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MisAnThropic2

Warhammer 40k and "internet"

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Hey guys, asking cause of the high level of expertise on this forum. I/we in our Group have just started playing and we are confused with the technology of computers, the use of internet-like information and so on?
 

Or is most of it stored in gigantic librariums or other Buildings? Is it mostly books and tomes or is it computers and data-slates?

 

Thank you for sharing info!

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As a general rule, information is guarded zealously, stored in data-arks and vast librariums. Typically it depends on the nature of the document, but as a general rule 'important' things are written on paper. Dataslates are common but you're more likely to see an official writ on vellum than a screen.

 

All of this means that there is no real analogue for a galactic internet, save for communications via astropath. Planetary systems would in most cases have something approaching it, to facilitate the necessities of trade and such.

Edited by Errant

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Some planets still have an infonet, but access to it is restricted heavily by the AdMech and generally reserved for very high ranking nobility and various parts of the adeptus. It's only for information not for leisure.

Yes. In the dark future of 40k, the internet has no erotic materials.

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Plus a lot of the descriptions through various novels and books describe most of the "computers" available outside the AdMech as being rather primitive, I think Into the Storm has a mobile cogitator that runs off promethium..... though porn slates are mentioned in the Ciaphas Cain novels at least.

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But always remember that dataslates very often are made to contain only one information or text and nothing more, and there are not any way to change their nature: they are LITERALLY electronic books!

Today in some places, a student has a single pad, that contains all his books, in the WH40K, half of his books would be content in a series of dataslates (maybe he is lucky and one of his dataslate contains two books!) and the other books would be made of paper...some would be parchments!

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though porn slates are mentioned in the Ciaphas Cain novels at least.

 

Cain isn't necessarily the most strict on fluff to be fair. It's the most lax view of 40k material I've ever read. There are erotic novelas on data slates in Ravenor though, one of his agents reads them to pass the time.

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Personally I'd say no. Even if a planet has an infonet and your ship does (unlikely even with a big ship) networking with it would be almost impossible probably.

 

Networking these days is difficult, thing about millenia of personal updates and modified coding languages.

 

Remember that not everyone on a ship is put into a register, many are pressganged into service and many are lost easily.

 

If you're looking for someone then in person it'd be inquiry (that's still around in RT right? It's been a while), if for some reason you happen to have a computer with a registry then tech use.

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Ships Librarium for some information, but I do believe that most ships do have an internal info-net that's routed though the logic engines of the ship, something has to crunch the raw data that sensors bring in. In the book Shadow Point, the ships captain ran simulations through the logic-engines.

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This is how even some of the worst scum live so long in a universe where there are so many reasons someone could just blatantly shoot them, no questions asked; first, you have to find them.

 

This sort of makes me cringe whenever I try to imagine a Rogue Trader who is actually very successful. There are no emails, texts, or other "real-time" communications; for the most part, everything is either a courier-delivered message, or done with astro-telepathy. That means that many Rogue Traders can not really react to developments in their web of intrigue until it catches up to them, as a problem, and also why they must have numerous known and incognito ears to the ground, wherever they can arrange for it, and also probably have someone else run some of the day-to-day activities, while they cruise around the galaxy, not telling anyone where they are going, or have gone, rifling through thousand year old detritus, or battling hordes of INSERT MENACING THREAT HERE. If they want to learn about some choice opportunities, they need a network of acolytes, sort of like the Inquisitors, to sift for such things, because the galaxy is just too big, and disconnected/isolated for anyone who has influence beyond a single world, or maybe a system, to keep tabs, and keep up.

 

This is why, in my RT story, Aedan's sister gets to do all the dtd operations, administering their assets from a planetary base, serving as a satrap there, and collating everything together. She doesn't leave, so messages can get to her, on her planet, frequently and reliably, and then she can send anything relevant to her esteemed brother, as he gallivants around the cosmos, looking for troub...um, opportunities. It's how it worked for me, anyway. Even today's CEO's can't monitor everything, themselves, and have to delegate some, but 40k, there doesn't seem to be any other way, unless you are Eldar. Tau and Orks should be as disorganized, communications-wise, but I gather the greenskins don't care, and I honestly don't know how the Tau keep up with their furthest out groups, without warp-based or subspace communications; perhaps that's part of why they still haven't expanded much further than they have, given the little resistance they often face.

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There are probably a number of complex individual planetary and ship-wide intranets as opposed to a single Imperium-wide Internet. One imagines that better developed hive worlds and of course forge worlds would have very large computer networks, though given the vast interstellar distances between worlds, communication difficulties would probably prevent worlds linking up into a proper single network.

I have in the past speculated that astropaths could be servitorised and used to transmit binary information accurately between forge worlds. Although perhaps a punishment for this astropaths, this might permit very slow (dial up speed) based networks to exist between worlds. (Actually I'm a computing ignoramus - are networks actually possible over slow connections?)

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I tend to believe that on technologically advanced worlds, Cogitators (Computers) would be networked in much the same way they are now. Whether or not this would include entertainment programs or the level of general access would be a matter of the individual world's culture. The Problem comes in when you deal in interstellar networking. Since such communications are still limited to Astropathic communications, I doubt there is much in the way of Interstellar networking. Astropaths are a VERY finite resource! This also explains the obsessive dedication to record keeping. Since each world is responsible for maintaining it's own historical records, each world must take steps to preserve it's own data. It's also not surprising that many records are maintained on more permanent records (Paper, Parchment or even stone!). It's actually still done today with most government and corporate records.

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I recall people being able to link Data-slates together and use them to take pictures, video, and keep notes, as well as keep a few books on them (or porn if so inclined. Don't anyone dare tell me that human society will not find SOME way to spread naughty pictures and lewd writings across the cosmos). In black crusade, its mentioned you can have an annotated version of the Tactica Imperialis. That is a gigantic book, so that dataslate MUST have some storage capacity! I also recall many civilized worlds being mentioned as EVERY citizen has a data-slate like we all have cell phones, and they can link them and send stuff or go on a sort of "Official" planet-wide internet of sorts and engage in their dose of newsaganda and other Emperor-Approved material.

 

Internets have perhaps surprisingly never come up in any of my games, I've always done it the onld fashioned way: go to the adepts, do paperwork for five hours, then MAYBE get your answer in the next week. This is why my Inquisitor in Ascension made it her life's duty to cleaning up the administratum of unecessary nonsense, purging the red tape as it were.

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Depends on the world in question and a bunch of other stuff.

 

Firstly, understand that the level of technology for the imperium is vastly scattered across a number of ages. They have ipads, but they also use ******* bub-tubes and computers in massive room sized banks for simple calculations.

 

I'm sure there's a form of networking on the MOST advanced ships. I'm sure there are planets out there with internets and such. But on a large scale? No. There's no internet. It's always self contained to a single unit. A space station, a planet, a ship.

 

Even between ships, they don't even use vox transmissions between them unless absolutely necessary, they use short range astropathic communications.

 

So it's this big old mis-mash of tech and information and all of it has various levels of lacking information or holes.

You're on the bridge of the ship right? So you send a message to another ship. If you're close? Like REALLY close, then you'd vox them a message. Any further and you use your astropaths. You might send it to your astropath choir, then they send it to another ship, which then sends it to the bridge of that ship.

 

On your own ship, you might want a salvo launched off. Well if you're lucky? You can vox directly to the fire control for the macrocannons. More likely, you send it to the nearest vox station on your ship to that particular set of batteries, who then send off message runners giving firing orders to each of the macrocannons.

Edited by shadowclasper

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It's also worth remembering that, as people have mentioned above, security of information is paramount to every group in Imperial Society.  If a world does possess sufficiently advanced cognators that are networked, the network will have been designed on the idea of security and controlling information first, exchanging information second.

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Yeah think about for a password it's gene locked and requires a sample of blood. The ordo famulous has to work with the admech to ensure genetic compatibility with the security system because it's too difficult to update. Things like that.

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There are a million planets in the Imperium. The planetary governors who run them get to run them pretty much however they want so long as all religions are approved by the Imperial Cult, mutants, xenos, and heretics are stamped out, and the tithes get paid. What this means is that how much of an infonet exists on any given planet depends purely on whether or not you want there to be one, and likewise if you're making the planet from scratch it can seriously be whatever you want. A planetary governor who does nothing but rubber stamp the decisions of a democratically elected and information-friendly senate would be kind of counter-tonal to the setting, but there's no in-universe reason it couldn't happen. And with a million worlds, I'd expect that something like that probably does crop up now and again. A million is a lot. Even on worlds that are proper emprahfearing dictatorships, a more monitored infonet like what the PRC has for an internet in the real world can happen if you want it to. It doesn't violate any foundational setting concepts to do so.

 

As has been mentioned earlier, though, none of it can reach past a single star system, and even between planets within a star system the ping will be measured in minutes rather than milliseconds. The information contained by a single planet's infonet will be, even in the best of circumstances, encyclopedic only of purely local matters, while having only extremely vague ideas of what's going on beyond their own system, and probably a lot of blatantly false things are recorded as fact.

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It's confirmed in the rogue trader book that the imperium DOES include democracies. The imperium literally does not care about how a planet runs itself as long as the tithe is paid, the creed upheld, xenos are avoided/KoS, nobody invents anything, and psykers are given up to the black ships.

 

You can even have a planet that's in rebellion against it's government, provided that the rebels aren't going to interefere with the tithe and don't want to break away from the imperium? The Imperium will, in all likelihood, not even send a guard regiment.

 

Also, mutants aren't actually required to be exterminated by the imperium. They usually make up the lowest layer of slave labor no matter where in the Imperium you go. The only rule is that mutants are always second class citizens at best.

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