On Arbre, the word Ita is an ancient acronym whose meaning has been lost to time; however, the first two letters are generally believed to stand for "Information Technology".
The modern Ita were established after the Second Sack. They are strictly segregated from the avout, and wear a very noticeable uniform so that fraas and suurs can keep their distance. It is stated that the Reticulum is the equivalent to the Maths for Ita. They spend much of their time immersed in, comprehending and understanding the information flow which give the Reticulum its form. The remainder of their time is spent doing work within the Math.
It is regularly implied that the Ita form a culture of their own, and this culture seems to have similarities to Terran hacker culture. On the journey north from Samble, Sammann is able call in favours and use advanced search engines; it is also stated that he has information on his jeejah that can act in lieu of currency, reminiscent of bitcoin. It is also stated that in the post-sack Convox of 367 that many ex-Faanians join the Ita; in other words, the Ita absorbed the order which on Terra would be called Computer Scientists.
Etymology of 'Ita'Edit
In the text, the actual meaning of Ita is left intentionally vague. Possible sources include:
- Information Technology Administrator, Association, Agency, etc.
- "Ita" may be a bilingual pun on "IT" and "eta", the latter being a now-archaic Japanese slur for members of the feudal burakumin caste: an excluded class handling corpses, refuse, and other pursuits considered unfit for civilized society (compare the avout's treatment and exclusion of the Ita).
- "Ita" Aramaic for "it is learned from". this may be a reference to the Ita providing the framework for the Discipline.
- "ita" is also one of the Latin words for "yes"
- (1) In late Praxic Orth, an acronym (therefore, in ancient texts sometimes written ITA) whose precise etymology is a casualty of the loss of shoddily preserved information that will forever enshroud the time of the Harbingers and the Terrible Events. Almost all scholars agree that the first two letters come from the words Information Technology, which is late Praxic Age commercial bulshytt for syntactic devices. The third letter is disputed; hypotheses include Authority, Associate, Arm, Archive, Aggregator, Amalgamated, Analyst, Agency, and Assistant. Each of these, of course, suggests a different picture of what role the Ita might have performed in the years before the Reconstitution, and so each tends to be advocated by a different suvin.
- (2) In early New Orth (up to the Second Sack), a faculty of a concent devoted to the praxis of syntactic devices.
- (3) In later New Orth, a proscribed artisanal caste tolerated in the thirty-seven concents that were built around the Great Clocks, all of which are in technical violation of the Second Sack reforms in that their clocks were built with subsystems that employ syntactic devices; the task of the Ita is to operate and maintain those subsystems while observing strict segregation from the avout.