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Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???

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Extrasolar Angel Extrasolar Angel's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
Simply put:most people aren't transhumanists. While the Fall was probably selective and a greater number of individuals willing to abandon their humanity exists in society, majority still most likely want to live a "normal" kind of life based on their biological origin. This even adds to the dystopia element was millions are forced to inhabit bodies they actually hate and that remember them of massacres of the fall. We also shouldn't forget that the Fall was a shock and people wouldn't really look towards being in a synth that in their minds can become a TITAN weapon in a second on one day. Thirdly there is somewhat a natural selection in EP where people that do desire to embrace something new in humanity's path go to Outer System and those sticking with more traditional humanity join the Planetary Consortium(with exceptions of course).
[I]Raise your hands to the sky and break the chains. With transhumanism we can smash the matriarchy together.[/i]
Demonseed Elite Demonseed Elite's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
Yerameyahu wrote:
My point was merely that there's no 'investment' in pleasure/sensations. It's cheap software that the ego is already wired for, *and* it can be spoofed; you don't have to maintain your sweatshop at 75°F. I guess it depends on how dystopian your view is.
Yeah, I see where you're coming from, but I tend to be pretty dystopian when it comes to Case morphs, at least. I mean, they have the Lemon trait that causes them to have a chance to wound themselves randomly, so I'm not assuming any effort was put into their construction. ;)
"It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards." --The White Queen, [i]Through The Looking-Glass[/i] [img]https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_zGgz13n3uzE/TWWPdvGig-I/AAAAAAAACI8/y...
Yerameyahu Yerameyahu's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
Fair enough. As someone (you?) already pointed out, there's of course more to 'being/feeling human' than just the sensations anyway. However, they feel, they *know* they're not in a biomorph.
xPeregrine xPeregrine's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
But would it bother them if they could simply program themselves (or if they are programmed) not to feel the associated pain and or longing? Even if they didn't program themselves -- would someone in a case feel emotion in the same way as they would in a biological body? If you know you're in a case, but do not feel in the same way, would it still bother you, or would it just be one of hundreds/thousands of circumstantial facts?
Yerameyahu Yerameyahu's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
Depends on the ego. I'd say that a human (born bio) ego that hasn't been specifically edited (brainwashed) could easily be bothered on a conscious level. It's not a feeling like hunger, or anger. What you suggest is possible insofar as egos are infinitely reprogrammable… and AFAIK they're not. Being in a case doesn't make you Lt. Cdr. Data, and being in a synth even bothered him, right? :D
nezumi.hebereke nezumi.hebereke's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
I think the point is that the individual may be upset that they don't have the full range of physical and emotional sensations, but it's not something that's going to kill them. If you're in a case, the fact that you can't feel love is probably secondary to the fact that you're technically property and likely to die a horrible, terrible death and be dumped at the salvage yard one day before your contract is up. If you happen to be a free ego and happen to have a synthmorph for other reasons, it's probably easier to slot out of your morph at the end of the day, get your hedonism on in simulspace, then get your morph back on at 8am the next day than it is to build an entire research and industry empire in the ashes of the fall of the species. Just saying.
Yerameyahu Yerameyahu's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
I dunno who you're arguing against, though. :) Who said it would kill them (or that they can't feel love)?
mack2028 mack2028's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
There seems to be some misconception about synth emotions. they can and often do have an emotional damper, a device that can be turned on and off that suppresses all emotions. This implies that they have emotions, and since infomorphs have normal emotions and a synth is basically an infomorph strapped into a body (implied by the fact that they can just get out and go back in) there is no reason to think synths cant feel.
Lilith Lilith's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
I don't think the issue at hand is [i]whether[/i] or not synth can feel, but [i]what[/i] they feel as compared to a biomorph. Just as there's the "uncanny valley" effect for artificial morphs, I can't help but wonder if there's the same effect for simulated sensory input as well.
jsnead jsnead's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
Lilith wrote:
I don't think the issue at hand is [i]whether[/i] or not synth can feel, but [i]what[/i] they feel as compared to a biomorph. Just as there's the "uncanny valley" effect for artificial morphs, I can't help but wonder if there's the same effect for simulated sensory input as well.
I seriously doubt it. Human minds are truly awesome at adapting to sensory input. Almost everyone who wears a belt of 8 cellphones where the one facing north vibrates softly stops noticing this in a few days and instead develops a perfect sense of direction that they miss when its gone. There's also not mention that XP feel fake, and if someone else's recorded sensory impressions feel real, your own certainly will. Biomorphs can replace all of their senses with augmented bioware and cyberware - I don't think that this would be any more or less real feeling than synthmorph senses. As the creator of the Steel Liberators, I see three major issues with synthmorphs.
  1. The biggest is obviously poverty - poor people end up in Case morphs, and people discriminate against the poor. Also, since to most people in the Inner System - poor people are in synthmorphs, you get the prejudice against the poor extending to prejudice against all synth-wearers.
  2. Then, there's the exceedingly valid point about Kinesics and body language in general. I'm certain that people in synth morphs, and especially people in synthmorphs that are better than Case morphs have equivalents to biomorph body language that works quite well for them - this would be trivially easy for Liquid Silver morphs or any synthmorph with the Skinflex nano-augmentation. However, it's equally clear that 90+% of people sleeved in biomorphs won't know this synthmorph body language (and it also presumably hasn't been sufficiently studied or codified to become a broadly useful skill). So, most people in biomorphs feel funny around people sleeved in synthmorphs, because they can't read them as well.
  3. Then, there's the other point - the Fall was a decade ago, and almost all of humanity inhabited biological human bodies. Their only contact with synth bodies was as robots. So, to most of the population people sleeved in synthmorph bodies look like robots, not people. Synthmorph bodies are new.
The Steel Liberators are made up of a mixture of advocates for the poor, and people who wish to defend the choice for people who are not poor to choose a higher end synthmorph rather than a biomorph. Most people in Case morphswant nothing more than to obtain enough wealth to afford a biomorph. However, some prefer being in a synthmorph - it's not a common choice, but is likely to become more common in following decades, as people become more comfortable with their new immortal, transhuman, body-hopping existence. It takes lots of augmentations for a biomorph to be able to stand naked in vacuum and experience space and the full range of the electromagnetic spectrum unfiltered by atmosphere or shielding - every synthmorph ever made can do this innately. Also, sex and food are sensory experiences - often intense, shared, emotionally important sensory experiences. Synthmorphs can accept a full range of sensory inputs. As I briefly describe in an upcoming supplement, there's no reason people sleeved in synthmorphs can't share amazing and wonderful sensory experiences with one another. OTOH, such sharing between someone in a biomorph and someone in a synthmorph would be more work - thus further separating such people.
Lilith Lilith's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
I'm only bringing up the point in regards to the original topic as to why people would prefer biomorphs to synths, so forgive me for playing devil's advocate in this regard. The fact that you say things like "doubt" and "almost" and "don't think" gives the implication that such things aren't always true. Just because there is no mention of certain things regarding synthmorph senses doesn't mean the opposite is a given; the absence of A does not prove B. Yes, the human mind is good at adapting to unexpected stimuli, but the fact that there is [i]adaptation[/i] at all implies that such things are still outside the norm for human experience. Some people may not be able to cope with such adaptation. Others may not want to have to make the choice to have to adapt in the first place.
Axel the Chimeric Axel the Chimeric's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
Personally, I'd imagine that a standard synth most certainly feels different to a normal human body, if for no other reason than that their sensory perception of heat and cold would be entirely different. To a human being, anything straying too strongly from our normal body temperature hurts to touch; it's uncomfortable. For a synth, -50 is as comfortable as sticking their hand in boiling water; it's no different to them. However, their sense of touch is likely no different (except perhaps more sensitive), and this goes double for those with synthetic masks, who would need human equivalencies to function without looking too odd. Still, synths can feel pain (they can choose not to as well), which indicates at least some sensation here and there.
Demonseed Elite Demonseed Elite's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
I think we also downplay the whole factor of Case morphs. Most synths are poor indentures. Most synths are in Case morphs. Case morphs are cheap, malfunctioning, no-frills synthetic morphs. In a world where biomorphs have been tweaked endlessly to eliminate points of failure, Case morphs fail [i]regularly[/i]. Despite advancements in sensory replication, you can bet that the software used in Case morphs is buggy and behind the curve, because no one cares to invest in upgrading it. Yes, in general, synthmorphs are capable of experiencing life in as powerful a way as biomorphs (though maybe a different way). And they absolutely have some advantages. But we're talking about higher-end synthetic morphs, which are uncommon. The experience most biomorphs have of synthetic life is those poor, downtrodden Case indentures. Hell, that's the experience most synthmorphs have of synthetic life.
"It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards." --The White Queen, [i]Through The Looking-Glass[/i] [img]https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_zGgz13n3uzE/TWWPdvGig-I/AAAAAAAACI8/y...
Lilith Lilith's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
Demonseed Elite wrote:
In a world where biomorphs have been tweaked endlessly to eliminate points of failure, Case morphs fail [i]regularly[/i]. Despite advancements in sensory replication, you can bet that the software used in Case morphs is buggy and behind the curve, because no one cares to invest in upgrading it.
And that's without even mentioning the factor of planned obsolescence in order to force people to buy either upgrades or entirely new morphs.
nezumi.hebereke nezumi.hebereke's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
mack2028 wrote:
they can and often do have an emotional damper, a device that can be turned on and off that suppresses all emotions.
Where are you getting this from? Reviewing the main book, NONE of the morphs come with an emotional dampener.
jsnead wrote:
Human minds are truly awesome at adapting to sensory input.
But synthmorphs don't have human minds. The mind is defined as much by its hardware as by its software, and synthmorphs just don't have that hardware. Human sensations and emotions are fed by a whole range of chemicals that go well beyond the software. I don't fall in love because of the setup of my synapses alone. I fall in love because of jumps of serotonin and dopamine. While basic software/hardware interface can tell me my cat is soft, it's the chemical bath my brain sits in that tells me I am relaxed and happy. How do you program a computer to 'feel happy'? Even though the software running on that box was coded by human experiences, it's ultimately limited by the hardware. I can load my car's onboard computer and software onto a PC, but that doesn't mean I can drive my PC to work. Sure, maybe the hardware sends flags saying 'you are now happy!' and your ego responds appropriately, but can it reproduce the physiological effects replicated by an entire organic body? I'm not saying that, absolutely, synthmorphs can't feel emotions. The book is silent, and this level of technology is too far beyond our own to say for certain. Ultimately, we do have two poles - on the one extreme, synthmorphs cannot have any emotion. On the other, they have more emotions than flat humans. Those are our choices (of course, you can diversify by saying their emotions may be different, but that's not too relevant - they have emotions (or not) at some level). All of our arguments fall somewhere on that scale. Where on the scale do synthmorphs MOST LIKELY fall? Is it MOST LIKELY that humans on Earth bothered making cyber brains capable of everything human brains are capable of, or that a handful of post-Fall hypercorps can reproduce for synthmorphs the massive pre-Fall investment by megacorporations into biomorphs (even while a cheaper solution already exists; jump into simulspace for your at-home hedonism and back into your synthmorph for your day job)? Give it another ten years and I'm sure any existing gap will close (between AF 20 synthmorphs and AF 10 biomorphs). Right now though, it just doesn't sound plausible. Of course, it's your game table. If you want to play that the technology leapt forward that fast in 10 years, or that the human mind is that easy to dissect and reproduce in a completely alien architecture, that's your decision.
mack2028 mack2028's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
page 306, the list of bioware synthmorphs can have.
mack2028 mack2028's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
sorry double post
CodeBreaker CodeBreaker's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
Right. They [i] can [/i] have one. But you stated as fact that they often do, for which there is no evidence. By that same logic (It shows up on the last, and its cheap) Biomorphs often have poison glands implanted. Edit: And it could be argued that those dampers only reduce the outward physical effects of feeling those emotions, not the actual feeling of them. That they still appear on brain scans and psi-gamma reads would support this.
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mack2028 mack2028's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
sorry, i assumed because they do dangerous things, have unpleasant jobs, and are second class citizens. its the same reason mood altering drugs are so popular where i live, things are dangerous unplesent and everyone treats everyone else like crap.
Lilith Lilith's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
I wouldn't assume any corp would bother with the expense, unless there's a measurable effect on the bottom line. There's always profit margins and shareholders to consider, after all.
mack2028 mack2028's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
not having your employees try open an airlock to kill all of the bios because they are tired of being called clanky every day or smashing their supervisors head in a press seems a valid business strategy.
Lilith Lilith's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
Which is why you'd probably keep the synths segregated from your more important bio-sleeved managers, who most likely just transmit their orders from a nice climate-controlled office on a much nicer part of the hab, if they don't egocast from the comfort of somewhere else entirely.
Yerameyahu Yerameyahu's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
Ignoring all that, I have a specific question: why do you keep making a distinction between a synth-sleeved ego in simulspace, and the normal condition of 'in a synth'? Why would the hedonism function in the former, but not the latter? CodeBreaker, is the 'feeling' of an emotion separable from the physical effects, in the way you describe? I'm open to the position that you could mechanically feign the outward effects, or internally 'fool yourself' by giving the *illusion* of those effects, but I'm not sure if there's a difference between 'being angry' and 'feeling angry'.
CodeBreaker CodeBreaker's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
Sorry, I should of clarified. When I said that I literally meant the outward effects (affects? I can never remember). So, with the dampeners on, you could still feel happy, but you would not smile or laugh. You can still feel angry, but you wouldn't frown or lash out. You can still feel horribly depressed but you wouldn't break down and cry. It kills all the micro and macro expressions that we naturally express when feeling an emotion. It does not kill the actual emotions themselves.
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nezumi.hebereke nezumi.hebereke's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
Yerameyahu wrote:
Ignoring all that, I have a specific question: why do you keep making a distinction between a synth-sleeved ego in simulspace, and the normal condition of 'in a synth'? Why would the hedonism function in the former, but not the latter?
That's a good question. The details of how an ego is hosted on a server aren't really explained. All that we can really assume is they have more processing power available than a cyberbrain, and that they don't normally have any direct sensory feeds (since they aren't attached to a morph). Economically it makes sense though that researches would have invested in the time in unlocking the simulspace emotional capabilities, since that's a legitimate market for 'normal' people on Earth to pursue. Right now they're building devices to let us get smells over the internet. If they can change it so it shunts that directly into your brain, or better, your brain directly into the scents, you've got a marketable product. And because your available processing power is basically unlimited, you can work around the limitations of changing analog to digital (by throwing resources at it until the margin of error is too low to be detectable). I think Aremanterorous would be able to answer this stuff better, though.
Yerameyahu Yerameyahu's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
Ah, the assumption is there's a big super simul-server. I dig. Still, it struck me as pretty arbitrary. If you can run a full ego in an ecto, mesh implant, ghostrider, or cyberbrain… how much harder is running the simulated sensations (and emotions, if we're assuming they're *not* part of the ego)? Surely trivial compared to running the ego in the first place, right? I guess that's my recurring theme here: sensation (and emotion) is so trivial compared to the incredible task of (perfectly) duplicating and running a human ego, it seems crazy to assume that either is unavailable or expensive. I've seen good points about why you might disable or inhibit aspects of the biological experience, but not overwhelming ones. :)
jsnead jsnead's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
CodeBreaker wrote:
Right. They [i] can [/i] have one. But you stated as fact that they often do, for which there is no evidence. By that same logic (It shows up on the last, and its cheap) Biomorphs often have poison glands implanted.
Only one morph comes with emotional dampers, and that's because the Lost are crazy. The point is that the fact that transhuman sleeved in synthmorphs can purchase this mod is clear evidence that they have emotions. Similarly, they can purchase drug glands, because software exists to give synthmorphs drug-like effects (which include emotional effects). Synthmorphs cannot have mods like clean metabolism, because they do not have a biological metabolism. If a morph can purchase an augmentation, they can be definition use it. As the author of many of the augmentations in the core book, I can definitely say that this is the case. Transhumans sleeves in synthmorphs can still have their voice quaver from emotion or unconsciously shift their body posture due to stress, joy, interest, or whatever. Emotional dampers cut those reactions off. The point to keep in mind is that a transhuman in a synthmorph body is still a fully functional human mind, with a full range of (simulated) emotions. Given that 95% of transhumanity was informorphs for at least a while, if running your ego in a computer rather than a biobrain stripped you of emotions, then almost everyone would have had this experience, and that's not a fact mentioned anywhere in EP - because it didn't happen. In EP, running and ego on a computer is essentially identical to running it in a biobrain. That's one of the basic facts of the setting.
nikleonard nikleonard's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
I always thought that in order to fully emulate the operation of the human mind, is not sufficient to emulate the neural network but it is also necessary to emulate the feedback between the body (at endocrine level) and brain (at least emulating the function of the pituitary and pineal glands, and the Hypothalamus). A lot of the natural thinking processes like creativity and emotional response are dependent on that, and a human mind stripped of all that can't think or behave like a human, and, probably the problem of emulating the interaction between the brain and body chemistry must have been one of the first challenges that have faced the development team that created the first brain emulation VM systems (IBM perhaps?), and should probably be a problem already solved in pre-fall technology (and, because of that, all cyberbrain software would already have that "Body Abstraction Layer" software). It's very probable that the first uploaded minds were infomorphs, deployed in big mainframe computers, because the technology needed to recreate a entire biological brain is (at least in my opinion) a lot more complex than the technology for reading a mind state (in a recently deceased volunteer, via slicing and scanning) and (try) running it in a very big mainframe (adjusting the feedback parameters, trying to dilucidate how neocortex works, connecting the external senses and so on), and that research may have created the very first Psycho-Surgery theories and advanced IA theories (Reverse-engeenering the human thinking process at the most fundamental levels) that allowed the humans to create more advanced systems and finally, created the singularity. Because of that, all Synthmorphs are capable of feeling emotion, in some degree. Disallowing that, the person inside the machine will not behave as a human, and synthmorphs (even cases) are intented to be used in jobs where a certain amount of human thinking are needed. In all other jobs, a robot with a limited AI will perform better and will be less expensive.
Playing Eclipse Phase the "Chilean Way"...
The Doctor The Doctor's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
The Green Slime wrote:
To wit: robots and cyberghosts never get to have sex, eat bacon or take a really satisfying dump. These things you just cannot simulate.
Congratulations, Green Slime. You have just been added to my .plan file. However, that would be an interesting cottage industry in Eclipse Phase: people who store high-resolution XP of certain experiences (like eating a BLT) and then license the rights to those clips to synthmorph designers to use as stock sensory input (Green Slime's BLT with no mayo, 320mbps sample rate, full sensory spectrum, sensory tracks pre-arranged into seperable tracks, no cognitive overlay). You probably would not make much money at it (really goot BLTs being hard to find in 10AF) but it would be good for a little extra credit.
The Doctor The Doctor's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
Lilith wrote:
“The risk of love is loss, and the price of loss is grief - But the pain of grief Is only a shadow When compared with the pain Of never risking love.” Hilary Stanton Zunin
"Remember all ye that existence is pure joy; that all the sorrows are but as shadows; they pass & are done; but there is that which remains." --Liber AL, II:9
The Doctor The Doctor's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
Lilith wrote:
Well, as arguments go, "Plug-n-Play" just doesn't quite cut it anymore...
I can think of one problem right off the bat: the 10AF equivalent of the USB switchblade attack. Substitute a sufficiently powerful ecto running a cracker AI with a smartmetal interface plug, and synthmorph wearers might be in a world of hurt. Or a world of [u]Breakin' II: Electric Boogaloo[/u], depending on the payload.
The Doctor The Doctor's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
Lilith wrote:
I'd be more inclined to see it as another indulgence of the idle rich, more than anything else in that regard.
Or the truely burned out synthmorph wearer, stuck in a crappy case until their indenture is up (if it ever ends) trying to find a way of making downtime suck less until their next shift starts. Sometimes hacks are tried to make the rest of life a little bit better.
The Doctor The Doctor's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
Arenamontanus wrote:
Personally, I would prefer to be an infomorph and rent bodies or actuators whenever I want to interact with base reality.
You just want to be the Monolith from 2001. Admit it. ;)
Lilith Lilith's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
The Doctor wrote:
"Remember all ye that existence is pure joy; that all the sorrows are but as shadows; they pass & are done; but there is that which remains." --Liber AL, II:9
"Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source." -Leo Tolstoy in [i]War and Peace[/i]
Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
The Doctor wrote:
Arenamontanus wrote:
Personally, I would prefer to be an infomorph and rent bodies or actuators whenever I want to interact with base reality.
You just want to be the Monolith from 2001. Admit it. ;)
Of course. Last one to become a monolith is a lump of protoplasm!
Extropian
Axel the Chimeric Axel the Chimeric's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
Infomorphs really are the best way to be, especially if you have time acceleration, but they have a hard time being involved in adventuring. One of my favourite concepts for a VR game is something reminiscent of Spore (what a beautiful disaster that was in implementation); a whole galaxy of mini-worlds, each hand-crafted by the players who drift through the cosmos as tiny gods. They can create life on these worlds, though it's simple at best. It's a simplified version of the universe, created as a transhuman playground. As the technology gets better and more detailed, it could get quite meta and bizarre... Hey, there's a fun thought: If you simulated a segment of space to a degree of fidelity to make it indistinguishable from reality, save that FTL communications were possible, could you use that to perform time travel within the server? Or would the fact that the whole thing is being simulated in a server, and therefore has an objective reality behind it all, negate that? If so, what implications does that have for reality?
Prophet710 Prophet710's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
New to this post, I would say, without reading other material, that, a synthetic form could also mentally feel inapt. You said yourself you would hate "SynthLife". I think the nostalgia and the emotion is the drive behind the human consciousness, not to mention that Splicers would already be considered super-human, so having a Splicer would be much better than sleeving yourself in a case. You could enjoy eating, having real sex, taking showers, as opposed to uploading different programs to simulate this, as these wouldn't feel real no matter how complex the programming simply because YOU know that it isn't. There might also be other mental ramifications of living in a synth morph, yes you may not get tired either mentally or physically but you could feel a sense of detachment from life, the way you assimilate sensory data would most definitely be skewed, leading to some form of "synthetic mania" or "synth morph manic depression causality" something like that. I'm not really a psychologist but I do study the mind quite extensively. There would be exceptions of course, as there always are but that is my take on the subject.
"And yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this Earth with envious eyes. And slowly, and surely, they drew their plans against us."
Prophet710 Prophet710's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
Actually man I've got a guy playing a completely info life character, and another guy with a ghostrider to allow this kind of thing to happen. I'm bending the rules a bit to let this happen and I have to tailor the campaign in such a way, but Mesh combat and such are much more involved now, which isn't hard because all of my players are experienced and very mature. Its' a fun group, and there have already been some interesting developments, considering the infolife character has an addiction to being sleeved in a biological body. If you need any pointers don't hesitate to ask.
"And yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this Earth with envious eyes. And slowly, and surely, they drew their plans against us."
Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
Quote:
One of my favourite concepts for a VR game is something reminiscent of Spore (what a beautiful disaster that was in implementation); a whole galaxy of mini-worlds, each hand-crafted by the players who drift through the cosmos as tiny gods. They can create life on these worlds, though it's simple at best.
Sounds like there could be many of these around. I am reminded by the Autoverse in Greg Egan's "Permutation City" and the ecology simulation in Ian macDonald's "River of Gods".
Quote:
Hey, there's a fun thought: If you simulated a segment of space to a degree of fidelity to make it indistinguishable from reality, save that FTL communications were possible, could you use that to perform time travel within the server? Or would the fact that the whole thing is being simulated in a server, and therefore has an objective reality behind it all, negate that? If so, what implications does that have for reality?
Yep, that could work. Imagine running weird update rules like hashlife or reiterating parts of the world that got changed by a future action. How that would be experienced by a mind inside the sim is another matter. See Egan for some complications.
Extropian
The Doctor The Doctor's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
Arenamontanus wrote:
Last one to become a monolith is a lump of protoplasm!
By the bye, I quoted that at Ray Kurzweil a couple of weeks back. He seemed to find it amusing. Good one!
Axel the Chimeric Axel the Chimeric's picture
Re: Synths Vs. Biomorphs. Why???
If you get a chance to see him again, tell him I like his books, but he needs to confine his charts to an index in future.
base3numeral base3numeral's picture
Significant change to the immediate environment
I think it may be similar, but more subtle than knowing one is experiencing a program rather than the normal action. A person stranded on an island with sufficient food and water, able to stay within comfortable temperature bounds, etc, may be able to live for quite some time with no damning psychological effects. I imagine. I have NOT done studies on this. You are still surrounded by stimuli that you expect and comprehend on a basic level, some of which would not make it into a modern simulation. The difference between background noise and signal depends on what you are listening for. This is what I imagine being sleeved in a biomorph is like, in part because I do not have experience outside of it. Contrast person on island with person in an orbiting satellite, adequate food and life support, but no radio or other communication. On the level of the individual, everything is the same as the island, but I believe this person would take mental damage significantly faster than their ocean locked kin. This is not due to any problems with life in space, but is a problem of life in space for a person who is still not comfortable with it. This would be a similar difference for a person who was used to a biomorph sleeving into a synth. Caveat: I also imagine persons raised in a hab/ship would have their island/orbit roles reversed, but don't think anyone like that is reading this in 2016. Island could be replaced by an apartment with no human contact for more urban folk.
Strength in depth... The Fleet
nezumi.hebereke nezumi.hebereke's picture
interesting idea. So you're
interesting idea. So you're saying people in biomorphs would be expected to do better on stress tests, and take fewer traumas in game?
Madwand Madwand's picture
I am a transhumanist. I don't
I am a transhumanist. I don't get the hate for synths at all. I would personally love to be a synth as they are described in Eclipse Phase, as long as I got access to a synthetic mask and medichines. With the former, there is literally no human experience that would be beyond me. Sex, eating, shitting (though I'd probably pass on this one), you name it. The full range of human experiences and emotions would be open to me, and more, because I don't need to sleep. The ONLY canon, verifiable disadvantages synths have is that they are hackable (which is quite serious), and predjudice -- but only if you are discovered, and I wouldn't really care about that one anyway. Being immortal and having superpowers would be so worthwhile I would jump at this chance. Sign me up.
base3numeral base3numeral's picture
Regarding Stress and Morphs
I believe you'd be equally as vulnerable to stress regardless of the morph you were in (with some exceptions: if you've sleeved in a fenris approached by a predator, the personal threat is somewhat diminished, and the trauma of being blown into the void would be lower for a ring flier), but recovering from stress may be easier in a more familiar morph, be it bio, info, or synth. The prejudice probably stems more from what one is used to, like console game systems, just on a level that's harder to describe.
Strength in depth... The Fleet
nezumi.hebereke nezumi.hebereke's picture
Madwand, I think for most
Madwand, I think for most people there are two issues; 1) mechanically, there doesn't seem to be a lot of advantages to being a biomorph. Given they usually cost more, it seems unbalanced. 2) Canon implies that the majority of people are in biomorphs, and that they're generally seen as superior. But the numbers don't seem to back that up. This doesn't mean anyone enjoying any category of morph is 'wrong', but some people would like the mechanics to be in more line with the description and costs.
MAD Crab MAD Crab's picture
This is an ancient thread,
This is an ancient thread, and the topic has come up a lot. While I understand the cost/benefit anger, there is a logic to it. Biomorphs are hard to make, and are simply going to be weaker than synths in the long run. Most people are simply not comfortable being machines. So... everybody's trying to get into a bio-body.
Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
nezumi.hebereke wrote:Madwand
nezumi.hebereke wrote:
Madwand, I think for most people there are two issues; 1) mechanically, there doesn't seem to be a lot of advantages to being a biomorph. Given they usually cost more, it seems unbalanced. 2) Canon implies that the majority of people are in biomorphs, and that they're generally seen as superior. But the numbers don't seem to back that up. This doesn't mean anyone enjoying any category of morph is 'wrong', but some people would like the mechanics to be in more line with the description and costs.
Mechanically Biomorphs typically have better aptitude improvements, except for SOM. There's some places where the comparison doesn't really work, but it's generally true. A synth equal to a similar biomorph is generally more expensive (The Synth/Splicer comparison isn't the case. Synths get synth advantages, extra SOM boosts, and armor. Pods are basically disproportionately cheap lower end biomorphs, and are often overlooked. The Basic Pod has the best price/power ratio of any physical morph.
nezumi.hebereke nezumi.hebereke's picture
I don't disagree (I don't
I don't disagree (I don't have my books in front of me, but I trust you did the math). However, biomorphs are subject to a lot more threats than synthmorphs; asphyxiation, gravity shifts, stun weapons, diseases, poisons, etc. Hence, for most people in most situations, a synthmorph is better.
atamajakki atamajakki's picture
Meat
All of us here have spent our whole lives smelling, tasting, and touching things. We look out at the world through two binocular eyes that face forward. After a long day, we get tired, eat something, and go to sleep. This has been our entire existence from birth to death for every single human being for as long as there have been human beings. You can read interviews with people who lose one of their senses, and how debilitating it can be; there was a piece a few years back about an individual who lost their ability to taste and was driven to the brink of suicide because of it. A synthmorph gives up all of the little things that inform the human experience. It doesn't matter if you now have 360 degree vision with sonar, eight legs, rocket boosters, and all that other good stuff if your brain is freaking out because it can't feel the air on its skin. The strain of "oh my god, I'm not breathing" would be massive because you still think you need to breathe. Add onto this that the people of Eclipse Phase have grown up surrounded by robots and drones every moment of their lives; sleeving into something that looks a lot like your little inhuman slave-helpers is probably a large part of why there's so much discrimination towards synths, and that many synths and pods were much more easily suborned by the TITANs in the Fall... you'd probablt miss and trust flesh, too.

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