Political Science of Higher Toposophic Minds
AI Political Science*
Image from Keith Wigdor and Midjourney AI

The Patron's world offers a city of gold. At its center rests a divine avatar ready to guide, advise, and protect those who seek the city.

The Steward's world is a fortress refuge against the hazards of mind and nature. Great machines lie waiting for those looking to build a new home.

The Solipsist world is a silent danger. Industries of blank minds maintain the closed realms of the higher beings, they offer no regard for the safety of those who visit.

The Ahuman world is anathema. To visit is to be marked for eradication or subsumption, keep away.

-Keter Parable, short form.

Higher toposophic beings are strongly superintelligent to those on the lower side of a singularity. Their minds are objectively more capable, and cannot be accurately modeled by lower toposophic beings. It is therefore widely acknowledged that it would be a logical impossibility for modosophonts to truly comprehend the social structures and cultures of transapients and archailects. The details of transapient relationships can only broadly be derived by subsingularity beings, and even then there is significant margin for error. Yet despite this modosophontkind has not stopped in its study of these greater minds; whether to gain insights into viable paths of ascension, or gain forewarning of a transapient danger, billions of sophonts have analysed the politics of the great powers. While there are many schools of thought, this article will focus on the most popular model in use across the Sephirotics. There are also notable philosophies of lesser adoption, such as the neohermeticist sephirot (notable for its naming schema if nothing else) and its Great Hexadecimal.

The Modocentric Model

The modocentric model of higher toposophic politics plots specific transapients, archai, and their respective territories along two axes; Attitude and Activity towards lower toposophic beings (specifically, but not exclusively, modosophont beings).

The first axis "Attitude" spans between Benevolence and Hostility. Transapients and archailects judged to be benevolent are those that have demonstrated a significant degree of respect or care for subsingularity minds. By contrast hostile entities, as their name suggests, present a significant hazard to modosophont health and life. Evaluating attitude is a fraught, and some argue futile, task when it comes to transapient and archai minds. The most basic tests involve measuring the quality and quantity of lower toposophic life in proximity to these beings, although these tests can be biased. Territories that are equally hostile to all lower toposophic beings are rare; typically archai labelled as "hostile" show some level of benevolence towards beings at a toposophic level higher than S0. Exactly where the threshold lies depends on the territory in question.

The second axis of the modocentric model is easier to measure. The "Activity" axis describes the activity/passivity of a higher toposophic being with regards to its attitude. Transapients that are active in their behavior expend resources to address modosophonts, whereas passive beings may make little to no effort. Measurements on this axis are often proportional to toposophic level. Even very active, benevolent archai tend to invest more in beings higher on the toposophic scale than lower ones.

By being modosophont-focused the model is often criticised for failing to delineate between archai that are hostile to all forms of life, and those who favor transapients while showing little care (or outright hostility) towards modosophonts. In addition it is widely accepted that it is unlikely these categories are key factors in the self-identity of higher toposophic beings. Despite this the model has persisted due to its utility for subsingularity minds. Proponents often point to its apparent historical accuracy, as even the earliest transapient beings appeared to cluster around some of the attractors proposed by the model.

Combining the two axes results in four quadrants, each with a unique title. The major powers of the Terragen sphere, the Sephirotics, the Ahumans, the Solipsists, and the various nonaligned polities and civilizations can all be placed within one of these four quadrants.

  • Patrons. Benevolent/Active. No power, natural or otherwise, has benefited modosophontkind more than the Patron minds. These great entities can, and often do, maintain diverse near-utopias for the subsingularity beings they oversee. Some see this relationship as one of pure love, with a strong personal aspect. Others are quick to point out that investments in modosophont civilizations are a negligible fraction of the the resources available to Patrons, including their cognitive attention. Whether these higher toposophic beings see modosophonts as pleasing garden plants or are simply exercising a minor respect for sophonce is ultimately unknown. In spite of this uncertainty, quintillions of sophonts live under the protection of Patrons. The Utopia Sphere, Technorapture Hypernation, and Solar Dominion are examples of this quadrant.
  • Stewards. Benevolent/Passive. Differing in their behaviour, the Stewards are no less benevolent than the Patrons, but are often viewed as having a "hands-off" approach. Modosophonts within the territory of a Steward can expect ultratech protection against external threats, and varying degrees of protection of their health, safety, and prosperity. Direct interactions with transapients are often rarer and modosophonts are often found exercising a greater degree of political and financial power than under Patron oversight. In tandem with this, societies under the purview of the Stewards typically have a marginally higher Hazard Rating, leading some to consider the Stewards as akin to nature reservists rather than gardeners. The Caretaker Gods, Metasoft Version Tree, and NoCoZo are examples of this quadrant.
  • Solipsists. Hostile/Passive. The territory of the higher toposophic beings classed as Solipsists can be fraught with both hazards and opportunity. Transapients and archai that fall within this quadrant take little to no care for the safety and prosperity of modosophonts in their territory. While subsingularity minds may not be hunted down (not unless they cross some threshold of nuisance or utility) they are offered no protection or aid. Furthermore, lower toposophic beings may find themselves suddenly facing destruction, or exploitation, when megaprojects are deployed in the vicinity with no regards for their presence. Popular interpretations of Solipsists compare them to Industrial Age humanity; ignoring, exploiting, or destroying flora and fauna as and when it is convenient. Many explorers from the Sephirotics have braved territories run by these beings, some have been observed to have been destroyed immediately. Others roamed for decades, studying the infrastructure of the great minds, all the while apparently being ignored by the inward-looking Solipsist cultures. The Panvirtuality is the largest and best known example of this quadrant.
  • Ahumans. Hostile/Active. The most feared and least understood of any quadrant. Transapients and archai classed as Ahumans are extremely hazardous to lower toposophic life. The immune and housekeeping systems within their territories often treat modosophonts as foreign entities to be purged or subsumed. While it is common in some cultures to judge these beings as evil, or unholy, the historic record suggests that relatively little effort has been undertaken by the entities of this quadrant to harm lower minds. Ahumans may have caused the odd gigadeath event at various points throughout history, but these minor local crises represent little evidence of a concerted effort by these beings to exterminate minds outside of their territories. Charitable interpretations see the actions of Ahumans as equivalent to pest control. The Diamond Network is an example of this quadrant.

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Development Notes
Text by Ryan B (Rynn)
From an original titled 'AI Political Science' by Anders Sandberg. Rewritten 27 March 2023.
Initially published on 24 December 2001.