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A few days ago I was choosing a gift for the New year. As I was standing in the gift shop and my sight was caught by the mug with memes.

enter image description here

I thought that it looks like the internet somehow crawled into reality. Every shop I saw during my journey through the mall had something inherited purely from internet culture. One might agree that it looks like the "barrier" between the internet and reality is getting "thinner" in such places. Of course, I am saying it with some irony, because today the "internet rift" is impossible. It is just an example of why I am even considering to treat the internet as a seed for the immaterium.


The question is how the evolution of the internet might go for it to become somewhat similar to warp from the Warhammer universe.

Some logical constraints should help it to stay at least semi-realistic:

  • No usual type of magic(though it might form it's own "magic") or aliens

  • It does not physically exist in form of subspace as immaterium in the Warhammer universe does.

  • Starting evolution point is the present time.

But at the same time, in my opinion, there should be some defining properties:

  • It should provide the means to use it as some kind of transport.

  • There should be entities that are "living" there.

  • It should be very hard/impossible to control it even if everybody(the human race) decides to unite their efforts.

In my opinion for starting, this "immaterium" should be restricted to Earth, to put the space travel out of scope to avoid all paradoxes and decisions related to FTL traveling. But I would like to hear how to port this idea to the universe with reasonable space travel mechanics.


Edit:

As requested by AlexP I am defining what I mean by "immaterium". Firstly, it is effectively a parallel universe(or subspace) with its own logic of existence. Usually, it is associated with superluminal travel, but here it is not the case.

There are limited means to access this universe to use it for some purpose. Here are some examples of such spaces:

  • StarTrack or Starwars like hyperspace. It is uninhabited and used only as a means of transport.

  • Blame! like subspace which only exists as virtual reality simulated by hardware in megastructures.

  • Warp in Warhammer universe as mentioned above.

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  • $\begingroup$ Questions about popular fiction, games and such things are off topic here $\endgroup$ – user81643 Jan 5 at 21:50
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    $\begingroup$ As I see it, my question is about the evolution process for internet to became like a separate dimension. Warhammer universe is an example of such dimension. Correct me if I am wrong $\endgroup$ – FrogOfJuly Jan 5 at 21:57
  • $\begingroup$ Just the mention of it is apparently enough for someone to vote to close. $\endgroup$ – user81643 Jan 5 at 22:02
  • $\begingroup$ What is an "immaterium"? (The links lead to technobabble. Not useful.) Voting to close as completely unclear what you are asking. Will retract the close vote if the question is edited to explain what it is about. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Jan 5 at 22:23
  • $\begingroup$ This scenario happened in the metaplot of Mage: The Ascension tabletop roleplaying game. The Internet awoke and became self aware. Well, at least to an extent. It wasn't a separate "dimension" but...it already kind of was even before its self-realisation. Technomages could travel to the Internet and achieve all sorts of tasks there - from hacking systems in the grossly exaggerated Hollywood fashion (where computer systems are apparently 3D virtual simulations) to using it to travel to another connected node via the wires and packets. $\endgroup$ – VLAZ Jan 5 at 22:52
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It already is like that

  • It should provide the means to use it as some kind of transport.

I buy stuff online. I clickety-click on a product, and magically a few days later it materializes at my doorstep.

Have you ever seen the sweatshops factories those things come from? Some would even dare say that those places do not exist, because of a certain conspiracy theory involving the shape of the planet.

Cheap shot at flat-eathers aside, the internets can be used to transport money overseas with a few clicks. It can even generate magic money, which only exists within the network but which can be traded for actual money which then can become cash.

  • There should be entities that are "living" there.

One of my favorite musicians is an internets being.

GEM TOS has been existing as an entity circulating around Data Airlines for a while now, as a repeating voice talking about chiptunes, reasons for skipping school and famous kraftwerk quotes, as a serie of strange sounds and she even featured on Oai Stars latest album clashing about essential ingredients for a good production, or life, or a night out. As hard to interpret as to know who she is, GEM TOS, more than just an entity circulating around Data Airlines then, like a ghost assuring a certain german attitude in everything released by the label.

She even has some lyrics about it:

I fly through hyperspace
In my green computer interface
I travel my own place

And

Then it begins
We go back to my place
I connect and log in
This time it's no lost race
My PC on your line
Ever since the feds cut mine
Best Speed and ELiTE detector
Hosted by Tristar & Red Sector iNC
Like three straight sevens
And I go to heaven


  • It should be very hard/impossible to control it even if everybody (the human race) decides to unite their efforts.

You can activate Internet Kill Switch'es locally, but if you do it globally you basically crash every economy where people use electronics. Practically all banks nowadays work through the network. You use the internet when you make a credit or debit payment.

We know it cannot be deactivated without causing something worse than the 1929 crash, now think about content. You can moderate it in some sites, but there is always somewhere else with different ideas and rules. You can't control all the content that is generated and published.

And then there is the magic money I mentioned some paragraphs ago. It was meant to make transactions hard to trace and its development led to a new technology which can be used to move not just money, but any kind of information. It is a colossal effort, and some would even say it's impossible, to tap on blockchain stuff.

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  • $\begingroup$ Exectly these thoughts were in my head while I was writing my question. But the problem is that internet today is all human-powered. Take away humans and nothing will work. Even those musicians that appear to be internet-only beings luck their own concesness-like properties. Take away the human who press a button to run the algorithm and no more music then. In my opinion, a camera from the highway is closer to "internet being" then virtual musician, because camre does not reqier human to operate. If suddenly humans dissapear it will send data to processing center until it is broken. $\endgroup$ – FrogOfJuly Jan 9 at 0:01
  • $\begingroup$ The blockchain stuff is interesting bc it allows to store a copy of something important on many computers and be sure that it survives even the nuclear war. But still it is only storage. So one can see that that there is a long road until the internet will became "separate dimension" and that is exectly why I've asked the question here. What is possbile way for the internet to become so complex it will be effectivly a subspace of our reality? $\endgroup$ – FrogOfJuly Jan 9 at 0:08
  • $\begingroup$ @frogofjuly take away humans and you still have bots and AI's. By the way, for inspiration, you might like to read about Werewolf: the Apocalypse. It's and old school tabletop RPG, with its own mythology where the internet is exactly what you ask for in the question. $\endgroup$ – The Square-Cube Law Jan 9 at 2:29

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