A culture is defined by the people who compose it, and in the past, culture has been a reactionary development. Each generation creates it's own culture which almost immediately comes into conflict with the generational culture preceding it, and the generational culture following it. Having already torn apart the human genome, built artificial life, and generally trouncing the laws of God and nature, it was inevitable that the denizens of the Cosmic Era would turn their ambitions to shaping culture, and ending the generational culture conflicts.
Until all are one!
The ultimate goal of anthropotronics is the social, mental, and cultural manipulation of a large populace to ensure a stable, regime supporting, productive environment. Public opinion swings and changes are to be tempered, and while public discourse and debate aren't to be ended, they are to be highly contained. The human rancor and vitriol of opposing positions isn't to be ended, it's to be controlled and exploited.
George Orwell would be ashamed.
The Indoctrination System
The public education system was originally founded as an offshoot of the industrial revolution, so as to turn the children of farmers and agriculturalists into the sort of people who could operate machines and work in the great factories. The anthropotronic education system instills the basic values and modes of thinking that the leaders of the most powerful nations want. The military industrial complex is romanticized, the military is heroic with it's most famous supersoldiers holding status as demigods of the state. The megacorps are the great providers, and it is of vital importance that every person knows their 5S
Sort, it is important for everyone to know their purpose, and place in the cosmic era. Seibertronians and other synthetic intelligences have a commonality in seeking a raison d'etra, or a reason for being. Humans are much the same, and rather than allow the masses to crash about seeking, the indoctrination system sorts them out, assigning purpose and place in their lives.
Set in order, once a person knows their place, it is important that they learn the importance of tiered organizations, pecking orders, and chains of command. The indoctrination of hierarchy, obedience, and recognition of systemic organization is a very high concern.
Shine, to excel in the Cosmic Era, one must follow a subversively modified version of the Noble Eightfold Path, adopted from Buddhism, and perverted to the cynical and corrupt vision of the era.
Right View: one must honor and respect those in power (big brother)
Right Intention: one must keep themselves pure from rebellious and criminal thoughts (thought police)
Right Speech: one must not speak offensive things (political correctness)
Right Action: one must support that which is popular and condemn that which is not (2 minutes hate)
Right Livelihood: one must accept their given job, or aspire to a higher one
Right Effort: to do one's job to the fullest ability, play to fullest ability, spend to fullest ability.
Right Mindfulness: to maintain one's physical and mental health (sex and soma)
Right Concentration: to seek competition in virtual games and personal conquest
Standardize, conformity is an important lesson in the indoctrination system. While there is vigorous discourse about privilege and oppression across a wide variety of often imagined groups, all are to be considered equal. While this seems like a noble ideal, this means the masses, regardless of race, species, gender, persuasion, ethos, creed, or alignment, are all equally under the dominion of the elite. To seek material goods above one's station is wrong. To not have the proper level of living as per one's station is wrong, there is both equality of opportunity (very little) and equality of outcome (everyone has a UBCS rating, and actual work or success has only a small impact on that.)
Sustain, one of the most painful lessons of the Petroleum Era was that of sustainability. That era chased after unsustainable profits, unsustainable exploitation of resources, unsustainable populations, and unsustainable materialism and narcissism. The concept of 'enough' is ingrained into the masses of the Cosmic Era, making sure that they are not caught up in a vain desire to have more than their needs or abilities would dictate.
The Cognitive Network
The CogNet is one of the most important anthropotronic tools ever devised. Combined with the prevalence of social media and the rise of socialitics (the hybridization of social media and politics, allowing for soc-med pundits to become leaders of political organizations) allows for both the monitoring of the public cultural conscience, but also a chance to guide and control it. This can range from the blatant and obvious, such as smear campaigns, negging and undermining unpopular or destabilizing opinions, to basic advertising campaigns. On a more subversive level, the control of the information on the CogNet and how it's shared can likewise control and manipulate public opinion.
Samples: a divisive issue arises, and those in power want Option B to defeat Option A, but only after a suitable exchange that serves as an emotional vent for the populace. CogNet streams are delicately adjusted so that Option B is closer to the Right Way of things, while the supporters of Option A are shown themselves to be deficient. Other variations include lagging Option A supporters and feeds, and through financial manipulation through the UBCS income system.
The Heritage Protocols
Not an actual device or gadget, the Heritage Protocols are a set or social and cultural parameters that are held as an ideal for the citizens and residents of a nation or superstate. This might seem odd, but such structures either already exist, or are in the cultural zeitgeist. The most notable example is Bushido and Nippon. The nation has embraced the ancient samurai code, to the point of having replaced their formerly democratic government and reinstating the Shogunate. Another example, albeit much more reactionary, is the radicalized Muslim caliphate, which dictates even minute details of the adherents lives.
Heritage protocols are idealized images of what the perfect citizen should look like, the proper attitude, and the correct applications of the 5S Indoctrination System. Regional and national ideals are often different across a single superstate, so application of 5S in the Confederation of Southern States is not going to be the same as the indoctrination used by the Caribbean League, the New Hanseatic League, or any other Federation nation.
The Entertainment Factory is a creative collective that exists to produce non-immersive entertainment in large quantities. This typically consists of books (exclusively in digital format) manga style comics, animated non-immersive media, and music. The Entertainment factory isn't an actual factory, but rather a collection system where large numbers of people contribute their creative outputs in exchange for a small to modest amount of return. The Entertainment Factory has a central control system that superficially exists to dole out payments and credit adjustments for media producers, and to police the factory for products that violate their core guidelines. On a more cynical, more cosmic note, the central command functions as a controller of the media output. Creative content that favors the government's positions is more generously rewarded, while subversive and dissident are suppressed on data sweeps and searchers.
The precursor of the Entertainment Factory already exists. The media distribution system used by Amazon is very similar to the ideal of the Entertainment Factory. The company sets it's guidelines, punishes those who deviate, and constantly works to keep it's costs under control. (paying authors as little as possible)
A Hanseatic arcanotech contraption, an einfuhlungkhuler is also known as an Empathy Generator. The Hanseatic League deployed the first einfuhlungkhuler in the geofronts under the Rhineland Arcoplex. The empathy generators were used to affect the mood and emotions of the residents of the geofront, quelling a series of rebellions. These devices have limited range, and largely only work in enclosed spaces. After the effectiveness of the device was demonstrated, the technology was licensed and disseminated through the Federation.
Empathy Generators are mounted on mobile platforms, allowing them to be moved from place to place as they are needed. Despite the propaganda spouted by anti-technologists, the machines are not cleverly hidden across the Cosmic Era, they aren't buried in every arcology, and every housing unit doesn't have one. There are places that do have them, but these are typically places where emotions can run high, such as prison housing units, and common spaces that are highly visible, such as national gardens, parks, and places where protests are mathematically likely to occur. The rest are deployed by police, security, and federal forces.
The Happiness Radiator is however, a common arcanotech device. A variation on the einfuhlungkhuler, the Happiness Radiator is an empathy engine that only generates a sense of well-being and complacency. These devices are found in hospital medical wards (reducing stress on patients) transit centers (easing the stress of public transit) commercial and common areas (ensuring peaceable activities)
The presence of these devices has had a profound impact on how people live in the arcologies, and other areas so equipped, and how people live outside of, and away from them. Arco-residents can become uneasy away from the effects of the machines, making trips outside of the arcos anxiety inducing, and things as common as going down to a geofront, or long distance transit, a cause of fear and trepidation. Non-arco residents find the effects of the machines being a cause of uncertainty, or something that they become addicted to. Exiled arco-residents very often succumb to drug and digital drug abuse to replace the feelings generated by the machines.
All this being said, the overall effect of the machines is small, just a nudge rather than a narcotic or psychotropic effect. It is most comparable to the smell of coffee for a coffee drinker, or the relaxing feeling of walking into a flower garden or comfortable corner bar.
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? Responses (5)
Of all of Cosmic Era submissions, I find this one the scariest.
Ford's in his flivver, and all is right with the world. Have another soma, brother.
Really great idea 5/5. I like the ideas and the idea that archeology residents go through withdraw. Philosophy in a bubble like the 5Ss is also something I enjoy reading.
Have you heard of Sesame Credit? This is happening in real life right now. Users are encouraged to perform pro-government tasks such as posting pro-government statements, and their score is tied to perks. Your score decreases if you are affiliated with others with low scores, so you get a feedback effect where you encourage your friends to conform or you simply disassociate from them.
You've crafted quite an elaborate yet condensed system. I can certainly see myself using it.
I have heard of it, and was a big inspiration behind the Freemium Econony submission, which should be linked to this sub.