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Aug 31, 2014

The Selfies of Tar'tron

See the original Planet Stories cover art here.
Last year I decided that Trysta would live out her biological life and then transfer her mind into a robotic body that would then "live" its artificial life using the name Syon. At the end of last year I sketched in some of the details of how Syon the "robot"  operates as an Interventionist agent. Trysta's mind transfer is made possible by the fact that Trysta is an Asterothrope from the far future (10,000,000 years in our future), so she has access to advanced technology that makes it easy for her to transfer her mind into an artificial life form and go on "living" as Syon.

What about we humans of the Primitive Era? Is it possible for any of us to transfer our minds into a robotic body? Do we have a shot at that sort of immortality? Foundations of Eternity tells the story of how Gohrlay the Neanderthal got help from the pek that allowed her mind to be instantiated inside a positronic robot. However, Gohrlay was a special case, the only human to ever be "given immortality" by the pek. (update: Ivory is apparently the 2nd)

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The Kac'hin are a human variant that was created tens of thousands of years ago by the pek. The pek designed the Kac'hin to function as a special interface between the Huaoshy and Humanity in the hope that a negotiated end of the Time War might be achieved.

We might wonder if during their long existence the Kac'hin have made progress towards being able to transfer their minds into artificial bodies. However, I've long been committed to the idea that the Kac'hin are restricted to using relatively unsophisticated nanites in their work. Without advanced zeptites or femtobots, is there some means by which a Kac'hin could achieve mind transfer?

Selfies
Ghorlay's assistant, Nan
As depicted in Foundations of Eternity, it was the practice of the pek to provide every human living at Observer Base on the Moon with a robotic assistant. For example, over time, Nan learned to effortlessly anticipate the behavior of Gohrlay. There were zeptites residing in Gohrlay's brain and Nan used that zeptite swarm as the source of a kind of technology-generated telepathic contact with Gohrlay. Through all the days of Gohrlay's life, Nan learned how to correlate her on-going brain activity to her near-term behavior. Plus, Nan was very old and had vast experience from her dealings with a long line of past human "masters". Further, all of the Orbho (as the pek at Observer Base were known), including Nan, functioned as a kind of group mind that had been monitoring and learning from every human that ever existed.

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With the collusion of the pek, the planet Tar'tron became a major site for Kac'hin science and technology development. The pek wanted a way to stabilize and control Kac'hin society, so they allowed nanotechnology and robotics research to bloom on Tar'tron. With time, as a result of technological advances made by the Kac'hin themselves, the residents of Tar'tron were provided with personal robots that could each be trained to mimic and replicate the behavior of their particular owner. These robots, which for lack of a better name I'll refer to as "Selfies", could "live" on after the death of their owner as integral members of Kac'hin society. Some of the Kac'hin were entirely cold to the idea of artificial life form replicas of themselves that would continue to "live" on after the biological original had died. Other biological Kac'hin systematically worked to provide their personal "Selfie" with a mind that was as close as possible to an exact duplicate of their original biological mind.

Grean the Kac'hin
Eventually, Kac'hin society became a mixture of biological and artificial lifeform members. The Selfies eventually took over all Kac'hin scientific research and with time became a tool by which the pek could unobtrusively interact with and control the biological Kac'hin. In their original plan for the Kac'hin, the pek envisioned only needing one Kac'hin individual who could have the appearance of a human and defeat Gohrlay's cadre of positronic robots. That particular Kac'hin turned out to be Grean. After eliminating all the positronic robots, Grean then collaborated with Trysta and brought into existence the Buld Reality.

Clones: Thomas and
Parthney on the Moon
While Grean did most of the heavy lifting, Trysta and Grean came to realize that other Kac'hin (such as Lili and Kach) were needed to play additional important roles in helping create the Buld Reality. Some of the other Kac'hin who play roles in the Exode Trilogy are mentioned here.

I've previously described the role that Lycaun plays in Exode. Biologically, Lycaun is a clone of Kach. Also, I've previously noted roles for multiple clones of Thomas (particularly Parthney) in Exode. The many "Thomas clones" who precede Parthney as Interventionists on Earth were able to channel their experiences to Parthney, better preparing him for his mission on Earth. How was Lycaun prepared for her mission?

Lycaun and Kach
at Observer Base
on the Moon
Mind Transfer
As described above, Selfies do not really provide the Kac'hin with a way to transfer a biological mind into an artificial life form. The minds of Selfies had to be carefully constructed by their "masters" over the course of a lifetime. What about the transfer of a mind from a Selfie back into a clone of the Selfie's original "master"?

The pek cultured a population of Kac'hin on Rain World and from that population they selected the original biological Kac'hin (named Wyzalex Torvaya) from whom Kach was eventually produced as a biological clone. There were many previous generations of Wyzalex clones who lived before Kach and Lycaun. Several of the earliest such clones lived on Tar'tron and produced Selfies. In addition to Wyzalex there were several other such "foundational" Kac'hin who were selected from the Kac'hin population of Rain World, cloned and "copied" into Selfies.

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Techniques were perfected for using the minds of these carefully crafted Selfies as "developmental templates" that could (with the help of specially programmed nanites) optimize the neural development of important Kac'hin such as the "Wyzalex clones". Thus, Kach's remarkable and optimized cognitive abilities are the result of careful selection and engineering. Grean, Lili, Lycaun and the other Kac'hin who pay important roles in the Exode Trilogy were all meticulously crafted for their roles in this way.

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Eventually, when it came time for the "Ivory Clones" to be crafted on Earth, Peter was able to deploy similar nanite-mediated neurodevelopmental programming techniques.

As mentioned in this blog post, I remain interested in the possibility that similar techniques might exist for shaping my adult brain into a configuration that would allow me to gain access to the vast information content of the Sedronic Domain. I've now discovered that Ivory was aware of techniques for returning to adult human brains the type of hyper-plasticity that is characteristic of early human brain development. However, there are risks involved with applying these techniques, particularly if you work without the aid of neurodevelopmental guidance nanites. Ivory believed that such nanites are available to the Observers who still reside at Observer Base on the Moon. I've begun to fantasize that Ivory might have left Earth in order to visit Observer Base and obtain those nanites.

Next: another mission for Ivory;  continuing our search for  R. Gohrlay.

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