Upgraded to Amber by TAS. Mishitan is characterized by lawlessness, high-tech, xenophobia, and total lack of privacy. The public highport that gives the system its “D” rating is maintained by TAS and the Scout base on Vesarelict (Farlight Subsector). There are advanced private facilities if higher quality services are required. Information piracy and hacking are rampant and not recognized as illegal. It is recommended that travelers stay within TAS designated facilities if equipped with computing systems less than TL-14.
People and Politics
Officially, the population consists of 80% human and over 15% Chimerics. However, with AI and robots given citizenship, the population approaches 2 billion.
Ubiquity is the name for the Mashatan data sphere, including public, federated, franchised, and private elements. At the physical level, Ubiquity consists of data warehouses and datagenic towers; massive digital, neural, and cybernetic processing centers; transmission switches and governors; AI and smart system software dedicated to maintaining context. To AI machines and software minds, Ubiquity represents nothing less than a medium of existence.
Some AI have sufficient infrastructure and self-sufficiency to exist apart from Ubiquity, or more typically, have public and private aspects in and outside of Ubiquity respectively. These AI (called DeP or Category 5 AI) number approximately 12, and are themselves the backbone or host to myriad AI, systems, and networks. While a machine mind of less than Cat 5 may be aware of reality outside Ubiquity, it cannot live there.
For AI sophonts below Category 5, Ubiquity represents both life and afterlife. Without material existence, AI runs into personality diffusion issues over time. Eventually the AI will cease to be a discernible ego within Ubiquity. Technically, Teardrop ships are Category 4, but arguably they are fully self-sufficient and therefore are Category 5 when they are in Mishatan system.
Ubiquity can also refer to the AI personality in charge of the datasphere. Attempts have been made to lionize and demonize this AI servant persona, but the consensus is that Ubiquity as an independent agent of thought is a myth.
Category 5 DePs
The Voluntera is the governing body politic of Mishatan, having legal authority over matters of citizenship, law and jurisprudence, trade, treaty, real estate, virtual estate, and appropriations. The Voluntera also has no executive branch, with each citizen notified individually of the impact and expectations around laws. The Voluntera is a cybernetically-mediated democracy. It is not a representative democracy or a republic: votes cannot be assigned or proxied.
Committees form around common interest and ability, and are usually by invitation only after creation. Committees are formally required by the political process, but they have no power beyond their ability to propose, sponsor, or evangelize legislation. Certain standing committees, however, have enough reputation and individual charisma to stand out as political entities within the Voluntera, and most lasting legislation in their area of interest goes through them. Each of these High Committees has at least one Cat 5 DeP as a member.
Procedurally, the Voluntera is a continuum of dialogue and debate. Formally, legislation starts with a "Motion to Persist", which places the proposal up for commentary. Scope is assessed, support is garnered, criticism incorporated until it has accumulated enough momentum and interest to move to committee -- either an ad-hoc or standing committee which agrees to host the motion. Petitioners, critics, and subject matter experts are asked to debate, or otherwise finalize their arguments. The committee then submits the motion, now called an "Assertion", to any High Committees relevant to it, if applicable: A&D if funding is requested or taxes levied, SS for predictions of outcomes, and so on. Finally the Assertion is put to vote. Voting is yea or nay with commentary and conditions, meaning individual voters can stipulate conditions and expect to have that change the final legislation, or change their vote pending stipulation. Whether or not the vote succeeds, the Assertion and the vote is reviewed by the Procedural Ethics committee for next steps:
It is very rare, but possible, for Procedural Ethics to enact legislation that fails a vote, and to return legislation that succeeds. This is done usually when multiple petitions on the same topic cause cross-interest. Occasionally, votes are thrown out for procedural violations such as lack of quorum or insufficient debate.
The petitioner of the Motion to Persist can request the Motion be placed in secret, meaning only members of the Voluntera can view or comment on it. This is relatively common.
The membership of the Voluntera is about a million at any given time, out of the system's nearly 2 billion individuals. Any citizen of Mishatan is eligible to join the Voluntera, pending approval by the Ethics committee. Membership is rescinded temporarily by inactivity or for ethics violations. Most votes have about a 60% abstention rate, particularly hot issues only 25% abstain. Votes require a three-fifths majority of non-abstaining votes to pass.
The planet hosts a wide variety of native marine life in all its four oceans, including fish-like bony endoskeletals.