Wednesday, June 29, 2016

NYX: After Humanity

 I don't think I'll do too many more of these, this setting feels like it stands on its own based on only a few pieces.  Nyx continues on here.  My #Solarpunk splashing into #SpaceWestern goes on here.  SolarWestern?  IDK.

There isn't a humanity anymore.  Not according to the purists.  The human genome isn't a singular thing anymore.  It's been over two centuries since the term Humanity fell into misuse.  The Corporates still cling to the old term.  Even if they have no qualms with altering the genome to suit their needs.

The term human doesn't apply if one refers to the species of the same name in a genetic sense.  The pure, unaltered version.  There is a collection of slang and terms for the new versions.  Posthumanity, Neohumanity, transhumanity.  Most people don't dwell on the fact.

It seems, within the Cooperative, that the old tribalism of who is and isn't human has faded.  Psychological heuristics within autogov still find it from time to time.  But the course within even those remote parts of the Cooperative is disregard for it.  The old fear of the Other no longer governs.  It is a sideshow.

Humanity isn't.  As more than one sarcastic philosopher has stated, "Humanity is Dead."

That said, most organic humaniforms think of themselves as humans, just as organic felineforms think of themselves as cats.  It's easier to text.

Organic and Synthetic Life.

Sapient life comes either in organic or synthetic flavors.  But some lines get blurred.

Synthetic life is thought of as AI.  Not just intelligent, like a tool, but sapient like any human.  Electronic, artificial, whatever.  Most of these are Bots.  Shells tend to have Bot bodies too.

Bots are original, synthetic lifeforms.  There are four types, but sapient bots are often Type-3.   Varmints is the nickname for Type-2 Bots.  They aren't sapient, and are on par with the intelligence of rodents and other animals.  They'll perform their programmed functions.  But without the wisdom or sense to stop when those functions harm others.  Sapience isn't a programmed quality.  It is somewhat emergent.

Shells are like Bots.  In that they tend to share the same kinds of machine bodies that Bots prefer.  Synthetic copies of organic minds.  Shells are a form of offspring to their organic originals.  But copying over a organic mind doesn't destroy the original.  Nor can one copy an mind entirely onto a pure organic brain.

Type-4 Bots are mentioned here in passing.  Type-4 sapient AI are known as Spirits.  Their minds process and operate at scales far beyond anything organic or type-3s can do.  Most AutoGovs operate via Spirit minds.  

Type-4 bots, along with ubiquitous combat drones, render organic soldiers useless.  In combat, bots almost always are superior to human ones.  It has freed up humans, putting them outside of the dire necessity of dying in conflicts.

Modded Subcultures.

Genehacking and cybernetic enhancement are ubiquitous throughout the System.  But there remain subcultures devoted to cliques of mods.  The Gened are a variety of genehacked. They vary from those with mixed animal features to those with synthetic genehacks, like bioluminescent skin.  Cykes are a variety of cybernetic enhanced. They include those using steampowered mods to those with nonhumaniform body attachments.

Those who identify as Gened or Cyke are much like those who identify with a specific gender or sexual preference.  The fluidity of it doesn't matter as much as it did centuries ago.  Early on, these categories were sources of discrimination under the rule of the Old Nations.

Between Shells, Antigeriatric drugs and other mods, almost all organic and synthetic sapients in the Cooperative look (and live) at their prime.  As in all things, there is no true immortality.  Even spirits degrade over time.  Centuries have shown that most minds break.  Dementia sets in.  Age pushes sapient minds too far.

Uplifts, Bioroids and Nyctians.

Bioroids blur the lines between modded and bots.  Synthetic organisms, Bioroids aren't born from a live womb.  Instead, they are grown in a birth chamber, often modded.  Like Bots, Bioroids used to be owned property.  They can possess specific genehacks or cybernetics from birth.  Sometimes bioroids have specific purposes designed into them.  This can put them on par with Bots for some capabilities.  A bioroid can have the centaur genehacks of a gened clique, the z-g implants of a Cyke cult and a Nyctian's psychothalmus.

Uplifts refer to organic, live birth nonhumaniforms.  Uplifts dislike the term.  It implies a superiority between their animal ancestry and humanity.  They own genehacks, cybernetic implants and whatever else needed to put their nonhumaniform bodies on par with humaniform bodies.  The first group of Uplifts were the Gor- uplifted Gorillas. They are best known for inventing artificial gravity.  The colonies that would create the Cooperative would've never formed without that key technology.

Nyctians possess an odd mutation in human brains from before Earth's Unification centuries ago.  Ported over to humaniforms today, the Nyctian genome possesses the psychothalmus organ.  It allows Nyctians to sense higher dimensions of reality.  This manifests in an extrasensory perception over vast distances, often at superluminal speeds.  The term Nyctian refers to the Nyx League, an organization founded before the Cooperative.  The Nyx League sought rights and freedoms for Nyctians.  Over time, the Nyx League would help found the Cooperative's larger basis.

All three of these groups blur in some degrees as well.  Like all societies, each form their own subcultures.  Cooperative communities value and treat them as equals.