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Spoiler...Technology

Aliens? Invading aliens? What will Earth do? Well...we may have a few more resources than we first thought. Come join a friendly discussion about David Weber's newest Tor series - "Out of the Dark."
Re: Spoiler...Technology
Post by Bluesqueak   » Tue Jan 23, 2024 4:52 am

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My guess with what we know so far is that the Fifth Founder realised they were doomed and planned a long-term strategy to destroy the Hegemony.

So, yes, humans have been bio-weaponed into being ultra-fast innovators. So have other omnivore races like the Taironyians and the Sarthians, but humans are the ones where the genetic manipulation took ‘on steroids’. The Liatu manipulation of Taironyian intelligence is going to be the key to revealing the previous manipulation.

The vampires were the Fifth Founders top secret special forces, which is why the memory of them mainly survived in the ‘fairy tales’ of terrified Kreptu survivors.

Vlad possibly wasn’t an industrial accident - it’ll be interesting to see if any other bio-engineered races have their ‘vampire’ legends. Human innovation speed flipped a pre-determined program and they got provided with their very own ‘special forces’, to assist if the Hegemony came calling.
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Re: Spoiler...Technology
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Tue Jan 23, 2024 12:12 pm

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Bluesqueak wrote:My guess with what we know so far is that the Fifth Founder realised they were doomed and planned a long-term strategy to destroy the Hegemony.


That may be but I don't think they planned such strategy. They probably realised what was happening and started counter-measures, but the fact that they are not around any more probably means most of those failed.

The vampires were the Fifth Founders top secret special forces, which is why the memory of them mainly survived in the ‘fairy tales’ of terrified Kreptu survivors.

Vlad possibly wasn’t an industrial accident - it’ll be interesting to see if any other bio-engineered races have their ‘vampire’ legends. Human innovation speed flipped a pre-determined program and they got provided with their very own ‘special forces’, to assist if the Hegemony came calling.


I don't think so. If the Fifth Founder had the ability to create vampires intentionally, they wouldn't have been vanquished in the first place. They'd have exacted revenge on the Hegemony long ago, or at least in the leadership and bureaucracy, sufficiently to allow their race to survive.

That would speak for vampires being an unintended consequence.
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Re: Spoiler...Technology
Post by Joat42   » Wed Jan 24, 2024 5:05 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:I don't think so. If the Fifth Founder had the ability to create vampires intentionally, they wouldn't have been vanquished in the first place. They'd have exacted revenge on the Hegemony long ago, or at least in the leadership and bureaucracy, sufficiently to allow their race to survive.

That would speak for vampires being an unintended consequence.

In TCH I think Dvorak says something to the effect that Vlad turning into a vampire was a industrial accident with nanites.

Which means that there's old high-tech stuff still working somewhere in eastern Europe/Turkey put there (intentionally or unintentionally) by someone (5th race?).

If the throwaway comment about Vlad in the book is correct, this is what may have happened to the 5th race (speculation incoming):

The 5th race innovated and finally created something akin to a grey-goo situation which may have partly destroyed them and the rest of the founding races was scared shitless and proceeded to eradicate any such technology and the 5th race.

That scenario may explain the insane levels of safety-checks, interlocks and the stratification of Hegemony technology since the surviving races would not want a repeat of such an event.

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Re: Spoiler...Technology
Post by Bluesqueak   » Wed Jan 24, 2024 12:24 pm

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Joat42 wrote:
ThinksMarkedly wrote:I don't think so. If the Fifth Founder had the ability to create vampires intentionally, they wouldn't have been vanquished in the first place. They'd have exacted revenge on the Hegemony long ago, or at least in the leadership and bureaucracy, sufficiently to allow their race to survive.

That would speak for vampires being an unintended consequence.

In TCH I think Dvorak says something to the effect that Vlad turning into a vampire was a industrial accident with nanites.

Which means that there's old high-tech stuff still working somewhere in eastern Europe/Turkey put there (intentionally or unintentionally) by someone (5th race?).

If the throwaway comment about Vlad in the book is correct, this is what may have happened to the 5th race (speculation incoming):

The 5th race innovated and finally created something akin to a grey-goo situation which may have partly destroyed them and the rest of the founding races was scared shitless and proceeded to eradicate any such technology and the 5th race.

That scenario may explain the insane levels of safety-checks, interlocks and the stratification of Hegemony technology since the surviving races would not want a repeat of such an event.


That’s a good idea, because it would explain the insane level of safety checks.

But the thing I don’t like about the ‘industrial accident’ theory is that it means the monkey boys and girls ‘just happen’ to be insanely innovative by galactic standards and…

…it ‘just happens’ that they have a nano-tech special forces group conveniently on hand when said galactics come calling.

Frankly, if we’re going for a ‘it just happens that’ plot, I’d prefer Vlad and co. being traditional vampires. I can swallow ‘an old Earth legend happens to be real’ a lot more easily than ‘an industrial accident conveniently saves the Earth’.

We don’t know what happened to the Fifth Founders. We also don’t know enough about their psychological make-up to tell if they’d continue working on planning the downfall of the Hegemony - in the face of their own inevitable defeat.
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Re: Spoiler...Technology
Post by Joat42   » Wed Jan 24, 2024 2:36 pm

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Bluesqueak wrote:But the thing I don’t like about the ‘industrial accident’ theory is that it means the monkey boys and girls ‘just happen’ to be insanely innovative by galactic standards and…


That was something I forgot to address under the "intentional" heading.

If the 5th race intentionally tinkered with humans to make them more innovative than the norm they must have a facility (or several for that matter) on Earth for that specific purpose. But that doesn't mean that Vlad turning into a vampire wasn't an accident when he walked into one of these facilities and got dosed with nanites because the transition was by all evidence not a foregone conclusion considering the tale Vlad told about the early years. It's also an imperfect process because we know some people go bad which mean that the nanites actual purpose isn't "vampirisation".

This of course means that the Hegemony's efforts to eradicate the 5th race failed insofar that the race managed to set up some kind of "revenge" option as a last ditch effort because at this point we don't know if they managed to survive in the shadows or not.

It may be as farfetched that the nanites is what is left of the 5th race, a kind of "upload scenario", but they don't have enough "agency" to manifest themselves as a complex intelligence and instead they just have enough agency to slowly affect humans on a scale of thousands of years. That is until Vlad stumbled upon their facility and got transformed and is now the acting agency for them.

---
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Re: Spoiler...Technology
Post by Bluesqueak   » Wed Jan 24, 2024 5:57 pm

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Joat42 wrote:If the 5th race intentionally tinkered with humans to make them more innovative than the norm they must have a facility (or several for that matter) on Earth for that specific purpose. But that doesn't mean that Vlad turning into a vampire wasn't an accident when he walked into one of these facilities and got dosed with nanites because the transition was by all evidence not a foregone conclusion considering the tale Vlad told about the early years. It's also an imperfect process because we know some people go bad which mean that the nanites actual purpose isn't "vampirisation".


Given that legends of vampires long predate Vlad, there seem to have been a lot of accidents.

Or, alternatively, the Fifth Founders attempts to make the process work on humans were a bit … experimental. Which would fit with facilities set up in a comparative hurry and which had to stay completely hidden. Vlad was, historically, an extremely strong minded person, making him capable of first surviving the process, then recovering from the insanity it induced.

Note that Vlad’s ‘success rate’ increases as the years go by. That suggests the Nanites are programmed to refine and improve the vampire creation process.

Joat42 wrote:This of course means that the Hegemony's efforts to eradicate the 5th race failed insofar that the race managed to set up some kind of "revenge" option as a last ditch effort because at this point we don't know if they managed to survive in the shadows or not.

It may be as farfetched that the nanites is what is left of the 5th race, a kind of "upload scenario", but they don't have enough "agency" to manifest themselves as a complex intelligence and instead they just have enough agency to slowly affect humans on a scale of thousands of years. That is until Vlad stumbled upon their facility and got transformed and is now the acting agency for them.


Yes, the 5th race could well live on in artificial intelligence. A lot of the safety protocols of Into The Light are based around preventing minds being uploaded, artificial intelligence… maybe they’re not trying to prevent an evil AI, maybe they’re trying to prevent the 5th Founders uploading themselves into the software.
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