Righto. Critique / suggested changes, @joriam:
Hygge (formerly Distrikt 1, Vikinia, among others) is the first Distrikt of Witness. Initially planned as “the nervous system of Witness” as a whole, it was turned into its own Distrikt after the Fracture. It is the Distrikt that holds the State Machine, and thus the only Distrikt in Witness to have a piece of shared infrastructure within its borders.
Suggest change to reflect Covenant + Library of St. Benedict (The Covenant): the State Machine is distributed across both the Library of St. Benedict and Hygge. In fact, most of its data store is in the Covenant, which has since then built an entire knowledge economy around it - which is why military troops from Hygge guard the Library. But the front-end technical infrastructure, decision models, and the key access points, are all in Hygge. If you look at the History, you’ll see that important interDistrikt Councils still meet at Newton’s Folly (The History of Witness) in Hygge.
“No, you don’t understand. He gave me an executive order to send all of his rations to the new espionage crew. Do you get what I’m saying? Denton is so into his shit, he won’t have anything to eat. God have mercy on us.” — Larry Quoia, former Second Secretary of Witness, messaging records
- nice touch, love it and the record of Denton’s descent into chaos. Suggest grouping this under a heading titled POLITICAL HISTORY.
On the fourth anniversary of the Fracture, Denton was murdered by his former maid Agila Nakahl, who choked him with a piano cloth. She was executed the next day. Some say the incident was political, while others claim that it was a reaction to sexual abuse. The incident is widely referred to as ‘Denton’s early retirement’.
We can’t have him dying this early. The dude continues to haunt other Distrikts, especially the Assembly, for decades (and thus incidentally pushes them towards self-sustainability) Ref: The Assembly of People
The State Machine École
I like this idea. One thing to add would be the politics around this project: more people began sending programmers / weavers (the two words seem to refer to similar functionality: I suggest we adopt one term) to the Library of St. Benedict. Partly as a way of teaching, but also partly as a way of taking back some intellectual control from the Covenant, the École was established.
The triple AI
This is the area I have most trouble with. We need to think about why an AI would exist. In this case, the State Machine exists because it is far more adept at parsing complex information flows and collecting data on the societies it governs, and capable of generating optimal recommendations to policymakers. Why, then, would it make itself redundant?
This is also the most fun part of Hygge, and IMO lends it flair. So I propose a compromise: the events of the Fracture and subsequent Distrikts led to many programmer-politicians to believe that the State Machine was inadequate or insufficient, and they began proposing significant code and model changes and put them to the public for upvotes.
Facing three different proposals and a population divided between them and the fourth option (keeping State Machine as is), the State Machine opted for a middle-ground approach: it spun up virtual machines (think VMWare, but 10000x) hosting three different versions of itself - Kiri, Sata, and Goro, with its functions split among them. It instructed the public to live with them for a while and then have a referendum on which ones made their life better.
The State Machine itself, as the underlying system, would be able to course-correct in case of extreme failure situations. And it would continue managing the infrastructure. But to everyone’s surprise, people got along with the Three Faces of the State Machine, and extensive A/B testing found that the combination of Kiri + Sata + Goro were found to outperform any single option. I suggest working in a reference to Basterfield here, so that her impact is felt in the history and not just in the Notable People section.
So now we have an interestingly layered state: ordinary citizens know and get along with the Three, but programmers and engineers and those who crawl around in the infrastructure still speak of the State Machine, brooding and watching the world through its masks.
Hygge seems to have extraordinarily strict laws. What prevents Kimura from being thrown off a building for his crimes? Can we link him to the gangs and corps of Libria: Liberty City ? And what impact has he had on Hygge? Places to draw from if you’re depicting hackers: https://www.fireeye.com/current-threats/apt-groups.html