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A commodity found on the F8 markets screen.

Intelligent machinery, positronic AI's, NavCon electronics.

Traded in TCs & stored in the Cargo Hold for trade.

Cheaper on industrial worlds, and more expensive at agricultural worlds. A premium-priced product.


More specifically, Disembodied's lore:

That's the great thing about fiction: it's very stretchy.
  • Electronics leads to automation.
  • Automation leads to AI.
  • AI leads to strong AI.
  • Strong AI leads to technological singularity.
  • Bad news: technological singularity is NOT the Rapture of the Nerds; it's a pack of hyperadvanced machine intelligences going berserk before collapsing/ascending/subliming/fill in your answer to the unanswerable here …
  • Good news: the machine intelligences do disappear.
  • Bad news: at best, they leave behind a ravaged global economy and a society struggling to rebuild its industries and networks pretty much from scratch. At worst, along with the economic destruction, millions - even billions - of sentient beings have been absorbed by these things, and are left mindless/insane, or have simply vanished.

This process seems to be as inevitable as stellar evolution. Cultures who survive this come out the other end with a strong aversion to automation and to electronics in particular. Our multi-species society, held in loose alliance within the Co-operative, has managed to develop organic computation: it's slower and squishier, but every computer-node has a short and finite lifespan, and is guaranteed not to gallop away over the eschatological horizon.

These organic brainlets are what we call "computers". They are vat-grown on an industrial scale, and all have the exact same properties. Because they are mortal, there's a constant demand for them, and because they're identical there's not a whit of difference between a computer from a TL-15 world and a computer from a TL-5 world. A Rich Industrial planet can grow them in bulk, making them a little cheaper: price is the only difference.



Vaguely related