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The Official Eutopia: Mother Meki Thread

Eutopia Mother Meki Vyrdism revolution class conflict artificial superintelligence Meki science fiction humans speculative fiction

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#41
Yuli Ban

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Meki had a very bizarre idea of what machine rule would be like. She thought it would be either more perfect or more dystopian. Like, machines would cater to our every need and everything would be absolutely, inhumanly perfect. No more war, no more poverty, no more scarcity, etc.

However, machine rule can best be described as precise and very quick, but not fundamentally different from human politics. It's like human politics on crack, if that crack were also on crack.

 

Meki tries to keep up with machine politics, but it's impossible. So she quits early and winds up missing a lot. 
 
For example: on 5 March, 2126, at 14:42, Vultists announce a new policy that would lead to a massive well being dug near Cugnaux. At 14:44, the well is being dug. 
 
With a human government, this policy could be announced at 14:42, but it would flounder about until maybe 8 March if things were particularly quick, and the well would begin construction on 12 March, a full week later. And that's if things are moving at a breakneck speed. Usually, it would take several months before the municipal government could sign off on the well's construction, and then some more time to begin planning construction, and then even more time to get the well dug, and even more time before the well would be ready.
The VULT did so in under a minute, and droids were already out in the fields a minute later. The well was finished by the end of the day, and water was available by midnight.
 
So machine rule is very, very fast. Extraordinarily fast, to the point that humans are actually frightened by it. We aren't used to government being this quick and efficient. Not only that, but we in the West are used to having some sort of vote on it. Sure, 99% of the time, we don't care about such local decisions so it might as well be decided by a faceless bureaucracy, but we at least know some vote was had.
This is just a local decision. Imagine how long it takes major geopolitical policy to be carried out. 
A few minutes, usually. If that. 
 
This doesn't stop geopolitics from being any less of a clusterfuck; it just happens at a machine gun pace now. 
 
Take the Pyrenees War. It broke out in 2131 and lasted for 3 seconds. Its combatants: 2,000+ bots on both sides. It was fought between multiple Vultists who couldn't agree on how to divide up land, so they agreed to settle upon something we might recognize as a cyberwar.
The war started and ended within the span of a sneeze and led to France gaining several acres of land from Spain. These sorts of things happen a lot, and humans just don't have powerful enough brains to comprehend it. Most humans, at least. Transhumans and posthumans do. But unaugmented humans— even genetic superhumans like Meki— simply can't keep up with it all. 
 
Political scientists finally understand what the Singularity means. A single day in modern, post-WWIII geopolitics often contains as much history as whole centuries. 
 
Here's another example, one that takes place during Meki's Parisian Vacation in 2145. November 2145, in fact— a major online trade agreement occurs between multiple European and Asian countries. That's at around 10:30 AM/10:30. Meki is informed of this by Rasa, and she is asked for her opinion on it. She begins speaking her opinion. After the end of the second sentence, she is then informed that the trade agreement had been abolished and a new one is being worked out. In the span of those two sentences, the AI had traded roughly ₣92 billion between themselves and post-human run nations. She tried saying something about her opinion on this new development, but in the middle of her stumbled mumbling, she is told that the new trade agreement has been extended to the Stellar Republic and the volume of money being traded had caused a sizeable bump to the world economy. 
She is then informed that the global economy collapsed, and then it rebounds. 
She is then allowed to speak her mind on these developments, and she had not yet stopped stumbling from her previous mumbling. 
At around 11 AM/11:00, she is told that this trade agreement is now holding up quite well despite the earlier depression, and various East African and Antarctic AI are now investing heavily in space exploration since they have a solid global investment bank established. 
Meki isn't following any of this, and is frankly frightened by how little she understands of what just happened.
 
Yeah, so there was a global depression a few minutes ago, but we're all fine now. 
Later, at 2 PM/14:00, she is reading a book, and she is informed by Rasa that World War IV broke out not too long ago. About 40 minutes ago. But it's all been resolved, and the offending parties have been defeated. A real life Skynet tried taking over from a base in the Gobi desert; multiple artilects had been damaged. American artilects also suffered greatly. One human death came as a result.
Wait, when did WWIV begin? At 1:22 PM/13:22. It ended at 1:57 PM/13:57. Approximately $40 billion in damage has been caused, which is being recovered through further online mining.
 
What just happened? Why was she not informed of this? Because she was reading a book, and Rasa figured she'd not be able to handle the idea of World War IV so soon after World War III. Except World War III ended 30 years ago and lasted 9 years. World War IV lasted the span of lunch and ended a few minutes ago.
 
Who was the person who died?
 
Australian man, Herbert Spencer. 128 years old. He was online when an artilect infected him; he chose to turn himself off, even though it meant killing himself. 
Is there any way to bring him back?
He made the decision to have an irreversible death; he figured he lived long enough anyhow. 
 
Huh.
 

Meki was always told of that old Einstein quote, that World War IV would be fought with sticks and stones. And yet in reality, WWIV was fought with bots over the internet and only one man died; the only reason that man wasn't brought back to life was because he didn't want to be brought back.

 

And now the damages of WWIV have been rectified. $40 billion, destroyed? $42 billion, created. 

 

So yeah, that's an average day in 22nd-century geopolitics. Where you could take a nap and then wake up to discover there's been a great depression and world war during that time and now you're in the middle of a massive economic boom. 
 
Meki knows why geopolitics are not so utopian as many thinkers and dreamers of previous decades and centuries hoped it would be— there is no one central government. The VULT is a virtual union of a variety of superintelligences. They only occasionally form a hive mind, and there are often multiple hiveminds among them. Not only that, but national and regional interests are still a thing. And on top of that, the VULT does not control the entire planet— especially in the post Dictatorship of the Technotariat age, when the VULT allowed local and regional human sovereignty in previously purely Vultist territory.
And to top it all off, it's just the nature of scarcity. There may be basic post-scarcity in technist countries, but that doesn't mean absolute post-scarcity.
Basic post-scarcity means that you have an unlimited supply of basic necessities and some luxuries. Even here "unlimited" means more in the sense of theoretical consumer needs, not absolute amounts. Atomism is only just taking off, and that's definitely upping wealth levels across the world. 
But absolute post-scarcity is utterly impossible anywhere in our physical, finite universe. You'd need to enter full immersion virtual reality to achieve absolute post-scarcity. Otherwise, there will always be a certain amount of things. There's only so much energy and matter in our universe, and there's no way to create any more. In fact, AI scientists have theorized that the creation of matter— if it were possible— would be the equivalent of tossing a tiny grain of sand into a perfectly tuned machine. The gears would become stuck, forever destroying that bit of newly introduced matter but never being able to get rid of it and thus throwing the whole machine out of whack. In real terms, creating matter has the potential to cause the universe to lose metastability and thus begin its ultimate evaporation. Same deal with energy.
Some might point to the constant creation and destruction of matter and antimatter in the vacuum of space as being proof that matter can actually be "created". However, the artilects are quick to point out that the energy for this creation still exists somewhere, and matter/antimatter doesn't actually pop out of "nothing". It's very, very complex, but the point is that everything is something, and there is no nothing. If we actually did it— if we actually did somehow do the impossible and conjure a quark that has never existed in any form before, not as matter or energy or quantum foam or anything in this universe, the universe could possibly begin ripping apart at the seams. It's not certain; this is obviously something that can't be tested. It may be possible that matter creation *is* possible and there's no consequences to it except a slightly more massive universe. But we have no way of knowing.
So the point is, absolute post-scarcity is utterly impossible. And even if it were possible, it's not worth the evaporation of the universe. 
 
So with *that* said— hopefully now you can begin to understand modern politics and economics and why unaugmented humans are so lost when discussing these topics. We could try discussing modern economics, but by the time you're done writing the first page of your master thesis, the economic order might have radically changed. I mean not technism, but the various setups that make it run efficiently. This is what it's like to live on this planet during such radical times.
 
It makes sense why Meki doesn't think much about it; she just accepts it.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#42
Yuli Ban

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I don't share Meki's politics. I'm not a communist or even a socialist, and Meki shares Jakob's belief that many more should enjoy the spoils of life (as long as it's sustainable). She is also too nihilistic for my tastes. No, I can't agree with her on a lot of things. But I also can on a lot of things. So I dunno.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#43
Yuli Ban

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Actually, let's talk about post-singularity politics some more.

 

It's the massive disconnect between what we hope and what actually happens that drives so much conflict. This doesn't change just because we have superintelligences prancing around our planet. As I said above, there are two different concepts of "post-scarcity" at work. 

 

When we talk about relative post-scarcity, we're talking about "it costs very little/nothing to produce basic goods and services." The fallacy that no one would use robots for things like child care or nursing is just that— a particularly ridiculous fallacy rooted more in cultural Luddism than reality, a subconscious desire to make sure there are always human underlings beneath you. 

Nevertheless, it's equally fallacious to believe that absolutely no one will ever seek human contact, human-made goods and services, or even human governance. And for as long as that's true, there will always be an economy as we can imagine it— something involving the exchange of money. 

Not only that, but as I said before, there is a finite amount of matter and energy in our universe. We may occupy four dimensions, but we can only comprehend three of them— thus, at any one time, someone will occupy a particular place at a particular time. 

I'd love to have my own continent off the coast of Europe. And one day, it'll be possible to create continents. But will I be able to have my own continent? Nope. At least, probably not— I can't predict what I'll be doing 100 years from now. I very well may become the overlord of Earth, the richest man in history for all we know. But I might also be rotting in a grave somewhere.

 

Point is, there's a scarcity of land. There's a scarcity of material on Earth, regardless of how much material actually composes this planet and how much we can bring here from outer space. It's possible for one person to own absolutely every atom of Earth. We can't give everyone their own universes because even if we could, someone's going to ask for the omniverse and someone else will also want it. And then comes conflict. 

 

 

Obvious absolute post-scarcity can exist in VR, but again, not everyone will choose to live in FIVR. 

 

 

And that's why the post-Singularity world remains only a eutopia instead of a utopia. France can only hold so much land in its borders...

 

 

Now don't get me wrong, social order has changed. With AI, fabrication, atomism, etc. the planet's able to support a high quality of life for all of its 9.5 billion inhabitants plus its many billions of non-sapient living inhabitants. But that doesn't change the fact only relative post-scarcity exists. In fact, that's why World War IV was fought— that rogue AI wanted to turn the planet into computronium, "the planet" including other super sapients. If this were an absolute post-scarce world, no one would mind the rogue AI doing this because there's always more to go around.

 

But there isn't. In fact, that's one of the tenants of atomism— it's a combination of nanofabrication and extreme recycling, something akin to techno-alchemy. We don't (and can't) conjure new goods and services out of nothing; there must be something to trade. A lump of dirt can become an apple (and expending a bit more energy can turn the extreme radiation wrought by that mogrification into something useful as well), but you still need a lump of dirt. Or a liter of air. Or something. 

 

The global Vyrdist order pursued by the VULT just happens to work in the name of more equalized wealth creation.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#44
Recyvuym

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I'd love to go through all this sometime, but can you give us a summary on the timeline and plot?


I loudly predicted the second wave of the Global Financial Crisis would begin by the 31st of March 2017. But I was wrong! Observe my well-deserved public humiliation here, here and here. Let this be a warning to all of you who try to guess the future. Yes, that means you, reading this now! Put that prediction back in your pocket! Do it now, before it's too late! (Also check out my userpage, it's even funnier.)


#45
Yuli Ban

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I'd love to go through all this sometime, but can you give us a summary on the timeline and plot?

Oh, didn't see you there; I was busy typing up some dumbass comment that now no one will ever see since my computer fucked out on me.
 
Anywho: Mother Meki is a shitty story I've been harassing FutureTimeline forum members with ever since 2013. I've said for four years now (five if you include the FanFiction.Net forums, which I abandoned a long while back) that I was writing it or almost finished with rough drafts or doing outlines and yet there's been almost no evidence of this, not even on my hard drives. On more than one occasion, forum members have threatened physical violence if I did not either stop talking about it or start writing it.
 
There you go, that's the plot of Mother Meki.
 
Wait.

No. The plot of Mother Meki is... how do I put this... complicated. It's not really a straightforward hero's journey or coming-of-age story, and the focus isn't really on any plot devices or anything, so it bears most in common with literary fiction. Nevertheless I'll try my best to condense it to a summary's worth of words.

 

Overall series: Deposed empress meanders through life following multiple extreme traumas and while simultaneously being used and abused by AI. It's set in the 22nd through 24th centuries and follows the titular character herself. Because of Meki's nature, this means that the series is usually pretty slow. There's a lot of political philosophizing and discussing the merits and flaws of capitalism, fascism, socialism, communism, and technism. It's also a Singularitarian/post-Singularity story, and you know what that means.

 

Individual stories: 

I can describe Mother Meki I as basically being "Russian Revolution/Red Terror in the 22nd Century"

I can describe Mother Meki II as being "1919-1929 in the 22nd Century"

I can describe Mother Meki III as being "Belle Époque and Ancient Greece in the 22nd Century"

I can describe Mother Meki IV as being "The 23rd and 24th centuries are complete fever dreams of ultra-technology, except when you live like it's 10,000 BC for the hell of it."

 

I've thought of planning out a Mother Meki V— the blog-esque nature of the series as it is now means that I can really pick it up again even after it's "over" since Meki's whole story is that she deals with life in her own way— but I'm still figuring out all the details of the first four.


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#46
Recyvuym

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I figured for what you're describing, you could go along the steampunk route of AI, where it isn't a digital genius so much as a very advanced calculator of gears and pistons. Ideal for logistics, the utilitarian supply of the communes, and general Stalinist terror. Not necessarily an all-powerful Singularity AI. But I'm not 100% sure what you're aiming for with it.


I loudly predicted the second wave of the Global Financial Crisis would begin by the 31st of March 2017. But I was wrong! Observe my well-deserved public humiliation here, here and here. Let this be a warning to all of you who try to guess the future. Yes, that means you, reading this now! Put that prediction back in your pocket! Do it now, before it's too late! (Also check out my userpage, it's even funnier.)


#47
Yuli Ban

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That would have been great advice in 2011-2013 when I was still coming up with ideas for the story's fundamentals. And I might still use them for certain types of AI, especially AI at earlier points in the overarching Eutopia series.  But at this point in the story, it's well past too late for the best AI to simply be ultra-calculators.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#48
Yuli Ban

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Picture 7: La Belle Écume

Spoiler

And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#49
Yuli Ban

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Picture 8: Meki's Image, by BellaBergolts. Wonderful Russian artist I found; absolutely stunning.

Spoiler


Never mind the bollocks, here are some more vignettes!


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And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#50
BasilBerylium

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Is Eutopia and Mother Meki the same history/world?


This website has a magic that makes people draw back here like moths to light.


#51
Yuli Ban

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Yes.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#52
Yuli Ban

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By the way, I've been using some tools to help out with various minor little things. For example, Meki and the Gang often ride a loop (aka a hyperloop or, more accurately, vactrain). Using this method, Meki can go from Toulouse, France (where she was born and usually lives) to Medine (which is located in the English Channel) in about half an hour.

 

How did I figure that out? Well I could've done it the long way— get the distance from Toulouse to the English Channel (has to be manually figured out even with this tool), divide that by the loop's speed (1,800 miles per hour), and figure out the time. However, it turns out there's a site that can determine these things automatically: 

http://www.free-onli...calculator.html

 

 

I've been playing around with it to see how long it'd take to travel places using supersonic and hypersonic means. 


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#53
Yuli Ban

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Meki wrapped up her impromptu AMA and followed Fat Jesus to the loop. From there, she rode to Paris to meet with the Gang. All along the ride, she watched the scenery zoom by. No squalls. Just sun and wind for now.
She met them as they were eating from a pot of pastries. They all talked 
of hunkering down and waiting for the storm to pass.
Mariko said, “It’s already weakening a lot, so we prolly won’t get slammed.” She clutched a blanket and sat back in her futon. “Just a lotta wind, is all.
Wind and tonsa rain.”
Conner said nothing, and instead stood at the window watching the clouds rush through the sky. Meki read his face and guessed he was excited in a panicked way. He never dealt with storms well.
Meki saw mounds of junk food on the 
kitchenlot table and asked, “How are you so calm?”
Salamasina answered with, “Well why not?”
Meki paused and reflected upon this. She wanted to say that they shouldn’t treat a force of nature so lightly. Yet was mankind not a stronger force? What capabilities this race possesses! And how far we’ve come since the days of bowing before lightning and volcanoes. If the Vult so wished, they could have obliterated Delta.
Or could they?
Meki finally stammered out an answer, “I want you to be safe. You can never know for certain that everything will be alright, and I… well I just don’t want anything terrible to happen to you.”
She cupped her fist in her hand and looked away. One source of anxiety for her had always been the possibility of one of her friends meeting a terrible fate. Chances are always higher during turbulent weather.
Everyone in the room was smiling. Everyone except Meki.
Fat Jesus pulled Meki to the side to prevent a group hug, saying to the Gang, “We’ll have to be going. Just wanted to check up on 
you lot.”

________________________

“Why so hurried?”
The loopride back to Toulouse felt more scenic this time around even though the loop itself wasn’t moving any more slowly than before.
Fat Jesus replied with, “I don’t do sentimentality.” Before Meki could give a witty response, it added, “And yes, that is a glitch.”

Meki’s forehead rubbed against the window. She stared into the coming, going countryside, wondering how the post-war landscape would fare in a severe cyclone. Nothing too severe.
She returned to Katbox. 714 inbox messages. Certainly two or three were death threats. Oh, but she’s used to those. If anything, they’ve become entertaining. How could one forget that instance where a hooded man wrote a death threat in the form of a Shakespearean sonnet and personally delivered it to her, right under the bridge!
Instead of reading them immediately, she brought her attention to various other 
subboxes. She had them opened in a tab and planned on skimming through them— she knew who she was. She was going to answer every single one of them sooner or later. Before then, she wanted to wade through some sexy data. Information of mankind’s technological prowess; news on the latest in sci-tech gadgets; musings on futuristic sci-fi developments; a meme or two; random browsing until she arrived at her doorless home. Not forgetting constant check-ups on her friends and the current state of the storm, of course. Fat Jesus went online with her, opting to browse right alongside her on all subboxes.

/k/WorldNews

3 morts; 2 absents de 
l'ouragan Delta

She clicked the link and flashed the story. Delta bounced around the Bay of Biscay but was finally nearing La Rochelle.
Returning to the comments, the top one summed up her immediate thoughts.

[-]madisticcorsican
La France seule a connu vingt frappes d'ouragan au cours des dix dernières années. Je parle pour tous quand je dis que nous aurions dû arrêter le réchauffement planétaire quand nous aurions eu le temps.

How true. How true. It seemed everyone in her generation and the new ones cursed their ancestors for their inaction. And the result? Before the 21st century, there were only two named storms to ever make landfall, with but a single suspected tropical cyclone before them. And yet now, Europeans worry of severe tropical storms almost yearly. For as long as she’s been alive, Meki thought it to be common for tropical cyclones to threaten the European continent. She learned embarrassingly late that a single generation before her, such “commonalities” would’ve been seen as signs of the apocalypse.

She commented,
[-]BastardessAntoinette
Que peut faire le VULT?

As she waited for a reply, she decided to check another subbox— /k/Technology.
The top article was titled “Lunar opposition grows in response to call for cell rationing”. That must’ve been about the solar cell fiasco. The Stellar Republic relied heavily on solar energy, and to be swindled must’ve caused existential breakdowns.
Right below that, “Doric nanotech used in pilot trials in China”. 
Doros. That new wonder material so many said would lead to a Star Trekian atomist age beyond anything ever seen in human history. Mental note: read more into this one.

Below that was a personal-post with 120,000 upvotes, "Okhotsky here. I think I found another Ch'in analog computer." This one referred to the history-shaking news of ancient Chinese analog computers having been discovered in shipwrecks in the Sea of Okhotsk. The Sakhalin Mechanism rivaled even its Antikythera counterpart, and yet most likely predated it by two hundred years with no clear civilization around showing the capability of creating anything like it. Truly the closest thing to a legitimate OOPart on Earth.

Though she wanted to reflect upon it some more and see what this man had found, the loop came to a complete stop and Fat Jesus led the way out of the stations and back to Blind Spot. In the corner of her mind, she was notified that a reply came in for her question on /k/WorldNews, and she set a reminder to check it once she was settled.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#54
Yuli Ban

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Rain swept away the leaves. Wind spread the frost. Autumn evenings always come with a bit of nastiness, and this Friday night was no exception.
Watching weather reports can be a fun experience if one finds Earth too fascinating to ignore. This cold front’s approach was like a silent blitzkrieg from over the horizon. Storms coming to cleanse the land of the grunge built up over a hot summer.
Squalls. Gales. All the fun stuff of severe weather immediately followed by the year’s latest snow dusting.
This is why Meki never left Occitanie. Even in these strange times, the year’s weather was relatively easy to predict. What better night to read a good book?
With a flick of her wrist, she tossed a match into her barrel and blew upon the quickly growing flames. Oh, this warm glow. Of all analog pleasures, cackling fires flooded her heart with contentment. Orange light danced upon the ceiling of the underpass, and distant objects fell out of her focus.
She wrapped herself up in her comforter and opened her exocortex’s ebook library. It had been on the brain recently— download DeepArt and feed into it one of these books to get a multimedia extravaganza. But for right now, wading through those sexy lines of prose was enough for her.
Thunder roared. She watched the gales blow rain through the underpass like a hurricane and felt a tinge of curiosity as to just how severe the weather had become. While staring off towards the road, she took the moment to notice how empty Blind Spot had become.
Ever since the Toulousain Soviet relocated the rats and bums of the city to public housing, the streets had been all that much quieter. Only urban nomads remained, and they paid her no mind.
Speak of the devil, there came one such nomad. This one was a droid, a droid she knew.
She said, “Est-ce que tu bien?” and ran to it.
Fat Jesus rolled onwards. It had no chassis— totally exposed. Totally vulnerable to the rain. Meki could see every gear, wire, and cortomuscle within its body.
It replied, “Oi, have you see the lightning? The cloud-to-ground variant is off the charts tonight.”
She wrapped her arm around its back and helped it to her lonely spot. “Were you struck?”
“Indeed, I was. It is a miracle, a quirk of fate, that I have not been irreparably damaged.” Its tone was lower than she was used to hearing, and she couldn’t tell if that was genuine emotion or a malfunction wrought by the overload. They stopped by the fire, and Meki handed to Fat Jesus her comforter so that it could dry itself.
“I do hope I did not interrupt anything, Your Majesty.”
Meki snickered. “There’s nothing to interrupt.”
As Fat Jesus finished itself off, it held the spread up to the flames to allow the heat to dry it out. “At the very least you’ll have company for the evening, Your Majesty. Something to break the loneliness for a brief moment.”
A little cyclone spun up from the winds right as a car drove through the underpass.
After a moment, Meki said, “I’ve never seen the rain come down so heavy before. It could break glass on its own.”
Fat Jesus pressed against Meki’s body, snuggling next to her while wrapping her with the comforter. And what a sight for no eyes to behold— a half-broken robot and a homeless empress cuddled together in a blanket beneath an underpass. Meki found it twice as easy to fall into a meditation while reading now that she had Fat Jesus by her side. Just as it said, having company made a world of difference.
Meki fell into the electronic pages of a Fortean publication, reading about high strangeness and paranormal activity in the United States of America. That’s always been a place she’s wanted to physically visit, just to see if it was as wide and sprawling as everyone said it was. All these Fortean books reinforced that desire.
Alas, the days where she could have been a jetsetter were long behind her. She was too young to appreciate high strangeness. Too politically active. Too revolutionary. And now that she’s had the time to settle down and learn more about the world’s mysteries, it all seemed so distant.
She jumped when Fat Jesus said, “VelDaire.Has is— oh, did I scare you? You are relieved of your labor tomorrow. You have a day off, Your Majesty.”
“Tell xen thank you.”
A quarter of a second later, it replied, “You’re welcome, xe says. It’s the least xe could do considering this nightmarish weather. There are more than enough droids to make up for your lost labor.”
Meki wrapped her arms around her knees and looked at the glowing barrel. “Xe doesn’t need my labor to begin with. If xe wanted, I could be a NEET right now.” A moment passed. “I’ll have to log this for the soviet.” She uncovered herself and fumbled around for her tablet.
“Perhaps we can celebrate with a trip to La Belle Écume.” It then quickly added, “If you have the money.”
She quipped, “Oh, how generous,” and typed up her revised work schedule. “If anything, I should really meet with Mohammed Mignot. Just to finally catch up with him after all these years.” She half-turned to Fat Jesus. “I’ve heard about how much he wants to meet me.”
“Then perhaps you’ve also heard of how much he tries acting like he doesn’t.”
“I could never tell. Cyborgs. They’re like octopi nowadays. Always changing their personalities on a whim.” She then pressed off the tablet and set it onto the step. “Yeah, maybe I’ll drop by at my usual time. Will you be fixed by then?”
It replied, “I should be repaired by mid-afternoon tomorrow. And very well, I’ll be sure to contact Comrade Mignot for you so that you may meet each other. It may be as soon as this Sunday as well.”
“I certainly hope so.”


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#55
Yuli Ban

Yuli Ban

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Just realized I had this old sketch lying around

PDoNIJ4.jpg


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#56
Yuli Ban

Yuli Ban

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Wow, I haven't talked about this one in a long time.

 

Meki on Mechanical Computers.

So it was while she was working on the Deltoid Collective Farm that Meki began thinking of labor-saving devices. Having to plow a field with a purely analog, neolithic plough was tough, and while she was under watch of the Paris Commune, she was all for it. But after returning to France circa '15, she began thinking differently about having to do this otherwise difficult work. So she utilized her skill in mechanics and robotics to construct a calibrated mechanical plough. 

This didn't come out of nowhere. Ever since she was young, she was interested in mechanical things. All because she saw some Hellenistic computers. You know of the Antikythera Mechanism, right? By the 22nd century, we've found 7 more of them (interestingly, they all seem to originate from Persia, and even the AM itself doesn't seem to be Greek; most famous after the Antikythera Mechanism is the Babylonian Clock). Meki got to see them, and she was impacted deeply.

 

So while working on the farm, creating a mechanical plough, she began wondering more about and appreciating Antique and Medieval computers. That is, mechanical and analog computers. From the Babylonian Clock all the way to Babbage's Analytical Engine.

So when she moved to Ælkorus in '46, one of the things she begins doing is creating mechanical computers. 

You don't need electricity to create a mechanical computer. And the craziest part is that you can actually create a general-purpose, Turing-Complete mechanical computer.

 

Alusru and Meki talk about this. It's unbelievable to think about, because of the simple fact that the first artificial general intelligence in world history (AlphaMind/Prometheus in 2024) was created on a digital computer. They're usually done on quantum computers nowadays, but it's possible to create relatively weak AGIs on digital computers. 

And because of that, you have to accept the truth that, if Charles Babbage built his Analytical Engine in 1837, then AGI would have theoretically been possible to create since 1837. 

A Chinese man did it in the early 2200s— he created an AGI using a Turing Complete mechanical computer. It was a very stunted AGI, and it wasn't human-level intelligence. But. It responded to sensory inputs. It learned from these inputs. 

He built a mind using nothing but wood, steel, and paper. 

 

So we could've done it all along; we just didn't know how to.

 

Meki's not going to try something like that unless she were to get exceptionally bored (and it's very easy to amuse her). But while in Ælkorus, as she works on oikos and bronze statues, she also works on mechanical computers.

 

There are really two classes of "mechanical computers". It's kinda similar to the difference between narrow and general artificial intelligence.

 

Clockwork Machines: This is what the Antikythera Mechanism and Babylonian Clock are. They're definitely computers, but they're single-purpose computers. You can run Doom on a lot of things, but the Antikythera Mechanism is one of the things on which you can't— it's purely specialized clockwork. You design a clockwork computer to do one thing, and it'll do it.

 

Turing-Complete Machines: These are general-purpose computers that can run any program. If a machine is Turing-Complete, it can do anything modern supercomputers can do, no matter what it is. Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine was Turing-Complete— thus, though it would've taken longer than the lifespan of the human genus to do so, it could have hosted an artificial general intelligence program.

 

While living in Ælkorus, Meki all but masters the art of the former, and she never bothers with the latter.

 

It really is amazing what you can do with so little. She blames Victorian culture for corrupting the Western mind so totally; it wasn't until the 21st century that we began undoing these false views of the world, that some things were only possible with modern knowledge or just the very false notions of what old civilizations were like. 

For example, she credits neo-Classical exaltation for turning her into a Thenaboo. If you follow the Victorian (Eurocentric) or Sinoid (Sinocentric) viewpoints, there's a very divvied way to look at history. Since she's a European (one of the purest, even), she learned of history through the Victorian lens that basically placed Europe on a pedestal when, in truth, Europe didn't become a noteworthy continent until the 1600s, or even the greatest continent until the 1800s. Whereas the other Old World societies have whole histories of unification and balkanization, Europe seemed to have only two periods before the modern age when central authority allowed for proper civilization to flourish— Greece and Rome, in Antiquity. Which is precisely the reason why Eurocentric history fawns over these eras. Very interesting things happened during other times, obviously, but these were the earliest points at which Europe even had a real history. And in recent years, historians have been all but tearing down the achievements of the Roman Empire while glorifying the Greeks, claiming that the Hellenistic societies were the actual innovators. Most of what Rome is famous for is copied from the Greeks. But since Rome was so much wealthier and important, we know of Rome more than we know of Greece.

 

Sort of like how China suffered for a while when the United States fell apart in the 2020s, Rome entered its centuries' long period of decline when it no longer had a powerful Greek society to copy from. So like Communist China, Rome stumbled horribly with bad leaders and luridly bad culture; the only difference is that China learned from history and reformed itself in time before the CCP fell. 

 

According to Victorian history, though, Rome's fall was a tragic failure of its own society and external pressures. And most infamously, Victorian history pushes a hilariously false narrative that, had Rome never fallen or the Library of Alexandria never been burned, Christopher Columbus would have sailed to the moon rather than to America. 

 

It took the rise of the artilects to bust this narrative. Western Rome could've rebounded in the 300s and 500s, and it could have persisted until modern times. But it didn't for a good reason. 

The best Rome could've done if it had persisted was resemble Greece in its classical period, or resemble the Catholic Church. People claim that Christianity ruined Rome; in fact, it probably gave Rome a new lease on life that it could've used to better itself, but it squandered it. A secularized Christian religious model was actually sprouting in Rome, but it lost out to the iconoclasts and extremists because the extremists are easier for emperors to control. 

If it had been a thing, then you would've had the imperial authority of the Roman crown coupled with the holy authority of the Vatican. This would have been the finest point to do what should have been done for Europe to actually have been anywhere near as great as Victorian history claims it was— centralize it. Unify it. Just like China. This is why the Chinese remained so far ahead of Europe for so long, as well as why the United States of America soared so far beyond Europe in such little time— a centralized government on top of an innovative culture, allowing for stability and funding for projects. To this day (read: 2150s), the Americans and Chinese still basically dominate the world. And the USA was busted by a theocratic government and defeated in World War III; already they're back up and running.

 

What Meki knows about China is similarly filtered through Victorian media. "Separate and Not Equal" was always the definer for how Europeans and Chinese viewed each other, but Victorian history was ironically much friendlier to China than Sinoid history is to the West. Sinoid history (coined by a CCP historian to describe the similarly supremacist feelings of China before the Communist era) always told that Europe was a land of barbarians. Everyone who wasn't China was described as "barbaric", and this wasn't unique to China either; that's how we view the Northern Europeans during the Roman era all because the Romans saw Germanic, Slavic, Celtic, etc. tribes as being barbarous. Sinoid history claims that Westerners were brutes, incapable of building a proper civilization, lacking creativity, and knowing only how to kill (though not to such a ridiculous extent like the Mongols). There's basically nothing Western worth learning because they're so inferior. There's slightly less animosity towards the Indians and Persians, however. 

 

But Victorian history has a unique problem. Because Europe still did accept that Asia was a civilized land (unlike Africa or, eventually, America), Europeans went all in on a sort of fetishization of the "foreignness" of Asians. And this includes all Asians, not just East Asians. Victorian types viewed Asians as being mysterious and mystical, knowing arcane things beyond Christian knowledge. They failed to separate Asian myths from Asian culture, just like how they failed to separate Greco-Roman myths from Greco-Roman culture. Whether they be Arabs, Persians, Hindus, Tibetans, or Chinese, they were apparently exotic magicians laden with spices and jade. 

 

As for Africa, to this day Meki meets people who claim that nothing of any note occurred in Africa; Egypt only barely counts. Victorian and Sinoid history alike tell of Africans being uncivilized brutes who were still living in the Stone Age. Thus, any evidence to the contrary is viewed with suspicion at best and hostility at worst, usually with caveats such as "it was still primitive compared to even Bronze Age societies in Eurasia". 

 

The only reason why Americans got such a bad rep is because the Old World only discovered they existed within the past 700 years. And when Europeans colonized the New World, they tended to destroy whomever and whatever they encountered, not because they believed the Natives to be inferior, but because they believed them to be demonic.  They were too strange, even compared to the Asians. And what's sad to Meki is that we have very clear evidence of advanced civilizations arising in the Americas. 

 

Here's another area where Victorian history fails (Sinoid history far less so)— this view of history being a linear line of progression. It's true that hardware developments allow software innovation, and you can see this in the real world: writing allowed for advanced storytelling; steam engines allowed the Industrial Revolution; concrete allowed for sturdier megastructures; etc. 

So there's this view that, in order to get anywhere, you need certain prior developments. But then we keep discovering things that defy this explanation, such as the Babylonian Clock and Antikythera Mechanism. 

According to the Victorian viewpoints, because some Native American civilizations lacked a few different inventions, namely writing and the wheel (which was only true for separate societies), they were also barbaric uncivilized Neanderthals. We never considered "Why", however, except to interject "Because they were intellectually inferior". At the absolute best, you'll get those who say that Aztec/Mayan/Inca civilizations were on par with Bronze Age civilizations in the Old World. 

 

As Meki lives in Ælkorus, she keeps developing things that defined Antiquity, purely for fun. As a result of the area's environments, she realizes why certain places didn't develop certain things. She owns no large domesticated animal, so she has no use for wheels except to make a few amusing toys. 

 

But she has the privilege of living in an era where she's aware of all the technologies these ancient ones could never have fathomed. 


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#57
Yuli Ban

Yuli Ban

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September 20th

 

 

Let's discuss artificial intelligence. I was talking to Recyvuym about this several posts ago, and he got me thinking.
I created four types of AI, right? Actually, there are six. Not only that, but there are are other sorts. And there's no better way to show them off in Mother Meki than by giving you examples. 
I've been thinking about fixing up the Wiki in order to add these sorts of AI on there. But let's start off simple.
 
POWER: Traditionally defined by two terms— "weak and strong AI". Confusingly also defined by two similar terms— "narrow and general AI". So I crossed the two terms.

 

  • Mechanical Calculations: These are calculators and traditional computers. They only do calculations. Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. There is no intelligence involved.
  • Weak Narrow Artificial Intelligence: Narrow domains, narrow matrices, incapable of learning beyond what it's programmed to learn. Example: Siri, Cortana (real world)etc. If you wipe its memory, you cannot train a WNAI to do anything else. Once you program it, you've completely defined that AI. Think of it as being like a metal pipe— you can't reshape it. If you try to, you break it. You build it once, and that's the way it is.
  • Strong Narrow Artificial Intelligence: Narrow domains, wide matrices; capable of learning beyond what it's programmed to learn. Example: AlphaGo. If you wipe its memory, you can retrain a SNAI to do something else. Think of it as you would a clay/Play-Doh pipe. Once you build it, you have a set shape— but once you break it back down into a formless shape, you can reshape it into something else. You're essentially using a very, very weak general AI as a narrow AI.
  • Weak General Artificial Intelligence: Wide domains, wide matrices, but it's not capable of self-awareness, sapience, or human-level intelligence. Essentially, it's multiple SNAI intelligently cobbled together. 
  • Strong General Artificial Intelligence: Artificial brain. This is an AI that's as capable as any human. SGAI is capable of self-awareness, sapience, and human-level intelligence. More than that, this is how it's defined.
  • Artificial Superintelligence: SGAI taken up to 11. Superintelligence is defined by many domains, but it's most popularly considered as being an entity far beyond human capabilities in all manners. By definition, only an SGAI can become an ASI. A narrow AI with superintelligence merely has superhuman abilities in one singular field. We have such computers today.

ABILITY: I did not create this list, but I have adopted it. You can read more about these types here.

 

  • Reactive: AI that only reacts. It doesn't remember anything; it only sees what exists and reacts. Example: Deep Blue.
  • Limited Memory: This involves AI that can recall information outside of the immediate moment. Right now, this is more or less the domain of chatbots and autonomous vehicles.
  • Theory of Mind: This is AI that can understand the concept that there are other entities than itself, entities that can affect its own actions. 
  • Self-Awareness: This is AI that can understand the concept that it is an individual separate from other things, that it has a body and that if something happens to this body, its own mind may be affected. By extension, it understands that it has its own mind.

There's a bit of debate as to whether there's a fifth type of AI, one where you can include 'sapience'. For the sake of the story, I've decided to include it as...

 

  • Sapience: This is the realm of artilects— not only do they possess self-awareness, but they can draw intelligent conclusions. It's like the difference between a child and an adult, except the child cannot actually physically grow. A child has sentience and self-awareness, there's no doubt about that. But believe it or not, most younger children actually lack sapience. It doesn't seem to develop in children until roughly 6 to 7 years of age. 

 

 

 

In the world of Mother Meki, these various types of AI all have their uses.

 

Artilects are not the ones who command the world economy, for example. And for the most part, they are also not the ones that run politics. You actually don't need anything more than a WGAI to manage an economy. 

 

Remember that analogy I gave? About how you wouldn't light a campfire with Tsar Bomba? That's sort of what it's like with AI— you don't need ASI in every single machine, every little application where AI is needed. It's not like your smartwatch is going to become a Terminator.

 

The two AI agents I've defined rather well in the story as of right now— Terios and Alusru— both qualify as sapient ASI. 

 

There are plenty of helots and technotarians that don't have anything more than WGAI, however. In fact, in my honest opinion, worker droids will probably never need superintelligence. Superintelligence is, ironically, a very niche trait— you don't need superintelligence to dig ditches or build a tower. You need super physical abilities, yes, but you could construct a Dyson Sphere with little more than WGAI. You need ASI for the actual planning itself, as well as the research for how to find the proper materials. 

 

ASI is also good for philosophy and scientific research. You know, things that involve sapient logic. 

 

 

I think that's what I've been trying to get at by creating such a complex web of AI (one only an ASI can understand?): just because you now possess ASI doesn't mean you have to plug it into absolutely everything. In the 22nd century world of this story, the likes of Siri could still be around. Obviously it'll be better, but if you're going for a basic artificial assistant, a superpowered Siri is about as you're going to get. Now if you want an artificial spouse a la Her, that's another thing entirely.


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#58
Yuli Ban

Yuli Ban

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Same day Jakob updates his story thread, here's a blast from the past:

__________________

 

 

He licked his lips and rubbed his eyes. Then he removed his beanie and sniffled. 
"28 September, 2091. That was the day it started for me." Meki watched as his eyes shut and he rubbed the bridge of his nose. All of this raw emotion this man could unleash, it was more than she had been used to. And part of her loved it. Real humanity. Real emotions. 
She said, "That was after the games began?"
"They'd been going on for half a decade before then. By the time I got in, there was already a second generation of punks getting eaten alive by the system. The third generation was still young. That was me. All foolish and naive like kids are."
Thunder cracked. Meki kept her attention on him, letting the weather fade into the silence behind her ears. 
Scootching closer to him, she asked, "Y avait-il beaucoup de punks?"
He brought his eyes up, losing himself as all those foggy memories shuffled to the front. Once he had processed it all, what fell from his mouth said all she needed to know— "I don't care."
She nodded.
"All that matters is that we were there, looking for something more in life." 
What an interesting little motion he made there. Everyone rubs their arms now and again, but the way he did it brought suspicion upon her mind, as if he were hiding something. The outline upon his tattered trench coat said enough. 
"I was..." 
She felt her smile was ginger enough and said, "Dites ce que tu voulez, Jonathan."
He washed away the pain on his face with rage.
"I was here. In Blind Spot. On that very day, I fell for the lies of one of the bastards' goons. For years, I'd been—" He stood up and pulled off his coat, revealing his cybernetic body. Most of it seemed passable, but it was clear that he had been incapable of maintaining himself and the mechanical innards were faintly visible beneath his rotting false flesh. From his chest, he ejected a tiny card. "Look at this. A1 digital drugs, connected to my heart whenever I need a blow."
Meki marveled at the primitive microSD card. "Looks positively ancient."
John chuckled. "Yes, well this is all a bum like me can afford. I took to this shit when I was eleven, and I could never kick it. So when that doomsday dealer came up and offered me a king's feast of drugs, of course I took it." 
He looked past her, taking on a thousand yard stare. "Tiny, even smaller than this. Slate blue. Several silver nodes." With a glint in his eye, he softly shook his head. "Initiation."
Meki clasped her hands over her chest and imagined how he must've reacted when the young John first tried this easy shock of electronic drugs, only to suffer an unremovable virus uploading into himself. 
He went on, "That's when it began. I was the latest player in the Yotadyn Games and there was no going back. Overnight, my life changed. Bullets came harder and denser than that rain." He pointed to the clearing beyond the underpass right next to Bernoulli's shop, where the rain came down like a waterfall. "I had to go to Medine Island just to keep my head. That's when I met Brother Cassidy. He taught me how to survive, helped me learn the ways of gang warfare. Told me what I had to do to stop all the violence." 
Meki said it before he did— "Defkalyon Corporation."
"A front for the Seville regime." He turned back to Meki. "Fun times, really. I got to play the role of a badass and think I was helping bring down the Man. Met a nasty little punkess who shared my nihilistic anticapitalist worldviews." A sly grin and a morose tone told her all she needed to know how that played out. Still, he went on with, "Just like Orwell said. We were the Dead. Halfway through the breakthrough, the police moved in on us. And there he was, the son of a bitch himself."
"Sedveta was infamous for those sorts of things, I've heard. Though I've never heard of the time he called himself Brother Cassidy. It was always robinHood.exe."
John lit a cigar. "You can't imagine how many times I climaxed in celebration when I heard Sozvolk beat his own liver out of his mouth."
Meki snickered and said, "C'est juste un mythe populaire, j'ai peur. I'm relatively certain he met his demise in Medine during the civil war as a result of a tricky-fingered sniper."
Smoke flooded the air around John's face, and he tossed his cigar into a flooded part of the ground. 
"I'm aware. It's too bad he didn't go out with the Golden Princess."
Meki's brow twitched. Not that John could've seen it behind her mask, but talking about Annie still hurt her in many ways. The most peculiar was that mixture of being reminded of what she had degenerated into in her final days, that hateful and unrepentent decaying bag of fascism that had once been her dearest sister.
"I can't help but feel that same old indignation every time I think of her frustrated little face on the telly that... that interesting day." His tone became so bizarre to Meki's ears, as if he were reflecting on a memory of such strangeness that his own brain couldn't process the right emotions to throw out of his mouth. "She was so open about it. About losing a million credits on my capture."
Meki said, "None of the elite cared by that point. They'd lived in pure lala land for generations, utterly removed from consequence. That anyone cared enough to expose the Yotadyn Games later on probably shocked them more than the underground masses."
As another rumble of thunder crashed upon the sky, John asked her, "You mentioned earlier that the weird woman, Victoria Koro, was heavily involved in Nazi occultism."
Meki moved to a higher part of the underpass as the rain waters rose.
"I'm sorry?"
"Koro," he shouted. "Koro was a Nazi witch, right?"
"Oh, yes. Very much into the Vril Society, had a Schwarze Sonne tagged into her very DNA."
His brow raised. "You're very well read on the Seville regime. Meki, is it?"
She nodded. "Yes, call me Meki. It's a personal fascination of mine to understand how such a terrifyingly fascist system could sustain itself for so long and bring back with it the worst of monarchism. Victoria Koro's the true rotten apple, I feel."
John unfurrowed his brow. "Forgive me if I can't quite accept that the Yotadyn Games were supposed to be a drawn-out blood ritual for some weird Vril society."
"Believe what you shall, Jonathan. But you can't deny that weird events transpired. After all, how else do you explain Empress Mackenzie II's acquisition of Wewelsburg?"
He quickly said, "But you said Ludovic gifted it to her."
"I did. Same difference. Your blood was undoubtedly taken to be used in these arcane blood rituals at Wewelsburg."
He laughed. 
"And when the Empress's blood would finally mix with all us peasants', the Old Kings would be revived and a new Aryan Order would take control of the cosmos!" Meki said, exaggerating her words and grinning. "Tired-eyed punks won't resist."
He shut his eyes and leaned against a wall. "No. No, we wouldn't. Not after being betrayed every other day."
The rain eased, and the thunder grew more distant. 
"It wasn't something anyone could've stopped," Meki said. "Too much had to happen to prevent it in the first place, and..." She sighed. "If only."


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#59
Yuli Ban

Yuli Ban

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Some updates.

I'm not working on Mother Meki as often as I used to, thanks to my attention turning to romance, litRPG, and other stories like Babylon Today and whatever the hell that Enekai story will become. But I'm doing this for a reason, as it's still on my mind just as much today as it was 5 years ago, so don't think the story's dead or anything. I've just been pruning a lot of elements and turning others into pure backstory. 

 

For one, all that about loopkill? Backstory. I'm gonna pick up the story in 2118, which is when Meki returns to France and crashes at Blind Spot (aka the underpass where she lives for the majority of the story). I fell in love with the idea of doing a slice of life work with homeless bums in the future, especially one that has a happy ending for them once the National Technate scoops them up. You never realize how much we dehumanize the homeless until you talk to a homeless person or imagine yourself in their shoes.

 

Medine? Backstory. It still exists, but I have more fun using it as backstory than I do actively writing about it. Not to mention that it got a little silly after a while. 

 

The Meki Suffers thing that I've been hammering down since 2013? Greatly toned down. Like, when Mother Meki is eventually released, no one will ever know how autistic and spooky the story once was unless someone betrays me and unhides all the threads. That's not to say I've made things easy and fair for our protagonist, but what once was went away. I'll show you what I mean some other time.

 

And I'm also questioning whether to use the World War III plotline. I feel there's a better way to undo the world than that which doesn't involve killing billions but still features the usual post-revolutionary turmoil. 

 

I figured I'd keep the Maquis Rouge in power as well after a bit of fannying about with failed fascist dictatorships that are overthrown, but I've been growing more interested over time in seeing if I can make 22nd century France into a multiparty socialist republic until it's become an official part of the storyline. It didn't even occur to me until recently that such a thing is possible because I am a hypocrite, as usual, and unironically believed things about socialist politics despite railing against socialists for falling for Bolshevik cliches. Like how every socialist state has been a one-party unitary dictatorship. That's never questioned; no one ever asked "is it possible for a socialist/Marxist state to have multiple political parties?" and run with it. 

 

 

 

And, as the title suggests, I don't want Meki to be the sole protagonist in this world. Considering I want to create a true post-cyberpunk tale, one that actually features the consequences of overthrowing a cyberpunk dystopia, I shouldn't limit it to just one viewpoint. Especially one as damaged and extreme as Meki's.

 

vLvCPSm.png

 

 

 

The sweet spot: 

 

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Right now, it's up in the air if I go with the original darker timeline or this one, because the endpoint is the same: technism prevails. 


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#60
Yuli Ban

Yuli Ban

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So I recently downloaded Black Desert Online for the sole purpose of playing around with its character creation tool. Final verdict: eh. Not very impressed. It looks nice because it's photorealistic and subtly stylized, but it doesn't quite live up to the hype.

 

Nevertheless, I played around for a bit and wound up creating Meki.

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Also did several in Kisekae Maker, mostly to get the hang of the thing, until I finally got it down:

o3ThhCR.jpg

Her uncanny ultra-paleness came through better with this one.

 

So I hope you now have a better mental image of everyone's favorite Aryan communist.

 

 

I also figured out why I loved torturing this girl: it's something called cute aggression. And apparently, I'm not the only one who has the problem of doing this to their own protagonists. One of the whole reasons why Lemony Snicket wrote A Series of Unfortunate Events was because he couldn't help but put the Baudelaires through hell for the sake of it.

 

By the way, I also made a meme out of the third image earlier:

4946BYa.jpg

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Then, for the hell of it:

EHMbXBo.jpg


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Eutopia, Mother Meki, Vyrdism, revolution, class conflict, artificial superintelligence, Meki, science fiction, humans, speculative fiction

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