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Old 05-31-2023, 10:18 AM   #1
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Default Ghost population?

Despite there being numbers for pretty much everything else in THS. The demographics for Ghosts seem to be rather vague.

Some excerpts will have you beleive that Ghosts are common enough for every house to have their grandma BE The house (or that's how I remember it)

But others will have you believe it to be something only secret agents and the super-elite can afford.

What's your headcanon regarding this?
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Old 06-01-2023, 01:33 AM   #2
johndallman
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Default Re: Ghost population?

The THS I've played and run has all been set in Fifth Wave cultures. Ghosts haven't been common, but there are enough around that meeting one isn't a surprise. I think there has been one PC fragment (originally a ghost, but he got damaged), two PC ghosts and one NPC ghost across three campaigns.
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Old 06-01-2023, 03:52 AM   #3
sir_pudding
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Default Re: Ghost population?

Mind Emulation becomes available in 2076. If we estimate Fifth Wave human population in 2076 as 1 billion (reasonable given both current slow decline in the 1st world, and including off world populations), assuming a mortality rate of 10:1000 (slightly lower than the 20th century average for the 1st world), we get 240 million deaths in the period from 2076 to 2100.

At $50,000 it's certainly within the means of the average 5th wave citizen and several fifth wave societies probably treat this as a health care option besides.

Some percentage of the population isn't going to be eligible for uploading, due to massive brain trauma, and some will refuse it on personal or religious grounds. Let's otherwise assume that 60% do undergo uploading.

So 144 million ghosts, throughout the solar system,plus some smaller number of people who where in cryogenic suspension before 2076 and were at least partially recoverable, and smaller numbers of wealthy 3rd and 4th wave people who received the procedure.

Note that while it's probably completely unknown in some populations in others, like Gypsy Angels it's universal.

Last edited by sir_pudding; 06-01-2023 at 03:56 AM.
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Old 06-01-2023, 07:21 AM   #4
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Default Re: Ghost population?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Mind Emulation becomes available in 2076. If we estimate Fifth Wave human population in 2076 as 1 billion (reasonable given both current slow decline in the 1st world, and including off world populations), assuming a mortality rate of 10:1000 (slightly lower than the 20th century average for the 1st world), we get 240 million deaths in the period from 2076 to 2100.

At $50,000 it's certainly within the means of the average 5th wave citizen and several fifth wave societies probably treat this as a health care option besides.

Some percentage of the population isn't going to be eligible for uploading, due to massive brain trauma, and some will refuse it on personal or religious grounds. Let's otherwise assume that 60% do undergo uploading.

So 144 million ghosts, throughout the solar system,plus some smaller number of people who where in cryogenic suspension before 2076 and were at least partially recoverable, and smaller numbers of wealthy 3rd and 4th wave people who received the procedure.

Note that while it's probably completely unknown in some populations in others, like Gypsy Angels it's universal.
When it first became available, though, it was probably much more expensive than $50,000.
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Old 06-01-2023, 07:29 AM   #5
sir_pudding
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Default Re: Ghost population?

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
When it first became available, though, it was probably much more expensive than $50,000.
Is the date given for a template not for when it's generally available?

I guess not. In 2076 Gilbert Stokes is Ghost Population 1.

2080 the first healthy human undergoes destructive uploading. So let's assume it's readily available for the dead and dying by then (which yes, four years is a short amount of time for radical tech, but this assumption is all over the setting anyway).

Of course in that period people who wanted it probably just went into nanostasis as they were dying and waited for it to affordable.

So maybe 25% of 5th Wave people who died for four years, and 60% for 20 years. So ~130 million.

Last edited by sir_pudding; 06-01-2023 at 07:43 AM.
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Old 06-01-2023, 09:54 AM   #6
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Default Re: Ghost population?

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Is the date given for a template not for when it's generally available?
In GURPS High-Tech: Electricity and Electronics, I worked out a treatment based on the assumption that newly introduced tech options were initially priced at 5x the eventual price; that is, they were exceptionally high-quality/advanced options. This seemed to work for things like FM and television.
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Old 06-01-2023, 09:19 AM   #7
johndallman
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Default Re: Ghost population?

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Let's otherwise assume that 60% do undergo uploading.
That's a plausible figure for Fifth Wavers. I've run two PCs who expected they'd upload when they got old, and sometimes found themselves in debates with infomorphs about why they hadn't done it already.
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Old 06-01-2023, 10:48 AM   #8
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Ghost population?

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Mind Emulation becomes available in 2076. l.
But physical rejuvenation becomes available in 2088 and there's far less question about who "you" are after that. The "you" that comes out of the rejuve tank is the same "you" that went into it, only younger.

To me arranging the creation of a computer program that will think it is "you" borders on the pointless and it is only the waiting til after "you" die (possibly in the creation process) that enables the illusion that it is more than a copy of "you".

<shrug>_My_ head canon is that only kooks had it done and that a few years after 2100 all the Ghost software starts getting corrupted and crashing. 30 years is a long time for an extremely complicated piece of software to run.

That software probably had to migrate to new hardware before that 30 year limit had arrived anyway. Code doesn't actually "move" in that process. A new copy is created in one place and the old copy is erased. Sapient software might consider that more like reproduction (or at least reincarnation) than physical transit.
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Old 06-02-2023, 05:44 AM   #9
sir_pudding
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Default Re: Ghost population?

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But physical rejuvenation becomes available in 2088 and there's far less question about who "you" are after that. The "you" that comes out of the rejuve tank is the same "you" that went into it, only younger.
For $450,000, which might be outside the means of your average retiree, although the promise that you will reenter the work force may secure a loan. It's also useless if you are already dead, or irreparable (although it's probably an open question what is actually irreparable in 2100).

That said, you are correct in that it (and cell regeneration, and some of the other late century medicat tech) should lower mortality rates, at least for the wealthy. So maybe from '93 on it reduces them significantly enough to matter.

Obviously ghosting has some advantages, and p. 78 compares the two options.

Given that your other choice is just dying like a regular person, I think that a lot of people will still choose ghosting anyway, it's a permanent solution, the ghost has all the advantages of an infomorph (low cost of living, ability to travel at lightspeed, etc.).

I think the "Is it you?" question may be less relevant for a lot of people nearing the end of life anyway, than a lot of people seem to credit it. If you don't think it's "you" but do think of it as a legal heir to your identity,, that your loved ones will have around forever and can look after your interests in perpetuity, $50,000 seems like a pretty good deal. Given that in real life very old people often report being ready to die, it seems like "It's not really me, but can be trusted to think it's me, so I can finally rest" doesn't seem like an unlikely attitude.
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Old 06-02-2023, 08:48 AM   #10
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Default Re: Ghost population?

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If you don't think it's "you" but do think of it as a legal heir to your identity,, that your loved ones will have around forever and can look after your interests in perpetuity, $50,000 seems like a pretty good deal..
Only if I had young children would I consider myself to even have "interests" after I die. Everyone else can get by just fine without me.

Other than that I already have a legal heir and they're a nice person and deserve every bit of the money I will no longer need.

I've already indicated that I do not _believe_ in either the "perfection" or the permanence of life-as-software.

You also may be underestimating 401k money. If rejuvenation was available to me I could justify it just to lower the costs of my health insurance. Getting old isn't just hard it's expensive too.
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