lacergunn t1_ja83pm4 wrote

King Gregor the 3rd sat in his chambers, sipping at a glass of warm, honeyed wine.

Today was an important day for him, the dawn of what was sure to be a successful campaign against the kingdoms at the edge of his empire. This was not his first war, one does not rule a land as vast as his without putting a few unruly lords in their place, and he doubted it would be his last.

The kingdom of Falder sought to expand its borders into the lush, resource rich lands of the fey courts. The courts were small, isolated, and very territorial, but the lands they held were some of the most verdant, beautiful lands he'd ever seen. The king idly wondered if he could build a summer home there, once the land was in his grasp. If his generals had advised him correctly, his first warband would have arrived on the field of battle a week ago. They were no strangers to war, and he doubted they would have faced much trouble against a force as small as the fey courts.

A knock at his door interrupted his train of thought.

"May I enter, my lord?" It was one of his military advisors. He recognized the voice, but couldn't recall his name. "You may." The door opened to reveal an average man in plain brown robes. He carried a few sheafs of parchment, which he placed on an empty desk. "News from the front, my lord. The generals told me to appraise you as soon as possible."

The king pursed his lips, and nodded for the advisor to begin. The robed man cleared his throat, and held up a letter. "Squire Peter of Faldridge reports that, the 5th infantry and calvary divisions of the royal Falderian army has been..." He squinted. "Completely destroyed."

The king choked on his wine. "What?! Give me that!"

He snatched the letter from his advisor, scanning the contents. The paper had seen better days, and was very short on details. Written in a clear, panicked haste, all the king could gleam from it was that his forces had faced a crushing defeat, with few survivors.

The advisor picked up another letter, this one a more detailed battle report.

"The squire of Faldridge.." The advisor resumed, "Was one of only a dozen to survive the engagement, and gave a clear report of events after retreating to the primary gathering at the edge of our borders. According to his reports, after rallying to defensive positions and establishing standard formations, our forces met fey infantry. The enemy footmen were loose and unfocused, many either rushing within the range of our pikemen and being cut down, or falling in close combat to our swordsmen."

"That... doesn't sound bad, how did we lose?"

"It began to rain blood, sir."

"It began to rain-" The king cut himself off.

"Yes. And then the blood caught fire."

"How the fuck does blood catch fire?!"

"I'm not entirely clear on that, my lord. I would have believed the squire had simply been hallucinating, if not for the fact that our entire division is dead..." The advisor reread a line on the letter. "Oh, I misread. Our entire division is undead."


"Yes, they got back up and started killing each other. According to the squire, shortly after they lost formation a man identifying himself as a 'necromancer' revived our fallen forces, and instructed him to return and tell us what he'd seen."

The king rested his forehead in his hands.

"I see."

"Do you have any orders, my lord?"

"Is my son old enough to rule yet?"

The advisor raised an eyebrow in confusion. "He turned 23 last winter, sir."

"Good, tell him the crown is his, the necromancers are his problem. If you need me, I'll be busy faking my death."


lacergunn t1_j8g5iz2 wrote

I'll paraphrase the webtoon "Seed"


Making an AI that aligns with humanity's ideals is impossible, both in sheer scale and in the fact that human ideals are highly fluid. Luckily, you don't need to. Making an AGI that aligns with the desires of a single handler, or small group of handlers is far easier.

However, this outcome ends with a small, probably ultra-wealthy group of people having an unstoppable cyber-demigod in their arsenal.


lacergunn t1_j1w1iyo wrote

Honestly we could have full dive vr within the next decade, but we probably won't. With our current tech, the things needed for a system like that would be highly invasive, and there sure as hell isn't a market for that brand of tech yet. The only reason neuralink gets any attention is because Elon Musk attached his name to it.


lacergunn t1_itr4orp wrote

I'll have to look into that. A while back I had an idea to offset human carbon output by modifying a strain of azolla to grow in the pacific garbage patch, but it wouldn't work because that part of the ocean has no natural nutrients. However, if I could modify the plants to take some of their nutrition from breaking down plastics...


lacergunn t1_isr51r6 wrote

The recent breakthroughs in plastic breakdown are mostly improvements and derivatives of a naturally occurring bacteria that was discovered in 2016. Though recent advancements in machine learning make it easier to make entirely new things from scratch, a lot of genetic engineering is based in using parts that naturally evolved.

As for super-photosynthesis, it comes down to a few things, mainly growing space, environmental concerns, and the biggest hurdle of all, funding.


lacergunn t1_isk8yp9 wrote

If it's in groundwater, you can harvest the metals back up by engineering plants with genes from the ZIP family.

ZIP genes are responsible for metal uptake in plants, and with proper modification they can be made to pull raw metals out of groundwater, both repairing the local ecosystem and allowing the metals to be harvested for further use.


I really need to put a lab together.