Utilitons

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The Utilitons were a subluminal society that predated most infomorphs, and used their considerable computing technology in two primary ways that resulted in unprecedented prosperity and shower-thought legitimization.

Upon the development of a working Query Engine, the Utilitons, recognizing the world-shaking implications of a search that could deliver what you want instead of what you asked for, immediately began cultivating an upper class of philosophers who would be trained specifically to ask the most important questions for the good of society.

Canny advertisers began paying good money for trained philosophers who could identify what the population wanted. The market for women’s grooming products underwent explosive growth as advertisements developed beyond “you’re fat and ugly” to “this will look good and save you two minutes off your daily routine.” Another smashingly popular ad campaign was titled, “It has pockets you can fit stuff in.”

Politicians, by contrast, changed their messages on a town by town basis based on the results of bribed philosophers. Ultimately legislation was passed to render “180-degree policy change within a five-mile radius” a crime punishable by exclusion from elections. Corrupt philosophers involved in these schemes managed to talk their way out of any political scrapes.

The exquisite degree of navel-gazing afforded by a permanent upper class of idle questioners might have stunted a people that had barely managed the Egoathropological Limit. However, with the upper class out of the way, a considerably more utilitarian philosophical movement took hold in newly middle-class avenues of power. Questions for the good of society gave way to questions for the advancement of technology. The Utiliton Vyk-Poisson Phase was just one of dozens of scientific bounds exceeded in a matter of decades.

An observer of history may recognize that the Utilitons were on their way to a Category 3 Civilization Termination, which could only be prevented if the philosophers caught up to current events. However, as Query Engines began to fail at relativistic technology boundaries, the Utilitons turned inward, coming full circle with the philosophers who had just recently established the absolute moral status of fried rice. The phenomenon of World Feedback loops are well known to accelerate exploration, but in their less common form they can keep society humming along enamored only of itself.