Piecing Together the Plot Part 3: Factions and Organizations
A lot of definitions for the factions’ ideologies have been given, some having to do with the exogenous, others having to do with perspective. It’s quite frankly a bit confusing. Anyone have a detailed, yet consise, description of faction ideaology?
I also have no clue what’s going on with IQtech, Hulong, Or Visur. Could someone explain those too?
Oh gosh, I'm excited to see what others have to say about this.
The specific ideologies and goals of each faction tend to change depending on the storyline and writing team, so I'll use the explanation from the Ingress Animation. At the core, the Enlightened believe that XM is a natural part of humanity's symbiosis with the world around it, and that more XM influence is always better. The Resistance, on the other hand, do not trust XM, and want to research it and understand exactly how it can be used to further humanity. If XM was a lake, the Resistance would be staying out of the water until they could test the temperature and depth, whereas the Enlightened would be doing a cannonball straight in.
There are also tangential details like the Shapers vs the N'Zeer, the role of organic intelligence vs artificial intelligence, whether Resistance tendencies are ideological or genetic (like how some people genetically hate the taste of coriander), and the different sub-factions (and occasional cults) that occur within each faction. Like I said, canon interpretations have evolved as time has gone on and other writers took over.
I've been trying to piece together the three corporations for a few months, but details are scarce especially after the loss of Google+. My understanding is that the three corporations (Hulong Transglobal, Visur, and IQTech) each arose after the end of the Niantic Project as private startups seeking to develop their own XM technologies. Each is based out of one of the three continental regions.
It really seemed like the corporations were going to get some more attention in the wake of the Tessellation (see this post from PAC in November) but external circumstances got in the way.
My understanding of the faction philosophies come from the early story, and I haven't kept up with all of the changes.
FevGames has a basic description of the two factions here: https://fevgames.net/ingress/ingress-guide/concepts/faction/
My own take on the differences comes from my understanding of philosophy. Western philosophy has often been divided into two camps, streams or perspectives. The Platonic side is more idealistic, thought oriented, and dualistic meaning that the body and the soul are two distinct entities. The Aristotelian side is more practical, empirical, and is non-dualistic meaning either there is no soul, or that body and soul are inextricable. This is obviously too brief and too shallow a description of the differences, but it is roughly correct. In my understanding, the Enlightened are more Platonic and the Resistance are more Aristotelian.
In the initial story, the Shapers were exactly what their name says: they have been shaping human society and even our evolution from the beginning, with xm being the tool to shape us. In brief, the Enlightened trust the Shapers and believe xm will help us achieve our potential while the Resistance want to resist the influence of the Shapers on our culture and species. I think the writers began to see some dark elements to this and stepped back from the idea of shaping our evolution (potentially read as eugenics), and added the N'zeer as a counterbalance to the Shapers. Then the story removed all alien influence from the equation. However, I believe the faction selection descriptions still speak of the Enlightened seeking to "evolve mankind to a higher level".
Using glyph sentences as examples, "Separate Mind Body, Discover Enlightenment" illustrates Platonic dualism, which is opposed by "Mind, Body, Soul, Pure Human". I think the Resistance philosophy could be illustrated by the glyph sentence, "Avoid Perfection Stay Human Self", which speaks about resistance to the influence of shapers and XM to improve us.
EDIT: the spanner in the works for the understanding of Resistance as Aristotelian and Enlightened as Platonic could be artificial intelligence and ADA, since AI technically has intelligence but no living body. On the other hand, AI could perfectly illustrate Aristotelian non-dualism since AI cannot exist as a separate entity, but needs a physical system. So, on second thought, maybe the emphasis on AI supports my philosophic division of the factions.
This really helps, thanks! Any chance you have some info on 13MAGNUS (the organization, not the anomaly), and their resistance counterpart, the AntiMAGNUS? I have 2 sections covering a faction each, but which will also include information on their corresponding MAGNUS counterpart.
PS. Thought i should let you know, I’ve been quoting these posts to add to my commentary (attributing proper credit of course), and your insights are so helpful, autocorrect now suggests your username after only 3 characters.
Ive just heard something about a new wave within each faction (i know, I’m a bit late). We have sources for the new wave resistance, but what of the new wave enlightened?
Oof, just seeing this now, sorry!
I should add to my earlier comment that IQTech also invented the ITO EN range of mods. It's funny that I never found a source for IQTech inventing them, considering it's the only reference to an XM corporation in the main Scanner (of which I am aware)!
As for the Magnus, I should start by mentioning that different Magnus members can fulfill different archetypes in each universe. That really threw me off when I was researching them earlier this year.
This post (big thanks to @SmurfHunter) is probably the best you'll see for a good distilled understanding of 13MAGNUS.
We know that a Magnus is a collection of 13 individuals, each of a specific Archetype, who have been brought together and disbanded at key points in history. As well, theAnti-Magnus we know for sure to be a cult intent on keeping the knowledge and influence of the N'Zeer alive. 13MAGNUS, though, is a little harder to pin down for me. It seems like 13MAGNUS is different from the primary Magnus formed of the 13 researchers, and is primarily a cult built around using ancient rituals to achieve immortality through XM (the simulacra) and were the precursors to the Enlightened. This page on FevGames is a good help.
As for any "New Wave" factions, I have no idea. I know the story post-Tessellation may have been going somewhere, but that is very much frozen for the time being.
Glad people are finding use from the post! I wrote it like days before all of the prime magnus members went and got murked lol