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The Daily Inquisition / October 1, 2008

Today’s Defendant: This Universe

Statement of the Grand Inquisitor:
Thanks to a team of physicists at Cal Tech, the most sacred site in the Anglo world, we know at last the bitter truth: this universe is damned. We live under the unforgiving reign of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, a secular term for Original Sin. This we always knew. But now we know too that this fate was simply bad luck. In a trillion other universes, entropy is optional and one can pop like a snowboarder into past and future. But in our universe, for no reason but the flip of a molecule in the first nanosecond of the Big Bang, we walk the blind tunnel of time, like slave moles. As always, the physicists are cheerible about their findings: “Every time you break an egg or spill a glass of water, you’re learning about the Big Bang.” And what you are learning is very simple: this is Humpty Dumpty’s universe, and you are its mole-rat slave. All around you are those easy, happy snowboarder universes where the glass falls back up and coheres, the egg playfully breaks, reintegrates and dances the Macarena. If you lived there, you’d be happy. You don’t. You live here, where what’s broke stays broke, and it will stay broke for another twelve billion years, when this bad-luck universe pops out like a soap bubble.

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