Friday, June 14, 2013

165: Clanstack

ENTRY 165: Clanstack

Individual transhumans, as unique and distinct from one another as they are, remain a part of a greater whole—a family, a clan, a hypercorp, a nation. In the focus on the individual, these tribal identities often get confused or lost. To help combat this, cyberneticists developed a variation of the cortical stack called the clanstack.

The clanstack is an active Mesh device, constantly feeding information to and receiving it from a private peer-to-peer network associated with the user’s “clan”—which, depending on the individual’s preferences might be their immediate family, their work group, or wider religious/ethnic networks like the Israel Network or Réseau Français. Users experience a constant communion with their clan network, a sensation that their people are all around them, and keeping up-to-date on major developments. For a family this might be weddings, funerals, births and other life events; work groups and national groups tend to focus on holidays and the change in major officers; religious networks emphasize holy days and periods of prayer. Users can also draw on the network for any basic knowledge available to their group network.

The clanstack keeps an archive of fundamental aspects of the clan, just as a cortical stack keeps an up-to-date fork of the ego of the morph it is installed in. In the event of a cataclysmic extinction event (or the collapse of the network), any survivors would contain enough cultural data in their clanstack to preserve the clan. In this way, each individual with a clanstack is a seed from which their people may grow, to prevent entire cultures from being lost.

While intended as a cultural tool, in the marketplace clanstacks have found other uses as well. Many groups use clanstacks to keep members tightly-knit and aware of each other’s immediate status—the fewer members in the clanstack, the more data from individual members is fed into the user’s clanfeed at a time. Gangs, elite military units, and social cliques have all used clanstacks in this way.


A clanstack is a cyberware implant that ties in to a specific network, usually chosen at the time of installation (this can be switched later on, but most such networks have verification protocols to ensure the user is a member of that group before they can join). Users receive a constant, non-distracting stream of information related to their group so long as they have a Mesh connection. This is not a constant chatter in the backbrain so much as the user instantly being aware of major holidays and events relative to the group, the names and positions of prominent members, key aspects of group history, etc. All of this is automatic and does not require a skill test to recall. Clan networks also tend to have major documents related to the group available—religious networks have major holy books or works of scripture, states have constitutions and laws, nations or ethnic groups may have major examples of literature such as the Icelandic eddas. When cut off from the Mesh (or if the network goes down), a back-up of the key cultural data is stored in the user’s clanstack. [Cost: Moderate]

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