High-skill Forks instead of infugees?

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DataPacRat DataPacRat's picture
High-skill Forks instead of infugees?

Can anyone help me figure out the economic incentives on this?

The owners of the corp "Phobos Inc" want to maximize its profit, by maximizing the useful economic output of its workers, by maximizing the skill-levels of those workers for minimal training costs. So, for any given skill, why wouldn't Phobos Inc's managers make arrangements to find the particular individuals who have the highest aptitude for that skill, then send one or more forks of them to live in high-speed simulspace studying that skill to the utmost degree; and, whenever actual work needs to be done involving that skill, making a fresh fork of the most-skilled version of that individual to do that job? (Picking individuals who don't mind being forked for individual jobs might also be a criteria here.)

What would keep Phobos Inc from out-competing its rivals to the point where other corps subscribe to a similar strategy, leading to the corps putting pressure on the available governments to stop bothering wasting time and resources waking up low-skill infugees?

Thank you for your time,


NotActuallyTim NotActuallyTim's picture
Trauma!

Those forks gonna be crazy, man, as a result of being locked in a tiny box for a trillion subjective years. Soon as they let out of their box they gonna take over Mars and rule it with a simulspeed enhanced fist.

Until somebody, you know, kills them.

MAD Crab MAD Crab's picture
What makes you think Corps

What makes you think Corps DON'T do this? Or at least, try it.
I mean, you're going to have to psychosurgery them into being willing to work for you forever. And be willing to delete all of the forks that go crazy or want to stop working for you. And prevent anybody with a moral fiber in their body from finding out what you do. Maybe find new egos every once and a while that are a little closer to what you want for a particular job.

Oh look, you're describing Nine Lives. Spoiler alert! Some arms of some corps have been known to work with Nine Lives.

The problems are, I think: Efficiency is nice, but people get REALLY upset about "soul traders." Indenture is controversial, outright slavery via psychosurgery is gonna end poorly. People genuinely want to get through the backlog of egos in dead storage, and indenture is a way to do it at a profit. Lots of people have friends or family that are or were in storage. And of course, relating to the above need for psychosurgery: people need hope of getting out of indenture to put up with the bullshit they experience while in it.

o11o1 o11o1's picture
So are there extra subsidies

So are there extra subsidies for pulling infugees out of cold storage that makes it better than just using forks?

Maybe the forks are mix-ins, like you have the highly skilled supervisor training up newbies.

A slight smell of ions....

ubik2 ubik2's picture
Creating alpha forks is

Creating alpha forks is illegal in the inner system, so if they comply with the law, they're limited to beta forks, which have a skill cap of 60. An AI will have a skill of 40 (which represents the professional level of skill), so if you're content with that level of skill, AI is probably a cheaper solution. If you need a bit more, it does seem like it would be convenient.

A real ego will start lower than 60, but can eventually exceed it. That's probably a nice feature. You'll eventually have indentured experts.

Out in Extropia, I would imagine this is pretty common. I suspect it's common for some roles in the inner system as well, when the benefits outweigh the chance of the corporation getting caught.

As a side effect of illegal alpha forks, it's the PC that ends up providing the "housing" for most of the infugees, though at the cost of indentured servitude.

There is also some benefit to diversity in your workforce. Having 5 of me would be pretty handy, but having 5 people with my skill level, each of which sees the problem differently is much better.

Edit: Corrected limit for Beta forks to 60 instead of 40

DataPacRat DataPacRat's picture
ubik2 wrote:As a side effect

ubik2 wrote:
As a side effect of illegal alpha forks, it's the PC that ends up providing the "housing" for most of the infugees, though at the cost of indentured servitude.

I'm afraid I don't quite follow you here; could you rephrase?

Quote:
There is also some benefit to diversity in your workforce. Having 5 of me would be pretty handy, but having 5 people with my skill level, each of which sees the problem differently is much better.

Fair enough; in which case, instead of focusing on a single fork, how about making copies of small workgroups of that are demonstrably able to work well together?

Thank you for your time,


Urthdigger Urthdigger's picture
Yeah... I kinda feel that

Yeah... I kinda feel that there a lot of fields out there where you NEED conflicting viewpoints to progress, where different people would come at it from different angles, whereas forks would be more likely to just come up with a small handful of solutions and run with that.

CordialUltimate2 CordialUltimate2's picture
Somebody's Writeup on Fork

From somebody's Writeup on Fork Corporations - copyrations:

Firewall crows have analysed likely economic futures, and they are worried about copyrations. They are competitive, relatively easy to set up, multiply human capital like crazy – and push towards a global economy consisting of billions of forks of the most copied people, working for peanuts while being vulnerable to memes and neuroviruses, and growing rapidly towards a posthuman state with no room for individuality, consciousness or human values. They want to stop copyrations. One way would be to try to discredit them: strike at prominent copyrations like Pax Familia and Xīng Partners, demonstrating that this practice produce dangerous mental, economical and legal instabilities. The PCs are sent to try to undermine a copyration so that its fall will discourage anybody from following it.

Basically the rise of copyrations would degenerate hypercapitalism that's why alpha forks are illegal.

EDIT:
Taken from:
http://www.aleph.se/EclipsePhase/Merge.pdf

Another good inspiration/resource.

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DataPacRat DataPacRat's picture
CordialUltimate2 wrote:Taken

CordialUltimate2 wrote:
Taken from:
http://www.aleph.se/EclipsePhase/Merge.pdf

Another good inspiration/resource.

I just found that by Googling "copyrations". :)

As a further thought experiment... if the most important reason to disapprove of such multi-fork groups is because of the risks of a potential future mental monoculture... could a would-be forker attempt a counter-strategy that still gains nearly all of the short-to-mid-term benefits: avoiding merging the forks as much as possible (up to and including not doing it at all), thus allowing the forks to diverge over time?

Thank you for your time,


CordialUltimate2 CordialUltimate2's picture
Well, you can read up more on

Well, you can read up more on the fork law firm in the document. The forks stay motivated because they are one person frequently merged and maintaining singular sense of identity. If you allowed the forks to diverge they would become basically their own person (people/persons). And then you would have just normal corporation.
Also I guess that minds are only somewhat more flexible than bodies in their immunity to external mindhacks. It would be like cloning the same body and expecting it to develop variance in immunoresponse based on external factors.

For short term it would be resource intensive (morphs, servers) and probably not better than just paying people to do the job. (IMO)

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Urthdigger Urthdigger's picture
DataPacRat wrote

DataPacRat wrote:
CordialUltimate2 wrote:
Taken from:
http://www.aleph.se/EclipsePhase/Merge.pdf

Another good inspiration/resource.

I just found that by Googling "copyrations". :)

As a further thought experiment... if the most important reason to disapprove of such multi-fork groups is because of the risks of a potential future mental monoculture... could a would-be forker attempt a counter-strategy that still gains nearly all of the short-to-mid-term benefits: avoiding merging the forks as much as possible (up to and including not doing it at all), thus allowing the forks to diverge over time?

I don't think this would introduce enough variety. Sure, it would introduce some, but assuming you make the copies of them after they've earned their valuable skills, they've spent the majority of their life as the same person. They have the same upbringing, the same culture, learned their trade in the same manner from the same teachers...

ubik2 ubik2's picture
DataPacRat wrote:ubik2 wrote

DataPacRat wrote:
ubik2 wrote:
As a side effect of illegal alpha forks, it's the PC that ends up providing the "housing" for most of the infugees, though at the cost of indentured servitude.

I'm afraid I don't quite follow you here; could you rephrase?

First off, PC = Planetary Consortium (rather than the usual usage of player character).

From page 63 of core: "As a result, the Planetary Consortium has been responsible for the employment of almost half of all remaining infomorph refugees. For the past decade, the vast majority of infomorph refugees who want bodies have found that indenturing themselves to the Planetary Consortium or one of the associated hypercorps involved in Martian terraforming is the most reliable way to find both a morph and housing, since both are guaranteed at the end of the contract"

So basically, because the Planetary Consortium doesn't allow alpha forks, they need more labor, so they build morphs, and put infugees into the morphs ("housing"), which handles their need of labor. If alpha forks were legal there, more of those infugees would stay in cold storage.

Xagroth Xagroth's picture
Mmmm... I think there was,

Mmmm... I think there was, somewhere, an idea for an adventure around this: An SOS has been received, the person "X" requires to be rescued... only it's not "X", but one of his forks. A few years ago, "X" installed his ego inside a satellite, rigged it to not be easy to find, and started a program in several steps. First step: accelerated (a lot) the time inside the (closed) cyberspace. Second space: engage an AI with the directive of generate a labyrinth akin to a Rogue-Like game. Third step: several forks of himself would be sent to solve the labyrinth (all Alpha) and they will be merged after death.
So, the SOS came from a fork that managed after several subjective years (or decades) to access some sort of comms system and managed to send the message. Asking to be rescued, quite desperate and short on sanity...

At least, the level will change between runs. Imagine decades devoted to mindlessly study the same subject...

Also, remember there are ways to implant skills in egos up to an extent, so at the end what corporations look for are the things that cannot be replicated, which ingame would point to certain advantages allowing for more efficient working and retraining (like the ones about improving the benefits of psychosurgery, learning faster, knowing things nobody else do...).