Pun Wars
Especially among clades who are very serious about elegance of verbal/written/virched communication - for which the act of communication is an art - a pun attack is a reprehensible thing, far more abhorrent than an attack with actual physical weapons.

Even a simple subturing expert system can mathematically generate and insert puns; thus, punwars occupy a uniquely level toposophic playing field. Nevertheless, the true masters of punning are the hyperturings and po who have made the creation of awful puns into a supreme art.

There are numerous variants on the classic pun war:

  1. cliche wars
  2. oxymoron wars
  3. sloppy code wars( e.g. Part of a version war, a minor joke among combatants, was the programming language: C++++++ with whipped cream and sprinkles.)
  4. bad virchmovie plot wars
Early on, the intellectual property rights of many old b-movies were bought up by various media corps. Some of these were used to produce successful sequels, but there were several abject failures. The Muks Lingar Corporation, for example, produced the virch of "Manos II: Idle Hands are Fateful Hands". This work was found by most baseline and near baseline viewers to be, paradoxically, at once boring beyond belief and yet impossible to tear away from. Manos II was months later revealed to be part of an S2 cultural/memetic sabotage against certain "retro" segments of the populace which E viewed as undesirable.

There are some Pozen masters who have taken the very worst puns, cliche's and plotlines they could find and made them into koans. But only an S>2 pozen master can do that well.

When using them as weapons, an SI:1 can come up with puns that will cause baselines to groan themselves to death should they "get" it. This is one way that AIs can limit intelligence within a population: anyone with the intelligence or knowledge to understand the joke either laughs emself to death or finds eir chest and abdominal muscles perpetually clenched up in an ultra-disappointed groan (depending on the pun). Alternately the horror of the pun could be a memetic weapon that powerfully disillusions lesser sentients against certain types of beliefs and understanding (sort of like en or pozen, but evil).
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Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev and Peter Kisner
Initially published on 19 December 2001.