Topic: Lore: Speedgrowth

Here's the speedgrowth discussion from our very first session. It's not our usual RP: It's a scene from the old Earth with Dr Sing Chi explaining the process of speedgrowth to Mrs Kapur. The questions asked under the nicks of our player characters are actually questions asked by Mrs Kapur. The idea was to have this going on, and at the same time each player describing their character's own speedgrowth experience.

<Sing_Chi> Greetings, Mrs Kapur, and thank you for seeing me. I'm really pleased for this opportunity to present the final design of the floatbed chamber and the speedlearning process.
<Sing_Chi> I'll get straight to business then, and describe the most brilliant way the process let's you speed up the learning processes considerably.
<Sing_Chi> I won't go into details on the physical side of how an infant is grown into a full-grown human being in less than two years - that's not really my area of expertise. Instead I'll describe the structured learning process that doesn't only use up to 60 per cent of the human brain capacity, but also creates the necessary connections considerably faster than what happens naturally.
<Sing_Chi> The first stage of the process begins right after the infant has reached the development level of a newborn baby. That's when we start to administer certain stimulants to speed up the forming of connections between the synapses.
<Sing_Chi> At this stage the basic cognitive processes are activated, resulting in the gradual awakening of the consciousness.
<Sing_Chi> The subject rarely remembers this experience, so we can't be sure what it's like exactly, but I would assume it's like awakening.
<Sing_Chi> The infant brain is constantly stimulated by simple impulses, that form basic shapes and colors, as well as a selected variety of different sounds, smells, tastes and feelings.
<Mizuki> What selected variety would these be Mr. Chi? What is set up to shape the subjects personality?
<Sing_Chi> This is mainly for the purposes of teaching the very basics of cognition, hardly anything to shape personality at this stage. Perhaps, though, the peaceful flow of these sensations would favor a patient, calm, thoughtful personality.
<Sing_Chi> Exactly the kind you need on such a long project as colonisation, I might add.
* Mizuki nods
<Sing_Chi> In time, the infant will learn to navigate among this simple virtual reality by playing with the database navigation functionality implanted into its necklink.
<Sing_Chi> Often they will spend hours just chasing one particular shape or sound they find to be to their liking.
<Sing_Chi> The stimuli's complexity is increased, of course, introducing speach, music, natural shapes like simple tools, plants, houses, animals, many things.
<Sing_Chi> It's crucial to introduce database navigation controls at an early stage, since it'll be used in the later stages of the learning.
<Sing_Chi> The complexity of the virtual world will gradually grow while the infant is navigating the database. It can look into things of interest to it already at this stage, though not in an organized manner.
<Sing_Chi> The experience is rather dreamlike, if I'd have to describe it.
<Sing_Chi> Finally, the virtual world will start simulating real-world physics, allowing the infant to practice basic motor functions such as walking. To make the process more straightforward, the avatar the infant perceives itself as resembles the projected appearance of itself as an adult.
<Sing_Chi> The infant is strongly guided in its effort to learn, making it learn walking within days.
<Sing_Chi> It's a very streamlined experience, with little decicion making on part of the infant.
<Sing_Chi> Well, not really an infant at this stage anymore, since the physical growth has reached the stage of childhood. I'll refer to it as "the subject" from now on.
<Sing_Chi> When the subject has learned to control her body like an adult does, the physical simulation is once again terminated, and true learning begins.
<Sing_Chi> At this stage, basic knowlegde is downloaded into the subject's brain, using strong stimulants to quickly form the connections needed to store the information. While the download is progressing, the brain will start reorganizing the information in an individual way, making the subject experience a myriad of different dreams.
<Sing_Chi> The information stored in this stage is about high-school to early university level of knowledge on several fields, such as the history of the human race, or natural sciences.
<Sing_Chi> This information is common to all subject, though the dreams experienced may vary greatly. Test subjects have reported hearing operas of Vagner, walking the streets of 13th century Paris and traversing the molecules of different substances.
<Sing_Chi> Since now, the subject has not been able to perform a truly conscious decicion, though.
<Mike> ((Do you mean "until now?"))
<Sing_Chi> ((Yes.))
<Sing_Chi> But after the download of the information, which lasts about three months, the subject will be introduced to lucidity.
<Sing_Chi> We've tried to keep lucid periods to a minimum, since we're not able to speed up conscious brain activity safely. However, it's crucial for a colonist to be able to think for herself, and that can only be achieved through conscious decicion making.
<Sing_Chi> So the subject is brought into a heightened stage of consciousness, where she will usually have a rather confusing experience that can last for days or even weeks, before she can truly comprehend her existence.
<Sing_Chi> During this time she's kept company by the Terraforming Assistance Unit that explains her who she is, where she is and the purpose of her existence - that is, the colonisation of a new world.
<Sing_Chi> TAU communicates with her verbally at this stage, in a calm, impersonal voice.
<Sing_Chi> While in this high stage of consciousness, the database is constantly accessible to the subject, though the physical simulation is offline.
<Sing_Chi> The subject will be given the task to explore the database on her own now, finding out things about topics they find personally interesting.
<Mike> Question.
<Sing_Chi> Yes?
<Mike> During these stages when the subject is conscious but the physical simulation is offline - does she still experience some kind of world, even though the laws of physics don't apply?
<Sing_Chi> Yes. It's a database interface, to put it simply.
<Sing_Chi> When the subject is not browsing data, there is no sensations. The subject can, however, by simply willing it, enter any entry in the database. Those entries, then, have their own set of simulations. Some may simply input knowledge into the subject's brain while others may give images or even simulated experiences, such as walking through a historical landscape.
<Sing_Chi> Did this answer your questions satisfactorily?
<Mike> Yes, thank you.
<Sing_Chi> While the subject is exploring areas of interest, the process will also download information about relative topics to the subject's brain.
<Sing_Chi> This will, once again, manifest itself as dreams - during these downloads the conscious processes are turned off.
<Sing_Chi> These things will continue to the very end of the speedgrowth process. The subject will variate between lucid experiences and dreamlike download sequences. But yet other kinds of experiences will interrupt that from time to time.
<Sing_Chi> The next thing to introduce, about half-way to the process, is the communication aspect of the necklink.
<Mizuki> A question again Mr. Chi. Will different ethnicities be somehow drawn to their own cultrue and history?
<Sing_Chi> Quite curiously, that happens quite often.
<Sing_Chi> ...
<Sing_Chi> It seems that coming across images of humans closely similar to the avatar of the subject herself triggers strong feelings of familiarity. This often leads to an urge to learn more about this particular group of people.
<Sing_Chi> It's also possible for the subject to find geneological information about herself in the database.
<Sing_Chi> Thus enabling her to track down information on her genetic ancestry.
<Sing_Chi> Did this answer your question?
<Mizuki> It did, and it is indeed curious.
<Sing_Chi> But I was going into the social aspect of the development process.
<Sing_Chi> TAU will now group the people in a single patch in groups of four, and their avatars are brought together into a single space.
<Mizuki> Is this before or after they have gotten knowledge of the tower itself and the things we do here?
<Sing_Chi> The historical context of the mission is given at the very beginning of the conscious stage by TAU in speach.
* Sing_Chi is now known as Farid
<Mike> ((speech))
<Farid> ((Whatever.))
* Farid is now known as Sing_Chi
<Sing_Chi> The subjects will find themselves in the company of others, to practice their social skills. This is done in a lucid stage. They already have the universal language downloaded into their brain so that is not a barrier.
<Sing_Chi> ((Change four people to three.))
* Sing_Chi is now known as Farid
* Farid is now known as Sing_Chi
<Sing_Chi> The group will continue to interract in different activities over time. They are given tasks such as repair problems and research to complete together.
<Sing_Chi> All of these exersizes are done in lucid mode, and they also serve as practice for their skills.
<Sing_Chi> At other times these practice sessions are done alone, particularly the ones that concentrate on highly specialized activities.
<Sing_Chi> These sessions will continue throughout the rest of the process, with only one major event to do:
<Sing_Chi> Only days before releasing the subject to the real world, TAU asks her to come up with a name for herself.
<Sing_Chi> This is pretty much all there is besides myriads of technical details.
<Sing_Chi> Do you have any additional questions at this stage, Mrs Kapur?
<Mizuki> None for now Mr. Chi.
* Mizuki has left #stsc_speedgrowth
* Tagato has left #stsc_speedgrowth
* Mike has left #stsc_speedgrowth (Leaving)
* Ishi has left #stsc_speedgrowth
* Andrea has left #stsc_speedgrowth
Session Close: Sat Jan 20 02:51:25 2007