?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

story seed

I had an idea for an SFstory on the way in this morning.

Take a sort of "post-singularity" society, in which the net has become sufficiently complex that no one really understands entirely how it works, and has begun to do stuff on its own - not to the AI level, just "stuff".

Add in the tech to record memories. You have a fuzzy internet with uploaded personalities floating in it.

Call the net entities "loa", and have them "ride" people via cybernetic brain implants. Basically, to become a doctor, you don't go to med school, you carry a medical loa. Knowledge is preserved and advanced through generations directly.

Obvious questions to explore - how much of the person survives the upload process? Just experience, or personality, too? How does it affect the ridden person's mind to carry loa on a regualr basis? Do uploaded personalities remain distinct, or do all the doctors merge into a sort of big doctor spirit? How available is the upload tech? Is there a central body regulating uploads? Is is expensive enough to remain available to a select few only, or are there uploads across the economic spectrum (this last raises the possibility of digital sacred prostitutes being riden by an electronic Ishtar). What effect do all these minds have on the already self-motivated net? Does this system move form a sort of polytheism to a monotheism as the personalities merge into a single cybergod?

Are the loa self-aware enough to have thier own goals? How much to they cahnge after death? What kind of impact on innovation does this sort of structure have - does relying on the loa mean that the society just keeps refining past techniques and not inventing new ones?

Who can be ridden? Anyone? Or do the loa have preferences, creating a new specialist class/vocation? Just how prestigious is it to be ridable? Do we end up with a middle class of "horses", with a rich upper class who can afford autonomy, and a poor underclass who can't effectively work?

What happens when the process goes wrong? In keeping with the voodoo theme, I posit the occasional frying of a "horse"'s mind, leaving the subject a zombie - little mind, but a body that can be put to menial tasks.

I might try to fire off some microfic in this setting later, but I wanted to throw this out there.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
neeuqdrazil
Jun. 24th, 2005 01:52 pm (UTC)
I like! I like lots!
danaeris
Jun. 24th, 2005 02:44 pm (UTC)
Interesting. I like the idea.

Philosophical-speculative questions this makes me think about:

People aren't their professions. I mean, a doctor might also be a champion chess player in his spare time. Do the different aspects of his personality fragment and distribute to the different embodiments, or will his personality remain intact?

Also, not all doctors are good, or good in the same way. Each doctor has his blind spots and weaknesses and strengths. When you combine two doctors, one who has a weakness in area A, and the other who is particularly good at area A, what happens? Does the good win, or do they cancel each other out?

Since the personalities can be copied ad infinitum, perhaps there is a copy of our hypothetical doctor in the doctor loa, and one in the chessmaster loa. Perhaps the weakness and strengths question is dealt with by voluntary abstention from participation by the weak ones -- that is, their personality and ego are sufficiently intact for them to say "I'm not going to help on this diagnosis because I suck at this area of medicine and I'll just confuse things." But, if that were the case, what would happen if you ran into an upload who refused to subsume their ego enough to do that, who refused to admit their weakness? Or someone who deliberately infiltrated loas and messed them up in order to achieve some perverse goal?
curgoth
Jun. 25th, 2005 02:12 am (UTC)

People aren't their professions. I mean, a doctor might also be a champion chess player in his spare time. Do the different aspects of his personality fragment and distribute to the different embodiments, or will his personality remain intact?


This is why I like having the nebulous net handle it - this could still be an unknown factor - experts know that enough useful knowledge comes through, but they don't know how much of the *person* makes it through, and how much individuality survives.

Also, not all doctors are good, or good in the same way. Each doctor has his blind spots and weaknesses and strengths. When you combine two doctors, one who has a weakness in area A, and the other who is particularly good at area A, what happens? Does the good win, or do they cancel each other out?

My guess is that the knowledge perseveres more than the person, so it ends up being additive - add a doc good at surgery to a good diagnostician, you get a loa good at both.

Since the personalities can be copied ad infinitum

Ah, but can they? Control over the personalities after upload is vague at best. This gives us that most motivating of scenarios to humans - unpredictable results. Much the same way that gambling and religion are more engaging than more predictable things, human adults devote more attention to inconsistant feedback. The uploaded personalities might fragment, copy, or do other things, but the system holding them is so complex, that the operators don't really understand what happens.

The question then, of course, is "is there a loa who CAN?"...

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

September 2016
S M T W T F S
    123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930 

Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Lilia Ahner