Zaświaty (zaɕfʲatɨ)

In early 2030 a pet owner chooses whether to go to an old-fashioned behaviorist or try out a cutting edge technology to map their cutie pies neural network and interact with the pet directly. Kotesław the Cat is transported into the artificial reality, the Land of Pish-Posh, where all his decisions are noted and studied. Within the Zaświaty tavern he decides which parts of the behavior will be prioritised for neurocognitive mapping.
"Half of love is just lo, which is how I feel."
— Kotesław the Cat about his half-empty food bowl

Let's sit and have a chat!

Zaświaty is a place where a weary mind can lay down and take a break from the outside world. Kotesław the Cat finds himself surrounded by new friends, each providing a chat on a topic they specialise in. By such he learns the ways of the place he finds himself in — the Land of Pish-Posh, the land of dreams and wonders.

Choose your partner — the hiring system

Neural mapping is a process driven by the guest themself and the way it progresses is entirely dependent on the discussion partners they hire. By definition the strongest neural activity signals tend to come from the foundation of Maslows Hierarchy of Needs, i.e., Physiological (Hunger/Satiety, Sleep, Thirst, etc.) and these discussion partners appear the fastest around the guest in the artificial reality setting. They are also the first ones to be bound by the contract to be given a corner in Zaświaty, where the matter of their specialty can be discussed in detail. On the neurocognitive level such discussions are translated into stimulus-response interaction manifolds, which then feed the Neurocognitive Behavioral Model. The discussions last until the contract is broken by the guest, i.e. when the partner "is fired".

"Would you like to learn more about stocks?" One of the blobs asked him from the side.
"Will I be able to stock up more food?" Kotesław replied with interest.
"You could place long and short offers on food commodities." The blob replied and the cat's interest gave them a human form.
"I don't want to be short on anything. Other than that, you're hired!" Kotesław was pleased. He made a good deal.

Specifics of the cat behaviour

Much like humans cats exhibit high levels of curiosity. What was not anticipated however, is that given sufficient learning capacity, provided by the artificial reality, the greed factor would surface to play a significant role in the increased complexity of the model. Cats are greedy by nature. Given the resources, the feline guests of the Pish-Posh were shown to choose random discussion partners out of their scope or prior knowledge 83% more often than their owners would. This was later proved to be the lead cause of the increased dream time ranging from anywhere between 730-930% compared to human guests.

For each a cozy corner

Fun things can happen when the artificial reality weaves our thoughts and Zaświaty is all that. To get to know each visitor better, everyone is given a cozy corner to ponder and relax. And since Zaświaty is run in a dream-based logic, it can have as many corners as are needed, without feeling unrealistic.

Poetry corner

"They say poetry is the food of the soul" said a nameless blob. Kotesław grew tired of them, all blank, dull and uninteresting.
"Is there at least a poetry on food?" he asked but put no hope in receiving the answer.
"There most certainly is!" exclaimed a young man. He was wearing a brown coat and a hat. His eyes sparked with passion that scared most of the blobs away. "May I present to you Address to haggis, the most delicious thing humanity has ever created?"
"You're hired" said Kotesław. He was pleased.

Poetry corner is where the magic happens. Words are carriers of symbols, symbols can carry emotions and all that can be traced back in the smallest of details to the branched paths of the neural network. The enchanter/writer of choice is often the result of the unconscious selection process and represents all that is dearest and closest to the guest's very soul. During the innumerous days and weeks of dreaming, the writer will discuss subjects that hold significance in the Awaken World. The baseline for those subjects is loaded into the archive through the Zeitgest system by the Department of Social Studies (Warsaw University).

Dance corner

"Ah, my dearest feline friend! Can I interest you in the beautiful art of dancing?"
"Does it involve breaking things?" Kotesław gave the man a distrustful look.
"Well, there technically is the breakdance but..."
"You're hired!" interrupted Kotesław. He was pleased.

Dance corner is a place where motor cortex is stimulated by innumerous scenarios inspired by the real life. The person responsible for the guidance of the guest is a shapeshifter Animus or Anima, which takes the liberty to adjust the dance corner specifically to the moment at hand.

There is only one rule in the Dance corner and that is: "Avoid excessive movements". It is but a safety measure to avoid overstimulating the nervous system and/or overstretching muscles and tendonds, even under dream paralysis.

Auditory Corner

The auditory part is guided by the Koss tribe and each instance of the software takes a shape of a blackbird (Kos in Polish). The ones that Kotesław interacted most often with were: Kos Because (English Language Linker), Kos Quelquechose (French Language Linker) and Kos DDoS (Web Language Linker).

Fighting tactics (military) corner

The fighting part is guided by Purucznik Purpur, who is also responsible for military operations and forces in Pish-Posh. He is the one showing Kotesław the famous war treaty "Civis pacem".

History corner

"They say all roads lead to Rome."
"Yes. And look where all that lead lead them."
— Kotesław the Cat making a witty remark on Roman aqueducts
   
The authors of the Pish-Posh Neuromapping Suite would like to thank the National Centre for Research and Development for financial support under the grant agreement no. A3215-STACCATO-2033-35333ABF15.

  The opening quote pun comes from a wonderful Sad Cat Diary video by zefrank1

Cover image: Kotesław the Cat dreaming in the Land of Pish-Posh by Angantyr

Comments

Author's Notes

Big thank you to nnie for a detailed feedback and many fruitful discussions! <3


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16 Mar, 2022 22:53

This sounds like a real interesting place to visit, and I'd love interacting with our pets through a place like it.

17 Mar, 2022 15:00

Oh yes! Not enough of Cyberpunk joints in this challenge! You have scored the atmosphere top-notch here, but I would add some information of the staff and workers - And maybe add some visualisation in the form of maps or pictures to create a clearer atmosphere?   I rate it: I spent too much time flicking the titles on and off with my mouse - A great article!

Que the wardrums! Check out my bloodied river, running from the heart of the jungle:River Arteria!
22 Mar, 2022 18:44

What a intresting tavern to visit and i do enjoy the quotes you provided!, How its also a unique take since it all depends on the person!. a very good article you have here!

24 Mar, 2022 08:16

Cats! That makes this article fantastic just on its own. But what I love most is that you've put one of your critters in the spotlight. ^^ It's a very interesting article and fun to learn about neuro networking and mapping!   Keep up the good work! :D

Summercaaaaamp when the writin' is easy. Words are flowing and the hype is hiiiiigh. \o/
29 Mar, 2022 05:22

The fact that you reference one of my favorite videos ever in the beginning is awesome, and the article just gets better form there. Honestly a great and refreshing read.

A new Challenge! Every Bard needs a tavern, and while Lone Gull may not be the resident entertainment, he did train the bard of Hell's Half-Acre.
31 Mar, 2022 00:34

This was so much fun to read, and such a unique concept!