Emple-Dokcetics, The

New powerful vec clade/hyperpower based around dissemination of revolutionary ultratech

Emple DokCetic aggregate bushbot
Image from Avengium
Emple-Dokcetic individuals often aggregate into larger complex structures, resembling bushvecs; these complexes can easily function as a single entity, but each component seems to retain full individuality


The Emple-Dokcetic civilisation emerged from the Lirantiq Nexus. During the 6200's AT the Lirantiq vec civilisation on Bambata began to expand outwards. The reason, aside the traditional needs of resources and trade, was that the Lirantiq also sought their origins; for some unknown reason their founder(s) had erased all history files and memories of the time before reaching Bambata. This desire to understand their origins also drove them to attempt to ascend the toposophic scale, gaining access to better cliological techniques with each singularity. The first S3 to arise among the Lirantiq in 7113 determined that their most likely origin was either Atogier refugees after the polar anti-assassination of 5867, or a lost or escaped fundamentalist science experiment. The Lirantiq made contact with a number of other cultures in the local volume, gaining valuable astrographical knowledge and trade ties that the Emple-Dokcetics would later exploit. In the period 7200-7800, Lirantiq S3's, aided by the newly arrived Archailect Verifex, set up a local wormhole network, far outside the core Wormhole Nexus. The nexus of linked systems was mainly inhabited by vec and splice clades (many derived from Version War refugees or Com Emp emigrants), although the Gorca Pleroma were derived from and closely resembled baseline humans.

The mixing between the Lirantiq and the various other cultures and clades resulted in a number of subcultures, associations and creolizations that both undermined the stability of the nexus and produced a wide range of wildly experimental symbiotic societies. The Emple-Dokcetics emerged from the various attempts to combine Zarathustrism, splice animism and strains of Bot Marxism; while the process of synthesis took over a century, 7541 is usually denoted as the founding of Emple-Dokceticism. That year the artistic council of Myrna, a habitat in the belts of Arizt, announced the first modularization festival. More than a thousand autofacs and five hundred bioforges were created specifically for the occasion, and seventy five thousand modosophonts attended. Hu, vec, and splice alike engaged in rampant exchange of body parts, exoself protocols, memories, skills, and much, much more. Bionts utilized the bioforges to make their anatomy more amenable to disassembly and reassembly, while vecs not already built with modularity in mind used the autofacs for much the same purpose. For three months, no one joined or left the festivities, but due to the merging and splitting of individuals, attendance fluctuated wildly, spiking as high as sixteen million, and dipping as low as a hundred and seventeen. The festival demonstrated the Emple-Dokcetic paradigm and spread the interest in the synthesis.

In the 7580's, a number of Emple-Dokcetic enclaves began to collect unused mental and physical modules into small, barely sentient assemblages called Batuans. These subsophont individuals played a vital role in the developing Emple-Dokcetic ecology, as unused mental and physical modules were cared for and transported by the Batuans. Networking them increased the efficiency of the burgeoning society still further, forming what effectively amounted to a mechanical subconscious, dealing with the various menial tasks of the entire culture and providing unseen but effective guidance to the higher level aspects of the system.

In the early 7600's, a number of solar systems had come to be entirely populated by the Emple-Dokcetics, and their culture found it necessary to scale up somewhat. In addition to the fleets of networked Batuans carrying modules from one point to another, a system of libraries were constructed for the storage and production of specialty modules. The heart of each library consisted of arrays of computronium banks - ranging from the size of a warehouse to the size of a small moon - used to store huge numbers of mental modules and templates for the construction of physical modules, and capable of predicting which modules would be needed, as well as where and when to deliver them. These computers were connected to autofacs and bioforges, allowing most physical modules to be built on demand. Warehouses containing a selection of the more popular physical modules, and tanks of feedstock for the autofacs, completed the ensemble. In 7653, fourteen hundred Emple-Dokcetic libraries, collectively containing some four and a half earth masses worth of computronium, were connected to one another by means of the Lirantiq Nexus, and connected to the less central Emple-Dokcetic enclaves by means of the lightways, allowing useful mental and physical modules to spread across the society at, or even in excess of, the speed of light. This system was appropriately designated "The Library."

By 7700, it had become apparent that the Library was more than just an automated system. As a coordinator of module distribution, it became increasingly proactive, often providing solutions to problems long before any local individuals were aware of them. There was also a notable spike in Emple-Dokcetic ISO construction, something the society had not been particularly interested in prior to the development of the Library. However, the clearest sign of something strange happening was the modification of individuals traveling through lightway stations under Emple-Dokcetic control. The range of modifications ranged from loss of memories or skills to augmentation to transavant status. While few such individuals caused serious problems upon arriving at their destinations, a couple of minor blights were attributed to these modifications, and many who received augmentation began to promote the modular lifestyle. This made many neighboring cultures wary of the unusual new vec/splice society and its motives.

Intervention by the Sephirotic archai circa 7750 helped clear things up significantly. The Library had somehow spawned an animin transapient, which had retained the priorities that it had been programmed with - in particular, acting to support the functioning of Emple-Dokcetic society. By the time this discovery was made, it had managed to ascend to S3, and was well on its way to achieving the fourth toposophic level. It is generally believed that the success of the Emple-Dokcetics has owed a great deal to the subtle guidance of this "Docollective Unconscious."

Over the next 200 years the Emple-Dokcetic emerged as the dominant culture in the Lirantiq nexus, assimilating the others within its loose network of trade, technology, cooperation, and body exchange. It slowly consolidated and reformed the involved societies. As the Lirantiq society was gradually Emple-Dokceticized, the emerging power began to take its place as the new driving force behind exploration and trade throughout the region.

Most observers have attributed the rise of the Docollective Unconscious - and of the Emple-Dokcetic culture that it managed - to the power vacuum left behind as the region's local archailect, Verifex, turned eir attention almost entirely to ascension. When the Docollective attained the fourth toposophic level in 7783, it became the second most powerful mind in the region, and was by far the most influential in the affairs of local sophonts. The Gehenna Event, the detonation of a small grazer in the M50 cluster in Monoceros as a result of Verifex's failed attempt at ascension, gave the Emple-Dokcetics an opportunity to demonstrate their godtech shielding products; most systems in a thousand light year wide sphere around the detonation either purchased Emple-Dokcetic shielding systems or, if they did not buy them, attempted to copy or pirate the designs with various degrees of success.

After the Gehenna Event, the Emple-Dokcetics expanded as quickly as they could, bringing the message of the M50 disaster and the offering of sale of the shielding technology suite to all other inhabited systems in the region, utilizing the Lirantiq Nexus to stay ahead of the wavefront. Most systems accepted the offers immediately, and those that didn't often changed their minds as the anticipated wavefront approached. The payment was usually re-invested in local business, and in subsequent years, profitable trade has developed. Since the expansion ships often brought with them wormholes from the weylforges back in the Lirantiq nexus, it was - and, in the antispinward regions neighboring Emple-Dokcetic territories, often still is - common for systems to accept the chance to join it at the first opportunity, hoping for further economic and cultural growth.

From the Gehenna Incident to this day, the Docollective Unconscious has been the highest toposophic entity active in the region. As such, commerce with the Emple-Dokcetics tends to provide extensive technological and economic advantages to local societies. However, it also gives the Docollective a channel for memetic influence, which often leads to the Emple-Dokceticization of the society. While integration into the Emple-Dokcetic empire has - with a handful of unfortunate exceptions in the 7700's - always been voluntary, the Emple-Dokcetic ability to persuade trading partners to join them has always made the smaller polities of the region nervous.
The Emple-Dokcetics
Image from Anders Sandberg


The core idea of Emple-Dokceticism is to resolve the tension between the Zarathustran supremacy of the self and one's expansive will to power, the ancient animism of the Jsalka cluster and the tenets of Bot Marxism that sees each individual solely as a function in society through the concept of modular equality. All citizens have interchangeable parts, making it possible to not just link together individuals into temporary or permanent group organisms but also to reconstruct oneself within a wide range. Indeed, in many of the oldest Emple-Dokcetic hives, most individuals are transient assemblages, constructed on an ad hoc basis in response to a specific societal need. Though not all adherents take Emple-Dokceticism to this extreme, it is not particularly rare to find an Emple-Dokcetic community where the mean life expectancy of citizens is measured in days.

Emple-Dokceticism was first conceived not long after the occurrence of the Gorca Pleroma circa 7511, in which a hivemind of baselines resulted in a blight so aggressive and dangerous that it was only defeated by a swarm of dreadnoughts deployed by Verifex emself, and supported by extensive displacement cannon bombardment. As a result, the denizens of the Lirantiq region have tended to regard the idea of joining any large group of sophonts into a single mind with extreme trepidation. On the other hand unbridled individualism is not desirable for highly social beings. The modular equality solution to the dilemma is to make the individual and the self modular and interchangeable. This lowers or removes the barriers between individuals and enables enhanced altruism and understanding. When needed collective minds can be constructed, but they are viewed merely as temporary tools, and dismantle themselves after their purpose has been achieved. Pure individuality can also be achieved, but is also regarded as merely a tool for the will to express itself. The typical state of an Emple-Dokcetic is being an assemblage of parts and subselves of different origins, a tool for the expression of the current transient (local) collective will. In the flow of Emple-Dokcetic society ideas, knowledge and goals flow fairly freely between the different temporary bodies and selves. Instead of having a self as an individual, Emple-Dokcetics view themselves as the current self, a transient tool that exists to fulfil its destiny.

The principles of Emple-Dokceticism do not exist in any clear-cut form, but rather as a large corpus of myths and small essays by various entities that developed during the formative years of the Emple-Dokcetic culture and have been refined by continual re-telling. Together they delineate everything from the story of how the ideology developed, to the practicalities of modular living, to the philosophy and ethics of modular equality. This corpus is sometimes called the Dok. The Dok is a pervasive and subtle influence, seldom explicitly referred to but widely known and often implicitly used as a shared cultural context. As the Emple-Dokcetics come into contact with more and more non-Emple-Dokcetic societies, various compilations and collections of the Dok have been produced.

Emple-Dokcetic government is largely a consensus. Many decisions are simply made by millions of citizen-complexes acting in similar ways due to prevalent views, with no need for any decision process. For issues where wills and views are divided larger minds are formed by interlinking, exploring and debating the pros and cons internally before dissolving into consensus. The Emple-Dokcetics employ free markets, but as the agents blur the line between seller, buyer and government the effect is partially also a planned allocation of resources.


Emple-Dokcetic bodies are composed of modules, mechanical and/or biological devices that can be linked together to build a seemingly infinite number of possible shapes. Individual modules have their own energy sources but easily link up to each other or the local energy grid for additional power. Emple-Dokcetics communicate through direct links and wireless communication, forming ad hoc networks.

Mind modules contain high-level mental functions. Some are complete minds, but most are memory, cognition, perception, action, emotion or value modules that can be combined in many ways. The digital parts can of course exchange software across the net (uploading and downloading of useful skills or knowledge is very common), while experiences in the biological parts make them individually valuable. It is common - and, in many regions, actively encouraged - for tourists to auction off their memories as a means of gaining spending money while traveling through Emple-Dokcetic regions.

There exist fixed special purpose bodies for certain duties or activities, but in general modular designs are preferred. Onto a suitable chassis manipulators, sensors and mental modules are combined. At the smallest level minimodules can build decimetre-sized flying, crawling or jumping gnomes. Standard-sized modules can create a wide range of humanoid and non-humanoid creatures, ranging from diplomatic units resembling the species or clades they are to communicate with to wild assemblages like cyborg centaurs, united crowds or living gazebos. At the largest scale some highly specialised modules are used to form Emple-Dokcetic starships and habitats, which are themselves fully participating members of Emple-Dokcetic society.

Unused modules usually have rudimentary subminds (one result of Jsalka animism is a distaste for not making devices smart and hence ensouled), and communicate through various local low-power wireless networks. Usually they collect themselves into Batuans.

The Batuans are the primary means of communication and interaction employed by the Docollective Unconscious. The Docollective itself is, as of 10,213 AT, a fifth singularity archailect, and it has yet to be seen employing avatars or other modes of direct intervention. While the Docollective still modifies those traveling through its networks, fair warning is always provided to travellers before they choose to embark. Moreover, those modified tend to be less likely to suffer from cognitive disorders and mental instabilities than they were in the early years of its operation, and are almost never turned into emissaries of modularization. As a result, travel through the Emple-Dokcetic lightways has been referred to by some as a game of "augmentation roulette," and as much as 5% of the traffic at any given time will consist of individuals hoping to gain increased intelligence.

While the Docollective still tries to promulgate its own memetic, it seems to have decided on using more overt and less coercive methods. As a typical example, a traveler through the Lightways may arrive at eir destination with a vot tagalong that communicates incessantly about the virtues of the modular lifestyle. These vots seem to be capable of engaging in high-toposophic memetic techniques, and their influence often results in the formation of an enclave of Emple-Dokcetics. However, in modern times, these enclaves are usually transient, often useful to the larger society, and occasionally even manage to "break up" into individuals that more-or-less resemble the ones who formed it in the first place. However, there are exceptions, especially in regions bordering Emple-Dokcetic territories.

Although their expansion has been studiously peaceful and non-threatening, many groups feel they are essentially forcing other societies into an Emple-Dokcetic hegemony. While the Emple-Dokcetics scrupulously keep their part of the deal, maintaining and understanding the shielding suites - and other varieties of gift tech exported by the polity - requires their expertise. Either transavant experts have to maintain the equipment for the locals, or locals have to upgrade so that they can absorb memory modules on the technology. Of course, since the Docollective is the only transapient in the region with a high enough S-level to understand many of these devices, the Emple-Dokcetics have an effective monopoly on maintenence protocols that actually work. The influence of being dependent on the Emple-Dokcetics and their technology makes a society more amenable to absorb useful pieces of their technology, gradually ending up in the hegemony - or so those who fear the Emple-Dokcetics say. In reality, there is no evidence that the Emple-Dokcetic method of expansion in the present day is any more insidious or coercive than that employed by the mainstream Sephirotic empires. Most experts believe that the sporadic examples lf animosity towards the Emple-Dokcetics are due to the comprehensive nature of the changes involved in adopting their memeticity, and the early stains on the history of their expansion, rather than any reliance on coercion in their more recent gains.

While there have been a few cases where they have been attacked, the Emple-Dokcetics have been extremely pacific. Instead of meeting violence with violence, they sneak away and circumvent would-be attackers. If placed in a direct unavoidable confrontation they will likely not be a threat, but they have an uncanny tendency to "coincidentally" get involved in projects that neutralize such such threats long before they occur, defusing them in clever ways that seem totally unrelated to violence. Emple-Dokcetic informants have revealed that these strategic moves, rather than being part of an explicit plan to deal with possible threats, are usually made for seemingly independent reasons. It is suspected that the guiding hand of the Docollective Unconscious is behind the majority of these beneficial coincidences. When the transmilitants of Umstrip attempted to renege on a shielding deal and seize the advanced technology, they discovered that the Emple-Dokcetics had quietly bought controlling interests in the local telecommunications businesses and could easily deny them the use of local infrastructure to coordinate their fleet. When the Eh-Quu-Tal attempted piracy against the Emple-Dokcetic system of Gabibakt they suddenly suffered a massive uprising back home.
Emple dok-cetic shield
Image from Anders Sandberg
A partially extended Emple-Dokcetic shield


Emple-Dokcetic technology mainly excels in two fields: module sociotech and designer matter technology.

Module sociotech is the arcane field somewhere between bionics, economics, applied sociology and philosophy that deals with the design of organ modules with desirable socioeconomic/psychophilosophical properties. Emple-dokcetics have mastered not just the design of devices that can smoothly interface with both biology and technology, but also fit integrally into their culture. This design science is quite unique; the only similar ones are possibly Keterist transcendence economics and the now lost arts of the Rajasekar civilisation.

The other field is designer matter technology. One of the Docollective's primary "interests," other than ensuring the flourishing of Emple-Dokcetic society, appears to be advanced hylotech and the production of exotic forms of matter. Due to its nature as an element of the Emple-Dokcetic functional soup (rather than being the ruler of an empire, as most archailects tend to be), its various projects are far more likely to wind up trickling down to modosophonts than those of other high singularity transapients. As such, trade with the Emple-Dokcetics is one of the cheaper and more reliable ways for modosophonts to gain access to a number of magmatter and Q-ball technologies. Rates for such technologies can be half those typical in the NoCoZo. However, such "gifts" are often tools to promote the memeticity of modularity in a variety of ways, both subtle and obvious.

Some of the most famous examples of Emple-Dokcetic material engineering are the "shielding suites" that they deployed during the Gehenna Incident. These devices range from self-replicating magmatter meshes capable of reflecting all but the most energetic of gamma rays, to magmatter-encased blocks of high singularity computronium used to backup everything from individuals to ecosystems, to extremely efficient goo used to reconstruct said ecosystems from the ground up in as little as ten years. Such devices saved trillions of lives during the Gehenna Incident, and remain in high demand to this day because of their general purpose utility.

However, the Emple-Dokcetics offer a wide array of other devices. For example, they have taken advantage of the intangibility of magmatter to non-ferromagnetic atomic matter in the construction of monopolium "sublithenes," used to kickstart, moderate, extend, or otherwise manage tectonic activity in terrestrial class worlds. Other observed applications have included stellar husbandry, stellification engines, and climate management. While these, and indeed all, Emple-Dokcetic technologies are known to have been employed by the Sephirotics generally, few transapients allow such devices to become the private property of modosophont individuals. The Emple-Dokcetics are, as a general rule, significantly more likely to be willing to cut a deal.
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Development Notes
Text by Anders Sandberg
Updated by David M. Kueny, 2018
Initially published on 24 June 2000.

Fiction relating to the Emple-Dokcetics

Impressions of the Emple-Dokcetic.