The "Powers" in Vernor Vinges' Universe

Marketing calls our current visitor ‘Old One.’” He smiled. “That’s something of a joke, but true even so. We’ve known it for eleven years.” No one really knew how long Transcendent beings lived, but it was a rare Power that stayed communicative for more than five or ten years. They lost interest, or grew into something different—or really did die. There were a million explanations, thousands that were allegedly from the Powers firsthand. Ravna guessed that the true explanation was the simplest one. Intelligence is the handmaiden of flexibility and change. Dumb animals can change only as fast as natural evolution. Human equivalent races, once on their technological run-up, hit the limits of their zone in a matter of a few thousand years. In the Transcend, superhumanity can happen so fast that its creators are destroyed. It wasn’t surprising then that the Powers themselves were evanescent.

So calling an eleven-year Power “Old One” was almost reasonable.


They have transcended our kind of existence, but they disappear after just a few years... possibly for the flexibility of their intelligence and ability to rapidly transform themselves, much like Kurtzweil's singularity.

Folksonomies: singularity otherness

/law, govt and politics/government/courts and judiciary (0.578857)
/art and entertainment/humor (0.499870)
/business and industrial/advertising and marketing/telemarketing (0.499317)

current visitor ‘Old (0.934418 (neutral:0.000000)), Human equivalent races (0.823976 (neutral:0.000000)), Vernor Vinges (0.634785 (neutral:0.000000)), Transcendent beings (0.590554 (negative:-0.220975)), One.’'' He smiled. (0.557088 (neutral:0.000000)), Dumb animals (0.521052 (positive:0.225267)), rare Power (0.500088 (positive:0.308520)), true explanation (0.494287 (positive:0.764010)), natural evolution (0.493007 (positive:0.225267)), technological run-up (0.492507 (neutral:0.000000)), eleven-year Power (0.478616 (neutral:0.000000)), Powers (0.468312 (negative:-0.276356)), flexibility (0.340285 (positive:0.559290)), intelligence (0.253431 (positive:0.559290)), handmaiden (0.226876 (positive:0.738417)), singularity (0.222808 (positive:0.447068)), joke (0.201370 (negative:-0.279341))

Kurtzweil:Person (0.812389 (positive:0.447068)), Vernor Vinges:Person (0.790577 (neutral:0.000000)), Ravna:Person (0.537888 (positive:0.764010)), thousand years:Quantity (0.537888 (neutral:0.000000)), eleven years:Quantity (0.537888 (neutral:0.000000)), eleven-year:Quantity (0.537888 (neutral:0.000000)), ten years:Quantity (0.537888 (neutral:0.000000))

Plato (0.879354): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago
Evolution (0.796891): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
2000 albums (0.793294): dbpedia
1000 (0.743979): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Metaphysics (0.730579): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Technological singularity (0.704901): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Call option (0.703855): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Ontology (0.677544): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc

 Fire Upon the Deep
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Vinge , Vernor (2011-08-01), Fire Upon the Deep, Tor Books, Retrieved on 2012-01-03
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: fiction science fictino