End of the Road

Time and darkness, the greatest equalizers. One takes everything to the same form, while the other makes form irrelevant.

Lost are we the children of electricity. We go to sleep in our impure darknesses clothed in flickering electronic lights, our silent digital sentinels watching through the fake night. For this is not the pure night our fathers came home to over geological ages, this is not the pure ancient darkness of the universe they learned to hold close as they slept.

And learn the lessons from this we shall. For this only means that the final equalization into formless darkness and endless time shall be abrupt, unfamiliar, uncaring, for the universe slows down for nobody. And no mercy or patience shall be shown to excuse our brick, iron and electronic hideaways where we fled life all our lives.

That is what is waiting at the end of the road. All our roads end at that one point. Formless darkness. Endless time.

And all your lights and firework and expensive digital sentinels are but a successful commercial distraction while you wait. Congratulations, you’re alive.

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What are you doing now?

I was on the phone with a friend when she asked me that question. I always have this urge to never answer that question straight. But this time I had an additional thought.

My cell phone was charging from the wall, so what I was actually doing was pacing around in a rough semicircle about the wall socket like a tethered cow. I told her that. And then as she was about to go on with the next line of conversation I interrupted her – I do that a lot; see I’m doing it to myself now – about this thought I had about the question.

When I try to be smarty-pants and tell people ‘talking to you’ in reply to that question, they usually (after a quick undertone muttering) emphasize that they meant in a broader sense. So I could tell them I’m enjoying my weekend at home. If they want me to broaden it out a bit more, I could tell them I’m studying my final year of a masters in Physics. But as you keep smearing this out, notice that the smearing goes necessarily in only one direction, the past. There cannot be any smearing into the future.

past-smearing

Thus, as you broaden out your answer, you are no longer answering ‘what are you doing now?’, rather ‘what have you been doing?’ The more you smear it, the further the mean of that distribution gets from now, and the further you get from answering that question.

Can you ever really answer it? By the time you’ve said what you were doing, you’ve already done another thing, which is to tell someone what you were doing. It’s like telling someone what time it is. So this involves a bit of seeing into the future, which is impossible. However, it can be counteracted effectively with the smarty-pants answers. So maybe the only correct answer must be like ‘answering your question’, because even though you can’t see into the future, in all cases where there is no sudden calamity or anything and you do get to finish that answer, you will have answered the question and thus answered it correctly.

After I told her all of this, I said maybe I’ll put this in my blog. I don’t think she realized I was serious.

time.waste()

Life: if you ain’t pissing people off, you ain’t doing it right.

Recently I feel I’ve started pissing certain people off more frequently, and perhaps I know the reason.

Right now it’s half past three in the morning, and there’s a nasty stench wafting up from my pyjamas, and you’re not supposed to ask why. The only thing I can tell you about it is it would have looked hilarious to someone watching.

Man, this really stinks.

I once had an argument for why it won’t be a problem eating your own poop or urine. I argued that ingesting it would introduce it to your alimentary system, which is where it was anyway before you passed it. So why all the fuss?

Then it dawned on me. This is probably the right answer, let me know if I am wrong: the keyword is concentration. Urine and poop consists of wastes collected to higher concentrations than are normally the levels in commonly ingested food. One end of yours can handle such high concentrations, the other cannot.

What am I doing?

I’ve realized that one of the best ways to exercise the brain in the art of analytic and logical reasoning is programming. It’s also good if you are in the mood for some frustration, which I seem to never have enough of.

Alright, before I go off to sleep, here’s a quick sequence you might want to complete by substituting the ‘?’:

J F M ? M J