Author Topic: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?  (Read 15880 times)

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
When you take some time to think about it, it becomes painfully obvious what Shambala is. It is the FreeSpace analogue of the Protoss Khala in StarCraft, only designed for people. Just as the Khala ended the lengthy Aeon of Strife that the various Protoss clans were engaged in, so would Shambala unite humanity and help it overcome its petty differences and conflicts. When your every thought and emotion is shared with the rest of your kind, civil war becomes an unimaginable concept. In many ways that would be the epitome of Ubuntu.

As for the technology itself, it is most likely some powerful quantum pulse emitter that is capable of giving Nagari access to all human organisms galaxy-wide. It makes sense that the project would pick up speed after the Elders were joined by the Nagari-sensitive members of the 14th battlegroup.

Why would the Vishnans sponsor such an enterprise? Maybe, as previous posters have suggested, at some point they saw in humanity the potential for enlightenment that could eventually allow them to ascend as the final (and missing) part of the "broken trinity". Or maybe they just wanted to use humankind as pawns for whatever their reasons were.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
One item in there is perfectly correct. I think Shambhala will feel staggeringly obvious when revealed, because it's such a clear product of the themes of Blue Planet vs. FS2 proper - but also a surprise because of its...incarnation of its own diegetic properties in the narrative-player relationship.

Also here's a random factoid for free, the Vishnans like to upload two species into the swarm redoubt in one go for the same reason almost all organisms have sex.

 
Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
So it will put a star back together and make 80 saths vanish?
[19:31] <MatthTheGeek> you all high up on your mointain looking down at everyone who doesn't beam everything on insane blindfolded

 

Offline Luis Dias

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
One reason why I love Battuta is that everytime he writes comments, I learn a new word.

 

Offline niffiwan

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
Also here's a random factoid for free, the Vishnans like to upload two species into the swarm redoubt in one go for the same reason almost all organisms have sex.

Because it feels good?  :nervous:
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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
One item in there is perfectly correct. I think Shambhala will feel staggeringly obvious when revealed, because it's such a clear product of the themes of Blue Planet vs. FS2 proper - but also a surprise because of its...incarnation of its own diegetic properties in the narrative-player relationship.

Also here's a random factoid for free, the Vishnans like to upload two species into the swarm redoubt in one go for the same reason almost all organisms have sex.

Who's the second species in the notional upload of humanity to the swarm redoubt? Vasudans?
Is the Great Darkness some kind of malignancy borne out of the same process, collapsed unintentionally in the Dawn War?

If the second is true, the Shivans, being directly antagonistic to isotropy and hegemony as they are, would I think be somewhat averse to this idea.

So what kind of survival are they offering to humanity?
What is an "old nazi plate"?

One puts food on it then goebbels it up.

 
Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
Morrigan in Shadow explains what the GD is pretty well imo
The good Christian should beware of mathematicians, and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of Hell.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
The GD is a dominant and degenerate strategy in environments optimized for godlike cognition. It inevitably consumes all those who reach the level of the Council/noosphere/panontos/whatever you want to call the galaxy's first largescale stable civilization. And there's no way to see it coming because it is a product of the very transcendent logic required to confirm its inevitability.

Bosch wanted to end an era of tragic hatred and misunderstanding. Bosch became an understanding. The Shivans don't (usually) hate: but they do 'understand,' now, how humanity might be better deployed...if you'll forgive the implication of intentionality.

What's clear is that both species have accelerated their attempts to intervene. The Shivans have no central intelligence or planning, and the Vishnans are like guys in hazmat suits trying to prod a Petri dish through a pinhole using only echolocation and a million mile long pin. The one advantage humanity and Vasudans have is that they're mostly too dumb to risk infection while active in the hot zone, so they don't have to handicap themselves.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
The Vishnans had big ****in plans for humanity/Vasudanity and pulled some strings to try to get it all to work out. The very very urgent question is why they swapped from "space family Bei please secure peace and enlightenment" to "purge purge purge purge". And the answer is probably already deductible, if you think like a Vishnan. It can't be as inelegant as "well UEF seems likely to lose": they didn't just lose faith over 18 months. Sam is wrong, fatally wrong, when he insists that he just needs more time.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
Once Act 4 resolves the crunchy military aspects of the war Act 5 will make a big effort to clarify the open cosmic mythos questions. The Fedayeen are good at making that **** practical.

 
Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
The GD is a dominant and degenerate strategy in environments optimized for godlike cognition. It inevitably consumes all those who reach the level of the Council/noosphere/panontos/whatever you want to call the galaxy's first largescale stable civilization. And there's no way to see it coming because it is a product of the very transcendent logic required to confirm its inevitability.

Bosch wanted to end an era of tragic hatred and misunderstanding. Bosch became an understanding. The Shivans don't (usually) hate: but they do 'understand,' now, how humanity might be better deployed...if you'll forgive the implication of intentionality.

What's clear is that both species have accelerated their attempts to intervene. The Shivans have no central intelligence or planning, and the Vishnans are like guys in hazmat suits trying to prod a Petri dish through a pinhole using only echolocation and a million mile long pin. The one advantage humanity and Vasudans have is that they're mostly too dumb to risk infection while active in the hot zone, so they don't have to handicap themselves.

Quote
The Vishnans had big ****in plans for humanity/Vasudanity and pulled some strings to try to get it all to work out. The very very urgent question is why they swapped from "space family Bei please secure peace and enlightenment" to "purge purge purge purge". And the answer is probably already deductible, if you think like a Vishnan. It can't be as inelegant as "well UEF seems likely to lose": they didn't just lose faith over 18 months. Sam is wrong, fatally wrong, when he insists that he just needs more time.

I'm sorry if this is getting random or looks like fishing for answers and have many mistakes but here are my thoughts:

> Does that mean that the Humans and Vasudans can use optimized tactics like the Shivans can't because they do not risk GD infection?

> There're mentions of a trigger threshold being crossed or something. The Hush mentioned in GRANITE HUNTER. Is this Bei's mistake? It is generally understood that the Vishnans abandoned humanity but Shivans claimed humanity as their incipients. What did the Vishnan/T2 Deva capability saw that caused this, and why does that threat ahead caused Shivans to choose humanity instead.

Another thought: Am I right in assuming that "Nagari as a provably safe" represents Shivans, while "Nagari as a provably unsafe" represents Vishnans?

I've also been thinking about the unspeakably terrible thing the Jester Nabirasul prophesied. It couldn't have been the GTVA/UEF war, at least in my opinion.

What if it was the infection of Vishnans by the Great Darkness? It has been very subtly implied the many weaknesses the Vishnans have:
- Their technology is highly optimized, and not as scalable (Vishnan Beam Weapons) and not nearly as diverse as the Shivans.
- They have a central weakness that being the Summed Psyche, and the Great Preserver and the Sacred Keeper(s) to a lesser extent.

If we choose to believe Laporte's Universal Truth, the Shivans rebuked the Vishnans pretty decisively. From my interpretation then the Vishnans are 'merely' an ascendant species while the Shivans are borne out of spacetime and is a guaranteed existence as a sort of force of nature.

Therefore the Vishnans exhibits many qualities that would present itself as a prey for Great Darkness, but I understand this conclusion might be incorrect.

What is an "old nazi plate"?

One puts food on it then goebbels it up.

 

Offline niffiwan

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
idk if I can explain how I got to to this... but maybe Shambhala gives Nagari to everyone, as a result humanity ascends to the Council/noosphere/panontos/whatever; GD eats humanity, and maybe anyone "in contact" with them. Ergo the Vishnans now want humanity purged before they complete Shambhala?  (Did the defection of parts of the 14th BG make Shambhala possible, or just accelerate progress?)
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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
i got nothing on why the vishnans want a purge
The good Christian should beware of mathematicians, and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of Hell.

 

Offline QuakeIV

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
The Great Darkness seems to be some kind of ultimate mutually assured destruction weapon that was deployed in the distant past.  Something to that effect anyways.  The 'hot zone' as Battuta called it would be the once-livable material universe in its entirety, now infested with a civilization eating superweapon trawling the ashes.  If either Humanity or the Vasudans progress to the point where they can be attacked by this entity, the ramifications are somewhat unclear.  Perhaps it will simply murder all of them or perhaps it will do something with them that nobody wants to have happening.  I would guess something akin to the latter, given how keen the Vishans and Shivans are on preventing anyone from progressing too far.  If the Great Darkness just murdered them and then everything returned to the status quo (slow accumulation of entropy), there would be no need for all the drama.  Perhaps it triggers the full activation of the weapon or something, I dunno.  Whatever it is, it implies the Brahmans may have committed mass suicide to block the Great Darkness from achieving its full effect, (since they would qualify as a full civilization) hiding away as much of themselves as they could in the Vishnans.

If so, I bet the Vishnans purpose is to either continue the Brahman civilization somehow, or to utterly destroy their enemies.  Looks like everybody is dead (good job), and the Vishans are still actively doing things, so I will assume the former.  I mean, they could want anything, but the fact that the dawn war lead to such total annihilation implies that there were multiple sides with conflicting goals trying to eliminate eachother.  The Brahmans seemed to be super-civilized, so I think its a safe bet that continuing civilization is all they really want at this point.

The Vishnans seem to be actively manipulating the UEF, rather than immediately killing them to prevent them from turning into Great Darkness zombies (or whatever it is that happens), which implies that the UEF is related to their goals somehow.  Otherwise, why absorb the risk?  So, the UEF is useful to their plans.  I don't recall where exactly, but something in AoA mentioned the Brahmans were in the process of dying as they created the Vishnans.  Maybe their mass suicide as mentioned above.  All of AoA was apparantly an intricate lie to control Bei however, so its not clear how reliable it is.  Anyways, its possible the Brahmans were effectively frantically packing a briefcase when they made the Vishnans, due to the whole impending apocalypse time crunch.  Also, the idea of the 'summed psyche' kindof implies a crappy vector sum was used to try to store the Brahmans as a whole.  This coupled with their interest in the UEF implies they don't have everything they need to resume civilization as it once was.  Implicitly the UEF has something that they need, so they orchestrated its rise to power and were planning some final event to harvest the needed stuff.

Except, something went wrong in the procedure.  Remember how Laporte and Simms were ranting to eachother on the flight over Luna city, about how their civilization was so fantastic and everything was going so great, and then the GTVA kicked the door down and blew it all away?  Remember all of that fancy exposition scattered throughout the game about how especially enlightened the Elders are?  I bet the UEF is on its way to being infected by the Great Darkness, if it hasn't begun already.  The UEF became so good and pure that it made it to the point where it is now the beginnings of a true civilization, to the point that the anti-civilization superweapon has become a factor.  I mean, its a pretty elegant extension of the UEF's characteristics.  Furthermore , though this is less likely in my opinion, its worth noting the UEF was part way through some complex interaction with the Vishnans when this happened.  A lot of people speculated that Shambhala was some kind of attempt to 'ascend into the summed psyche' to paraphrase.  To take that analysis and mess around with it, maybe the Elders are trying to complete the procedure the Vishnans started, under their own power.  If they are already 'infected', or are at imminent risk of infection, maybe the summed psyche and Vishnans are directly at risk as a result of this.  Thats not all that provable though, and from an intuitive perspective is slightly too grand a consequence to fit in with this universe (the destruction or crippling of the Vishnans).  Its fairly likely the Vishnans simply want to purge the infected before they reach the point of being too good.

The GTVA for their part might be fully or partially aware of the full ramifications of the UEF's progression.  This might explain why they are so eager to crush the UEF as quickly as possible, and learn more about what Shambhala is.  If the situation advances to the point of no return, then presumably the Shivans or Vishnans will step in and annihilate Humanity.  Depending on the nature of the Great Darkness' attacks, it may not be possible to be selective and only kill off the UEF.  If the Elders are infected, and the GTVA knows it, then they probably want them dead just as badly as any of the other residents of the galaxy.  It would explain the eagerness to neutralize them.  It could also explain why their society is so screwed up, they are actively trying to avoid becoming valid targets for the Great Darkness.  Of course, its also possible that they simply detected alien manipulation and attacked the UEF on assumption.  "Whatever those good-for-nothing Vishnans are up to, it cant be good!"


e:  Various minor final edits (the final read over after posting found more things I wanted to change)
« Last Edit: July 19, 2016, 03:56:19 am by QuakeIV »

 
Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
All these talks about the Great Darkness reminds me of the Exsurgent Virus from Eclipse Phase.

 

Offline Luis Dias

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
I don't know why so much speculation about this subject. Morrigan in Shadow is pretty much conclusive on all these matters.

To sum up:

There are Makers in the Universe. And there are Destroyers. The purpose of the former is to build and make everything about itself. To repurpose other purposes unto its own, to reformulate everything into their wants. It is inherently hollow, cancerigenous. The purpose of the latter is to prey on the former, to use it, to destroy it, to attack it, to recreate chaos. If the former is cancer, the latter is chemotherapy without its teleological trait (and thus a lot more inneficient / destructive).

The Vishnans are Makers. Their interest in the UEF is patently obvious: they want to repurpose their purposes and integrate them onto their own. A kind of totalitarian Borgs. Meanwhile, the Shivans are fighting the Makers. Both humans/vasudans and vishnans are makers, albeit in different scales. The Shivans, through Ken, were able to be smarter and covert in their attack and were able to infiltrate into UEF's key people's psyches. Laporte.

Laporte would be used as a weapon to destroy humanity from within. And, possibly, the Vishnans in the future. Ken's purpose is to have mankind serve as a monster factory for Shivans to use, instead of merely being destroyed.

This is the precise point. When this became obvious to the Vishnans, they decided to purge humanity from their plans. What does a farmer do when a particular corner of his field gets a disease? Well, he may try to cure it, but in the end he may just as well merely cull it: "I have to be more careful next time".

What is SHAMBALA? The fiction doesn't describe it, apart from saying that it failed as a desperate weapon of defense. I'm inclined to agree with Warrior Of Ice's opinion on the matter, although Battuta suggests it will be much more gameplay-friendly, so to speak. IOW, it won't "connect" human psyches all across the board, it may well just connect the ones you want to and make them do exactly what you want. To turn other purposes into your own. I can guess that such gameplay could well be a variation of RTS type of gameplay, where you merely command others to do exactly what you want, regardless of their own wants. I can also imagine this could be an attempt at PSYWAR against the Alliance fighters, wherein whenever some ship gets into a particular spatial sphere of influence, they will be vulnerable to purpose redirection (like the Ordos' Deviator from Dune 2).

 

Offline QuakeIV

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
Battuta has pointed out that there are major differences between the Morrigan stuff and BP.  He also has used the maker/destroyer concept in several of his other stories, so I tend to assume that he added that into the BP universe when he wrote that rather than revealing its existence in BP itself.  Hence all the extra stuff in my post above.

 

Offline Luis Dias

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
I'm clinging to the idea that the "major differences" refer to the events at Capella and some other parts of the story (mostly all events), but not to the overall issues, themes. The Maker / Destroyer concept wasn't exactly invented by Battuta here, it was established by Darius in Age of Aquarius and basically confirmed in all of War in Heaven so far, and thus it perfectly fits.

I'm easily distracted and my memory is continuously failing me so I kinda am confused about what exactly the Great Darkness is. As I see it today (And my sight is pretty damn bad today), it may well be the cancerigenous totalitarian conscious state of everything, which the Shivans are made to prevent, or it may be the end result of a Shivan cleansing of a certain type of local noosphere "infection". Or it may be a third state/calculation/consequence. I'm inclined to think it's the former.

 

Offline QuakeIV

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
Eh good point, that may very well be the case.

As to the nature of the Great Darkness, all I recall is that its apparantly an existential threat to anything civilized.  That might be a slightly faulty line of reasoning though, since theoretically unthinking critters such as the shivans seem to be actively trying to supress it for presumably selfish reasons. 

Your own description brings an interesting image to mind.  Maybe the Great Darkness is trying to carry out the will of civilized (cancerous) individuals, and its infection would somehow... improve them.  Make them more powerful, in any case.  In that case Shambhala could be a deliberate attempt on the part of the elders to infect humanity.  It would certainly represent a reprehensible gamble with the lives of billions.

 
Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
I actually disagree quite substantially with luis here, more when I get to a proper keyboard/a state where I can write
The good Christian should beware of mathematicians, and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of Hell.