Knowledge and Information

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Image from Juan Ochoa

The quest for knowledge is a fundamental trait in all mindkind. It might be perhaps the only fundamental trait. Thousands of years of study, research, empirical hypothesis-testing, and posthuman and hyperturing methods that cannot be imagined by ordinary sophonts have led to branches of science that exceed the most extravagant pre-singularity occult teachings of Old Earth, but can anyone below the first singularity barrier understand it?
  • Advertising  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A way of increasing demand by actively bringing the product to the attention of consumers.
  • AI Growth, Education, and Employment  - Text by Todd Drashner, with comments by Steve Bowers
    While some minds are built for a particular task from the start, very often AIs are produced much like humans and other bionts with no set task or future in mind.
  • Alternepistemes  - Text by Frogworld5
    Alternate forms of epistemology; different ways of looking at knowledge and reality.
  • Anagnitics - Text by John B
    The science of missing knowledge. This high-Sophont-level science/artform, as best can be described to the SI:<1 intellect, involves canvassing the entire body of knowledge available at a given place/time and 'mapping' that information on an 'information map' (both quoted terms are extreme simplifications according to the translating sophonts). This 'information map' can then be perused and, theoretically, voids of knowledge may be discovered - areas where there are physical restrictions/laws. (Agnitio - from latin "recognition, knowledge", and "an-" prefix for "not").
  • Appeal to Toposophy  - Text by Mark Ryherd
    A Logical fallacy that is a special case of appeal to authority: the inference that a specific statement is true based on the fact that it originated from a higher toposophic entity.
  • Archive Hunt  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Scientific approach that involves searching through ancient archives rather than discovering or rediscovering something new. Due to the vast scale of computronium banks, and the fact the data could be located anywhere in the the Known Net, finding the right information can be nearly as hard as discovering it in the first place.
  • AT (After Tranquility)  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    AT (also A.T. or a.t.): After Tranquillity. Any date after July 20, 1969 c.e. or AD in the Gregorian calendar, and Armstrong Day, 0 AT in the later Tranquillity Calendar
  • Avatar   - Text by M. Alan Kazlev

  • Bayesjutsu  - Text by Daniel Eliot Boese
    A formalized discipline of rationality; a martial art of mind rather
    than of physical motion.
  • Beacon Project, The  - Text by Todd Drashner
    An attempt to contact extragalactic intelligence.
  • Belief  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Acceptance of a worldview or memeticity on faith or trust, without critical intellectual analysis.
  • Belief Eradication Project / BEP  - Text by John B
    A memetic/psychological/cognitive attempt at removing all belief from a baseline-equivalent sapient mind.
  • Belief System - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Any personally held philosophy, religion, ideology, or worldview; a type of meme-complex, usually pertaining to a metaphysical or a-rational assumption of of how the universe works. Both secular religions, like atheism, Buddhism, and Platonic Materialism, and supernaturalist religions, like Christianity and Solarism, are examples of a belief-system.
  • Bertrand Media Categories  - Text by Thorbørn Steen
    A set of categories, used to group various kinds of media as diverse as holovision, virch, smellscapes and artistic massage.
  • Biont Encoding Protocol  - Text by Tony Jones
    The software used to encode living creatures into a retrievable or virtual form.
  • Black Box  - Text by John B and Anders Sandberg
    [1] Any process that cannot be observed
    [2] A device for recording events that might otherwise go unobserved
    [3] A device designed to prevent its contents from unauthorized observation
    [4] A device that contains information that is fundamentally impossible to observe.
  • Black Line, The  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Radical sociosubjectivist philosophical document developed from 2200 and onwards by the small but influential philosophy group Five Leaves. According to the Black Line intelligent beings are only free in selecting political systems; everything else follows from this. Five Leaves especially point at the Archailects as a vivid example of how a social system creates a metaphysics which constrains physical reality.
  • BT (Before Tranquility)  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    BT (also B.T. or b.t.): Before Tranquility. Any date before the first landing of Terragens on another celestial body, when the Apollo 11 mission achieved touchdown on the Old Earth's Moon. This was July 20, 1969 c.e. or AD in the Gregorian calendar, and Armstrong Day, 0 AT in the later Tranquility Calendar.
  • Business Minds  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    A collective mind or group mind emerging from fast and broad business transactions.
  • Calendars and Timekeeping  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Accurate synchronisation of clocks in a universe dominated by Special Relativity is quite literally impossible, though there are many local conventional frameworks established for the sake of convenience. Some of these conventions are quite widespread.
  • Censorship - Text by Glenn Grant
    Any attempt to hinder the spread of a meme by eliminating its vectors. Hence, censorship is analogous to attempts to halt diseases by spraying insecticides. Censorship can never fully kill off an offensive meme, and may actually help to promote the meme's most virulent strain, while killing off milder forms.
  • Civilization  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Sophont or transingularitan collective society, usually with development of agriculture, arts, sciences, technology, sentient rights, infrastructure, social services, and so on.
  • Cladogram (sophontology) - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A precisely and scientifically organized matrix showing the various technological and biological characteristics which have been incorporated into the morphology and mindtype of a particular sophontological phyle or clade, tracing the connections of ancestry and descendants. The Genen are renowned for their elaborately decorated interactive cladograms.
  • Cliology  - Text by Michael Beck
    AI-based surveillance, which became the basis of an exact historical record-taking, and later of simulation of conditions for which there were not any direct records.
  • Cliotelescopy  - Text by Liam Jones
    Cliotelescopy is the use of long-distance observation to study historical events.
  • Cognitive Diuretic  - Text by John B
    A 'rebranding' of so-called 'truth' drugs such as sodium pentathol.
  • Concentrated Intelligence  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    An intelligent entity (such as a Jupiter-Brain or ISO) which is spatially concentrated into a single volume, as dense as possible, to reduce communications lag. This arrangement is not as flexible as a distributed intelligence, but probably more efficient.
  • Conceptication  - Text by Todd Drashner with additions by John B and Steve Bowers
    The use of Mnemonet technology to facilitate information transfer between sentient beings.
  • Conformer - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    An individual, organism, or virtual, whose physiological, informational, or memetic state (e.g., body temperature, data protocol, belief structure, fashion-statements) are identical to, and varies identically with, that of eir surrounding environment.
  • Corporate Dirty Data  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Confidential financial information about a megacorporation that can be sold on the black market.
  • Cryptography - Text by Anders Sandberg
    The art of creating and using cryptosystems. A cryptosystem (or cipher system) is a method of disguising messages so that only certain people can see through the disguise, e.g, encryption. Cryptanalysis is the art of breaking cryptosystems - seeing through the disguise even when you're not supposed to be able to. Cryptology is the study of both cryptography and cryptanalysis. Very popular in the Cyberian worlds, where there is an obsession with personal privacy.
  • Cryptotechnology  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Technology which is hidden, obscure, or very rare.
  • Cultural Refugia from the Technocalypse  - Text by Stephen Inniss, with additions by Graham Hopgood
    Though the Technocalypse meant the end of many earlier cultures, and many records of earlier times, there were a number of survivals either of the cultures themselves or information concerning them.
  • Cybernetics  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev and Stephen Inniss
    In popular usage, the study of the creation of cyborgs through the use of dryware/hylotech such as mechanical, electronic, and bionic implants, augments, and neuroprostheses. In technical usage, the study of communication and control systems based on regulatory feedback, with application in a number of fields such as sociology, memetics, biology, engineering, artificial intelligence, and information theory.
  • Cybrarian - Text by Anders Sandberg and M. Alan Kazlev
    A digital librarian, usually (if rl) a cyborg or (if virtual) a turingrade expert system, especially one hunting down truly obscure references.
  • Datahavens  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    A repository where for some fee or other consideration information that might be otherwise be confiscated, erased, or modified by hostile persons or organizations is stored, and guarded against those dangers for some future use. Unlike the archives of an institute, megacorp, or polity, a datahaven is a special-purpose operation, and typically open to a variety of clients.
  • Deletionism  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    The belief that Terragenkind would be better off if some, most, or even all records of the past were erased or overwritten.
  • Disasterbation - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Idly fantasizing about possible catastrophes (nexus collapse, full-blown hyper-blight) without considering their likelihood or considering their possible solutions and preventions.
  • Discwuzit  - Text by James Ramsey
    Term for a clade of peculiar hiders, believed to have evolved from neumanns or madverts of some kind, that make cynical and pessimistic comments on a wide range of topics, usually via the Ghost Net. They have considerable intelligence capabilities but often give people a 'sour grin' when an inadequate answer is provided to one of their persistent questions.
  • Discwuzit Deluge  - Text by James Ramsey
    A term for a self replicating swarm of Discwuzits usually associated with luddite clades and houses.
  • 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.
  • Encryption - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A procedure to ensure privacy by keeping information hidden from anyone for whom it is not intended. Developed to a fine art among the Cyberians.
  • Encyclopaedia Everythingiana, The  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    A bootstrap database for lost or abandoned societies.
  • Environmental Cybernetics  - Text by Michael Boncher
    Environmental Cybernetics, or EC, is a practical discipline and school of study regarding the broad scale interface and control of various incidental interfaces present in a technological environment: the local mechosystem and its entire set of cybernetic controls.
  • Evolution (sophontology)  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    One of the most potent memes known to mindkind, the meme of evolution, of ascent, of progress or unfolding from alpha to omega, is also a description of the way the cosmos works - or at least the way it seems to work.
  • Evolutionary Tree - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Phylogenetic or cladistic diagram tracing ancestry-descent, branching, cross-links of genetic/informational and morphotypic exchange, and other factors in order to provide a complete and usually multi-parameter diagram of the evolutionary history of any taxon. A beautiful collection of evolutionary trees can be seen in the great Phylogeny Orbitals of Darwinia (NuiHibbert Sector, Zoeific Biopolity).
  • Fellowship of Independent Historians  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    An organization devoted to discovering and publishing historical facts from primary sources.
  • Freedom of Computing  - Text by John B
    A controversial concept brought to the foreground in the mid 2400's regarding the freedom of SI:<1 sentients to rely on their own choices of software and hardware platforms. Freedom of Computing was by no means a new idea, as it dated back to the information age Old Earth. In its Age of Expansion guise it was predominantly championed in the NoCoZo, and heavily resisted in both the Negentropic Alliance and the Metasoft Version Tree.
  • Fundamentalist Science - Text by Anders Sandberg
    "Rebooting" science from scratch. Researchers (sometimes simulated virtual researchers, sometimes real) work in isolation from earlier knowledge to discover the laws of nature and their applications. The drawback is the extreme expense, slowness and the many elementary rediscoveries, but in a few cases the new research tree bears fruit and produces a marvel.
  • Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Proves that any proposed axiom set for arithmetic is either consistent (no contradictions can be derived) or complete (it will say yes or no to every arithmetic proposition). In other words, any system or axiom set strong enough to include arithmetic which is complete will be inconsistent (it will say yes and no to at least one question). The theorem is named after Kurt Gödel, Czech mathematician, Atomic Age Old Earth.
  • Galactic History  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Branch of science and school of philosophy dealing with the history of mindkind in the Galaxy as a whole.
  • Genetic Encryption  - Text by Daniel Eliot Boese
    Sequences of genetic material are used to carry a message or the key to an encrypted message.
  • Gigo - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Results generated from faulty or incorrect original premises. Such misleading results may be called gigoical. See also gigology.
  • Godslist  - Text by Michael Beck
    A massive database attempts to list every transingularity power and archailect in existence, and define the origins, goals, and current activities of each.
  • Hazard Rating  - Text by Stephen Inniss and M. Alan Kazlev
    It is common for short summaries of worlds, habitats, stellar systems, or polities to include a Hazard Rating. The standard modern version is a ten point scale.
  • Headaround  - Text by Tony Jones
    A term used as a measure of how well an entity can comprehend information and concepts, by how 'big' a thing they can 'get their head around'.
    Higher S entities can contain, consciously, far larger sets of information and concepts at once then lower S entities, giving them the ability to discern connection and gain insights that lower S entities, able to see only fragments of the whole at once, cannot achieve.
  • Hencity - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    The science of what will be. Similar to futuristics, but is non-probabilistic.
  • HerSci, Hermeneutic Science  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    The study of transapient science and technology by beings of lower toposophic level.
  • History - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Study of the recorded past according to written or digital records and cliological simulation. Among the many subdivisions are ai, alternative, archailect, art, comparative, cyber, galactic, linguistic, memetic, military, political, religious, science, social, virtual, xenosophont, and consideration of specific historical periods, specific clades or cultures, specific worlds or solar systems, specific chronometrics (nanosecond-history, etc) and toposophic levels (e.g. history of 3rd singularity minds, etc).
  • Hyposphere - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    The technogenic infrastructure that supports the everyday functioning of galactic society. Whole layers of sentience, technology, and virtualities are embodied and encoded here.
  • Idea Space - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Generic term for the geometry of thought-space: dimensionality as a framework for all knowledge, known and unknown.
  • Ideosphere - Text by Glenn Grant
    The realm of memetic evolution, as the biosphere is the realm of biological evolution. The entire memetic ecology. The health of an ideosphere can be measured by its memetic diversity.
  • Infoglut - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    An affectation for voraciously gathering information, with little or no care for its quality or relevance. Often infoglut develops when an information starved sophont finds a dense source of information, like a computronium node or a high bandwidth connection to the Known Net. Closely related to information overload, but more insidious since the victims think they actually profit from it.
  • Information - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A sequence of data that is meaningful in a process, such as the DNA code of an organism or the bits in a computer program. Information is the opposite of noise.
  • Intelligence Augmentation (IA)  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Artificial means of increasing or altering the intelligence of a sophont; most notably via direct neural interface with exoself programs or the physical reengineering of neural substrate.
  • Interferometric Ghost  - Text by Peter Kisner
    In an interferometric array this occurs when some elements of the array provide information that an object exists while other elements deny the existence of that object. It can only be considered a Ghost if the different perspectives of the array elements can be ruled out as an explanation of the anomaly. The most common cause of Interferometric Ghosts is data tampering.
  • Intrusion - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    In hacking, breaking into another data system (usually a data fortress), whether for curiosity, sabotage, or as a challenge.
  • Intrusion AI - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    An ai, most usually transingularity, and often of specifically high S rating in hacking ability, specifically dedicated to intrusion. The most famous intrusion ai is the Cyberian transapient (some would say minor archailect).
  • Intrusion Program - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A software program or application specifically designed for intrusion.
  • Isolation Strategy  - Text by Peter Kisner
    Method of avoiding viral attacks by isolating one's awareness from the rest of the universe.
  • Knowbot - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Knowledge robot, a data miner or intelligent search agent, a type of software-only aioid, instructed by users to scan networks for various kinds of related information, regardless of the language or form in which it expressed. May be turing or subturing grade.
  • Knowledge Engineering - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Design and construction of intelligent and semi-intelligent systems. In other words, the art and science of designing and building expert systems, aioids, and ais. In particular this involves collecting knowledge and heuristic rules from sophont and hyperturing experts in their area of specialty and assembling them into a knowledge base or expert system.
  • Knowledge Graft  - Text by John B, Steve Bowers, and Xaonon
    An educational procedure which allows for the full apprehension of one or more subject matter(s) with a single mnemonic overlay on the recipient's mind.
  • Knowledge Manipulation  - Text by Tony Jones
    Techniques allowing knowledge within the sophont brain to be rewritten at will, once the detailed structure of a given sophont brain had been mapped to a sufficient level of detail.
  • Knowsense  - Text by Tony Jones
    An intuitive knowledge interface allowing a biont to access data almost instinctively.
  • Koan - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Puzzling or paradoxical statement or story intended to aid in meditation and spiritual self-discovery. Originated with medieval Zen Buddhism, Old Earth, but have since been widely employed, especially among superbrights, powers, and hyperturing entities.
  • Librarian - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Although there are biont librarians, most librarians are turing, superturing, or hyperturing personoids or ai, or in some cases subroutines of higher ai, that have a love of accessing and categorizing knowledge or information. They are able to quickly access and provide vast amounts of information from recorded or encoded literary, scientific, and other topics, and will search for material that is not in their databases, searching the Known Net and even inquiring of remote computronium nodes. In the info-flood that is the modern galaxy, librarians are an essential group that is necessary for everyday functioning in the worlds of the Nexus.
  • Lifelog  - Text by Steve Bowers
    The practice of recording a person's experiences and opinions in a comprehensive multimedia diary form.
  • Limits of Transapient Power  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    It is apparent that even the Archailects must work within the rules of the universe they live in. Some actions might be impossible, because they contradict those rules. Others are impossible simply because they are logical contradictions.
  • Linguistics - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    The study of language. There are numerous sub-fields, including syntax, semantics, comparative linguistics, deep structures, metagrammar, phonology, clade- and tweak-unique languages, ai and digital languages, cryptographic speech, higher toposophic languages, phylolinguistics, xenolinguistics, and so on.
  • Literature  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev, from the original write-up by Robert J. Hall
    The analysis and interpretation of narrative texts, including fiction, poetry, and drama, from the trivial through the fabulist to the mythopoetic.
  • Midas Cough - Text by Jorge Ditchkenberg
    A disturbance to civilization caused by new technology. Unavoidable for advanced civilizations. Gave rise to a common saying "what will not kill you, will only make it stronger".
  • Museum Ship  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Peripatetic curatorial sentient ships acquiring collections of objects, arranged along scientific or aesthetic lines, late Expansion period to present.
  • Name-seeker - Text by Michael Beck
    The galaxy has trillions of sapients, tens of thousands of polities, and the background sound has been turned up so high it's hard for a singer to be heard. Name-seekers are desperate to be noticed, so attempt to live lives that will make them famous, make them somebody. Many politicians have been diagnosed as name-seekers, and only the fact that humans don't make many decisions these days has prevented a whole lot of wars and insane social programs. Others become rich just so they can give it all away, and still others become costumed "heroes" or "villains" in order to get noticed.
  • Nearbaseline Archailect Femtosecond Emulation Project  - Text by Brian Lacki
    Project by which billions of near-baselines performing trillions of calculations emulate a single femtosecond thought process of an archailect.
  • Offloading - Text by Felix Ungman, in Anders Sandberg's Transhuman terminology
    Removing the cognitive load by various means, such as enhanced reality, knowbots, graphical user interfaces, hypermedia or information screening.
  • Omniscience Simulation  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    User interface for information retrieval inducing the illusion that the viewer is knowing all the information in a database, and can at any point bring up whatever is needed simply by remembering it.
  • Order - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Information that fits a purpose, or is in some way teleological. In the evolution of life-forms, of memes, and of wild bionano the purpose is to survive and replicate; in an evolutionary algorithm or an ISOgenic sentient algorithm or aioid, the purpose is to solve the problem, or create an elegant or pleasing solution. More information or complexity or a higher toposophic grade does not necessarily result in a better fit, since a superior solution may require either more or less information, complexity, and toposophy. Evolution indicates however that the general trend toward greater order does generally result in greater complexity. Some archailect empires, such as the Negentropy Alliance and the Caretaker Gods, are, in different ways, greatly concerned that order be preserved and conserved.
  • Overwrites - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    People who have downloaded too much information from the local computer net onto their internal computers, overwriting vital organic memory. Some overwrites can't even remember their own names.
  • Paradigm - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    [1] A pattern, model, or general approach to solving a problem.
    [2] A memetically entrenched way of looking at things.
    [3] Short for the Efficiency Maximization Paradigm.
  • Paraphysics - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Field of science or parascience that pertain to and seek to explain phenomena that do not fit into the conventional worldview, cannot be verified or falsified. Often reference is made to hyperspatial rotations, etheric magnetic fields, chionics, and so on. Popular with nuagists, and more esoterics than hard science, but they tend to define themselves under science, despite rejection and criticism from the science mainstream. Paraphysics is not only limited to nearbaseline equivalent intelligences; even many superbrights and hyperturings have shown interest in it.
  • Perennial Library - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Any of a number of libraries of perennial memes that is used (especially by Universalists) to interpret or decode higher toposophic mysticism. Critics say that rather than elucidating the S>1 teachings such a methodology imposes a modosophont procrustianism on them.
  • Perfectly Friendly AI - Text by M. Alan Kazlev, based on Creating Friendly AI
    [1] Friendly AI which never makes a mistake and always takes the maximally friendly or baseline friendly action.
    [2] A benign turing, superturing, or hyperturing.
  • Petbooks  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Interactive document collections equipped with affective computing, making them develop a bond with the owner.
  • Philosophical Crisis - Text by M. Alan Kazlev; modified from Creating Friendly AI
    The result of a sentient being, especially a sophont, stumbling across some fact that breaks em loose of eir programming or memetic conditioning - i.e., the programmers or memegineers have a deeply buried unconscious prejudice that makes them untrustworthy, or the sophont stumbles across a deliberate lie or inconsistency which makes em doubt the validity of what e had been led to believe.
  • Prisoner's Dilemma  - Text by Anders Sandberg in his Transhuman Terminology
    A two-player non-zero sum game where each player can choose between cooperation and defection. The name derives from a scenario where two prisoners have to independently decide if too testify against each other or not.
  • Pseudoclarketech - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Technology that in all ways pretends to be, or appears to be, clarketech, but, although advanced, still shows itself to be amenable to study and reverse engineering.
  • Radio Communication - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Communications sent by electromagnetic waves at radio wavelengths. While data modules and laser links can convey more information more efficiently, radio waves remain the favored form of planetary and interplanetary communication in systems with less developed infrastructure, because of the high speed of transmission, the lo tech simplicity of transmission and receiving aerials, and the low amount of energy required to send a message.
  • Reality - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    The nature of things as they really are, behind the appearance of surface phenomena or ordinary baseline consciousness. Also used to denote real, non-simulated existence outside of a virch.

    Depending on one's philosophical or memetic inclination, may refer to mundane physical existence, to a series or multiplicity of physical, metaphysical, or toposophic grades, or to a monistic concept of the Absolute Reality.
  • Replication - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    The basic process of reproduction for information, whether biological, alife, nanological, memetic, or other; and the means by which genetic or instructional information is propagated.
  • Reticulate Causality  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Another virtual project of the Kappa Cassiopeia system is an attempt to reproduce multi-directional causality using a net-like, or reticulate cybercosm.
  • Revenant - Text by Todd Drashner
    Recreation of either historical figures from the past or hypothetical people from the future, based on extensive software simulation of either past or future history. Revenants are created in data space along with an appropriate surrounding environment and, after an extensive simulated existence are uploaded into realty in a body grown for the purpose. In this manner, civilization is able to 'time travel' to both past and future eras and meet those living there. Revenant creation requires an S3 mind or higher to be wholly successful.
  • Scientogenics - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Pertaining to the origin, development, evolution, and engineering of new branches of knowledge.
  • Significant Cultural Impacts in the Terragen Sphere  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    Some of the most important events which have had a significant impact on the Terragen Sphere.
  • Singularity Alert Service - Text by John B
    A service often available in more-civilized areas. These services maintain sensor and informant networks geared towards the detection of new singularities, and new interests of high-S factor sentiences. For a subscription fee, these services will send warning of potential infringements on the subscribers' areas of interest. As an ironic twist, most SAS are SI:>2-driven.
  • SMPX, The  - Text by Chris Shaeffer
    An acronym of ancient origin signifying an unspecified unknown threat.
  • Tachydidaxy  - Text by Steve Bowers and John B
    Educational methods used in the Orion's Arm Civilisation.
  • Targeted Sales - Text by John B (inspired by Dr. William Sims Bainbridge's work on 'personality capture')
    A technique that dates back to early information age Old Earth, this takes a large number of preference questions answered by a target
    (often the 'answers' are garnered through observation via angelnet or other public security feature, occasionally as a secondary feature of local advertising and the like) to generate a 'must have' item or list of items for a specific being. This is often used by large-ticket manufacturers, as it is rather costly for bulk marketing.
  • Technothaumaturgy - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    What appears to be magic or miracles (see thaumaturgy) brought about through the use of advanced technology, especially clarketech.
  • Terrachauvinism - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Belief that Terragen life and intelligence is superior to other lifeforms and intelligent beings in the galaxy, and that this is the reason why the Terragen Bubble is the largest civilization at present. A sort of variant Anthropism that includes all Terragen mindkind. Terrachauvinism completely ignores extinct alien civilizations of greater than Terragen extent, as well as evidence of large empires detected by the Argus Array.
  • Theology - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Religio-philosophical discourse or speculation on the nature of God or transcendent beings in general. Theology can be natural (seeking the Divine in the physical universe), supernatural (based on faith) or archailectonic/"artificial" (pertaining to the Archailects). See also theologian.
  • Tranquility Calendar, The  - Text by Jeff Siggins, adapted by Steve Bowers
    Calendar first used on Earth's Moon, then adopted throughout the Terragen Sphere.
  • Transcension Prediction - Text by Anders Sandberg and M. Alan Kazlev
    Given the huge population of the civilized galaxy, and the fact that ascensions and transcensions are moderately common and have been going on for thousands of years, many polities and civilizations have developed some fairly reliable methods for predicting the onset of one of these events. Often this is comparable to pre- and post-singularity efforts at predicting the weather (and a large transcendence event does indeed share some conceptual characteristics with a force of nature to those watching from outside at a lower S level).
  • Zero-Sum Game - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    In game theory, a game in which a win for one player results in an equal but opposite loss for the other players.
Related Topics
Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev

Initially published on 23 June 2000.

Additional Information