Re: Universal Schelling points (was SPORT: Ready? . . . Break!)

Anders Sandberg (
Mon, 10 Feb 1997 16:32:32 +0100 (MET)

On Mon, 10 Feb 1997 wrote:

> Anders wrote that "Greg Bear eloquently describes in his novels, the center .
> . . ." I've fallen behind in my Sci Fi reading apparently, and have not
> encountered this description. Could you say a bit more, please, about what
> he imagines?

Oops, did I say Greg Bear? I meant Gregory Benford...

(Some spoilers ahead): The galactic center is the focus of a huge
conflict/competition between several phylums of beings, most notably the
Mechs (a metacivilization of robots and AI), the Organics (mainly
involving the Myriapodia (bionic insectoids) and humans (thinly spread
scavengers hiding from the Mechs)) and electromagnetic beings based on the
fields near the Eater, the central black hole. The reason everyone is
there seems to be the immense energies that can be gathered using
megaengineering from the Eater. In the surrounding interstellar clouds and
star clusters there is a rich interstellar ecology, involving statite
autotrops hovering above the central accretion disk, metallovores eating
the autotrops, odd creatures in the interstellar clouds and living
beanstalks. There is a lot of megaengineering going on, ranging from
orbital cities over dyson spheres to dismantling planets using cosmic
strings and space-time engineering. In the last book, it even turns out
that there are even more immense forces involved (a *very* odd form of
intelligence!) and there are mentions of engineering on the cosmic scale.

The relevant books are _Great Sky River_, _Tides of Light_, _Furious Gulf_
and _Sailing Bright Eternity_ (there are apparently two or three books
before these, set 30,000 years before the galactic center saga). I
recommend them, especially for the beautiful descriptions of the odd
alien life and physics.

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y