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This section is concerned with the Zero State's core, defining idea, and the principles and protocols derived from that idea.
The idea which defines and motivates ZS is known as the Axiom. In its simplest form, the Axiom states that the Array is a collective organism which seeks to live and grow, survive and evolve.
"Zero State" is the Social Futurist, political aspect of that organism; which when referred to as a people is called Ajati, and is called Ásentír when conceived of as a religion. The degree to which any person chooses to emphasise any of these aspects over others is a matter of personal choice. The common feature of all three aspects is community.
ZS regulates its internal affairs in accord with the Principles of Social Futurism, which focus on Positive Social Change Through Technology, and emphasize ethical, networked cooperation between diverse communities and organizations.
Although ZS' Principles are focused on our hopes and highest aspirations for humanity, in a rapidly changing world it is not safe to hope for the best without also preparing for the worst. For this reason, ZS also adheres to a set of simple rules for dealing with intransigent hostility, known as the Basilisk Protocols:
ZS manages its external relationships via the Basilisk Protocols, which constitute an assessment program or Process which sorts entities into categories according to potential for cooperation, ideological affinity, evidence of potential threat etc, and responds as appropriate.
Zero State (ZS) acts as a kind of fulcrum, membrane, or bridge, simultaneously connecting and dividing the realms of its "high" and "low" concerns. The so-called high concerns are questions of philosophy, metaphysics, and ideology at the most abstract level. Low concerns are matters of extrapolation, organization, and application of those core ideas in the world.
ZSers characterise high concerns as working toward a kind of philosophical unity, coherence or synthesis. Low concerns tend toward diversification and cooperation between diverse organizational elements according to common principles.
1. Clarity within:
The Axiom as philosophical unity
The mature Zero State of the late 21st Century is said to perceive itself as a kind of cybernetic organism (in the original, broader sense preceding "cyborg"). Cybernetic organisms are primarily defined by the presence of a behavioural feedback loop which allows the organism to adapt to its environment. There is a strong similarity between that concept and the idea of a causal loop and its close cousin the temporal loop, both of which are embodied by ZS.
ZS' self-conception is taken to its farthest extreme by those who revere The Axiom as a kind of impersonal/Deistic god (or, in typical ZS terms, "an n-dimensional, fractal meta-organism"). In that narrative, ZS and human society as a whole is said to be a reflection (AKA Herald, Avatar) of the Axiom, sharing the same basic cybernetic-loop-structure, albeit on vastly different scales.
Some even say that just as the structure or form of small groups in the early 21st Century prefigures what they would later evolve into, the mature ZS of the late C21 is itself just one of many tendrils that will later grow together to become the Axiom itself. Such metaphysical speculations are just that, and cannot be supported or denied on the basis of any evidence.
In simple pragmatic terms, the point is that ZS views itself as a cybernetic system trying to survive like any other organism, and that all related philosophies and ideologies are expected to reinforce that core idea rather than distract from or undermine it. On balance, they either serve ZS' survival and flourishing, or they effectively oppose it.
2. Strength without:
Principles and Protocols as root of diversity
Once we understand the core idea behind ZS - that it is a self-creating system which values knowledge and survival above all else - then we can begin to consider its working parts. Between the unity of that prime imperative and the organizational facets known as the "Myriad", there is a bridge called the Structure, made up of two parts, known in turn as the Divisions.
These are essentially the point where our philosophical rubber meets the road, and is translated into an organizational basis. Division 1 is the Social Futurist Principles, which have evolved from the original ZS principles published on May 1st, 2011 (and republished as V2.0 six years later, on 1st May 2017). Division 2 is the Basilisk Protocols, being a set of scripts determining the proper steps to take when interacting with entities both within and beyond ZS. These Divisions are not organizational groups, but are fundamental rules for properly managing such groups in accord with ZS philosophy.