The Knowledge Society

Hello, fellow Engineer! Welcome to The Engineer's Almanac, a comprehensive guide to Engineering aboard the Asimov.

Our Ship is steeped in history - some of it fascinating, some of it brilliant, some of it terrible. We know only a sliver of our past: much of our knowledge has been lost over the generations, and it seems that a lot of what we take for granted to be the case is not in fact true at all. At the very end of Mission Year 598, we performed the Ship's Inversion, to allow the Ship to slow down enough to make landing at our eventual destination feasible. However, going into this process, we in Engineering realised that we knew next to nothing about how the Asimov actually works - the Engineering Guide was useless, nothing about critical systems nor design modifications had been documented, and many parts of the Ship meant only for the Flip had broken completely in the centuries since the launch. So, with the Inversion concluded, we have set about producing this guide.

This guide is a collaborative project, not just of Engineers present, but of future Engineers too. You too can, and should, contribute. Document everything - every new device, every upgrade, every scrap of knowledge. Operating in the dark leads to misunderstandings, wasting of time, and far too frequently, avoidable deaths. Did you know that prior to the Inversion, we were unaware of the existence of Toroid 6? It may seem absurd in your time that an entire sixth of the Ship was unknown to us, but that is the breadth to which our ignorance had spread.

The Almanac is your friend. It will save you, and those that come after you, countless hours - the one resource of which we never have enough. Treat it well. Make it useful. Do not be smothered by the ignorance that plagued your ancestors - that plagued us - and perhaps the Ship can pull itself from the chaos of misinformation into which it has sunk.

I have filled this guide with all the information we have gathered, and all that we have learnt since then. Others too have made their mark. Let this be Engineering's lasting legacy - our own fountain of knowledge that has been forbidden for so long.

Best of luck!

Victor White


Advanced Robotics Solutions Engineer

The Engineer's Almanac was one of several knowledge retention projects that were created after the ACTP meetings of 2650. People in all departments were frustrated at the loss of information in the first 600 years of the Asimov mission, and were determined to preserve and relearn the knowledge of humanity.

Realising that having one source of information, namely Computer, was a risk of information-loss, several former ACTP members created more robust facilities for the storage of knowledge. Various libraries, caches and databases were set up, with no one person knowing of them all to prevent a concerted attack by information-anarchists. Although the precise number of these libraries is a mystery, it is known that various factions act as custodians, including the Cult of Singularity, Children of Earth, Keepers of the Quiet Places, the three dynasty families and also each department. The Computer also holds a repository, but much of the information remained restricted until the mission was completed.

Amandine de Bouillon was the driving force, co-ordinating the different knowledge-gathering projects on board Asimov. A renowned film-maker, she produced a series of short films about the work of the Engineering department, and produced feature length films about the Inversion and the possibility of landing. The two feature films were co-written by Ellis de Bouillon, who also contributed heavily to The Engineer's Almanac.

Varian White, in her time as Head of Navigation, expanded the department's role to encourage the discovery of new knowledge, and the rediscovery of knowledge lost. This work was based on the brain-child of Markus Red, who did not survive to see his idea realised. Under Varian, Navigation also took on some of Harmony's recording duties, with a focus on science and scientific data. The Navigation department created many paper books as well as electronic files.

Whilst most of the Engineering department contributed to The Engineer's Almanac, the bulk of the writing was undertaken by Victor White, Ellis de Bouillon and Carla Blue. The Almanac is currently in its 9th print edition and is still the authoritative guide to Asimov's systems, cybernetics and fundamental engineering principles.

With the new trend for offline documentation, the demand for paper increased dramatically. None of the projects would have been possible without the mediation of Nemo “Nurturing Lizard” de Bouillon-Blue between toroids 1 and 2, and the tribes of toroid 3. After the toroid 3 quarantine was lifted, Nemo negotiated trade between the peoples of the toroids. Toroid 3's major export became wood and paper, enabling the revival of a print tradition.

eternity/the_knowledge_society.txt · Last modified: 2013/03/05 14:32 by gm_gemma
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