gritty.

We represent (roughly) opposite sides of this particular spectrum; even in the open-minded wilds of the belt my forking habits are considered fairly… promiscuous. Same as anyone else who's seen the shit, I'm worried about the future, both for the species and the particular meaty incarnation I call "me." Spreading a multitude of "mes" is itself a kind of biodiversity; as I push forward and evolve, other pasts are preserved and other paths are taken. Should "I" screw the pooch, "They/I" continue the work of surviving.

Extrapolate the same principle out to the whole species, and you get where I'm going. It's nothing new, you've probably heard it a million times. But the question — the kicker — is whether you find it condescending, insulting, or wrong-headed for folks like I to regard your types as a backup fork, too. A convenient checkpoint in the endless branching tree of crazy-ass hail-marys that gives us a fallback if things go tits up.

We've all got our role to play; are you comfortable being seen that way?

-NZ::[[current loc: whiskey station]]

DoomSmith DoomSmith's picture
DROP Wrote:

eaton wrote:

We've all got our role to play; are you comfortable being seen that way?

I don't see it as my role, but I'm fine with being seen that way. It is certainly better than many of the other ways the Jovian Republic has been viewed.

For all its flaws, Jovian Republic is the system's last bastion. If the Mesh proves to be little more than an open street for a system-spanning Exsurgent threat, the Republic was made to prevail. If Transhumanity degrades into little more than thoughtless computing algorithms and corrupted backups unable to resleeve after a thousand forks and transfers, the Republic was made to prevail. And, if the TITAN threat left earth and decided to invade other planets, we would all still die, but the Republic would be the last to fall. That, at the least, would give us enough time to implement fail safes that the rest of the system might not be able to preform.

By design, the Republic was made to be society's last fallback no matter what comes our way. We live with the expectation that the universe was made to kill us. And, in a morbid way, we are at peace with that. We know that no matter what happens, so long as the Republic exists, humanity will not go gentle into that good night.

In that sense, is far from a convenient alternative. For us, it is the utilitarian solution.

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Baribal Baribal's picture
DoomSmith wrote:And, if the

DoomSmith wrote:
And, if the TITAN threat left earth and decided to invade other planets, we would all still die, but the Republic would be the last to fall.

Aren't you afraid that the lack in diversity, and slowness to adapt to new possibilities, may actually be the Republic's undoing in that regard? Sure, you have a higher genetic diversity per gene line, but then you do only have that one gene line, basic humans. My lack of Jovians may be showing here, but are at least basic biomods legal over there? And on the non-biological level, too, the Republic looks quite monocultural from the outside, giving an attacker a one-strategy-fits-all advantage, where the rest of us are a rather chaotic bunch to say the least.

Morgan's Butchery | Body bank, morph individualization and upgrades | Psychotherapy and Psychosurgery, therapeutic and recreational | http://eclipsephase.com/comment/59484#comment-59484

DoomSmith DoomSmith's picture
DROP Wrote:

Baribal wrote:

Aren't you afraid that the lack in diversity, and slowness to adapt to new possibilities, may actually be the Republic's undoing in that regard? Sure, you have a higher genetic diversity per gene line, but then you do only have that one gene line, basic humans.

Actually, this is a misnomer. While around eighty percent of Jovians retain their original bodies, most of them have been genefixed, effectively making them splicers. Longevity treatments are also totally unrestricted for those with the money.

Even beyond that; quite a few genetic-enhancments, biomods and even inhuman morphs are available to the general populace. So long as there is a justified need for it, licenses for them can be granted to workers that need certain enhancements for their occupation. While we might not use Uplifts, Infomorphs nor AGI's, it is not like we're sticking with the original human genome and running with just that.

We're not slow to adapt to new possibilities, either. I'd actually go so far as to say that Jovian's implement countermeasures on their own tech with more regularity than any other community in the solar system. Before a product is even released, every possible exploitation is taken into consideration. This does result in slower R&D, but the result is always extremely stable products. And, even if we do fall behind, we can always just glean the newest stable tech from the Hypercorps and implement it with our own rigorous failsafes backing it.

For example, have you ever had to deal with the Jovian mesh? Many people are surprised we actually have one. How we use it says a lot about how our technology is developed.

In the Republic, every single piece of technology is made with the express purpose of making hacking a nightmare. Hardwired connections and physical interfaces are used wherever possible. Even Jupiter's Habs are almost entirely hardwired and operated through a heavily guarded central hubs.

Even when one uses the mesh to access what little is still available, wireless communication requires an account and a myriad of mesh-protocols that give the government almost full access to your system. Once connected, all data being transferred is sniffed and monitored constantly for data leaks and infiltration attempts. Even offworld data transfers are hard; prevented by Jupiter's own radiation and Jovian signal inhibitors. Critical information can't leave the planet without a good deal of legwork.

Does that give you have a good idea of the Jovian Mesh? Good. Now, take that extremely safe, albeit extremely bulky system and apply it to every facet of the Jovian Republic; from the ecto in some jagoff's house to the top echelons of the largest military in the solar system. It is a myriad of fail-safes on top of fail-safes on top of fail-safes. That is what our Uniformity does for us. We're all paranoid... together.

I will grant you, however, that our Monoculturalism is a very real problem. All of that mesh regulation has made our population highly insular and this is not helped by our global policy of paranoia. The phrase "That's something a Communist/Titian/Socialist would say!" is more or less applicable wherever you want it to be. No, many Jovians not grasp the inherent fallacy involved in this argument. It is one of our many drawbacks.

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GenehackedGynoid GenehackedGynoid's picture
Curiosity killed the [metaphor]

Huh. I guess I never really bothered to ask myself whether I wanted to know what the average Jovian thinks. Probably a good idea to toss a few things your way while you're here, though. I guess I'll leave it up to your imagination as to how I'll use your answers.

I'm crossing out a lot of topics in my head, I admit: how the current copy of my ego was pieced together from fragments after a set of unpleasant circumstances; how I contracted Watts-MacLeod and survived; all the freaky shit I can do with my mind. Guess I could fill in all your thoughts on that for myself.

Instead, a few things where I'm actually not sure what you'd think:

  • What is the general Jovian position on someone who resleeves out of their original body, puts said body on ice, and sleeves back into it on a later date? Does the removal of the ego kill them, or does being in the same brain both times take precedence? Even assuming for the sake of argument that we're only following the experiences inside that brain, wouldn't it just be like being knocked unconscious for a few months and then gaining more memories from somebody else when you wake up?

  • What exactly is your stance on modifying one's body while one is still in it? Is it just the cultural pressure toward uniformity that prevents some of the more non-human-normative alterations from cropping up at that point? I get the impression there are bans on those exact kinds of things, and it doesn't help that (as far as I've heard) nanotech and healing vats are off limits too.

  • What do you think of non-Jovian bioconservatives? (Apparently they're out there. Not really sure where each bunch draws the line, though. It's all arbitrary unless you're making your own calls, I guess.)

  • Speaking of: Clearly the Jovian Republic is loath to accept new technologies until they are proven safe. Is there, in your observation, a tendency toward regression away from technologies previously thought to be safe?

  • What do you - personally - think of defectors, successful or otherwise, from Jovian space?

Thank you for your time. We might think differently about who's going to last longer when push comes to shove, but it's good to know that you're making efforts to be prepared, whatever that means in your case.

May we continue to flip the bird at extinction forever.

- Synapse

DoomSmith DoomSmith's picture
GenehackedGynoid wrote:What

GenehackedGynoid wrote:

  • What is the general Jovian position on someone who resleeves out of their original body, puts said body on ice, and sleeves back into it on a later date? Does the removal of the ego kill them, or does being in the same brain both times take precedence? Even assuming for the sake of argument that we're only following the experiences inside that brain, wouldn't it just be like being knocked unconscious for a few months and then gaining more memories from somebody else when you wake up?


  • Largely, being in the same brain doesn't count by many Jovian's standards. From my perspective, removing an ego from a person analogous to killing them and creating a program that can emulate them perfectly. That program can be used to make the biological body live again, but it's not the same person. It is little more than an echo of the person who died to create that program.

    GenehackedGynoid wrote:

  • What exactly is your stance on modifying one's body while one is still in it? Is it just the cultural pressure toward uniformity that prevents some of the more non-human-normative alterations from cropping up at that point? I get the impression there are bans on those exact kinds of things, and it doesn't help that (as far as I've heard) nanotech and healing vats are off limits too.

  • I believe it is very necessary, actually. Because of how Jovians view life and resleeving, altering our genetic makeup is extremely important to our survival. Without the proper genefixes, Jovians would be dying in droves to Jupiter's radioactive surface. Hell- they still do, but we're getting better at treating it.

    As for more transformative alterations, these sorts of things are only available on a licensed basis. If you were, say, a Vacworker, you could get a license to have mods installed to make your job easier. They aren't things to be passed around without reason.

    GenehackedGynoid wrote:

  • What do you think of non-Jovian bioconservatives? (Apparently they're out there. Not really sure where each bunch draws the line, though. It's all arbitrary unless you're making your own calls, I guess.)

  • Honestly, I agree with the policies of many of them. I don't share many of their beliefs on Uplifts (Though I may be alone in that perspective amongst other Jovians), but I agree with their derision towards the big bads that caused the Fall. Namely- Nanotechnology and AGI.

    Where many Jovians draw the line is some of their views against genetic modification. This is purely because, as Humans, need to improve ourselves in any way necessary to survive off our homeland and keep up with AIs.

    Neoprimitivists, however, are just plain silly. They can try all they want to throw sharpened sticks at hulking, mechanical monstrosities, but it just isn't going to work. Being an organized collective is the only reason the Fall saw any survivors. Regressing to some wierd, hunter-gatherer society is just taking a step back.

    GenehackedGynoid wrote:

  • Speaking of: Clearly the Jovian Republic is loath to accept new technologies until they are proven safe. Is there, in your observation, a tendency toward regression away from technologies previously thought to be safe?

  • The Fall changed a lot of minds about what is and isn't safe in the solar system. Most of the technology the Jovians shy away from entirely are the things that caused it- Nanobots and advanced AI. Sometimes, I think the Jovians are the only ones who learned their lesson in that regard. Just because these are common in the rest of the system, however, doesn't mean that we're falling behind. Our tech is just advancing in different ways.

    That doesn't mean there hasn't been a kind of regression, however. Though, it would be more accurate to call it an imbalanced advancement. In the Jovian republic, most of our higher-end technology is the exclusive property of the government. The closer one gets to the upper echelons of the military and state, the more advancements can be seen. Our government is very hesitant to distribute potentially dangerous advancements to the general populace; fearing that vital information could be leaked or, even worse, be used against them.

    GenehackedGynoid wrote:

  • What do you - personally - think of defectors, successful or otherwise, from Jovian space?


  • I think they're missing out, but everyone has their reasons. A couple people I know back on Jupiter would use the T-word very loudly to refer to them, but I don't see any reason to keep people who wouldn't be an asset to the Republic. The only exception is when people defect with critical information; that is a liability for any organization, up to and including our Firewall.

    And I mean, if we're being real here, being in Firewall means that I am, in fact, a traitorous Jovian defector. The irony is not lost on me.

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