As you all know, I’m currently in the process of writting Vena’s Tale, the first Fractal Cosmos story ever made.
I posted a topic a few months ago to let you guys know of all the story-related decisions I was making at the time and also to discuss some refinements in our world building, but I have been silent about this project ever since. I haven’t actually had much time to contribute to this forum. Sorry about that.
Anyway, my writting is going fine. It’s not been easy for me to conciliate it with college and the other things I want to do in my life, but I think my time management skills are improving.
The purpose of this topic is to let you guys know of an idea I’ve had for a system that classifies the solid collectives into different groups.
I had already tried this in the past, but my approach was overly simplistic and didn’t do justice to the hell-creepers’ imense diversity. I hope I can present something better today.
So, how does my new classification system work?
Well, I guess we can say it does four things:
It divides the collectives into several different “main” types, according to their stance on 6 different dichotomies. In some cases, it’s possible for a collective to have a neutral stance in one or more dichotomies.
It assigns them subtypes according to particular issues related to one or more dichotomies.
It quantifies the collectives degrees of self-awareness, thought-processing capacity and compatibility with “normal” humans and posthumans.
It assigns a roman number ( I, II or III), according to their level of technological advancement.
The dichotomies are:
Centralized [C] vs Distributed [D], which indicates weather the information in a collective is distributed through a large number of units/bodies or centralized in a single one (hive-queen) or a small number (generals).
Unitary [U] vs Federated [F], which indicates weather a collective is a pure hive-mind, or allows some degree (usually a very limited one) of individuality to some or all of its units or groups of units. Note: Even in the most radically federated collectives it’s impossible for any entity to initiate an action without the concent of the whole collective.
Rational [R] vs Irational [I], witch indicates weather reasoning is their main decision-making process or not.
Philosophical [Ph] vs Sensationalist [S], which indicates weather a collective is more interested in searching for the truth or in experiencing sensations.
Moralist [M] vs Nihilist [N], which indicates weather a collective seeks to act according to a moral compass or not.
Pacifist [Pa] vs Belligerent [B], which refers to a collective’s attitude towards its neighbours.
The collective’s position in each dichotomy is usually represented by one or two letters in the abridged classification form. The ultimate result is a collective type represented by 6 letters. For exemple, a Centralized, Unitary, Rational, Philosophical, Moralist, Pacifist collective is a CURPhMPa collective.
When a collective can’t be unequivocally attributed position A or B in a certain dichotomy it must be described as [A-B]
The following aditional characteristics, generally expressed by one letter put between parenthesis next to the letter that defines the collective’s position in the dichotomy, are used to assign subtypes to some collectives:
Variable (V). This indicates that a collective’s position on a certain dichotomy actually varies according to the cirscunstance. It can be appliable to any dichotomy. When (V) is added to the abridged designation it means that the previous letter only indicates the collective’s most usual position in the dichotomy.
A/B-Leaning (A/B-L). This indicates that, while a collective is firmly in the A camp of the dichotomy, it identifies with some aspects of B, thus being B-leaning. For example, a Pacifist collective which is not afraid to react ruthlessnessly when seriously threatened is a Ph(B-L) collective.
Extreme (E). Means that collective is so strongly in one camp of a dichotomy that compromising with an entity of the opposite camp is nearly impossible.
The self-awareness level is measured as percentage of thought-processes of which a collective is aware. The thought-processing capacity is measured according to the number of synapse-equivalents (in billions), thought-speed is sometimes added after that number and between parenthesis. Finally, the human compatibility index is a value assigned by an advanced AI using a highly complex mathematical equation, it is usually exmpressed as a percentage.
What do you think of this approach? It’s certainly more complex than the last one.
I’ll try to write more about the collectives tommorow. For now, I’ll leave you with the classification of the K’phlor collective, to which one of the main caracthers of Vena’s Tale belongs.
DURPh(S-L)MPa(B-L)- 100.525.050 (III)
Legend: Distributed, Philosphical thought Sensasionalist-leaning, Moralist, Pacifist thought Belligerent-leaning collective with 100% self-awareness, 525 billion synapses and 50% compatibility with regular humans.
Note: The number of synapses was chosen ramdomly and I may change it in the future.