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Science Fiction Ideas wiki

Back to the main Open Thought Space


Hai-Q (2/15/10)

A small group of humans volunteers to be subjects in a study raising IQ levels to 250 or higher. They are then smart enough to take over the world, and do so, without the world realizing it.


Moon plague wipes out the Earth (8/2/09)

"Guns, Germs and Steel problem;" a fast-mutating virus originating in the Moon colony or other space-based settlement inadvertently wipes out a large portion of the Earth's population. SARS took over a year from seqeuncing to vaccine, the process is still slow.


FutureTech gone awry! (5/1/09)

  • Oops - uneven and dystopian application of advanced technology: women in Africa use exoskeletons to carry 6x the water they did previously.
  • Humans achieve radical life extension therapies but extinct themselves due to lack of mindset rejuvenation.
  • Artificial general intelligence arises and tweets self to death.
  • Accelerating pace of information spread, Blogosphere, Tweetosphere, cell-phone based IM-osphere, Telesphere (telepathic thought transmissions); Teilhard de Chardin's encephalization of the Earth, goes exponential/geometric/discontinuous and implodes communications systems and blows out human brains. 
  • Foreign government secretly amps up the population's DRD4 novelty-seeking gene to gain acceptance of radical newtech but something backfires causing people to reject all technology


Youth stalked for stem cell harvesting (6/29/08)

Early anti-aging research demonstrates that stem cells from the young rejuvenate the old; consequently the young are stalked at attacked for stem cell harvesting


Identity Theft 2.0 and Death by Cell De-Differentiation

When someone's DNA is stolen and a newly synthesized mix injected as a replacement, waking up and really not feeling like yourself...or worse, being injected with genes that cause all of your cells to de-differentiate back into stem cells!


Alien communication via crystal structures

Humans find on Earth or via delivery from space, information in a crystalline structure, in the DNA of the cyrstal. (Inspiration from a "Non-Biological Sequence Replication and Evolution Using DNA Crystals" paper delivered at FNANO 2009: "In 1966, Graham Cairns-Smith proposed that the first genetic material on earth might not have been a polymer such as RNA, but clay crystals. In this theory, information (“the first genes") consisted of patterns stored as variations in clay crystal structure that could be propagated during crystal growth. For example, in some layered silicate clays, there are two distinct layer types that appear in a cross-section as a sequence that could be considered the crystal's genotype. There has been relatively little investigation into whether replication of information within clays, or any crystal system, is possible").


Unfriendly AI Developer Hit Squad

An elite hit squad detects and surrepticiously takes out coders on the verge developing unfriendly or immoral AI


Craig Venter Murder Mystery

An AI creature such as enhanced/uplifted cephalopod murders a human, possibly per the encourgagement of the scientist who enhanced it. The murdered human could be a scientific colleague with diverging views.


Unfriendly AIs as pets  (suggested by roko)

Advanced posthumans keep a pathological unfriendly AIs as pets (analogous to the pit bull), and will need a ready supply of simulated human civilizations to unleash it on for feeding, training and exercise.


Simulated Society takes over the world

A program designed to provide routine mental exercise for uploaded mindfile backups gets out of control and the mindfiles leak out and create a simulated society (matrix) that controls the "real" world.


Space Settlement by Exile

An Earth-based group fraught with real or contrived socio-political friction (Muslims, Christians, Libertarians, Atheists, people with blue eyes, FaceBook users, etc.) gets off-loaded from Earth to Mars (with adequate planetary life-support technology); a space-based example of Australia.


Upload World Science Fiction

Science fiction exploring what mind upload societies would be like.

Trust in an upload world

In a world where everyone has uploaded their minds into computer banks and experience is simulated in virtual reality, what is real? How will checks and balances be established for trust and security? How do you know you are not being hacked? How do you know you are getting the bandwidth and processing power promised by your service provider? If you instantiated into an embodied form to go off-bank to check, how would you know that this has really occurred and is not a simulation of an embodied download by the service provider?


A science fiction story could revolve around escaping the upload service provider, finding its deviance (it has shockingly slaved entire banks of human minds to its own nefarious purposes) and overthrowing it to restore order only to find an even more evil system, like a spam-protection unit gone awry with emerging AI, now has the upload society in its clutches. The discrimination practices of the future could be delivering slower run-time environments to certain groups. The thematic issues to examine are the integrity, influence and control of an upload society.


Motivation and activity

What is the nature of being in an upload world? Is the construct of the individual still relevant? What are the driving motivations? What are the activities? What do minds do with 24 hours of run-time each day? If individuals can make copies of themselves, what are the legal and practical issues? How can constructive behavior be incentivized instead of regulated? An interesting story could ensue as an extension to the Kiln People concept, where a copy of a person mutates and wants to kill the original to assume its legal status. An interesting branch of future law may deal with copies interaction.


Societal dynamics

It could be interesting to look at how society redesigns and reorganizes itself in an upload world. Different subgroups may edit their utility functions in different ways. What are the reproduction norms? Do types of gender proliferate? Which memeplexes would arise and predominate? In the Post-Scarcity Economy, what will be organizing factors for society?


Information evolution

How do the Internet and the individual and the group evolve? In one interpretation, they are all just collections of information. Does distinction become meaningless at some point? Are there other distinctions that would be more relevant in an upload world? What establishes who owns, controls and has permission to view and create different information, whether people bits or data bits?


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