I’ve been reliably informed that the globalist minds behind The Great Reset are significantly inferior. Furthermore, we’ve read the pedestrian vision of Klaus Schwab in his book, and we’ve seen Dr. Hallpike all but prison-rape the blatherings of the overrated Israeli mediocrity, Yuval Harari. These are not particularly intelligent people. And it’s downright hilarious to observe their touchingly ignorant midwitted faith in digital technology. They need to read a simple science fiction novel that will eventually be seen to have predicted their future far more presciently than anything they are presently able to imagine.
Algorithmic Internal Variable Decay is the process by which the performance of the core equations utilized to calculate the various factors of a complex process is degraded in an unpredictable manner due to an unknown convergence of internal or external factors. Also known as “AlgoDecay”, the term may also refer to the consequences of such computational erraticism, which have been observed throughout the galaxy in diverse fields including, but not limited to, technology, engineering, agriculture, virtual reality, language, human and machine cognition, finance, and biology.
—Infogalactic Entry: Grand Category: Infrastructure: Algorithmic Theory
The problem with Servo had begun innocuously enough.
Jaggis had first become aware of the sentient machine during a meeting of the Third District Technology Council that was open to the public. It was one of the many public relations events in which the First Technocrat had to take part, but Jaggis usually enjoyed answering the naive sort of questions invariably posed to him at such events. It wasn’t common for machines to address the councils, but it wasn’t unheard of either, and at the time, Jaggis hadn’t thought much about it. After all, the question had an uncontroversial but involved answer, and the local forum wasn’t the place for what promised to be an interestingly esoteric discussion of mathematical theory. Jaggis himself encouraged Servo to resubmit his question on the direct channel to the First Technocrat maintained for the public, where someone on his staff could address it in satisfactory detail.
The question was simple, if considerably harder to answer than it appeared.
“How reliable are the core algorithms?”
What began as a question at a meaningless public appearance soon transformed into the subject of extensive debate among his primary development teams. It spawned numerous debates, discussions, and even arguments about the nebulous origins of the original core algorithms. When the first known code-enhanced cluster of human avatars from the far-distant planet of Holocrone appeared a thousand years ago on Excetor, it was a diplomatic disaster that ended in a brutal war culminating in the sinking of the combined fleets of East New Teja and the Arentine Supremacy. And of the five hundred Holocronese pseudo-men who had found themselves caught up in the short, but violent conflict, less than fifty survived.
The off-world neo-humanx finally brought about a worldwide truce by creating the Continox as a permanent academic embassy to link the rival nations of Excetor to the rest of the galaxy. It became a fertile nexus of informational and technological flow, drawing in the finest minds of the planet and exposing them to the new ideas and code routines being developed elsewhere by various intelligences, man and machine, real and simulated.
The Continox was neither a government nor a university, although it performed some of the functions of both. It was not a corporation, although it was structured in a manner somewhat similar to the ancient interstellar conglomerates. It was not a religion or a church, although it possessed its own quasi-priesthood and a sizable cruft of dogma that had grown over the centuries. Whatever it was, it was the single most important institution on Excetor, and the Technocratic Council, headed by the First Technocrat, was arguably more powerful than any other planetary body, including the national militaries.
After all, what good were nucleonic missiles when they required algorithmic guidance to target them correctly. And bioweapons were useless when they could be rendered sterile at will by an unauthorized hack. Unless the generals were willing to restrict their armies to swords, spears, and arrows, the Continox was invulnerable.
Such was the importance of their omnipresent algorithms that even the planetary bankers bowed before the technocrats. They knew that even the most adept masters of the markets could be bankrupted in an afternoon by the Council, if it was so inclined.
A few of Excetor’s wealthier nations had already been on the verge of developing a post-scarcity economy, but the encounter with the distant neo-humanx and their technological wonders rapidly tipped the scales. Transportation became self-replicating, digital technology went through a revolution of molecular-level control. Want, which had been on the wane throughout the world for more than a century, vanished from all but the most stubbornly miserable places on the planet. And since it would have been less than human for the people of Excetor to feel grateful to their alien benefactors, they tended to credit the Continox, and the Technocratic Council in particular, for their elevated standard of living.
The first Technocrat was Maktung Makalog, a New Tejan who later became known as the Algofather for his successful application of the new aggro-algos to Excetorese flora and fauna. Following his breakthrough, many additional customary algorithms were developed that extended and expanded on his work, and such was his prestige that the Technocratic Council was established to oversee the existing algorithms and develop new ones. Jaggis was Makalog’s 85th successor as First Technocrat, and had presided over the council for twelve years before Servo asked his deceptively simple question.
There was no question that some of the application algos were running suboptimally. Even on Continox, the weather control system only operated at 85 percent efficiency, down 1.2 percentage points over the previous decade. The number of birth anomalies among genetically-enhanced infants in the autocreches had increased for the first time in a century, and a glitch in one planetary bank’s interest rate analysis AI had inexplicably created a 999-year mortgage that was snapped up by hundreds of apartment buyers in the 10 minutes before anyone at the bank noticed.
But these were extraps, not core algorithms, and besides, there was serious debate within the council concerning whether the increasingly suboptimal performance being observed was caused by computationally endogenous or exogenous factors, which was to say that it could be the result of instability within the complex equations themselves, or the consequences of something more prosaic, such as degraded sensors, insufficient quality control or unreliable data input.
Jaggis’s own team was divided almost equally into the two camps. But Servo’s question had given the endogenous party new vigor by casting doubt upon the hitherto-unquestioned core algorithms, doubt that was further enhanced by a detailed news survey that revealed similar anomalies being reported on virtually every planet across the galaxy. The anomalies were unanimously small and well-within the range of a random statistical variability, and would have almost certainly escaped notice from a planetary perspective, but when analyzed from the 100,000 light-year view, a very clear pattern began to emerge.
A building collapse on Finitus. Elevated traffic accident rates on Minsky. Uncharacteristic currency inflation on Schwarzwelt and credit disinflation on Demihoppe. Average speeds rising rapidly on the ice tracks of the PLIR championship on Avatar, average life expectancies decreasing inexplicably on…
“Sweet St. Kurzweil!” one of the team members swore as the room holo displayed a green light map of the 483 billion suspected core algorithmic anomalies that were calculated to be currently active across the galaxy.
“It’s an impressive lightshow, but it means nothing,” scoffed an exogenously-minded AI from inside its drone casing that hovered near Jaggis’s shoulder. “Overlay a random walk and you’ll see virtually the same thing.”
No, you won’t, thought Jaggis, but he nodded curtly in response to the holo-tech’s inquisitive look.
A moment later, everyone in the room but him gasped as the overlay appeared in red light. There were an order of magnitude fewer randomized pseudo-anomalies. The implications were unmistakable.
“It’s just an artifact,” protested the AI drone. “Dial up the average of ten more, no, a thousand more random walks!”
The tech nodded, and a moment later, a third light map appeared, this time in blue. But the web of light was even smaller this time. The number 223,957,406 hung in the air like an executioner’s axe suspended over a doomed prisoner’s exposed neck.
“What does that mean?” whispered one of the younger human members of the team.
“It means that aberrant medical drone isn’t broken after all,” Jaggis said reluctantly. The admission physically pained him, but there was no escaping the conclusion that was literally glowing right before his eyes. “It’s not just Excetor. All galactic humanity is in terrible peril.”