Hive Minds – Echopraxia

Classified Archives

An excerpt from Moore, J. 12/03/2088:

Hive Minds, Mind Hives, and Biological Military Automata: the role of collective intelligence in offline combat.

J. Mil. Tech. 68(14)

It bears repeating that, while physical combat has rapidly become a relic of a bygone age, it would rise again to prominence in the wake of any sufficiently drastic loss of physical infrastructure. While the Moksha Mind appears disinterested in any sort of conflict that would lead to combat scenarios either online or off (we have, in fact, been unable to ascertain interests or agendas of any kind, at least none that baseline humanity can relate to), there is no guarantee that this could not change at any moment. Should that supraconscious network opt to pursue combat operations in a meatspace theater, its unsurpassed scale-invariant integration of intelligence-gathering and command decision-making would make it a formidable adversary.

However, the same channels which serve to integrate the Moksha Mind would also be trivially easy to disable using handheld jamming technology (at local scales) or battlefield EMPs (at regional ones). Once isolated, the individual nodes in any such network would be far less effective in the field than the conventional military zombies already in use throughout meatspace ToOs. In my opinion the military threat posed by Moksha hives has therefore been overstated.

Of greater concern are the smaller networks pioneered by the so-called “Bicameral Order”. Although this faction shares tenuous historical kinship with the Dharmic religions behind the Moksha Mind, they do not appear to be pursuing that group's explicit goal of self-annihilation; each Bicameral hive is small enough to sustain a coherent sense of conscious self-awareness. This would tend to restrict their combat-effectiveness both in terms of response-latency and effective size. However, the organic nature of Bicameral MHIs leaves them largely invulnerable to the signal-jamming countermeasures which bedevil hard-tech networks. From the standpoint of brute military force, therefore, the Bicamerals probably represent the greatest potential threat amongst the world's extant mind hives. This is especially troubling in light of the number of technological and scientific advances attributable to the Order in recent years, many of which have already proven to be destabilizing.

We have received repeated assurances— both from trusted independent observers and from Bicameral liaisons themselves­ — that the order has little interest in baseline politics, and would be ill-equipped in that arena anyway because the Planck-scale optimization of their cortical architecture puts them at a disadvantage when dealing with issues at more classical scales. Be that as it may, we have reason to believe that their recent efforts extend beyond the purely theoretical. An increasing number of Bicameral monasteries have acquired standalone power plants capable of generating industrial-scale output far beyond the needs of any mere colony of clerics and theoreticians. The ends to which such energies are being put remains a province of pure speculation.