The Zero State (ZS) community is dedicated to the creation of a trans-national, distributed and virtual State committed to the Social Futurist Principles. In other words; a principled, voluntary, sovereign system of governance whose citizens are spread around the world.
Everything that follows is metafiction.
Report by Dr. Dvara Vishnuyasha, MD, PhD, blackstar.systems clinical research director.
Clearance 3B eyes only.
One may naturally wonder what is meant by the ontology or "metaphysics" of a clinical trial in applied neuroscience. The original ZODIAC15 program was a standard test regime for the latest generation of graphene/SU-8 Neurogenic Transmitter / Wireless Receiver (NTWR) implants, released for alpha testing in September 2015. The intended function of NTWR was to connect subject CNS to external computational resources, allowing an effective expansion of cognitive function on an external, non-biological substrate. The program was a partial success, and is being directly followed up by blackstar.systems and other research organisations, both private and public. There was an interesting side-effect in a small but significant proportion of test subjects, however, and research into that side-effect is the foundation of the ZODIAC19 program.
That side-effect was a distortion of thinking, essentially a form of mild delusion, which was classified by clinical psychologists as Shared Psychotic Disorder (SPD)*. It is currently unknown whether all affected test subjects are themselves clinically psychotic (i.e. subject to primary delusional thinking), or whether some delusional participants have effectively managed to convince non-psychotic participants into fully believe and invest in their delusions. A tentative, conservative diagnosis errs toward the SPD classification.
Aside from safety and reliability concerns integral to the original ZODIAC15 remit, this side-effect was deemed interesting by blackstar.systems clinicians for two reasons. The first of these was that the delusional states are remarkably stable in all affected subjects, which raises the possibility of engineering human perceptual sets, which could have a wide range of medical and military applications. The second was that in all observed cases to date, the delusional scenario is peculiarly specific**. It is our working clinical hypothesis that either the delusional memeplex has spread among susceptible subjects in a form of contagion, that perceptual alterations induced by the NTWR lend themselves to particular forms of delusion, or some combination of the two.
The experimental program of ZODIAC19 is not to test the NTWR implants themselves, beyond simple signal and medical monitoring. The program's primary clinical focus is an exploration of the delusional framework, so that we might better understand its origin and parameters. For this reason the subjects are assured a high degree of support by the program, allowing us to actively encourage exploration of these delusional beliefs at a minimal level of acceptable risk.
*Shared Psychotic Disorder ("folie à deux"), which was present in DSM-IV as a separate disorder, exists in DSM-5 only in the section on other specified schizophrenic spectrum and other psychotic disorders, as “delusional symptoms in partner of individual with delusional disorder” (Ref. 1, p 122). The presence of shared psychotic disorder in DSM-5 will allow continued recognition of this disorder, which, although rare, is occasionally seen in forensic cases, both criminal and civil.
**The delusional scenario in question has been referred to by test subjects by multiple identifiers, the most common of which has been used to designate the on-going database of shared delusional beliefs: ZERO STATE. See clinical report ZS-param-4325 for a basic outline of the most common SPD memeplexes in this study.
BLACKSTAR.SYSTEMS Clinical Research Division
Report by Dr. Dvara Vishnuyasha, MD, PhD, blackstar.systems Clinical Research Director.
Clearance 3B eyes only.
Clinical report ZS-param-4325
Zero State memeplex outline
As noted in the attached program abstract, the following is an outline of a broad set of delusional beliefs shared by a subset of ZODIAC15 participants, who are now being studied under the aegis of the ZODIAC19 program. Now that the specifics of the true historical situation have been established, the summary below is compiled directly from the trial participants' own statements without clinical comment, for the sake of clarity. The summary below does not in any way reflect the opinions or beliefs of blackstar.systems staff, but is merely a broad summary of ZODIAC19 participants' delusional belief system.
NTWR was hacked.
When the first NTWR neural implants went online in September 2015, as part of the ZODIAC15 program, the brains of trial participants were suddenly exposed to electronically generated "thoughts" from outside their own skulls (not just thoughts per se, but also other alterations of normal perception). This was of course the entire point of the program, giving the participants greater brain power, potentially endless memory, specialised data analysis techniques coming to them as "intuition", even improved perception and reaction speeds.
What no-one anticipated, however, was that some of these brains would be hacked by outside computer systems on day one. It was reasonable to assume that such hacking was impossible (or at least highly improbable), both because of extreme cryptographic security, and the simple fact that very few people on earth even knew of the program's existence.
Time travel, of a sort, is possible.
The hack was possible because the people behind it exist in the future. They not only have highly advanced technology, but detailed historical records of the ZODIAC15 protocols. The moment people had transmitter/receivers implanted in their brains, "The Future" was ready and waiting to just walk right into their heads. It turns out that backward time travel is in fact possible under certain conditions, but that the degree of physical control and vast amounts of energy required essentially rule out sending back any kind of physical object with nonzero mass. What can be sent back, however, is information in the form of signals encoded in tachyon streams. Where there is an appropriate receiver waiting to decode that information - such as an NTWR implant - communication between future and past can be achieved. Yes, this potentially violates causality and raises the possibility of causal paradoxes. So, in short, rather than being delusional, the "Zero Staters" (ZSers) claim that they were in fact contacted by The Future as soon as their implants were activated.
Several strands of 20th and early 21st Century thought point toward the possibility of our apparent universe only being one of many, and that fact plays a large part in the ZS worldview. Three theoretical strands worthy of note are Bostrom's Simulation Argument, Everett's Many Worlds Interpretation, and Carter's Weak Anthropic Principle. These three theories posit different types of "alternate world": Computer simulations, alternate observations of quantum waveform decoherence, and areas of spacetime which do not support the existence of human observers, respectively.
ZODIAC15 participants who received messages from the future via their implants were told that all three categories of multiverse have been proven real to some extent (and according to certain specific interpretations) by the late 21st Century. This essentially means that our observed universe is not only just a part of all existence in terms of sheer scale, but that there is also an immensely convoluted "matrix" of alternate worlds differentiated across a combination of three broad categories.
In other words, there are "locations" in reality which are not only separated from us by regular spacetime, but by being a more or less detailed (and/or historically accurate) simulation, by their degree of agreement with our observation of the greater objective quantum waveform, and by the physical parameters of their observed subset of spacetime. Some of the "Zero Staters" have a more developed or nuanced take on these ideas than do others, but they all agree that saying that messages are coming via brain implants "from the future" is an extremely complicated proposition, far from simple to unpack. Few or none of the ZSers claim to know exactly where the NTWR messages originate, and often their explanations are contradictory (even self-contradictory within one participant's explanations).
The Strange Attractor.
In mathematics, an attractor is a set of numerical values toward which the output of a system tends to evolve, for a wide range of systemic starting conditions. If that makes no sense to you, consider Tyler Durden's statement that "On a long enough time line, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero". In that case, despite a wide variety of personal circumstances and starting conditions, everyone subject to the rules of the system eventually ends up at zero (i.e. death). In this example, zero is the attractor in the system. If an attractor is a single point or fairly conventional set of likely outcomes, a strange attractor is a weird, complex, chaotic "shape" in the dataset of all possible outcomes. It is a shape in a higher dimensional space, relative to the "worlds" in which the system crunches numbers and calculates individual outcomes.
ZSers have been told, quite explicitly, that our local "neighbourhood" of spacetime and alternate worlds is dominated by a vast, barely comprehensible strange attractor. Our world and timeline is just one of many, embedded in the larger picture of a very strange shape in ultraspace. Apparently the nature of this shape, the strange attractor, determines where and when tachyonic messages sent from the Future are likely to be received.
The pièce de résistance of this line of thought is that the strange attractor effectively constitutes a higher dimensional ecosphere. "Things" swim in it. Things larger than our entire universe (from a certain higher-dimensional point of view). Lovecraft would have recognised this story.
ZERO STATE as Herald of a self-causing information object, or "Axiom".
Stepping back from this metaphysical horizon, ZSers repeatedly claim that human survival and flourishing - i.e. the sum of all "good" human futures - is itself one of the 'swimming things' or subshapes within the attractor-ecosphere. It is essentially a collection of information processes which have evolved to maintain coherence in the face of other, corrosive information processes. It has evolved - is evolving - to survive. This organism, whose cells are the entire worlds and timelines we call home, is called The Axiom.
More generally, within this metaphysical scheme "an Axiom" is any self-causing information object (i.e. any causal process which loops back upon itself, apparently causing its own existence). The Axiom is said to be an Axiom, in the broader sense, meaning that its existence transcends spacetime as we understand it, and that it embodies some form of causal loop.
Just as a cell within a multi-cellular organism cannot live if the host organism dies, ZSers are convinced that future humanity has realised that it must not only act to protect its environment if it wants to live, but that our descendants' broadest "environment" - The Axiom - is a realm vast beyond the comprehension of most humans in the early 21st Century. A small handful of participants have given vague details of a comprehensive cosmological model in which The Axiom, considered to be ZS' most extended potential sphere of influence, is:
"...an n-dimensional space composed of thirty six meta-dimensional categories, each containing multiple dimensions. It's multiplicative; three spatial, three probabilistic, two subjective waveform variants, two temporal directions. They say it's a best-fit GA model developed by AIs in the 'fifties."
Some proportion of future humans are said to revere The Axiom as a transcendent host organism, and thus as the source or sum of all known life. Increasingly complex discussions of this view among the ZSers suggests some kind of religion, but The Axiom is said to be far too distant to be thought of as any kind of personal god. In theistic terms, this "religion" most closely resembles Deism, or perhaps more accurately "Deist-Henotheism" or even "Deist-Omnism".
Just as humans naturally tend to protect themselves and their families first, then friends, and then to consider helping strangers, future humanity's predominant worldview apparently revolves around survival (first for one's own sake, then for those at one remove from oneself, and then for all others where possible), with that basic principle raised to the level of a kind of cosmic truth.
ZERO STATE as political ideology, religious framework... and game.
"The Zero State (ZS) community is dedicated to the creation of a trans-national, distributed and virtual State committed to the Social Futurist Principles. In other words; a principled, voluntary, sovereign system of governance whose citizens are spread around the world." - ZS literature
Of course, as we have established, "The Future" is in the ZS worldview not a simple time or place. These matters are said to be extremely complicated, not least by the existence of factions in the future, just as they have existed throughout history. Some of the factions are entities which fight against the future ZSers and their ideas, for myriad reasons. Others are those who are ostensibly on the same side as the future ZSers, but who have some difference of opinion or circumstance.
The fulcrum of this entire worldview is the idea that there are entities in the future who the contemporary ZSers (i.e. ZODIAC19 participants in 2017) identify strongly with, and those future entities work to change the past (our contemporary world) for their own ends. Those ends are (1) survival, and (2) an almost religious reverence for the idea of organisms being cybernetic/causal loops fighting to survive in a hostile environment, in the image of The Axiom itself.
Those ZODIAC15 participants who received messages from the future Zero State not only believe themselves to agree with these ideals to some significant degree, but increasingly believe that they are becoming people from the future. That in some sense they are the "seeds" of the future entities they receive messages from. There are multiple variants on this theme, such as tachyonic information processes from the future "colonising" the host mind, to simple conversion based on rational discussion, to an overtly Gnostic "remembering" (anamnesia) that in a sense they were the future people all along, and somehow couldn't remember or didn't yet know.
Differences of opinion.
An interesting diversification of "sub-worldviews" has begun to emerge amongst the (contemporary) ZSers. Blackstar staff do not know if this is understood by the ZSers themselves to be a result of the different future personae that participants play host to, the different characteristics and worldviews of the contemporary hosts themselves, or some other combination of factors. Studying this memetic evolution is a key research aim of the ZODIAC19 program.
For example, a number of the participants are self-identifying transhumanists, which aligns interestingly with the emerging ZS worldview. Others are politically active, and those participants have begun to develop a shared interest in a notional political philosophy referred to as "Social Futurism", which the future ZSers apparently say is a historical worldview which was an important developmental stepping stone toward (or foundation stone of) their own future worldview. Perhaps most interestingly, there is a small subgroup of ZSers whose worldview is developed to such a baroque (and increasingly uniform) degree that it appears more than anything else to be a kind of futuristic religion, hinging upon the twin emphases of knowledge and survival.
Finally, a recent development which almost defies description is a tendency among some of the ZSers to "strategically flirt" (a phrase used by one of the participants) with the concept that their entire worldview - the entire delusional matrix - is some kind of game or prank. This idea is not without historical precedent, and may just be a way for some participants to make sense of their condition, but it is somewhat disconcerting to discuss these matters with people who will quite readily switch between insisting that ZS is real, and that it is a game, and then even that it is in some sense more real than ZODIAC19, blackstar.systems, and the entire real world itself.
Such suggestions hint at serious psychotic discontinuities, and blackstar staff have noticed that these comments are rare, as if the (uniformly intelligent and lucid) participants wish to keep that core view to themselves, for some unknown reason. On the one occasion that a participant (Subject DO31, referring to himself at that time as a person from the future called "The Illusionist") discussed this topic at length, he stated explicitly that:
"You see things, the world, backward. You were born backward. The wrong way 'round. What you call reality is fiction, and what you call fiction is reality, or at least a step toward it. Escape to Reality. Original Virtue, you see? The Future is The Real, and this... your world... is all a dream. Try to remember. It's only a game."
ZERO STATE as ideal, worldview, and praxis.
Delusions of this nature are often correlated with an array of social deficits and instabilities. In the case of the ZODIAC19 participants, however, notable stability and lucidity makes their condition both promising and of significant concern. For the same reasons that Engineered Perceptual Sets have been identified as a potential military asset, the ZODIAC19 participants should be considered a significant security risk. Their shared worldview, albeit delusional, is highly effective for the purposes of small-group organisation, and they have begun to develop concrete plans in accord with that worldview. They sincerely believe that they are preparing / being prepared for future events, and sent instructions from the future, in order to better negotiate accelerating change and build the future "Zero State".
Taking all of these elements together, we can see that the term "Zero State" signifies multiple social-organisational functions among the ZODIAC19 participants, as follows:
ZS represents a cosmology and value-set which the participants aspire toward.
ZS is understood to be a close-knit working group, or community.
The mission of that contemporary community is to build the future ZS, as a matter of survival.
That mission represents an end-goal, which automatically generates pragmatic/temporal sub-goals.
An almost eschatological belief that ZSers must "earn" a predetermined victory, or Future.
The future ZS is conceived as an active, sapient governor of contemporary activity.