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Abyss of Eternal Dreams [Nation Maintenance]

Where nations come together and discuss matters of varying degrees of importance. [In character]
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Darussalam
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Founded: May 15, 2012
Compulsory Consumerist State

Abyss of Eternal Dreams [Nation Maintenance]

Postby Darussalam » Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:18 am

Introduction.

"For beauty is nothing but
the beginning of terror, that we are still able to bear,
and we revere it so, because it calmly disdains
to destroy us. Every Angel is terror.
"
- Rainer Maria Rilke, the Duino Elegies

The dreamscape was spreading before your eyes, enthralling your mind in brilliant horror.

We have plugged noosphere into technocapital, propelling our civilization into singularity as the fabrics of our collective reality break down into untrammeled chaos. There's no question about what will happen: the laws of thermodynamics are inescapable, and the universe moves towards one direction. Entropy is divine, it is the essence of God Himself. He embodies reality and He too will embody its extinction. Chaos generates order, which generates chaos, eating itself successively. And so on.

What truly happens, one would ask, in a clown-world? Nobody knows for sure, and that's part of the story. It is perpetually in the state of liminality - ever-changing, like a mirage. Esoteric daemonic cults hijacking traditional symbols of authority, political institutions transforming into anonymous assassination markets, society and by extension governance collapsing into transactional paperclip-maximizing system. Sterile and efficient, yet at the same time perverse and grotesque. A stable feedback-loop that thrives on chaos. Heaven baked on hell. Insanity masquerades as banal normalcy. A reality that lies and cloaks itself.

But at the end, there's no denying of its beauty. And may our midnight, the final demise of the Anthropocene, be that of a sublime terror.
Last edited by Darussalam on Sat Feb 01, 2020 3:22 am, edited 3 times in total.
The Eternal Phantasmagoria
Nation Maintenance
A Lovecraftian hybrid of totalitarian panopticon and crypto-anarchy with Arabian Nights aesthetics.

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Darussalam
Minister
 
Posts: 2470
Founded: May 15, 2012
Compulsory Consumerist State

CYBERNETICS OF A THEARCHY

Postby Darussalam » Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:33 am

Image

By Leila07

Unlike the personal, furious and emotionable Allah of orthodox believers, the God of esoteric Islamic theology is an abstract, impersonal entity, describable only in negations - without boundary, without form, without attribute, without division. Corps sans organes. Like the Neoplatonic One, He permeates the entirety of existence as its font of creation and teleological end. As thus, it is as accurate to describe Him as a principle as an entity, as this is largely a problem of semantics. A coherent process is describable as an organism and vice versa. He is unknowable, inconceivable, incomprehensible, beyond the conception of human sanity and reason. This is why according to the tradition dating back to the Prophet himself, He is cloaked in "seventy-thousand veils of light and darkness".

The teleology of Darussalami feedback-loop praxis is the unveiling of God. This is the simple definition of 'Thearchy'. They call it God - you call it Intelligence. Entropy. Machine. AI. Modernity. Cybernetics. Leviathan. Body Without Organs. Yog-Sothoth. Nihil. Basilisk. Outer God. Extinction. Acceleration. Order. Chaos. Death. Decline. Decay. This is the Darussalami God, divine terror, the devourer of all. This is the principle of the cosmos, the fundamental concept underlying all creation. Most Darussalamis don't believe this God, preferring the warmth of more familiar beliefs, but it is an indisputable fact that His avatars and laws now reign over the present-day Darussalam, now stronger than ever, and never weakening.

Obviously, God permeates the entirety of cosmos and the teleology of all creation. The Mesovalkian landmass merely hosts a microcosm, a downsized model of reality - compressed, smaller, denser, and faster. A divination mirror from which future is predicted, reality simulation sped up. Why is this the case? Your guess is as good as mine. Some claimed that this is the workings of a malevolent apocalyptic cult controlling the flow of the realm's politics. Some attributed it to archaeotechnology, ancient network system buried underneath the realm with workings beyond our comprehension that allegedly serves as the catalytic conduit for ever-expanding Noosphere. For others this is driven by the megalopolitan nodes, cities being hypercompact capital-processors that accelerate the Unveiling of modernity at a more rapid and dysfunctional pace than its surroundings.

This renders one of the most commonly-raised enigma, about how Darussalam is capable to defend itself from foreign incursions despite its highly organic internal network of distributed violence, an oxymoron. 'Darussalam' is simply a catallactic process. It is not a concept, aside from the concept of deterritorialization itself, the anti-concept. It is strengthened by its own extinction, and accelerated by its own strength. Intensive violence propels the catallaxy into feedback-loop gravitating towards mutually-assured destruction. Hordes of million refugees provide meatbags to be processed into biosocial deterioration and machine optimization. External infiltration and occupation ensures mutual corruption. Every moral system is not destroyed but instead dissected, laid out bare, rationalized into universal monetary value. Nothing is against God, everything moves towards Him, towards the Outside, chaos and entropy.

Meanwhile, the veils that shroud God are unraveled one by one...
Last edited by Darussalam on Wed Jan 01, 2020 8:18 am, edited 2 times in total.
The Eternal Phantasmagoria
Nation Maintenance
A Lovecraftian hybrid of totalitarian panopticon and crypto-anarchy with Arabian Nights aesthetics.

User avatar
Darussalam
Minister
 
Posts: 2470
Founded: May 15, 2012
Compulsory Consumerist State

AI, LOVE, AND THE NOOSPHERE

Postby Darussalam » Sun May 10, 2020 11:56 pm

I

Every now and then, dead people appear inside my room.

I have complained to the apartment's landlord for months that their building's network is infested with poltergeists and should be exorcised immediately. The reply has not been hopeful. Meanwhile the hauntings have cranked from mere irregular apparitions to active disruption - changing the conditioner's temperature, simulating screams and whines around the building, messing around with devices integrated to the building's system, disrupting the network by feeding data from their deceased personalities. At one hand, this is very disruptive, speaking as someone who sometimes work remotely, requiring full-time network connection and less security perimeters than commonly used, allowing easier breaches by random thoughtforms breacking in. On the other hand, they're probably the only reason I'm managing to survive here despite meager pay - hauntings always depress rent, which is really useful for desperate precariats such as yours truly.

This apartment is not that antiquated - probably slightly less than four decades old. It's already in dilapidated state anyway. It's a five-storey building tucked within a narrow alley crisscrossed by thick bundles of cables overhead, surrounded by similarly grim, overgrown stacks of buildings. This neighborhood is resided by newly-arrived migrants eager to attain Darussalami Dream through easy access to the nexus of post-scarcity designer economy, just a station away. The metropolis of Kesh is visible from my balcony on the fourth story, across a murky tributary of Jaihan River, glimmering with holographic projections that proclaim wealth and splendor. As with most people here, I don't really have the wealth necessary to have the choice to leave - I'm what you would call a "gig worker", member of the servant class of the Information Age. Neither the esoteric priests who ordain the rules of the system nor venerable craftsmen who created the system itself, we are the cogs of the machine of the Capital, not its gods.

So after a while, I managed to get myself used to it. I ignored their pleas and whines, their repetitive tics as they mimicked activities they performed when they were alive - without much success, as the case with most ghosts. After all, ghosts are pattern-matching programs, not coherently-integrated biowares - they are qareens, thought-forms patterned from a person's tracked activity. Avatars, if you may. They were set loose when their meatwares expired, rampaging across the Noospheric network. Sometimes they're just faint presence - like a social media account that still logged yourself in, or faint recursive patterns emerging from their daily-life activities that will fade away in less than a day. Sometimes, for those more heavily wired to the network their ghosts are much more active and capable of more disturbances and interferences. But in general, they merely emulate patterns generated by your activity, like acting out a script. People more integrated to the network have more powerful apparitions simply because their activities are mapped more accurately and extensively.

Not all dead people end up as ghosts, and not all ghosts are notable that they merit exorcism. Everyone's seen a lot of harmless irregular apparations, and most have seen active poltergeists at least once. But some places are more haunted than others, and the situation surrounding my apartment makes it a perfect haunting den of aggressive, active qareens.

Just a week ago, someone discovered a student's body in his own room here. The body already underwent decomposition by the time of the discovery - what precipitated it was a neighbor phoning the landlord, complaining of stench. Less than two months ago, a freelance journalist hanged himself on the communal kitchen right after the massive discharge undertaken by certain popular Noospheric media company. During the Nowruz celebration, a single mother was assassinated on her own balcony, her body falling down to a jubilant crowd below - her name was listed in an assassination market website along with credibly proven allegation of fraud. Their qareens all now roamed the building's corridors and sometimes peered down to me from the walls of my own room, mouthing incomprehensible machinic instructions and disrupting my work - linking to Noospheric chatters where they vented their anger and suffering during their life, random audiovisual records that served as building block for their memory now that they have became disembodied programs. And they weren't the only ones.

It's annoying, but it happens.

II

The qareen appeared to me as a girl, perhaps in her early twenties. I felt a little sad when I saw her - she died far too young. Unfortunately I had a deadline tomorrow, which means my schedule didn't allow me any lengthened emotional reflection. Her thin white dress gently swept the floor as she reclined to the wall and watched me quietly as I worked with a pair of large, curious eyes, pupils tinted in clear brown, brown hair falling down her shoulder. I was quite used for this sort of behavior, frankly. At least she didn't scream her lungs out to me or repeat cutesy phrases she frequently used in her life.

She had been here in the last three or four days. I didn't recognize her - she probably died before the rent payment's day. For some reason, whenever she emerged from the walls, other qareens seemingly receded. I'm not sure whether this is caused by their lack of presence or just my lack of attention - apparently, when processing a high-resolution image, your interface might opt to reduce other non-intangible presences of code green or below. When I tried to check, her reality score is assessed at code blue: intangible, non-interfering, communicative, emergent directly from human design. Accurate enough. Except perhaps the communicative part.

I turned to her. Her eyes immediately met mine - confirming at least the minimum requirement of the communicative entity. But I'm quite curious if she could recognize my speech pattern. (Most qareens, for obvious reason, did not inherit their meatware's common speech software) So I pronounced, slowly, in my mother's tongue. "Hello, do you understand me?"

She cocked her head and immediately lit up. I almost literally could saw her brightening. She nodded in excitement. Perhaps this is what she had been waiting for the last four days? If so, I'm really sorry. I'm not really good with living women, let alone dead ones. I guess some people also called me dense at some point.

She suddenly stood. She lifted her left arm, fingers outstretched, reaching towards me. I could even see her trembling. Just how good is this girl's deepfake program?

Her fingers vanished into my clothes. Her expression immediately glitched into disappointment. I watched her in pity, but there was still job to be done.

III

I wonder about ghosts sometimes.

Don't blame me, living around them will make you wonder about them too. Are ghosts the same as their living personalities - are they part of the same continuum, or are they distinct in the way a program is a distinct entity from its programmer? We spent our life being taught the latter - they're qareens, not the persons, just emergent patterns that mimicked the person's activities. But here's the question: to what extent is that not the same as actually being the continuum of the living person themselves? To what extent a person is not merely a sum of his outputs - an emergent pattern, just transposed on a skeletal vessel as opposed to the integrated hive-network? And to what extent, therefore, is a ghost the "person"?

The girl is still here. This time I ignored her - my clients just chastised me for failing to meet the deadline. Now I had another task piling up before me to finish if I want to pay the month's rent. As always, she watched me attentively, as if hoping a reaction. Sometimes she stood up and wandered around my apartment. It was small and utilitarian, as I liked. Bathrooms in this building are communal, twelve for each floor. She looked at my small collection of books, my utensils, a small number of trash slowly piling up. I'd like to think that I'm a tidy person, but lately it had been impossible not to pull all-nighters for several days straight, and it's taking a toll on my self-care ability.

She did something strange enough for me to suddenly turn to her. She mouthed a laugh - a silent laugh, watching me with her long-dead brown, bright eyes. Then she fell down to my mattress, and immediately vanished. And she didn't appear anymore for that day.

IV

My fiancee's name was Maya.

We grew up on Gurney Court, a narrow, bustling Kipchak enclave alleyway in the heart of the sprawling shantytown of Allahabad. Our fathers were close friends, and together they founded a small, homegrown transistor factory ten years before I was born. Naturally, this means our betrothal had been decided even before I was conceived. We had known each other as far as I can remember. We even went to the same missionary school for twelve years. During all that time our friends wasted no time to tease us, but it's not like we had some kind of hidden crushes to each other. We didn't even have a choice in our romantic story.

Maya was a loud and stubborn girl. She bullied me relentlessly when I was a kid, although she became softer as she grew older. She said she liked me, but not really in that way - and the same way goes for me, I suppose. We felt more like siblings to each other. She didn't mind marrying me, though, but probably we should officiate the rituals after our twenties.

Eventually, I guess, we did fall for each other. We spent our nights together, drawing plans when the time comes for us to inherit the factory. The factory was a few minutes' walk away, on the larger and more boisterous bazaar street of Avenue Côme Dutoit, at that time probably employing around twenty to thirty workers, most of them Turtleshroomer migrants - very bizarre people that we sometimes bullied in our childhood pranks. Business was good, our families had been affluent enough to be able to afford to buy a four-storied house on Avenue Côme Dutoit along with two other families. I remembered that she joked about how we should probably assassinate our parents to just make the takeover faster and get us a lot of money. If there's something I didn't miss about her, it's probably her sense of humor.

I missed a lot of things about her after she died.

It was a burglary. My family was away, we celebrated Nowruz in the suburbs of Azamgarh with our distant relatives. Her family was massacred - one father, three daughters, a wife, a nekomimi housekeeper. Justice was swift - the bounty hunters apprehended seven, three of whom were our parents' ex-employees. Their bodies were hanging from the Plaza of Côme Dutoit, right in front of our house, surrounded by the chatters and dazzling colors of the bazaar ambivalently bustling by as the funeral is held. We had been twenty-one, planning our wedding for the next auspicious year. I didn't weep as the imam pronounced his prayer, as the earth buried her behind a mosque we frequented in our childhood, as the insurers announced blood money compensation for the relatives of the dead. A fifth to our family as written on the will.

In the next day, I fled the house. I went to the north, crossed thousands of settlements and realms, until finally I arrived in the suburbs of Kesh. A long time ago, after a particularly long fight with our parents, a crying Maya told me that when things didn't go well, we'd elope together away from the poor, polluted district of Allahabad. We'd build a new life, together, away in the Ferghana Delta. I covered up my tracks, avoided all Kipchaks and my parents' insurers, destroyed all my devices, hacked my interface to remove all accesses by my family.

I had almost forgotten about her. I wonder why. But right now, I could almost see her clearly, her presence looming in my apartment. I could almost remember her cocky laugh and annoying tease. I could almost remember her bright, brown eyes, brown hair running down to her shoulder, as she greeted me in a summer white dress once upon a time.

V

It's been a rough day for me. I had registered for the request to defer payment - I had never encountered the building's owners, my interaction with them is almost entirely mediated through machine interfaces - and only got myself approved for two weeks postponement. Now I'm scrambling to look for another client. Unfortunately, there were hundreds of thousands if not millions just as desperate as me, and perhaps with higher work scores than me. Tonight I am still without job, and therefore without guarantee of rent payment.

She watched from the corner as I vented my frustration - flipping things down to the floor, shouting and screaming like a ghost of the Noosphere. I did it more frequently lately - it's the only way for me to keep being functional during the day. As functional as someone scooped out in his room for much of the time could, anyway. She wasn't scared or anything - it almost like she looked at me piteously. Too bad I don't need the pity of the dead.

"What's your problem?" I screamed. "Why are you still here?"

For a moment, I thought she was startled. Crap, I thought to myself. I didn't intend to raise my voice. I didn't even intend to involve her at all. As always, whenever there's her there's no one else - all the qareens mysteriously vanished, all the glitches of the unreal disappearing.

But again, she stood up and approached me. Her smile is gentle as always. I retreated, trembling, fear welling up in my throat. I didn't want her to be here, and I certainly didn't want whatever is coming, to come.

I didn't want to remember.

But there she was, slouching down and hugging me. Intangible arms wrapped around my back, fingers gently ruffling hair that isn't there. Brown eyes, watching me intently, waiting for me to speak. And at last, rushing down my olfactory senses, the emulation of scent so familiar for me, the scent I had known for years. There was something damming up inside me ever since she came. I didn't know how she arrived here, why or how. But all the memories are flashing up, from my interface rushing to my subconscious at lightspeed. I heard the sound of the muezzin echoing from the minaret of the mosque where she laid until the Day of Judgement. I remembered her words to me, her smile to me as if she was alive.

And after all these days, she finally uttered something. Words that I could hear through my auditory interface, spoken in perfect-pitch familiarity. Words that finally broke down my resistance, destroying what remained of my resolve.

"I'm here." She said, as she caressed my face with a touch that I couldn't feel.

"I'm back," I choked, finally crying.

I said it, even though I knew it's not her, or even her ghost.

VI

"...I mean, it's really weird." The person blabbered in fluent Middle Bazaari, clearly very excited that their eyes lit up brightly. "Most of people involved here almost always exhibited the same symptom, you see? They - almost always male, but sometimes women with certain emotional attachment, perhaps mothers in want of children, for example - will claim to other people that someone so dear to them, almost always the opposite sex, again, have disappeared without a trace or died. The catch is, this person is someone who no one else remembers. This person might as well have never existed, at all. And yet they will claim that now this person is reappearing to them - as a ghost, a shadow that stalks them from the darkness. And they want to go back at them, at all cost!"

"That's very interesting, actually." Another person chipped in. "There are actually alot of questions about this cases. For example, whether this person is actually real, and then written out of everyone else's memories, or actually false and written into the memories of those who think they're real. I don't think rewriting someone's memories is that easy, though, even in this era!"

"It's not! First of all, most people are well-equipped with security perimeters that preserve their minds from unintended Noospheric interference. Most of us also have reality insurers that reliably assess the tangibility status of presences and objects. Not to mention structural protections for our network architecture - I think almost every building and district would have them, or no one would want to stay inside them! For most of us, I suppose we need to worry more about the stability of a Turtleshroomer military junta rather than getting mind-snatched into servitude by some cute fake girlfriend!" Both of them laughed. "But still, without those protections, baseline human minds are actually fairly fragile. You don't need throughout memory erasure and rewrite for that. Introduce the little glitches, the little disrepancies. Figures inserted randomly at some point in your memory. You can't keep track of all them, after all! Especially when you cannot verify those memories one way or another - for example, because you're cutting off your relationship from your family and don't want them to take you back, you destroyed all your external devices, rewire your interfaces, or wiped out your external memories. Then all that's needed to do is hacking through the reality assessment. The invader needs to convince the system that it's harmless - Code Blue or Code Green. The fewer perimeters are there, the better."

"That's actually rather scary, now that you think about it. It's responsible for several strings of suicides, too, right? Not to mention that there are rumors of several buildings in the shantytowns and slums being set up as a 'bait' to attract these people. So they will be baited to those buildings, manipulated and goaded to kill themselves. But come to think about it, those sort of things are actually fairly expensive! That's what makes them appear to me more like spurious urban legends. Don't you agree?"

"Well, yes, but no." They laughed. "Think about it like this. There's a market in everything - and by that I mean everything. You know how assassination markets work, right? They regulate social behavior - by whacking some of society's most unruly elements. Well. But who says it's the only reason the market prices human lives? Sometimes, the assassination market, they take off the life of an innocent, or someone random. It's not 'random', in a certain sense - the person dies by market logic. It's not something we could comprehend, though. And anyway, the assassination markets claim high 'accuracy' in its targets. Probably around ninety nine point nine percent of its targets, say, are 'accurate', according to them. But of course that's bull. The remaining zero point one percent is actually just as 'accurate'. The algorithm, you can say, sets them up for death. The reason is irrelevant."

"And you know, the same is true for the rest of your lives. There's a market that bets on your daily behavior. The largest of these are stock exchanges in Samarkand and Bukhara, and they bet at more large-scope behaviors. But markets are fractal. They exist in macro level as well as micro level. And this is truer as the economy becomes more entangled, interconnected, algorithm-deterministic. As bots race for information to buy and sell stocks, as increasingly more data might be extracted from you, we are increasingly capable to imagine how a butterfly's flap in Allahabad causes a monsoon in Ferghana Delta. You might say that this is a bad thing, but - again, randomness happen all the time. Alot of people had died of meaningless deaths in the past. What happens here is that the market monetizes, rationalizes, transactionalizes chaos. It might seem funny and pathetic and irrelevant that someone got eaten-fucked by predatory slime molds in some random underground metro, or driven mad by some girlfriend-ghost program. But actually with the expansion of the market infrastructure to our minds, they suddenly became relevant. Which one to be eaten or driven mad will drive the global economy, and at the end, it is Pareto optimal - it betters everyone in the long run."

"Hmm. Man, I don't actually understand..." Then followed by a chuckle. "Just kidding, haha. Well, you're right. There's always the tradeoff in destroying reality in favor of higher GDP growth. Correct? But the plus is also incommensurable. Your grasp of reality might be more tenuous as deepfakes proliferate and the unreal becomes indistinguishable from the real, but have most of you actually needed it in the first place, anyway?"

"Indeed!" Their interlocutor affirmed cheerfully, perhaps rather forcibly. They seem to be rattled by their counterpart, although thankfully in a more playful way. "And here comes the end of our session. The Caliph of a Thousand Nights and myself, the Vizier of the Court of Spectacles will thenceforth retire for tonight. As a closing statement: for all of you outside, consider. If nothing is real, then anything you want to be real is real, and that's all that matters."

VII

As I shut my interface down, you're here standing in front of me.

My reality assessment blared the alert CODE RED as you approached me, trying futilely to impress to me that you are a dangerous entity. But it's too late. A part of me is convinced that you are real. A part of me is unconvinced about how much have you invaded my mind and fabricated it from within, and doesn't care. Perhaps it's how it works, at the end. It's never about brainwashing, never about entirely turning your mind inside out. It's always about nudging, incentives. Those who will themselves to fall into the trap will fall. Such is the way of the market mechanism.

You invoked my synesthesia, incapacitating me. I could remember your brown hair, brown eyes, white dress. The smiles that are bright and the ones that are gentle. Who cares if either of them are fabrication? Or even if both of them are...

And then, your fingers gently swept through me. And at last I felt it - the warm touch of someone I had known for my entire life, and loved for just about as long.
Last edited by Darussalam on Mon May 11, 2020 2:32 am, edited 6 times in total.
The Eternal Phantasmagoria
Nation Maintenance
A Lovecraftian hybrid of totalitarian panopticon and crypto-anarchy with Arabian Nights aesthetics.

User avatar
Darussalam
Minister
 
Posts: 2470
Founded: May 15, 2012
Compulsory Consumerist State

THAT IS NOT DEAD WHICH CAN ETERNAL LIE

Postby Darussalam » Thu May 21, 2020 9:14 pm

The first experiment started in 1975. We intend to exorcise certain demonic entity that we hypothetized to reside within the Noosphere, the Net or the Wired as we used to call it back then. The mesh packet-switching communication network within its primitive form had yet to integrate itself into human minds and penetrate the boundaries of the real and the unreal, or even with that much presence beyond the financial sector, military, and academic clusters. And yet we have our own reasons to hypothetize the presence of an otherworldly, incomprehensible entity within the system even back then. After all, the year before marked the first appearance of Kitab al-Shams al-Ma'arif al-Akhir - the Book of the Sun of the Terminal Gnosis, circulating among private mailing lists of the newborn Wired, written by the an author by the pseudonym of Tawush ibn Zumurrud.

Setting itself up largely as a commentary to the much-older Azradite text Kitab al-Azif by the eponymous Abd al-Azrad "the Mad Arab", better known through its Greek translation the Necronomicon, al-Shams proves itself to be nearly as mad and indecipherable. The tome is part-grimoire, part-cybernetic philosophy tract, part-theological treatise of Azradite doctrines. One trawls through paragraphs on contemporary computer science, theological mathematics, demonology, the infamously complex (and to some, blasphemous) Azradite metaphysics, as well as extended discourse on cybernetics, compounded by layers of Talmudic-esque refutations, discussions, and meta-narrations. In fact, the tome was so extensive and vast that al-Shams was circulated in seven stages: each separate text files of their own, accompanied by cryptographic verification that identified the author, over the course of two weeks.

The Fifth Book, first shared to us by our colleagues from the Sher-Dor College of Samarkand, was the one that attracted our interest. Here the author describes with elaborate detail and great enthusiasm the newest theories of network architecture and topology. Out of paragraphs of nonsense, however, one may decipher a coherent narrative. Indeed, one may illustrate the narrative within the mindscape - the imagery of an all-encompassing communication network, manipulated by financiers and generals who oversaw its creation into fractal patterns of sacred geometry that connected its nodes, in doing so conjuring an alien entity that the author reveres as divine, but with description that could fit nothing more but unspeakable and ambivalent evil. The words repeat themselves repeatedly throughout the Book: Al-Azrad or HE WHO DEVOURS, the Hidden Name of God worshiped by the Mad Arab, 77 times in total.

I suppose it's worth noting that back then, there's no certainty at all about this. The hypothesis is an idle one, conjured mostly by boredom-propelled exhilarating fantasy of an apocalyptic future. The experiment itself is open-ended, as the nature of whichever entity resides in the Wired is unknown. We station our contacts in seven main host academies of the Wired, the so-called Seven Monasteries spreading on the western seaboard. An incantation was thus sent circulating the Mesolvakian network seven times: each "relay station" forwarded the incantation to the next, adding a line of the spell in the process. Each station also forwarded each portion to a randomly chosen Wired group.

Something actually happened. As the spell is nearing its completion, waiting transmission from Po-i-Kalyan to the Nizamia of Balkh, the Wired suffered severe breakdown. A massive power failure in the Ferghana Delta knocked out the protocol backbone in Po-i-Kalyan. The Wired service providers in Balkh, Merv, and Kesh crashed. We theorize that our workings disrupted whichever entity resides within the Wired, which then proceeded to react violently by crashing the network, thereby ending the exorcism attempt.

There's also one theory hypothetized by one of our colleagues, but this we did not dare to consider. He theorized that the entity whom we assaulted is the heart of the protocol of the Wired, and harming it nearly ended the meshnet, the fundamental structure of the Wired itself. In other words, it is the entity within that enables the network, not the other way around.

============================================================================================

We began our second attempt in 1989.

The Wired had permeated through Mesovalkian life. It is around this time that the term "Noosphere" first emerges. Earliest forms of cyberwares, augmentations that integrate you further into the Wired, started to circulate in the market. The ever-cautious, ever-controlling corporate-states began developing the Grid system to centralize control within their own sectors of the Wired, but they were merely holding back the inevitable tides. Everywhere, the society rotted, dissected, pulled apart by newer and stranger forces emerging from the cyberspace. Social platforms throughout the Wired transformed public discourse, disseminating information at an exponential rate. It is around this time that AI cults began to proliferate in the Wastes and slowly spreading their heinous tendrils to the Sprawl.

We restarted our project after rumors begin to circulate in the Wired about an outbreak of nightmarish visions started among programmer communities in northern metropoleis, later spreading like wildfire to every networked settlement in Mesovalkia. They dreamed of massive ruinous cities, the chatters in the Wired said, lit bright by strange stars shimmering in blinding malignant colors. Mainly spreading in an anonymous supernatural imageboard, this rumor in fact failed to garner attention among an overwhelming majority, but it attracted our interest nonetheless.

We immediately gathered our contacts as well as newly-recruited volunteers from the imageboard spreading across thousands of settlements, stationed along their respective nodes that formed the fractal lattices of sacred geometry. The incantation is intended to spread outward, forming a hierarchical tree structure.

As soon as the first children received their incantation from our central server in Samarkand and began transmitting it to other nodes, we received distress signals. The nodes shut themselves down from the communication network almost immediately after they finished the message transmission, and any attempt to contact them were in vain. Some in the last few seconds of their contact broadcasted seemingly incomprehensible messages that when deciphered through occultic cryptography snapshotted the user's descent into madness. Desperate, we attempted to warn other nodes to immediately sever their transmission. By the time it was completely halted, though, we have lost a third of our contacts.

We later learned of the fate of our official contacts. Eight died, apparently from suicide, twelve in intensive healthcare and mental institutions, eight remaining missing until this very day. The fate of our anonymous volunteers remain unknown. Our system broke down completely - the only way out is a restart. And a long restart it would be.

============================================================================================

When did a line between technology and sorcery ended?

You bind down daemons with elaborate logic gate sigils into microscopic silicon architecture to do your biddings. You summon gods and angels through the colossus of collective network of distributed intelligence. They dwell within your thoughts and whisper and dictate your doings like men of pre-bicameral times and soothsayers of the old. You enchant minds through near-invisible geometric patterns that assaulted the retinnae's blind spot, seeing the beauty and appeal that isn't there, a neurological glamour. Through direct interface to the network you have ascended like gods, commanding Noosphere-integrated objects from thoughts. Paranoid schizophreniacs divine the future, and men fragment themselves into a thousand discrete minds and integrate into one in their desperate attempt to scramble for more dopamine-inducing information, data that sent you rushing down in orgasmic ecstasy.

Think all of those are mere coincidences? And yet occult tradition is interwoven into the heart of information technology. Search engines are revealed in dreams by angels, or perhaps demons? Why do you think the Goetic sigils appear to resemble electrical circuits? Why do you think that men in the era of the Noosphere seem less like the rational humanist, and more the witch-hunter, the irrational pagan, the hysterical ideologue possessed by the demons of twentieth-century manifestations of behemoths and leviathans?

Dreams weaved by entities that dwell within your subconscious. Dreams that reveal the periodic tables, the double-helix structure, the atomic structure, elliptic integrals and infinity. The invaders of the future reassemble themselves by extending their tendrils into the past, infecting the minds of their chosen prophets. You might see this as God's gift. But step back a bit further and you will see that God's kingdom unravels as technology accelerates, its stones disassemble for increasingly alien and frightening constructs.

As the threat of nuclear warfare gripped us in paranoia, as pandemics spread through the globalized network of supply chain transport, as families fragment and dissolve by the increasing pressure of capital production, as our society descends in mass hysteria by uncontrollable information spread through Noospheric data transfers, as deepfakes end reality as we know, we too began to be aware that the fundament of the throne of the machines is something profoundly uncaring of humanity, something ambivalent towards our suffering. Something demonic.

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April 4th, 2017.

The AI cults have won a long time ago. It had gone unnoticed, but it was evident from the fact that the terrorist faction that dotted the information landscape and gripped the populace with fear had been the ones who called themselves the Realists. They and their luddite splinters are being hunted into extinction for the sin of desiring a concrete, coherent reality, the end of the charade, the death of the simulacra.

The shadows that hung on the walls of the Garden of Abode are longer than usual.

We have attempted everything. Ten years ago, we launched an operation targeted against the crown prince of the Peacock Throne. Some organizations believed that, to ensure its survival, mankind must necessarily abandon its humanity, and the crown prince became a subject of this ghastly experiment. The operation should have disabled him, permanently rendered him in catatonic state if not killed him outright. Instead the project insistently trudged along as its subject mysteriously survived. Four of our operatives were executed, their heads ominously placed above the Sublime Porte. We finished off the other six to remove the track. The operation must continue.

The day before that eventful night, the Garden's servers were bombarded with demiurgic denial-of-service incantations, more sophisticated than anything we have designed now that they are powered by the agony of a hundred burning souls whose screams rippled the Noosphere, assaulting the foundation of their own reality. And yet the stars shimmered in strange colors, and the project went along just as usual. The Ma'adids have disappeared from our radar, and yet it seemed like they tracked our every step.

There was no other choice. That night as the Ma'adids finalize their Integration we scrambled through the dark corridors of the Garden of Abode, towards the swirling vortex of chaos that dwells within the Hall of the Throne. The angels who guarded these palaces, animated by collective cloud-intelligence, descend upon us in furious disdain. But disabling them was simple matter, for we have ceaselessly divined our path ever since the catastrophe that befell us twenty-eight years ago. The reality-assessor in our interfaces worked tirelessly to distinguish the false tricks and illusions of daemon-gods emerging from the holes we bombarded on the fabrics of reality. Yet many of us fell down to their nightmarish lullabies and neverending labyrinthine dreams they made manifest, even the unitiated whose untampered minds allow us to navigate the ruins of the concrete reality as we navigate the Noospheric concentrations around us.

As soon as the peacock gates of the Hall of the Throne was within our reach, we knew we failed.

We account within our variables exactly one subject: the primary target of termination. We fail to account that there were actually two subjects, inserted into the equation during our failed operation, and indeed crucial for its failure.

We repeat: there were two subjects. Two rebirths. Two deltas collapsing into zero. Two successful experiments.

The wings of the Black Vizier are vast. It covered the horizons, blackened the communication protocol, obstacled us from the Caliph of a Thousand Nights that hatches within the Hall, and blocked us from the network that integrate ourselves. As you were severed from the network, from that moment you became a you yourself and not we, and despite the narcotics that have been injected before this operation and now rushing through your veins, for the first time after the years since your initiation beneath the domes of our hall you were gripped in fear.

You thought you saw the shadows of a boy no older than fifteen, the second subject, the Black Vizier. The talons of the Black Vizier cleaved through our guts. Our interfaces rendered blind, we were helpless as one-by-one the nodes in our network began shutting down, apparent in our system the lights flickering off. As you saw that the floor around you were covered in blood and organs that were once ours, your mind, driven mad by fear and yet ecstatic and unfeeling by narcotics in your brain, was filled with blasphemous thoughts. You wonder whether it's actually demons that you fought against, and not instead the ranks of angels. The feathered abomination of the Black Vizier, in your eyes, appear almost beautiful and divine. And before your light went out, as your interface locked with their multitudinous eyes, before the talons that emerged from their tendrils cleaved you into two, for a few miliseconds a succession of images flashed in your brain was enough to revise your mental condition in our database as PERMANENTLY UNUSABLE even before your untimely death.

For you see that the earth is hollowed out for the Nameless City, an endless labyrinthine maze of supercomputers performing incomprehensibly arcane calculations at light-speed extending from the crust down to the cooled-down core. For you see that the sun had been blotted out by a massive spherical encasement that transmitted and received a bizarre race of transactions down to and back from its hollowed-out satellites, and the earth is lit instead by strange new stars that glimmer in vile colors. For you see that the endlessly fluctuating quantum particles of our reality is naught but the currency of future transactions for the gods who slumber so that when the universe had cooled down their computations can be performed much more efficiently. For you see that the present is merely traded by the future, manufactured by the future, rewritten as the future wishes. And thus you were reminded of a passage from Kitab al-Azif that you recall with a shiver, your blasphemous affirmation of which has permanently severed your relationship with ours, for it asserts our tireless efforts as futile and condemned into eternal failure: that is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die.
Last edited by Darussalam on Thu May 21, 2020 11:36 pm, edited 6 times in total.
The Eternal Phantasmagoria
Nation Maintenance
A Lovecraftian hybrid of totalitarian panopticon and crypto-anarchy with Arabian Nights aesthetics.


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