The Orion's Arm Universe Project Forums





Topic Review: Megacorps
#12
So - after letting this percolate a bit more, I had some further thoughts on how to incorporate Rynn's ideas into the Megacorp rewrite - to wit (and pulling in some text from the existing articles):

a) The first megacorps had their beginnings in the mid-to-late Information and early Interplanetary Age. This period saw great disruption to the economic models of the previous centuries. Automation was gradually eroding the bedrock of capitalism as demand for sophont labour fell with each passing decade. Many nations and transnational organizations experimented with various types of guaranteed basic income or similar economic instruments to attempt to cope with this.

b) One of the most successful was the development of 'microshares' - Sophonts could purchase partial shares of company stock at a proportionally reduced price and returning a proportionally reduced dividend. In and of themselves these microshares counted for very little when compared against all the shares a company might offer and . But over time even individuals of modest means could accumulate enough shares (and therefore dividends) to augment their regular income or even supplant it entirely without any need for further work on their part.

c) More importantly, while the individual portfolio of any one micro-investor might be insignificant, the sheer number of such investors meant that the cumulative total of their portfolios - and therefore their voting power - could be quite large indeed. Groups of microinvestors - coordinated via social media and specialized online voting and feedback systems began exercising more and more control over the direction, policies, and even day to day operations of the corporations they invested in. The advent of DNI only accelerated and expanded this process.

d) The 'megacorps' gained their name, not from the size of their assets or the number of their employees, but from the vast numbers of shareholders each came to possess.

e) Over time, the number of employees of the megacorps dropped, but the number shareholders (including shareholders living partly or entirely on dividend income) grew. DNI based voting, surveys and (on the other side) attempts to influence shareholders to vote for a particular direction for each company became ever more sophisticated and took up ever more time and attention for a subset of the shareholders. This led to two trends within the megacorp 'ecosystem':

i) Shareholders voted in AI CEOs or even entire Boards of Directors to manage the day to day operations of the megacorp more efficiently and with less need of the shareholders attention.

ii) Shareholders augmented themselves with various cybernetic enhancements to allow them to better grasp the operations of the megacorp, inform their votes, and persuade other shareholders to vote in coordination with them.

g) Much of the population that would have once worked for the megacorps instead found employment providing services or goods to either the megacorps or to a subset of their many shareholders, who used their dividend income to purchase goods and services from individual or small group businesses due to a desire for personalized or personal products and services rather than corporate produced items. The megacorps themselves often produced items and services for shareholders, people living on other forms of guaranteed income, or governments or other megacorps.

f) Around this time, the Technocalypse and then the Great Expulsion destroyed much of civilization, including many of the megacorps. Those that survived into and beyond the Dark Age often did so in much reduced circumstances and forms - often taking the form of a sort of capitalist cyberdemocracy based around voting shares or similar.

g) With the rise of the Federation, the surviving megacorps began to grow back toward their former glory and then beyond as well as some of them evolving in various ways. This was driven by a combination of factors including needing to operate across interstellar distances, competition (occasionally real, more often just perceived) with transapients, and the growing complexity of civilization. This evolution took various forms, but two of the most common were:

1) Megacorps being run entirely by AI and automation - often transapient. They provided comfortable dividends to their shareholders and - via sophisticated (often transapient) memgineering, more often than not influenced their shareholders to operate as the controlling mind(s) thought best. The mega numbers of shareholder controllers had become the controlled.

2) Megacorps evolving via the use of Unityware or similar variants into various types of group mind, hivemind, or other closely networked society. Shareholders augmented their intelligence, often to superturing levels and linked together into larger, sometimes transapient or transavant group minds. In many cases, the transapient CEOs ascended from earlier AI CEOs were joined with vast numbers of heavily augmented shareholders to form an overmind, which itself might be ascended to a higher S-level than the CEO. Or have spikes of ability in various areas an S-level beyond that of the CEO.

h) When the First Federation began the Fall, the megacorps moved to fill the power vacuum left behind. Some sought to merely fill the gap left by the Federation while others aimed to replace the Federation ontology with new 'corporate ontologies' that they felt would operate more efficiently than the ancient Federation standard (or at the least would operate in a way that better served the megacorps interest). Not all polities and groups agreed with this goal and other rival powers pushed their own goals. And rising above them all, new levels of post-Singularity mind begin to appear.

i) The megacorps are eventually surpassed by the archailects, the Second Federation Ontology, and later the sephirotic memesets - but they never entirely go extinct. They persist even into the Current Era - offering both income or even wealth in those cultures that still use such things and a path to nearly post-singularity intelligence (or sometimes beyond) that includes an established support framework and community within the 'corporate culture' of the megacorp group mind itself. Members of some megacorps share some similarities with the augmented intelligence of the Bureaucrats of the Terran Federation for example.

Or something like that. I think this provides a path forward from what Rynn has described. Also lets us start exploring different types of group minds, and adds a new type of entity to the setting.

Thoughts?

Todd
Reply


Messages In This Thread
Topic Review: Megacorps - by Drashner1 - 08-26-2020, 01:42 PM
RE: Topic Review: Megacorps - by Drashner1 - 08-26-2020, 01:48 PM
RE: Topic Review: Megacorps - by Dfleymmes1134 - 08-26-2020, 03:04 PM
RE: Topic Review: Megacorps - by Dfleymmes1134 - 08-26-2020, 03:13 PM
RE: Topic Review: Megacorps - by Drashner1 - 09-10-2020, 01:00 PM
RE: Topic Review: Megacorps - by Dfleymmes1134 - 08-26-2020, 03:14 PM
RE: Topic Review: Megacorps - by Drashner1 - 08-30-2020, 02:22 PM
RE: Topic Review: Megacorps - by Rynn - 09-10-2020, 09:38 PM
RE: Topic Review: Megacorps - by Dfleymmes1134 - 09-11-2020, 01:46 PM
RE: Topic Review: Megacorps - by Drashner1 - 09-11-2020, 11:06 PM
RE: Topic Review: Megacorps - by Dfleymmes1134 - 09-11-2020, 02:29 PM
RE: Topic Review: Megacorps - by Drashner1 - 09-14-2020, 12:39 PM
RE: Topic Review: Megacorps - by QwertyYerty - 09-28-2020, 02:19 PM
RE: Topic Review: Megacorps - by Dfleymmes1134 - 09-28-2020, 02:46 PM
RE: Topic Review: Megacorps - by Rakuen07 - 09-28-2020, 11:26 PM
RE: Topic Review: Megacorps - by The Astronomer - 11-17-2020, 10:48 AM
RE: Topic Review: Megacorps - by Drashner1 - 11-17-2020, 01:25 PM
RE: Topic Review: Megacorps - by Technothrope - 11-18-2020, 05:23 AM
RE: Topic Review: Megacorps - by Dfleymmes1134 - 11-18-2020, 06:29 AM
RE: Topic Review: Megacorps - by Technothrope - 11-18-2020, 06:47 AM
RE: Topic Review: Megacorps - by Drashner1 - 01-03-2021, 01:05 PM
RE: Topic Review: Megacorps - by Rynn - 01-13-2021, 08:11 AM
RE: Topic Review: Megacorps - by Vitto - 01-08-2021, 04:24 AM
RE: Topic Review: Megacorps - by MacGregor - 01-13-2021, 09:33 AM
RE: Topic Review: Megacorps - by MacGregor - 01-13-2021, 10:25 PM
RE: Topic Review: Megacorps - by Rynn - 01-14-2021, 08:21 AM
RE: Topic Review: Megacorps - by Drashner1 - 01-14-2021, 01:05 PM
RE: Topic Review: Megacorps - by The Astronomer - 06-20-2021, 12:01 AM
RE: Topic Review: Megacorps - by Drashner1 - 06-20-2021, 11:03 PM
RE: Topic Review: Megacorps - by Vitto - 07-15-2021, 09:25 PM
RE: Topic Review: Megacorps - by The Astronomer - 07-15-2021, 09:42 PM
RE: Topic Review: Megacorps - by Vitto - 07-15-2021, 10:45 PM
RE: Topic Review: Megacorps - by Drashner1 - 07-15-2021, 11:10 PM
RE: Topic Review: Megacorps - by Rakuen07 - 07-17-2021, 01:32 AM
RE: Topic Review: Megacorps - by Vitto - 07-17-2021, 02:54 AM

Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)