Periodically fashionable modosophont fad that encourages independence among sophonts.

Image from Steve Bowers
A self-confident Tuphz, wearing a lightning-suit, ready to face the world (and the best hedonics available)

The Tuphz Movement is a philosophical and political belief system and faction dedicated to improving the self-reliance and self-assurance of modosophonts, especially baseline humans and nearbaseline humans. Tuphz began in the early Separate Empires period (around 6120 onwards). Although in popular imagination attributed to the famous Terran Federation cyborg utopian Robby "Rom" Cobalt, it was actually the result of a cartel of non-aligned second singularity "farmer" AI who wished to improve the psychological vigor of their sophonts; the Cobalt connection being just clever memetic engineering and retro-historical backdrop on the TF's part.

While Tuphz has gone in and out of fashion over the past two thousand years, and the orientation and practice varies tremendously from polity to polity, empire to empire, and century to century, a few basic principles remain the same. These include:

  • the requirement of wetwaring, implanting, or inputting the Interaktiv ov Tuphz, the "bible" of the movement
  • organisation in the form of a Lodge, Cell, Colony, Sharing Group, etc
  • mandatory initiation (the nature of which varies (according to the form of Tuphz, from mild or nominal to uplifting to humiliating to downright dangerous)
  • the Great Vow (also the Wet Vow (in the sense of it being encoded via wetware), the Code Vow, the Standononesownfeet Vow, the Liberation Vow, etc) essentially an affirmation that one will endeavour with all one's abilities to reach the state of An Independent and Well-Rounded Sophont
  • a Code of Chivalry, usually along the lines of a requirement to always hold one's Zar in the Highest Respect and Love, to defend the weak, help those afflicted with Baseline Hyperdependency Syndrome, and to always be kind to Madverts (the last-mentioned is a NoCoZo addition that nevertheless has found its way into all Tuphz movements, even otherwise feral ones)
  • a uniform, facepaint, external wetware, animated nanotatoos, jackets bearing one's colours, or other distinguishing marks worn or carried with pride
Although Tuphz became extremely popular among certain Human Supremacist, Feral, and Ludd groups, Tuphz is not in itself an anti-ai movement. In fact one of the central principles in all Tuphz (apart from the hu supremacist and feral "perversions") is the worship and respect of one's local transapient overseer. In some polities, transapient overseers encourage their sophonts to join a Tuphz Lodge (although the initiation in these Lodges is always regulated so the sapient doesn't come to any harm, or in those situations where a dangerous initiation is used, e has created a copy first). Many transpients are proud of how independent and non-BHS their sophonts have become, to the extent that some can actually survive for weeks at a time on a prim world with the help of only a basic matter compiler, or are able to resist having sex with an erotogen or indulge in Chocolate Cake for at least 12 hours. Critics point out however (and even some common baselines can see this) that these Tuphz are not truly cured, because they still have the assurance that their Zar will come to pick them up from the prim world, or at the end of the defined time period they can have as much cake or pharm or interactive games or sex as they want. But it cannot be denied that Tuphz has in some cases been shown to reduce the level of BHS from chronic to normal, to the extent that a hyper-BHS afflicted individual can at least cope with more confidence in a social environment, or operate dumdo without their Zar.

Although Tuphz achieved good publicity, especially with the Tribal Gathering of Historical Tuphz in 7156, a number of unfortunate abuses and acts of violence during the 8080s stigmatised the movement, and following the Harkonan Incident all but the mildest Tuphz Lodges (the so called Faiwy Fwoss Tuphz) were banned in many polities, and many other Lodges were subverted and tightly regulated.

Today, Original (non-subverted) Tuphz can only be found in the Utopia Sphere and certain parts of the NoCoZo and various Free Zones, in a number of nominally affiliated polities, and in some regions throughout the Outer Volumes.

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Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Initially published on 18 October 2002.