Extremistan (concept note)

(made it into a wiki)

Overview

Floating city based on the UN float-lab design. The name is a riff off Taleb. World hardness is between a 3 and 4 on Moh’s scale of science fiction hardness. This looseness serves to:

  1. Make it easier for multiple authors to postulate ideal conditions under which a theoretical economic system or society may flourish, without having to run into conflicts over materials sciences and fundamental engineering problems.

  2. Allow a more extensible universe that ages less (truly hard science fiction stories age extremely rapidly and, unless Clarke-level expertise is brought to bear, are generally bad at predicting social patterns).

  3. Allow the UN’s float-lab design to actually work, in the same way that some handwavium is required to make generation ships realistic.

Extremistan is one of a set of cities floating on the sea, occasionally coming into contact with landmasses (reason: isolation; experimental society). Its energy source is assumed to be enough to run its infrastructure without major interruptions, but it appears to be partially ravaged by climate change. At the very center is a Tower of Babel that broadcasts white noise outside its borders so as to prevent communications from coming into or out of the city.

A State Machine similar to the one depicted in this story - which uses behavorial big data to infer the morals and attitudes of a society towards its body of laws, and thus continously updates the Constitution, thus creating a near perfect responsive democracy has, by consent, turned Extremistan into a ground-up experiment in T.M. Scalon’s Contractualism: a morality, and thus a social structure, where rational autonomous agents agree to make binding agreements from a point of view that respects each other’s moral importance.

Unfortunately, this has completely failed, and the reason that the State Machine gives is that humans are not rational agents. As a result of this failure (called Breakpoint or the Zero-Day Fracture in the city’s history), the State Machine has partitioned the city into Distrikts, with each Distrikt implementing a social contract that fits a large echo chamber. Running through each Distrikt is the Migrant Train. People whose morals and attitudes do not align with that of the majority in their Distrikt are asked to leave and are recommended a Distrikt that will fit their lives better.

Extremistan has Five Distrikts Major and numerous Distrikts Minor.

The Five Distrikts Major:

  1. Libria: ultra-libertarian state, closer to the French libertine. Individuals have great power, and society is an analogue of Renaissance Italy+France taken forward. A well-paid Government and Aristocrat class is in constant flux, elected among those the public recognizes as being of extraordinary merit. The assizes (travelling courts) are relied on for upholding law and making judgement in situations where Coasian bargaining has failed; it is impossible to hide the effects of gross power imbalances between people.

  2. Terminus: Classical Roman-Greek-style republic where the hero is voted on every four years from a public social media poll. Sees themselves as the superior civilization among all those “less enlightened”. Believers of choice, one man, one vote, likes of think of itself as a pure meritocracy, and an extremely capitalist society; the Market and the Common Vote are basically their god. Despite being pretty hard-hit by climate change, almost everything is matter of short-term commercial interest and long-term political power plays.

  3. The Covenant: Abrahamic religious fusion where there are clear different sects but some consensus on God and a Pope-like leader who appoints a Champion blessed and anointed by God. Usually a female who confirms her vows with a line lifted from Joan d’ Arc: “Asked if she knew she was in God’s grace, she answered, ‘If I am not, may God put me there; and if I am, may God so keep me.’” Strict low-grade xenophobia and insistence on purity, but in a hypocritical way; they will often fraternize with others as if to maintain a charade of token acceptance. Also a kind of razorback Southern American politeness, good Samaritanism towards their own kind, and a certain if-god-wills attitude to life. Education is almost completely controlled by churches, as was in missionary societies.

  4. The Assembly: an implementation of communism, with a specific role for a tamed Trotskyite “permanent revolution”. Personal property exists; private property does not. A version of the State Machine allocates work and essentials according to the requirements of everyone, with a class of Administrators (who cannot vote) Workers (who can vote on decisions and) and Revolutionaries (who are charged with constantly being on the lookout for power imbalances and the emergence of a bourgeois. Citizens are rotated between the three classes; every citizen must, in their time, perform all three functions.

  5. Medium: cosmopolitan, collectivist core that maintain the State Machine, with programmers putting up ‘policy’ and being voted in by the public. Welfare state where people are largely apathetic and there’s a longrunning sense of weariness with the world, and they go about the drudge work that keeps everyone fed. Outliers are punished or removed from public view, both on low and high ends; the ideal life is the average life, and outliers threaten satisfaction with the average. A wrapper AI called Kautilya, written around the State Machine, churns out a half-nonsensical mythology calculated to make citizens feel as if they have ‘purpose’ – lifted from Sri Lankan myth. Citizens are given “precepts” to follow that are some neo-buddhist kumbaya combined with some socially-reinforced hierarchies that sound innocuous. People are expected to stick to 'optimality’. The nail that sticks out gets hammered. Often slandered as “Mediocristan” by the others.

Nevertheless, Medium forms the melting pot city connecting these different Distrikts Major and Minor. A strong but minority political effort is the Contractualists, who are trying incorporate all the other utopias to merge society back into the ‘functional democracy’ that existed before the famous Zero-Day Fracture and rioting that made the State Machine split society apart.

The Distrikts Minor

The Distrikts Minor are the real testbeds. Smaller than the Districts Major, but with a train connection to Medium, they are a constant series of A/B tests being conducted by a State Machine desperately searching for a new form of social contract. As such, Distrikts Minor are constantly being created, reshuffled and deleted, providing both a trickle of new ideas into the mainstream (a play on the general nature and acceptance of new economic theories) as well as ripe space for new stories and ideas on the edge.

The Fullists, the Futilists:

Every society has its fair share of Fullists and Futilists, who generally embody the following two extreme attitudes towards change:

In 2020, Marc Andreessen, who should need no introduction, weighed in with characteristic optimism:

We virtually never resist technology change that provides us with better products and services even when it costs jobs. Nor should we. This is how we build a better world, improve our quality of life, better provide for our kids, and solve fundamental problems … It is hard to believe that the result will not be a widespread global unleashing of creativity, productivity, and human potential … In arguing this with an economist friend, his response was, “But most people are like horses; they have only their manual labor to offer…” I don’t believe that, and I don’t want to live in a world in which that’s the case. I think people everywhere have far more potential.

Many others are far more pessimistic. One one flank, I give you this misanthropic Hacker News comment on Andreessen’s long-term utopian vision:

Look at the future this guy has concocted in his head: The main fields of human endeavor will be culture, arts, sciences, creativity, philosophy, experimentation, exploration, and adventure. …it’s like he’s never met anyone who didn’t attend a top tier university. Here’s reality: The main fields of human endeavor will be copulating, hustling, consuming low-brow entertainment, eating, and the occasional lunatic running amok.

(The Futilists actually started out calling themselves the Factualists, and think of themselves as being real about stuff).

The Migrant Train

The Migrant Train is an extraordinary tough construct, a self-sustaining Snowpiercer-like that travels through these Distrikts, occasionally recalibrating its route to account for new or missing Minor Distrikts. The State Machine typically draws recruits for new social experiments from among the migrants. There is a class of citizens who have either changed their minds so often that they prefer the train, or have become stuck through paralysis by analysis: they’re called the Eternal Migrants, and the more physical of them become Praetors under the supervision of the State Machine, protecting passengers and their charges. The State Machine exerts a “first principle monopoly on violence” in every society they come across - not every society is happy with the State Machine’s power, and the train bears scars where weapons have struck it in the past.

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I propose to change the name “Extremistan” to something with no obvious footprint of Taleb (or anyone else). Should make it more natural to appropriate.

Some initial thoughts on economies.

A general thought is that the Distrikts Major are (rightly) partitioned across ideological/cultural lines, not economic ones. So, you can imagine economic models taking roots across various districts. For example, you could well have advanced cooperatives in the Covenant, the Assembly and Medium. This would mirror the real world pre-1989, where you had state-owned companies in the West, and private companies in the Socialist Bloc. The same models were used everywhere, but their relative frequencies would be different, giving each bloc its own flavor. Are we OK with it, or does it become too blurry to make for good narrative?

Fairly easy – some kind of turbo-capitalism, dystopian but allowing for some social mobility. The world of Numbercaste is a decent example. Chickenification, though that does not work so well when emigration is easy. It is easy imn this world?

From an economic point of view this seems to be very similar to Libria. I would even be tempted to suggest they merge, and the Greek-Roman vs. De Sadian-Friedmanian flavors be offloaded to Distrikts Minor.

I have done some work breaking down the Benedictine economy as we worked on the idea of the unMonastery (here and here). Very happy to do some fleshing out here, in fact it would be a good place for me to start. Benedictine monasteries are very efficient productive units, and they can form clusters that are protected by nontariff barriers to trade. Maybe the strongest economy here, if they do it right.

Good opportunity to flesh out the economies behind science fictional places like Anarres, or Red Plenty. We can imagine Distrikts Minor doing commons-based stuff, or new cooperativism.

The Assembly would be a good place to imagine an Ostromian economic policy: the governance effort is directed towards sustainability of renewable resources. A lot of the equilibria are low input-low (but almost free) output from those resources. Example: lithium is limited and polluting, so you would run your society with solar power generation and minimal power storage. The economy would speed up its metabolism when the sun is shining (production, investment), and slow it down when it is not (social activities, down time). Much like pre-industrial societies.

Bland socialism, suspicion of individualities… a sort of Sweden, but drab. Or of Belarus, but with better low-brow mass entertainment?

What do you think, @Joriam and @yudhanjaya? Anyway, this is a lot of fun already.

Alright, I just gave this a deep read and let me add some initial reactions.

But before even start: I realise I’ll have to wear a couple of different hats in this project (which is cool!), so I’ll do my best to be transparent with which hat I’m using when I say what.

@yudhanjaya, with my writer hat, I look up to you man. I feel just hanging around you and having this amazing chance to see your artistic process up close will teach me heaps and I’m just so grateful for this opportunity.

Now taking this hat off and putting my participatory processes design hat, I see a big opportunity we could seize here and mentioning this right now might even change how we’ll communicate on the 7th.

Here’s the thing: I don’t think this narrative proposal is very open-source oriented as it is right now — but it could easily be.

The way this world is structured, and even the way this document is structured points to a concentration of power — in this case, narrative power. The fact that we propose major districts created by our team and allow other creators to propose minor districts (and this is paired with the fact that 590 words described the majors and only 92 were given to the minors) already points to the fact that we believe our team is more competent in worldbuilding then the outside world.

But we shouldn’t. If we believe in open, collaborative, open-source projects (which I think we do!) we should give away and decentralize our narrative power. There’s no way our 5 brains, even with expert skills, can outwit the hivemind — especially because this hivemind also includes us.

We should not only offer a meal, but the best cut of the meat to our collective guests.

I know this is not how books and games are generally made, so we’ll need to be adaptable and willing to make some mistakes. But if we nail this, we might have an energy magnet in the end.

Joriam’s provocation

This is not a proposal, ok? Yudhan is not only a better writer than I am, but also he was the one chosen as this residency’s artist. I think he should have the final call on this, but I also wanted to illustrate what I’m saying with a clear example.

Here’s my provocation! Aimed at giving a glimpse on how this proposal above could be more easy to plug in. Not the best way, just one possible way.

Layer 1 — Flooded Earth

We could give a set of assumptions/statements as the most top level layer of our worldbuilding, such as:

— Story happens on Earth, X years from now

— Government has been delegated to AI, following Contractualism
— There’s no more polar ice, most of the surface covered in water

— A huge chunk of the population lives in floating cities with a certain structure

— This structure works in a particular way and takes care of energy (via wave harvesting), food (via fishing and aquaponics) and non-nuclear waste (via recycling)

Layer 2 — Floating Cities

Cool — so now we can go one layer lower, but instead of just explaining our city, we just tell people how to build their own cities and, most importantly, the districts, with different economical and political views.

Here’s an example: cities could be structured like the drawing below. Districts (in red) would be connected by a shared infrastructure (black circle in the middle) that spins around, taking care of the fishing and energy grounds protected by the city. Also on the outside by the Migration Train (in green) (I loooove this train, btw).

Districts can be added or removed, as long as they have the infrastructure to plug into a Floating City (like the rails for the Migration Train and Middle infra). So you might encounter floating districts (with their political and economical ideas) looking for a permanent home or seeking asylum. There’s an ideal number of districts, but this can vary.

It is generally accepted that a district will contribute something to the greater city, whatever that is. It is also accepted that districts might ask something from others.

This layer invites and allows anyone to create their own districts from scratch and imagine how they’d interact with others.

Layer 3 — Our Floating City, Extremistan

Here we give an enticing example of the narrative structures we proposed.

In this example, it would be Extremistan — and it would come with its signature districts Libria, Terminus, The Covenant, The Assembly and Medium, though they’d require some tweaking to fit this new structure. None of them would be more important than the others, all would contribute something to the collective of the City and they’d also expect others to contribute (and here’s where expectations from one system to another could get interesting).

Which of those districts is interested in mitosis, and sending smaller versions of themselves to other floating cities? Which wish to stay isolated and untouched? Which external districts would like to be part of the conjunction?

We build a vibrant city, an Ankh-Morpork, a Green Mars’ Odessa! We give it street names, we give it colour and architectural style. We invite people to use it and we also set an example of the level of care we expect for people who want to create their own.

Interacting with layers

Layer 01 is our anchor and our broadest. We don’t give it too much detail, just the essentials. We tell people that those few rules can’t be broken if they want to tap into our world.

Layer 02 and 03 are open.

We try to make Extremistan as interesting and vibrant as we can, so that character-oriented creators can just tap into this universe that already exists. We allow people to create RPG campaigns and point and click games using our unique names. Go for it.

But if players are interested in exploring their own economics (which would be aaaaa fantastic!), they can create their own districts and plug them to Extremistan. They can wage war, build alliances, kick some of our districts out. Nothing is canon besides the wiki, go crazy.

They can also create a whole new city from scratch — it would be like creating “a new Hogwarts, but in Australia”! Same 4 houses structure, but with completely different ideals and symbols attached to each of them. This will not only be possible, but encouraged.

This way we give creators permission to interact with our structure as much as they want — and different styles of worldbuilders will naturally get more excited about more close up or zoomed out features.

We propose our districts as a prime example (and evidently they’ll be better written than most people’s, as we have an expert SciFi writer in our team), but they’ll still ask the what ifs we’ll need if we want to stimulate radical thinking.

Wrapping up

Again: this was not a proposal. Yudhan is the artist in residency and he should make the final call. I just wanted to give a more participatory-oriented example.

What do you think @yudhanjaya? Do you think you could tweak your initial proposal to be more open, to allow other creators to immerse themselves in the same worldbuilding process you did yourself to create the districts you mentioned above?

I’m super down for a call or async convo on the matter!

Also I just realised I wrote a full constitution here, I’m sorry folks hahahaha

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Nice one, @Joriam!

Like all participatory projects, we need to strike the right balance between too vague (lots of freedom, not very engaging) and too detailed (vivid and engaging, but no space for contributing). This is fundamental: it can never be solved, only managed.

Personally, I’m comfortable both with a city divided in sectors and with a planet divided in cities. The resolution at which we operate does not change much. What changes are the all-important parameters of how cheap or expensive is to get people, matter, energy and information from one economy to the next.

We could even imagine a world with Joram’s layers 1 and 2, but focus on the one city. When we open the doors, we could then tell people "if you have some idea that does not fit in the city, just evoke some other floating city and put it there. But that’s difficult to imagine, because every example I can think of can be added as a Distrikt. Survivalists that need a lot of space? A peripheral, sparsely populated expanse. Machines-only economy? Robot ghetto. A rare resource that everyone needs and must be imported? That’s the hardest, but you can imagine that one Distrikt is sitting on X-stan’s only cache of precious unobtanium.

Ball in @yudhanjaya’s court.

Request to change the names to their equivalents in other languages/ cultural contexts than internet-anglophone and ideally not of those of the largest expanisionist/colonialist countries.

we could even make it a thing : what would x be called in your language etc

Agreed. Ideally the name should reflect the concepts - many, pluralities, divisions with a side order of experimentation. Will cycle back to thinking about this over the weekend. Open to suggestions on this.

Excellent thoughts, Alberto. Let me address points one by one:

  • Cooperatives with the same models but different flavors - yes, we absolutely should. Yes, it may blur the narrative a little bit, but I see it giving rise to even more. Some cooperatives will absolutely be essential for welfare states - say, for example, the role of the State Pharmaceutical Corporation in Sri Lanka, which is critical to ensuring the free and universal healthcare system we roll here. And at the same time, these are also sources of scandal, discontent, and even hero / cult narratives like those around tech giants and Tesla.

  • Libria-Terminus merger: if you think they’re too similar economically, +1 to merger. Libria is easy to write. We’d need a system even more lassez-faire than in Numbercaste:** I think Hong Kong, accelerated, stripped of the minimum wage laws.

  • Covenant based on Benedictine economy: yes, go right ahead. In fact, if you can describe that economy, we can use that as a model for economy descriptors here in general and derive from that elements of the distrikt itself. My only brush with such economies has been from Follet’s Pillars of the Earth and the (diminishing) Sri Lankan universities run by monks.

  • Assembly as Ostromian: noted. As well as tinges of Ian Banks’ Use of Weapons and Bellamy’s Looking Backward: 2000–1887.

  • Medium as Belarus: perhaps not quite so boring. Medium wouold have to have an interesting structure to be the connection point between all these regions. As migration and trade happen at the edges, I expect Medium’s edges to be tinged with whichever flavor of society they have to interact with the most: the center would be the most true to the original description. So overall, high diversity if you cross from one end to the other, but by accident and not by design.

There is a specific reason I went for internet-anglophone here, and that’s to do with ease of search and communication - especially if this project is open to the web as a whole. As someone whose native language is not English, and in fact comes from a former British colony, it sucks, but there is utility to this because of the corpus of ideas attached to these syllables in what is still a lingua franca. I could call Medium “Madhyama” (මධ්යම) and that would just make it require more to communicate what this is about. I expect names of places, references and landmarks within these communities to change anyway depending on whose imagination is contributing there.

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Good ideas, @joriam. On a general level, this is precisely how this world is supposed to work. The “Major” and “Minor” refer not to narrative importance, but as a loose marker of how mainstream the ideas there are. The Major are ideas that are well-trodden, stretched to certain logical extremes. The Minor are less well-known but extremely interesting concepts that we want to explore.
At any point anyone should be free to create a Distrikt and plug it in - say someone proposes a radical new economic theory; we should be free to create a society and test it. We don’t even need to justify it by having cities float along and connect - the assumption is that this floating, partitioned mega-city is similar to Gorgemghast; there are precious few limits to what one can add to this. Now for specifics:

The fact that we propose major districts created by our team and allow other creators to propose minor districts (and this is paired with the fact that 590 words described the majors and only 92 were given to the minors) already points to the fact that we believe our team is more competent in worldbuilding then the outside world. But we shouldn’t. If we believe in open, collaborative, open-source projects (which I think we do!) we should give away and decentralize our narrative power.

To give away and decentralize narrative power requires, as I keep pointing out, some product to give away in the first place. As of now, we have little to nothing, and at the core of this, someone will have to write stuff down, so I do not see much value in a theoretical hivemind as opposed to a practical team taking input and weaving those inputs in until the project has enough mass to gather others willing to sit and write in. TV series and game studios have evolved their structures because they work. Otherwise this turns into every other Early Access game out there on Steam - released too early, tanked, forgotten.

Layer 01 is our anchor and our broadest. We don’t give it too much detail, just the essentials. We tell people that those few rules can’t be broken if they want to tap into our world.

Layer 02 and 03 are open.

This is, in a weird way, less freeing than the original spec I had in mind. In my view we should sketch out the history of the founding, the Districts Major (and there could be more or less or different, according to what gives us a fair diverse sheaf of economies to start with), and open the entire thing. As Alberto pointed out, resolution does not matter. So if someone comes along and wants to do a pre-history? Absolutely. If someone sees the article for, say, Terminus, and thinks we don’t talk enough about race issues within? Come right in, write. My gut instinct is that this increase the quality of the core as well. I am thinking of how projects on Github work. Problems - and spaces left intentionally empty for other people to plug in their ideas - are a great way of bringing in contributors.

And speaking of increasing quality: I really like your idea of the red flower-like design. It adds visual texture to the skyline, adds a new set of stories at the center. It also sets up some nice tensions, which are critical for stories to unfold. We can make it so that the Migrant train runs on the black infrastructure, because less radius - less fuel wasted - more efficient.

I can already imagine an economist-philosopher sitting by the docks, trainside, by the light of a dying sun, with a fat and angry-looking orange cat next to her. She has grey hair and a left hand that looks badly scarred. For the last so many years she’s been advising the Migrant Train Committee on the yearly train-route optimization, which at its basic level is a variant of the Traveling Salesman Problem with some political tension thrown in. She’s been using the number of connected districts - and the radius of the train-circle -as a measure of how diverse this floating megacity is, but she’s also wondering whether size is a reliable indicator of diversity, given recent events; distrikts have seceded in the past, and she is deep in thought about whether there is an optimal arrangement of distrikts that enables even to most polarized of them to connect to the superstructure without fighting too much. Every so often she looks up as the train passes by and pets the cat absent-mindedly.
The cat, of course, does not care.

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HAIKU!

Does my world still grow?
Business models rise, then fall?
The cat does not care.

:rofl:

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My pet theory is that Nature evolved humans purely as a way of providing cats the attention they need in life :joy:

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I am reading this with much delight so far. So far, two novels come to mind as tangential to your explorations @yudhanjaya. One is The Scar by China Mieville, set in the floating city of Armada. It is, like Extremistan, divided into districts. The similarities more or less end there, but I remember enjoying the setting of Armada.

The second novel that comes to mind is Inverted World by Christopher Priest. In that story, the city in which it takes place travels the surface of the planet on railway tracks that are laid down and picked up again as the city moves. It has a rather fantastic twist related to reality-distortion, which I will not spoil here but it could inspire interesting mechanisms for Extremistan.

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I am currently approaching this world through the eyes of someone who may want to use it for a project. By chance, before we started the world-building project, I applied to a Swedish art fund for a LARP project with friends at Blivande. We call it Avantgrid: Joule de vivre! and it would be set on a spectacular post-industrial island in the archipelago of Stockholm.

We would like the “world” that this is set in to be very flexible and open to interpretation while sticking to the core principle. Ideally, we would like factions to emerge for interesting in-game dynamics - energy worshippers, energy smugglers, energy accountants, underground rebellions of those who reject the rules, hackers who find loopholes.

I have brought up the idea with my co-conspirators on this project to perhaps set this game in the world built by Sci-Fi Economics Lab. Of course, we should not adapt Extremistan to that specific purpose but it gives me a chance to look at the world through the lens of someone who might use it and expand on it.

First of all, the proposed world of Extremistan feels like an inviting place for this game. That is a good sign. We could create a new district that was run on this energy-starved economy. That is the alternative that gives us the most freedom. We could also imagine that one of the major districts implemented these rules at some point in the history of Extremistan. Among the districts you have proposed, perhaps The Covenant seems most likely to become swayed by a new interpretation of scripture that demands extreme energy frugality? This also opens up the question of how we wish to handle the timeline of Extremistan - will there be a history and sequence of major events that are more or less consistent and canon (like Star Trek before 2009) , or will we end up with endless timelines (Star Trek after 2009).

The porous membranes between an endless number of districts is a very good mechanism for the sort of LARP we imagine because it allows any player to create a character with exactly the set of beliefs and rich back-story they desire by simply making up a new district. This fits our vision well, as we are generally looking for a set-up that allows for a very high degree of experimentation and diversity around the theme. It becomes very easy in-game to explain away your quaint style of clothing or strange technology - you just arrived on the train from a far-away minor district. Indeed, the mechanism of the train itself becomes a great way to explain if new people arrive in the game or leave early.

As for the layers brought up by @Joriam, I am actually not too worried about the initial idea not allowing for enough co-creation. At least not if we allow for a very wide range of looks and feels for these districts. As I imagine the city, it would be the size of a small country. As such, it allows for an almost endless variety of landscapes - at least if the technological level is such that it allows for more or less total control over building floating islands overgrown with forests, fields of crops, and rolling hills. Is that what we are imagining? As you imagine it @yudhanjaya, could this island believably be a scene in a district of Extremistan?

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Something something something CATS something something!

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And who comes out the winner in the end? Toxoplasma gondii.

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A fellow Priest fan! Very glad you like it. I loved the Inverted World; I suspect the Mortal Engines took a lot from that city on rails.
My Mieville reading is quite sub-par for what it should be - I gravitated more towards Vandermeer for my taste of the New Weird - but I will definitely read up on Armada, thanks.

I think this would be a perfect fit. @Joriam came up with a flower-like structure that let us arrange distrikts in circles around a single core lake+energy feeder combo (thinking of calling said energy device the Ramos Mechanism). My opening lines for the original pitch hinted that Terminus is “being pretty hard-hit by climate change”; that was intended to illustrate pure market structures’ difficulties when copies with externalities. We could easily do:

  • Make one side of Extremistan hit hard by failing infrastructure; something went wrong with power delivery, climate control and maintenance is sucking up more and more energy, and thus there is at least one distrikt there, possibly more, that is energy-starved if docked there

  • Add Avantgrid on that end, and @alberto’s proposed Libria-Terminus merger immediately adjacent: that satisfies the requirement of showing L-T having to face this problem, and sets up a very beautiful contrast between a solarpunk future and a cyberpunk one.

What say you? Does this sound reasonable?

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Confirmed historical character: Cottica - pesudoanonymous poet-economist occupying a similar role to Kautilya in Chandragupta Mauraya’s Empire.

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