Do anarchists know about asyncs?

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Zarpaulus Zarpaulus's picture
Do anarchists know about asyncs?

I know from "Firewall" that some of the Commonwealth's spooks know about asyncs and Exsurgents but haven't gone public yet, and at least one faction want to make them public knowledge, but what about the Autonomists without governments?

Svafa seemed surprised that the Scum crook in the "Rimward" story even knew the word "Exsurgent", and there was no indication whatsoever that he was in Firewall.

GenehackedGynoid GenehackedGynoid's picture
My take on the anarchist / async thing

I think it's probably more like an open secret. It's not relevant to most people's lives, so they don't look it up. But then, most people would probably think that (for example) MKULTRA is a conspiracy theory, rather than documented historical fact, if they heard about it for the first time.

Reshy Reshy's picture
Asyncs are a bit different.

Asyncs are a bit different. Exsurgent Virus is probably a little better known than Asyncs, but not by much. Asyncs are basically Exsurgent Infectees that still retained their personality for the most part, and aren't infectious. Of the few people that'd know about the Exsurgent Virus, most probably just see them as something you kill and don't sweat the details because they're Always Chaotic Evil™. Asyncs muddy the waters a bit, but only very slightly as they're very different from actual Exsurgents for some reason (If it has developed strange mutations, you shoot it. This is never not the case).

Xoden Xoden's picture
Levels of separation and nobody's willing to spill

Everyone knows that there were human TITAN thralls. Most of the people know and fear that some of them look and behave normal, being able to infiltrate and sabotage transhuman society.
And very few know (but quite a lot hope) that you can have a brush with TITANs, become alien, yet remain in control of yourself. But they definitely prefer to keep this knowledge or hope to themselves, lest they are going to be named TITAN sympathizers and investigated or lynched.

And very very few know that the exsurgent virus is the root of the problem, not the TITANs.

And even some asyncs don't know their condition. Mental trauma is a mental trauma, and none of the psi sleights are particularly overt, so their effects could be written of as something else by an unsuspecting or willingly self-deluding person.

Reshy Reshy's picture
Xoden wrote:And very few

Xoden wrote:
And very few know that the exsurgent virus is the root of the problem, not the TITANs.

If everyone knew what firewall knew about the Exsurgent Virus, I doubt there'd be as much stigma against Seed AIs. Heck Firewall was a taskforce made in part by a series of Seed FAIs.

GenehackedGynoid GenehackedGynoid's picture
Knowing is (only) half the battle

Reshy wrote:
If everyone knew what firewall knew about the Exsurgent Virus, I doubt there'd be as much stigma against Seed AIs. Heck Firewall was a taskforce made in part by a series of Seed FAIs.

It's one thing to know something. It's another to internalize it.

It's a well-documented failure mode of the human mind that a person's beliefs tend to become even more strongly entrenched when that person encounters or is presented evidence to the contrary. The Jovians, for instance, might entirely disbelieve any explanation leaning on the exsurgent virus as the primary perpetrator of all of the TITANs' acts, even if they accept that the exsurgent virus existed and played a role in corrupting them.

Even setting that aside... well, there's no clear evidence that the TITANs wouldn't have done some of the things they did - i.e. attempt to mutiny against transhumanity - without outside influences, and it's always kind of seemed to me like the ambiguity was part of the point. Given that even Firewall is presumably not 100% sure, it would be difficult for them to make the case vehemently enough to bring the skeptics around - not to mention that it would seem all too convenient to some critics.

Even setting that aside, accepting seed AIs into friendly society is a dramatic change - arguably an even bigger change than the first bio-augmentations, or the first upload process, or the first cyberbrain. It's not at all self-evident that people would accept seed AIs into their lives with open arms, especially seeing as they might end up running their lives.

Reshy wrote:
Of the few people that'd know about the Exsurgent Virus, most probably just see them as something you kill and don't sweat the details because they're Always Chaotic Evil™. Asyncs muddy the waters a bit [...]

This is, I must agree, the absolute most readily available reason why someone would hide the presence of asyncs: moral convenience.