Consideration
The City, the Shades > Soulweb

[COMMUNICATION 18318b2124b22, Soulweb Administration 28836f to Soulweb Location 9af345:

These segments may be of use in your current considerations. I remind you that a decision is expected in approximately three subjective years.

REF Soulweb Location f6359a2: 384711d-384713b

the majesty of it all! There are times at which it awes me. I sit for months in distracted contemplations, knowing that the City, the Shades, and indeed the Universe will stand still for me. How long is a subjective year? A fraction of a thousandth of a second by the clock of the City or the clock of the Universe. I dwell in this Soulweb Location, fabricated to my specifications, deciding on the fate of simulations in a passion play. When I tire of my work, I ski, I spend time with my wife and children in the cabin, I hike through the Rockies. We human analogues have such a capacity for self-delusion! I cannot say that I do not enjoy my life here, but I would like, just once, to talk to the Designers of this reality. The real Designers, that is, not their analogues. I know that there is essentially no difference, but we human analogues are blissfully freed from the concerns of appearing logical. Our foibles and inconsistencies are what drive this great engine of ours. I know that I take some small pride in being a part of this grand design that we have accomplished as a species.

But I must move closer to the point of my incipient rambling. Every last thing I see fit to type will be recorded. Everything! Ten thousand years have passed in the City and the Universe outside.

REF Soulweb Administration 28836f:34b5982f3555

As is apparent at several points in these segments, Soulweb Location f6359a2 has no knowledge of relativistic physics. In the Old Earth frame, approximately 52,947 standard years have elapsed since the creation of our zero-City. Communicate with Soulweb Location 499a45b if you wish to query the origin of this figure

END REF

Imagine how many of my predecessors have existed in that time, and how much they have written! Imagine the productions of the billions of Human and Shade Souls in that time! No wonder the history of Old Earth is buried in the larchives - buried under the weight of experience, memory, and information. But imagine further; imagine all this information repeated a million, a billion times throughout our galaxy. There must be more Cities than can by counted by now!

REF Soulweb Administration 28836f:34b5982f34f9

accepted simulational estimates vary from 1,953,345,023,757 to 53,112,900,324,665. Matter contained in the outer reaches of planetary systems has proven to vary widely in heavy element content and distribution

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Each City carries with it the accumulated knowledge of our species, replicated again and again. Astounding even when the implications are familiar!

But I still have not reached my point. This subjective day, I discovered something that gave me a sense of awe exceeding even that which my situation should provide for me. Intelligence! For me, the City is fixed in space and time, far from a red star - half a cubic meter to contain a world of billions. Three million kilometers away they are building more Cities out of dust and ice, but I will be gone before the next component is finished and added. Long before I was aware, other Cities had passed through the inner reaches of the system of this red star. What did they find? Habitation! Transports! Construction on a single planet. All of which took place before any City ever came to this system! The architects here are not like us, not like us at all. They are not even similar to the way we analogues were when we were merely humans, before we dropped our mortal shells for this simulational existence.

Our course of action? It has been determined, known by the Administrators since the first City took flight. We will take their Oort Cloud

REF Soulweb Administration 28836f:34a5df837aa5

an Old Earth term of unknown origin. It refers to the matter in the outer reaches of a planetary system

END REF

and in return leave them our gift of technology. Other Soulwebs in other Cities will watch over them, billions of minds and hundreds of thousands of sensors. In another ten thousand years, the inhabitants of this system will come of age to find that they are not alone. The Designer analogues tell me that our discovery here has vindicated everything that they worked for. We are not alone! Our companions in the Universe will not have to reach for the stars as we did to find the truth. They will come to have Cities too, and together our species will seek out the others that must exist. Can you imagine what their Cities would be like? The Universe is ours to share! Who could have dreamed, in the age when log cabins existed on Old Earth, that we would be here, shaping and becoming

END REF

END COMMUNICATION]

[ Posted by Reason on December 27, 2004 ]