May 17, 2005

Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy

By Sigge S. Amdal © 2005

In memory of Douglas Adams (1952-2001)

If I were ever to write an article for the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Corp. I'd begin very humbly like this:

"The Universe is in fact - although a slightly debated fact due to the people claiming that subjectivity cannot be as objective as, well, objectivity, but they're constantly rebuked by the objectivists pointing out that the subjectivists cannot claim anything on objective grounds and should therefore silently pack their bags and move along to other, less dangerous, metaphysical fields - mind-achingly, eye-boggingly and above all fantastically dull.

You could lead a rather interesting life staring at a herring through all your waking hours, and although this has been done by an amazing number of individuals across the space-time continuum, it is rather shunned by those who tend to mend their dreams, or their neighbours' horny housewives’ dreams.

The Universe is, due to its vast, enormous, inexplicable huge and indeterminable size, so boring that it is impossible for any single entity to grasp its full level of dullness."

If I were to continue, this is what it would sound like:

The Universe is, as said, mind-achingly dull, and very very big, and the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy offers some quite descriptive concepts which are highly regarded even among the elite of subjectivists. Especially by them, since they like the conclusion of it. Due to the Universe's size, which is infinite, the population within it is None. Nil. Zero. Zippo. Nada. To them it means that the number of objectivists is infinitely small. It is a simple equation that always warms the heart of good objectivists, too – born with sense for mathematical proofs, stating that a finite number of inhabited planets divided by infinity is as close to zero as you can ever get.

With this in mind, the number of parties that was, is and will be is even closer to zero.

And if you want the task of a lifetime, try figuring out the probability of getting invited to one. Of course, spending your lifetime on it will probably set the probability to exactly zero, but neither the objectivists or the subjectivists have any conclusive evidence in this matter.

Having stated that the Universe is, in fact as per scribed, so dull that it's close to impossible to find out exactly _how_ dull it is, it is about time to rebuke that fact completely. The Universe is simply the most eventful, everlasting party that ever was, is and will be, simply because no one has ever found any Universe other than this one, all the while considering parallel universes. How can this be? Have you ever seen much fun in a mirror? (That's a typical objectivist pick-up line, by the way, but no one has measured the success-level of it as of today.) If you do see alot of fun in a mirror, everyone can surely agree that there's a lot more fun if you turn around, away from the mirror. And even though people in parallel universes have complained about the racist issues that arise, most experts have agreed that every universe has their objectivists sharing the same idiotic opinion about the guys on the other side of the mirror(s) and therefore no one should complain about it since they are all complaining about it.

So, if by reading this, or by any other way of existing, you can accurately put down on paper that you exist, you are indeed a very lucky being. If you cannot, you're dead, or a member of the Hyper Intelligent Shade of the Color Blue (apologies), or have yet to learn how to scribble on a note of paper.

The fact is that you're so lucky to be reading this that there is no way you can accurately find out just how lucky, you just have to accept the fact and get on with it.

And why are you so lucky? Since you are alive in one of many parallel Universes that is so extremely dull yet excitingly funny at the same (and any other) time that you'll probably never long to be anywhere else. If you do, you're out of luck, see above reasons.

One important thing to do after coming alive, or more philosophically - realizing that you are alive, is to establish some truths. Here they are:

The Universe is.
The Universe is big.
The Universe is boring.
The Universe isn't boring.
Don't ask.

You are not any more unique than any of the other unique things around you.

This does not not make you unique, but should certainly take away that smug smile of yours (apologies to Hyper Intelligent Shades of the Colour Blue).

You are a part of this universe whether you like it or not.

Subjectivists claim that you are part of the universe because you like it.

If you immediately find numerous arguments countering this fact, then you're an objectivist and probably exist without any feelings about it, or even very bad feelings about it, although your feelings about it doesn't change your existence per se.


You are.
Don't ask.

And this is the difficult part:

You are
The Universe is
Of which the following two conclusions can be deduced:
1) The Universe is in you
2) You are in the Universe

Since option 1) would practically _make you_ the universe and this isn't widely regarded as very nice to all the other inhabitants of it (we'll come back to them) and would cause all sorts of problems in any number of fields - real estate for example - it has finally been decided that option 1) is ruled out forever. Hence: You are in the universe.

You are in the universe, and you are of the universe.

Since the universe is the only universe there is, you must somehow be part of it. Option 1) is still ruled out forever.

Now comes a bit of a tricky part.

If you don't like it, skip it.

The Universe is in constant change, it moves in itself like a wheel within a wheel within a wheel. If you don't understand the concept of a wheel, then you've probably skipped a few evolutionary steps and should quietly accept our apology and also skip this step.

The wheels within wheels, as said, is in constant motion. This has been decided to be true (except by the subjectivists that still claim that nothing can be true and thus deny their own argument) since there would be a real problem deciding exactly what the universe moved in if not the universe in itself.

To establish this situation (a situation that in casu is the universe itself, hence a highly difficult situation) you need three ingredients:
a) Matter
b) Time
c) A flaw in astrophysic theory

a) is easy.
Matter is, essentially, material.
Since we've established that you are, you must be of something. We call this something material.
Hence, matter exists. (In case you are a Hyper Intelligent Shade of the Colour. Blue, please apply the particle-model to light.)
Since we already have decided that the universe is, and you are in it, and you are made of matter and that there cannot be any other possible place from which you could have attained matter - the universe includes quite a lot of matter. It includes all of it.

b) is the tricky thing.

Since matter moves, or is thought to be moving, or is thought - at least - to have been observed moving, it must move in four dimensions:
Here, there, there and when.

Here, there and there can easily be pin-pointed on a map, especially if you know your current location other than being in the universe, but the when has caused many a mind to over-boggle. To sum it up: if you move an object (or the object moves itself or moves within itself) from one place or another (or, in fact, move that one place to the place of origin without even thinking about moving the object) you must have done so in a period of time. Don't ask.

Whether the Universe includes all of the time, or even if time is the kind of thing one can include, are other interesting issues - especially if you've just arrived late from a lunch-break.

c) is self-fulfilling.

Another summing up:
The Universe is.
You are.
Matter is.
Time is.
There is a general flaw in astrophysic theory.

Sounds very nice, doesn't it?


Without a sixth component generally referred to as Other People, all the time in the world would seem wasted on the living.

Other People is a generally accepted concept due to the fact that "they" are idiots and "we" are not. In a solitary being (you) harboring the universe, such discussions would seem quite meaningless, even more meaningless than they are in real life, so we can still see that option 1) is still over-ruled forever.

With the last decisions in mind, let's add that forever is all of time, if such a thing exists. If not, it just is.

Now, whether you have eight tentacles, triple breasts or two heads, you have a good starting point for figuring out the rest of the truths for yourself.

Or you can buy a tri-D receiver set and gladly accept anything you see.

We have established quite a few true facts that are applicable in almost any situation, even in situations like that of the universe.

Since you are, along with the universe and its matter and time, and you know there's a general flaw in astrophysic theory that Other People created, you don't have to feel so down the next time you're not invited to a party.

In fact, you are extremely lucky.

How come?

Since the probability of you being invited to a party in the first place, in a Universe we all know is as close to completely unpopulated as it gets, is so small that it would take a universe of time to calculate, then you're going along with the odds and the Universe are working according to the simple mathematical rules with which you've successfully established your existence.

If you feel that this conclusion is very boring, then you've significantly strengthened it, since we all can remember how dull a universe it is.

If you, on the other hand, were actually invited to a party... then you should probably get a lot of drinks so you don't overheat on a probability high, and don't worry about hangovers since you probably don't exist in the first place.

DISCLAIMER: In order to satisfy the general subjectivist/objectivist and not offend either part, we have taken catious steps to implement these two groups' perspectives into a singular perspective as that presented above. Although the two respective groups would, respectively, argue that they either cannot accept these truths on general principle or that they cannot accept the subjective objectivism we may have applied according to their respective perspective, we are all very sick of their debate a long time ago, and would kindly ask the subjectivists to withdraw into their own, comforting universe and take the objectivists with them.

Two tips to help you along the way, though, having realized quite enough truths for one day: Don't panic. Don't ask.

Sigge S. Amdal is a word wanker from Oslo, Norway.

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