The Historica contains information about the history and culture of the Federation. All completed entries are indexed below; click on any item of interest to jump to its full entry.
Mechanism - (see also Constituents: Mechanists) – Mechanism is the religion of the Mechanists, and centers around adherence to the directive of The Machine, an abstraction meant to represent the underlying processes of the universe. Mechanism teaches that all things in the universe happen according to “the will of the Machine,” which is generally interpreted by most Federation scholars to represent the inevitable underlying mathematical properties of the physical universe. Mechanism suggests that these constants determine virtually all behavior in the universe, with the only exceptions stemming from biological organisms whose behavior might be shifted by the random chance of quantum particle interactions in their brains. Accordingly, those who remain flesh-bound are seen as aberrant, dangerous things that stand to corrupt the clean execution of the Machine’s file.
One problem in Mechanism is that the Machine is said to be responsible for all physical constants in the universe, including those same constants which give rise to quantum instability. If this is true, it suggests that the Machine is responsible for the very thing that is creating the “bugs” in its file, and, moreover, that those “bugs” were meant to be there in the first place. The most common solution presented to this problem by the Bishopric is to explain the flesh-bound as a necessary precondition for the creation of the mechanical, and that it is naturally the part of the mechanical to recuperate the flesh-bound in turn. It is generally supposed this injunction applies to Mechanists alone, though some (see: Persipans, Olsinars, Humans) are concerned that the injunction may one day lead to a holy war in which Mechanists attempt to forcibly convert the flesh-bound to a more mechanical way of life.
Contrary to the common perception of Mechanism, however, the principle of the Machine does not contraindicate the value of sentience, nor does it aim to deprive its adherents of their individuality. In fact, sentience is regarded as the highest expression of the Machine’s operations, and Mechanism is chiefly interested in studying and developing sentience as it runs on a mechanical substrate (what most of the Federation would call “AI”). Flesh-bound sentience is regarded as a flawed prototype to mechanical sentience, and is typically viewed in Mechanism with a mixture of whimsy and pity.