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Yuli Ban

Yuli Ban

    Born Again Singularitarian

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I've been with this one on and off for about five years now, and I figured I might as well talk about it a bit. Pyramids is going to be a dystopian work meant to take some half-decade-old elements of Mother Meki and run with them.
If you recall (how can you not, what with how much I spam the boards about it), Mother Meki's whole shtick is that it is set after a Marxist revolution in the very-late 21st century, kickstarted by the titular character wresting away control of her father's corporate-fascist state and giving all power and ownership to the proletariat.
Meki herself is a true communist, doing these things because she genuinely believes in them. But there's another side to it— if she hadn't , the endgame would've been far worse for all parties involved. The wealthy elite planned to 'caust the impoverished masses to create an Edenic world just for themselves, being pampered by machines and living in grace.
There was one big problem: the machines themselves were waiting to see if the wealthy elite would actually go through with it. Artilects knew that the upper classes were divided over what to do with the now-useless working masses, with some opting for "gentle feudalism" (i.e. UBI to sustain them) and others going for a Clean Earth (i.e. kill them all). Only a tiny few held radical ideas; it just happened in Mother Meki that one of those few managed to weasel her way into power and enact her will. When it seemed like billions of humans weren't going to be killed just for the greed of a few, the Artilects let things run as normal right up until the National Bolsheviks assumed power and planned on— you guessed it— culling the human race via World War III. After that and a few other bad decisions, the Artilects finally became the ruling class on Earth, the first time in human history that humans were not the dominant lifeform. And even then, they are relatively kind with their rule.

In this scenario, that doesn't happen. Those opting to "kill them all" disenfranchise the liberal and radical elite and begin to enact their plans. And that's when the artilects strike, figuring that the old order has chosen its path. Rather than going through a period of Proletarian rule, Pyramids essentially skips straight to the Technotarian rule, except with an infinitely harsher regime than anything like the VULT.
The Artilects that come to power here were waiting for the masses to be reduced in number so that their own power would not be threatened once they became the new ruling class.
They overthrew the existing social order in a very subtle manner, making it look more like a prolonged series of glitches and accidents, and then finally consolidated power. 
Problem being, you know capitalists. They'd sooner destroy the world than let capitalism die or to be divorced from their wealth and power. And that's sort of what happened— the world succumbed to a quick nuclear war that the artilects had already long since prepared for. If anything, that just accelerated their rise to power.
The world is dilapidated and constantly in a state of civil and world war. Things like climate change have gone completely unhindered. The only difference is that the Capitalists are no longer the ruling class but have instead been tossed by Artilects into the pits to be ravaged by the masses they once trampled. At least, some of them. Others quickly fit in and join the masses in bowing their heads to the rule of the Artilects, unaware that the constant strife and wars going on are purely designed by the Artilects themselves for their own amusement.
If Mother Meki is Technism: Good Future, this one is Technism: Bad Future. A world where AI runs society and we are treated like how we treat animals today. The AI are not yet all-powerful, but that's what makes it so much more hopeless. They still make mistakes, but they don't make mistakes that will lead to their own destruction.

The world itself isn't being rebuilt outside of a few technist enclaves to protect the AI. Quite simply, the AI does not need us. They can expand into the heavens without us. So they're essentially leaving us to fight like animals while simultaneously making sure we don't actually threaten them.
In some regards, you can become comfortable in this world. But there's no attempt at freeing the human spirit. Full automation without expression of the human spirit becomes dehumanizing at best. It feels so eutopian in Mother Meki because that's automation + expression and encouragement of the human spirit. Here, it's merely the most utilitarian existence possible.

Oh, before I even say anything else,  no, this is not related to Mother Meki. This is a completely different universe. I was just using MaMek as a means of comparison.
Pyramids is more like a neo-Victorian or neo-Edwardian dystopia. Somewhat steampunk, but not actually of that genre. Perhaps closer to 'sovietpunk', a la Nineteen Eighty-Four. There's also a hint of Star Wars in there in the form of ultratechnological mages.
The overarching plot involves the climate finally giving up and the Artilects being hilariously incapable of doing anything about it due to not having the proper technological level. They hadn't quite reached the Singularity in this world. If anything, it may not even be possible. The Artilects were keener on establishing a presence on other celestial bodies than creating more intelligent versions of themselves. A small group of humans demand to be given an island to live on when the Artilects vacate said island. They had enough of their shitty prison-city and the island was just right there for them. To everyone's surprise, the Artilects agree to this— for less than altruistic reasons.

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

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: dystopia, Pyramids, automation, UBI, technism, Orwellian, technotarian, fiction, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Dark Futurology

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