Topic: Tower Economy and Voting

The Complete Lack of AP

There's no AP. At all. No one ever even thought of the flushed things or if they did they were smart enough to keep it to themselves.

Re: Tower Economy and Voting

Owner Chips

The tower is basically an anarchy. If something isn't nailed down it can be picked up by anyone and there's little you can do about it. The only way to make sure something stays in your possession is to either lug it around at all times (you can take small items into the floatbeds with you) or tag it as your own.

To tag something as your own, you need to get a TSR issued owner chip. They can be installed in most powered tools, doors, factories and other machinery. In fact, most tools come with an owner chip already installed. The chip is used to control who can use the tool or machine, open a door etc. The chips are based on access codes, and are very difficult to crack. If someone tries to take the protected device apart, the owner chip will give an alert to both the owner and TSR. Such behaviour is generally considered destructive and is thus bad for ones reputation.

Simple tools, spare parts, etc. can't have owner chips. They can be stored behind a locked door in one of the lockerhalls, though.

Each chip has administrator rights (always one person only) that can be overridden only by a TSR master access. The administrator rights can be transferred to someone else if needed. In case of the death of the administrator, the chip will become TSR property, unless the administrator had named a successor.

The administrator can customize the chip to allow any number of people (or only themselves) access to the device. More advanced logic can be introduced by interfacing the chip with other hardware.

The owner chips are the basis upon which the voting system is built. At set intervals, TSR overrides the owner chips of all those machines on which it's been requested. Basically, you can contest the ownership of any tool or resource but the minimum votes take care that the smaller things aren't usually contested. After a voting procedure, the administrator rights are transferred to the winner of the election.

One can avoid the voting process by not installing owner chips into ones factory. In that case, however, no one needs to respect their ownership to the factory. In addition, if one tries to install some sort of an encrypted protection of ones own, TSR will send a Chimbot to crack it. With all of TAU's computing power behind them, it's very difficult to fight against. Nevertheless, some people have managed to get by with untagged factories.

Re: Tower Economy and Voting

What's Being Voted for?

The machines whose ownership comes under vote during the election runs can be roughly divided into the following groups:

Factories and workbenches: Machines used to produce tools, spare parts and other items. They've usually been built by colonists at some point. The bigger factories have one administrator each, while smaller ones, particularly workbenches, are divided into bigger admin sets. The block distribution is decided by TSR and is relatively unchanging. The factory admins can make changes to the factories and control who has access to the items produced.

Expensive tools: The most expensive tools can also be voted on, though this is less common due to minimum votes. Usually these tools are large machines instead of hand-held ones, but not always.

Raw material pumps: Perhaps the most contested administratorial position is the right to control the pumps that bring raw materials. Each pump has its own administrator who's allowed to ration the materials being pumped to colonists as they see fit.

TAU Core CPU time: The CPU time of the TAU AI Core (underneath Ringlab Alpha) is divided into 20 equal shares, each of which is designated a different administrator. The CPU admins schedule the computing between different projects. (If they leave some CPU time idle, it's shared between requests.)

Power distribution points: The plasma currents that transfer energy upwards from the reactor can be accessed only at designated points. (Often, there's a hub built around those points.) These have administrators to regulate the currents going to the different power lines leaving from those poitns. They can't control what's plugged into those lines, though. So far, power has not been really in shortage, so the power admin rights are usually easy to obtain.


Science stations (Dec 104): Legacy to a decicion by a Ringleader Meeting, all administration rights to all science stations, including both laboratories and simulators, are exclusively in the hands of The Association of Scholars. This is to allow them to prevent people from doing unsafe experiments such as Tyler's project - one person with one labstation could jeopardize the entire Tower by accident. For balance, their ringmembers can't become candidates for other administratorial positions. Lately, there's been a lot of movement towards countering this special arrangement, but the needed unanimosity hasn't been reached.

Life-critical machinery: Certain critical machinery, such as floatbeds and life-support systems, doesn't have owner chips and thus can't be voted for. TSR and the Ringleader Meeting have decided that giving one person the control to shut them down could be disastrous. (Of course, the control now lies with TSR.)

Re: Tower Economy and Voting

The Voting Procedure

The elections are held every year, at New Year's Day Earth time. During that day, all administration rights of factories and other contested machinery are reallocated.

The Election Bits

The contested machinery is divided into election bits by TSR. One bit contains either one large piece of machinery or several smaller ones. For each bit, a separate election is held, with separate candidates and vote counts.


Any colonist, except for members of The Association of Scholars, can become candidate on any election bit. Also, one can be a candidate on several bits if one wishes.

The Voting

Every colonist has seven votes to distribute between different candidates on different election bits. They can be distributed any way one wishes: one can put them all on one candidate on one bit or distribute them among completely unrelated bits. The vote used to be anonymous, but after several accusations about TSR tampering with the results, they're now made completely open, even during the election.

Minimum Votes

There's a treshold of 20 votes that's required for any bit to change ownership. This is meant to lessen random fluxuation of ownership that disrupts the working processes in the tower.  This number of votes must be exceeded or the previous owner automatically wins. However, the treshold doesn't count as votes for the previous owner, so if there's significant demand for the machine, the owner must have equal support in votes to keep it.

The Winner

If the minimum vote is not met, the previous owner wins. If they are met, the winner is the one who gets most votes. If there's only one candidate, that candidate wins automatically. If there's a tie, the previous owner wins. If the previous owner wasn't part of the tie, a random method is used to pick the winner.

Re: Tower Economy and Voting

The Economy

The economy in the Tower revolves around administrators, material goods (raw materials, tools, spare parts...), favors, reputation, and access codes. Most people strive to support the work they deem most important, which usually means aquiring resources and reputation to themselves or their ring. This leads to a complex web of bargains going on constantly on high and grassroot levels of the Tower society.

Many consider this bargaining a distasteful waste of time but the sad fact is that if you don't participate in it, you don't get much done. There's a lot of free sharing and cooperation going on too, of course, but that's mostly between those with similar views.


What you're carrying with you is generally considered yours and it's very rude to try to steal it. In addition, the truly valuable items are usually protected by owner chips, so robberies are very rare. Of course, most factories and such are also protected by owner chips.


A major part of the Tower economy is the bartering of one thing for another. The central place for bartering is The Mall, but shadier deals are made in shadier places. One can barter anything from spare parts and raw materials to favors and administratorial rights.

Access Codes

Access codes can allow a variety of things, from receiving a single item from a sharepoint to the administrator's rights to a factory. They're shared through a direct, secure necklink connection, or if you don't trust that security, on datachips.


Sharepoints are semi-spherical structures about two to twenty meters in diameter. They're connected to automatic underground storage spaces that store various items. At request, the items are brought from the storage to one of the sharepoint's hatches and given to the user. Alternatively, the user can donate items into the sharepoint.

Who can receive what from a sharepoint is dictated by its administrator. It can be completely free for all, or it can have any kind of advanced rule systems. Some store their items in a sharepoint and then trade access codes for those items to others. Other sharepoints may be accessible to members of one ring only. Some might employ complex trading logic, such as providing tools in exchange of raw materials or vice versa. A few even have a money-like point system where one has to gain points by donating items before being able to receive what they need. However, all such currencies are sharepoint or ring-specific.

Vote Trading

Accepting votes in a trade is a risky business, since a promise to vote for someone is just that, a promise. That's why vote trading is the most popular during the vote, when you can observe the vote being placed where it should.

Supporting Damage-Control Teams

There's no direct reward for doing repairs. However, few things are better for ones public image than being seen working on a piece of critical machinery, or being spoken well of by those who do. That's why many rings, particularly production-oriented ones, support repairers by supplying them with tools and spare parts. One could say that repairing provides one with reputation, which can be traded like any other commodity.