From Post-Self

Forking is one of the key mechanics of life on the System: it is the act of creating a copy of oneself. This copy may go on to live their own life or they may merge back down into their down-tree instance to provide them with all of their memories. Their decision to merge down or not may be determined by their dissolution strategy.


Should the fork choose to merge down, their down-tree instance will be provided with all of their memories. These may be accepted wholesale, or the cladist may pick and choose which memories to merge.

During the process of merging, one may encounter conflicts. These occur when the same event was witnessed from two different divergent viewpoints or when, in sufficiently individuated instances, there is a strong divergence in interpretation, which colors how the memory was stored.


When maintaining a long-lived fork, a cladist can keep them on the same page by having them merge down regularly only to refork back into them. Done frequently enough, this creates a sort of gestalt of individuals. True Name keeps such a pool of instances, numbering 108 on Lagrange in systime 226, reconciling daily.

Bubbling up

Prior to the Century Attack, it was only possible to merge down, not up. To address this, the down-tree instance would fork and let the up-tree merge down, and then that instance would assume the identity of the old up-tree.

Merge direction

Prior to the Century Attack, an instance can only merge down — that is, only the instance which forked them will receive memories when they quit. However, as part of the work done to repair the System, the ability to merge up- or cross-tree was added. This is only available on Lagrange as of the first few years after the attack.


The longer two instances stay separate the more different from each other they become. This process is called individuation.

Dissolution strategies

Depending on how one engages with individuation, there are three loose categories of cladists:

  • Taskers
  • Trackers
  • Dispersionistas


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