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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.


New Cargoes OXP

New Cargoes is an OXP which allows trade specifically in such items as Earthquake predictors, Remote presence systems and Weather control processors.

The major specific variants of the computers commodity are:

AIs: State-of-the-art hardware and software for automation of ship systems.
Earthquake predictors: The Diso Digital OO32000 processor and sensor array, or a similar product from a less well-known manufacturer
NavCon electronics: Computers and databases for in-system and witchspace navigation.
Remote presence systems: A variety of televisual and robotic remote presence systems, for those with an ingrained aversion to physical company.
Weather control processors: Sophisticated weather forecast and control computers used to coordinate planet-wide weather adjustments


Vaguely related