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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Times, They Are A-Changin'

The following is a work of fiction. All characters and events portrayed below are purely fictional. Any resemblance or similarity to real persons or events is purely coincidental.

The following is copyrighted to Blogannath. All rights are reserved.

The Times, They Are A-Changin'

1 and 2 are sitting around, shooting the breeze. What follows is an account of their conversation.

Absent-mindedly putting his empty bottle to his mouth without realizing it is empty and trying to take a sip, 2: So, what else did you forget to tell me about this universe?

Putting his empty beer bottle down, and nodding in agreement, 1: Yup, I agree. But then, something like this is what makes this universe interesting, at least for some time, don't you think?

Opening his beer, and taking a long swig, 2: Yeah, I heard about that . . .

Quickly lowering his beer bottle from in front of his eyes, 1: No, no, no! That would kill them. They turned out to be quite fragile actually. So, they actually live quite far from the reactors. But close enough that they can harvest some of the energy from the reactors.

Chuckling, and taking another sip, 2: Very funny . . . So, what is so interesting about this universe?

1: Well, that has already happened at least in some places. So, the creatures have started tapping energy that was stored in their worlds in the form of combustible substances before they came along. They burn these substances to produce energy.

Taking another sip of his beer, 2: Like what?

Trying to look at 2 through his half-empty beer bottle, 1: I produced some giant fusion reactors that produce lots of energy by converting mass into energy - one of those drastic circumstances where energy can actually be produced from something else.

2: And what happens when they need more energy than they get from the fusion reactor?

Swirling yet another mouthful of beer around in his mouth before swallowing it, 1: Right.

2: So, the inhabitants of this universe don't need much energy then?

Throwing his head back, and emptying the last of his beer in one long gulp, 1: Well, these creatures don't yet know the full effects of what they are doing . . .

2: So, what are they doing about it?

Walking up to the refrigerator for another beer, 1: Well, I did warn you, things are different in this universe. Anyways, I am getting a little bored with it. I think I will destroy it, and start over pretty soon, before the creatures in it manage to make it a barren waste all by themselves! Do you want another beer?

Taking yet another sip of his beer, 2: Ooh, so no perpetual motion machines, right?

Swallowing another mouthful of his beer, 1: OK, let me give you an example: In this universe, I didn't allow any energy to be created or destroyed except under some pretty drastic circumstances.

Swirling the beer around in his half-empty bottle, 2: So, those who require lots of energy live inside these fusion reactors?

Opening his own beer and taking a short swig, 1: Really? Was the Big Bang that loud?

Putting his empty beer bottle down, 2: Oh well, all good things must come to an end, right? Yeah, I will have another, if you don't mind, please . . .

Taking another swig of his beer, 1: Well, I made some major changes to the way things work in this universe . . .

After a long, stunned silence, 2: Yikes, that must be pretty inconvenient!!

1: Yup, absolutely. And these by-products are starting to have pretty nasty effects on these creatures too . . . Pretty soon, their worlds will become unliveable, and they will probably die off unless they figure out some very clever way to hang on.

Looking dolefully at his almost-empty bottle of beer, 2: But I am guessing that would produce lots of undesirable by-products in addition to the energy . . .

1: Well, some of them do require lots of energy.

Finishing the rest of his beer, 2: What do you mean, "yet"? They haven't finished exploring any parts of the timeline beyond when they die out? That seems pretty unlikely unless they die out very far into the future . . .

Picking 2 beers out of the refrigerator and passing one of them to 2, 1: I was tinkering around yesterday, and I created a new universe!

Finishing half of his remaining beer in one big swallow, 2: So, why didn't these creatures see these effects and decide not to start using these energy stores?

Holding his empty beer bottle up and looking through it thoughtfully, 1: Actually, I forgot to tell you: in this universe, time only moves in one direction at a fixed pace. Nobody in this universe can move around on the timeline to study the past or see the future. In fact, I don't expect too many of the creatures in this universe to be able to make much sense of this conversation as we flit back and forth on our timeline! So, no, nobody in this universe has explored the timeline of their universe yet.

The End

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