Dealing With A Purely Theoretical Dilemma

So, Charles Stross posted this particular “what if” on his blog today-

“Welcome to the galactic federation, humans! All our riches and elite super-science will be yours—immortality, faster than light travel, the tools to build AIs, cures for all your illnesses and a working theory of economics that abolishes poverty and war and provides as much wealth as anybody wants—just so long as you sign this simple easy agreement and consent to make one minor cognitive tweak so that you don’t mistakenly destabilize the false vacuum and destroy the universe.”

“Um. Wossat, then?”

“We need you to become a group mind. Studies show that in all identified previous cosmoi, individualist tool-using sophonts with access to these technologies harboured splinter groups so deranged that they collapsed the vacuum energy. There are no known exceptions to this rule: apparently telling you collectively not to do something just makes it inevitable. Unless you Borgify first—become a group mind, render your individual mental boundaries permeable to one another, and allow any other human complete access to your thoughts and memories. Group minds generally stick to the terms and conditions voluntarily.”

“Uh, let me get back to you on that. What happens if we say ‘no’?”

“Then, regrettably, you will discover that you have asked a question to which you really did not want to learn the answer.”

So, which leads to the question of what happens if somebody tried to make the same veiled threat/offer to the five races of Equestria. For all the races in the Equestriaverse, the answer would be varying degrees (and outgoing fire) of NO.

For Equestrians, a hive mind of this sort is so many different violations of the Covenant that it isn’t funny.  It’s the reason why there’s a Covenant in the first place.  Why the rules of the Covenant are so highly enforced.  They would fight, and possibly lose, but they would make sure that their opponents had the scars of their conflict.

To the Griffin Moot, they’re individuals, damn proud of it, and wouldn’t have it any other way.  Their minds are their own, and they want to keep them that way.

For the Senate and Minotaur Republic?  This is like suggesting that the Nazis had a perfect idea with the Holocaust to Israel Jews.  The Black Beast was a nightmare that they still suffer from to this day.  This lack of cognitive volition?  They’d fight, and if they couldn’t win, they’d drag as many of their enemies down with them as they could.

For the Zebra Kingdoms, the temptation would be there…as long as they (“they” being “whichever noble thinks they’re on top”) are the head of the hive.  But, of course, they couldn’t let somebody unworthy (i.e. their opponents) have access to the same.

For the Changelings, there isn’t any real difference.  Well, except that the Empresses would have to cooperate, and they would…as long as one Empress was in charge.

5 thoughts on “Dealing With A Purely Theoretical Dilemma

  1. So, this gives me a curiosity: what would they think of the individuality-preserving type of collective consciousness, like the Transcend?

    (One might think that “perfect liberty with perfect coordination” is a pretty decent way to say “Harmony”, after all.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: On The Transcend And Free Will | Equestriaverse

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