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Souls to placate the biocons

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Stratege Stratege's picture
Souls to placate the biocons
I love the EP setting and rule set for the most part (and am currently running an EP hack set in Anarchy Online with some decent EP influence (for anyone who knows AO: It's set at the time when the Shadowlands open and I'm planning to draw heavily on gatecrashing for that. Seems the ideal time to start since that's when all the ancient conspiracies are starting to come to fruition.)) but I'm just simply profoundly uncomfortable with how casually and commonplace death is in the setting ... what with every upload being death, every farcast and who knows how often with your typical infomorph, so on that basis I've devised a hack. The core of the change is that there is some sort of "meta-consciousness" or "soul" or whatever you want to call it. As a result any fork will occasionally get phantom experiences from the other forks (note referring to the original as a fork as well here) in the form of minor hallucinations, or stronger ones if the source is in a stressful situation. Instantiated backups with memory lacking will vaguely remember parts of what happened between backup time and instantiation time. This basically reintroduces some concept of "self" that survives and just makes me more comfortable with the setting. Oh and because I'm a sucker for some forms of horror and things going horribly wrong, consider all the "fun" new horrible things that allows: - Forknapping now allows to torture the original simply by instantiating a bunch of forks and torturing them. - Having too many forks active can lead to mental instability. - the soul traders still exist ... though they do have to be more concerned about consequences of their actions, as psychosurgering away and doing terrible things to the 'napped will get attention of the other forks. And it also leads to some questions that could come up: - What happens when trying to merge two people? - Can this be exploited for FTL communications? If so, has some company figured out a way to do so and now has banks full of people being subjected to specific experiences for cheap (and likely inhumane) data transference? - Did the TITANs know? Have they found a way to exploit that, do exsurgent viruses perhaps manipulate this meta-consciousness in some way (is that perhaps how psi-powers work?)? Do Basilisk hacks work through flashbacks to Basilisk hacks? If yes to any of those ... what's Firewall's stance on that? Have they found ways of suppressing such flashbacks? Mechanically I'd probably just lower the stress from death/resleeving, have parts of the stress obtained by a fork be applied to all other forks and figure everything else out on the fly as it becomes relevant. Hope this is helpful/interesting to anyone else. Would love to hear feedback/thoughts on it. Ps: If anyone wants to run a game with that in place, I'd be happy to join.
ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
You don't take the easy way, do you?
Oof. That's a pretty huge thing you've got there. First of all, yes there would absolutely be people using that for communication, regardless of how fast it goes. It's unblockable and implicitly secure. More importantly, you've completely completely cut the legs out from the Biocons. Think about it - you have absolute, scientifically verifiable proof that souls exist. Just think about what that would do to the world today - the ability to subject religion/spirituality to empirical research? And guess what? Transhumans have them! You can say with absolute certainty that using transhuman tech doesn't cause you to die and/or damage the soul - and even if "some" do you can literally test for that. Jovian Dogma no longer makes any sense beyond the "technology is dangerous" angle.
In the past we've had to compensate for weaknesses, finding quick solutions that only benefit a few. But what if we never need to feel weak or morally conflicted again?
Stratege Stratege's picture
Well I was more thinking
Well I was more thinking about more biocon players, not biocon faction. (Honestly I just couldn't think of a good name for the thread). Also @Implicitly secure - no. Asyncs can read minds/memories. And I'm pretty sure psychosurgery allows the same. Also if it requires a sufficient horrific procedure to work reliably enough then well... Don't get hung up on the word "soul" too much. Atleast the way I intended it it's just some sort of meta-conciousness-thingy. Yes one could know that transhuman tech isn't suicide (that's the whole point of the idea) but while I suppose certain classes of religious believes could be falsified I don't see for example how it could be used for figuring out about any sorts of afterlives or gods or anything. And yeah suppose the Jovians would be more dogmatic/silly than in standard EP. It could just be simple dogmatic belief without rational reason, I suppose.
Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
I'm pretty sure the
I'm pretty sure the communication thing is less vague messages being sent between forks like dreams, and more heavily psychosuirgeried up gamma/delta forks being used as a cheaper version of a QE comm. Use banks of gamma-ish forks which are rapidly instanced and shut down to transmit binary data to a receiving bank of always on forks. With a little bit more creativity it's probably possible to make a hypercomputer with this setup (same as QE comms) This would also raise a lot of questions which don't usually need to be really answered, such as how long a fork takes to diverge fully enough to stop being connected to its originating alpha. It's six (subjective) months legally most places, but you'd be able to test this much more empirically if this was the case. As a corollary, exactly how much a fork needs to be changed to count as a different person is now a bigger thing, as previously it mostly just mattered to merging tests and beating a brainprint scan. Meta-consciousness-thingies added to a setting which tends to use most of the tools available makes for some weird stuff I think.
GRAAK GRAAK's picture
Meta-consciousness could be
Meta-consciousness could be seen as "soul" by some, and as a form of quantum entanglement by others. So the debate about the ethic of the technology is still open IMHO. I like your hack btw.
Stratege Stratege's picture
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:Meta
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
Meta-consciousness-thingies added to a setting which tends to use most of the tools available makes for some weird stuff I think.
Mhm, it could be interesting to explore. I'd be curious what it means for the less nice-intelligence agencies, would they be keeping eyes on people by keeping their forks and regularly subjecting them to memory browsing asyncs or similiar techniques? Or would even they (normally) consider that a violation of privacy or something? What's firewall doing in the face of that, knowing that exsurgent infections could theoretically spread at FTL speed over this meta-conciousness-thingy? As mentioned above, currently running an AO game with EP rules and while this has way more directly souls for setting reasons ... I've already have gone and added a few techs based on that stuff and it's creepy (and neat!). ^^
GRAAK wrote:
Meta-consciousness could be seen as "soul" by some, and as a form of quantum entanglement by others. So the debate about the ethic of the technology is still open IMHO. I like your hack btw.
Indeed, and thanks! :)
Zoolimar Zoolimar's picture
Biocons already have legs to
Biocons already have legs to stand on - Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and inability to create an ideal copy. That is enough for everyone with even a little scientific background to say that anyone who transfers his consciousness to other bodies or restores himself from a stack is just an imperfect copy. It also gives interesting psychological implications about Jovian military which uses stacks but at the same time is a product of Jovian society with its bioconservatism and religion.