Recursive Cybercosm
Image from Keith Wigdor and Bing Image Creator

A recursive cybercosm is a virch-based environment specifically designed to be challenging, and to produce conflict and strife between the inhabitants; this is intended to promote growth and evolution, but often results in high levels of stress among the virtual inhabitants. These virches are labelled 'recursive' because of the nested nature of the challenges; sophonts face challenges on a personal or individual level, and if they form alliances those alliances face larger challenges, and so on up to cosm-wide conflicts.

For example, each sophont within such a virch would need to compete against the others to gain processing power, run-time and/or memory space, in a wide range of different contests. Extremely odd survival strategies can come into play in such a convoluted ecological topography, and records of such events are heavily sought after by various researchers of societal and personal survival techniques for the uniquely clear insights they can provide.

A significant number of cosms of this nature are designed in such a way that the use of recursive problem solving can achieve solutions to the various challenges and tasks set up within the virch; these solutions may only be achievable by cooperation between the smallest or least-sophisticated agents or entities within the environment working together at all levels to produce an optimum solution. But often an optimum solution is difficult, or impossible, to find.

Most Recursive Cybercosm projects are banned from the majority of Sephirotic space for various reasons (excessive entropy in Negentropic space, blocking/limiting growth potential in Keter, Solarian, and Sophic League spaces, etc.)

Often regarded as the most perverse version of recursive cybercosm was the 'Worm' recursive cybercosm once found (and, allegedly, still stored inactive on computronium) in Teleological Tendency space after the Second Vec War. This was considered particularly cruel in that each of the lowest-level societal structures was constructed using copies of the same intellects in each instance. Many sapients typically consider the absolute worst aspect of the Worm recursive archive the fact that all sophonts involved in the project were aware of this, and prevented from communicating except via competition for limited resources.

In some cases sophonts which have participated in challenging environments of this kind are unusually resilient and resourceful, and may become useful in real-life conflict situations of various kinds, generally after some sort of rehabilitation therapy.
Related Articles
  • Perfect Horror
  • Recursive Problem Solving - Text by M. Alan Kazlev from KurzweilAI
    The process of defining or expressing a function or procedure in terms of itself. Typically, each iteration of a recursive-solution procedure produces a simpler (or possibly smaller) version of the problem than the previous iteration. This process continues until a subproblem whose answer is already known (or that can be readily computed without recursion) is obtained. A surprisingly large number of symbolic and numerical problems lend themselves to recursive formulations. Recursion is typically used by game-playing programs, fractal aioids, and many AIs.
Appears in Topics
Development Notes
Text by John B
Additional materal by Steve Bowers 2024
Initially published on 20 September 2004.