Author Topic: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?  (Read 17218 times)

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
first note: morrigan in shadow is set in a modified BPverse with the vishnans completely excised; I do not think any conclusions about them can be drawn directly from that story
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 Luis Dias

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
Directly, you're correct. But the themes seem to map reasonably well. Take this chapter (my bold):

Quote
Cancer, and its relationships to paradise and love:
You build a place without violence or deprivation. A place where anything can have everything it needs to be its finest, fullest self.
This is how cells became organisms. How people became civilizations. How a bunch of misfits and ****ups became a fighting unit almost tough enough to challenge Admiral Steele. A Simms wrote some laws to say: if we pool our energies, we can create a common good. And if you follow the rules, yeah, you, Laporte, if you don’t eat too much common good, if you put in more than you take out, then we can last.
Imagine a Simms-god rampant, organizing the universe, winning the love of all the Laportes. So productive and persuasive that no one notices its ultimate agenda is hollow, self-referential, malignant.
Think about me. Organize everyone and everything to think about me. What am I? I am thinking about how to make everything think about me. I am a tumor, recruiting every system I encounter in the name of my own expansion.
“Whoa, now.” Simms puts a wet finger on the back of Laporte’s neck. “I’m very compelling, sure. Magnetic. But that’s not me.”
“Shh. Let me finish.” Except, Laporte realizes, she is finished. That’s the whole story. “van Aken believes in a cosmic proof: the axiomatic, mathematical superiority of cancer to all forms of containment. An empty thought that consumes intelligent systems and uses them to think about propagating itself.
Given a range of purposes, and a surplus of resources, one purpose would always triumph: the purpose of defeating and incorporating all other purposes. The two ant colonies in Laporte’s garden had to dedicate themselves entirely to war. If one of them spent part of its energy on ant compassion, or ant culture, or ant art, it would lose. Cancer was the destiny of smart systems: empty, voracious, every part of them thinking about nothing but how to expand.
Unless there was someone with a hose to pour water on them.
“So,” Simms says, humoring Laporte’s great mythic rant, “why do we still have a universe? Why are we here, thinking about ourselves?”
“That’s just what I asked van Aken,” Laporte lies. Because she feels that it would be too creepy, too alien, to admit that she understood it right away.
In the part of the story she’s avoiding, in the garden of the seizure dream, Laporte turned on her hose and began flooding her childhood constructs into mud. “The Nemesis are the anti-malignancy measure. They kill Makers. That’s why they’re so noisy and inefficient. So they can escape the models that Makers use to win wars.”
From a distant Nemesis construct, tumbling through the ergosphere of Capella, borrowing the black hole’s energies to hurl charged particles through quantum wormholes into Laporte’s mind, Ken smiled his agreement. Tattooed it into Laporte’s brain.
If you were afraid of intelligent thought consuming the universe, you had to turn the cosmos into an acid bath. An endless war against the triumph of Lorna Simms.

The theme seems to map, regardless of whose "Maker" we are talking about. Vishnans are able to circumvent Shivans to a point, but they too are at war with each other: The vishnans create, the shivans destroy, the first sees the other as a menace to their plans, the latter sees the first as a cancer to purge.

 
Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
I think you're putting the Vishnans in the wrong place here. I don't think they're the cancer, the empty thought; I think they're the result of the kind of complex cognitive life that would otherwise have invented Nagari and fallen to that menace evolving in a universe where the Shivans exist to snip that in the bud. Battuta described, on the last page I think, them as 'guys in hazmat suits poking at things through a pinhole'. The Vishnans aren't a malignancy doomed for the cull, they're what's left after the cancer has been cut out and quarantined.
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 Luis Dias

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
I get your point. I think the "Empty Thought" commentary can be either a reference to the Great Darkness, or simply a deeper poking into the Makers own deep inherent fatal flaw. However, it also makes sense to say that this kind of purpose cancer is the potential danger of all cognitive development in the universe and, say, that the Vishnans were very lucky or very careful to dodge that bullet.

So what is fascinating in this Protocol between the shivans and vishnans is how they deal with a simple difference of opinion regarding whether if this species is to be culled or not. It's really an important matter because if the Vishnans have it all wrong and call for a non-cull on an otherwise too narcissistic a species, the contribution of this species (which apparently must be a duo according to Battuta) might pollute the Psyche and bring forth the Great Darkness, thus destroying the entire purpose of the Protocol.

In AoA, the shivans are really not happy with the Vishnan's decision, but there's another assymetry there: only Vishnans can "see" through different dimensions. The Vishnans are, like you say, "guys in hazmat suits poking at things through a pinhole".

They brought the 14th to their dimension so they could directly intervene in them. But their mission failed, which is crazy in itself... Nevertheless, the Vishnans have probably decided that the human's species is a no-go. Therefore the Protocol is clear: the cull is about to be cast, or has already been cast. Shivans are allowed to kill humans / vasudans. But wait, because now the shivan local anima is Ken, and Ken has a different scheme: to use humans as tools of shivans, and thus make them be part of the shivan toolkit. And thus let them live. Because without this kind of "strategy", local cull would already been in effect and third incursion would have already started. Ken is holding the Shivans back with this bargain.

Now, what the vishnans might be thinking or planning or considering here might be interesting, because they might be witnessing a strange pattern in this dimension that was not how they saw things going. Why aren't the shivans culling them according to the protocol? And what is this weird Laporte doing here in Nagari? They still might intervene in order to check what the hell is going on here.

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

It makes me think of Transcend a whole lot. And a distinct urge to stay fixated on what is front of me.

 
Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
Lately I have been thinking about the dreaded Morpheus contingency and how it is meant as a countermeasure to Shambhala. Something so highly classified and so horrible (as indicated in some of Steele's dialogues) can only be related to system-wide genocide. That means either killing off or mentally disabling (which leads to pretty much the same result) everyone in Sol. So how can that happen?

Theory 1:

Blow up the Sun just like the Shivans did Capella. Yes, yes, I know that our Sun is not nearly as massive as required to go supernova, but let's assume that Shivan tech can compress/disrupt its core enough to produce such an effect. If the GTVA has been able to figure out and reproduce the method used by the Sathanas fleet, then it is a distinct possibility.

Theory 2:

This one has to do with reverse-engineering the ETAK technology and utilizing its quantum principles in order to assault human minds in Sol. The name Morpheus itself suggests tempering with people's consciousness: this could be mind control, mind format or even constructing a Matrix-like dream world where the Federation citizens would remain locked up. However such a scenario would require massive energy and computational resources so I find the first one more feasible.

 

Offline The E

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
Lately I have been thinking about the dreaded Morpheus contingency and how it is meant as a countermeasure to Shambhala. Something so highly classified and so horrible (as indicated in some of Steele's dialogues) can only be related to system-wide genocide. That means either killing off or mentally disabling (which leads to pretty much the same result) everyone in Sol. So how can that happen?

Small correction: MORPHEUS is the overall name for a program designed to get humanity to a point where it can counter Shivan (and, after the 14th BG incident, Vishnan) influence. Shambhala, as a UEF program, is not implicitly covered by it.
**** every cause that ends in murder and children crying. ― Iain Banks
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Offline Damage

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
Apparently it's a wi-fi password.

https://youtu.be/h7gvFravm4A?t=2m



(sorry--I couldn't stop myself)
I didn't feel like putting anything here.  Then I did it anyway just to be contrary.

 
Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
the MORPHEUS contingency is when you capture martin mando and leave him naked in a glass ball for a century
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 Rabid

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
I've actually been curious as well about MORPHEUS

Any spoilers? I've spent at least 2 hours in a single sitting looking up anything I could about it. I recall trying to find info on it at least one other time, not much fruit from FS canon or even the Granite Hunter Files.

If I had to guess - its a way to manipulate subspace in a way that is harmful to Shivans. Possibly directly, in a physically destructive sense-- such as destabilizing a node while ships are in transit, or completely severing
Shivan Ship-to-Ship/Shivan-to-Shivan communications. I think the thing is designed to **** with subspace in a way that could shield allied systems from invasion, possibly up to the point of shutting down a node(s) completely. In this sense, if the weapon was used to permanently seal a GTVA system it would surely spell doom for that system (the colonies seem to be small and depend on one another for resource sharing and etc, overuse of this device could shatter the Alliance completely in itself if the only way to avoid Shivan culling is total isolation of each GTVA system from any other)

The Shivans seem to be bent on preserving the cosmos, first and foremost being the subspace nodes. They don't care if they destroy a planet, or a star, etc. But in the first invasion they seemed only to care about controlling the jump nodes themselves. (to box us in) Also, the Shivans tolerated the Ancients up until right about the time they used Subspace in particular to further their ambitions of conquest.

That seems to be the Shivan theme -- if a species discovers subspace travel and uses it for conquering and subjugating other races, they'll be targeted for culling.
For MORPHEUS to be successful in protecting the Alliance from the Shivan threat in a wholesale sense, I can't think of any other entity that we could hope to manipulate that could remotely accomplish this goal. The one thing more powerful than the Shivans is subspace itself -- Shivans are utterly dependent upon it for travel (and Sathanis class beams and up) and seem unable to counter any of its negatives (shield removal + subspace tracking once discovered -- ((simply tracking an object in subspace means we can target or differentiate different regions of subspace -- likely done with equipment located in normal-space as its unlikely the fighters chasing the Lucifer into subspace had that particular computing power))


Just a hunch. Its not gonna be a Death Star.

 

Offline Luis Dias

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
Apparently it's a wi-fi password.

https://youtu.be/h7gvFravm4A?t=2m



(sorry--I couldn't stop myself)

"We're not savages" - that's a really cool Chiwetel line right there.

 

Offline Damage

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
I'm pretty sure that counts for bonus points since Steele is at least partly based off one of his characters (from Serenity, if I'm not mistaken?)
I didn't feel like putting anything here.  Then I did it anyway just to be contrary.

 

Offline Luis Dias

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
Correct! It all comes full circle!

 
Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
I thought MORPHEUS was the removal of all Vishan-compromised assets from Sol? Like, essentially mass killings? Even Steele calls it a 'nightmare'.

SHAMBHALA is whatever the UEF thinks can end the war while preserving their morals and society, and I think if you fail missions in Tenebra they basically go through with it. Something that messes with subspace seems to be the most obvious option.

 
Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
Time to call the Titan's and crack out the G-3.  :P

But yeah I dunno how the rest of the GTVA would take it if it came to that.

 
Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
SHAMBHALA is whatever the UEF thinks can end the war while preserving their morals and society, and I think if you fail missions in Tenebra they basically go through with it.
Actually, if you fail One Future... there would be no Elders to go on with it.

All of you are wondering lots about Shivans, Vishnans, GTVA, UEF and how they interact with each other... And where are the Gefs in all of this? Al-Da'wa said something about them being the last hope of humanity surviving in case UEF loses to the Tevs (and Shivans wipe out both sides of the conflict?).
So what, Gefs are something that Shivans/Vishnans did not notice or just don't care about?
Excuse me for any spelling errors I make - I'm still learning English :P

 

Offline Luis Dias

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
It's just that they have the most quiet and subtle existence of them all. Unlike everyone else, they hide themselves in the Kuiper Belt and try to come up with ways to exist and prosper through genetic design and other strategies with barely no sunlight at all, and perhaps very little subspace activity, if any.

You can easily analyse this through some darwinian lenses. Given that the hotspots are always close to the stars, not only how easy planets are to spot near them, but also how subspace strenght seems to align itself quite perfectly with stars' locations; given how shivans seem to really care about subspace first and foremost; given how decentralized and sparse something called "The Kuiper Belt" really feels like, it does mean that in the event that humanity gets wiped out by a third shivan incursion, these GEFs will at least be the very last ones to be culled, and probably some centuries after all others.

If they could eventually, through the decades or even centuries, start to thrive on their own in dark space between the stars and treat those hotspots as "no-go areas", they could become... something else. A species adapted to dark space. Something way bigger than the GTVA has ever been. Something that could even survive the shivans long enough to be able to escape its cull. Quite the tall feat, given how shivans are "GodSlayers", but hey it could be its own story.

 
Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
Quote
but also how subspace strenght seems to align itself quite perfectly with stars' locations;

It's not just seemingly, actually. From the FS2/BP techroom entry:

Quote
First, an intrasystem jump can occur between two points in a star system. Most small, space-faring vessels are equipped with motivators capable of these short jumps. The presence of an intense gravitational field is required, prohibiting travel beyond the boundaries of a star system.

Or, in short, go "beyond" a star's gravitational field and you go beyond the reach of subspace. If I am allowed to speculate, the reason why we have jumpnodes is because there is still some sort of subspace beyond a stars gravitational field, but it is more affected by eachother gravity thus forming those jumpnodes - a bit like how waterdrops tend to attract eachother.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2016, 08:23:28 am by -Joshua- »

 

Offline Luis Dias

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Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
euphemistic facetiousness loses yet another round

 
Re: [Spoilers] What is Shambhala?
I've always been operating under the assumption that Shambhala was a means of mass-uploading the minds of everyone in Sol into a rechnender raum -- either the Vishnans' or their own. Either will be hilarious to look upon if it succeeds, as I'm quite sure the Vishnans will take issue to this.

Consider: The Vishnans and the Shivans work according to a deal set out by the Brahmans, the Terminal Protocol. Presumably, something happened involving the Brahmans and the Great Darkness, and the two races were tasked to make sure it didn't happen again. The idea was to keep any civilization from reaching that point in development. Either the Vishnans used Nagari shenanigans to bring the civilization to "enlightenment" and merged them into the Summed Psyche -- a Vishnan rechnender raum where thinking about a Great Darkness was an impossibility -- or the Shivans would cull them.

While the UEF was on schedule for Vishnan enlightenment and upload, the Elders, afraid that the Shivans would return, started Shambhala as an insurance policy to preserve humanity. When the Tevs declared war, humanity was written off by the Vishnans. So the UEF had no choice but to push forward with Shambhala, and hope they finish it before the Tevs destroyed them.

MORPHEUS, meanwhile, approached the problem from another angle -- how to free humanity from Nagari influence. It's entirely possible this involves forcefully preventing humans from being Nagari-receptive. Steele's dreams may be a clue here; when he said Morpheus was "a nightmare you don't get to wake up from", he may have been speaking literally. The UEF, to him, is a polity run by compromised individuals. Thus, they need to be toppled.