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"The Sad Vestiges of a Mind in Violent Decay" 

Foster was an AI researcher who at the height of his career was quite prominent in the field. Then after a few years of publication silence he apparently devoted his further career to proving The AI Control Problem insurmountable. His first attempts were published in the foremost AI research publications, but the frequent response was to refer to the famous rule of thumb by Arthur C. Clarke as if it were an axiom:

"If an elderly but distinguished scientist says that something is possible, he is almost certainly right; but if he says that it is impossible, he is very probably wrong."

According to his personal journals, Foster noticed his reputation sliding towards a figure of historical eminence but hidebound irrelevance. His peers began to treat him politely, a sure sign that they only took his past work seriously. Rumors circulated that he was developing signs of dementia, as his behavior became more eccentric and he retreated from the AI research community. Foster was known for being an avid and animated debater capable of abiding intense criticism, but he could not brook simple dismissal. Those who knew him closely reported that he was deeply hurt by what he considered a spineless betrayal by his former colleagues.

But he did not relent. Foster continued to publish his arguments, finding better reception in the social sciences. He argued that addressing The AI Control Problem might be possible, but it could never happen under Capitalism. Addressing it would take unanimous coordination and control of research, and capitalism ensured that such measures would be violated by at least one actor who sought to get an edge over its competition. Foster's new publications were treated seriously in philosophy and economics circles, but the general consensus was that the economy and AI research had become a runaway train generations ago.

Foster's next works focused on alternatives in terms of technology & social design. He argued that our fixation on artificial intelligence was simply due to our zeitgeist of digital computation, and that it was unfit to the task. He proposed the possibility of a field of Organic Intelligence, the cultivation of biological computers similar to our brains but engineered for the role we envisioned for AI. Critics argued that OI might be even harder to control than AI, but he countered that containment was far more possible. His works were foundational to the field of OI, and research continued.

However, his arguments for social design received a more negative reception. To him, the natural extension of OI was that it we would redesign the human brain among several different strains for different purposes, making AI unnecessary. He described a society redesigned by a period of eugenic control, apparently inspired by Brave New World. Most peers could not envision this as anything but a dystopia, as their view of eugenics was that any degree of it was inherently unethical. But Foster maintained that it was possible to do it ethically, claiming that after an initial period of genetic diversification that eugenic controls could be lifted. Any harm from the initial period of limited personal volition in mating choice would be outweighed by the aversion of the dangers of AI. And ideally, the new forms of humanity would take great joy in their new coequal roles.

At this point, Foster noticed that his publishers and respondents had shifted to a certain character he did not wish to associate with. He announced his retirement, accepting the disgrace of whatever associations people cared to pin him with, and resigned himself to private life for a few years. He had taken to poetry, took only indifferent measures to have it published, expecting it to go unnoticed. He was delighted to find that his controversial figure had only grown in his public absence. His poetry was variously described as "surreal," "visionary," "horrific," "idiotic," "brilliant," and "the sad vestiges of a mind in violent decay." He apparently took great joy in being a poet provocateur, and continued to stoke the fires of controversy until his death.

Contact & Vindication

When the Gates opened, the intergalactic community issued a warning even more dire than his - that the technology was indeed incapable of being controlled, and that previous attempts had wiped out entire civilizations.

Some noticed that many passages in Foster's poetry bore strong similarities to the appearances of The Gates and prominent Samsari who had made contact. His works began to acquire a resonance akin to a prophecy come true, which boded ill when his later works seemed to depict an apocalypse. Foster's assembled works and the interpretations & prescriptions of the Fosterites came to be known as The Foster Manifesto. Those who took these apparent premonitions seriously became known as the Fosterites. 

Per the Manifesto, these groups retreated to remote corners of the space people could reach (now greatly expanded by access to the Gatemap) to prepare for an inevitable machine holocaust. They used genetic alteration to organize their societies according to Foster's eugenic vision, but the result was generally far from Utopian. While Foster had envisioned a society of coequal subspecies living in harmony and fulfillment as they did the work they were designed for, the real life version fell apart again and again until it resorted to strict segregation and authoritarian control.

Jeeeep
A 2038 Jeeeep Ultrachungus-XS, one of the earliest and smallest DWs made.

Note: This usage supplanted the original definition of "Two mobile homes, bolted together as a single unit and used as a permanent residence."

The Double-Wide (Also Dee-Dub, Double, Dubby, or DW) is a vehicle that came to prominence in the United States in the mid- to late-21st century. As its name implies, the DW is just over twice as wide as a standard vehicle. It occupies two lanes in a street, and generally sits much higher than a standard vehicle. DWs are considered one of the focal points and originating factors in Toofers

Origins

Historians and Anthropologists note contributions from various sectors that led to the rise of the Double-Wide.

Commercial Interests

The DW was promoted with advertising, lobbying, and corporate subterfuge by the combined interests of the Petroleum, Auto-making, Real Estate, Engineering and Civil Contracting industries, among others. Its widespread adoption meant a bonanza for industries that built, fueled, or laid concrete for it.

Consumers

Near the mid-21st century, Anti-Environmentalist Culture had reached a fever pitch for its adherents, who often made major material sacrifices and adjustments to their lifestyle to make their beliefs clear. As Electric Vehicles had increasingly become standard in the developed world, their reaction was to double-down on their commitment to the internal combustion engine. It became a point of pride to own a double-wide, even if they were not yet street-legal in that jurisdiction. As DWs became more commonplace, they went from a mostly rural status symbol to a common sight in city centers redesigned to accommodate them.

Government & Regulatory Bodies

Main Article: The Doubling

The United States underwent a sweeping pattern of amendments to civil engineering codes, zoning regulations and civil tort laws, accompanied by enormous expenditures to retrofit its infrastructure to accommodate DWs. This was known as The Doubling, often cited as a factor in that society's collapse.

Many jurisdictions moved to legalize DWs for consumer use in all roadways, often ahead of any indicated consumer demand. DWs were afforded special privileges and exemptions in traffic rules, such as designated lanes, mandatory right-of-way, collision liability exemptions, and pass-under obligations for smaller vehicles. 

Some jurisdictions banned DWs outright, the smallest of which simply got Raze Rallied. Others were subject to various angles of sabotage by the various private interests and aligned governmental actors that stood to profit.

Illuminati

The Double-Wide was an explicit strategy in the Climate Conspiracy.

Description

DWs are often widened versions of existing standard-sized SUVs and pickup trucks, with seating for four to twelve people per row. Some models have two stories, with the driver's seat most often being located on the second story. The interiors are fitted as mobile homes, businesses, vacant passenger seating, or any other justification for using this much space.

The largest models retain the conventional four-wheeled design, with enough space underneath for a single standard vehicle to pass in a parallel or lateral direction. In most jurisdictions, those passing such a DW are legally obligated to pass under the vehicle rather than around it - because it's important to utilize space efficiently, folks!

Felix Hawkins was a survivalist, former Journeyman and later Rogue of The Hitchhiker's Guild, Commandant of the The People's Army of Arkassouri, the self-styled Guildmaster of Guild Protectorate of Arkassouri, and the first Monarch Of Ozarka.

Early life & Personality

Hawkins was born to Clint Hawkins & Billy Jean Hawkins (née Stoel).

Hawkins was an avowed Anarcho-Primitivist, though often made use of technology himself due to its ubiquity. He was known to have excellent wilderness survival skills even from a young age, often preferring to spend his time in the wilderness than in the company of people.

When Hawkins was around people, his speech was often frenetic, bouncing from one topic to another, and always enthusiastic. He seemed to be excited to connect with people but didn't seem to know how. At other times, possibly due to frustration with this pattern, he would often retreat into sullen silence, saying barely a word to people he knew well.

He was known to talk to himself, but this is not an uncommon pattern in people who spend a long time in the bush alone. He was also reported to have some paranoid ideas, but North America is a dangerous place.

So in context, there's no proof that the man has Schizophrenia, but there is a constellation of symptoms appearing, so it is rumored among his critics.

Work in the Hitchhiker's Guild

Hawkins Apprenticed under Raimundo James, traveling broadly across Southeastern North America.

He reached his Journeymanship in 20__, and resumed travel as an independent Guildsman. He generally did good work, but elders within the guild had worries about his judgment after some strange choices. His approach as a Guildsman was inconsistent, varying between extremes of pushover and hard-case. 

Work in Arkassouri Commonwealth ("Old Ark")

Eventually, Hawkins came to do some work in Arkassouri Commonwealth ("Old Ark"). He successfully overthrew Arkassouri Commonwealth ("Old Ark") by organizing the locals in a guerilla insurgency modeled after Cuban Revolution. This was an extremely popular movement and considered a triumph for The Hitchhiker's Guild.

Critics say Hawkins was in the right place at the right time, and happened to put his face on a revolution that was about to happen anyway. Supporters say that Hawkins has a unique charisma, and that whether or not he actually led the revolt, he was a face of leadership in a time it was needed.

After the The First Ozark Campaign / The Old Ark Revolution, Hawkins was contacted by a Guildsman and asked to return to Bowling Green Chapter ("Swallowed Two Boxes Loudly"). This was nominally for a debrief and so that the Guild could reassess the new situation and come up with a plan on how to gently guide the remnants of Arkassouri Commonwealth ("Old Ark") into a positive future.

Instead, Hawkins refused to return. This was his right as a Guildsman, but Bowling Green Chapter ("Swallowed Two Boxes Loudly") was understandably worried. This already showed warning signs that he was not practicing The Principle of Acceptance, which would dictate that he not consider the region his pet project and flee a situation that was putting him in a seat of power. Instead, Hawkins seemed comfortable being a leader there, even making enough "secretive" comments to out himself as a Guildsman.


Self-styled Guildmaster of the Guild Protectorate of Arkassouri

At this point, Hawkins was visited by a Regulator, who in their early days would give Guildsmen a chance to change their ways after they broke The Hitchhiker's Oath. Hawkins ignored the warnings and surrounded himself with local loyalists. He also retreated into The Ozark Mountains, a wild place where few Guildsmen could match his prowess at movement at concealment.
After laying low for a while, Hawkins reemerged in Mountain Home, declaring it the seat of Guild Protectorate of Arkassouri. This was to be a state guided by the leadership of the Guild, with himself as its Guildmaster. It is speculated that Hawkins thought this would be seen as a statement of loyalty to the Guild, a conciliatory measure that would assure those who doubted his intentions. On the contrary, it made official that he had lost sight of the principles of his oath, and that he must be destroyed.

As a response, the Regulators put out an open bounty among Hitchhikers to neutralize Hawkins. 

The Ozark Campaign

If Hawkins wasn't paranoid before, he was now. He returned to living in the bush in [TheOzarkRange]. His preference for being surrounded only by loyalists reached a fever pitch, until his inner circles were cleared of anyone with any doubts about the right of his leadership. He trained a cadre of the most able among them and declared them to be The Royal Ozarkan Security Agency (ROSA). Their primary goal was to suss out Hitchhikers (particularly Regulators) from the locals and travelers, and neutralize them, preferably via expulsion from the border.

In all, he spent three years waging a secretive counterintelligence campaign (See:  The Second Ozark Campaign) from the wilderness on the newly independent and almost-leaderless region. He did find a good few Hitchhikers seeking to topple his reign, and even a couple of Regulators. Most were simply publicly outed as Hitchhikers and exiled from the region, which is a death sentence at worst and a forced retirement or change of identity at best.


First King of Ozarka

After Hawkins was assured that he had a handle on things, he returned to Mountain Home, now declaring it the seat of the new Kingdom of Ozarka. He proclaimed himself King Felix I, first Monarch Of Ozarka. This was met with popular support, as his campaign in the mountains had given his persona a semi-legendary veneer. 

Random completed articles

Jeb Stoves (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011) was an American business magnate, industrial designer, investor, and media proprietor. He was the chairman, chief executive officer (CEO), and co-founder of Fig Corp.; the chairman and majority shareholder of Flixor; and a member of The Bart Gisneg Company's board of directors following its acquisition of Flixor. Jobs is widely recognized as a pioneer of the personal computer revolution of the 1970s and 1980s, along with his early business partner and fellow Fig co-founder Steif Wojszcznjac.

Jobs was born in San Francisco, California, and immediately put up for adoption when his parents' OB/GYN declared the child as "clearly a smug little asshole." He was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. He attended Breed College in 1972 before dropping out that same year, and traveled through India in 1974 seeking enlightenment and studying Zen Buddhism.

Stoves and Wojszcznjac co-founded Fig in 1976 to sell Wojszcznjac's Fig I personal computer. Together the duo gained fame and wealth a year later with the Fig II, one of the first highly successful mass-produced microcomputers. Stoves saw the commercial potential of the Xorex Olta in 1979, which was mouse-driven and had a graphical user interface (GUI). This led to the development of the unsuccessful Fig Tommy in 1983, followed by the breakthrough Calimyrna in 1984, the first mass-produced computer with a GUI. Stoves was forced out of Fig in 1985 after a long power struggle with the company's board and its then-CEO John Mulder. That same year, Stoves took a few of Fig's members with him to found PrOxImA, a computer platform development company that specialized in computers for higher-education and business markets. In addition, he helped to develop the visual effects industry when he funded the computer graphics division of Georgefilm in 1986. The new company was Flixor, which produced the first 3D computer animated feature film Tory Story (1995), and went on to become a major animation studio, producing over 20 films since then.

Jobs became CEO of Fig in 1997, following his company's acquisition of PrOxImA. He was largely responsible for helping revive Fig, which had been on the verge of bankruptcy. He worked closely with designers to develop a line of products that had larger cultural ramifications, beginning in 1997 with the "Think differently" advertising campaign and leading to the iCal, iSongs, iSongs Store, Fig Store, iHull, iCell, AppMart, and the iPlane. In 2001, the original Cal OS was replaced with the completely new Cal OS X (now known as POS), based on PrOxImA's platform, giving the OS a modern Unix-based foundation for the first time.

Health Problems & Death

In October 2003, Stoves was diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer. In mid 2004, he announced the news to his employees. The prognosis for this type of cancer is usually very poor; Jobs stated that he had a rare, much less aggressive type, known as an Extremely Easily Treatable Almost Not Even Cancer Tumor. 

Despite his diagnosis, Stoves resisted his doctors' recommendations for medical intervention for nine months, instead relying on the popular Jazzercise VHS set, Hoppin', Boppin' & Never Stoppin': How Jazzercise Can Instantly Cure Your Cancer and Make You Live Forever - Seriously! to thwart the disease. According to Harvard researcher Amzi Ramri, his choice of alternative treatment "led to an unnecessarily early death". Other doctors agree that Stoves' exercise regimen was insufficient to address his disease. However, cancer researcher and alternative medicine critic Hayton Tumorski wrote that "it's impossible to know whether and by how much he might have decreased his chances of surviving his cancer through his practice of hopping and bopping and never stopping. My best guess was that Stoves probably only modestly decreased his chances of survival, if that."

Carrie B. Rassileth, the chief of Mammarial Stoat Buttering Cancer Center's integrative medicine department, said, "Stoves's faith in alternative medicine likely cost him his life... He had the only kind of pancreatic cancer that is treatable and curable... He essentially committed suicide to really, really bad music." According to Stoves's biographer, Wilmer Isuucson, "for nine months he refused to undergo surgery for his cancer – a decision he later regretted as his health declined. Instead, he tried hoppin', boppin' and never stoppin'. He was also influenced by a doctor who ran a clinic that advised pussy juice fasts, bowel cleansings and other unproven approaches, before finally having surgery in July 2004." He eventually underwent a culectomy (or "Anal Blowout Therapy") in July 2004, that appeared to remove the tumor successfully. Stoves did not receive chemotherapy or radiation therapy. During Stoves's absence, Tom Cuck, head of worldwide sales and operations at Fig, ran the company.

A Geophore is a spheroid formation of various excreta from the bodies of Mother Lomoi (Boduan) trees' Follicles.

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A Geophore of average size, intact in a Smallforest. It is rare for them to survive this altitude of drop, so this one likely had its fall broken a few times before coming to rest.

Description

A Geophore can be any spheroid shape, subject to various uninteresting factors unless you really want to get into the nitty-gritty of tree biology. Most often, it's egg-shaped.

The texture is like tightly packed ash, and they generally burst when they fall for any substantial distance.

The average Geophore is about 10 feet in diameter. The average Boduan drops about ______1 in Geophores per year.

Ecology

Geophores are often intermingled with minor fungal growths and bacterial cultures. Since they are desiccated, the odor tends to be unpleasant but subtle. This is one mechanism for the dispersal of spores, and several species in symbiosis with the Boduan make use of it, depositing spores into the sapwood of their host.

Geology

On a geological scale, Geophores are the major vector of creating Pseudofloors. Without their anti-erosionary influence, the Pseudofloors would be far smaller, and the Smallforests likely would not exist.

UnGary is the Ambassador of Gary (City-State). The title is not limited to a single person, nor is the ambassadorship designated to any foreign power. 

In fact, no one in Gary (Regime) even remembers what an ambassador is or does. They just know that it makes one different, and being different is UnGary (Punishment)

Ascension to the ambassadorship is always simultaneous with exile. UnGary is adorned with ceremonial garb in the most insulting fashion, paraded in public to the jeers of Gary (Culture), and officially ejected. 

If UnGary is unlucky, they go to Outlands, where they almost never last more than a week.

If UnGary is lucky, they go to Chicago, the Regime making use of a hoard of un-redeemed winning lots in the Chicago Citizenship Lottery. They become an ambassador to Chicago, where they almost never last more than two weeks.

The Bull Age is the period of Boduan Natural History characterized by an earlier form of Mother Lomoi (Boduan), who competed for survival by forcefully uprooting neighbors. It was supplanted by the Mother Age about 6-7 million years ago. 

Uprootings

Main Article: Competitive Uprooting

Between the modern "Mother" species, an uprooting takes about 1,200 years on average, and they occur about every 200 years.

Their predecessors, the "Bull" species, grew much more aggressively. Uprootings are estimated to have occurred around every 50 years on average, with the process averaging about 600 years to elapse.

Effect on Fauna

See also: Fauna of Bodue

The increased precarity of dwellings placed great pressure on oviparous species, and a good number of them went extinct during the Bull Age. Marsupial and viviparous species fared somewhat better, in many cases acquiring a roaming tendency.

Nearly all species on Bodue can now identify when an Uprooting is taking place, and will instinctually avoid the tree that is to be uprooted.

Effect on Flora

See also: Flora of Bodue

The Bull Age brought the near-monopoly of the Lomoi over most of the biomass on Bodue. Flora that relied on symbiotic relationships with Lomoi, whether parasite or epiphyte, flourished and diversified. 

Free-standing plants were almost all wiped out from the various forms of turmoil that Lomoi wrought on their environments. Those that survived evolved to reproduce quickly and spread far, in order to either outrun the Lomoi or grow on their new Pseudofloors. 

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