“If you could make the future happen in a certain way, if you knew for a fact something was going to happen and that by controlling it you could change what that event’s repercussions would be, wouldn’t you try to do it?”
-Hot Flash, CAPP Interdiction Specialist
When others look at the CAPP, they see a group that went too far with cognitive technologies too quickly. They see an entire society bent towards the solution to an algorithm they never truly understood to begin with. They had just enough calculating power to back themselves into a hole, and they stayed in that hole.
The CAPP sees it differently. The CAPP was founded by a coalition of a few thousand people, led by the best and brightest minds in mass cognition, memetic processing, and other fields. They devised a method of producing a collective, societal computational process without forcing each individual mind to subservience to the whole. It was like the distributed computations of the 21st century, only distributed across brains rather than people, using the intelligence that they weren’t using at the time. The lens that permitted this would transmit information through subtle memetics to others, forming a large organic processor that resting in the "backs of the minds" of all those involved. Then lower-bandwidth data streams could be used to connect to other "processor nodes". All of this would occur nearly without the host minds realizing it - while they were aware of it, it was literally in the parts of their minds they weren't using at the time.
The civilization, very small at first, was called the Collected Assembly. The Assembly wanted to be able to predict the future, and so that was what their civilization-wide cognitive process was dedicated to. Unfortunately, they were still small, and while they got results the future is a very big place. More processing power was required… and more, and more. Individual minds became enhanced quickly and powerfully, strung together in a metatech device that practically constituted a wonder of the world. More and more results were gained, but more importantly people began to see them as the ultimate thinking people – not emotionless rocks like the Logicians but actual people. Because of this, more people started joining, becoming the super-enhanced cogitors of the Assembly and adding to its processing power.
Then it happened. A result had come, soon to be called the Preenacted Pattern. Believing this to be insight not even the Transcendentals had, the civilization began to trace and control the Pattern. The Pattern, itself, is a series of events. Their chronological order is mostly known, but their exact placement in time is not, and in many cases neither is their exact placement in space, and the exact way they turn out might not be either. The event might be for the good or for the bad, depending on circumstances. However, each event is, in theory, going to happen, regardless of what other events occur leading up to them. They are the mathematically inevitable outcomes – there is no other way but for these to occur (if the theory is correct).
Armed with this knowledge, the CAPP (as it came to be known) now attempts to take control of it, working to make certain that the Pattern’s events happen in ways that will lead to positive outcomes. They work with the Transcendentals where possible, but it almost appears that the Transcendentals don’t even know if the Pattern is valid. This doesn’t matter to the Assembly, however – they know, and they will use this to the betterment of life and sapience.
Individual Enactors are a strange people. Although private as much as anybody else, they do many things in public that seem odd. They are extremely talkative, engaging in small talk like it was their last opportunity. This is because they connect to a Civilization-wide Infosphere by these means, using semiotic queues and the like to send and receive signals as hubs and routers on a cognitive network. They chat, get dressed in public, have private moments out in the open, etc., because while they do this they are remaining connected to the Assembly Infosphere, contributing their processing power to it and gaining its benefit.
Most Civilizations find them relatively strange but useful, since any Civilization whose stock in trade is data proccessing will have a large number of friends (and enemies, with many names shared on both lists). The Union and the Assembly have a bad relationship - after several Union memetic attacks, it has become clear that the Union desperately wants the distributed computative technology that the CAPP possesses. Because of how easily the memetic process of the Assembly Infosphere could be used to convert the minds of its users into Unionists, this has led them to a state of cold war, and at least one event in the Pattern has been manipulated to directly attack the Union (or so the CAPP claims).
The Assembly symbol is a geodesic lattice whose nodes are closed eyes.
“Thou shalt not fail.”
-Memetic virus once caught and eradicated from the Assembly Infosphere
Common Names: The CAPP, the Assembly, Enactors
Benefits: Enactors gain a mesh for free, and automatically have a specialized assembly lens. This lens permits those Enactors who have contact with their own Civilization (are on their world or using a data transmission) to use simple public activity in a crowd to connect to the Assembly Infosphere, adding their own cognitive power to the Infosphere and gaining the benefit of everybody else who has added their cognitive power as well, becoming part of a massive distributed computing network. Note that they don’t have to be physically present so long as they are virtually present – a projected hologram with cameras to see others around the projection, present in a Stored virtual environment filled with fellow Enactors, etc. While these Enactors connect to others through lower-bandwidth connections (like telecommunications lines), the processing power to interact with the Infosphere doesn’t come into being unless at least twenty are present at the same time and on some level interacting with each other.
Once in this environment, the Enactor can access the Infosphere as if by Mesh. This allows the Enactor to perform Research Blitzes and similar actions without access to any information resource, since much of the data is stored in the backroads of Enactor’s minds. It should be noted that the primary advantage of this isn’t so much the fact that the Enactor has an Infosphere, but that the Enactor has an Infosphere of living, sapient minds each of whom have a Cognitech Capability of 10 and a Metatech Capability of at least 6, all acting as a massive parallel processing CPU. Even if the information isn’t available, it can often be inferred through forms of reason beyond our ability to understand.
Inspector Status: Patent Office Inspectors have no technical legal rights as Inspectors, although they do have the rights of visitors provided they are in the Civilization legally. However, the Assembly is more than willing to work with the Transcendentals to control the future, and are quite happy to assist Inspectors or receive assistance from the Inspectors about the future.
Core Values: Determination and Openness.
The Assembly functions because its individual members are willing to face travail and woe in order to maintain the Assembly’s function, because the Enactors have the Determination to see it through. The individual members are grand and driven enough (many would say “arrogant enough”) to have as their objective dominance over the outcome of the future. They strive and dedicate themselves to this task.
Enactors are also, by nature, utterly gregarious, and their Openness manifests as a willingness to do daily personal activities in the open so as to continue contributing to the Infosphere. Enactors have allowed any unused part of their intellects to be utilized by society as a whole. Some remain connected in their sleep, cameras showing holography of their sleeping bodies on the Assembly Infosphere and meshes transmitting the outside world into their dreams. This is an extreme example, but it shows that although the Enactors do have secrets, private lives, etc., anything not private is not only public, it’s freely broadcast.
Openness and Privacy: Don’t let the idea of Openness as a Core Value mean that the Enactors have few secrets. They actually have many – like any society of people who have no personal space, Enactors have learned the social queues that tell people “don’t look at me, I need to be as alone as possible”. This is made easier by the Assembly Infosphere. If you ping someone and they show up as not on the Infosphere, they obviously are trying to be at their own thing, and so are generally ignored. Once they come back online, people pay attention to them again.