Uplift is a divisive topic among humans as well as non-humans, and many transhumans have taken sides.

Bioconservatives

Very few uplifts choose to live among bioconservatives for obvious reasons. Biocons almost uniformly look upon uplifts as freaks, creatures that don’t belong. Which doesn’t mean that the Jovian Junta is above experimenting on military applications for smart animals (and if you believe the rumors, war apes and worse); human ethics can be remarkably flexible. In general, uplifts and biocons are like oil and water. Most biocon colonies ban uplift research as well as uplifts themselves. In other habitats, various bioconservative groups continue to lobby against uplift research and other genetic and cognitive “abominations” and to do what they can to restrict uplift rights.

Broken Shackles

Broken Shackles is a decentralized network of anarchists and like-minded individuals that support the cause of uplift liberation. The group has no official leadership, no budget, and no membership lists, but it does have a number of skilled hackers and darknet resources at its disposal. The primary goal of the group is to collect and organize data that may be of interest to mercurials, other radicals, and uplifts simply seeking to break free from indentured service. Much of their data-scraping is used to illuminate the operations of some of the more oppressive uplift hypercorps, sometimes leaking this data to the public mesh via MeshLeaks. They also investigate and attempt to crack the codes on genetic service packs and similar proprietary genetic locks, seeding this data to the mesh so that others can use it to pirate genomes for uplift reproduction or bypass built-in morph obsolescence. A database maintained by Broken Shackles provides up-to-date data on uplift legalities in different jurisdictions, an essential resource for uplifts looking to avoid legal entanglements. The database also monitors and tracks the activities of ego hunters known to pursue uplift runaways. The group also provides fake IDs and travel options for uplifts looking to go underground.
Broken Shackles data hubs and supporters have been targeted multiple times by hypercorp counterintelligence units. An ongoing low-intensity conflict rages between these parties on the mesh, sometimes spilling over into the real world.

Neo-Primitivists

The primmies have a nuanced response. They despise the premise of uplift, condemning it as a continuation of humanity’s hubris and the ongoing system of oppression and destruction of nature brought about by civilization itself. Hypercorps that research or engage in uplift are nothing more than torture mills, Frankenstein labs, and death camps in their eyes. On the other hand, they do not despise uplifts (except those that continue to engage in and support uplift research), but consider them victims of progress and technological society. Neo-prims support attacks on uplift hypercorps (as well as autonomist syndicates and uplift groups that pursue uplift tech) and the liberation of test subjects from labs. Groups like Zerzan’s Brood and Deep Green Strike have bombed uplift research facilities, setting some promising projects back by years. As mentioned previously, some neo-prims work with uplift naturalists, helping them to “revert” back to animalistic states.

Chmod 700

This small and secretive mercurial group was founded by AGIs. The intent of the group is to take permission to modify the minds of AGIs (and also uplifts) away from humans and place it in the hands of AGIs (or uplifts, respectively). Unusually, Chmod 700 actually supports bans on AGI creation/programming—for humans, at least. Since the concept of allowing AGIs to self-propagate and upgrade themselves does not go over so well with most transhumans in the wake of the Fall, Chmod 700 encourages AGIs interested in either to relocate to hidden brinker stations on the edges of the solar system or tucked away on exoplanets. In the same vein, however, Chmod 700 also supports uplift control over uplift reproduction and modification, which is seen as a more feasible near-term goal. This has led to Chmod 700 similarly establishing remote outposts for uplifts to experiment in upgrading and propagating their species.
A major component of Chmod 700’s uplift projects is investigating distinctly non-human mental architectures and cognitive modes. Researchers with the group have allegedly made several breakthroughs in this area, though to what degree is unclear. Just recently a secret NWA lab was destroyed by an unknown group hostile to their interests.

Rael Duvalier and the SIBA

Rael Duvalier may be the worst kind of enemy—the one who believes they’re acting in your best interests. The former CEO of Somatek, Duvalier was ousted from the board when Somatek took a more liberal turn. As the lead scientist behind the first uplift, Jumbles, Duvalier had pioneered and defined Somatek’s uplift agenda, eagerly copied by other hypercorps, and set the groundwork for the ideology that uplifts needed to be shepherded into sapient adulthood by a wiser patron: humans. According to Duvalier’s philosophy, uplifts are property, not people, and owe a debt to those who raised them up, until their wise patrons deem them fit and mature enough to thrive without supervision. Though Duvalier no longer has influence at Somatek (except with some old-guard figures that escaped the purge), he is exceedingly wealthy and remains active in uplift affairs. He sponsors numerous anti-mercurial projects, including the Uplift Patron Foundation, has his claws in a number of ongoing hypercorps, and uses his influence to sway legal decisions and public policy regarding uplifts (and other matters) in the inner system. He owns an entire exoplanet, Tirion, accessed via the Martian Gate, home to the Singer Institute for Biological Anomalies—his private uplift-related research program.

Religious Groups

Religious fundamentalists generally don’t like uplifts either. Their reticence often turns on the question of whether uplifts can have a soul. Clearly baseline creatures cannot. (After all, God gave man (sic) dominion over the creatures of the Earth.) So if animals don’t have souls and uplifts do, they would have to be granted souls by godless scientists. Obviously this presents something of a theological conundrum. Plus, I think many zealots are unnerved by the prospect of arguing about evolution and creation with an uplifted ape.
The religious organization Lord’s Dominion can only be described as a hate group, a collection of biocon religious fanatics who see it as their mission to bring Earth’s creatures back under God’s or Allah’s or whomever’s dominion. It is a small group, to be sure, but there is strong evidence that elements of the Jovian Junta are funneling funds and resources to the group. The Dominion’s principal area of operation is Jupiter and the asteroid belt. A series of gut-wrenching crimes has been tied to them. Uplifts traveling in an area where the Dominion has struck before should be wary. Their boldness seems to be growing. On the other hand, there are religions that embrace uplifts. Some hindus and techno-creationists regard uplifted creatures as fellow travelers on the path to universal wisdom and believe that path cannot be traversed without them. Neo-buddhists note that uplift technology raises the consciousness of the creatures it touches and thus increases the overall sum of universal happiness.

The Uplift Patron Foundation

This think tank and lobbying group has one major agenda: ensuring that uplifts remain in the control of humans. They create policy documents, draft legislation, and file and join lawsuits aimed at keeping uplifts as second-class citizens. Following Duvalier’s ideology that uplifts require the guiding hand of humanity and that they owe humans for the favor, they work strongly to counter uplift civil rights and defend reproductive controls and indenture programs. The foundation also organizes and trains anti-mercurial activists to counter the spread of mercurial and other radical uplift agendas. The mercurials call out the UPF as a speciesist group hiding under the mask of legitimacy, and point out that a number of individuals connected to violent attacks against uplifts have been linked to or even openly affiliated with the UPF.

[ Home | Setting Information | Uplifts ]