Citizens of the Imperium

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Jason October 17th, 2020 02:32 PM

Agent Missing?
 
I finally bought and read "Agent". It was a good read, with lots of nifty details about the OTU that had never been revealed before. A good first novel, Mr. Miller!

I have a few questions though:

I bought the book on DriveThruRPG, and it apparently isn't the most up-to-date fully annotated version. Will there be an update to that version sometime in the near future?

The link on Far Future's page for the Kindle version goes to a "page not found" on Amazon. The paperback version is available on Amazon still.

I rather suspect that the forthcoming Baen version might be behind the broken links and un-updated version.

And, with regards to the book itself, did anyone else find it remarkable that the book seems to say the Vilani myths of the afterlife are correct?

Grav_Moped October 17th, 2020 10:36 PM

I've brought that up a couple of times -- also that it was the afterlife for other sophonts as well. It may be that it's the Vilani interpretation of the afterlife, and other sophonts may experience it differently. Also, it's still not known to be "real" to the general public, since the protagonist had an unusual life-path (well, life/death/life etc.) that allowed him to experience it repeatedly, and he did not pass that information on to others. (Which in retrospect seems odd... he did take it for granted and therefore it wasn't news worth repeating, but still.)

It's also noteworthy that psionics, even more than a century before the Psionics Suppressions campaign of 800-820, was popularly considered fringe science at best. Yes, in-universe it was "real" but it generally wasn't accepted as such.

BRover October 18th, 2020 10:55 AM

I agree about the afterlife: It may well be how that person interprets the experience. Another person, of different tradition, may see something rather different.

mike wightman October 18th, 2020 12:17 PM

Note that Bland encounters the 'afterlife' after the copying process.

It is my conjecture that the 'afterlife' is the universe storing the personality/memory imprint of the dead organism. There are several explanations of why this could be so but top of my list at the moment is that the entire OTU is an ancestor simulation and thus universe laws can be re-written by reality manipulation technology (see T5).

Jason October 18th, 2020 02:37 PM

In chapter 14 Bland is told in the afterlife that the scrubbed Deyis II still has databanks of the Niikiik Luur and embryos of the scrubbed population stored in a vault. When Bland returns to Deyis II in chapter 24 the databanks and embryo vaults are there. So that is pretty good evidence that Bland's spirit really is interacting with other spirits and exchanging useful informstion in the afterlife.

mike wightman October 18th, 2020 03:18 PM

Bland's 'spirit'?

You mean Bland's copied personality and memories than now exists solely in a wafer system is interacting with a 'spirit realm' data base?

I'll stick with a less paranormal explanation - once you have been digitised the super advanced alien data retrievel system can now interact with your 'copy' - and 'you' can interact with it...

Condottiere October 18th, 2020 04:51 PM

Artificial intelligence that can act autonomously, interact with it's environment, and accumulate experience.

mike wightman October 18th, 2020 05:16 PM

Have you read the book?

It's not artificial intelligence.

It is the 'digital' copy of a person.

Jason October 18th, 2020 05:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mike wightman (Post 616943)
Bland's 'spirit'?

You mean Bland's copied personality and memories than now exists solely in a wafer system is interacting with a 'spirit realm' data base?

I'll stick with a less paranormal explanation - once you have been digitised the super advanced alien data retrievel system can now interact with your 'copy' - and 'you' can interact with it...

How likely is it that Ansha, the person he spoke with from Deyis was another wafer recording? Consider that the procedure for creating Bland's recording involved killing him and that nothing was allowed off of Deyis after Bland was awakened to deal with the parasite crisis.

I also don't see any evidence, other than the "afterlife experiences" that the wafer personalities are active or conscious somewhere in a mainframe while they are stored, or that the five specialty personalities interact in any way with other personalities in the same network or even with each other (it would seem to make sense that there would be security barriers that would preffent this. Tamper with the wafers and you have bad agents). They are stored in a vault and there is a limited number of times they can be activated. They can be updated with new memories added, but the experience is described as waking up with new memories.

Bland encounters a few other people that it would be extremely unlikely that they were recorded personalities (like the Newt minning engineer), and he even sees pre-born individuals disappear as they are born. What is the "this is all recorded wafer personalities interacting on a network" explanation for that?

Condottiere October 18th, 2020 05:53 PM

You've got two possible options:

1. The Azure Bonds one, in that since the soul is infinite, it can be split without loss, or

2. The Swamp Thing one, in that a plant imprinted by the persona of a dying human being thinks it is him.

The third option would be just an accumulation of data, programmed to react the same way as the original.

If you go the mystical route, it's the soul reconnecting.

Otherwise, it's an artificial intelligence recreating programmed behaviour.


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