2471 Fashion War on Venus.
The so-called Fashion War, also known as the Retro Incident or the 10-minute war, is a military conflict between two floating cities in the upper Venus atmosphere: Taibo IV and Nueva Mesilla. The violent exchange results in unexpectedly high damage and a large loss of lives: 14,288 temporary casualties that are restored from backups, but also 1,598 permanent deaths.
Taibo IV, the old former Brazilian dome habitat, is attacked by Ciudad Nueva Mesilla, a bubble raft. Both habitats are badly damaged in the process. Taibo sinks into deeper layers of the Venus atmosphere due to vacuum loss and must be abandoned. This happens so quickly that a large part of the biological population cannot be evacuated. Almost everyone has backups. Many however lose months or years of memories and of course their biological bodies. Nueva Mesilla undertakes an emergency fragmentation distributing the population over still operable segments. A third of the habitat is lost with little loss of life.
At first glance, this conflict is about the leadership in the fashion industry. The inner system is very rich in energy and resources. Venus dwellers can afford to spend most of their day with leisure and entertainment. So, fashion and lifestyle trends are important economic factors.
Nueva Mesilla is a founding member of the Cyclist Working Group, a network of tradition-oriented habitats. Cyclists have taken on the role of conservatives. The past five centuries have shown that nothing stays the same, but trends keep repeating themselves. New developments in art, fashion, entertainment, and philosophy adopt previous trends mixing and modifying them to create the next wave. Permanent change is the constant. Classic conservatism has been replaced by Cyclism, a dynamic variant of conservative thinking that has come to terms with change and uses it as long as the changes stay within established boundaries.
In contrast, Amadistas like the Council of Taibo IV reject the notion of economic cycles, fashion trends, and meme waves. The Amadist movement "Sendero Amado", after Cecilia Amado, primarily recruits young people under the age of 100 who have gone through many waves without anything having substantially changed in their life. Amadistas try to break the cycles.
The situation is exacerbated by the fact that the technical development stagnated in the 25th century. There has been progress, for example in space modulation, but people's everyday lives in the wealthy communities of Venus have not changed for a long time. The generation that came to economic and political power 100 years ago during the establishment of humanity in the solar system is still in control. This generation is over 120 years old, often 150 years. Some still have their biological bodies. Though, many are now uploading and living on as androids. The youths under 100 see no way to displace the older generation. This so-called "expendable generation" has become desperate and radicalized.
The conflict between Cyclists and Sendero Amado has worsened over the last 50 years. Cecilia Amado was one of the first trying to counter Cyclism with spectacular disruptions. In the end, she failed. Since then however, the movement has become exceedingly popular. In some Venus habitats Amadistas have even been able to displace Cyclists as the ruling party. Mostly through internal hostile takeovers using toxic memes associated with excessive psychological violence.
The current fashion war has been sparked by a disruption carried out by Taibo against Nueva Mesilla. The disruption has discredited a new fashion memeplex, called *Retro*, which the Cyclists Working Group lead by Nueva Mesilla had created at great cost. Taibo's activities caused damage to the new *Retro* trend drastically reducing Nueva Mesilla's reputation. As Nueva Mesilla's exchange rates at reputation exchanges begin to fall, both habitats start using military weapons almost simultaneously. From Nueva Mesilla's point of view, it is the only way to show predominance in an otherwise hopeless situation. For Taibo on the other hand, it is a preemptive strike against a fallen and already isolated star.
Both habitats use non-nuclear hypersonic missiles as attack weapons. The defense comprises a multi-layer ceramic pellet storm, high-speed defense pods with laser armament, and ECM, electronic counter measures. For hypersonic weapons the habitats are only two minutes apart. The exchange is largely automated. Other habitats do not intervene. After a short time, the damage done is so severe that the hostilities must be stopped.
This exchange of blows is an impressive demonstration of modern warfare.
The conflict between Cyclists and Amadistas continues.
The *Retro* trend ends before it starts.
The generational problem remains unsolved.
2475 An Autoimmune Meme Outbreak.
A toxic meme is spreading in southern Australia. The infection is caused by the so-called Khulapana memeplex. Infected people switch off the meme-filters of their implants opening themselves to new ideas in an uncontrolled way. The memeplex propagates a philosophy of openness and uncritical thinking. The usual bio-electronic filtering is seen as harmful and unnatural. There are also strong proselytizing elements. Infected people are convinced that many problems can be solved if people just "reach out to each other" accepting each other's beliefs. They try to better the world by convincing others, thus ensuring rapid spread. Affected areas are mainly Indian-dominated districts of New South Wales in the Warrnambool/Geelong/Melbourne megacity.
The direct consequence of an infection is a mild disorientation due to often conflicting thoughts, ideas, and theories. The indirect consequences are much more serious. The meme group actively opposes technical protection measures enticing people to turn off their meme filters which are supposed to defend them against all the memes circulating in the wild.
At any given time, powerful memes try to flood the mind of the average citizen. Many are advertising messages appearing in all sorts of forms, from simple earworms to fandom-inducing themes. There are political meme groups using auxiliary memes like conspiracy theories, ideas of moral superiority, ethnic and tribal discrimination, defamation and fear. In addition, there is a colorful variety of persuasive ideas ranging from artificial religions and sects to cults and urban legends. Some are just weird and actually harmless, but they can still influence beliefs or at least stabilize other memes via the "true core"-mechanism.
Countless memes are remnants of past campaigns that are still in circulation, many of whom have mutated over time, moving away from their original function, becoming independent or thriving in symbiosis with other memes. The variety and strength of ideas crashing down on people in networked augmented environments in the 25th century is much larger than before the days of science-based memetics and industrial meme design. After switching off their filters, Khulapana victims are exposed to all these memes without any protection. The consequences vary widely depending on which memes are able to take root in the mind of the infected.
The infection spreads rapidly over several months and can then be contained within five years. Hundreds of thousands of affected people are treated with psychological decontamination and long periods of rehabilitation. Still, complete cure is often difficult, because auxiliary memes of Khulapana try to prevent the detection and the symptoms differ greatly depending on the memes exploiting the Khulapana infection. That's why autoimmune memes are so dangerous.