Exhuman modified behavior

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nerdnumber1 nerdnumber1's picture
Exhuman modified behavior

The exhuman faction choice in Transhuman comes with level 2 modified behavior, presumably a result of the character "improving" himself through psychosurgery. Now, since this is supposed to be a negative trait, it can't be something that particularly benefits the character, yet it should be something that the character thought would be advantageous. I'm trying to think up some good options for exhuman behavior modification while not being a min-maxer (though exhumans kind of tend to be min-maxers by the nature of their philosophy).

Off the top of my head I can think of increases to aggression or removing human "weaknesses" like fear, mercy, or sexual attraction. However, some of these seem to be a bit short-sighted for a more thoughtful exhuman. Anyone else have ideas?

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
Some ideas:

Some ideas:
-Commitment to hard work.
-Total disregard to ethics (they might consider it a weakness).
-Obsessive about exercise, science, or some sort of job.
-Greed.
-Desire to do more Exhuman research (might prefer to kidnap test subjects so it doesn't need to experiment on itself thus minimize the risks of testing on itself).
-Try to turn itself into a predator.

Mental problems are quite common for Exhumans. They are prone to experiment with untested psychosurgery techniques to improve themselves. Any way they can, RIGHT NOW! These modified behavior traits might be a product of procedures that haven't been perfected back when they used them (and might still be not safe). The resulting modified behavior might technically do what the Exhuman asked for, but does it ways that might cause more problems. An Exhuman who disregards ethics might have a reputation for always failing to honor deals (because it considers to honor a deal is a sign of weakness), or be unwilling to do business with those it considers "weaklings".

However, your question(s) assumes that the changes done achieves what the Exhuman wanted. Its entirely possible the modified behavior actually broke so its no longer as useful as it once was (consider traumas or disorders for ideas). Or maybe the Exhuman got psychosurgery done on it by someone it shouldn't have trusted (like a Hypercorp secret project).

nick012000 nick012000's picture
Making themselves into an

Making themselves into an economic rational optimizer, and removing many of our cognitive biases.

+1 r-Rep , +1 @-rep

Jaberwo Jaberwo's picture
I guess exhumans are people

I guess exhumans are people who take it too far, and too fast, so things break along the way and there is a high risk that their efforts for optimization backfire.

Exhumans are less rational than Ultimates, but sometimes their gamble pays off and they advance further than it would have been possible with a more risk-aware aproach.

nizkateth nizkateth's picture
I can imagine many ways to

I can imagine many ways to modify behavior to shed human weakness...

Opposition to basic 'pleasures' like food. Eat for sustenance, if you can't figure out how to mod to remove that limitation. But enjoying food leads to considering food overmuch, and seeking out enjoyment from it, which is a distraction.

Remove sex drive completely. If you are immortal, and can asexually reproduce by growing a better body and forking into it, attraction to others is a distraction. Especially if you retain an attraction to such base things as normal transhumans. Desire for a sylph is weakness, that sylph now has power over you.

Gain mental comfort in unusual surroundings, such as alone in the vacuum. By removing the limitations of human psychology in such an area, whole new places become open to thriving within. Helps to also work to remove the crippling and backward human need for interaction.

If possible, condition for consistent lucid dreaming if you can't remove the need for sleep. Why should the mind stop focusing on important things for a few hours every Earth-cycle? In fact, why are we still limited by the biorhythms of less-evolved ancestors from a now-dead rock? Condition to remove trace elements of such thought. Day and night mean nothing on the face of an asteroid in the Kuiper Belt.

Condition for plural thinking. If we are many minded, and we fork into many bodies, we are multiplied. We are greater than a community, we are parallel processing in parallel bodies. Many minds, many bodies, all bent to a task... one mind, one body.

Remove weaker incentives like rage. Existence isn't passion, evolution is cold. Adaptation and survival are best served when the mind is calm. Kill when needed, not because of a disgusting instinctive impulse like anger. Such irrationality can lead to destroying potential advantages out of silly primate spite.

If possible, remove all human languages. Awkward conglomerations of historical thought-detritus piled on themselves until they've formed like sedimentary rock. Inefficient, and based on now-trivial concepts and views of the universe. Develop your own.

...off the top of my head.

Reapers: Do Not Taunt Happy Fun Ball.
My watch also has a minute hand, millenium hand, and an eon hand.

Lorsa Lorsa's picture
Exhumans creep me out.

Exhumans creep me out. Personally I'd prefer to simply use my personality matrix and construct a seed AI from it. That seems a much better option to move forward while keeping your human past!

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nerdnumber1 nerdnumber1's picture
Lorsa wrote:Exhumans creep me

Lorsa wrote:
Exhumans creep me out. Personally I'd prefer to simply use my personality matrix and construct a seed AI from it. That seems a much better option to move forward while keeping your human past!

That qualifies you for the exhuman club! Here is your membership card.

The weird conflict I'm having is trying to pick a modified behavior that a very intelligent (if somewhat philosophically extreme) individual would see as advantageous, yet still disadvantageous enough to justify it being a 10 cp negative trait (negative traits should be somewhat limiting). Preferably, I'm still looking at something that is "trans-humanity friendly" as my potential character still sees trans-humanity as a group to be valuable, if only for their potential and diversity, despite their slower progress into the post-human future.

Could I modify behavior to help me function better when under stress? Perhaps an enfored command of "DON'T PANIC!" preventing me from panicking unless I succeed a willpower x 3 check? This seems like an advantage more than a penalty. Do psycho-surgical modifications preventing behavior make it harder for asyncs to force someone to commit actions against the psycho-surgery?

I could think of double-edged sword options if behavior modification acts as a defense. For example: I could have a block that prevents me from voluntarily damaging myself, which would make me harder to influence psionically (in certain ways), but it would prevent me from attacking my (potentially corrupted) forks, killing my self to prevent capture, or cutting out infected implants/limbs.

Lorsa Lorsa's picture
Couldn't modified behavior be

Couldn't modified behavior be equally likely to be something you do that isn't normal as much as it prevents you from doing something?

How about modifying your behavior to take every oppertunity to change your body and mind, that whenever you encounter a new augmentation or psychosurgical improvement you use them. It may cause some weird problems for you.

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nerdnumber1 nerdnumber1's picture
Lorsa wrote:Couldn't modified

Lorsa wrote:
Couldn't modified behavior be equally likely to be something you do that isn't normal as much as it prevents you from doing something?

How about modifying your behavior to take every oppertunity to change your body and mind, that whenever you encounter a new augmentation or psychosurgical improvement you use them. It may cause some weird problems for you.

I'm trying for a somewhat more reasoned exhuman, who I believe would trust his own judgement on whether pursuing a particular line of experimentation is justified. Even exhumans tend to look to optimize in some direction rather than plugging in anything that fits.

As it is, I'm looking at a character that wants to emphasize his versatility and adaptability (thus making him less likely to permanently change into a trans-human unfriendly monster in the short run). Skill softs and psychosurgical skill imprints can go a long way. He will make himself into whatever he needs to be, an outlook that can be very creepy at times. I do hope there is at least one opportunity where he ends up having to turn himself into a charming gentleman (or lady) and completely becomes a different person that people seem to like more.

Baalbamoth Baalbamoth's picture
I think theres a starting point

first, what is the exhuman's ideal form?

is he going for one massive immortal being like a flex bot hab, meathab, etc or does he want to follow the many are one distributed intelligence path, or does he want to be the father of a breed of a alien super predator?

what human flaws does he want to eliminate? a flexbot hab that is depressed because it cant get laid sounds fun but I bet that would be on the top of the list of human crap needing editing for the exhuman.

"what do I want? The usual — hundreds of grandchildren, complete dominion over the known worlds, and the pleasure of hearing that all my enemies have died in highly improbable accidents that cannot be connected to me."

nerdnumber1 nerdnumber1's picture
Baalbamoth wrote:first, what

Baalbamoth wrote:
first, what is the exhuman's ideal form?

is he going for one massive immortal being like a flex bot hab, meathab, etc or does he want to follow the many are one distributed intelligence path, or does he want to be the father of a breed of a alien super predator?

what human flaws does he want to eliminate? a flexbot hab that is depressed because it cant get laid sounds fun but I bet that would be on the top of the list of human crap needing editing for the exhuman.

Good question. I was interested when I read the exhuman faction choice since exhumans are so often considered to be monsters not fit for player characters (particularly not Firewall characters). I was figuring on a more moderate x-human, who is willing to reshape his mind and body to fit the situation at hand. He makes alpha forks at the slightest provocation (he has the skill to remerge after a significant period without much trouble). He finds transhumanity, while irritatingly slow to progress into the inevitable post-human future, still has valuable potential.

While eager to re-sleeve into powerful, exotic morphs when given the chance, frequent ego-casting often makes this unfeasible or inefficient. He tends to be a more cerebral sort of exhuman, but will often turn his psychosurgical knowledge to turn one of him into a predator when there is need. He does have plans for experiments in becoming some sort of hive consciousness, but he lacks the resources to do so and knows that it would likely attract unwanted attention.

I know caution does not normally mesh with exhumans, but I figure you don't have to be insane to believe that humanity can be improved upon.

Baalbamoth Baalbamoth's picture
with great power...

and that seems to be a central theme to EP, when you can become just about anything, what is the value of your humanity? deciding that humanity, being at all human, is a weakness and a flaw is where transhumanity ends and exhumanity (and/or posthumanity) begins. I don't really know if there could be a such thing as a moderate exhuman, that's sorta like "moderately pregnant" either you are or are not,

"what do I want? The usual — hundreds of grandchildren, complete dominion over the known worlds, and the pleasure of hearing that all my enemies have died in highly improbable accidents that cannot be connected to me."

nerdnumber1 nerdnumber1's picture
Baalbamoth wrote:and that

Baalbamoth wrote:
and that seems to be a central theme to EP, when you can become just about anything, what is the value of your humanity? deciding that humanity, being at all human, is a weakness and a flaw is where transhumanity ends and exhumanity (and/or posthumanity) begins. I don't really know if there could be a such thing as a moderate exhuman, that's sorta like "moderately pregnant" either you are or are not,

He is moderate because he believes that shedding certain aspects (though not necessarily all aspects) of humanity is the best path forward, but he does still hope that his progenitor race survives long enough to realize this on their own and move ahead as well. He can be ruthless to individuals when need be, he is painfully antisocial, and lacks much empathy, but he does care about the species (they may be foolish, but it would be a shame if they waste their potential). He sees little in his body and mind to be sacred and will turn himself into any form that is helpful (human form has not yet lost its usefulness, but he will abandon it in an instant).

A more radical type of exhuman would probably show more malice to trans-humanity.

Baalbamoth Baalbamoth's picture
somantics

if he wants to keep some humanity, he's transhuman, if he wants to eliminate all of it he's ex-human. that's the diff between the two.

"what do I want? The usual — hundreds of grandchildren, complete dominion over the known worlds, and the pleasure of hearing that all my enemies have died in highly improbable accidents that cannot be connected to me."

thezombiekat thezombiekat's picture
But somebody who wants to get

But somebody who wants to get rid of all there humanity, is ex-human even if they don’t feal that everybody else has to do so right now.

“I am leading the way; I believe you will follow of your own free will before long.”

nerdnumber1 nerdnumber1's picture
Quote:if he wants to keep

Quote:
if he wants to keep some humanity, he's transhuman, if he wants to eliminate all of it he's ex-human. that's the diff between the two.

Humanity is such a poorly defined concept. Defining oneself as the antithesis of another being is idiocy. While not bound by the concepts of humanity, it would be folly to reject an idea merely because humanity shares it, just as it would be foolish to reject oxygen because Hitler and fire both use it. Humanity is not a sacred concept, but neither is it entirely antithetical to the concept of exhumanism. Humans occasionally use logic, doe that mean that ex-humans cannot? They are often selfish, sometimes altruistic, and sometimes neither. Humans have a sense of self-preservation and so do exhumans.

thezombiekat wrote:
But somebody who wants to get rid of all there humanity, is ex-human even if they don’t feel that everybody else has to do so right now.

“I am leading the way; I believe you will follow of your own free will before long.”

That sums it up pretty well, except that he isn't necessarily that confident that everyone (or even a large number) will follow him in before an x-threat finishes them off, but he finds the possibility valuable enough to devout some resources to give them a little time to figure things out (which is one of the reasons he is with Firewall). He is cold and distant, willing to do whatever he deems necessary, but still maintains certain goals that mesh with humanity, at least for the time being.

thezombiekat thezombiekat's picture
As to a possible modified

As to a possible modified behaviour.

I have a housemate who is a sociopath with the papers to prove it (formally diagnosed). He has been known to refer to the empathy he lacks as a disadvantage suffered by others rather than its lack being a disadvantage he suffers. An ex-human could easily crave this advantage.

I should note that this person is not a threat to society. He works well within society having decided that it is logically to his advantage to do so. He his helpful to his friends (and sometimes strangers) out of curiosity and desire to be part of a support network that will help him at need.

nerdnumber1 nerdnumber1's picture
thezombiekat wrote:As to a

thezombiekat wrote:
As to a possible modified behaviour.

I have a housemate who is a sociopath with the papers to prove it (formally diagnosed). He has been known to refer to the empathy he lacks as a disadvantage suffered by others rather than its lack being a disadvantage he suffers. An ex-human could easily crave this advantage.

I should note that this person is not a threat to society. He works well within society having decided that it is logically to his advantage to do so. He his helpful to his friends (and sometimes strangers) out of curiosity and desire to be part of a support network that will help him at need.

Now we just have to interpret how that acts as a 10 disadvantage when it is most likely going to come up more as a way to mitigate stress damage than as a disadvantageous trait in game....

Baalbamoth Baalbamoth's picture
well I worked in a mental hospital for 8 years

and just because somebody is diagnosed as a sociopath does not mean thats what they are, (psych diagnosis isn't really a true science its more of a loose opinion by the therapist) but sociopaths which we had there worried me MUCH more than the psychoptaths.

About one in ten people in society display serious psychopathic tendencies, put simply they just feel "less" fear, guilt, and remorse and are driven to thrill seeking behaviors.

These people tend to become the worst sort of used car salesmen, telemarketers who take advantage of seniors, loan officers who lie about terms, corrupt cops, carrier criminals etc but most never violate the law or become a real problem in society. most times they are actually a benefit.

True sociopaths who don't display any sort of conscience, will do just about anything to gain power and there is no guilt. Sociopaths aren't born, their created through a lack of parental bonding usually through extreme neglect so they tend to show up in populations where there is starvation or a lack of basic needs, sociopaths then fulfill a very needed function... their the ones that survive when everyone else is dieing because they will do ANYTHING to survive but put them in a society where survival isn't difficult and they become a blight.

so I don't know what to say about having a sociopath as a roommate, but if he is a real true sociopath... I wouldn't trust anything he says... ever, especially what he tells you about himself and his history. (side note- someone with "sociopathic tendencies" is not a true sociopath... there's a huge difference.)

back to point...

to me when I think of "what does it mean to be human" I'm thinking spiritually, philosophically, emotionally, etc. an exhuman is somebody who is trying to eliminate all of that and become truly inhuman.

that means their motivations are totally alien, they aren't seeking power, or wealth, or love fame or acceptance or anything else a human would identify with. It really is a 10 point disadvantage and I would see it more like a wild totally delusional psychotic break.

I think the problem others are having with this is seeing a desire to become exhuman as logical... when its really anything but.

no matter how powerful somebody wants to become, any human would still want to keep some aspects of humanity, even if that's just some slightly higher than base human desires, that dosent seem to be what exhumans want.

exhumans want to be a swarm of bugs living on an asteroid, or some kind of predatory beast not thinking beyond a full belly, or a creature of such vast godlike intelligence they cant form any connection with humans, communicate with them, or even care what becomes of them (Dr Manhattan after he gives up on humanity). they want to be something totally alien to human experience, something so radically different its pretty much nonsensical to anyone who isn't totally bonkers.

and if that isn't what the individual wants, if they still want to function within society or fufill some role that would benefit others... their really not exhumans... their just not loony enough for that.

"what do I want? The usual — hundreds of grandchildren, complete dominion over the known worlds, and the pleasure of hearing that all my enemies have died in highly improbable accidents that cannot be connected to me."

nerdnumber1 nerdnumber1's picture
There is a bit of a spectrum,

There is a bit of a spectrum, but you have to see some parellels between even your more extreme examples and more "human" desires. The god-like intelligence and super-predator examples are in a way extensions of a very human desire for power or personal improvement. Some started out with understandable goals such as becoming more intelligent or better at surviving (something humans can understand), but at some point (perhaps even the beginning) they put their somewhat understandable goal above other human traits, which they had to sacrifice in the process.

Ex-humans often have goals that are not completely incomprehensible, but what they are willing to give up to obtain their goals is what makes them inhuman. A normal human athlete might get an Olympian to perform better, while an exhuman would sleeve into a dragon and cut out the parts of his mind that dislike physical activity. A normal scholar might get a menton to be smarter, while an exhuman might sleeve into a server bank to run multiple forks at accelerated speed and devote ridiculous effort to making a larger and more complex network to improve himself, all this time psycho-surgically altering himself for more logical and efficient thought by cutting out extraneous emotions and desires. They become quite alien in their pursuit of an ultimate ideal, but that ideal tends to have a kernel of human desire at its core. Those who are earlier on their ex-human path might be merely antisocial and strange, but still possess an understandable mind. In time, however, they may inevitably find themselves completely alien.

thezombiekat thezombiekat's picture
There are 2 ex-human groups

There are 2 ex-human groups described in the GM section of the main book. Nether is so alien as to be totally incomprehensible to humans. You could not deal with them as easily as transhumans but they have drives that can be comprehended, if not agreed with.

In rimward there was a group of ex=humans that wanted to live on meathab. They where not liked but they coexisted on a habitat with transhumans for some time without a string of murders.

And there are some drives that are common to all beings. A need for recourses being the most basic, and the resources ex-humans need are the same as those needed by transhumanity, carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, mettles, processing power, energy. This alone gives the beginning of a basis for exchange.

While I am shore some groups work to shed their dependence on mater and or energy I doubt they are making significant progress.

thezombiekat thezombiekat's picture
nerdnumber1 wrote

nerdnumber1 wrote:
thezombiekat wrote:
As to a possible modified behaviour.

I have a housemate who is a sociopath with the papers to prove it (formally diagnosed). He has been known to refer to the empathy he lacks as a disadvantage suffered by others rather than its lack being a disadvantage he suffers. An ex-human could easily crave this advantage.

I should note that this person is not a threat to society. He works well within society having decided that it is logically to his advantage to do so. He his helpful to his friends (and sometimes strangers) out of curiosity and desire to be part of a support network that will help him at need.

Now we just have to interpret how that acts as a 10 disadvantage when it is most likely going to come up more as a way to mitigate stress damage than as a disadvantageous trait in game....

The core of this problem is that anything that somebody thinks will be beneficial, will probably be in some way beneficial, at least if it works as intended. The downsides I would expect to see on ex-human procedures that actually work as intended would be making it harder to deal with people ether because you keep creeping them out (my sociopath housemate dose this a lot) or because you cannot predict their normal human emotional responses (again my housemate although less commonly because he spent time studying humans).

The unexpected side effects however could be anything after all the become a sociopath psychosurgery was not available as a standard mind patch so you tried to create it from first principles with a questionable understanding of what you really wanted and instead wound up with modified behaviour, blocked, making a deal that isn’t sharply slanted to your benefit, you think your looking out for yourself over others but you’re really doing yourself out of the benefit of every mutually beneficial deal. This is a detriment but not to the point of unplayability you can still make deals that are not waited in your favour with a will*3 test at -20, you may even get a bonus if under duress.

Another idea that occurs is encouraged vengeance.

Baalbamoth Baalbamoth's picture
I dont agree

a transhuman who goes to the extreme in modification, even to the point of becoming almost alien in physique, or mental capibilities is still transhuman. their goals to become more advanced in whatever way does not make them an ex-human, its deciding that your humanity, and humans in general having no value (beyond maybe as a food or fuel) is when one becomes an ex-human. I dont see that as a "spectrum" of ex-human, and ex-humanity is generally not something you accidentally slip into... but if you did, if you advanced your thinking or body to such a point that humanity had no value to you, yes then you'd be an exhuman... but up until that point you'd be transhuman.

"what do I want? The usual — hundreds of grandchildren, complete dominion over the known worlds, and the pleasure of hearing that all my enemies have died in highly improbable accidents that cannot be connected to me."

nizkateth nizkateth's picture
I keep thinking there must be

I keep thinking there must be some line between exhuman and posthuman.
The latter strikes me as more the "push to become greater than transhuman, even if that means having to leave some traits behind, as we did when we moved from lesser to greater mammals."
While the former seems more like "screw humanity, Im'ma be a carnivorous tree."

Reapers: Do Not Taunt Happy Fun Ball.
My watch also has a minute hand, millenium hand, and an eon hand.

thezombiekat thezombiekat's picture
While exhumans like that do

While exhumans like that do exist the book seems to indicate that they are a broader grouping.

EP p362 exhumans wrote:

Some have also adopted an antagonistic
view of their former transhuman species, viewing it as
weak, decadent, and unworthy. This has spurred some
exhumans to actively attack and ravage transhuman
settlements and ships

emphasis mine
Baalbamoth Baalbamoth's picture
thats different

thats saying that "some" ex-humans are antagonistic towards transhumanity and want to harm the whole of humanity in some way, but not all. but one thing all ex-humans have is a desire to not be human anymore even if they dont desire to destroy transhumanity itself. IE they see no value in it but dont think it needs or is worth the energy to destroy.

again, if you see a value in humanity, your transhuman, if you dont your exhuman.

btw to outline the differences...

transhuman- moving from human to something slightly more or different than human.
posthuman- some thing that was once human and has already become something that is different than human.
ex-human- something that was human, has moved past it, and does not see the value in what it was.
overhuman- something that was human, and believes its superiority demands that it rule over weaker humans or transhumans.

"what do I want? The usual — hundreds of grandchildren, complete dominion over the known worlds, and the pleasure of hearing that all my enemies have died in highly improbable accidents that cannot be connected to me."

nerdnumber1 nerdnumber1's picture
Baalbamoth wrote:thats saying

Baalbamoth wrote:
thats saying that "some" ex-humans are antagonistic towards transhumanity and want to harm the whole of humanity in some way, but not all. but one thing all ex-humans have is a desire to not be human anymore even if they dont desire to destroy transhumanity itself. IE they see no value in it but dont think it needs or is worth the energy to destroy.

again, if you see a value in humanity, your transhuman, if you dont your exhuman.

btw to outline the differences...

transhuman- moving from human to something slightly more or different than human.
posthuman- some thing that was once human and has already become something that is different than human.
ex-human- something that was human, has moved past it, and does not see the value in what it was.
overhuman- something that was human, and believes its superiority demands that it rule over weaker humans or transhumans.

I think the line one must cross to become an exhuman is where one feels that one's "humanity" is just getting in the way of one's goal and makes the decision to relinquish it. At this point, an exhuman tends to cut out bits of themselves that stand in their way, often making more radical changes easier and easier. While an exhuman does not see any intrinsic value in the philosophical concept of "humanity" (and, indeed, consider it generally to be a liability), they may or may not see transhumans as valuable for their service, resources, knowledge, or mere potential to become something greater. I might not want to be dirt, but it is hard to grow a garden without it, so I see it as useful.

Baalbamoth Baalbamoth's picture
well...

to me then hes not really an exhuman until he decides to relinquish all human "limitations" especially social, your not a gardner till you grow something.

"what do I want? The usual — hundreds of grandchildren, complete dominion over the known worlds, and the pleasure of hearing that all my enemies have died in highly improbable accidents that cannot be connected to me."

nerdnumber1 nerdnumber1's picture
Baalbamoth wrote:to me then

Baalbamoth wrote:
to me then hes not really an exhuman until he decides to relinquish all human "limitations" especially social, your not a gardner till you grow something.

Ah, so here is the semantic crux of the disagreement: the distinction between an aspiring exhuman and an ascended (or descended) one. There are several mentions of "exhuman" groups who, while antisocial, creepy, and separated, are still quite capable of peacefully living adjacent to transhumanity with some interaction. These do not fit your stricter definition of exhuman (a sentiment that is likely shared by many stricter exhumans, at least those that still care about such things), but merely self-identify as such and are alien enough to qualify in most people's minds. I tend to use the wider definition of exhuman as "one who believes that their humanity is a detriment and seeks to remove human weaknesses to better pursue personal enhancement", which differs from your stricter definition that requires the individual to have already removed any trait that would make someone believe that they were once human.

Most exhuman enclaves are quite isolated from non-exhumans with even the most "social" living on the fringe of transhuman habs, interacting in a strictly practical manner rather than "mingling" (for example, while they may participate in trade, information exchange, or short-term joint ventures, it is highly unlikely that they'll go to a party). There is an exhuman-run salvage ship in the scum swarm "The Stars, Our Destination".

Baalbamoth Baalbamoth's picture
I think I can sum it up this way...

exhuman=crazy dangerous bastards you should shoot before they can breed.

nuff said.

"what do I want? The usual — hundreds of grandchildren, complete dominion over the known worlds, and the pleasure of hearing that all my enemies have died in highly improbable accidents that cannot be connected to me."

nerdnumber1 nerdnumber1's picture
Baalbamoth wrote:exhuman

Baalbamoth wrote:
exhuman=crazy dangerous bastards you should shoot before they can breed.

nuff said.

That definition could fit certain bio-conservative Jovians I know...

Gantolandon Gantolandon's picture
For me, an "ex-human" is

For me, an "ex-human" is anybody too weird to be accepted by most of the transhumanity. It's a pejorative. That's why it is a 10-point flaw - you may be a peaceful disembodied brain who even likes some human contact, but people still think that you worship TITANs and kill biomorphs to harvest their neural tissue. A bunch of modified predator-pricks attack the neighboring habitat and suddenly everyone looks at you suspiciously, debating if you should be merely expelled or killed before you inevitably lose your shit.

I don't think most "ex-humans" think of themselves as such and certainly don't use this name. All of them have a different way to achieve the superior form and, most likely, think it's the one that makes the most sense. Why would they identify with creatures they have nothing in common with, except the fact that they are not human anymore?


nerdnumber1 nerdnumber1's picture
Gantolandon wrote:For me, an

Gantolandon wrote:
For me, an "ex-human" is anybody too weird to be accepted by most of the transhumanity. It's a pejorative. That's why it is a 10-point flaw - you may be a peaceful disembodied brain who even likes some human contact, but people still think that you worship TITANs and kill biomorphs to harvest their neural tissue. A bunch of modified predator-pricks attack the neighboring habitat and suddenly everyone looks at you suspiciously, debating if you should be merely expelled or killed before you inevitably lose your shit.

I don't think most "ex-humans" think of themselves as such and certainly don't use this name. All of them have a different way to achieve the superior form and, most likely, think it's the one that makes the most sense. Why would they identify with creatures they have nothing in common with, except the fact that they are not human anymore?

When I mentioned the "10-point flaw", I was referring specifically to the level 2 modified behavior that comes with the "exhuman" background selection. The social limitation is obvious, but choosing a modified behavior, which the character intentionally obtained to make themselves better in some way, that also constitutes a 10-point flaw (and not too much of an advantage), seems a bit trickier.

I don't necessarily think that many exhumans necessarily embrace the name, but to be an exhuman one must no longer indentify as human or transhuman. By elimination they may categorize themselves as exhuman or, more charitably, as posthuman, but these are the most general of labels, describing what they no longer are rather than what they have become (like labeling an adult an "exchild" or "postchild" or calling multi-cellular life forms "post-bacteria"). Those that do still interact with transhumanity may accept that such a moniker is accurate, but probably refer to themselves by another name that specifically refers to their group.

thezombiekat thezombiekat's picture
Gantolandon wrote:For me, an

Gantolandon wrote:
For me, an "ex-human" is anybody too weird to be accepted by most of the transhumanity. It's a pejorative. That's why it is a 10-point flaw - you may be a peaceful disembodied brain who even likes some human contact, but people still think that you worship TITANs and kill biomorphs to harvest their neural tissue. A bunch of modified predator-pricks attack the neighboring habitat and suddenly everyone looks at you suspiciously, debating if you should be merely expelled or killed before you inevitably lose your shit.

I don't think most "ex-humans" think of themselves as such and certainly don't use this name. All of them have a different way to achieve the superior form and, most likely, think it's the one that makes the most sense. Why would they identify with creatures they have nothing in common with, except the fact that they are not human anymore?

^^ this ^^

TheBurn TheBurn's picture
One of my Exhuman characters,

One of my Exhuman characters, who is very early in development. Has modified behavior: subservience to party.

Picture of Fire taken under CC0 license. (That's the correct syntax, right?)

nerdnumber1 nerdnumber1's picture
I started reading this necro

I started reading this necro'd thread and thinking "That is almost EXACTLY like the character concept I've been thinking about for a while." Then I realized I posted the thread ~4.5 years ago.

I have thought more about exhumans. My sort of "moderate" exhuman feels that the core of exhuman thought comes down to critically analyzing even the most "sacred" traits associated with humanity and cutting out those that stand in the way of your survival or other goals.

Most ditch things like "empathy" or other social social skills. Some just naturally become "creepy" as they remove things that transhumans believe are vital to being human (or AGI or uplift). Of the few that see social interaction as useful enough to maintain, almost all will avoid calling themselves exhuman and hide things that would make people think that they are.

Exhumans are a general label and they rarely compare notes. As they are all diverging from baseline in different directions, many exhuman groups are as different from each other as they are from the general transhuman population. To the extent they cared, they may look upon radically different exhumans with derision. One may optimize intelligence at the expense of physical ability while another may go as far as sacrificing their sapience to become the ultimate predator.

___

In light of the moderate's definition of exhumanism, he would see those who cut out everything associated with humanity indiscriminately as idiots. To him, "human traits" are just like everything else. They aren't sacred. They aren't the enemy. They are just are. If they are useful, they should be kept. If they are detrimental, they should be removed or modified. For example: self preservation, while useful, has not kept up with the realities of forking. He modified it so that the existence of one good fork means survival. His forks are unafraid of deletion whenever necessary or even convenient. They don't rebel to avoid deletion. They will try to survive if useful to the whole, but not hesitate to delete if not.

He also has considered more of a shotgun approach to exhumanism. Committing to one strategy without considering those that can easily be pursued in parallel is folly. A fork can be working for Firewall while another is experimenting with ego merging, another crafts the ideal combat morph, another makes hivemind hardware, and another goes bioconservative in the JR. (A Jovian painted a fantasy about TITAN mesh attacks taking out all of transhumanity save for their restricted mesh, becoming the last bastion of humanity. Unlikely, but the concept of exhumanism in of itself should not be sacred either, so might as well have a token agent, modified to be able to coexist in that hellhole.)

He is rather odd being an open exhuman who avoids antisocial behavior (overt antisocial behavior is dangerous, covert antisocial behavior is risky). He actually tries to buy forks off promising infugees who pass simulspace skill evaluations and psych profiles for experimental ego merging. Social behavior stops him from taking the unwilling, but it allows him some ability to advertise to a wider audience. Those who are skilled, sound of mind, and not completely antithetical to his goals get the offer of a case (negotiable for more promising candidates) in exchange for a copy of their ego to experiment on. He takes great care (in time accelerated simulspace) to merge the egos properly, then takes the time to psychosurgically heal their mind. It's hit or miss and failures may be deleted or put in cold storage indefinitely. He won't commit identity theft, extract private information, or resell the fork. The originating ego is free to do whatever they want. He's not secret about the agreement, which dulls enthusiasm, but it keeps things above board. Most of the time, the ego backup isn't ever instantiated prior to merging, so they aren't a conscious person until the merge.