Chapter 11

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Alpha Status

1.  Achieving Alpha status is the key to social advancement. Once a species has gained unsurmountable dominance, social development can begin. 

2.  It is happening everywhere. Across the universe, civilisations are simultaneously springing into existence. Compared to the familiar sedate pace of evolution, the UCC is finding the exponential rate of cultural advancement quite overwhelming, to the point of having to re-evaluate its perception of time. 

3.  In every location, Alpha-Species are embarking on the long and arduous journey from apathetic wild animals to highly sentient beings. But in every instance, something is going wrong. None of them are succeeding. The challenge is proving too great. Alpha-Species everywhere are suffering catastrophic failure. As each civilisation reaches high sentience and begins approaching the elusive state of Ultra-Sentience, they are suffering a catastrophic psychological collapse. It is destroying social cohesion and leaving the population in a state of what the UCC calls Socio-insanity.

4.  The speed with which intellectual and social prowess advances may be astounding, but the ensuing rate of failure is terrifying. The period of progressive madness can pass in what seems like a matter of moments, often no longer than it takes their planet to orbit its star just a few times, and that is a phenomenally short length of time to the UCC, an entity that is almost as old as the universe.


Social Development

1.  The UCC begins studying why Socio-Insanity arises and why it has such a devastating effect. It discovers a consistent pattern of events. To gain Alpha status a species must be strong, intelligent, and determined, characteristics that are driven by dynamic Primary Instincts. But powerful Primary Instincts mean they also have an insatiable compultion for survival, dominance, and procreation. Consequently they are inevitably aggressive, tyrannical and ruthless; traits that initially help them progress, but eventually become counterproductive. 

2.  Once dominance is established and major threats have been eliminated, the species then shifts its focus from survival to social refinement. The process begins by purposefully calming the Primary Instincts. Small isolated communities begin to emerge. They build shelters, learn to farm, and begin developing social structure. Then, as their society grows in complexity, they adopt politics, rules and laws, along with the beginnings of industry and commerce. All the time, social harmony continues to strengthen and self-perpetuate. 

3.  Eventually, the populations grow and community boundaries begin to expand and overlap. As they do, a new form of tension begins to arise as neighbouring societies start competing for territory. The resulting stress and anxiety trigger an acute resurgence of the ancient and ever-present Primary Instincts, which are almost incapable of tolerating a close neighbour over which they have no influence or control. Without the Q I of Ultra-Sentience to assist with empathic understanding, negotiations quickly deteriorate into coercion and subjugation. Eventually, when both parties have failed to submit, the facade of cooperation fades and hostilities commence. For a long time, the perpetual cycle of peace and conflict continues. Nevertheless, the intensity subsides, the population booms, and social standards continue to improve. 

4.  Soon enough, progress is catapulted forward by rapid industrialisation; which brings capitalism, elitism, and the first signs that the ever-accelerating social development is beginning to falter. With political, philosophical and ethical perspectives changing so fast, the wisdom necessary to adapt accordingly is falling behind. As a result, uncomfortable ideological divisions are multiplying and elevating what are already high levels of frustration.  

5.  Just as it seems the damage can’t possibly be inflicted any faster, an explosion of technological advancement sends social change into overdrive. Wealth and affluence increase, but levels of contentment, morality and righteousness plummet.



1.  As the intensifying stress and anxiety fuel the resurgence of the Primary Instincts, the absence of any physical threat leads the resulting defensive state to focus on social, economic, and political issues. The aggression turns passive as individuals begin to abuse one another, the system, and the very environment they depend upon.

2.  Socio-Insanity spreads through the population like a virus, causing a surge of unfocussed intolerance and shared rage that affects every individual on some level. The people grow increasingly irritated; feeling irrationally furious about everyone and everything.  Their frustration manifests as contempt; not just towards nations, or ethnic groups, or political factions, but towards each other. Unrestrained and indiscriminate prejudice malignantly spreads through the population on every level, devastating even the most tightly knit social groups, including families and friends. No one can escape the effect. Even those who resist indulging in extreme behaviour are affected by those who do not. Malicious gossip, destabilising rhetoric, and malevolent influence, ruins social cohesion within a population that may have become intellectually advanced, but still remain emotionally immature. 

3.  Nothing is safe. Natural resources are wasted with wanton disregard. Some live in luxury whilst others perish in poverty. Sentient creatures by the billion are intensively farmed in the cruellest of circumstances, before being mercilessly slaughtered and turned into the fodder used to stuff the greedy faces of an insatiable, overindulged and unappreciative population. Ultimately, another environment that should be perfectly capable of indefinitely serving a responsible population, is being unnecessarily destroyed in the name of greed and profit.



1.  Eventually, assuming they don’t annihilate themselves, they cause enough disruption to attract the Nature of Phi, after which they are entirely at its mercy. If they are lucky, they simply plummet backwards towards a feral but stable evolutionary stage of their existence. Once there, the Nature of Phi may permit their progress to begin again. Often it will not, choosing instead to find an equilibrium that prevents any further evolutionary progression. Within just a few short millennia, rarely more than a million years, the process will start again, with another similar species rising to Alpha status, oblivious of the fact it has all happened before.

2.  The UCC can see it happening everywhere. It is like a universal plague. As species after species race with ever increasing freneticism to precisely the same stage of evolution, they each crest the peak of social maturity, just to plummet into the depths of Socio-Insanity. 

3.  In every example the message is clear: for any advanced society to succeed, Q I is essential. The absence of Ultra-Sentience denies the comforting blanket of empathic reassurance, intensifies isolation, and reinforces the instinct to survive. The result is a population that is untrusting, untrustworthy, and destined to fail.

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