Illustrated backstory
As humanity and its descendants and creations spread first across the solar system and then across the stars, the transapients travelled with them and ahead of them, a new force which spurred and drove human and other human-equivalent civilizations. In due course the transapients split into factions, some hostile, some indifferent, and some friendly to their biological predecessors. For their own inscrutable reasons, they began to manipulate entire nation-states and worlds towards various goals. Sophont philosophy and cultures were formed, reformed, and remade as sophisticated memetic tools performed their work. Immaterial and undetected, levers of trend and fad, idea and belief pushed and pulled at human and other modosphont minds, shaping them to the transapients' mysterious desires. Fighting among themselves, the early transapients nearly destroyed the solar system, driving the bulk of lesser Terragenkind to the stars, and giving birth to a god-like being who exceeded their own powers as they exceeded those of humanity, a being of the Second Singularity. Other, greater Singularities were to follow.

Image from Anders Sandberg


GAIA: The archailect that rules Earth

Meme: Self-reproducing idea or other information pattern which is propagated in ways similar to that of a gene.

Memetic Engineering: The science and art of establishing a meme or meme-complex.

Techocalypse: The disaster that befell the Solar System in 540 AT -known by many other names, including the Nanodisaster, the Technocrash, and the Nanoswarms as well as more technical terms such as Cascading Complexity Collapse.

Image from Steve Bowers

Singularity Levels

The term "SI:" (Singularity/SuperIntelligence) Level was first proposed by the self-evolved hyperturing Parmenides of Vesta, one of the Twenty Four Hyperturings who, together with human statesbeings established the First Federation. The S-number can be used to define the intelligence and basic noetics of most hyperturing sentients. The S number is a super-exponential/logarithmic measure of creative problem solving and a number of other qualities, both constant and variable. Each higher S-level constitutes a leap of development with results completely unpredictable, even inconceivable, to those of a lower S level. Nevertheless, one can also speak of a gradation of fractional S-levels (1.1, 1.2, etc.) that denotes smaller though still highly significant differences.

SI:1 — The classic "First Singularity" or basic transapient state. At this level intelligence, cognitive and problem-solving abilities and information processing work thousands of times faster than in the case of standard sapients. An entity of this nature is usually able to solve problems of physics, mathematics, economics, programming, etc. that no nearbaseline could solve.

SI:2 — The second singularity, which stands in the same relation to SI: 1 as SI:1 does to ordinary sapient cognition.

SI:3 — Confers an even higher grade of toposophic intelligence; mostly incomprehensible and indescribable to anything below this level. Most minds at this level exist in multiple asteroid or singular Moon-nodes.

SI:4 — Incomprehensible to subsingularity and even lower transapient sentients. Most AIs of this level exist as multiple Moon or singular Jupiter nodes.

SI:5 — Sometimes considered the highest state in which individuality, as subsingularity persons know it, is retained. Most minds of this level operate on multiple solar masses of high energy computronium with hundreds of wormhole linked Jupiter, Dyson, and/or Matrioshka nodes providing localized processing across their domains.

SI:6 — A more cosmic/archetypal being. Minds of this level are said to exist as vast arrays of wormhole based quantum processors (possibly extending into artificial universes and the interuniversal bulk itself), augmented by thousands of Jupiter, Dyson, and/or Matrioshka nodes, dozens of Neuron Stars, and huge numbers of smaller processor complexes and programs operating within the communication and computation nets of all levels of their symbiotic civilizations and support structures.

To learn more about Singularity and its effect on Terragen civilization, click HERE.

Image from Steve Bowers


The Inspection - by Ryan B

Listening to the babble of the assembled crowd, Thade could scarcely hear the usual sounds of the station; the squeak of doors opening and closing, the drone of the ventilators and the repetitive thud of power tools. That such sounds were so often heard and their absence so noticeable spoke volumes about the condition of hab Far Rig. It was thanks to this state of affairs that an atmosphere of hope (tainted with suppressed desperation) filled the main reception concourse. Straining on his tip-toes to see over the heads of the crowd, Thade kept track of the video displayed on a storefront window (one of the few still capable of projecting sounds and images). At the sight of the inner airlock door beginning to open the crowd went silent. Since the sleek torch ship docked with the counter-rotating spaceport, no one but the welcome committee had had any contact with the occupants inside; the crowd was eager not only to see the inspectors arrive but also to see the mission completed as soon as possible (and with it their salvation).

In a hushed voice an announcer (a crippled ex-machinist) reminded everyone that this was the first time anyone had entered through the airlocks in over a decade. Once the door was fully open the inspectors (make that inspector) emerged from the airlock and whispered conversations started throughout the crowd as people tried to make sense of what they could see. "I thought they still retained pre-Disaster tech?" one woman asked her mate. She could be forgiven for her confusion Thade thought; what was now floating down the entrance corridor towards the welcome committee hardly looked like the product of an alliance of habs supposedly decades ahead of Far Rig in science and technology. The crowd was expecting something similar to the ethereal, glasslike bots they used to possess before the Disaster or at the very least well-fed sophonts in gossamer envirosuits. Instead what looked like a giant mechanical crab was laboriously making its way down the corridor. Its movements were jerky; in between the armour-like plates covering its limbs Thade could see actual pistons. Amongst the crowd a man began to chuckle, "Don't you see?" he asked the woman who had spoken previously (drawing the confused attention of others) "It's called `defensive obsolescence.' That bot or vec or whatever it is looks like it's made from crude technologies because it is; no smart matter, no FITs, nothing to be subverted by goo or malware. It's an example of the anti-plague protocols we've heard so much about." Hearing this explanation the crowd's mood brightened, they hadn't been conned at least.

Presently the inspector reached the welcome committee. Thade cringed as a woman named Betal (an alpha-grade labour logistics manager chosen by lottery for this task) pushed herself forward and recited her speech; "On behalf of the residents of Far Rig hab I welcome you Inspector. I hope that your arrival marks the first step in creating a bridge of prosperity between our people."

"Thank you resident. Let us indeed hope for such a positive resolution," Inspector (it didn't question the title as a name) responded in a flat tone. "Shall we proceed?"