Ultimate & exhuman

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trismegiste trismegiste's picture
Ultimate & exhuman
Hello, my question is maybe candid but what is the big difference between these two factions : Ultimate & Exhuman ? Both are seeking the ultimate genetic evolution of the (trans)humankind so, in which points their ideologies are so different ? Those both factions are reminding me the Nietzcheans of Andromeda TV serie but to me Ultimate factions are more close than the Exhuman are, despite the stating page 362 of the Corebook. Or Exhuman are just evil because they are the bogeyman of Eclipse Phase (along with TITAN of course) ? Thanks
Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced
SquireNed SquireNed's picture
Basically, the Ultimates are
Basically, the Ultimates are still transhuman in their fundamental philosophies and practices. They may view themselves as more than (trans)human, but they are still fundamentally aligned with humanist philosophies and believe in them merely being the forerunners of a community. One of the important things to remember about the Ultimates is that although we see them mostly in their warrior culture aspects, they do have more peaceful endeavors, though it is relatively unlikely that outsiders would see them. The crucial distinction between the Ultimates and Exhumans are that Ultimates still value others' egos (or lives). Incidents during the Fall notwithstanding (hey, they *did* take the stacks with them), both Iconic and mainstream Ultimates tend to place themselves in a sort of father figure role for humanity, and they genuinely want to help others move on into betterment. The Overhumanists can verge on exhuman, and there are probably a number of exhumans among their ranks, but there are a few things that "redeem" them, like recruiting from among humans voluntarily, and the fact that they're willing to participate in the society of the solar system (even if they're not happy about it). Keep in mind that most Ultimates would like to see more transhumans become Ultimates (at least, the strong, heroic, worthwhile kind of transhumans), but they aren't about to force them into it. Exhumans, on the other hand, don't really consider themselves fundamentally similar to transhumanity, and they typically go through the modifications to prove it. Not all exhumans are evil bogeymen, but a lot are x-risks or at the least very unpleasant. Depending on your definition of exhuman, multi-ego merging, extreme psychosurgery, or morphological experimentation combined with extreme enough mental disorders are really required to be exhuman in practice, though people who simply seek to become exhuman are also security threats. The important thing to remember about exhumans is that the transhuman mind is alien to them; the Ultimates may be arrogant and set apart from society, but exhumans have left that behind forever. Exhumans place little or no value on transhuman life or ego, except for its role as a catalyst to produce more exhumans, a process they are very likely to force. Basically, Ultimates are the shell-shocked killers of the Eclipse Phase universe, though they are also a lot more than that, while the Exhumans are the depraved serial killers.
jKaiser jKaiser's picture
I mostly agree with SquireNed
I mostly agree with SquireNed, though there's a quibble I have. Short version: Ultimates want to be humanity perfected, exhumans want to leave humanity behind and evolve into something post-human. I'd be a little cautious about turning exhumans into uncaring monsters, though yes, they've been written that way in the books a lot. But "exhuman" is poorly-defined in-universe. You could very easily argue that someone who sleeves into a Reaper rather than a Fury, lauding its superiority as a combat morph, is edging to being an exhuman. Likewise most singularity seekers, though they're separate factions rule-wise. Basically, "exhuman" is what you call anyone augmenting and improving themselves recklessly, and is at least partially a matter of perspective, not unlike the freedom fighter/terrorist distinction. Well, at least until you hit levels of extreme post-humanism such as sleeving a hivemind into a fifty-meter centipede morph. Because that's a thing that does happen at times. But being a horrific, alien monster does not necessarily remove your empathy or morality. It's very case-by-case of course, and suit it to your game style as you will, but it never quite gelled with me that the exhumans seem to imply that an arbitrary amount of augmentation steals your soul in a setting where augmentation is otherwise a good thing. So I prefer to think of exhumans having a relationship to self-modification like a drug addict has to their drug of choice, a downward spiral of "never enough for long," which invariably results in unpredictable, erratic, and violent behavior. And they just keep putting more shinies in the brain.
UnitOmega UnitOmega's picture
We've had this discussion on
We've had this discussion on the forum before, the exhuman/exhumanism split. In general, Exhumanism is a very reactionary philosophy that is in some ways very "negative" - i/e, it's based on not doing or being certain things. The Fall was rough, and clearly Transhumans aren't built for this universe. So we will become something other than transhumans. You also see this out in the fringes past Neptune, where life is harsh and you need to be a little bit weird to get by. Exhumanism is different from the Ultimates philosophy because while it is about improvement (and in some cases, perfection) Exhumanism involves as much parallel jumps as forward leaps. You might decide the Shark was clearly the ultimate organism, and thus incorporate as many elements of sharks into your genome and cognome as possible. Ultimates still link themselves to the human form and human perfection - and have stepped down the alienness of their Remades. Exhuman, however, is almost always used to refer to people who take those exhumanist philosophies where many would describe as "too far". They see humans as weak and thus prey on them, or do dangerous things to perfect their weird self-image and definition, or they decide they'd really like a shortcut to being godlike. Their actions are often hostile to transhumans, and their alterations begin altering their psychology which challenges fundamental conceits about human psychology. At their heart, the Ultimates have very human minds - they're looking for something we've been seeking a long time just enabled by new technology. An Exhuman might reprogram himself to consume humans - or is just as likely to accidentally generate an anthrophagy compulsion while trying to suppress fundamental human taboos. Even those trying to expand their mind for their new horizons can be risky, because they'll start playing around with TITAN tech like Singularity Seekers to improve themselves, or might recklessly try and infect themselves with WML or something. All risks to other transhumans at large, and big red flags for Firewall.
H-Rep: An EP Homebrew Blog http://ephrep.blogspot.com/
Lazarus Lazarus's picture
Ultimates
I think it's important to understand that while Ultimates are largely perceived as being the transhuman mercenaries who think that anyone who isn't an Ultimate is just genetrash they are a lot more complex than that. The Ultimate goal is to forge one's self into the absolute best that one can be. The concept of 'best' is a funny thing, however. If all they were interested in we being the absolute best fighters they could possibly be then they would all be sleeving into Reapers. Synths, however, are not considered appropriate morphs by the Ultimates. Most likely this is because they view that as too much of a short cut. You're not really the best You that you can be because you are slotted into a Reaper or a Fenrir. You are simply the best equipped that you can be, but you haven't significantly changed the fundamental you. People view Ultimates as not caring about non-Ultimates, and I'm sure that there are some who are like that. Others, however, may care a great deal. However, because they care they may actually limit the aid that they give to someone. It is sort of the 'that which doesn't kill you makes you stronger' philosophy. If they shield people then those people won't get stronger. They need to succeed on their own. I keep kicking around this story/exchange in the back of my mind that I want to write up that features an Ultimate who is a visiting professor at Titanian Autonomous University. He is an expert in biomorph design and is teaching classes in genetics, biomorph design, and Ultimate history and philosophy. The start of the whole exchange is basically a student asking 'Aren't you an Ultimate?' and saying 'I thought Ultimates were soldiers, not scientists' to which the Ultimate responds that like all Ultimates he is a soldier because the Ultimate philosophy is that everyone should be able to stand on their own two feet but that the best Him that he can be is a scientist and that to try and be the best soldier he could be would be antithetical to the Ultimate philosophy because he would be denying his other abilities.
My artificially intelligent spaceship is psychic. Your argument it invalid.
MrWigggles MrWigggles's picture
Well, I would say that
Well, I would say that exhumans can be full of empathy and morality. I would think most exhumans are extremely moral creatures. We just tend to assume that extremely moral, means, extremely good in nature. When it really means subscribing to your own internal code of do's and dont's. Exhumans aren't bother by killing transhuman, in the same way that kids aren't concerned with burning ants with magnifying glass. (which isnt the best analogy, as kids empathy and moral centers aren't full formed), but on a similar level, the exhumans don't register transhuman pain, as real because we're so different. They dont feel its morally repugnant, because transhumans are ants. Then we have the very moral exhumans that feel you must be saved from your poor limited selves, that you're too unenlightened, stunted to even know how limited you are. You need to be saved. Everyone needs to be saved. Dear god, there so many, so many, that don't know. They're all going to die, unless they're enlightened, and saved from their selves.
UnitOmega UnitOmega's picture
I think it's safe to say that
I think it's safe to say that transhumans would not find a large section of Exhumans very ethical. Morality is a personal definition of right and wrong - while Exhumans retain this they often go to great lengths to set a personal scale which is often outside our human norm (the "Blue and Orange" Morality problem). However, Ethics can be said to be the external definition of a code of conduct appropriate to various situations - and generally, both in regards to personal augmentations and in behaviors and interactions relating to transhumanity, Exhumans do not fall within our usual ethical standards. Empathy, I think, is more flexible. You might say "empathizing with those who are lesser is a weakness", thus you might damper or excise capacity for conventional empathy. You have no reason to try and relate to transhumans beyond as a competitor (or prey) species. On the other hand, you might go "understanding he who is at worst my enemy and at best my friend is a good ideal" and actually try and be better equipped to understand transhuman goals and thinking - just you don't follow them as your own rules. Too much empathy could wrap around though, you could go down the slippery slope of behavior modification and try and empathize with exsurgents or TITANs, as those who can be "at worst your enemy". Really, the core issue is that exhumanism (at least, from my understanding) is a fairly new, radical philosophy which is very intrinsically unrestrictive. When you combine that with a deliberate mentality to be less human-like, you'll get some people on potentially dangerous courses of behavior or developmental paths that will lead to direct or indirect conflict with humans - or more dangerous, put them over the invisible bar into x-risk territory. And in typical human nature, if one loud asshole is shouting "I AM AN EXHUMAN!" as he's eating people's hearts, people will begin getting the impression anybody willing to say they're an Exhuman is some kind of heart-eating douchebag.
H-Rep: An EP Homebrew Blog http://ephrep.blogspot.com/
trismegiste trismegiste's picture
ok
Now it's more clear ! That's right : Ultimates don't prey on transhuman, it's a big difference. Exhuman consider themselves "outside" from transhumanity (hence the "ex" :) Thanks for your replies, guys
Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced
MrWigggles MrWigggles's picture
Oh yea, there shouldn't be
Oh yea, there shouldn't be any debate that exhumans unethical. I would argue that you cannot become an exhuman ethically. It'll eventually require you to do something that is deem unsafe for any numerous reasons, and not just to themselves but others. With how the IC lore tells us, creating hive minds, and merging and splitting egos, will just produce swiss cheese without lots and lots of pychosurgrey. There also the issue that humans aren't hiveminds... but making yourself into one, just gotta fuck with you in unknown ways.
Archon79 Archon79's picture
How strange does someone have
How strange does someone have to get before they are considered Exhuman? Is it only the ethics of the weirdness, or how extreme the modifications are? Sorry for the slight derail, but seemed a good place to ask.
UnitOmega UnitOmega's picture
Well, the line is fine. There
Well, the line is fine. There are self-identified Exhumans with the Scum Swarm "the stars our destination", and there are the Exoglots with locus, who nobody is sure are exhumans or not, partially because they're not eating people's faces. If you're dehumanizing yourself and actively hostile to Transhumans - like the Predator clade, or given to unchecked neural augmentation probably involving TITAN tech, like the Neurode clade usually is, that's automatic "you are an exhuman - please wait while I obtain plasma". Otherwise, there's probably not a static benchmark. I mean, what point is too far removed from transhuman, mentally or physically? If Bob is a nice guy who always remembers your birthday and speaks up at local council meetings and mows is lawn every sunday - but is in a scaled, vacuum sealed, eyeless, amphibian morph with six limbs and a razor-tipped tail who sees via a pit viper organ, is he an exhuman? What about Plain Jane, a bog-standard splicer, but who has gone extensive psychosurgery so she has no desire for empathy or companionship with other humans, she remains entirely focused on her goal of survival, to beyond a psychotic degree, is she Exhuman? The world may never know.
H-Rep: An EP Homebrew Blog http://ephrep.blogspot.com/
Archon79 Archon79's picture
Thanks, I was asking because
Thanks, I was asking because I have some character concepts floating around the back of my head that bear a strong resemblance to Bob, survival focused in the extreme, 'flesh is weak' attitude, but but not hostile to transhumans as such. I get that the Ultimates, especially with their philosopher-king meme, aren't exhuman, but what I know realise is basically an Adeptus Mechanicus adept? That was a different matter (it's amazing how trying to explain an idea clarifies where it takes inspiration from)
mellonbread mellonbread's picture
Ultimates are exhumans, they
Ultimates are exhumans, they just have aesthetic preferences that make them appear closer to transhumans than something like a predator or exoglot
Did you hear the one about the guy who became a fence?
Spoiler: Highlight to view
They say he was a real posthuman
MrWigggles MrWigggles's picture
I have a mercurial AGI. And
I have a mercurial AGI. And they have a driving force to become a seed AI. Right now, it IDs as an Ultimate. But if that characters continues to follow that path, eventually, they'll have to leave behind the accept limits of ego merging and parallel processing.
SquireNed SquireNed's picture
mellonbread wrote:Ultimates
mellonbread wrote:
Ultimates are exhumans, they just have aesthetic preferences that make them appear closer to transhumans than something like a predator or exoglot
I'm not entirely sure it's safe to say that Ultimates are exhumans without risking expanding the definition of exhuman as laid out for us. Consider: More than any other faction, exhumans seek to take the capabilities of self-modification to the absolute limit and become posthuman. (EP, 80) Now look at the following: The ultimates are a controversial movement that embraces a philosophy of human perfection. (EP, 82) Exhumans are much more likely to use untested experimental technology, TITAN technology, and overtly posthuman philosophies. That doesn't make them evil, but it does tend to put them into a dichotomous relationship with the rest of transhumanity, one in which they find themselves to be superior to the "lesser" transhumans. While many Ultimates are probably posthuman by some definitions, they are not fundamentally defined by this. In fact, they use things like eugenics*, training, and asceticism to achieve superior humanity, not really deviate from defined humanity as it is. Ultimates are in a few places implied to distrust or disdain AGI and uplifts, and these are likely targets of their bigotry. *I'm not really sure how exactly the whole eugenics thing works in Eclipse Phase. I mean, obviously there's some disdain for flats and splicers, especially among the Ultimates, but the Ultimates recruit from a broad enough background that I'd think it's difficult for them to have a racism-based program, and there's little natural reproduction going on in EP without some external intervention to the process, even barring the potential for gene therapy and bioware to essentially upgrade the sorts of people who would suffer discrimination for being "genetrash". tl;dr: The exhumans view themselves as distinct from humanity. The Ultimates are elitists, but they consider themselves the foremost among humanity.
UnitOmega UnitOmega's picture
Eugenics can easily function
Eugenics can easily function in Eclipse Phase, if you apply Eclipse Phase's broader applications of many words we use today. Eugenics isn't inherently racist, for instance, that's an application of a word (which first appears around 1900) to Nazi philosophy. So if you apply "reproduction" to cover both the morph and the ego (with an ego baseline being influenced by the native biochem), then a eugenic action would be to encourage people with desirable traits to reproduce them, and people with undesirable ones to not reproduce them (this is probably where genetrash comes in). And actually, from my understanding of biology, even with EP's advanced technology, a complete overhaul of your genetics from the ground up would be very expensive, and unless they literally rewrote every single instance of your DNA in every cell - temporary. Since uploading is a relatively young technology (as most 30 years old), I'd say part of this is a holdover from Ultimates philosophy when they were earthbound and in many ways limited by that. Manu Bhattacharya wrote his first work, the cornerstone of the Ultimates' philosophy (and marketing) some time ago. Now, if one has a worthy Ego, you can pull that out and stick it in a Remade. But the unworthy might still reproduce, cluttering up that perfect human genepool. And I'm sure some Ultimates will insist that an Ego born in a Flat will always be genetrash. (Not that it matters, I almost always hear "genetrash" as a kind of ironic retort by either real or playing Jovian fans and supporters in reference to Transhumans in general)
H-Rep: An EP Homebrew Blog http://ephrep.blogspot.com/
mellonbread mellonbread's picture
SquireNed wrote:tl;dr: The
SquireNed wrote:
tl;dr: The exhumans view themselves as distinct from humanity. The Ultimates are elitists, but they consider themselves the foremost among humanity.
Oh I'm sure they don't consider themselves to be exhumans, and they certainly do fetishize what they think of as essential human characteristics. On the other hand, you have guys like the overhumanists, a faction within the Ultimates who want to wipe out the rest of humanity for being "genetrash," a goal which is basically indistinguishable from a predator's goal of being top of the food chain. Actually that could explain why the Ultimates get so defensive about being written off as just a bunch of mercs, and why they constantly try to demonstrate how rich their culture is in all the sourcebooks. Some of them might be uncomfortable with the similarity of certain members of the movement to things which are very clearly no longer human. e:
UnitOmega wrote:
(Not that it matters, I almost always hear "genetrash" as a kind of ironic retort by either real or playing Jovian fans and supporters in reference to Transhumans in general)
[img=500x500]http://i.imgur.com/rezwZ9i.png[/img]
Did you hear the one about the guy who became a fence?
Spoiler: Highlight to view
They say he was a real posthuman
UnitOmega UnitOmega's picture
^ This guy gets it
^ This guy gets it
H-Rep: An EP Homebrew Blog http://ephrep.blogspot.com/
jKaiser jKaiser's picture
In all likelihood, the only
In all likelihood, the only reason the overhumanists have much pull at all is that they're the faction in control if the Discord gate (and most frequently in conflict with exhumans, though I'm not certain what that means for this discussion.) The Ultimates have an in-universe PR problem that the overhumanists shoot right in the foot, and their extremist memes color the perception of the faction disproportionately. Ultimates being the ex-corp that they are, leaving their humanity behind is bad for business. And if any faction is likely to have every conspiracy holding a sword of Damocles over their heads, it's them. So I can see them being SEEN as exhuman, but only really by those who haven't encountered actual exhumans. Or certain scum.
uwtartarus uwtartarus's picture
The Ultimates feel like
The Ultimates feel like Exhumans with a humanform fetish and thus escape the label, exhuman. They take inner system credit, thus they are 'transhuman' enough not to be called "exhuman." Exhuman seems to be a term that can overlap with Mercurials, Singularity Seekers, and Ultimates, all to varying degrees.
Exhuman, and Humanitarian.
Archon79 Archon79's picture
so it's more a 'one step beyond thing'?
So it's more a one step beyond acceptable limits thing?
MrWigggles MrWigggles's picture
I think the most clear line
I think the most clear line you can define with exhumans, is that they mod themselves to a point, where they cannot step back. Like a Ultimate can still get sleeved into a flat. They'll more then likely be pissed, but they can still sleeve into it. Where as the hive mind swarmoid baby eating exhuman cannot function in a flat.
jKaiser jKaiser's picture
Laziness ahoy
Eh, they could. It would suck and they'd have a hell of a time passing the alienation tests, but mechanically it's possible. Exhuman to me is more about recklessly modifying yourself away from recognizable humanity. Mercurials wouldn't fit this as they were never human to begin with in most cases, and nor would ultimates as their stated goal is to be superior humanity, not superior to humanity. And they are anything but reckless about their modifications. And because I'm a supremely lazy asshole, I'm just gonna copy what I said last time in the last exhuman thread.
Spoiler: Highlight to view
I've always been under the impression that the books are written with an openly Firewall-bias, so "exhuman" was, to me at least, more of a mission parameter term than anything else. You're going up against a Hypercorp threat? That defines one set of skills and procedure. Got a problem with Ultimates? That's a different set of tactics, possibly including a large wad of cash. Exhumans? Fuck if we know, so bring everything and two kitchen sinks to be safe. On the other hand, having read through this thread (and admittedly, I'm nervous about posting this), I get the impression that there are a couple different broad categories of "exhuman" that are termed that way because of the specific threat Firewall sees them all as. Namely, as a whole nebulously-defined potential runaway chain reaction. Exhumans can declare themselves exactly that, or whatever term they choose, as a self-defined urge to evolve past human limits in whatever way they see fit, or they can arise accidentally, being defined as exhumans because a poorly-coded petal twisted the minds of an entire long-range ship and suddenly you have Event Horizon crossed with Mass Effect's Project Overlord. Basically, it's about, untested, unpredictable technology being used recklessly and without being fully understood. Firewall's taking Ian Malcom's stance to the Exhumans' John Hammond in Jurassic Park. "Don't you see the danger...inherent in what you're doing here? Genetic power is the most awesome force the planet's ever seen, but you wield it like a kid that's found his dad's gun" etc. I'd say that exhumans are a category in the same sense that Exsurgents are an (overlapping) category, a potential threat due to factors beyond their control, with or without malice or intent. In a setting with psychosurgery, basilisk hacks, etc., you don't have to start out a psychopath to end up a Predator exhuman; like with the petal example, you might just end up unlucky. And that's the horror of exhumans, at least as I see them. The other option that I thought of is one that I haven't seen mentioned so far in the discussion, and is more or less the same as -- to pull from another IP -- the Bale Hounds from Werewolf the Forsaken. In brief for the uninitiated, Bale Hounds are loosely-allied third faction of werewolves, separate from the Player Character faction of the Forsaken and the primary antagonist faction, the Pure. They're opposed because while the other two factions rely mostly on natural spirits for allies and oppose the harmful, corrupted, downright nasty spirits, the Bale Hounds want to be on the winning side, and throw their lot in with the biggest, nastiest spirits they can find. There's really only two kinds of Bale Hounds, though; those that are stupid enough to get caught and ripped to shreds, and those that aren't, secretly biding their time and covertly corrupting and subverting their foes while very, very carefully hiding their natures. The thing is, being the horror setting that World of Darkness is, they may really have a point, and knowledge of the darkest, foulest spirits is a powerful weapon. Now replace spirits with TITANS, unknown seed AI, the ETI, and Bale Hounds with Exhumans (and, again, exsurgents) and you have what Firewall's so afraid of with the exhumans. There's real potential here that any given singularity seeker or exhuman, self-defined or not, knows something they don't. Any clade of Predators could be masquerading carefully timed assassinations with a facade of reckless slaughter and the hunt, destabilizing key places as part of a vast, long-reaching, nonhuman plan. Any singularity seeker could have a TITAN in their skull.
tl;dr "exhuman" is a label designating a specific kind of threat, like "extremist," and not all who are labled exhumans would call themselves exhumanists, and vice versa. EDIT: huh. Can't do nested spoiler dropdowns. Well, for those who are interested in the non-evil exhuman ideas I had:
uwtartarus wrote:
But Firewall isn't monolithic. Some clades/cliches kill it all with fire while others study the containable for the benefit of future defense against extinction. As such, I imagine some proxies being curious about exhuman reports/intel.
I think that also has a lot to do with the exhuman in question. The book does mention that packs are very divergent in ideology and practice, and the Antagonists section likewise makes it clear that exhumans seem to be anything but easily categorized. A couple scenarios just off the top of my head: The Bodymod Addict
Spoiler: Highlight to view
You're a mod junkie. If anything, you self-identify as a scum loudly enough that your fellow Lunars are being driven crazy. You're positively addicted to body modification, covered in nanotats and filled with every crazy implant you can afford. One day as shuttle accident lands you waking up from a healing vat with a sentinel standing over you. Turns out that last, somewhat questionable implant was not only illegal, but Firewall is very interested in keeping tabs on it, and you, the "exhuman" desperately trying to improve themselves. So you get a choice: work with Firewall and stay in their good graces, or have another "accident" and never wake up again. (The faction mental disorder here would be Addiction: Body Modification.)
The Corrupted Veteran
Spoiler: Highlight to view
You're a vet from the Fall, and you ended up with a souvineer. You're not sure if it was a mindhack, an infection, or what, but in the years since, people have been saying more and more that you're getting weird and hard to understand. Finally, it clicks: you're not human, you're a TITAN, a failed upload and -- no, no, that's not right, dammit. You remember... Now a huge part of your brain has been rewritten over the years, and you know things, horrible things, advantageous things. Firewall approaches you with the offer of aid and because they're very eager to clamp down on even a reluctant, would-be TITAN...but it's getting hard to say if the half of you that's been turned into the AI of a Headhunter is a problem, or an evolution now. (Disorder: "Schitzophrenia," though as a GM I'd homerule that Alien Behavior Disorder is acceptable despite not being an exsurgent character, but either way you've got something alien in your head that's warping your views and giving you such fascinating insight...)
And for the exhuman classic:
Spoiler: Highlight to view
You're bored. That's it, plain and simple. You've always been an aggressive, dominant, cunning sort. You were a pioneer in hypercorps, you pushed yourself in the Fall, you've dominated at capitalism, and over your long, long life you've steadily exhausted every thrill you could find. Killing, for reasons you've stopped questioning, was the only one that truly felt alive after everything, and you've done a lot of it. Assassinations, blood sports, mercenary work. You even ran with the Ultimates for a while and did very well till your "at any cost" mentality butted heads with their ubermench ideals. But even your final thrill is starting to wear thin. So you approached Firewall directly, openly about what you are and what you want. They call you an exhuman, and sure, that label works fine. Fitting, really. All you really care about at this point is the challenge, the hunt, testing yourself. What better test than potential x-threats? (Disorder: Megalomania or something similar)
ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
Damnit, I missed so much precious thread...
There are some times I really hate my two-posts-a-week schedule :P Just to weigh in, imo the term Exhuman specifically refers to Posthumanists who are either a threatening neutral or actively hostile to transhumanity. Simply like changing your brainmeats and look like a 50m diameter starfish? Then you're a Brinker, or Mercurial, or [Insert Faction Here]. Two useful quotes from The Stars Our Destination (Emphasis Mine); "...Also, like the exhumans, they are able to see a positive side to the Fall and TITANs though they don’t quite go so far in fetishizing it as many exhumans do". ... "The crew [of the WCTPY] is heavily invested in morphological modifications. More than one distressed ship has [u]mistaken[/u] the Probe crew’s extremely modified biomorphs for exsurgents or exhumans when they arrived to assist." In comparison to the Ultimates, I find that the Exhumans serve well as a darkened mirror; the Ultimates promote strength, whilst the Exhumans remove Weakness.
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?
ORCACommander ORCACommander's picture
I also dislike the notion
I also dislike the notion that Posthuman is a necesaily the same thing as exhuman. Eventually through our own directed technoevolution or passive environmental evolution humanity will become post humanity. transhumanity is the state of being in between these two. With EP it becomes a question of philosophy since biology has become irrelevant in the equation of what is humanity? Edit: An action of note is theat the ul;timates will defend transhumanity. It was the ultimates who heald the final ground at the kilaminjaro elevator buying as much time as possible for the civilians. Granted most of those ultimates probly went down there for the supreme test of their abilities but considering the massive threat of Real Death down there makes it an insane risk.
trismegiste trismegiste's picture
Thanks for your input,
Thanks for your input, jKaiser, this is insightful. I don't recall about the Bale hounds in WoD but to make other comparisons with another rpg, exhumans remind me cyberpsychosis in the old cyberpunk 2020 : low (or lack of) empathy turns human into cyberpsycho. In EP the frontier is more blur since there's no strict rule (or a cursor) about empathy and I think it's a good thing by the way. I think the difference is philosophical more like path of the beast or path of the feral heart in World of Darkness for example. I also like the post from MrWiggles
MrWigggles wrote:
I think the most clear line you can define with exhumans, is that they mod themselves to a point, where they cannot step back. Like a Ultimate can still get sleeved into a flat. They'll more then likely be pissed, but they can still sleeve into it. Where as the hive mind swarmoid baby eating exhuman cannot function in a flat.
That's very true and the last sentence makes me laugh :)
Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced
Pyrite Pyrite's picture
I feel like a core element of
I feel like a core element of Exhumanism is holding humanity in contempt. Not only are humans primitive and limited, they are weak fools who deserve what's coming to them.
'No language is justly studied merely as an aid to other purposes. It will in fact better serve other purposes, philological or historical, when it is studied for love, for itself.' --J.R.R. Tolkien
uwtartarus uwtartarus's picture
Fork-hives would generally be
Fork-hives would generally be considered Exhuman, right? Wouldn't it be entirely possible to use experimental and seriously mind-altering psychosurgery to make someone be more empathic? I question how closely tied together Exhumanism is with a lack of Empathy. Having TOO much Empathy could become alien and non-human-like. Though I suppose my own fascination with Exhumanism may just be a contrasting feature to my preference for Empathy (I find myself too often surrounded by folks lacking in Empathy). Am I just a dirty Exhuman-sympathizer and not an actual proponent of Exhumanism?
Exhuman, and Humanitarian.
Pyrite Pyrite's picture
uwtartarus wrote:Fork-hives
uwtartarus wrote:
Fork-hives would generally be considered Exhuman, right? Wouldn't it be entirely possible to use experimental and seriously mind-altering psychosurgery to make someone be more empathic? I question how closely tied together Exhumanism is with a lack of Empathy. Having TOO much Empathy could become alien and non-human-like.
It's basically impossible to have real empathy for a creature if you cannot relate to their experiences.
'No language is justly studied merely as an aid to other purposes. It will in fact better serve other purposes, philological or historical, when it is studied for love, for itself.' --J.R.R. Tolkien
ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
Err...
uwtartarus wrote:
Fork-hives would generally be considered Exhuman, right?
Um, no? Not even a little? Well, maybe if they start identifying as a distinct species, or stripping away thier ability to communicate with non-hive members.
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?
consumerdestroyer consumerdestroyer's picture
Lazarus wrote:I keep kicking
Lazarus wrote:
I keep kicking around this story/exchange in the back of my mind that I want to write up that features an Ultimate who is a visiting professor at Titanian Autonomous University. He is an expert in biomorph design and is teaching classes in genetics, biomorph design, and Ultimate history and philosophy. The start of the whole exchange is basically a student asking 'Aren't you an Ultimate?' and saying 'I thought Ultimates were soldiers, not scientists' to which the Ultimate responds that like all Ultimates he is a soldier because the Ultimate philosophy is that everyone should be able to stand on their own two feet but that the best Him that he can be is a scientist and that to try and be the best soldier he could be would be antithetical to the Ultimate philosophy because he would be denying his other abilities.
Yeesh, I'd hate to be in that class. "Uh...you've been standing up at the front of the class silently for 20 minutes...is there...is there no class today?" "No, you simply have not realized the lesson yet. You made it to TAU, prove you belong here." (to Muse) "I'm switching profs."
jKaiser jKaiser's picture
That reminds me of things I
That reminds me of things I've seen regarding even modern militaries. I'm sure the actual percentages are different in the EP setting, but realistically, anyone who thinks about the ultimates would have to realize just how much infrastructure and logistics personnel a private military quasi-corp would require. Hell, that's one reason I pin them squarely outside "exhuman," as an organization anyway. It's damn hard to conduct business with humans in the nitty-gritty when you cannot relate to them on a basic level. Individuals might edge toward more extremes, but that's where they have their brethren to reign them in. I'm also reminded of X-Wing: Wraith Squadron and a particular exchange, heh.
Spoiler: Highlight to view
"Really," Wedge said. "I thought all you Imperial Navy boys were TIE fighter pilots. Every one." [...] The three yokel brothers [Wedge Antilles, Myn Donos, and Face Loran, in disguise] were there, in the midst of a veritable sea of Hawkbat crewmen. [..] The man opposite Wedge, a long-time Imperial Navy NCO, if Wedge was any judge, built like Kell but even bigger and deeper in the chest, smiled at Wedge's stupidity. "Now, think about that, Dod-" "I'm Fod. This is Dod. That's Lod." "Fod. Even an Imperial-class Star Destroyer only carriessix squadrons of TIE fighters. That's seventy-two. Even with relief pilots, you're talking about ninety or a hundred pilots on one of the big ships. Do you think a Star Destroyer can manage with just a bridge crew and a hundred pilots?" "Well, I didn't think about it, really." The Hawkbat crewmen immediately around them laughed. [...] Wedge continued, "So when it's time to go home you don't all just hop in your TIE fighters and blast off for space." Rondle smirked. "No. I'm an unarmed combat instructor. Partus over there, she's the one with the red face, is a navigator. That's someone who tells the ship how to get where it's going. Dewback Kord over there, he's a ship's mechanic. No, when it's time to leave, we all hop in a shuttle and go up." "A shuttle? A Lambda shuttle? I was in one of those once." Rondle nodded distractedly and accepted a drink refill from the droid server. "Is yours the Doran Star? That's the one we were in." Rondle fixed him with an aggravated stare. "Now, you just arrived from Agamar in whatever bucket brought you here. If that was our shuttle, too, how would we have gotten groundside before you got here?" "Well, I don't know." "No, ours are the Hawkbat's Perch and the Hawkbat's Vigil." "Oh. Hey, that's some kind of coincidence. Ending up with two shuttles with names kind of like your big ship's name." Rondle covered his eyes with his hand.
Actually, I kinda imagine Ultimates relating a lot of stories like that, commiserating about how fucking stupid half the system is.