The Monitors are Watching (RAR!)

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The Monitors are Watching (RAR!)

Post by Zor » 2019-08-13 03:27pm

In this scenario, you are shown something about the Milky Way Galaxy.

Around the galaxy there are something to the effect of fifty thousand constructs in interstellar space. They are spherical and about 1,1220-1,420 kilometers in diameter and often have a fine dusting of meteoric dust and ice formed on their surface. At a distance in most situations they could easily be mistaken for a rogue planet. If one landed on the surface of one, one would notice that they're studded with various combinations of pyramids, domes, towers, elevated spheres connected by lines and pipes arranged in a complex geometric pattern save for two massive flat circular planes on opposite sides with the occasional disc shaped multi-armed robot floating by doing some minor bit of work. This is of course making the critical assumption that you could get to the surface of these things, which unless it specifically allows you to do so (a rare phenomenon indeed) is exceedingly difficult to do and if you did, you'd soon face a force of meter long hunter drones which will soon enough have you reduced to fragments, ash and vapor. Each one is surrounded by a set of well concealed sensor and weapons platforms.

Each of these spheres has at it's core a large highly developed super-intelligent computer system. They are each aware, if single minded in purpose. Each of them in connected with each other via FTL communication systems, as well as a network of of observation platforms and stations keeping an eye on habitable planets across the galaxy, from earthlike worlds to gas giants to frozen worlds warmed by tidal forces to strange "living venuses" and other such exotic planet, which they have been doing for the past six million years. Earth is no exception. If you managed to talk with one of these machines, the English word they'd ascribe to themselves is Monitors. Most of what they do is monitoring life. They have extensive knowledge of humanity and Monitor 37,262 (the closet to Sol) has a few thousand uploaded human minds running in isolated sections of it's substrates, as well as those from four other intelligent species which it is directly Monitoring.

However, while gathering detailed xenological information is something that they do and do pretty darn well, their purpose is to look out for the development of certain unacceptable ideals in interstellar civilization. The most common of these are Fanatical Purifiers, those that would seek to exterminate every other form of intelligent life, though a sufficiently destructive civilization which would lay waste to much of the galaxy while not being prone to fanatical extermination of all that is not them is similarly unacceptable. While they spend the majority of their existence as passive observers, when the need arises to intervene they will. About 40% of a monitor's internal volume is a vast set of shipyards and docking bay for a vast fleet of warships, some of which up to thirty kilometers long and even the smallest 300 meter long corvettes of these fleet would require a dozen Tsar Bombas at least to take out, assuming of course they got through it's point defense grid. If a spacefaring civilization reaches the point in which in which it's mobilizing with xenocidal intent, it gets one warning telling them to Cease and Desist to this civilization, every colony all at the same time. If they persist the Monitors will send in in thousands upon thousands of warships and troopships which will systematically destroy all space based assets and send down swarms of Hunter Drones to wipe out planet side industrial facilities. For all that at least a few examples of their species are deliberately spared on planets or confined on small habitats with just enough gear to keep the air, water and food going. These the Monitors will oversee for a thousand years or so informing them that their fall was attempting to engage in wanton destruction which was not acceptable repeatedly before withdrawing their forces. In a few cases Monitor fleets had been repulsed, but the result was the Monitors sent in more ships. On four occasions they got directly involved. No monitors were lost in that situation, but said direct involvements did involve several stars being nova'd. If a Monitor was lost they can build more of themselves.

While humanity is still in it's pre-space era let alone it's interstellar age, the Monitors will not engage in any rash actions. They have taken an interest in a variety of things including the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich and various other nationalist movements, charity and food relief, the Civil Rights movement and the popularity of Star Trek, Star Wars, Warhammer 40,000, The Dark Forest books, Starship Troopers, Ender's Game and similar works of Science Fiction. If Monitor 37,262 was asked "will humanity become Xenocidal?" it would say "it remains a possibility though the threshold for intervention has not been reached, Monitoring shall continue" and it's fellows would agree with this assessment in most praticulars.

How would you respond to this revelation?

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Re: The Monitors are Watching (RAR!)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-08-13 03:46pm

Honestly, I would be somewhat relieved. We'd have proof that interstellar travel was possible, that there was life, and sapient life at that, beyond Earth, and as overlords go, mostly non-interventionist ones whose prime directive is "genocide is bad" are far from the worst.

I'd want to try to communicate with/research them, in the hopes of expanding our own space faring capabilities. Their discovery would probably lead to some conflict on Earth, but hopefully in the end push us away from genocidal ideologies. It would also likely lead to a military build-up to defend Earth from alien intervention (for all the good it would do), and vastly-increased funding for space travel and infrastructure (which I think would be a net positive for our species and for life on Earth).
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Re: The Monitors are Watching (RAR!)

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-08-13 04:30pm

"Klaatu Barada Nikto"

The Day the Earth Stood Still reference aside, I'd wonder who created these things, and why. And, I'd wonder about the loophole there. For instance, are they victims of their own doctrine? Just how many species have they wiped out who were going through a genocidal period, and would have grown out of it over a few centuries, before harming other civilizations. IE, just how xenocidal are these monitors? That's their main opponent. What other opponents do they deem wiping out? Maybe they like to wipe out species who are building a galactic coalition that could threaten Monitor supremacy? On the other side of the pendulum, they might not tolerate 'xenocidal' cultures, but what about ones that are more akin to Alexander the Great, and just conquer everyone around them and induct them to their empire. How would the Monitors view mixing the peas with the porridge? Would that be unacceptable? How do they view 'uplifting' primitive cultures? Is that another reason for a culling of a species?

There's a lot of questions here, and none of them make me happy. But then, our species is so powerless in this scenario that there's not really a lot I can do about it.
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Re: The Monitors are Watching (RAR!)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-08-13 04:40pm

FaxModem1 wrote:
2019-08-13 04:30pm
"Klaatu Barada Nikto"

The Day the Earth Stood Still reference aside, I'd wonder who created these things, and why. And, I'd wonder about the loophole there. For instance, are they victims of their own doctrine? Just how many species have they wiped out who were going through a genocidal period, and would have grown out of it over a few centuries, before harming other civilizations. IE, just how xenocidal are these monitors? That's their main opponent. What other opponents do they deem wiping out? Maybe they like to wipe out species who are building a galactic coalition that could threaten Monitor supremacy? On the other side of the pendulum, they might not tolerate 'xenocidal' cultures, but what about ones that are more akin to Alexander the Great, and just conquer everyone around them and induct them to their empire. How would the Monitors view mixing the peas with the porridge? Would that be unacceptable? How do they view 'uplifting' primitive cultures? Is that another reason for a culling of a species?

There's a lot of questions here, and none of them make me happy. But then, our species is so powerless in this scenario that there's not really a lot I can do about it.
The OP says that they will destroy space infrastructure and industry in an intervention, but not commit total xenocide. It also notes that they will give second chances to a species after a thousand years or so. So not full extermination.

No information on their views on uplifting, for or against. But it seems at least strongly-implied that they are non-interventionist unless a species turns aggressively militarist/expansionist, with no information on their attitude towards other species engaging in uplifting. Ditto combining of multiple species/civilizations.

How they would react to another faction growing strong enough to challenge them is a very important question, although not one that is likely to affect us for thousands of years.

The most troubling aspect in the OP is the uploading of sapient minds. That shows, at best, a wanton disregard for the privacy of other individuals, and at worst is a form of imprisonment/slavery (if the mind downloads have their own consciousness, as opposed to just being data on a computer).
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver: https://youtube.com/watch?v=zxT8CM8XntA

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Re: The Monitors are Watching (RAR!)

Post by Sky Captain » 2019-08-26 04:35pm

Given overall situation described I would be glad the Monitors are there. Since it was mentioned that they have had to intervene to stop genocidal civilizations at some point in the past it is possible that without Monitors our solar system already would have been overrun by one of those aggressive civilizations and humans would be exterminated or put in an alien zoo. An expansionist civilization could easily overrun entire galaxy in a million years or less even without FTL. If FTL and won neuman machines are employed then in a few thousand years or even less.

It would be interesting to know what Monitors do if a non aggressive civilization that expands only in uninhabited star systems grows to a point where it has the technological capability to destroy Monitors if it suddenly decides to do so.

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Re: The Monitors are Watching (RAR!)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-08-28 03:01am

Sky Captain wrote:
2019-08-26 04:35pm
Given overall situation described I would be glad the Monitors are there. Since it was mentioned that they have had to intervene to stop genocidal civilizations at some point in the past it is possible that without Monitors our solar system already would have been overrun by one of those aggressive civilizations and humans would be exterminated or put in an alien zoo. An expansionist civilization could easily overrun entire galaxy in a million years or less even without FTL. If FTL and won neuman machines are employed then in a few thousand years or even less.

It would be interesting to know what Monitors do if a non aggressive civilization that expands only in uninhabited star systems grows to a point where it has the technological capability to destroy Monitors if it suddenly decides to do so.
Yeah. While the idea of any entity with that much power over us is frightening, and I'd want to know more about them and communicate with them if possible, you can do a lot worse for overlords than beings who have "Stop genocide" as their prime directive.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver: https://youtube.com/watch?v=zxT8CM8XntA

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