tychoish, a wiki

tychoish/ Critical Futures

Critical Futures

I spend a lot of time reading wikipedia and Wiki and I've been interested in playing with fiction forms in the digital world and I have a long standing interest in digital collaboration and new-media. So taking all of these facts, phenomena, and interests into consideration, I'm brewing a new idea.

Basically this is to be a wiki. Think original science fiction in the form of Wikipedia flavored with the tone TVtropes. I wrote to ?mahkara:

I've been known to fire up Wikipedia and say to myself, "I'd like to read about Iranian public transit" (say) and then get lost for (too long) reading various Wikipedia pages and just clicking about.

Why couldn't you do something like that with fiction? Or a kind of text that people might get into in a similar vein? It'd be an exposition fest. So maybe you'd need a pile of posts (perhaps in a blog format(?),) that would include character names, settings, time periods, etc and present some sort of dialogue.

I've written a blog post called "?A Wiki Fiction Project" that where I explain my goals, values, and strategies for this project. I'm going to try and keep the "meta" discussion of this project separate from the content.

I'll be constructing some of the content here before I move it to it's own site. Feel free to chip in, or ask questions inline or be in contact if you want to get involved and can't think of the right place to get started.

Tripping Toward Accelerando

(Working Title; by ?the editors; ref)

Humans started establishing permanent colonies in the solar system in the 24th and 25th century, but it would be another 50 years until people started to emigrate in earnest. The outcasts and dissidents left first, along with certain religious sects, until most people were not terribly troubled by the prospect of leavening everything behind for a slot on one of the next transports to ?Mars, ?Ganymede, or even the ?Earth-L4 Settlement.

Within a few years, they couldn't run enough ships to the colonies to accommodate the demand flow. They couldn't move people out fast enough. Which only made things worse, really. Everyone saw their time on-planet as being finite. So while the release valve on the population crisis reduced some of the immediate overcrowding concerns, a planet full of people aching to leave created neither a stable political situation nor responsible ecological or economic behaviors.

After a particularly trying summer, a series of riots known as the "?Visa Riots" sealed Earth's fate. Not long after the riots the Integrated Systems Database's master node moved to stations around Venus. The ISD was distributed--no one decided to move it--but in the aggregate, connections to ?Venus from most of the outposts were more reliable. Earth never recovered and the systems administrators had sealed its fate. By ?2675 the Earth for accounted 25% or 35% percent of humans in the solar system, and that number never grew again. Universities moved off world, manufacturing moved to the asteroid belt and Mercury, intrasystem ship movements were dispatched from ?Luna or Mars, depending on the decade major political organ, a Senate, moved to Mars.

Mars too burned hot and fast. The artificial-settlements, all settlements were artificial, even on Earth after a fashion, couldn't grow fast enough to accommodate the population shift. Large spells of immigration lead to overcrowding. While ?artificial habitats and self contained environments generally improved the quality of life and ecological efficiency of a human population, they weren't as flexible and the limits of their carrying capacity were harder. There were no true ?environmental crises on Mars--or anywhere--after ?2480, but there had been a number of close calls, and a particularly virulent flu season that affected 45% percent of the colony and caused a number of deaths.

Little separated the actual structures of the planetary habitats from the orbital facilities in reality. All structures had unique ?gravity systems to compensate for the ?local norm, excepting that, they were all fundamentally identical. Habitat structures on planets were as lucky to fail as ones in space. Planetary structures, at least on Mars, were easier to fix, given relative pressures, particularly as the environment changed. But this alone didn't account for the push toward celestial bodies rather than constructed outputs. open-question

The ?Martian Revolution and it's aftermath formally restructured the government and allowed the ?Europan Bureaucracy to emerge as a major power. With Earth out of the picture politically, the colonists began to expand their building projects and began the ?Exodus. The solar system would never depopulate, but construction efforts went toward building great convoys for ?Aldebaran, ?Sirius, ?Epsilon Eridani, ?Wolf 359, or ?Pyrcyon.

The expanding capacity on the colonies, and the death of the imperialist age on Earth meant that living conditions on Earth improved, though the planet never had to cope with significant population densities again.