Welcome! These forums will be deactivated by the end of this year. The conversation continues in a new morph over on Discord! Please join us there for a more active conversation and the occasional opportunity to ask developers questions directly! Go to the PS+ Discord Server.

How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?

93 posts / 0 new
Last post
TBRMInsanity TBRMInsanity's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
Decivre wrote:
Not necessarily. That's assuming that we even [i]finished[/i] researching how to thaw out a human being. We might have found it to be a dead end. For instance, if we discovered how to resleeve before we came close to finding out how to cure retroviral diseases like HIV, then such research might stop because we find it more feasible to simply resleeve out of an infected body and discard it. The same is true with cryonically frozen bodies... the research might have stopped when someone realized "hey, you know we can just upload their mind and put it in a fresh body... so why are we still researching this?"
Also related to this is the problem of reproduction. Why have kids (especially if your poor) when you essentially live for ever. There are a lot of things that would be put on hold now that death is "cured".
Jovian Motto: Your mind is original. Preserve it. Your body is a temple. Maintain it. Immortality is an illusion. Forget it.
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
TBRMInsanity wrote:
Also related to this is the problem of reproduction. Why have kids (especially if your poor) when you essentially live for ever. There are a lot of things that would be put on hold now that death is "cured".
Exactly. People might also find alternatives to classic reproduction. Forking would completely eliminate the need to raise a child to your whims while simultaneously creating new life. Programmers might create AGI to act as their lineage. I personally would love to one day have an artificial intelligence call me "dad". That would be awesome.
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]
TBRMInsanity TBRMInsanity's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
Decivre wrote:
Exactly. People might also find alternatives to classic reproduction. Forking would completely eliminate the need to raise a child to your whims while simultaneously creating new life. Programmers might create AGI to act as their lineage. I personally would love to one day have an artificial intelligence call me "dad". That would be awesome.
The sad thing though is that the evolutionary process has it's advantages (mainly it encourages unique and creative solutions to environmental problems). Forking and having AGIs destroy the evolutionary process (they allow for iterative development but that is more logical then creative). Effectively we will end up killing the creative spirit of transhumanity.
Jovian Motto: Your mind is original. Preserve it. Your body is a temple. Maintain it. Immortality is an illusion. Forget it.
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
TBRMInsanity wrote:
The sad thing though is that the evolutionary process has it's advantages (mainly it encourages unique and creative solutions to environmental problems). Forking and having AGIs destroy the evolutionary process (they allow for iterative development but that is more logical then creative). Effectively we will end up killing the creative spirit of transhumanity.
Not necessarily. You are [i]assuming[/i] that the iterative development process will be more logical, but that will depend on who is designing the AGI, or who is being forked. Some programmers will be looking to add a creative streak to the AGI they are designing, or create individual personality traits that set them apart from the rest. It will only be more logic than creativity when the creator is relying more on logic in his design. The evolutionary process is essentially the process of "dumb luck progression". The ability to choose how we develop opens a wider variety on how our development can occur, and can even boost its pace. Plus, you are forgetting about that classic X-Factor. As free-will beings, your forks and created AGI are not [i]destined[/i] to follow along the path that their creators chose for them. A research AGI might one day decide to become a poet, while one of your forks might decide that he doesn't like the soldier life you lead, by some experience or epiphany he has that you don't. Much like with birthing life today, the only thing you can do is create and guide your progeny... they choose all the rest.
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]
ranx ranx's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
Your player is far from the first to notice the possibilities inherent in cornucopia machines. People with these devices have already assembled personal utopias, in the outer system. That's why everything runs off the new economy, nobody uses money, and the only things worth anything are things you can't make in a cornucopia machine, like art or conversation or sex with something other than a glorified realdoll. Is he based in the outer system? Let him build what he likes. His neighbours can also build what they like. If he has imperial ambitions, they can build just as many combat synthmorphs as he can. Some places are more proactive than others when it comes to preventing that sort of thing. In the inner system, unlocked fabricators are illegal. So are armies of killbots. This isn't to say nobody has them, but if he starts drawing attention to himself (by building aforementioned army of killbots) then the planetary consortium will come down, hard. And they have lots and lots of combat synthmorphs. The ensuing carnage will be a played across the inner system as an object lesson in the danger of unchecked fabrication technology, and across the outer system as an object lesson in corporate tyranny. Remember that having a personal paradise (complete with tricked-out sexmorphs for impressing the ladies) in the orbit of Pluto is of little use when you have a hot date with an uplifted octopus in the Morningstar Constellation. Habs routinely conduct scans on entry to detect weapons and you can be damn sure they're not letting Reapers in the door without a very good reason. And every so often, run an adventure at his home base. Let him lovingly describe his swarms of robot butlers, his reacreated vintage cars, and whatever else he has constructed. Let him be cool. Some of it might even impress rustic barsoomian tourists who've never seen the New Economy. Having said all that, I think the setting benefits from some limitations on what Fabbers can do. Most of them have been covered already in this thread, but for my own edification: 1) Input materials. Fabbers can't do alchemy, so you need the elements for whatever is going in. Asteroid mining will get you a lot, but there are probably rare elements in a lot of stuff that will require some effort to obtain. Also, fleets of robot asteroid miners require a certain amount of setup time. Outer system habs already have them, but you have to share with your neighbours. Energy is another limitation. There are going to be some costs involved, even if they ultimately boil down to spending more time constructing probes to harvest minerals. 2) Blueprints. Open source blueprints are probably pretty common especially in the outer system, but they don't /necessarily/ exist for everything. There's a reasonable investment of character resources involved in getting the necessary design skills, and that ought to be rewarded. 3) Technical limitation on cornucopia machines. While they can make an awful lot, In My Personal Eclipse Phase they're not very good at making complex organic stuff. Grown food, even if it comes from a vat, tastes better than the mush extruded from a fabber. Biomorphs need to be grown in exowombs, because people-farms are just so cool to have firefights in. Synthmorphs are easy, of course, but that's why they're called the clanking masses right? They can't afford flesh. And it's inefficient to construction large structures like Habs and spaceships out of pieces small enough to come out of a fabber. That's one reason the outer systems don't dominate the inner - post-scarcity doesn't apply to destroyers. Plus, you can't make antimatter in fabber, and antimatter is the best fuel source and the best warhead filler. I hope this stuff helps!
The Doctor The Doctor's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
Decivre wrote:
I wouldn't say "unknowable" as much as "unknown". The TITANs themselves are understood (to a degree; we did build them), but the Exurgent virus which has altered them is the actual X-Factor in the equation. All of the enhanced tech they have seems to be caused, mostly, by the Exurgent virus's influence. Moreover, this virus has only been in our presence for 10 years. Of course we know little about it or the tech behind it! That doesn't make it "unknowable", though.
I am not so sure of that. The TITANs went into what is described as a recursive self-improvement loop. That is to say, they altered their software and hardware in ways their original creators did not foresee. There is really no way of knowing what they did to themselves to become weakly godlike (or, let us say post-AGI) entities. They figured out how to build computronium on their own to let them accomplish goals that transhumanity only sees the shadows of at this time. They could be said to be as far beyond transhumanity as transhumanity is beyond a Commodore-64.
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
The Doctor wrote:
I am not so sure of that. The TITANs went into what is described as a recursive self-improvement loop. That is to say, they altered their software and hardware in ways their original creators did not foresee. There is really no way of knowing what they did to themselves to become weakly godlike (or, let us say post-AGI) entities. They figured out how to build computronium on their own to let them accomplish goals that transhumanity only sees the shadows of at this time. They could be said to be as far beyond transhumanity as transhumanity is beyond a Commodore-64.
Yet we don't know how many of those advances were because of the TITANs ability for self-improvement, and how many of them were simply programmed into them by the Exurgent Virus. That's the problem with any real debate about the subject... until we know exactly what the Exurgent virus puts in the minds of its victims, we can't know if the TITANs actually went through their own singularity, or if the ETI artificially pushed them into one. Despite all that, it doesn't make this knowledge "unknowable". ETI have spent billions upon billions of years evolving as a sentient species. Who is to say whether transhumans are capable of comprehending it without introducing it to transhumans? Hell, who knows... maybe the most advanced Exurgents aren't insane or evil, but simply transhumans who [i]have[/i] been introduced to knowledge we thought beyond us, and are acting upon that knowledge.
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]
Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
I am at the AGI10 conference in Lugano right now, listening to professor Marcus Hutters lecture. Right now he is presenting his AIXI model - there is an equation of the powerpoint right now describing the *provably* smartest intelligence (at least for solving computable problems). The AI is unfortunately uncomputable, but Marcus sounds happy about some cut-down versions that are just doubly exponential in time and a Monte Carlo version that can play pacman...). The surrounding theory is interesting and contains theorems showing that such entities would learn things extremely fast and make extremely few mistakes (total error of binary sequence prediction will be less than log(2) times the length of the *shortest* program that generates it plus a constant factor). My point is, truly advanced intelligences would be chillingly alien and frightfully efficient. If ETI wants something to happen, then it is going to happen. So rather than asking whether the TITANs got nasty on their own or whether it was the virus, we should ask what the ETI wants to achieve, because that is almost by definition what is happening. So, in what way does the current EP situation fit the ETI plans?
Extropian
killj0y killj0y's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
Responding to the OP: If you want a system to limit his overall production without having to handwave the entire thing I recomend a simple ratio system. Each item he creates is simply a combination of various common feedstocks. If I had to categorize them: Hydrocarbon stocks (common) Base Metals (Common) Inert Gases (Uncommon) Natrual Radioisotopes (Uncommon) Created Radioisotopes (Rare) Trace Elements (Rare) So much like baking bread you simply need to stipulate the ratio of various items. Bread in this case would be X parts hydrocarbon stock. A pistol would be 1 parts hydrocarbon stock (gun oil), 2 parts base metals stock. Each Feedstock cartidge contains anywhere from 10 -100 charges of feedstock for the various components and the costs for each vary based on local economy. I don't have a working knowledge of gear costs but I imagine it wouldn't be too hard to provide a simple cost to feedstock ratio conversion for most common items. In response to the other replies: I have to say that i've been on a lot of boards over the years for a lot of games but you guys are freaking incredible. I've never really been in a conversation where I felt like a null because I wasn't a Polymath PhD. I'm not saying you're talking over my head, i'm a smart guy it's just that the discourse on these forums is about 3 stages of evolution above what I normally read. Keep up the good work, just don't let the discussion of what is and isn't possible distract you from what is and isn't workable in this system.
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
As someone who's only post-high-school education is about computer science specializing in programming, who is talking about the field of nanotechnology, I feel good knowing that I sound all... smart-like.... :D
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]
killj0y killj0y's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
Two blips that occured later. Silicate Feedstocks would be necessary for any kind of electronics and depending on the type of item being created might be used as balast or firewalling materials (ie sand). Also I would give your basic Maker/CM a stack of 10 units of Base metals, silicates and hydrocarbon stocks and make the player buy the rest with his starting cash/rep. That should put the damper on him cranking out any robots, vehicles, or habitats before he can get playing. CM's aren't replicators and can't create something from just energy. Unless he is the party's fixer i'm guessing that dumping a bunch of his starting cash/points into being a maker's maker would put him down a bit on morph, skills and combat ability.
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
killj0y wrote:
Two blips that occured later. Silicate Feedstocks would be necessary for any kind of electronics and depending on the type of item being created might be used as balast or firewalling materials (ie sand). Also I would give your basic Maker/CM a stack of 10 units of Base metals, silicates and hydrocarbon stocks and make the player buy the rest with his starting cash/rep. That should put the damper on him cranking out any robots, vehicles, or habitats before he can get playing. CM's aren't replicators and can't create something from just energy. Unless he is the party's fixer i'm guessing that dumping a bunch of his starting cash/points into being a maker's maker would put him down a bit on morph, skills and combat ability.
Hell, I would say that all feedstock has to be purchased at creation. Granted, feedstock isn't a necessity. Fabbers are equipped with disassembly tools, and may utilize any scrap that people might bring it. I can see players taking synthmorph corpses from any fights they are involved in to their fabber to be recycled as new synthmorphs and parts. Mining for the necessary materials in asteroids, or even stealing raw goods can also be good means of gaining the resources necessary to produce. However, always remember that they need resources to produce. Proper materials at that; nanofabricators work on the molecular level, so they cannot produce gold from oxygen, or create anything from anything else. Any device more amazing than that is probably TITAN tech.
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]
Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
Decivre wrote:
Any device more amazing than that is probably TITAN tech.
"Hmm, the fabber has been working unusually well recently. I wonder..." "HUMAN/FEEDSTOCK OBSERVED! ACQUIRE/EAT BRAINSCAN!" Couldn't resist. :-) There is also the energy requirements. If you want to make chemical explosives the energy that will eventually be released in the explosion have to go into making the chemicals. A kilogram of TNT is about a million calories (4.2 million J / 1.2 kWh). If the fabber runs at 1 kW, it will take at least 1.2 hours to make it. And no process is 100% efficient, so a decent fraction of that will end up as heat - there will be a hot heat sink somewhere and this will be pretty visible in IR ("George! The neighbours are cooking something energetic again." "Sigh. Ma, put the interceptor net on alert.")
Extropian
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
Arenamontanus wrote:
Decivre wrote:
Any device more amazing than that is probably TITAN tech.
"Hmm, the fabber has been working unusually well recently. I wonder..." "HUMAN/FEEDSTOCK OBSERVED! ACQUIRE/EAT BRAINSCAN!" Couldn't resist. :-) There is also the energy requirements. If you want to make chemical explosives the energy that will eventually be released in the explosion have to go into making the chemicals. A kilogram of TNT is about a million calories (4.2 million J / 1.2 kWh). If the fabber runs at 1 kW, it will take at least 1.2 hours to make it. And no process is 100% efficient, so a decent fraction of that will end up as heat - there will be a hot heat sink somewhere and this will be pretty visible in IR ("George! The neighbours are cooking something energetic again." "Sigh. Ma, put the interceptor net on alert.")
I'd imagine that future technology will actually be very efficient, likely using thermoelectric means of recycling waste heat into energy. Even so, energy requirements will be a bitch. Especially with synthmorphs, where their nuclear batteries are suppose to keep them running for decades, if not centuries. "YES!!! I finally have my robot army!!!" "Yeah... 25 thousand reapers with 30 seconds of power each. Good job, Bert." "But I had plenty of nuclear batteries!" "Yup, and used up plenty of nuclear batteries to power the fabber long enough to produce 25 thousand reapers. Now what?" "Crap...."
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]
Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
Decivre wrote:
I'd imagine that future technology will actually be very efficient, likely using thermoelectric means of recycling waste heat into energy.
Sorry, second law of thermodynamics. You can warm your habitat with waste heat, but you can't get it to do useful work. Still, I wonder just how effective you can make nanoassembly. I think one can show that low temperature assembly can be more efficient (oh dear, now we get the corpsicles again!). I would expect at least a few percent of the total chemical energy gets turned into waste heat, but if you are a clever designer or run the right optimization code you can likely reduce the chemical energy quite a lot.
Decivre wrote:
"YES!!! I finally have my robot army!!!" "Yeah... 25 thousand reapers with 30 seconds of power each. Good job, Bert." "But I had plenty of nuclear batteries!" "Yup, and used up plenty of nuclear batteries to power the fabber long enough to produce 25 thousand reapers. Now what?" "Crap...."
"We could always paint it terracotta and try to show it to tourists as an alien emperor's honour guard?" "Igor, have I told you that I hate your ideas?"
Extropian
killj0y killj0y's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
The concept was largely a way to handle feedstocks as a mechanic since none are presented. Energy is assumed to be cheap and plentiful even if it varies from location to location. It's not like Con-ed is going to pop around and read your meter every session to see how many synth-morphs you cranked out this month.
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
Arenamontanus wrote:
Sorry, second law of thermodynamics. You can warm your habitat with waste heat, but you can't get it to do useful work.
Sure you can, thanks to the Seebeck and Thomson effects (a few other theoretical ones exist as well). You will eventually produce waste heat that is unusable, but heat is, believe it or not, very usable via thermoelectric processes. The second law just basically states that the process is not perpetual, and will eventually waste. I'm not arguing against that, because their will be waste heat that won't be reused. That doesn't mean you can't create a system that is [i]very[/i] efficient.
Arenamontanus wrote:
Still, I wonder just how effective you can make nanoassembly. I think one can show that low temperature assembly can be more efficient (oh dear, now we get the corpsicles again!). I would expect at least a few percent of the total chemical energy gets turned into waste heat, but if you are a clever designer or run the right optimization code you can likely reduce the chemical energy quite a lot.
Of course. I'd imagine that the waste heat would be very low, since people who have nanomachines running inside them don't get feverish (and if they produced a lot of waste heat, that would kick up your body temperature dramatically just to have medichines). Heat optimization would be necessary for the level of ubiquity the technology has.
Arenamontanus wrote:
"We could always paint it terracotta and try to show it to tourists as an alien emperor's honour guard?" "Igor, have I told you that I hate your ideas?"
A comedy duo mocking the mythology surrounding the broken-ness of nanofabrication? Who says that Eclipse Phase can't be funny?
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]
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
killj0y wrote:
The concept was largely a way to handle feedstocks as a mechanic since none are presented. Energy is assumed to be cheap and plentiful even if it varies from location to location. It's not like Con-ed is going to pop around and read your meter every session to see how many synth-morphs you cranked out this month.
Plentiful to an extent. It's one thing to get a nuclear battery for your synthmorph, which will last it nearly a lifetime, but a completely different thing to get enough nuclear batteries to power an army of synthmorphs. Think of it this way... nothing suspicious about buying a mobile phone, but if you buy a few dozen, it does raise a red flag about what you might be doing with them.
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]
killj0y killj0y's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
true. But that's a bit different. I'm assuming if you wanted to create a Nuclear battery for your synthmorph you're going to need at least a few charges of Natural and created radio-isotopes which would fall on the high end of the cost/rarity scale. Without a real clear gauge of how much power draw these things have, we can assume that you could not use 1 nuclear battery to power the CM long enough to make another one so you're going to have to draw on a grid somewhere, be it a solar array, anti-matter reactor or what have you. You could create pistols that charge off of basic (transhuman) wall current and save yourself the trouble of having the CM create a powered battery in the unit. Or you could build your synthmorph and use basic rep to score the power components you need since they won't be that expensive compared to buying a full morph.
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
killj0y wrote:
true. But that's a bit different. I'm assuming if you wanted to create a Nuclear battery for your synthmorph you're going to need at least a few charges of Natural and created radio-isotopes which would fall on the high end of the cost/rarity scale. Without a real clear gauge of how much power draw these things have, we can assume that you could not use 1 nuclear battery to power the CM long enough to make another one so you're going to have to draw on a grid somewhere, be it a solar array, anti-matter reactor or what have you. You could create pistols that charge off of basic (transhuman) wall current and save yourself the trouble of having the CM create a powered battery in the unit. Or you could build your synthmorph and use basic rep to score the power components you need since they won't be that expensive compared to buying a full morph.
If you can use a solar array to power a DM, then I should hope that a nuclear battery capable of powering a synthmorph for most of a century should be able to do the job just fine. As for pistols, the only sort that would require battery power are railguns, and you need a LOT of juice for a single shot with a railgun... so a nuclear battery is pretty much essential. Nuclear batteries should not be a problem in themselves to acquire, but getting a large number of them for the purpose of producing an army will raise some eyebrows... and your usual channels will likely not deal out of fear of what you're doing with that much radiation (like building nuclear weapons)
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]
Lazarus Lazarus's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?

Just a couple of thoughts here:

  • For whatever reason nanofabrication can't be used to create living organisms. Maybe it is too complex building each individual cell in the correct place (the instructions to build part X out of steel is probably a lot simpler than the instructions to build organ Y since every cell needs to be defined) or maybe it is possible but the process is just too slow to make building an entire body practical. Whatever the reason it is clearly not feasible because it takes 1 1/2 to 2 years to grow a new biomorph and if they could be created faster with nanofabrication people would be doing so.
  • Having lots of stuff isn't very helpful if you need to egocast somewhere. Even if the character is not a Firewall agent if the adventure proposed requires them to cross a lot of space in a fairly short amount of time their options are to egocast and leave everything behind or miss out while everyone else plays.
  • Lots of stuff takes up lots of space. Where is all this stuff stored? You aren't going to keep three dozen synthmorphs in your closet or under your bed, and God help you if you have to move between planetary systems. Space on ships is very limited according to the book.
  • Just because he has it doesn't mean he can walk around with it. Hey, he can create a full battle suit and a plasma rifle, nice, but if he walks through most habitats with all that gear he's going to attract attention. Maybe he's on a scum barge where there's no authorities but sticking out like that is going to make him a target.
  • Big whoop. So he can fab all sorts of stuff. What's the problem with that? it isn't really that hard to get good reputation and get all sorts of stuff anyway. Eclipse Phase is a character-centric game rather than a gear-driven game. He's not going to be able to crank out items that are significantly better than what other players can get through conventional methods and he's going to have less skill at using the items since he jammed so many of his points into being able to make stuff. Him having a lot of items is sort of like a D&D cleric having an advantage because they can heal a lot faster. It is a slight advantage during the adventure that is typically shared with the party and that is balanced out by other weaknesses (few hp, lower to hit chances, more limited weapon choice). If he wants to play that way what's wrong with it? The only downside is you lose the ability to motivate through financial reward but there's plenty of other hooks you can use to motivate characters.
My artificially intelligent spaceship is psychic. Your argument it invalid.
Lazarus Lazarus's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
Just a couple of other things. There was some talk about using cornucopia machines to build other CMs and one idea was to have the second machine 'extruded' so it it larger than the first. I'm pretty sure that for CMs the entire machine has to be closed so that the environment can be controlled. It is mentioned that nanofabbricators work better this way. However, the CM couple be used to make parts for a larger CM that are then assembled, so that's a simple work around. An even simpler one is to use the CM to produce a protean nanoswarm and then program that to build a larger CM. I had actually been thinking this morning about a character who was an 'infiltration specialist'. By this I mean that he was trained to go to various habitats via physical travel, using whatever plausible story would grant him access. One there he would use a protean swarm to build a CM (CMs are much faster than protean swarms) from which he created whatever equipment his mission required. Currently I'm trying to work out a good method for smuggling in a protean nanoswarm. I'm considering ingesting it and then activating it by radio-link once it's 'passed'. Not the most elegant of solutions, of course, so I'm looking for a better on. The blueprints should probably be a lot easier since I can just use steganography and hide them within all the data files carried by my muse.
My artificially intelligent spaceship is psychic. Your argument it invalid.
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
Lazarus wrote:
Just a couple of other things. There was some talk about using cornucopia machines to build other CMs and one idea was to have the second machine 'extruded' so it it larger than the first. I'm pretty sure that for CMs the entire machine has to be closed so that the environment can be controlled. It is mentioned that nanofabbricators work better this way. However, the CM couple be used to make parts for a larger CM that are then assembled, so that's a simple work around. An even simpler one is to use the CM to produce a protean nanoswarm and then program that to build a larger CM. I had actually been thinking this morning about a character who was an 'infiltration specialist'. By this I mean that he was trained to go to various habitats via physical travel, using whatever plausible story would grant him access. One there he would use a protean swarm to build a CM (CMs are much faster than protean swarms) from which he created whatever equipment his mission required. Currently I'm trying to work out a good method for smuggling in a protean nanoswarm. I'm considering ingesting it and then activating it by radio-link once it's 'passed'. Not the most elegant of solutions, of course, so I'm looking for a better on. The blueprints should probably be a lot easier since I can just use steganography and hide them within all the data files carried by my muse.
Cornucopia Machines don't need to necessarily be closed, but they do have a limited range in which they can distribute their swarm. However, it is still feasible to build much larger machines if you are willing to assemble the parts post-fabrication. You can build a massive CM with a small CM if you are okay with "some assembly required". Do note however that there are a variety of ways to detect swarms. Bio scans could find a swarm which you have hidden in your body, and devices which scan the air can detect swarms mid-flight. It is an absolutely horrible idea to try to sneak in nano-technology to, say, the Junta.
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]
Lazarus Lazarus's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
I can't find anything that would indicate that a bio-scan can detect innactive nanites within someone's body. The closest I can find is mention of scanning for 'hostile nanoswarms', 'pathogens', and 'some habitats go farther, including rigorous secondary screenings using scout nanoswarms' upon arrival. An ingested nanoswarm would not be detected by a nanodetector since they work through sampling the air and my guess is that that is how they scan for 'hostile nanoswarms'. What is not clear is what is meant by 'using scout nanoswarms'. Do they sprinkle the nanoswarms over the person's gear? If they make them ingest the scouts that could definitely work for detecting the proteans. Of course if that were the case it seems as though there are probably other locations for stashing an innactive nanoswarm that the scouts would miss. Essentially you would need something to encapsulate the innactive proteans that would not show up unusual on a scan.
My artificially intelligent spaceship is psychic. Your argument it invalid.
nick012000 nick012000's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
Lazarus wrote:
Essentially you would need something to encapsulate the innactive proteans that would not show up unusual on a scan.
An airtight and watertight container, cleaned of any nanobots outside the container, and then stuffed up the vagina. A habitat that does full-blown body cavity searches would not be popular.

+1 r-Rep , +1 @-rep

Lazarus Lazarus's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
I think that would show up on most X-Rays/Ultrasounds. The trick is that the encapsulating container needs to be something that doesn't appear unusual when scanned. A fake cortical stack is an example but probably not practical because A) you need someone else to remove it, B) the removal would probably not occur in a nice clean operating room and would be pretty traumatic, and C) it would leave the character without a real cortical stack.
My artificially intelligent spaceship is psychic. Your argument it invalid.
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
Lazarus wrote:
I think that would show up on most X-Rays/Ultrasounds. The trick is that the encapsulating container needs to be something that doesn't appear unusual when scanned. A fake cortical stack is an example but probably not practical because A) you need someone else to remove it, B) the removal would probably not occur in a nice clean operating room and would be pretty traumatic, and C) it would leave the character without a real cortical stack.
Your best chances for getting something in is to not do it at all. If you know someone on the inside who already has a Cornucopia machine, you have no need for sneaking one in. Egocasting into a body with all the illegal implants you want saves you the time of having to sneak one in. Or hell, enter with a legit body, then get it illegally modified on the inside. Remove the illegal implants before leaving, of course. That's how I plan my character to operate. I plan to carry blueprints and DNA data for every implant and modification I want wherever I go, that way a healing vat can equip me as I need once I get there, and unequip me when I'm finished.
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]
Lazarus Lazarus's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
Decivre wrote:
Lazarus wrote:
I think that would show up on most X-Rays/Ultrasounds. The trick is that the encapsulating container needs to be something that doesn't appear unusual when scanned. A fake cortical stack is an example but probably not practical because A) you need someone else to remove it, B) the removal would probably not occur in a nice clean operating room and would be pretty traumatic, and C) it would leave the character without a real cortical stack.
Your best chances for getting something in is to not do it at all. If you know someone on the inside who already has a Cornucopia machine, you have no need for sneaking one in. Egocasting into a body with all the illegal implants you want saves you the time of having to sneak one in. Or hell, enter with a legit body, then get it illegally modified on the inside. Remove the illegal implants before leaving, of course. That's how I plan my character to operate. I plan to carry blueprints and DNA data for every implant and modification I want wherever I go, that way a healing vat can equip me as I need once I get there, and unequip me when I'm finished.
Yeah, I also considered that possibility and in fact in most cases the character would probably go that way. Another possibility is to hack a restricted CM but the ultimate design was for him to be able to be dropped in to somewhere where the CM were so restricted that he could not reliably obtain one and then create all his tools once there. Removing implants is probably a non-issue since the character could egocast and leave his morph behind in most cases.
My artificially intelligent spaceship is psychic. Your argument it invalid.
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
Lazarus wrote:
Yeah, I also considered that possibility and in fact in most cases the character would probably go that way. Another possibility is to hack a restricted CM but the ultimate design was for him to be able to be dropped in to somewhere where the CM were so restricted that he could not reliably obtain one and then create all his tools once there. Removing implants is probably a non-issue since the character could egocast and leave his morph behind in most cases.
Someone talented enough with hardware, who also happens to have the proper tools, can theoretically build a nanofabricator without the need for nano-technology. The first nano-device had to be built by hand, afterall. That could be an option where no other presents itself, and it may also be integral to setting up a Firewall cache in a place where none exist yet.
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]
killj0y killj0y's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
So after finally finishing the story section of the book and moving on to rules I have some new thoughts. If the character is in the inner system then having an un-DRMed CM is illegal and would land him in some serious stuff if he was ever found out. The rewards are higher in a traditional economy but so are the risks. If he starts with an unlocked CM that he can feed his own blueprints that likely means he's in the outer system where money doesn't actually mean anything. Sure he could feed his rep by doing CM jobs for other people but when every hab has a public maker he won't be able to do anything small, he'd have to make things that might otherwise be restricted which could also get him ousted. In the outer system also the supplies of rare earth metals and uncommon components are tightly controlled by import export and you wouldn't be able to simply purchase the stuff needed to make plasma weapons or nuclear batteries without some difficulty. It struck me early when I heard about this game and again when I was thinking about this that gear and money don't mean diddly. There's zero incentive to "loot the bodies" or "search the room" unless you're desperate, out of ammo or looking for the guy's access keycard. Let him crank out whatever he wants. The guy next door is doing the exact same thing only better, because he isn't a firewall agent with a universe to save every 5 minutes.
TBRMInsanity TBRMInsanity's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
Decivre wrote:
Someone talented enough with hardware, who also happens to have the proper tools, can theoretically build a nanofabricator without the need for nano-technology. The first nano-device had to be built by hand, afterall. That could be an option where no other presents itself, and it may also be integral to setting up a Firewall cache in a place where none exist yet.
I'm guessing you don't fully understand what it takes to create each individual nanobot by hand. You would be at it for thousands of years to do the same work that a CM can do in a few minutes. Computers (and the assembly floor process) are needed to do nano-fabrication. Humans are now dexterous enough, too slow, and not patient enough to do the work of a CM.
Jovian Motto: Your mind is original. Preserve it. Your body is a temple. Maintain it. Immortality is an illusion. Forget it.
Lazarus Lazarus's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
killj0y wrote:
...There's zero incentive to "loot the bodies" or "search the room" unless you're desperate, out of ammo or looking for the guy's access keycard...
Hey. You've got to have something to feed the disassemblers. :)
My artificially intelligent spaceship is psychic. Your argument it invalid.
nick012000 nick012000's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
TBRMInsanity wrote:
Decivre wrote:
Someone talented enough with hardware, who also happens to have the proper tools, can theoretically build a nanofabricator without the need for nano-technology. The first nano-device had to be built by hand, afterall. That could be an option where no other presents itself, and it may also be integral to setting up a Firewall cache in a place where none exist yet.
I'm guessing you don't fully understand what it takes to create each individual nanobot by hand. You would be at it for thousands of years to do the same work that a CM can do in a few minutes. Computers (and the assembly floor process) are needed to do nano-fabrication. Humans are now dexterous enough, too slow, and not patient enough to do the work of a CM.
No, but presumably you could build the machines to build the machines to build the machines. After all, nanotech had to be invented somehow. ;)

+1 r-Rep , +1 @-rep

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
TBRMInsanity wrote:
I'm guessing you don't fully understand what it takes to create each individual nanobot by hand. You would be at it for thousands of years to do the same work that a CM can do in a few minutes. Computers (and the assembly floor process) are needed to do nano-fabrication. Humans are now dexterous enough, too slow, and not patient enough to do the work of a CM.
Apparently you don't understand that a hive is not itself made of nanobots. I was never talking about building a nanoswarm in any way, but a Cornucopia machine, which could then begin generating its own production swarm. There is no need to produce individual nanites. All you would need is the means to manipulate and view on the nanoscopic level... which flexbots could do well already, and proper implants could pull off with ease as well. Tools, bots and implants would be infinitely easier to get through the door than a Cornucopia machine where nanobot technology is restricted or illegal.
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]
Thampsan Thampsan's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
I laughed myself silly when I read the last two sentences. That was too funny for words. Arenamontanus, Lazarus and killj0y all have it right. I like the way killj0y breaks up the feed-stock into rarity - and so expense. But Arenamontanus has a very valid point, a lot of dangerous stuff like chemical explosives are going to need power and a way to get rid of excess heat, so while in theory you could make yourself enough TNT to destroy a small asteroid the amount of energy and heat waste would be so enormous as to make the idea inviable. Lazarus though has the best answer to the 'problem', while the scientific angle is important, control via narrative is also important. I recall that one of the things that Firewall looks out for is people who build massive server farms (under the reasoning "Why does one guy need that much computational power?"), likewise building anything as dangerous as inert synthmorphs would definitely trigger a few warning bells somewhere. But more importantly still the two points that Lazarus already mentioned, WHERE ARE THEY KEEPING THEIR ROBOT ARMY, and HOW ARE THEY GOING TO MOBILIZE THEIR ROBOT ARMY? The fact of the matter is that unless your campaign is only going to take place on a single planet, chances are you are going to be doing a lot of travelling. And more likely than not you aren't going to go by real-space. So all your robots of doom and and armoury of machine guns aren't going to help you when you are forced to upload to a new body three planets away. Another important consideration is; if the players are thinking of this stuff, then clearly the authorities of whatever hab they are on have thought of this stuff. Your players might be clever and they might be unique individuals, but that doesn't mean their ideas are necessarily unique. Other characters in the world will have thought about doing this, some may also be doing the same and be much further along in their plans. Besides what is the player going to do? Fork himself a thousand times and hop into the bodies. Sure, go right ahead. But it reads in the canon that Forking is a little iffy, people do it - sometimes, but doing it obsessively and to that extent, that often isn't legal. It is also a sure fire way to either have some of the forks go rogue and become their own person (see: forks and easy of re-integration) and/or to get many horribly dead ego hunters on your case systematically erasing you from existence for being such a horrible violator of the law and decency. Obviously some of these measure are draconian and a good way to alienate your players who should enjoy the freedom and (near)limitless possibilities being transhuman gives them. But they are just suggestions. I don't see excessive fabbing a problem for a game in which (as Lazarus points out) is character driven and not equipment driven. More so because death is only a minor obstacle it means that as 'immortals' (effectively) the plans of the player should be fantastic and over-wrought, but the challenges that go along with these plans should at least give them pause. And besides, production of armies of synthmorphs would take some time even with numerous fabricators going, otherwise everyone would have a morph and Titan wouldn't have waits of years to re-sleeve people.
Thampsan Thampsan's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
Side note; articles of relevance to the discussion. http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/9.10/atoms.html http://www.wilmccarthy.com/hm.htm That is all.
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
I think the biggest reason for the high demand of morphs despite nanofabrication has more to do with preference than supply. Biomorphs are still the most desirable type of morph out there. Nanofabrication cannot produce biomorphs, and the production of biomorphs requires a minimum of 3 years to complete (1½ for pods). That's a long production cycle, and one that is sure to create an issue of demand failing to meet supply. As for mass forking, it's already been done by Pax Familae. Merely making multiple copies of yourself isn't going to be enough to conquer the system, however. You may be able to get numbers on your side, but you are stuck with the disadvantage of mental conformity... an army that thinks alike with identical personalities, lacking all the advantages and innovation that uniqueness can bring. Moreover, you'll have to deal with any issues that would apply to yourself individually; if you are averse to combat, why on Earth would your forks be any different? If you're a stubborn bastard who doesn't take orders from anyone, why would your forks listen to you? If you're the sort of guy who wants to conquer the world and rule it all by yourself, than forking doesn't produce an army... it produces competition.
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]
Thampsan Thampsan's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
I am not suggesting that you will win a war with your forks, i'm saying that the player who wants to make his robot army is going to need intelligences to propel said army. Sure he could make himself some muse or limited AI to inhabitant them, but anyone stupid enough to want an army of synths is probably going to want to make sure they are operated by the one person he trusts - himself. Heh. Really a lot like the final David Tennant Dr Who episode (series 4 finale) where The Master remakes every human in the world into a doppleganger of himself. Of course this won't necessarily be the case. But the forks will eventually become quite different to the original. If you send your synth fork army into battle then they are suffering horrors and would adapt (assuming the narcissistic fool made alpha forks) as the original individual would and would change and become their own person in time - distinct from the original personality that spawned it. Richard K Morgan has a great book; the final book actually in the Takeshi Kovacs series is about a premise akin to the above. Anyway, my point is that the character will be breaking numerous in-setting laws which will lead to a swift trip down 'repercussion road' when their stock pile of what-ever is discovered (and by what-ever I assume the only real problems game masters are/should be concerned with is the type of stuff that directly influences a game - like an army of synths, explosives, excess ammunition and guns, etc).
nick012000 nick012000's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
Alternately, you could design the adventure to cater to his desire for his robot army. Make them useful, without making them overwhelming. Maybe an army of Von Neumann robots invade out of the Pandora Gates, or an Exsurgent Virus infects everyone in a habitat, and he has to send his robot hordes out to fight in the background while the PCs go after a mission objective that's too important to entrust with them (and if they try to bring some of the robot horde with them, throw that many extra enemies at them).

+1 r-Rep , +1 @-rep

Ramidel Ramidel's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
Looking to the OP's question... First, the prices in the book presume inner-system FRM and do not remotely make sense in the outer system. The blueprints for just about any item on the list are probably available for close-to-free on RNA or Circle-A. (The New Economy is rich. That's life.) Secondly: Yeah, you can fab anything within your resource base. You can make your own private utopia. If that's what you want to do, go for it; people do it all the time in the outer system. Now, actually moving any of this stuff to where it can do anything useful is a problem. The Junta will kick your arse for one nanite, of course; a hypercorp hab will object to you trying to slip a reaper in. Locus and Extropia are significantly more fast-and-loose, but if you're arriving with a load of warbots, bombs and unidentified nano, someone's going to politely ask you why the hell you're coming in with this kind of hardware. Thirdly, more an observation: You can still do this. If you've got yourself, a small army of AIs, forks and allies to handle various aspects of the operation, an unrestricted CM, plenty of resources, and the connections to keep everyone and their mother from planting a lot of firepower in your face, go for it. If you can do it in the inner system, then you've just become a new hypercorp! Enjoy the short boost in c-rep and the noisy fall of your @-rep, and the ridiculous amount of credits you'll soon be raking in, and figure out how you can turn all this to help you when you're on a Firewall operation.
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
Thampsan wrote:
I am not suggesting that you will win a war with your forks, i'm saying that the player who wants to make his robot army is going to need intelligences to propel said army. Sure he could make himself some muse or limited AI to inhabitant them, but anyone stupid enough to want an army of synths is probably going to want to make sure they are operated by the one person he trusts - himself. Heh. Really a lot like the final David Tennant Dr Who episode (series 4 finale) where The Master remakes every human in the world into a doppleganger of himself. Of course this won't necessarily be the case. But the forks will eventually become quite different to the original. If you send your synth fork army into battle then they are suffering horrors and would adapt (assuming the narcissistic fool made alpha forks) as the original individual would and would change and become their own person in time - distinct from the original personality that spawned it. Richard K Morgan has a great book; the final book actually in the Takeshi Kovacs series is about a premise akin to the above. Anyway, my point is that the character will be breaking numerous in-setting laws which will lead to a swift trip down 'repercussion road' when their stock pile of what-ever is discovered (and by what-ever I assume the only real problems game masters are/should be concerned with is the type of stuff that directly influences a game - like an army of synths, explosives, excess ammunition and guns, etc).
I don't think that forks necessarily become different [i]per se[/i], but rather that the experiences they have separate from the original mind causes deviation from the original mind to a degree. For instance, I happen to be on a serious and strict diet right now. If I were forked far before I made that decision, however, there is a possibility that the life experiences of my fork may have caused him to follow a different life path. Perhaps he eats himself to death. Maybe my fork continued to be a chronic alcoholic. Maybe he didn't end up reading the books I did as a child, and never began questioning his faith. As he makes different life decisions, he crafts himself into a completely different version of me. However, as different a version of me he is, he is still a "me". I know that he'll probably have a compunction for shiny objects and his favorite color is likely to be silver. I know that he'll have a knack for mathematics and spatial thinking. I know that he'll have a competitive streak in him, and will likely be stubborn as hell. I know that he'll love a good argument. I know he'll have a fetish for sexy female voices. No matter how different his life, there is plenty that will always be the same. That may even be the biggest disadvantage with a fork... one who decides that he wants you dead will literally be the perfect assassin for killing you. He'll know all of your likes, all of your flaws, and all of your thoughts because he has them too. However, I agree on the idea that stockpiling weapons will cause problems. If anyone notices that Joe Schmo has a cache of military grade weapons and has amassed an army of forks, they're going to do something about it. So long as you are playing the setting as being dynamic, rather than some static place where nothing ever changes outside the player's influence, such options should not be completely viable (though not necessarily impossible).
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]
Checkmate Checkmate's picture
Re: How to put the breaks on excessive nano-fabrication?
One way I was planning on keeping nanofabrication in check is requiring you to have the proper raw materials. I don't like that nanites can somehow rearrange [i]atoms[/i]. That's insanely powerful and well beyond what a nanite could ever do (assuming 'nano' was a proper descriptor of their size). So if you wanted an apple, you'd have to feed a Cornucopia Machine vegetable matter. You couldn't toss, say, a Coke can in and expect it to miraculous turn it into said apple. Something else made out of aluminum? Sure. But that would be its limit. This change still allows them to be amazing devices, but it also requires the characters to obtain the proper resources and raw materials in order to take advantage of it. You may not need to find an ammo dealer anymore, but you'd still need to find the proper materials so the machine could make the various ammo types for you. Basically, it turns Cornucopia Machines and similar technology into re-arrangers rather than physics-defiers.

Pages