26 minutes ago
Sunday, February 23, 2014
Where is Your Mind?
Just as morphological phenotypes are variable among the sophont entities of the Strange Stars, so are the mental structures. In fact, the science of noetics recognizes different levels of mental structure that can be combined in different ways:
The base level is neuroform. This describes the basic functional arrangement of the mind. For most, this is the hierarchy inherited from paleo-humanity, but others (like the Magi and Circeans) have different arrangements to favor other states of consciousness, supress emotion, or increase task focus. It should be noted that neuroforms can be coded in actual cellular structure (like biological brains) or digital emulations.
Technology allows the linking of individual neuroforms into larger structures. Network arrangements are referred to as compositions. Member minds of a composition may be independent, fully integrated, or somewhere in between. A composition might be two or more independent consciousness inhabiting one body or one hive-mind sharing many bodies. The ruling Consensus of Smaragdoz is an example of a composition.
Another facet of larger mental integration is distribution. A beings nervous system may be self-contained or may be involved in any number of mental sharing schemes. Though a degree of distribution may go hand in hand with composition, these are actually somewhat independent considerations; Individuals can share perceptions through a composition while still retaining independent consciousness, for example. Also, distribution can be limited certain aspects of consciousness rather than its entirety. Memory sharing or dream sharing are examples. Conversely, one could share a personality without real-time sharing of memories or experiences.