Audio Modulation of Narcoalgorithms

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Erenthia Erenthia's picture
Audio Modulation of Narcoalgorithms

Sorry if this has been discussed before, but I'm getting a "validation error" every time I try to use the search box.

How difficult would it be, in game mechanics terms, to create a sound file that carried a narcoalgorithm affecting certain morphs (I imagine it could only effect morphs within a certain category like pods, biomorphs, or synths)

The end really is coming. What comes after that is anyone's guess.

Yerameyahu Yerameyahu's picture
Re: Audio Modulation of Narcoalgorithms

I'm not aware that this is possible at all (for PCs). That's a Basilisk (Core, p365), except in some ways even better (direct narco transfer).

"Since so many records of the years surrounding the Fall were lost, most people do not know if the basilisk hack is anything other than a legend. Various official groups know that this technology was, in fact, used by the TITANs, but they keep this knowledge to themselves, in large part to help reduce the number of people attempting to duplicate it."

Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: Audio Modulation of Narcoalgorithms

I think it would not be a standard thing - narcoalgorithms need to have fairly high system privileges, and sound signals are not supposed to get that.

However, exploits happen. I could imagine that certain morphs simply have features that allow sound-based code to be executed on their processors (for example as a debug mode, for module coordination in flexbots or swarmanoids, or as a brand-specific collaborative AR medium). Then there might be vulnerabilities where transmitted sound code could be allowed to run things in the cyberbrains that mess them up.

Or the sound drug is a feature in the first place. The slitheroid was called CoolFunZnake after all, and its autonomist designers felt that it was a good idea to add easy drug downloading. You can turn it on and off, but who reads the manual so closely to notice that the feature is active by default?

Extropian

Yerameyahu Yerameyahu's picture
Re: Audio Modulation of Narcoalgorithms

From a balance and setting perspective, though, doesn't it sound like (hyuk) it's stepping way over into an area that the fluff says is mythical and unsuccessfully pursued by powerful people?

Erenthia Erenthia's picture
Re: Audio Modulation of Narcoalgorithms

Is the Basilisk even beyond the Prometheans?

Also I think I may have not communicated properly. I should have asked: Could a person alter their "settings" intentionally in order to accept a nacroalgorithm through their ears? This could be an interesting way of smuggling them, What I was thinking of for my game was an NPC that was a famous musician (in the vein of Britney Spears or something) that incorporated narcoalgorithms for her fans not for the purpose in infecting them against their will.

It would also put a new spin on the image a kid spaced out on headphones (not that anyone even remembers what those are in this setting)

The end really is coming. What comes after that is anyone's guess.

Yerameyahu Yerameyahu's picture
Re: Audio Modulation of Narcoalgorithms

AFAIK, it's Exsurgent-only. I'm not an expert, though. :)

Covariant Covariant's picture
Re: Audio Modulation of Narcoalgorithms

This would be very easy if the recipient is willing. The audio transmission is going to be transducer at the receiving end into a binary electrical signal anyway, so you just need to code the sonic pulses with the correct protocol. It's slower than just sending an electrical signal, but the only real difference is the equipment you are using for signal transmission and reception.

The idea of a basilisk hack is that there are inputs into the normal transhuman mind that can do this sort of thing without an appropriate codex to translate it built in. Think of them as optical illusions that upgrade the attacker's permissions in your brain.

Thantrax Thantrax's picture
Re: Audio Modulation of Narcoalgorithms

Very interesting idea for an NPC! I like the idea of an entertainer using narcoalgorithms to enforce the message behind their music.

If I were trying to do this, I think I'd have the NPC offer a software package to their fans. It would be one half of the program, a set of protocols that could synthesize the various narcoalgorithms the entertainer wanted to use. It would listen for the audio cues of the entertainer's music, then use them as it's 'instructions' or 'blueprints' to formulate the narcoalgorithms the entertainer wanted them to experience. Only 'true' fans would 'really understand' their music (ie have the builder software) and the package might get routine updates to keep other artists from trying to piggy back on to that package. You could leverage subscription fees from the fans by making the package a gift to their fan club, so anyone who is a paying member of the fan club gets it for free, along with all the updates.

Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: Audio Modulation of Narcoalgorithms

The reason basilisk hacks are mythical are that they work *without* any security exploits, just plain perception. Aural narcoalgorithms sounds (pun not intended) just fine - people have to open a port in their firewalls to download them. A bit like how people must give petals root access to their minds to use them.

Of course, this also makes them vulnerable through hacking through the same opening. In an ideal world only properly cryptographically signed sounddrugs would be let in, but I would expect in practice this would likely be hackable.

I like the idea of the narcotic music. Fans download the update (which is mildly illegal, or at least unadvisable) and then get to enjoy the music. Various remixes exist, producing more potent states. And then somebody comes up with a truly dangerous piece of music...

Extropian

Yerameyahu Yerameyahu's picture
Re: Audio Modulation of Narcoalgorithms

Yeah, that seems cool. I just assume the OP was talking about non-prepared, non-willing applications.

Erenthia Erenthia's picture
Re: Audio Modulation of Narcoalgorithms

Yeah I didn't explain myself very well. Although I am interested in the idea of music that people don't know is narcotic. I assume that would require some kind of hacking test that would only apply to a certain category of morph (biomorph, pod. synthmorph). (Whereas the exsurgent virus can just automatically do it using any medium to any conceivable type of life form). Or on the flip-side involve some kind of root-kit that masquerades as legitimate software like sony did some years back. This would, of course, eventually be discovered.

Combined with memetics, this could be a very powerful tool for affecting culture. I am thinking it might be possible for a Promethean to come to the conclusion that the only way to prevent the extinction of transhumanity is to level-off its growth. If this sort of thing falls in the range of what Prometheans can do that transhumans can't, that would certainly help point the players in the right direction. On the flip-side, if a transhuman could do this plenty of other interesting stories could come of it.

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Editited to add:

I suppose a two pronged attack could work just as well. Release some malware on the mesh that opens up a security hole, but does not itself exploit it in order to keep itself from being noticed.

The end really is coming. What comes after that is anyone's guess.

Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: Audio Modulation of Narcoalgorithms

Erenthia wrote:
Combined with memetics, this could be a very powerful tool for affecting culture. I am thinking it might be possible for a Promethean to come to the conclusion that the only way to prevent the extinction of transhumanity is to level-off its growth.

Here is an idea: to safeguard transhumanity its growth has to be curtailed, and the nice way is to trap it in pleasant culture. The narcotic music is the first step. Then the Promethean helps develop amazingly enjoyable and addictive VR games and XP shows...

Extropian

Covariant Covariant's picture
Re: Audio Modulation of Narcoalgorithms

Arenamontanus wrote:

Here is an idea: to safeguard transhumanity its growth has to be curtailed, and the nice way is to trap it in pleasant culture. The narcotic music is the first step. Then the Promethean helps develop amazingly enjoyable and addictive VR games and XP shows...

Isn't the scenario where a species falls so deeply into VR that they stop paying attention to base reality an x-risk in and of itself?

Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: Audio Modulation of Narcoalgorithms

Covariant wrote:
Isn't the scenario where a species falls so deeply into VR that they stop paying attention to base reality an x-risk in and of itself?

That is what the *other* Prometheans think. This one just want us to be happy forever, tended by its machines of loving grace.

Extropian