vaecrius: Duke2 Rigelatin overlord: "We'd kill you, you see, but our religion prevents the interruption of suffering." (rigelatin)
[personal profile] vaecrius
From the Sayings of the Desert Fathers:
The holy Fathers were making predictions about the last generation. They said ‘What have we ourselves done?’ One of them, the great abba Ischyrion replied, ‘We ourselves have fulfilled the commandments of God.’ The others replied, ‘And those who come after us, what will they do?’ He said, ‘They will struggle to achieve half our works.’ They said, ‘And to those who come after them, what will happen?’ He said, ‘The men of that generation will not accomplish any works at all and temptation will come upon them; and those who will be approved in that day will be greater than either us or our fathers.’

Abba Copres said, ‘blessed is he who bears affliction with thankfulness.’
Building on this. A speculation on a buildup to the great apostasy.

Nation-states slowly lose relevance and power from lack of funding and growth of local municipal police and private security. Effective return to city-states and warring tribes therewithin.

Corporate and municipal encroachment of private rights eventually enables the arcopolis. Not as a centrally planned Tower of Babel, though such are frequently attempted (and fail miserably at great humanitarian cost), but as an oft dysfunctional, messy collection of airspace rights of way connecting many smaller towers of varying age and quality.

Sex slave trade grows. Cybernetics primarily developed in underground economy. Human genetic engineering primarily developed by private actors in secret. Development of perpetually youthful, sterile, short-lived cyborg pleasure "bots" (who are of course actually fully human slaves with deliberately stunted, engineered mental development).

Implanted technology gains ground, mostly in invisible things like nanobots. People routinely doomed to obsolescence as new technologies replace them; this is understood to be an acceptable constant existential threat, and the obsolete are shunned and shamed or repurposed into bots.

Total ecological breakdown. Mass extinctions stabilize. All wildlife is useless pests. People begin to implicitly assume that all natural bodies of water are red in hue.

All food comes from genetically engineered vat-equivalents of things that might once have been corn, wheat, cows, chickens, pigs or mould.

300 years of unending Islamic war before the ecological collapse results in the gradual defeat of those factions who refuse to embrace infrastructural requirements of modernity.

The arcologies of the seven great caliphates wage war against the 12 arcologies of Israel who have the support of the secularist cyborg network that considers itself to be the true and only remaining heir of Western civilization, most of which members have faded into extinction, suffered catastrophic breakdown in their arcologies and the few desperate survivors joined the feral outlanders, or joined the cybernet.

Russian and Chinese civilizations follow essentially the same pattern. Africa emerges as a stronghold of the Western church, at least nominally amidst the constant war against the caliphates to the north and the corporations coming in from Asia and the Americas. Infrastructurally their experience is similar to the cybernet and the outlanders.

The people of the super-rich international Paradise Project domes speciate.

A glitch common to all mainline technology used by Israel, the cybernet and most of the caliphates' architecture causes another massive global breakdown. Things rapidly decentralize for a while as people flee to the outlands. Bots revolt.

Numerous plagues occur as incompatible nanobot symbiotes mix in various people's systems. Draconian rules about physical contact with outsiders formulated in most places.

As of 7777 AD, shortly after the oil has run out, the visible actors include:
  • The Invisible Caliphate, a neural nanobot virus that causes uprisings and localized instability every now and then. Occasionally grants patient sudden bursts of strength, uncanny calmness and resolve in violent situations and unnatural illumination in combat tactics. Can be injected voluntarily but no one knows how it spreads otherwise. Fatal to remove.
  • The Owners, fat baby-like larval beings with enormous brains and multi-pronged, sexually ambiguous genitalia, constantly attended to by machines and cyborg slaves, ruled only by the appetites and a vast bureaucratic AI that governs their every politically non-trivial move and attends to their every politically trivial need. It is not known if they die.
  • The Outlanders, hideously deformed people who occasionally fuse bodies with each other in grotesque amalgamations to offset each one's numerous weaknesses. Typically die of old age in their teens, though the mothers of some primitively eusocial families can go into their late twenties with good care (relatively speaking, obviously). They are naturally kind to anyone who is not violent to them. They are regularly collected as oddities and made to fight to the death for entertainment.
  • The Old Ones, a lineage of ancient, heavily mechanized but slaveless cyborgs constantly trying to stave off death for a little while longer, who keep their numbers by occasionally converting someone to their forlorn, transhumanist cause. They worship, on constant edge of panicked fear, a being known as the Basilisk that will appear at the end of all time and judge all by their piety to its unfathomable will.
  • The Goo, not human at all and probably not even sentient, a self-replicating gray mass that appears in some places at random, that occasionally shapes itself in remembrance of technology and persons past. Alternately used for divination, kept as a novelty or worshipped as a god.
  • The Arcs, normal human beings of varying degrees of nanobot dependency. Small, stooped and durable, and mostly distinguished and individuated by the bioluminescent patterns on their bodies, they are capable of feats of climbing and spatial reasoning generally unknown to 21st-century man. Typically die of old age in their thirties.

Clearly something is not being mentioned here, as it is of course much easier to paint Hell than Heaven. I must take some more time to think about this, but it is my intention that the Church is to be noticeably present throughout, if only as a very quietly hummed ison.

Date: August 1st, 2014 01:28 (UTC)
From: [personal profile] helarxe
I was worried rape and middle eastern politics might be actionable moods triggered by the content underneath, as labeled last time.

Instead, optimism, will to play and appetite! Praise Akht.

(Because I'm reminded of "Within an incapacitated, rigorously sabotaged wholeness, even mere survival is converted to a polytical event (graspable by its sheer pragmatic-amplification and operating by misusing the affordance-based openness). ‘Reducing this wholeness rather than dismantling or escaping it’ is what separates the Middle Eastern occulture from its western counterpart.")

Date: August 1st, 2014 16:03 (UTC)
From: [personal profile] helarxe
Make the whole Dar al-Harb a school-like environment and now I'm terrified.

I know this

if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content.

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