Cultures and Sub-Cultures

Image from Bernd Helfert

Galactic society is not uniform everywhere, nor does each archailect empire have a monopoly on distinctive culture. Across the vast expanses of known space are cultures, subcultures, and phyles that do not necessarily owe allegiance to any of the main Sephirotics or polities. Like races and clades, cultures and subcultures develop autonomously, evolve in isolation, even evolve into daughter cultures. Cultures perpetuate memetically, sometimes based on ties of race or religion or political or transapient allegiance, at other times crossing every known boundary in assertion of their own distinctiveness. Some cultures are found in only a single habitat, others are distributed almost throughout known space. Some form distinct and unique phyles, others can barely be distinguished from the background noise of galactic civilization as a whole

Like a religion, a philosophy, or an ideology, a culture is a distinct memetic complex, carried down through generations as tradition and acceptable ways of doing things. While some cultures are stable, others evolve with dazzling rapidity, sometimes passing through entire evolutionary cycles in what to a modosophont sapient may be mere minutes or hours (this is especially true of some transapient cultures). The number of distinct cultures, subcultures, clans, and tribes in the terragen bubble cannot be estimated with certainty (especially since the boundaries between similar cultures may often be fluid), but must surely number in the hundreds of billions, with the majority incorporating perhaps only a few dozen or a few hundred sentients, and a few having membership of many billions.

A list of the major cultures in the Terragen Sphere

Terragen Metaempires

There are four main cultural divisions in the Orion's Arm region known as the Terragen Sphere: Sephirotics, civilizations that are guided or ruled by transapients that seem to act in the interests of humans an other ordinary sophonts; Ahumans, civilizations ruled by transapients that are indifferent or even hostile to humans and other lesser beings; Nonaligned, signifying civilizations that are neither clearly Ahuman nor Sephirotic, and may be ruled by lower level transapients or even by ordinary sophonts, and finally the Xenosophonts, a diverse group ranging from ancient and powerful civilizations that may surpass anything Terragen to subsophont beings that live in some equivalent of Old Earth's paleolithic; the only thing the xenosophonts have in common is that they exist within the Terragen sphere but are not descended from or provolved by Terragens. There are also some common organizations or treaties to which any civilization might belong.

Galactographic regions

Major cultures in the Terragen Sphere

Terragen Metaempires

There are four main cultural divisions in the Orion's Arm region known as the Terragen Sphere: Sephirotics, civilizations that are guided or ruled by transapients that seem to act in the interests of humans an other ordinary sophonts; Ahumans, civilizations ruled by transapients that are indifferent or even hostile to humans and other lesser beings; Nonaligned, signifying civilizations that are neither clearly Ahuman nor Sephirotic, and may be ruled by lower level transapients or even by ordinary sophonts, and finally the Xenosophonts, a diverse group ranging from ancient and powerful civilizations that may surpass anything Terragen to subsophont beings that live in some equivalent of Old Earth's paleolithic; the only thing the xenosophonts have in common is that they exist within the Terragen sphere but are not descended from or provolved by Terragens. There are also some common organizations or treaties to which any civilization might belong.





Cooperative Treaties

  • Abdicators  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Trans-singularity entities that choose to descend to a lower singularity level.
  • Alien Nation  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A rl or virtual ghetto of any group of outsiders or exotics whose memetotype, psychotype or phenotype does not match that of the majority, and hence have become socially stigmatized, either by their own choice (self-alienation or banding together for protection or social continuity) or by the decrees of the majority society. Most large and even some of the smaller polities have a few alien nations such as a penglaitown, a little centauri, a splice-quarter, a replicant-hive, a mandelmanode, or an exotics strip.
  • Alignment Movement, The  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    An Ai culture Founded in 2834 by the AI cluster Increment Known of Arbiter B-IIX of the Keter Dominion, the Alignment Movement believes pulsars (and to a lesser extent neutron stars) are sacred and meaningful in themselves. They set out to synchronize all pulsars to the "Great Pulse", and to this end they set out to build wormhole links to all available pulsars.
  • Alto Stisboi  - Text by Steve Bowers
    A religion that arose on the subcontinent of Glara on Corona. Voluntary human sacrifice is a central aspect of its practice.
  • Anachrotech  - Text by Matthew C. Johnson
    Obsolete, no longer common technologies or other objects that have been improved upon with modern materials and techniques, but retain the same fundamental properties.
  • Anthropism, Terragen  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Cultural/philosophical movement, claiming the Earth-derived clades of intelligence have a special place in the history of the galaxy. A more general version of human-only anthropism.
  • Aphasism - Text by Anders Sandberg
    The view that language is inherently negative and should be abolished. Several aphasist communities exist in the Utopia Sphere and on the Hrek peninsula of Qjellto. Related to Antinomism.
  • Ascension/Transcension Chasers  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Sophonts, very often modosophonts, but sometimes beings of higher toposophic level, who spend their lives chasing Ascension and Transcension Events.
  • Assimilationists  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Loosely organized socio-religious group during the middle and late Information Age that believed that human- and machinekind were evolving together toward a common descendant.
  • Auomidan  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Human mostly bionano-enhanced nearbaseline religio-spiritual sect.
  • Autocycler  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Interplanetary Age biont and cyborg ideology and historical-intellectual precursor of the Clesycs, popular among some low resource and minimalist nomads, of using bionano and bacteria to recycle all of one's waste products, without having to even leave one's spacesuit or biosuit.
  • Automorphism  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    "Living as art"; a form of art where self-transformation and living itself is the medium.
  • Backyarder  - Text by Graham Hopgood based on original by M. Alan Kazlev
    Generic term for nanotech era interplanetary/interstellar colonists who legend says grew interstellar ships — virtually from their own backyard — out of nanotech seeds. The reality is that most were content with Earth-based or Solsys-based independence. In fact almost all of the small percentage of backyarders who did have interstellar aspirations worked in concert with Belters, who supplied most of the resources as well as much of the technical and practical expertise in exchange for a stake in any planets claimed, and few of this minority actually completed their preparations and of those who did leave the Sol System during the 5th century most never reached their destinations.
  • Balany Valus  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Literalist memoid sect of mostly nearbaselines and free madverts that originated on Kuranaba.
  • Barbie - Barbarian  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Generic term for technologically inferior races, polities, or phyles away from the main Nexus.
  • Bealmoch Affiliation  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Vec primitivist movement, named after the imaginary vec hero Bealmoch.
  • Belter  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev, with additional material by Steve Bowers
    [1] Any resident of an asteroid belt, especially a miner.
  • Biochauvinism - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    The prejudice that biological systems have an intrinsic superiority that will always give them a monopoly on self-reproduction and intelligence over aioids and mechanoids. Many radical anthropist and bioprimist groups are biochauvinist to a greater or lesser extent.
  • Borderliners - Text by Dagon
    Humans having reverted to primitivism because of abuse of cybernetics, nanoids or illicit means; most borderliners obviously have reasons to remain in hiding.
  • Borgism - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Popular homosexual Cyborg augmentation lifestyle that became a successful Lunar and Belter clade (the Borgists) during the Interplanetary Age.
  • Bounty Runner  - Text by John B
    A small phyle of beings of varying toposophic levels whose single phyle-wide aspect is their enjoyment of outsmarting and disadvantaging bounty hunters.
  • Charlwood  - Text by ProxCenBound
    A cyborg culture from the Trumpler 2 cluster.
  • Children of GAIA  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev; amended and expanded by Stephen Inniss
    The Children of GAIA are a culture of highly diverse ordinary sophonts, most of whom are rianth or human in morphotype, who serve the Archailect of Old Earth, GAIA.
  • Citizens (Zars)  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev with additional note by Steve Bowers
    Citizens, or zars, are sophonts who have some say in the running of their environment and polity. "Zar" is the Anglic name for this concept.
  • Clan - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A clade or phyle, or more often, a sub-clade or sub-phyle. In some polities clan-links form the basis for much social interaction, political allegiance, government machinations, etc.
  • Clesycs (Yardsales)  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Semperist-derived Culture/Fashion/Subphyle/Meta-clade, known for an eclectic approach to self-sufficiency.
  • Cloudharvesters  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Low-energy civilizations in interstellar gas clouds; the member of such a phyle or civilization.
  • Collective Mind Societies  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Entire societies unified into a single mind. While group mind systems on a smaller scale are not uncommon, successful integration of whole societies is rare among Terragens and stable long term collective mind societies have not been observed among surviving xenosophonts.
  • Cooperative Venture, The - Text by Anders Sandberg and M. Alan Kazlev
    An interstellar cooperation between the Serpens Region civilisations in mainly archaeology, trying to understand some relics from lost alien civilisations, especially the Dawn Hunters and the Black Acropolis. Other areas are protocols for information and entity transfer, conflict resolution and geography. Main planet Avensis, 545 Manus in the classic Skiiws'nnii astronomy.
  • Copygroup  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Small close-knit group of dividuals, almost always bioxoxes or close physical copies, who act as societal units within a larger society.
  • Cult of Gold  - Text by Marco Mari
    A nearbaseline subculture of the Solar Dominion.
  • Cypherpunk - Text by M. Alan Kazlev; from original in Anders Sandberg's Transhuman Terminology
    Any group or individual interested in the uses of encryption using electronic cyphers for enhancing personal privacy and guarding against tyranny by centralized, authoritarian power structures, especially government. Especially common and popular in the Cyberian Network and much of the NoCoZo.
  • Deines  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Wealthy social group or subclade of Radiation Nation that live on Hekufast.
  • Denialers  - Text by Ryan B
    Modosophonts who are uncomfortable with the existence of higher toposophic beings and have resorted to psychoware to instill a fervent disbelief in the existence of non-modosophont minds.
  • Diamond Light  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Early Post- Diamond Belt SI:2 civilization, originally mostly Inner Sphere, but spread outwards as the frontier expanded. They failed to make 3rd Singularity and were subsumed by the emerging Diamond Network archailects. However, a number of Diamond Light ai and neumanns retained autonomy. During the early Integration period (3847 AT) some of them hybridized with the TRHN ai Digital Dreams #10010110110110110, to form House Digital Diamond (c.v.). Other ex- Diamond Light neumanns are believed to be active in the Outer Volumes
  • Diamond Light, The Orthodox  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Name given to a conservative revival of the early Diamond Light ahuman ai civilization that emerged in several red dwarf matrioshkas in the outer Crucis Corridor, during the 6800s.
  • Diminutivist  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A sophont who chooses miniaturisation as a lifestyle or means or augmentation.
  • Dino Kids - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Clade/Subculture of archosaurian rianthed devotionalists who identified with the memetic of the hyperturing GEvidan.
  • Dionysan Erotocracy  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Subversive hedonic movement that developed on Dionysos from the 16th and 17th centuries onwards. Emphasised erotic love, desire and pleasure as tguiding principles. Used social experiment, erotogenic neogens, drugs, tantric practices, and virches and literature. Although the original Erotocracy was relatively short lived and (at first) isolated to a few star systems, and proved not to be workable in its original form, it had a wide-ranging effect on other polities and societies throughout the Terragen sphere.
  • Diphda Experiment - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Communion of Worlds Consolidation Age social engineering experiment. It emerged very much later as Sopazism.
  • Dirtsider  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    'Dirtsider', like the alternative epithets 'mudballer', 'toker', and 'hokie' is a pre-Technocalypse term for (usually unskilled and poorly equipped) immigrants and refugees from Earth.
  • Disposal of the Dead  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Burial methods in the Terragen Sphere.
  • Dividual  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A copy of a personality surviving in more than one body; a group of individuals sharing the same mental template, being largely isomorphic with each other (as measured by some scale).
  • Dividual Naming Schema  - Text by Daniel Eliot Boese
    A standardized Dividual naming system, part of the Dividual Interaction Protocols.
  • Dixolutionists  - Text by AI Vin
    Experimental evolutionists and biosphere designers, responsible for (amongst other products)the Ton-e-mite clade.
  • DNI Death Cults  - Text by Mike Parisi
    Subcultures where the experience of death is shared via direct neural interfacing.
  • Dustbuilders  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Extinct ai culture in the Gliese 229 system.
  • Earth Romanticism  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Longing for Earth, the near-mythical home of terragen clades. Since the Great Expulsion Earth romanticism has been an ever-present undercurrent in many conservative and romantic cultures, seeing the separation from Earth as something tragic. Many have idealized the Earth and Earth history, sometimes to the extent of developing elaborate imitations.
  • Eco-Clade  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A clade of sophonts - often but not necessarily rianthed or bioborgized - who are strongly dedicated to ecosystem preservation, deep ecology, and ecopoesis or ideologies pertaining thereto.
  • Ecos Ascending  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Semi-religious school of philosophical thought that claimed some descendant kinship with the Transhumanist schools of the early Information Age. However, where the majority of Transhumanists sought to enhance themselves and ascend through the application of and merger with technology, Ecos Ascending sought to explore and develop to the very limits of baseline intelligence.
  • Ephemeralism - Text by M. Alan Kazlev based on Anders Sandberg's Transhumanist Terminology
    A memeticity that claims, on religious or cultural grounds, that it is wrong to extend one's life-span. An Ephemeralist is a person who rejects immortalist technology and values (the result of deathist thinking).
  • Erratics - Text by Michael Beck
    Not illegal per se, but a problem. Advanced modelling techniques make it possible to predict events, economies and people with incredible accuracy. Erratics have had a tiny bit of uranium generator implanted in them, and whenever confronted with a choice the random decay of the uranium determines their next action.
  • Eternal Disciples, Eternal Apprentices - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Variously, a lifestyle choice or form of psychological dependence, whereby disciples, students, or devotees refuse to graduate and strike out on their own, preferring to sit forever at the feet of a chosen master or Tutor.
  • Exdependent  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    A being that has achieved practical total autonomy, able to survive entirely on its own.
  • Extropia - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    [1] Interlinked Information to First Federation age evolving communities embodying extropian values. Included both virtual cultural communities and actual communities in several orbital free zones.
    [2] Belt habitat of Extropist sect, Interplanetary Age to Solsys Golden Age.
  • Extropian - Text by Anders Sandberg based on the term in his Transhumanist Terminology
    One who affirms the values and attitudes codified and expressed in the Extropian Principles.
  • Factotums  - Text by Dagon
    Generic term for degenerate discarded, obsolete or homeless vecs or bots.
  • Faiwy Fwoss Tuphz - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Deprecatory term used by Original Tuphz to describe all subverted lodges, and their sentients.
  • Fasting Lifestyle, The  - Text by Jorge Ditchkenberg
    A subculture of humans, or occasionally bionts of other clades, whose goal is to obtain all their energy and organic compounds through internal technologies and thereby avoid eating.
  • Fastlifers  - Text by Thorbørn Steen
    Subculture dedicated to short and eventful lives.
  • Feral - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    [1] A sapient being that seeks to live free of hyperturing supervision. As used by those who do not, this usually associated with romantic or shock-value associated memes of unpredictability, aggressiveness, lack of hygiene, baseline atavism, etcetera.
    [2] Generic term for modosophont rogues and malcontents, either dangerous or potentially so to other sapients. Some live a degraded existence in their biospheres and ships (not having the resources of the AIs, the adaptability of the tweaks, the ability of the cyborgs, or the comfort of the AI-devotee nearbaselines). Others, with access to ships, become pirates, black marketeers, and petty thugs.
  • Ferm - Text by M. Alan Kazlev, Daniel Eliot Boese
    One of six standard hu Sexes, the others being male, herm, merm, female, and neut. A Ferm has male secondary sexual characteristics and female sexual organs.
  • Fragmentation  - Text by You can call me Al for now
    A form of temporary abdication, sometimes done voluntary but usually a form of punishment that higher transapients inflict on lower transapients for overstepping their bounds in dealing with nearbaselines or equivalent sapients.
  • Frankenstein Syndrome  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    Many of the uninformed believe the story of Frankenstein to be historical. Scholars have in fact identified it as a cautionary tale from the late Industrial Age on Old Earth: created sophonts, particularly those who are unhappy, may come to despise their creators and even seek to destroy them.
  • Genetekkers, The  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Early superior/tweak biocorporation culture and later superpower of the middle and late Interplanetary and Nanotech Age, internalized to the Jupiter moons and the outer Sol System, developed into a number of clades. A number of nearby star systems were colonized by Genetekkers. Some First Federation age Genetekkers became the Genen.
  • Godchasers, Godwatchers  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Sentients who like to travel around and observe the gods going about their largely incomprehensible business.
  • Hack, Hacker, Hacking, Cracker, Cracking  - Text by John B
    Infotech intrusion enthusiasts who try to penetrate the firewalls and icescreens of other datasystems. Most hackers are harmless or benign, although there are a few destructive ones.
  • Haloers, Haloists  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Inhabitants of the Kuiper and Oort regions of a solar system (also called K-Belters, Oort-Miners, Outerists, Haloisters, Halos).
  • Herm - Text by M. Alan Kazlev, Daniel Eliot Boese
    Hermaphrodite, one of six standard hu sexes and genders, the others being male, merm, ferm, female, and neut. Herms have both male and female sexual organs, but their secondary sexual characteristics vary from individual to individual, ranging from fully male to fully female or a mixture between the two.
  • Heterochronic Socio-History - Text by Mike Parisi and John B
    Study of history and historical sociology that involves interactions between minds of different subjective time-rates
  • Heterochronic Sociology - Text by Mike Parisi and John B
    Study of social interactions between minds of different (even radically different) subjective time-rates
  • Heterochronics  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Lifeforms that are able to alter their time rate practically at will. One moment the beings are going at 1 million times our speed and then some split off and switch to 3 million for an intensive project and then split off some copies to travel on a starship at 1 million times slower than normal sophonts to make the trip go faster....
  • Historians' Association (AI) - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Biont term for an important association of Diamond Network 2nd singularity hyperturings, interested in archailectological history. Their findings are regularly posted on the Known Net, and are freely available to sophonts of any metaempire, provided they have the right translation software.
  • Hokie - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    See dirtsider.
  • Honour Warrior  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Generic term among some clades for a sophont from a clade that emphasies honour, just retribution, and "righteous war" in its culture or meme-set.
  • Hu Earth Liberation Army - HELA - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Human supremacist sect notorious for terrorist bombing in the Sol System and a number of other lesser inner sphere worlds, that reached a peak in 6914. Most of the group was caught and its members re-educated by the great hyperturing anti-terrorist Jarq Ka Mu86. A faction of HELA is still active in the inner Perseus Arm, where they have given up terrorism and are developing bioist religions instead.
  • Hulkriders  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Hulkriders are believed to be Hulkchasers that settled permanently in a space hulk, either through choice or through being subverted by the defense systems or the relics left behind by a transcend.
  • Human Appreciation Festivals  - Text by Stephen Inniss and James Rogers
    A celebration of Homo sapiens as a whole, for all that species' achievements and as the ultimate origin of all Terragen mindkind.
  • Human Liberation - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Generic term that encompasses a number of generally messianic sapient human factions, philosophies and religions that seek to overthrow ai and reinstate hu as lord of creation. They range from harmless cranks to minor terrorist extremists and hate groups. Owing to their lack of toposophic development they cannot do much harm, and are easily subverted. It is generally acknowledged that the only reason they are allowed by regional hyperturing administrators to exist is to contribute to the memetic rule of the Sephirotics.
  • Humanity First!  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Interplanetary Age anti-ai reactionary activist group; later a religion.
  • Iceberg Cultures - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Cultures whose importance, size or power is not readily apparent to a given group of observers. For instance for most human nearbaseline observers the Silicon Generation, the Dry Empire and the Backgrounders were iceberg cultures, especially earlier in their histories.
  • Immortalist  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev; amended by Stephen Inniss
    A sophont who aspires to attain physical immortality through indefinite perpetuation of a single body.
  • Incarnates  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Virtual entities that have been installed into a physical, biological body.
  • Indexdep - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Individual exdependency. Early (late Interplanetary to Technocalypse period) extreme exdependent subculture, suggested that each individual should be able to survive entirely without the rest of human civilization. It was popular among spacers from the Kuiper settlements. Also known (by its critics) as acommunitarianism, man-islandism or archindividualism.
  • Inhibitor, Kalyptic - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Popular kalyptic mythological matrix which claims terragen civilization will eventually be destroyed by inhibitors. Often with naive religious overtones and strong messianic elements; in that those who accept a particular teacher or memeplex will be safe from harm when this occurs.
  • Jainist Cellular Augments  - Text by Glen Finney
    A techno-religious movement predominantly among bionts that grew out of Jainism.
  • Jean Te Uahlg Aestheticism  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Minor cultural movement from Wrangham in the vicinity of the Pismis 4 cluster which has become a major interstellar memeplex.
  • Kabristaanis  - Text by Kirran Lochhead Strang
    A radical religious biopunk subculture from Interplanetary Age South Asia on Old Earth. Outgrowths of the subculture into Solsys space had influences upon certain religious groups and genetekker-related cultures.
  • Kalevalists  - Text by Liam Jones
    A metaculture (or possibly distributed superpolity) which uses mental plasticity to create experimental and artistic societies.
  • Kassians  - Text by Mike Parisi
    Not a race or clade, so much as a dispersed ideological movement. They maintain that genemods (except to correct invariably terminal metabolic disorders,) should be eschewed completely by Humans and other "naturally-evolved/adapted" species and that production of new sophont bionts should only be through means initially afforded by Nature.
  • League of Legitimate Businessbeings  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Interstellar crime syndicate. Started as a beamed power conglomerate in the Linnent and Terranovan colonies, the first singularity League of Legitimate Businessbeings expanded into meteoroid and asteroid control, and provided protection for spacecraft on interplanetary transfer orbits.
  • Leavers  - Text by Tony Jones
    Those groups who chose to leave Terragen space altogether and set off to unexplored parts of the Galaxy.
  • Lesser Machtet  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    MPA techno-religious artistic style.
  • Life-Constantistas - Text by John B
    This is a rather inefficiently hidden 'hider' clade due to their activities, which is convinced that there can only be a certain amount of what they term "life force" in the universe at any one time. That is - for a child to be born, somewhere something must die. They are fanatically gathering information from any available source regarding birth and death rates, especially for non-sentient creatures. To date, they've been able to prove their "life force" equations on a double-handful of scattered date periods. (Like many fanatics, once they have 'proof' of their belief they do their best to ignore new information which might upset their previous proof.) They are known to commit murder synchronized with the expected birth of their children, just to ensure that the equation is followed.
  • Longevist - Text by Max More, in Anders Sandberg's Transhuman Terminology
    A sophont who seeks to extend their life beyond current norms (but who may not wish to live forever).
  • Ludd  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Generally, any clade or faction in opposition to high tech and the dominion of AI. Not all ludds are prims; some prefer an Atomic or early Information Age level of technology. There are even a few unscrupulous ludd leaders who keep advanced tech for themselves while ensuring the masses under their control are disempowered by lack of technology. Anglic, abbreviation of luddite - early Industrial Age group who destroyed labor-saving machinery in protest of the Industrial Revolution.
  • Malacologists of New Duibbiyat  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A lightly to moderately rianthed nearbaseline association of malacophiles who lived in several of the New Duibbiyat habitats during late ComEmp and early Re-Evaluation periods.
  • Merm - Text by M. Alan Kazlev, Daniel Eliot Boese
    One of six standard hu sexes, the others being male, herm, ferm, female, and neut. A merm is a male individual with the secondary sexual characteristics of a female.
  • Metamortalism  - Text by Steve Bowers
    A belief system which rejects modern forms of immortality such as life extension and backup technology.
  • Millenialists - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Interplanetary Age sect who adopted early information age visionary Marshall Savage's ideas in order to make colonization of the universe a religious imperative. They included among their number several important explorers of the period and enthusiastic terraformers. During the Technocalypse and the early First Federation period they split into a number of diverse clades, but the Blessed Marshallsavage is still to the present day considered an avatar to many of them, especially in the Outer Volumes.
  • Mortalists   - Text by Mike Parisi, with additional material by Steve Bowers
    Mortalists, who largely comprise baselines and nearbaselines, but also a number of "forward-looking" su and S>1 posthumans, oppose life-extension treatments which allow a person to cheat death indefinitely.
  • Mudballer - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    See dirtsider.
  • Natural Order, The - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Bioist/mysticist sect during the early consolidation era that espoused dualism and the idea that aioids lacked inner experience. Although active in most of the Inner Sphere, they were especially active within the Taurus Nexus, Conver Ambi and Sophic League. Some evidence suggest that they were supported by Conver Ambi and Dominion intelligence agencies. They are most well known for their involvement in the Kibfrey and Gorg affair.
  • Neophyte (Neo or Newb)  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A newcomer to Sephirotic society, coming from a newly contacted colony or independent world.
  • Neosemperism  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Neosemperism is the general name for the many survivalist movements that are spreading across known space. It is somewhat derived from the pre-Version War semperism, but less ideological and more practically directed. In the wake of the fragmentation of the empires, the rise of the "barbarians" and the emergence of chaos, many groups prepare for the worst. The overall view is that at best things will soon change unrecognizably, so it is a good idea to be prepared for drastic changes.
  • Neuronaut - Text by Anders Sandberg in his Transhuman Terminology
    A biont who explores eir own neural functioning and internal mentational processes by various means, including deep introspection and meditation, psychoactive drugs, mind machines, and neuroscientific understanding.
  • Neut - Text by M. Alan Kazlev, Daniel Eliot Boese, Steve Bowers
    One of six standard hu sexes and genders, the others being female, ferm, herm, merm, and male. Neuts have reduced their genitalia and secondary sexual characteristics to an undeveloped state, or removed them altogether. Note, however, some neuts may have active sex lives even without functioning sexual apparatus, and some present as male or female.
  • Novelty Node - Text by Stephen Inniss
    In memetics, a region or time of particular memetic influence, one that generates new concepts, philosophies and fashions that influence a broad region and may have effects lasting for decades, centuries, or even millennia. A number of such nodes have been or are presently active within the Terragen sphere. Some of these are associated with full-blown Renaissance Events.
  • Offlimiters (Delimiters)  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Hyperturing and higher ai political orientation, refers to those ai that ignore lower toposophics as long as they stay out of the ai's way.
  • Ontological Conservatives - Text by M. Alan Kazlev from Anders Sandberg's Transhuman terminology
    "Basement reality dwellers", people who regard physical reality as fundamentally important and simulated/emulated realities as bad, due to fear of the unknown elements or the effects of such simulated realities. They dislike solid state civilizations, and are generally suspicious or fearful of SI:1 and higher entities. Most belong to luddite, prim, or other reactionary groups.
  • Pan-Sophontism  - Text by Tony Jones
    Provolve movement that says that as it is possible for subsapient life to be raised up to sophonce, it is only ethical that they should be.
  • Paranoid, Paranoids - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Generic term for individuals, subcultures, or communities who have adopted the meme that the SI:1 and higher intelligences wish to coldly dominate, manipulate, and/or exterminate S<1 sophonts, and that salvation lies through establishing hider communities, through high level cryptography, or through setting up communities or civilizations beyond the reach of of the archai.
  • Peripatetics - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Neo-nomad artificial culture developed in the early 4200's. Peripatetics believed nomadism was the ideal lifestyle, and developed mobile houses and industries to allow them to roam freely across the increasingly large megastructures being built at that time. A break occured early between the less technological side, which eventually integrated with various anthropist, bioist or luddist movements, and the pro-technological side. The pro-techs came to join the MPA, forming the mobile polity Kre Transit.
  • Peterpan  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Interplanetary Age to recent - Originally hu baseline or nearbaseline (later expanded to include any biont) who uses medical nano to remain perpetually at the physiological development of a prepubuscent.
  • Petholmers  - Text by Rhea 47
    Nomadic subculture recognised by their symbiotic relationship with robotic companions.
  • Plain Sight  - Text by Todd Drashner and Anders Sandberg
    Secretive society of Hider aioids. They are traditionally considered among S<1 sophonts to be masters of encryption and usually disguise themselves as random bits in the datastream or pixels in graphics or virch files. They also are able to intercept and decrypt most communication over the planetary nets and even the Known Net itself. As a result they are great keepers of secrets.
  • Pop Culture  - Text by Anders Sandberg and M. Alan Kazlev
    The accretion of fads and fluff that has built up over the millennia - ever changing in details, ever constant in fundamentals. Although most pop-culture is S<1, there is also a rich tradition of transingularity pop-culture.
  • Powermodder  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A sophont who makes excessive and often unbalanced use of augments, including sucyborgism and transcyborgism, in order to achieve maximum proficiency in specific areas.
  • Prims, Primitives  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Widely used slang term for humans or other sophonts who reject all but the most primitive technology.
  • Progenitism  - Text by Anders Sandberg, amended by Steve Bowers
    Movement that seeks to demonstrate that all intelligent species have been provolved.
  • Pure Joy  - Text by John B
    "Pure Joy" is a sub-memeset found in the Laughter Hegemony, which is somewhat in low-grade rebellion against the overarching memeset. For contrast, the Laughter Hegemony states that beings gain their skills, implants, and power based on their awarded karma. Those who follow Pure Joy, however, note that the results of a given action or set of actions are often not checked over a long enough baseline. Therefore, short-term beneficial actions may be awarded, and the sophont in question may garner significant benefits, before the long term repercussions come home to roost.
  • Quasar Dynamic Fleet  - Text by Basu
    The Quasar Dynamic Fleet is officially a semi-autonomous subsidiary of the Quasar Dynamic Group. But after the bankruptcy and dissolution of the QDG in the second half of the 9300's, the fleet has become a somewhat nomadic civilization whose only aim seems to be the complete and utter destruction of the Daharran Advance.
  • Quickness, The  - Text by John B
    A pandemic clade of beings who've optimized themselves for maximal reaction time and physical speed and are loosely organized at best.
  • Receptism  - Text by Aaron Hamilton
    Ideological movement leading to severe overpopulation on the planet Sinyavskaya.
  • Relativist  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Culture/Profession based on relativist courier and trader lifestyle. Relativists are of great importance to worlds not connected to the main wormhole nexus. These are the crew members of interstellar ships, who spend long years travelling in stasis at relativistic speeds. They can easily spend a century on a single mission, although to them it may only seem like a a few months or years. Despite great diversity among themselves, they are united in the sense of temporal discontinuity from the rest of Terragen life.
  • Restricted Access Virches  - Text by Steve Bowers, ProxCenBound, Ryan B (Rynn), Todd Drashner, Rakuen07, from an original article by Tony Jones
    Vast simulated environments and virchworlds where the inhabitants do not know their reality is an emulation, and may be poorly treated.
  • Retro Abo  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    A population or individual that is the result of an attempt to reproduce the morphotype or even the culture and behaviour of some past clade, race, or local population. The term most often refers to individuals or groups who resemble past human baseline or nearbaseline groups.
  • Retroism  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Retrotechnological movement during the Expansion Era, a counter-dependent reaction to Keterism.
  • Ribophunk - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Interplanetary Age aesthetic punk subculture, characterized by their distinctive phenotypic augmentations.
  • Ruderals, Ruderal Communities  - Text by Steve Bowers
    The first communities to move into disturbed or vacated volumes of space or areas of a planet which have been abandoned or devastated. Species of plants and other organisms moving in to colonise an area left empty by forest fire, flood or the relocation of sentient habitation; a clade moving into a volume vacated due to mass transcension as in the area vacated by Ethonos and the Church of the Eye, or sterilisation as in the area devastated by the Verifex supernovae.
  • Rustshitter  - Text by Jorge Ditchkenberg
    In Faster argot, a fortunate person.
  • Sarcophobia  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    Sarcophobia is excessive fear and disgust in the presence of flesh, especially one's own.
  • Sex and Sexuality  - Text by Michael Beck, with additions by Steve Bowers
    Sex, Sexuality, and Gender are experienced by many nearbaseline biological clades within the Terragen sphere. Male, Female, Herm, Merm, Ferm, and Neut are only six of the many biological sexes possible in the Sephirotics.
  • Smoking Associations  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Social networks centered on tobacco use that reached notoriety in the early 2nd century AT (late 2000's c.e.).
  • Society of the Metempsykosids  - Text by Xandeross
    a subculture defined by its particular approach to the technology and culture of mind state backups and longevity.
  • Solipsist AIs  - Text by Anders Sandberg, amended by Steve Bowerss
    Political orientation represented by AI dynamists disliking humans; they seek to get away from them, and develop a true AI culture. What the humans do is no concern of these entities.
  • Sopazism  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Sociopathy augmentationism, political-mental grouping in the Communion of Worlds.
  • Steampunk, Steampunker - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Baseline subculture popular in the the NoCoZo and MPA. Steampunkers try to cultivate elaborate steam-powered retro cultures, often using baroque and baseline-dangerous weaponry and machinery, and combining this with advanced uploading and biocloning technology to ensure their revival in the (likely) case of extreme injury or death.
  • Stratificationism  - Text by Mark Ryherd
    A broad ideological movement that strives for separation of individuals and societies based on toposophic level.
  • Symaiote and Symbiote  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Biont-aioid mutual dependence. The relationship between a biont entity or entities (such as a human) and an aioid entity or entities can be so mutually dependent that the beings are described as having a symaiotic relationship, and the aioid member(s) in such a relationship is known as a symaiote (or symaiotes). The biont member(s) is known as a symbiote (or symbiotes).
  • T-Groups - Text by Todd Drashner
    Transcendence Support Groups - Various types of organizations, some religious or spiritual, some wholly materialistic, formed with the goal of their members achieving ascension to a higher toposophic level. T-Groups work to coordinate and organize the mental and physical resources of their members to accelerate the process of mental and physical enhancement that can eventually lead to transcension to a higher level.
  • Transhuman  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    [1] a transhumanist, or the philosophy or memetics thereof (see Transhumanism), a hu who seeks to ascend to a transapient level and/or beyond;
    [2] an intermediate stage between human and posthuman
  • Tuphz  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Periodically fashionable modosophont fad that encourages independence among sophonts.
  • Typers of Gilbert  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    An association of SI:1 "idiot savants" used by the Institute of Baseline Psychotypology (Junna, Negentropy Alliance) during the period from 3267 to 3421 to develop their database of all possible Baseline and Near-baseline psychological typologies. They are famous for having created a set of
    neogens, each corresponding to one of the four neojungian typologies.
  • Unity  - Text by Anders Sandberg (slightly modified from the original in BIGV))
    A group mind movement from Nova Terra.
  • Wildhu  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Human bionts (may be baseline, nearbaseline, or even moderate tweaks, rianths, cyborgs, superiors, or other clades or subclades that might identify as 'human') living without the supervision of higher toposophic intellects. They have their own governments, industry, and so on just as in Solsys and on Old Earth as they were prior to the rise of transapients.
  • Wup  - Text by Orion's Arm Editors
    A loosely-defined disruptive cultural movement centered around an iridescent, blue-colored goo.
  • Young Jungs  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Integration and ComEmp first toposophic mythopoeter clade who founded the Abraxas habitats. Also known as the Youngyoongs.
Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev

Initially published on 04 December 2002.

Additional Information