A Family Matter

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ChristianCalvert116 ChristianCalvert116's picture
A Family Matter
I feel like this was something that was seriously overlooked in the source book. In an age where information can be downloaded directly into the brain and a body can be bought and sold like a suit, how does this effect the formation of families and rearing of children? What is it like for a kid whose mommy just decided to become a man? When are you considered an adult if you can have a PhD level education before you are 7 and can buy an adult biomorph? What happens to an infant when it becomes and infomorph? If two people fall in love but one of them is an Olympian and the other a Bouncer are they even capable of having a kid the old fashioned way? If they can't have it the old fashioned way then what do they do? These are just some of the questions that got me thinking about the change in familial dynamics that transhumanity would experience. And this is not even dealing with the fact that since people live forever the Corn King cycle is seriously messed up.
Baribal Baribal's picture
Re: A Family Matter
I think rather than a topic that has been overlooked, it can and probably should be considered one to be explored. Similarities to current situations often exist, like children moving into foster homes, people with reproductive difficulties consulting doctors, and so on, but transhumanity adds yet another interesting twist to it. Also, these topics occur on a individual bases or, like the one about when someone is considered mature, habitat-to-habitat basis. So the next question is, what is the most messed up situation you can think of and how do you get the player characters involved? (On a side note, my gaming group will probably start our first EP campaign soon and I intend to play a character whose parents are five mothers and who was raised on a scum barge. While I'm still trying to think about how that might have affected the character besides making the character jaded and totally unfazable.)
Morgan's Butchery | Body bank, morph individualization and upgrades | Psychotherapy and Psychosurgery, therapeutic and recreational | http://eclipsephase.com/comment/59484#comment-59484
Theseus Theseus's picture
Re: A Family Matter
Why produce new humans when there are so many refugees from Earth who even haven't got organic morphs? I guess only people who reproduce "in the old fashioned way" are bioconservatives. Why anyone would like to grow a child inside their body when you can use an exowomb? I think parenthood is no longer about giving your offspring your genes - it's about giving your MEMES. "Mother" and "father" stuff is also rather outdated in a world where gender and sex means almost nothing.
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: A Family Matter
Theseus wrote:
Why produce new humans when there are so many refugees from Earth who even haven't got organic morphs? I guess only people who reproduce "in the old fashioned way" are bioconservatives. Why anyone would like to grow a child inside their body when you can use an exowomb? I think parenthood is no longer about giving your offspring your genes - it's about giving your MEMES. "Mother" and "father" stuff is also rather outdated in a world where gender and sex means almost nothing.
That logic doesn't really hold light. It'd be like asking "why do people eat so much that they become overweight in a world where there are so many people starving from food shortages?" (that actually happens, you know) It is in our nature to propogate our species, and I highly doubt that will change until we achieve a posthuman world. I can see natural birth as being something some people will still use, even in the far-flung future of EP. Some will do it for transportability (I'd imagine that pregnant women are far more portable and capable of being transported than an exowomb is), while others will simply do it to experience what their ancestors did. Moreover, genes will still matter to some people. Remember that some people get custom-made morphs that are tailored from their original bodies. I doubt they would do that if genes really didn't matter to them at all. Lastly, the concept of parenthood will always matter, even if its meaning changes to our society. Even when gender becomes a transient concept, and the words "mother" or "father" become trivial, the word "parent" (or its equivalent) will still mean something.
Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age. [url=http://bit.ly/2p3wk7c]Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.[/url]
Theseus Theseus's picture
Re: A Family Matter
Decivre wrote:
That logic doesn't really hold light. It'd be like asking "why do people eat so much that they become overweight in a world where there are so many people starving from food shortages?" (that actually happens, you know) It is in our nature to propogate our species, and I highly doubt that will change until we achieve a posthuman world.
I wouldn't compare those two. When both of them are caused by instincts, they are not [i]that[/i] similar. Eating is about surviving of particular specimen, reproduction - their genes/whole species. But answering your (rhetorical, I assume ;)) question: because they think rather about a short moment of pleasure than its future consequences? Also it's not like if you won't eat something then some poor kid in Africa get your food. In the EP setting there's probably a lot of methods to regulate hunger (to not mention about morphs with a simply better metabolism). Then, the perspective of actual immortality along with possibility to alter one's personality would dramatically change view on having offspring. And in this case even in our time a short moment of pleasure doesn't necessary lead to future consequences, if you know what I mean.
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I can see natural birth as being something some people will still use, even in the far-flung future of EP. Some will do it for transportability (I'd imagine that pregnant women are far more portable and capable of being transported than an exowomb is), while others will simply do it to experience what their ancestors did.
I don't think exowombs would be that huge. And you can put it the living room... I guess transporting an exowomb would be still more comfortable than having a pregnant morph. But okay, it's possible to imagine that someone makes a fork, resleeves it into a body capable to bear children and then grows a fetus inside it. Also, bioconservatives of various degree, like I said.
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Moreover, genes will still matter to some people. Remember that some people get custom-made morphs that are tailored from their original bodies. I doubt they would do that if genes really didn't matter to them at all.
It has something with a personal identity (they want their bodies to be really [i]their[/i]) not with a reproduction.
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Lastly, the concept of parenthood will always matter, even if its meaning changes to our society. Even when gender becomes a transient concept, and the words "mother" or "father" become trivial, the word "parent" (or its equivalent) will still mean something.
I didn't say it won't mean anything, I was talking about sex/gender roles in a parenthood and a fact that parenthood itself will very likely lose its biological meaning in favour of a purely cultural one.
King Shere King Shere's picture
Re: A Family Matter
Did any Royals or nobles survive the fall? The royal linage & order of succession may demand natural birth and a unaltered genetic makeup. Imperial & Royal families usually keep practices & customs. Just because its antique & unmodernized doesn't mean its not in use or gone.
Theseus Theseus's picture
Re: A Family Matter
King Shere wrote:
Did any Royals or nobles survive the fall? The royal linage & order of succession may demand natural birth and a unaltered genetic makeup. Imperial & Royal families usually keep practices & customs. Just because its antique & unmodernized doesn't mean its not in use or gone.
Did you see that guy? He's from the Swedish royal family. Or he was. You know, back on Earth... And he's using a flat? A FLAT?! Disgusting. Anyway, if you're talking about European ones then EU probably turned into European Federation or something similar. But they might keep their representative role and at least some of them were evacuated from Earth. Still, they wouldn't have any real power (not like they've got it nowadays) and even worse - no one would expect them to stand, smile and look nicely any longer. Why care about succession when there's nothing to succeed (come on, technically they'd be Fall evacuees, no more than 2500 credit at the beginning ;)). Also, keeping the same gene pool doesn't mean that it couldn't be the best possible combination of said genes. But... There's a new aristocracy - the hyperelite. People from the very peak of hypercorporate ladder could found they own artificially designed dynasties.
King Shere King Shere's picture
Re: A Family Matter
Theseus wrote:
Why care about succession when there's nothing to succeed (come on, technically they'd be Fall evacuees, no more than 2500 credit at the beginning ;)).
Even poor disgusting flats can have standards. Then again some of those "eurotrash" may have media spotlight & glitterati fame
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: A Family Matter
Theseus wrote:
I wouldn't compare those two. When both of them are caused by instincts, they are not [i]that[/i] similar. Eating is about surviving of particular specimen, reproduction - their genes/whole species.
The comparison is very apt. Whether it's about personal or species survival, it's still an impulse... and one that people will likely still want to fulfill. Even without that impulse, the sheer curiosity or desire of accomplishment might be great enough; there is no instinct to make works of art, but some people still do it. In that same vein, even beings who aren't created with the desire for reproduction (such as AGI) might still get a desire to create life for the experience of creating/raising life.
Theseus wrote:
But answering your (rhetorical, I assume ;)) question: because they think rather about a short moment of pleasure than its future consequences? Also it's not like if you won't eat something then some poor kid in Africa get your food. In the EP setting there's probably a lot of methods to regulate hunger (to not mention about morphs with a simply better metabolism).
What consequences? They are living in a world where nano-fabricators can literally take any raw materials and produce, where artificial bodies can live long lives on a single battery, and where a vast majority of the human race exists in digital form on inconceivably vast hard drives, taking up virtually no space at all. There is plenty of room for more people, in some form or another.
Theseus wrote:
Then, the perspective of actual immortality along with possibility to alter one's personality would dramatically change view on having offspring. And in this case even in our time a short moment of pleasure doesn't necessary lead to future consequences, if you know what I mean.
Doubtful. The human race has gone from having an average lifespan of 30 just four millennia ago to doubling our lifespans, yet didn't change our instincts. I doubt that any degree of lengthening will do so either. Immortal beings are going to want sex just as much as we do, and that's really all it takes for kids. Then, of course, there's always that "desire to create" I mentioned earlier.
Theseus wrote:
I don't think exowombs would be that huge. And you can put it the living room... I guess transporting an exowomb would be still more comfortable than having a pregnant morph. But okay, it's possible to imagine that someone makes a fork, resleeves it into a body capable to bear children and then grows a fetus inside it. Also, bioconservatives of various degree, like I said.
Exowombs are likely to be big enough to house an adult body. You can always pull a child out at infancy, but morphs that are grown to full age are likely also grown in exowombs.
Theseus wrote:
It has something with a personal identity (they want their bodies to be really [i]their[/i]) not with a reproduction.
That's one theory. I imagine that it also has to do with the concept of genetic lineage. To many people today, bloodline means a lot. I'm sure that will be true in the far future, just as it was millennia ago.
Theseus wrote:
I didn't say it won't mean anything, I was talking about sex/gender roles in a parenthood and a fact that parenthood itself will very likely lose its biological meaning in favour of a purely cultural one.
That's already happening [i]today[/i], with stay-at-home dads and adoptive gay parents gradually becoming an acceptable part of our society now. Gender identity will still exist, though, and you will likely identify your parent by that, rather than their actual gender at any given time.
Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age. [url=http://bit.ly/2p3wk7c]Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.[/url]
Theseus Theseus's picture
Re: A Family Matter
"Decivre" wrote:
The comparison is very apt. Whether it's about personal or species survival, it's still an impulse... and one that people will likely still want to fulfill. Even without that impulse, the sheer curiosity or desire of accomplishment might be great enough; there is no instinct to make works of art, but some people still do it. In that same vein, even beings who aren't created with the desire for reproduction (such as AGI) might still get a desire to create life for the experience of creating/raising life.
Well, we're social animals able to create a complex culture - so various forms of cultural behavior (like making pieces of art) is likely driven by some sort of instinct, at least partially. I agree that some of AGIs might want to reproduce (they're created to be human-like) but: i) it means creating a new ego and I assumed (maybe wrongly) that we're talking mostly about a biological reproduction; ii) they'd be seen as dangerous (something like: give them few generations and few mutations and you get TITANs 2.0)
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What consequences? They are living in a world where nano-fabricators can literally take any raw materials and produce, where artificial bodies can live long lives on a single battery, and where a vast majority of the human race exists in digital form on inconceivably vast hard drives, taking up virtually no space at all. There is plenty of room for more people, in some form or another.
You gave an example from year 2010 so I replied with the same. And it was about food. They already don't really know what to do with many of people saved from falling Earth (a cheap labour source in cheap morphs) and they were here first. With the Earth's surface destroyed and Mars not yet terraformed they don't have that much physical space.
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Doubtful. The human race has gone from having an average lifespan of 30 just four millennia ago to doubling our lifespans, yet didn't change our instincts. I doubt that any degree of lengthening will do so either.
Remember that the whole point of this Singularity stuff are accelerating changes. The more of them accumulated, the faster a new one will come. First humans changed their environment now they're going to change themselves.
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Immortal beings are going to want sex just as much as we do, and that's really all it takes for kids. Then, of course, there's always that "desire to create" I mentioned earlier.
Tsk, tsk. You can have sex without having children. We've already separated those those two things and when you can "cheat" your brain that your body feels something nice it takes it only a step further. Also, immortal beings may be so different from us that we'd not be able to comprehend they goals and desires. Also, asexual morphs.
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Exowombs are likely to be big enough to house an adult body. You can always pull a child out at infancy, but morphs that are grown to full age are likely also grown in exowombs.
Because they can't make devices in various sizes?
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That's one theory. I imagine that it also has to do with the concept of genetic lineage. To many people today, bloodline means a lot. I'm sure that will be true in the far future, just as it was millennia ago.
"Your mind is software. Program it." See the part about Singularity. In EP the idea of transhumanism includes not only physical and social, but also mental changes (rightly, I'd say).
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: A Family Matter
Theseus wrote:
Well, we're social animals able to create a complex culture - so various forms of cultural behavior (like making pieces of art) is likely driven by some sort of instinct, at least partially. I agree that some of AGIs might want to reproduce (they're created to be human-like) but: i) it means creating a new ego and I assumed (maybe wrongly) that we're talking mostly about a biological reproduction; ii) they'd be seen as dangerous (something like: give them few generations and few mutations and you get TITANs 2.0)
It does not necessarily mean creating a new ego. For some, it can be an alpha or beta fork (depending on if they want a sibling or child), and for others it might be actually coding a new ego... but not everyone will be the same. As for being dangerous, most people assume that [b]all AGI[/b] are dangerous. They're probably used to it. Yet the coding of AGI programming is limited to the structure limitations of the mind. Short of creating a seed AI, they are confined to human capabilities of thought, and I doubt that most AGI are willing to try their hand at creating a seed AI... especially since they too might fear the TITANs.
Theseus wrote:
You gave an example from year 2010 so I replied with the same. And it was about food. They already don't really know what to do with many of people saved from falling Earth (a cheap labour source in cheap morphs) and they were here first. With the Earth's surface destroyed and Mars not yet terraformed they don't have that much physical space.
Except in this case, there are no consequences. The human race has come the nearest it ever has to extinction. It needs new people in a survival war of attrition that it's very close to losing. Why do you think they created the Lost? The urge to reproduce is more useful in such a world than ever.
Theseus wrote:
Remember that the whole point of this Singularity stuff are accelerating changes. The more of them accumulated, the faster a new one will come. First humans changed their environment now they're going to change themselves.
Which they already have, by granting themselves immortal bodies capable of housing far greater minds than before. Yet you have to remember that this is a TRANShuman setting, not POSThuman. No matter how many modifications they may have made, we are stealing dealing with humans, and their human frailties.
Theseus wrote:
Tsk, tsk. You can have sex without having children. We've already separated those those two things and when you can "cheat" your brain that your body feels something nice it takes it only a step further. Also, immortal beings may be so different from us that we'd not be able to comprehend they goals and desires. Also, asexual morphs.
Sure you can have sex without having children. You can also have children without having sex. Which is why people who prefer one over the other can have their cake and eat it too. Yet, the elimination of that attachment does not eliminate the urges that might exist for either. People desire the chance to have children for various reasons, and you'd have to be delusional to believe that they are all simply instinctive and not an act of free will. As for immortal beings being different, I highly doubt it. I am under the impression that if we succeed in finding the means to render people immortal within my lifetime, I highly doubt that I will become some sort of transcendant being solely because I can no longer naturally die. Even those born in a world of immortality, while being better integrated into an immortal society I had to adjust to mid-life, will still be human.
Theseus wrote:
Because they can't make devices in various sizes?
If birth is as much a rarity as you claim it is, why would you make a custom exowomb for something that very few people will ever do when a standard model can do that and then some? Hypercorps create this tech, and what you are proposing is a "bad business idea". Even assuming that there was a "portable model", why would anyone want to cart around a fragile fetus in a machine? It's not a mini-fridge, man.
Theseus wrote:
"Your mind is software. Program it." See the part about Singularity. In EP the idea of transhumanism includes not only physical and social, but also mental changes (rightly, I'd say).
This does not equate to "everyone has reprogrammed their minds." Do a little reading in the mindhacks section on Psychosurgery. If you notice, the technology is still largely in its infancy. The effects often do not take (especially on people with high WIL), and always deals a little damage to the ego. Just because you can, doesn't mean everyone will. Even those who will are not going to change EVERYTHING about themselves.
Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age. [url=http://bit.ly/2p3wk7c]Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.[/url]
benji benji's picture
Re: A Family Matter
I don't know. If anything, the infogee situation seems to make "the old fashioned way" preferable for those who want an actual child. Supposing there are a limited number of exowombs (as far as there is a limited number of anything) and those are currently being used at close to capacity to grow fully grown morphs for people who don't have them yet, it might be far easier to use the natural process of just having baby then wait in line for an exowomb. Of course, this would be different from place to place. Concerning immortality (or extreme longevity), the primary thing that would change here is that people would have the ability to choose when they wanted to be parents. When we had an average lifespan of 30, a woman who started having kids right after puberty was considered the norm, and anyone who waited until their 20s would be considered an old maid. Now (in the west) someone who has a kid in their 20s is considered a young mother, and many people don't start having kids until their 30s or even later, but eventually menopause occurs and pregnancy becomes impossible. In EP, anyone could sleeve into a fertile female body whenever they chose. If you want to wait until after a successful 50 year career before having a kid, you can do that. If you want to fully raise your children as a stay-at-home parent and then start a 50 year career after your 6 children are on their own, you can do that too. No longer limited by the either/or equations of a limited lifespan, people are likely to make choices that seem right for them at the moment and not worry about "limiting their options for the future." After all, if you have the resources, starting over is always a possibility.
Theseus Theseus's picture
Re: A Family Matter
"Decivre" wrote:
It does not necessarily mean creating a new ego. For some, it can be an alpha or beta fork (depending on if they want a sibling or child), and for others it might be actually coding a new ego... but not everyone will be the same.
Two first options would create a "psychic twin", not an actual new being (an here comes the problem of personal identity... but it's not a subject of this thread).
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Except in this case, there are no consequences. The human race has come the nearest it ever has to extinction. It needs new people in a survival war of attrition that it's very close to losing. Why do you think they created the Lost? The urge to reproduce is more useful in such a world than ever.
I imagine losing Earth and most of its inhabitants was a big shock even for most reasonable people so they wanted to replenish their numbers as fast as it's possible. And they failed. And still, they still have relatively little space for humans in physical morphs, especially in a world where virtually no one dies.
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Which they already have, by granting themselves immortal bodies capable of housing far greater minds than before. Yet you have to remember that this is a TRANShuman setting, not POSThuman. No matter how many modifications they may have made, we are stealing dealing with humans, and their human frailties.
Their bodies aren't technically immortal (even synthmorphs will eventually break beyond repair), their minds are. Also, you're talking at the same time about "greater minds" and being being bound by simple, primitive instincts that aren't even "sublimed" (in a Freudian way). Why do you think changes would affect human bodies, and not their minds? (even in CP2020 when you get a ridiculous metal arm you can go psycho - and here? nothing?)
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Sure you can have sex without having children. You can also have children without having sex. Which is why people who prefer one over the other can have their cake and eat it too. Yet, the elimination of that attachment does not eliminate the urges that might exist for either. People desire the chance to have children for various reasons, and you'd have to be delusional to believe that they are all simply instinctive and not an act of free will.
What can I say? You are delusional if you think [i]it is[/i] and act of free will.
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As for immortal beings being different, I highly doubt it. I am under the impression that if we succeed in finding the means to render people immortal within my lifetime, I highly doubt that I will become some sort of transcendant being solely because I can no longer naturally die. Even those born in a world of immortality, while being better integrated into an immortal society I had to adjust to mid-life, will still be human.
Over time an immortal being (especially one with possibility to enhance themselves) would become different - probably beyond our ability of understanding. But since in the EP setting immortality is a rather new invention, let's talk only about perspectives. Do you need to leave something behind when you'll die? No, because you won't. Do you have motivation to make some part of you live in the future. No, you'll be here.
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If birth is as much a rarity as you claim it is, why would you make a custom exowomb for something that very few people will ever do when a standard model can do that and then some? Hypercorps create this tech, and what you are proposing is a "bad business idea". Even assuming that there was a "portable model", why would anyone want to cart around a fragile fetus in a machine? It's not a mini-fridge, man.
With costs of production relatively low compared to selling prices? Why not? And why would anyone keep a fragile fetus inside an organic body that walks around and can have some nasty incident? Not to mention that said body probably wouldn't be especially comfortable in exploitation during some time. Anyway, it's EOT for me.
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: A Family Matter
Theseus wrote:
Two first options would create a "psychic twin", not an actual new being (an here comes the problem of personal identity... but it's not a subject of this thread).
Actually, only the former option would create a real ego twin, but again you can't argue that one couldn't consider that the equivalent of a sibling (unless you're arguing that twins aren't siblings). The latter option creates something different, as a beta fork is a reduced copy of a mind. It might have the personality, mannerisms, and quirks of the original mind, but lacks the largest majority of the original's memories... leaving room for individuality to foster. Perfect for a "son" or "daughter".
Theseus wrote:
I imagine losing Earth and most of its inhabitants was a big shock even for most reasonable people so they wanted to replenish their numbers as fast as it's possible. And they failed. And still, they still have relatively little space for humans in physical morphs, especially in a world where virtually no one dies.
That doesn't seem to be the case, considering how big and productive the morph industry is. With new habitats forming all the time, old habitats expanding constantly, and the burgeoning field of xenoexploration thanks to the Pandora gates, space is becoming larger and larger, and isn't all that limited. The problem isn't the space so much as the morphs... too many minds, not enough bodies for them to fill. Probably wouldn't be so big a problem if people weren't such whiny bitches and would settle with synthmorphs, but another issue is the cost.
Theseus wrote:
Their bodies aren't technically immortal (even synthmorphs will eventually break beyond repair), their minds are. Also, you're talking at the same time about "greater minds" and being being bound by simple, primitive instincts that aren't even "sublimed" (in a Freudian way). Why do you think changes would affect human bodies, and not their minds? (even in CP2020 when you get a ridiculous metal arm you can go psycho - and here? nothing?)
Because the majority of physical changes in the EP universe are not very intrusive to life. Implantation has gotten to a point that it is safe and easily done, which is in stark contrast to settings like Cyberpunk 2020 and Shadowrun (though to be fair, those are both cyberpunk settings, and this one isn't). The majority of popular morphs in use are essentially just enhanced human bodies, and not too dramatically different from humans today beyond "better physique, implants and immortality". Moreover, many of the oldest people alive in the EP universe may have very well been normal humans at the start of their lives. The timeline of EP, from normal humanity to transhumanity and into the current time, is a total of about 70 years. Even those born transhuman will likely have been brought up by those who weren't. Society and culture will change to be sure, but I doubt that human nature will change over 70 years moreso than it has in a few thousand. If anything, the only people that have the potentially to be truly different from humans today would be the mercurials.
Theseus wrote:
What can I say? You are delusional if you think [i]it is[/i] and act of free will.
Ah yes, because no one ever chooses to have sex or kids. Where you were raised must have been a scary, scary place. "No son, we didn't want you. We had to have you. Stupid instincts."
Theseus wrote:
Over time an immortal being (especially one with possibility to enhance themselves) would become different - probably beyond our ability of understanding. But since in the EP setting immortality is a rather new invention, let's talk only about perspectives. Do you need to leave something behind when you'll die? No, because you won't. Do you have motivation to make some part of you live in the future. No, you'll be here.
You are right. They will potentially overtime become different people than they were at birth. That doesn't necessarily mean they will be dramatically different from all of humanity. You have no proof that the urge to create progeny is innately tied to knowledge of death. We know of at least a single eartly creature that is both immune to the effects of senescence, yet has the urge to reproduce. How can that be if reproduction is tied to mortality
Theseus wrote:
With costs of production relatively low compared to selling prices? Why not? And why would anyone keep a fragile fetus inside an organic body that walks around and can have some nasty incident? Not to mention that said body probably wouldn't be especially comfortable in exploitation during some time. Anyway, it's EOT for me.
Because it wouldn't sell. There's really no need for a specialized mobile womb if few people want to raise kids, especially when the larger model suffices for that task and then some. It'd be like making a left-handed model for a hand-held device, when the standard model is ambidextrously designed and capable of being used with either hand. Completely pointless. As for accidents, the organic body is quite capable of surviving one, and protecting the child within. I'd imagine this would be more so true for transhuman bodies. Yet I imagine that a woman with increased girth is far less likely to get into an accident than hauling around a large cylinder tube with a baby in it. Unless you have it on wheels... in which case you're still probably better off putting the mother in a wheelchair.
Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age. [url=http://bit.ly/2p3wk7c]Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.[/url]
nick012000 nick012000's picture
Re: A Family Matter
Why stop with just putting wheels on your baby-tube? Buy a Dr. Bot with a baby-tube or two replacing its normal adult-sized healing vat.

+1 r-Rep , +1 @-rep

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: A Family Matter
nick012000 wrote:
Why stop with just putting wheels on your baby-tube? Buy a Dr. Bot with a baby-tube or two replacing its normal adult-sized healing vat.
Another good point. If you're going to blow money on a special exowomb with mobility, you could probably fare better by attaching a full-sized exowomb to something like a Dr. Bot.
Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age. [url=http://bit.ly/2p3wk7c]Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.[/url]
benji benji's picture
Re: A Family Matter
I find it a little odd that there seems to be an assumption of "either/or" here. EP presents the solar-system as a fairly large place, with a diversity of cultures. I could certainly see some people and places favoring artificial wombs for various reasons, while others prefer natural births. The human desire to have children is not one likely to go away, immortality or no. How people go about it should depend on circumstances and personal taste. I could see some more tightly controlled habs (especially those that are running out of room) saying that no one gets to have kids under any circumstances for the time being. I could see hypercorp controlled areas having rather expensive exowombs for rent or purchase, and so hyperelites might be born in an exowomb, while constantly being modified and gene-washed by carefully observant doctors, while others are simply born from a natural womb with because their parents couldn't afford otherwise. I could see some Anarchists and Scum choosing to have a child naturally, while others chose to make use of an exowomb. As for the fragility of the human body, it's already fairly resilient, and advances in obstetrics has already greatly diminished the likelihood that a fetus will die before birth, so still-birth and miscarriage are probably incredibly unlikely in EP, no matter which womb you use, especially considering that you could design a morph specifically to be a healthy mother and more resilient to the hardships of pregnancy.
nick012000 nick012000's picture
Re: A Family Matter
benji wrote:
As for the fragility of the human body, it's already fairly resilient, and advances in obstetrics has already greatly diminished the likelihood that a fetus will die before birth, so still-birth and miscarriage are probably incredibly unlikely in EP, no matter which womb you use, especially considering that you could design a morph specifically to be a healthy mother and more resilient to the hardships of pregnancy.
This is true. On the other hand, though, I could see some relatively low-quality designs of medichines rendering women sterile because they confuse the fetus for a parasite, and promptly attack and destroy it before the woman even knows she was pregnant. Of course, if your medichines don't target fetuses, then they've got an opening that canny bioweapons designers can exploit to bypass them.

+1 r-Rep , +1 @-rep

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: A Family Matter
benji wrote:
I find it a little odd that there seems to be an assumption of "either/or" here. EP presents the solar-system as a fairly large place, with a diversity of cultures. I could certainly see some people and places favoring artificial wombs for various reasons, while others prefer natural births. The human desire to have children is not one likely to go away, immortality or no. How people go about it should depend on circumstances and personal taste. I could see some more tightly controlled habs (especially those that are running out of room) saying that no one gets to have kids under any circumstances for the time being. I could see hypercorp controlled areas having rather expensive exowombs for rent or purchase, and so hyperelites might be born in an exowomb, while constantly being modified and gene-washed by carefully observant doctors, while others are simply born from a natural womb with because their parents couldn't afford otherwise. I could see some Anarchists and Scum choosing to have a child naturally, while others chose to make use of an exowomb. As for the fragility of the human body, it's already fairly resilient, and advances in obstetrics has already greatly diminished the likelihood that a fetus will die before birth, so still-birth and miscarriage are probably incredibly unlikely in EP, no matter which womb you use, especially considering that you could design a morph specifically to be a healthy mother and more resilient to the hardships of pregnancy.
I agree completely. The idea that the basic functions and instincts of life will go away when immortality is achieved seems a bit nuts to me. Reproduction is integral to all organisms, and something that even sterile creatures instinctively attempt, even if futile. It would be quite interesting, however. For instance, I can see lone wolves paying extra money for a pleasure pod with a working womb, or people who resleeve into synths keeping records of their genetic data for future use in creating children. More importantly, I can see a husband/wife indentured couple in case morphs with their "codes" on file saving up what little money they have to rent an exowomb, so they can have the family they always wanted. Even if transhuman society will be different, I see so much of it being so very similar.
nick012000 wrote:
This is true. On the other hand, though, I could see some relatively low-quality designs of medichines rendering women sterile because they confuse the fetus for a parasite, and promptly attack and destroy it before the woman even knows she was pregnant. Of course, if your medichines don't target fetuses, then they've got an opening that canny bioweapons designers can exploit to bypass them.
I find that doubtful. You have to remember that the technology in the EP universe is light years ahead of the "stupid computing" that our technology is at now. Even internal nano-machines will likely have complete DNA records of their host on file, and be able to compare and contrast any localized growths. They would be able to tell the difference between a child and cancer, natural chemicals and toxins. Fooling them takes direct hacking or more advanced technology that would likely affect you despite the lack of exploit.
Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age. [url=http://bit.ly/2p3wk7c]Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.[/url]
The Doctor The Doctor's picture
Re: A Family Matter
Decivre wrote:
Which they already have, by granting themselves immortal bodies capable of housing far greater minds than before. Yet you have to remember that this is a TRANShuman setting, not POSThuman. No matter how many modifications they may have made, we are stealing dealing with humans, and their human frailties.
To a certain extent, yes. It seems reasonable that some human frailties have been transcended (death, sickness) but others have arisen to replace them (synthmorphs being unable to heal without maintenance, the slow growth rate of biomorphs, the potential of overspecialization of morphs, the risk of mental illness from frequent resleeving).
The Doctor The Doctor's picture
Re: A Family Matter
nick012000 wrote:
Of course, if your medichines don't target fetuses, then they've got an opening that canny bioweapons designers can exploit to bypass them.
Or Exsurgent. :)
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: A Family Matter
The Doctor wrote:
To a certain extent, yes. It seems reasonable that some human frailties have been transcended (death, sickness) but others have arisen to replace them (synthmorphs being unable to heal without maintenance, the slow growth rate of biomorphs, the potential of overspecialization of morphs, the risk of mental illness from frequent resleeving).
Actually, even many of those listed frailties aren't really there. Implanted medichines will allow a synthmorphs to heal; biomorphs still grow significantly faster than humans do now (1½ years vs 18-22); and overspecialized morphs in a world where you can jump from body to body are about as much a weakness as overspecialized clothing. Mental illness might be the biggest factor, but even today that's a big issue... I see that more as something that hasn't changed. The biggest factors are thus: Society: Many things change, most things don't. Racism has been "replaced" by cultural division (you can't tell what race someone was born into anymore, but you can sure rip on them for their Barsoomian accent), AGI/uplift bigotry and other equivalent acts. National segregation has been replaced by station autonomy and hypercorps. Old conservative religions have made way for new, equally conservative ones. Even in the Fall, we've proven that the threat of extinction isn't enough to make us stop being dicks to our fellow man (transman?). Economy: There have only been so many practiced economies in human society, and generally most economies will be a variation thereof. Even anarchist states which claim to have a "new economy" are essentially just using an extended hunter-gatherer economy supplemented by a wireless social network which keeps track of who participates and the advent of nanofabrication. It's not so much "new" as it is "a new take on old ways"... which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Psychology: We are just as able to break, and have similar tendencies as the transhumans portrayed in Eclipse Phase. Their bodies and minds may be advanced, immortal and adapted to harsher life, but they still feel the full spectrum of human emotions, opinions and ideologies. Those things which can break humans can also break transhumans, even if they are more resilient.
Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age. [url=http://bit.ly/2p3wk7c]Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.[/url]
Ramidel Ramidel's picture
Re: A Family Matter
Alright, to take a note... Statistically, Eclipse Phase has highly intelligent individuals (savants by modern standards) with very high levels of education. Those, based on modern Earth, do not spell high reproduction; IRL, first-world middle-to-upper-class people are not reproducing enough to make up their numbers. (It's why the Mexicans are going to dominate America real soon now.) The fact that EP humans have gone transhuman is probably going to turn classical reproduction...eccentric, outside of the bioconservatives. (As any woman knows, a pregnancy is not the most comfortable way to spend nine months.) Exowombs will pick up the slack from those who want the kid without the pregnancy hassle, but we're still left with a culture that has basically removed the economic incentives to breed like rabbits. On the other hand, the economic -disincentives- are gone in the new economy and some of the transitional economies, depending on whether the local hypercorp has free compulsory education for the young (and free childcare, maternity leave, or similar benefits to allow you to earn money and raise a child at the same time). Still, I don't see massive amounts of breeding happening in the near future, even on Mars.
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: A Family Matter
Ramidel wrote:
Alright, to take a note... Statistically, Eclipse Phase has highly intelligent individuals (savants by modern standards) with very high levels of education. Those, based on modern Earth, do not spell high reproduction; IRL, first-world middle-to-upper-class people are not reproducing enough to make up their numbers. (It's why the Mexicans are going to dominate America real soon now.) The fact that EP humans have gone transhuman is probably going to turn classical reproduction...eccentric, outside of the bioconservatives. (As any woman knows, a pregnancy is not the most comfortable way to spend nine months.) Exowombs will pick up the slack from those who want the kid without the pregnancy hassle, but we're still left with a culture that has basically removed the economic incentives to breed like rabbits. On the other hand, the economic -disincentives- are gone in the new economy and some of the transitional economies, depending on whether the local hypercorp has free compulsory education for the young (and free childcare, maternity leave, or similar benefits to allow you to earn money and raise a child at the same time). Still, I don't see massive amounts of breeding happening in the near future, even on Mars.
Believe it or not, statistics show that the pattern of reproduction is more closely related to work ethic than actual intelligence. People who spend more time focusing on their careers are less inclined to work on raising a family. This is exacerbated in our culture, where we don't necessarily have stay-at-home wives anymore. Double-incomes are gradually becoming a standard for families to strive to, which leaves no one to tend to children. Hell, even Mexican families are significantly smaller nowadays. Where they would regularly raise 3+ kids in the previous generation, it is fairly common for them to have single children today. However, things might change in emergency scenarios. The psychology behind reduced breeding might partly have to do with the human population today, so the massive decrease in population caused by the Fall might cause a rise in desire to reproduce. Groups like the Jovian Republic might also be big on repopulation. Plus, remember that a large part of Barsoomian culture is heavily based on modern Chinese culture, where the major reason that the population is so held back is due to the one-child policy... which doesn't exist in the Eclipse Phase universe, so far as I know.
Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age. [url=http://bit.ly/2p3wk7c]Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.[/url]
standard_gravity standard_gravity's picture
Re: A Family Matter
I agree that there will still be reproduction or at least new egos created in one way or another. But I think that apart from the occasional eccentric tribe, if you decide to have a child this is a major commitment and decision as you know that child will live forever. You have the means and the time to devote yourself completely to that child's upbringing, and many are inclined to do exactly that. So I think parent[s] will have fewer offspring. With this I mean they are likely to have only one at a time, and parents can take long breaks in between having children (as fertility and death is not an issue to parents anymore). I think this goes for life in general. People are not stressed to do things "before it is too late". I.e. they are not pressed for time. They can spend their first 20 years as children and in education, then go travelling for 10, come back and work for a few years, then indulge in some hobby or sport for a few more years, then have a child and raise said child for 20 years, then have a different career and after that go back to travelling or whatever.
[img]http://boxall.no-ip.org/img/ext_userbar.jpg[/img] "People think dreams aren't real just because they aren't made of matter, of particles. Dreams are real. But they are made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes." - John Dee
BlackHat BlackHat's picture
Re: A Family Matter
I think for the Eclipse Phase setting, this is probably something that is still being explored, by Transhumanity's new culture. It has only been 10 years since the Fall, and we know that Transhumanity's attempt at a first post-fall generation was the Lost (which was a disaster, so the next generation will probably shy away from accelerating their young). Chances are good that there were a few "regular" children created that were not a part of that program (for whatever reason), but I think these would be the exception, rather than the norm. According to what I could find in the People's History section, uploading and resleeving technology has only been around for 30 years. That's about one generation, by modern standards - probably less, given that those people live a lot longer than modern people do. So, my point is, that people wouldn't have really had a lot of time to figure this whole thing out. They've basically had time for one collective shot at it, and they goofed it up. I could list a ton of reasons why most habitats would probably put some sort of restrictions in place regarding creating additional drains on their resources, but, in the end, people are people, and those that can create offspring probably will. The specifics about how that is accomplished, or received, would vary from habitat to habitat - but, as far as I can tell, biomorphs are not created sterile (generally), so if all the parts still work, the outcome should be more or less the same.
Camwyn Camwyn's picture
Re: A Family Matter

My thoughts:

  • Biological reproduction still occurs in EP.
    • Random genetics are pretty much a thing of the past (we want it to have his nose, and her eyes, and my grandfather's voice...oh, and legs like )
    • Genetics is no longer a test of pa/maternity, since the genes are all altered anyway...even for a biological birth, since it is morph genes creating morphs, and I imagine the gene pool for any particular morph is pretty similar enough that genetic id is meaningless. ("Well, the parents were splicers." "No, really?")
    • Morphs are genetically created sans-mind (or the mind is wiped, which would amount to murder?)
      • This would indicate (IMHO) that, genetically, morph offspring would be born mindless (blank-brained?)...
        • Note the section on The Lost “...subjects culled from extant genetic material and gestated to between 1 week and 6 months after birth...the majority...were brought to term within an exowomb... After the sample was selected, all subjects were sleeved into our fast-growth futura-brand biomorph bodies...” So the minds were created biologically, and then placed into morphs. If it were simple to create new infomorphs “from scratch” why would Hanto/Cognite go to all that trouble?
        • Note also in resleeving “...nanobots that physically restructure the brain's neural structure and connections according to the map provided by the backup...” no mention of genetic modification, so brain is not passed on.
      • So, unless you are an original colonist, still utilizing your original (albeit tweaked to keep alive and possibly for other reasons) body, you cannot have kids.
        • Make that kids born with intact minds.
    • Side note: reproduction is mentioned a few times in the books: notably in the entry on Somatek controlling uplift reproduction, and in the morph section on pods which cannot reproduce (OK, there are entries in the GM's section, mostly about Factors). Also, there have been several comments on this board to the effect of “sexual reproduction still happens” by people intimately involved with game development.
  • Oh, and throw out your ideas about blending forks or what have you...
    • Socially, those are all AIs – artificially created. They'll have to deal with the AI stigma, body or no body. Either that or some nastier type of prejudice will surface to cover them.
      • Right now, as I read the book and project from there, the closest to this that exists is some AGIs who are “raised” in VR sim to give them “A fairly human outlook”. (BTW, how is this different from how The Lost were raised? Note, I do not assume psi=exurgent infection.)
    • They'd be the equivalent of an amnesiac adult (a copy with little to no memory?) not a child – there is a difference. Some adult amnesiacs are childlike, some are most assuredly not...
      • If you did “dumb them down” to the point of children, you'd also have to remove most of their personality and their learned behavior and skills (language anyone?) – not just their memory. Memory hacking alone can cause unforeseen issues...
    • reintegrating morphs is hard enough...you want to blend two? And not wind up with a sociopath? LOL!
    • The Lost will keep people from trusting accelerated development, and the TITANS will do the same for infomorphs created from scratch.
  • This reasoning leads me to think that reproduction has become a multiphase process, namely:
    • Create morph (put first because of time in the case of biologically-created offspring). 1 ½ years for an adult (less for a neot morph?).
    • Create infomorph. (shaken, not stirred please) biologically. This could be au naturel or in a test tube. 1 week to 6 months per The Lost history.
    • Implant infomorph in morph. Instantaneous (OK, an hour or two?).
    • possibly, update morph as child grows. (For those who want a “realistic experience – a series of neotenics for children, or a morph not yet fully mature)
      • Perhaps preferable to dealing with kids in adult morphs and the headaches that could bring!

***POTENTIAL SPOLIER ALERT!***
And let's not (as a GM, I can't) forget the ever-present possibility of things like:

  • A love-child (I'll never wash my face again - at least until I've sampled his DNA!)
  • PC is contacted by someone who wants to contract for offspring (athlete, scientist, etc.)
    • This could get really interesting if the PC is one of The Lost...a “sibling” looking to procreate?

Edit: this all also ties into identity...but that's another post...

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: A Family Matter
Camwyn wrote:
  • Biological reproduction still occurs in EP.
    • Random genetics are pretty much a thing of the past (we want it to have his nose, and her eyes, and my grandfather's voice...oh, and legs like )
    To an extent I agree that this is likely the case. There will be exceptions, like if two parents can't agree on how they want their kids, or if they just want to spin the dice and see what their kid looks like after birth. Technology has advanced to the point that if they don't like the outcome, the child can be resleeved or physical modification can be done anyways. "Alright, since I want a boy and you want a girl, we'll do this the old fashioned way and whichever one of us wins, wins... alright babe?"
    Camwyn wrote:
  • Genetics is no longer a test of pa/maternity, since the genes are all altered anyway...even for a biological birth, since it is morph genes creating morphs, and I imagine the gene pool for any particular morph is pretty similar enough that genetic id is meaningless. ("Well, the parents were splicers." "No, really?")
  • I disagree with this. Bloodline is likely to still be a factor in certain circles. Page 278 even states that people can get morphs custom-made with genetic traits from their original lineage, and I imagine that many who can afford to do. These traits can be anything from a signature physical trait ("Every MacCullen boy has to be born with one Silver, one gold eye.") to junk DNA sequences that secretly mark the body as part of a specific lineage like some sort of hidden DRM code.
    Camwyn wrote:
  • Morphs are genetically created sans-mind (or the mind is wiped, which would amount to murder?)
    • This would indicate (IMHO) that, genetically, morph offspring would be born mindless (blank-brained?)...
      • Note the section on The Lost “...subjects culled from extant genetic material and gestated to between 1 week and 6 months after birth...the majority...were brought to term within an exowomb... After the sample was selected, all subjects were sleeved into our fast-growth futura-brand biomorph bodies...” So the minds were created biologically, and then placed into morphs. If it were simple to create new infomorphs “from scratch” why would Hanto/Cognite go to all that trouble?
      • Note also in resleeving “...nanobots that physically restructure the brain's neural structure and connections according to the map provided by the backup...” no mention of genetic modification, so brain is not passed on.
    • So, unless you are an original colonist, still utilizing your original (albeit tweaked to keep alive and possibly for other reasons) body, you cannot have kids.
      • Make that kids born with intact minds.
    Yes, this is likely the case, but I think it has to do with the process by which morphs are created. Morphs are not generally produced the natural way, and it might be some part of the artificial morph process which prevents the mind from forming. Besides, the Lost generally prove that morphs give birth to living, ego'd bodies (some were born the natural way, and I doubt all of them were from people in flats). The reason that Cognite didn't simply produce artificial infomorphs is because people don't like AGI (AGI [i]are[/i] artificial infomorphs). They've got a bad rap due to the TITANs. There might be far more of them running about if it weren't for that major issue. People don't condone it, and only really accept biological (namely, human) minds. You are right that the brain is not passed on, just the neural data. If someone else jumps into your body, they have your genetics and original brain (but not the neural data that comprises your mind). Note, however, that those who do believe in the value of genetics aren't likely to just sell or even loan out their bodies. That said, I doubt that morphs are sterile, except in certain cases (pods are explicitly stated to be sterile, and it's only obvious that synthmorphs can't reproduce). Anyone can still have kids the old-fashioned way. Morphs are likely born mindless due to some part of the morph-making process, and not because morphs are naturally born mindless.
    Camwyn wrote:
  • Side note: reproduction is mentioned a few times in the books: notably in the entry on Somatek controlling uplift reproduction, and in the morph section on pods which cannot reproduce (OK, there are entries in the GM's section, mostly about Factors). Also, there have been several comments on this board to the effect of “sexual reproduction still happens” by people intimately involved with game development.
  • Then that pretty much washes away any possibility that morphs can't give birth to new people. If sexual reproduction still happens, then I think it's safe to say that morphs that aren't sterile are fully capable of having children, with minds intact.
    Camwyn wrote:
  • Oh, and throw out your ideas about blending forks or what have you...
    • Socially, those are all AIs – artificially created. They'll have to deal with the AI stigma, body or no body. Either that or some nastier type of prejudice will surface to cover them.
      • Right now, as I read the book and project from there, the closest to this that exists is some AGIs who are “raised” in VR sim to give them “A fairly human outlook”. (BTW, how is this different from how The Lost were raised? Note, I do not assume psi=exurgent infection.)
    Incorrect. AGI are a very specific thing... computer-coded egos that are artificially manufactured in the same way that software is manufactured. AGI carry that stigma due to the TITANs. Granted, a merged ego created with an AI might get that stigma, but not necessarily any other ego combination. Merged minds likely carry a whole new social stigma in its place. As for the difference between the Lost and AGIs, the Lost were VR-raised in a creche (a collection of kids that live together in order to learn social skills) utilizing time-accelerated simulspace (the oldest Lost are about 10 years old by 10 AF, and have been mental adults for 7 years). AGI don't generally grow up in simulspace. They grow up in infomorph form surfing the mesh, which is why their computer skills are top-notch but their social skills are subpar. Lastly, yes. Psi=Exsurgent infection. Page 233 is an awesome but brief history of the Lost, and the last paragraph states that it was discovered at some point that the [i]entire Lost population[/i] was infected with Watts-Macleod sometime before any were released. It's likely that this is what caused some of them to start killing one another, and generally made them insane.
    Camwyn wrote:
  • They'd be the equivalent of an amnesiac adult (a copy with little to no memory?) not a child – there is a difference. Some adult amnesiacs are childlike, some are most assuredly not...
    • If you did “dumb them down” to the point of children, you'd also have to remove most of their personality and their learned behavior and skills (language anyone?) – not just their memory. Memory hacking alone can cause unforeseen issues...
    Camwyn wrote:
  • reintegrating morphs is hard enough...you want to blend two? And not wind up with a sociopath? LOL!
  • It worked out for the hive-mind of Synergy, and there's more than two people in that group-ego.
    Camwyn wrote:
  • The Lost will keep people from trusting accelerated development, and the TITANS will do the same for infomorphs created from scratch.
  • Very true. This is probably the biggest issue that holds back the regrowth of the human population.
    Camwyn wrote:
  • This reasoning leads me to think that reproduction has become a multiphase process, namely:
    • Create morph (put first because of time in the case of biologically-created offspring). 1 ½ years for an adult (less for a neot morph?).
    • Create infomorph. (shaken, not stirred please) biologically. This could be au naturel or in a test tube. 1 week to 6 months per The Lost history.
    • Implant infomorph in morph. Instantaneous (OK, an hour or two?).
    • possibly, update morph as child grows. (For those who want a “realistic experience – a series of neotenics for children, or a morph not yet fully mature)
      • Perhaps preferable to dealing with kids in adult morphs and the headaches that could bring!
    I don't think this is the case at all. The three years it takes to create an adult morph is likely cause by time accelerated growth in a vat. Morphs are likely fully capable of maturing the natural way, and growing out to adulthood over the course of two decades. In this time, their egos have plenty of time to mature to adulthood. As I've already stated, I think it's an aspect of the morph-farming process which prevents an ego from forming in its mind... so I think it safe to say that a naturally-born transhuman isn't brain-dead. The Lost basically prove that this is the case, since a number of them were born the old-fashioned way (from mothers), and weren't mindless (to start :D).
    Camwyn wrote:
    ***POTENTIAL SPOLIER ALERT!*** And let's not (as a GM, I can't) forget the ever-present possibility of things like:
    • A love-child (I'll never wash my face again - at least until I've sampled his DNA!)
    • PC is contacted by someone who wants to contract for offspring (athlete, scientist, etc.)
      • This could get really interesting if the PC is one of The Lost...a “sibling” looking to procreate?
    I'd imagine that planned parenthood (via love or an agreement with someone else to have kids) is more common than ever (relatively speaking). Modern technology all-but guarantees that birth is an intentional act... minor modifications to the body to render yourself temporarily sterile are probably very easy to do, and very easy to reverse. Women who have already gone through menopause can probably reverse the process and become sterile again if they decide far too late that they want a family. All in all, there's very little reason for accidental kids to occur outside of the most extreme bioconservative areas. To that end, certain social taboos regarding sex in our day may disappear, like the stigma of incest. When "webbed-feet and retardation" are no longer an issue due to perfect genetics and modifiable bodies, is there really any further reason that we should ban romances that are today considered aberrant?
    Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age. [url=http://bit.ly/2p3wk7c]Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.[/url]
    Camwyn Camwyn's picture
    Re: A Family Matter
    Decivre wrote:
    I disagree with this. Bloodline is likely to still be a factor in certain circles. Page 278 even states that people can get morphs custom-made with genetic traits from their original lineage, and I imagine that many who can afford to do. These traits can be anything from a signature physical trait ("Every MacCullen boy has to be born with one Silver, one gold eye.") to junk DNA sequences that secretly mark the body as part of a specific lineage like some sort of hidden DRM code.
    But that's the point...[i]anyone[/i] with enough money can do this...and anyone with enough money can find out what your DRM-DNA is as well...it makes DNA unreliable as an identifier.
    Decivre wrote:
    Morphs are not generally produced the natural way, and it might be some part of the artificial morph process which prevents the mind from forming. Besides, the Lost generally prove that morphs give birth to living, ego'd bodies (some were born the natural way, and I doubt all of them were from people in flats).
    Actually, it says less than 10% of them were live births (and the wording of "surrogate or genetic birth mother who had perished during the fall” is poor guys, it sounds like all the moms were dead when the children were born...) and since this happened in AF0 and the labs were on Luna and Mars there could very likely be living breathing Earth stock, since resleeving was less than 20 years old...and since we have no idea what the morph-creating process is (shrug) could be...and there is nothing that implies those mothers were morphs.
    Decivre wrote:
    The reason that Cognite didn't simply produce artificial infomorphs is because people don't like AGI (AGI [i]are[/i] artificial infomorphs). They've got a bad rap due to the TITANs. There might be far more of them running about if it weren't for that major issue. People don't condone it, and only really accept biological (namely, human) minds.
    Agreed, that was my point.
    Decivre wrote:
    Then that pretty much washes away any possibility that morphs can't give birth to new people. If sexual reproduction still happens, then I think it's safe to say that morphs that aren't sterile are fully capable of having children, with minds intact.
    What about all the non-morphs out there? (Really, there should be many! Original colonists, Folks who fled the Fall physically - particularly early on).
    Decivre wrote:
    AGI don't generally grow up in simulspace. They grow up in infomorph form surfing the mesh, which is why their computer skills are top-notch but their social skills are subpar.
    No, AGI have human outlooks because they [b]are[/b] raised in a simulspace – one that mimics the raising of a child. (p244)
    Decivre wrote:
    Lastly, yes. Psi=Exsurgent infection. Page 233 is an awesome but brief history of the Lost, and the last paragraph states that it was discovered at some point that the [i]entire Lost population[/i] was infected with Watts-Macleod sometime before any were released. It's likely that this is what caused some of them to start killing one another, and generally made them insane.
    Sorry, part of that was note to self that copied by mistake...I read it, and it actually says that it was discovered [i]after[/i] some were released, and that it was unknown how or [i]when[/i] they were infected.
    Decivre wrote:
    Camwyn wrote:
  • reintegrating morphs is hard enough...you want to blend two? And not wind up with a sociopath? LOL!
  • It worked out for the hive-mind of Synergy, and there's more than two people in that group-ego.
    The Synergy hive-mind was created via a multitude of factors. AI-controlled experimental headware combined with the survival stress while constantly 'hearing' everyone else's (250?) thoughts, emotions and sensory experiences? Who says they aren't insane? I'd be. Besides, a single unified mind and a hive-mind are different, the text on Synergy mentions that they don't want to be separated...which implies they could be - sounds like there is still [i]some[/i] individuality there?
    Decivre wrote:
    I don't think this is the case at all. The three years it takes to create an adult morph is likely cause by time accelerated growth in a vat. Morphs are likely fully capable of maturing the natural way, and growing out to adulthood over the course of two decades. In this time, their egos have plenty of time to mature to adulthood. As I've already stated, I think it's an aspect of the morph-farming process which prevents an ego from forming in its mind... so I think it safe to say that a naturally-born transhuman isn't brain-dead. The Lost basically prove that this is the case, since a number of them were born the old-fashioned way (from mothers), and weren't mindless (to start :D).
    I'm going to have to agree to disagree on this with you. But, the beauty of the game is that, by [i]not[/i] telling us this kind of thing, it leaves it up to our interpretation. So your game and mine can be different :)
    Decivre Decivre's picture
    Re: A Family Matter
    Camwyn wrote:
    But that's the point...[i]anyone[/i] with enough money can do this...and anyone with enough money can find out what your DRM-DNA is as well...it makes DNA unreliable as an identifier.
    True to an extent, but that still doesn't mean that people will stop caring. Just because anyone can have whatever genes they want doesn't mean that genes will become useless in the minds of people. You would be surprised at what traditions people will cling to.
    Camwyn wrote:
    Actually, it says less than 10% of them were live births (and the wording of "surrogate or genetic birth mother who had perished during the fall” is poor guys, it sounds like all the moms were dead when the children were born...) and since this happened in AF0 and the labs were on Luna and Mars there could very likely be living breathing Earth stock, since resleeving was less than 20 years old...and since we have no idea what the morph-creating process is (shrug) could be...and there is nothing that implies those mothers were morphs.
    The resleeving process is less than 20 years old, but transhumans have been around for perhaps 20 years longer (somewhere between 40 and 20 BF). Besides, the inability to give birth to living beings is probably something that would have been mentioned somewhere in the book. They took the time to note that pods are sterile, so I think this would be another priority bit of info. It does mention that the majority of new children are splicers, but makes no note that there are no transhuman children (plus, the fact that the majority of new children are splicers coincides with the fact that splicers are the most common morph in transhumanity).
    Camwyn wrote:
    What about all the non-morphs out there? (Really, there should be many! Original colonists, Folks who fled the Fall physically - particularly early on).
    There is no such thing as a "non-morph". Normal human bodies are a form of biomorph (known nowadays as "flats"). The only way you can come [i]close[/i] to not having a morph is if you are on cold storage in a hard drive somewhere (but even then, we could argue that you're an inert infomorph). Besides, even flats are becoming a major rarity. The majority of people nowadays are splicers, at the very least. Arguably, the clanking masses (with cases and synths) and infomorphs make up a larger majority.
    Camwyn wrote:
    No, AGI have human outlooks because they [b]are[/b] raised in a simulspace – one that mimics the raising of a child. (p244)
    Point well noted. I think this actually serves to show that it wasn't the accelerated growth which caused the Futura project to fail, but the introduction of the Watts-Macleod Exsurgent strain. However, this bit of information probably never hit the public, so the average person just thinks "accelerated growth must be bad".
    Camwyn wrote:
    The Synergy hive-mind was created via a multitude of factors. AI-controlled experimental headware combined with the survival stress while constantly 'hearing' everyone else's (250?) thoughts, emotions and sensory experiences? Who says they aren't insane? I'd be. Besides, a single unified mind and a hive-mind are different, the text on Synergy mentions that they don't want to be separated...which implies they could be - sounds like there is still [i]some[/i] individuality there?
    Yes, but I doubt they've tried it yet. For all we know, separation will just result in forking of the hive mind, rather than segregation into individual minds. The info on the synergy incident makes no mention of anyone being separated, even as a test... so we can't really say for sure if individuality is present anymore.
    Camwyn wrote:
    I'm going to have to agree to disagree on this with you. But, the beauty of the game is that, by [i]not[/i] telling us this kind of thing, it leaves it up to our interpretation. So your game and mine can be different :)
    Perhaps we will get some official info on it. I, personally, think that if natural reproduction was an impossibility for transhumans, it would be something that would have been noted somewhere in the book. For the most part, we can conclude that it is at least possible to create transhumans with egos, even in vats... the first transhumans were created before resleeving technology existed, and I doubt that would have been possible if making an artificial biomorph with a mind wasn't.
    Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age. [url=http://bit.ly/2p3wk7c]Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.[/url]
    weavermount weavermount's picture
    Re: A Family Matter
    I was raised in an extremely queer collective house, I'll take a shot >What is it like for a kid whose mommy just decided to become a man? Children have an amazing capacity to normalize. My mother transitions male to female when I was 8. It barely registered. I didn't feel like I was loosing a parent. I actually felt like I got one back. She was extremely unhappy living as a man, all it really meant to me at home was a happier parent. Socially I worried about getting picked on at school, but none of my close friends cared at all, and no one else really knew. Granted this was 1990's SF, but I think most of EP is at least that blasé about this kind of thing. >When are you considered an adult if you can have a PhD level education before you are 7 and can buy an adult biomorph? The lost generation shows that at EP tech levels you can't actually crank out adults. Children still need to be raised. Learning to keep a car on the road really isn't that hard. 12 year olds can do it. But even if you skillwire a 12 year old up to Pilate [Ground Craft] 40, they will still text there friends when they should be watching the road, they will still panic throw on the breaks even if that isn't the best idea. etc etc etc. Real experience still matters. Similarly even if you DL an engineering degree from MIT, you still don't know enough about the world to figure out useful things the build, that fit in with existing systems. With design being so easy what "engineers" really have is vision, and that takes maturation and cultivation. >What happens to an infant when it becomes and infomorph? They would grow up really cold and logical, likely with major attachment issues ... unless you simulated those too. The big question though is what happens when you sleeve them. I would use sexual dimorphism as a basis for thinking about what it would be like to grow up in various morphs ... only more so. You will have different hormonal responses. Testosterone does make people more aggressive especially as it spikes, and every adolescent males find there own path with that. Mentats likely have rapid and wide ranging association. At adolescence they may have spikes that lead them to do all kinds of odd things like pick a conversation threads from 3 days ago, get lost in patterns, or any of the other odd behavior you see in people on associative drugs. But how each individual handles that unique. Then there is also they way you get treated. Females are regularly made to feel physically vulnerable and most females conscious or not have there wide and varied responses to this common experience. Remades likely grow up not getting picked on, and being smarter than most people, but not everyone. What does that mean for the individual? Who knows, but they all responded to that situation. >If two people fall in love but one of them is an Olympian and the other a Bouncer are they even capable of having a kid the old fashioned way? the RAW is silent on this. Logical arguments could be made in either direction. Chromosome count is the major limiting factor on cross breading so if people have been keeping that the same across all morphs its totally possible. It's also possible that the modifications are too extreme to be cross compatible. It's also possible morphs were designed to be sterile so you have to buy baby sleeves. You're call for your story ATM. If they can't I expect there are a number of options for getting a new infant ego. Psycho surgery can get blocks of time. I think you could merge two the firsts 6 months of memories from both parents and use that as a base for an AGI, you could also just get a infant morph and raise it. Also I bet there are infant infogues who's parents have kept them deactivated until they can sleeve them who would let you adopt. You could combine those idea's into a fuck-up story. Most generally though you have to think about why someone is reproducing. If they have flat impulses telling them to they likely just screw. If they want the experience they likely sleeve something with a womb. If they just want to see something flourish who knows.
    King Shere King Shere's picture
    Re: A Family Matter
    weavermount wrote:
    Real experience still matters.
    To the ego & its morph, Real experience is just information that is stored. And information can be copied & transfered. Its a poor quality skill soft that doesn't contain the needed "experience" for it skills.
    Decivre Decivre's picture
    Re: A Family Matter
    weavermount wrote:
    The lost generation shows that at EP tech levels you can't actually crank out adults. Children still need to be raised. Learning to keep a car on the road really isn't that hard. 12 year olds can do it. But even if you skillwire a 12 year old up to Pilate [Ground Craft] 40, they will still text there friends when they should be watching the road, they will still panic throw on the breaks even if that isn't the best idea. etc etc etc. Real experience still matters. Similarly even if you DL an engineering degree from MIT, you still don't know enough about the world to figure out useful things the build, that fit in with existing systems. With design being so easy what "engineers" really have is vision, and that takes maturation and cultivation.
    The Lost generation did not show this at all. For one thing, the Lost were an entire collection of children infected with the Watts-Macleod variant of the Exsurgent virus. Whether rapid maturation works or not, the Futura project's results were tainted by this factor, and as such it cannot be used as evidence in either direction. It may have caused the public itself to assume that everyone who is acceleration-matured will end up evil, but those in the know have to acknowledge that this is at most an unproven assertion. As for the use of skillwires, remember that they are a collection of muscle memory data and potentially even the life experiences of someone who they were based on. A person who has a Pilot skillsoft does not just have the know-how, like someone who went through college or read it in a book... their minds have been temporarily programmed with the life experiences necessary to know what they're doing. That's also why those using skillsofts often pick up quirks from the ego that the skillsoft is based on.
    weavermount wrote:
    They would grow up really cold and logical, likely with major attachment issues ... unless you simulated those too. The big question though is what happens when you sleeve them. I would use sexual dimorphism as a basis for thinking about what it would be like to grow up in various morphs ... only more so. You will have different hormonal responses. Testosterone does make people more aggressive especially as it spikes, and every adolescent males find there own path with that. Mentats likely have rapid and wide ranging association. At adolescence they may have spikes that lead them to do all kinds of odd things like pick a conversation threads from 3 days ago, get lost in patterns, or any of the other odd behavior you see in people on associative drugs. But how each individual handles that unique. Then there is also they way you get treated. Females are regularly made to feel physically vulnerable and most females conscious or not have there wide and varied responses to this common experience. Remades likely grow up not getting picked on, and being smarter than most people, but not everyone. What does that mean for the individual? Who knows, but they all responded to that situation.
    I disagree with this. Infomorphs are based on the concept of whole-brain emulation; the idea that you can use a computer to simulate all the sensations and processes that go through a real brain. In that regard, an infomorph likely has all the same urges they might have in an actual body; sexual urges, instincts, aggression, and the whole shebang. It may all be digital processes rather than chemical, but the effect is relatively the same. Most of the differences will be more in the context of the body itself; the ego has to get used to the fact that he has no limbs to move, no heart beating, and is in essence a piece of software running on a PC. This difference becomes more scholarly, however, if steps are taken to lessen the blow; if you take someone who has lived their entire life in a flat, upload them as an infomorph, then put them in a simulspace where they are in a simulated flat, chances are that they will feel little to no different from how they felt in their original body. Granted, a person sleeved into a new and different biomorph will likely feel significantly different. This is because they have to put up with new hormones and body structure. They might have brand new instincts that their old bodies didn't, new senses, and even new urges. These may be very jarring to some.
    Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age. [url=http://bit.ly/2p3wk7c]Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.[/url]
    Kitsune1842 Kitsune1842's picture
    Re: A Family Matter
    There is something else that I have not seen mentioned yet in this thread. What about the Lost Generation? They have to fit into the whole debate on what a family is and how and where kids come from. A whole generation of kids raised by AI's in a VR world in fast forwards and then sleaved into Teen/20 something bodies. Sure, most of them ended up pretty screwed up in the head, but that does not mean people are not going to try it on a smaller scale, or modify the programs so that they thier kids are raised by forks of thier parents.
    King Shere King Shere's picture
    Re: A Family Matter
    Kitsune1842 wrote:
    There is something else that I have not seen mentioned yet in this thread. What about the Lost Generation? They have to fit into the whole debate on what a family is and how and where kids come from.
    In this thread you can look at the posts #10, #12, #25, #26, # 27, #28# 30, #32 to name most of the posts on that topic in this thread. But aside from that What about them?
    Kitsune1842 wrote:
    Sure, most of them ended up pretty screwed up in the head, but that does not mean people are not going to try it on a smaller scale, or modify the programs so that they thier kids are raised by forks of thier parents.
    I disagree. Public should still distrust the futura projects method. Remembering My history class, The spectacular Hindenburg disaster 1937 ended intercontinental passenger airship travel. Despite those in the know -know the method wasn't at fault. The incident have generated fear & mistrust for it. Like the zeppelines, the methods of Futura project have gained a pariah status. Parents finds the benefit not outweighing the potential risk. Hindenburg was originally designed to use helium -but due to embargo didn't. Even "Innocent" Helium Airships didn't receive public trust after Hindenburg. Its just until recently that Airships have begun to lose some of its pariah status.
    Decivre Decivre's picture
    Re: A Family Matter
    King Shere wrote:
    I disagree. Public should still distrust the futura projects method. Remembering My history class, The spectacular Hindenburg disaster 1937 ended intercontinental passenger airship travel. Despite those in the know -know the method wasn't at fault. The incident have generated fear & mistrust for it. Like the zeppelines, the methods of Futura project have gained a pariah status. Parents finds the benefit not outweighing the potential risk. Hindenburg was originally designed to use helium -but due to embargo didn't. Even "Innocent" Helium Airships didn't receive public trust after Hindenburg. Its just until recently that Airships have begun to lose some of its pariah status.
    Exactly this. It's the same sort of problem you have with AGIs. Granted, there may still be some who try it in small numbers (Cognite might have continued tests utilizing this, either to continue Project Futura or as a part of the new Project Psiclone), but the majority of people live in fear largely due to ignorance and misunderstanding. It may be a very long time before anyone ever tries to make acceleration-grown children again, and if there is anyone still trying they will try to maintain a far greater level of security and secrecy than that of the first Futura attempt.
    Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age. [url=http://bit.ly/2p3wk7c]Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.[/url]
    King Shere King Shere's picture
    Re: A Family Matter
    Decivre wrote:
    It may be a very long time before anyone ever tries to make acceleration-grown children again, and if there is anyone still trying they will try to maintain a far greater level of security and secrecy than that of the first Futura attempt.
    If one wish to ramp up the paranoia & post war/catastrophe in the campaign. It may exist a enforced ban on it & other "proven" hazardous experiments. Those attempting it, may provoke harsh interventions upon themselves. Mainly due to the concerns & the general misconception of it. Authorities & Defense agencies (including Firefall) may consider the act of even attempt it as "Casus belli" & preemptive attack such hazardous transgressors of public safety. [i]"But Sir, their facility poses no threat! They are civilians, Think of the children" "Objections noted & dismissed, In accordance with Public Safety regulations & our directive: We must intervene." "There is a Chance that their research is harmless" "I don't deal in chance." "You want us to board them? They will call for help & resist anything but third party inspectors" "I say we take off & nuke the entire site from orbit. Its the only way to make sure"[/i]