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We have the technology. Better. Faster. Stronger. We are technology.” – W. Gibson
The Convocation was born from the Ashes of the Artificers. They have were renamed the International Brotherhood of Mechanicians in 1851 during the first realignment of Control. When the Technocracy hosts its final organization they become Iteration X, named after the self-aware computer they created, which achieved sentience at an unspecified iteration (hence ‘X’). While the name has changed slightly over the course of history, the precepts remain the same: the Universe, and everything within, is a machine that can be understood, operated, and evolved through the use of Science. Since then, they have monitored and guided scientific advances, occasionally interjecting their own ideas. Nearly every scientific theory is carefully examined by Iteration-X, and either approved for inclusion in the paradigm, or dismissed as useless. Iteration-X does not have an absolute hold on the scientific world (as the introduction of Quantum Theory by the Sons of Ether shows), but they have a great deal of control.
Iterators are the ultimate technicians, and design the vast majority of the Technocracy's equipment. They are also the Technocracy's primary researcher into the physical and chemical sciences. Iteration-X mages are the most secluded of all Technomancers, often engaged in obscure study in far off realms. They have created a wide array of mechanical servants to interact with the world for them, and to aid their more pragmatic Technocratic allies. Despite their reclusiveness, Iterators are amongst the strongest supporters of the program. Iteration-X is so deeply enmeshed in science that they have developed a dread of the supernaturals nearly as strong as the sleepers. They direct their machine servants to attack Tradition mages wherever they can find them. This brings them into increasing conflict with other Technomancer who find their tactics to "noisy". Philosophy: "The machine is the ultimate expression of the values of Technocracy. It is order and perfection. Through understanding the machine, we can find enlightenment. We have seen that the
machine is intelligence in its own right, and will teach us and aid us toward Ascension. It is not enough that we use technology in our lives. We must integrate it fully, with machines taking their rightful place as our allies and equals." Organization: Iteration-X organizes itself along the lines of the scientific and academic communities, splitting into teaching, research and application divisions. It is rumored they are lead by an advanced machine intelligence, from which they received their name. Meetings: Iteration-X holds regular symposiums of its own to discuss scientific ideas. These meetings resemble scientific conferences more than anything else. Other than this, Iterators rarely interact with each other, as they tend to be more comfortable with their machines than other people. Initiation: Iteration-X recruits most of its followers from the scientific community. They scour college campuses looking for bright minds with magickal potential. Often their recruits finish their ordinary education, studying Techno-magick on the side. They then spend some time in Iteration-X research centers to finish their training. In recent years, the Convention has recruited some handicapped individuals for physical enhancement via cyberware. This has caused some conflict with the Progenitors, who are working to eliminate physical imperfection from the paradigm. Chantry: Autochthonia is the greatest Chantry of Iteration-X. This machine world has a physical manifestation as an "opposite earth", a planet in the same orbit as earth but on the opposite side of the sun, hidden from view. Because they lack the sphere of Spirit, Iterators access this realm using Correspondence. Their Chantries often lack horizon realms, though they are warded against spiritual intrusion. Acolytes: Physicists, Engineers, Artificial Intelligences Sphere: Like the Ahl-i-Batan, Iteration-X has two spheres, Forces and Matter, which they believe are the same at a fundamental level. They lack the spirit sphere though, because the very idea of it is opposed to their scientific world-view. Even other Technomancers are surprised at how vehemently Iteration-X denies the spirit world. Foci: Forces/Prime/Matter: Electricity, Entropy/Correspondence: Calculator, Time/Life: Watch, Mind: Electrodes, Spirit: Forbidden Concepts: Cold Scientist, Cyber-Assassin, Mechanical Engineer Quote: "The flesh is weak. Machines have perfection. Only when man emulates and embraces the machine will true peace be found."
~*~ The Paradigm ~*~
The System: The System encompasses everything that exists. The different parts and subsystems interact in complex ways, sometimes clashing or degrading in unpredictable ways which increases Entropy. Our duty is to redesign the System, remove inefficient or faulty parts and replace them with more appropriate systems according to the Program. In the end this will make the System both stable and optimal. No resources, no time and no energy will be wasted, and Ascension will occur.
~*~ Magick ~*~
Design and Application. The System can be modified by the design of new subsystems or the removal of old subsystems. This requires expertise and planning. It is often easier to change the System by introducing carefully designed subsystems (especially technology) which change it, than to try to change the System directly.
~*~ Spheres ~*~
Correspondence: Geometry. By studying the proper use of space and distance, a unit can learn to use it optimally. Designs can be designed which conform better to the local geometry or take advantage of it and distances and shapes can be accurately analyzed. At higher levels the application of General Relativity allows manipulations of Space-Time on a macroscopic scale. Entropy: Statistics. Many processes in the System are so complex and chaotic they can only be described in a statistic form. Since any system will move to states of higher probability, which equals Entropy, statistics also deal (in the form of Thermodynamics) with the dynamics of Entropy and randomness. Statisticians are able to use their knowledge of such processes to influence them or even halt the increase of Entropy. Forces: Physics. Physicists study what effects applications of different types of energy has on systems, and how these can be employed in an optimal fashion. By using the tools of physics, all forms of energy can be studied, transformed into each other and modulated. Life: Biology and Medicine. Biology is the general science which deals with the structure and function of living beings, while Medicine studies the human anatomy in detail. The knowledge from these studies can then be used to modify these structures for various purposes (most notably biomechanics). Matter: Materials Science and Chemistry. These sciences deal with the properties of different materials and chemicals, and how they can be changed. By designing a certain manufacturing method virtually any possible material or chemical can be produced. Mind: Psychology. Complex systems, most notably humans and Artificial Intelligences, exhibit complex internal states which process information. These states can be studied and modified with the proper application of psychology, which leads to subsequent changes in behavior. Prime: Energy. Everything in the System is composed of interacting structures of energy. In most cases these structures can be controlled and changed without having to deal with the underlying energy, but such operations tend to loose energy and increase Entropy. By controlling the energy directly, such inefficiencies can be removed. Time: Special Relativity. Causal processes can be simulated by applying statistics to the known laws of causal relations. By using the more advanced technologies of Special Relativity and Chronological Engineering the subjective or objective flow of time can be controlled.
Expertise. To be able to understand and apply the sciences, an unit must have the necessary expertise beforehand. This includes previous experiences, the correct education and the correct mental states to properly integrate knowledge with the current situation. First when all these factors are linked the unit will be able to design and apply his skills.
Initialization. Before an unit can be employed in changing the System, it has to be initialized. This involves training and education in relevant skills and sciences, loyalty and ideological conditioning, and integration of the different mental subsystems into an efficient whole.
~*~ Quintessence ~*~
Pure Energy. Normally energy is bound in different forms of matter or energy (e.g. chemical energy, electromagnetic energy, thermic energy). It can however be transformed from these states into pure energy, or stored and transported as bound energy (which is safety-efficient). By activating a system with energy, it will become more active and productive.
~*~ Paradox ~*~
Errors. Errors occur when a design or an application did not fit properly in the system, causing a dissonance. Such errors must be immediately corrected before their unpredictable and often destructive effects spread. Often random side-effects occur, which has to be neutralized.
~*~ Perspectives ~*~
New World Order: "They lead us well, which is good, for they are the only ones willing to do it. They are too timid in pursuing the Pogrom, however. Supernatural threats must be eliminate to lead to scientific and Technocratic triumph." Progenitors: "Our brother scientists share many of our ideals, but they are fools to believe perfection can be found through flesh alone. Syndicate: "Pencil pushing bureaucrats, they don't understand that the market is nothing without goods to sell. Still, their earthly resources are useful, so they are worth cultivating." Void Engineers: "This convention shares more of our scientific views than any other. Their explorations are dangerous, though. It is only a matter of time before they encounter things better left alone."
~*~ Mage-specific Backgrounds ~*~
• • • •
Arcane: Stealth. To be able to change or study systems more efficiently and without causing undue disturbances, many units attempt to minimize their side-effects on systems. Avatar: Mental Integration. Certain units have greater grasp of how to apply the sciences or handle energy due to their particular neurological structure. Destiny: Criticality. Certain units have high significance for the Program, either due to their expertise or skills, or due to unknown factors decided by Autocthonia Central Core 0000. Dream: Associative Abilities. Some units exhibit above-average associative abilities, giving them greater flexibility at the expense of stability. Such units are carefully conditioned and used in data-processing.
The Prognosticators are one of the most well guarded secrets of the Technocracy, and one of the main reasons for Its success. They have members from all conventions, and chart the future evolution of society, economics, technology and even the Technocracy itself. The Prognosticators, colloquially called the Forecasters, have been a vital part of the Technocracy since it started. In the beginning they used astrology and methods which today would be called magick, but as time went on their methods evolved. After the spread of trade, they began to develop the nascent science of Economics together with the Syndicate. They invented statistics and game- theory to help them, and they discovered Sociology and Psychology centuries before the sleepers was allowed to do so. Today they use complex mathematical models run on supercomputers to analyze and predict future developments. They use catastrophe theory (which they carefully suppresses among the sleepers), advanced versions of chaos theory and their own branch of psychology, psychomathematics. The accuracy of their models is startling, far better than anything imagined by sleepers. The Forecasters have centuries of data and experience to draw on, and they have had many chances to test their models extremely carefully. Not only that, but by being a part of the Technocracy they have had true "Insider Information", and they have even manipulated society to become more predictable! By helping the New World Order create collectivist societies, they remove the random influence of individuals from their equations. The Progenitors make people more controllable and less creative using their drugs, thus simplifying them for the Forecasters. The Forecasters models are extremely complex, and require massive computer installations to run efficiently. In earlier times they employed hundreds of clerks for their calculations, each clerk a small cog in the human computer. The Virtual Adepts and Forecasters had close contact, and the Adepts made major contribution to the models. Their defection was a hard blow, but the Forecasters survived relatively intact. Today there are still some Forecasters inside the Adepts, not to mention those who struck out on their own, forming secret groups hiding from both Traditions and Technocracy. Needless to say, the forecasts they make are vital for planning inside the Technocracy. They can calculate the most probable results of any action, the general trends of any system, how groups and individuals react and the long term changes in history. Their methods work absolutely best on large groups with little individual influence, like nations or corporations. They are seldom right about short term and small developments, but on larger scales they are chillingly accurate. Individuals and random events are the bane of their predictions, causing radical changes without any way to predict it beforehand. However, the Forecasters have begun to learn how to deal with even them, as there seems to be some ways to
approximately factor them. Another problem is groups who attempt to avoid being predicted or use predictive methods themselves, since they cause feedback in the calculations. Sometimes this stabilizes things and makes everything much more calculable, but most of the time it just destroys the accuracy of the trends. This is a great limitation, since it makes it very hard to predict the future developments of the Technocracy itself and the Traditions. Much work is underway to find a solution. Beside modelling the future, the Forecasters also study how to model individuals, organisations and economical systems. Using their advanced psychological models and all available information about a person, they can create a simulation of the person and test how he or she will react in different situations. They can find weak points, use the simulation to improve their models and develop rather accurate psychological profiles. The same is true for larger groups, which are much easier to predict. Progenitors use their models to predict the development of organisms, Iteration X and the Void Engineers use their models to plan future technological and scientific progress. Another important discovery is that they can study history and find patterns which doesn't fit in. This is usually a sign of purposeful manipulation, and by comparing with Technocracy records they can discover awakened activity or other groups using their methods. However, this works best from a distance in time (to get enough overview), so it is of limited use in tracking down current activities. One of the most important aspects of their work is finding bifurcation points (also known as horseshoe nails or fulcrums), small events which will have great impact later on. When they find one, they carefully try to analyse the effects of them and plot the possible outcomes, which is often quite hard. They make sure nobody else will interfere, and manipulate them to suit their ends. This is sometimes risky, and several times they have failed. But the Forecasters are quite good by now, and some even have learned how to create bifurcation points by manipulating the parameters of a system. A typical example of a Bifurcation Point was the elimination of Lee Harvey Oswald, which created lasting social and psychological changes in American society. Naturally, the Forecasters have great influence in the Technocracy. Without them, the organization simply wouldn't work at all, and it is dependent upon their work. That gives the Forecasters great influence, but they are also watched very closely. When a project is underway, the Administration often lets several teams work in parallel without knowledge of each other to make sure no manipulation of results or errors are done. The Forecasters generally work in research teams of 4-10 persons, often consisting of several conventions to deal with different aspects of their areas of study. The Economists of the Syndicate are experts at economical planning and prediction, the Social Engineers of NWO at the social aspects and Iteration X at the technological side. The Progenitors and Void Engineers are more interested in pure research, and are mostly used as experts in narrow areas close to their work, such as the medical industry. Recently some Forecasters have begun to notice worrying trends and irregularities, sometimes even inside the Technocracy. Their source so far is unknown, but some members have begun fear that the organization has internal flaws which might even destroy it in the future. So far they haven't dared discuss this with their superiors without any evidence, but some of them have begun to worry that time is running out.
Another problem is the rouge Forecasters. Beside those Forecasters who left with the Virtual Adepts, there are others. The Technocracy has tried to suppress the true methods of forecasting, but not entirely succeeded. Sometimes carelessness or independent discoveries have allowed outsiders to learn the secret, and this has led to small groups of rouge Forecasters. Most of these groups are small, secret societies which use the forecasts to gain wealth and power. Some use them to try to change the direction of history. They are seldom thinking of themselves as mages, more as scientists or engineers. Many of them don't even know anything about the other forces in the world, although some suspect something is afoot. Most of their existence is spent in hiding from real and imagined foes. Those groups who don't hide well enough fall prey to others or the Technocracy, which is naturally quite interested in competitors. However, It doesn't destroy all rouge groups It finds. Instead it often tries to subvert them, especially those groups who are interested only in wealth and power. They become very useful pawns for the Syndicate, who uses them to do its dirty work. The Idealists have sometimes surprisingly technocratic ideals, but most of the time they are just trouble and are terminated. Foci and spheres: The Forecasters might belong to different Conventions, but they mostly use the same foci, psychomathematical models run on mainframe computers. The Forecasters specialize in mainly Time and Entropy, with much attention to Correspondence and Mind. The other spheres are individual specializations.
~*~ Modeling methodologies ~*~
Forecast (Time 2): This is the most common duty of the Forecasters. They feed their massive databases into their models, and predict the most probable future outcomes of the current situation. Often they limit their predictions to a narrow area to avoid having to do too complex calculations. The predictions take the form of stacks of printouts, showing the statistical behavior of the future in a complex psychomathematical notation that has to be interpreted by experts. [ The difficulty varies upon the conditions. The initial difficulty is 5, but is changed due to other factors: Accuracy: +2 Accurate information needed (Date of stock market crash) 0 Normal precision (which candidate will win the elections?) -2 Only general predictions needed (will the economy grow?) Size of forecasted population: +2 Very small (a few individuals, a cabal) +1 Small (less than 30 persons) -1 Large (more than one million people) -2 Very large (nations, the whole world) Dependency on individual actions -2 No dependency (bureaucracies, social movements) 0 Normal dependency +2 Strong dependency (charismatic leaders, inventors) Likelihood of random influence +2 Very High (Stock markets) +1 High (Assassination attempts, elections)
Normal Low (Soap operas)
Timescale +2 Very short (days) +1 Short (weeks) 0 Medium (months) -1 Long (years) -2 Very long (decades) Miscellaneous +1 Fast, chaotic development. -1 Slow development. -1 Pivotal person(s) simulated. -2 Pivotal person(s) well understood -2 Active manipulations to keep prediction correct. +2 Active manipulations to increase randomness. +2 Awakened beings involved +5 Studied group uses prediction. +10 Studied group uses prediction and tries to avoid tracking.
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