Everyone wants to know the ending.
As I sit at my desk writing this on a rainy afternoon in 2022, I’m wondering how it all ends. There’s a certain hollowness left behind at the end of a movie or book that finishes on a cliffhanger, without resolution, without a satisfying conclusion. This is what it must feel like when we die. To exit the human story without knowing the ending.
While writing ENTROPY, I tried to imagine an end of humanity that is subtle, gradual—as entropy would have it—not some one-off cataclysmic event that ends with our spectacular implosion. Because as humans we’ve already proven our resilience. We have demonstrated that we can overcome whatever catastrophe Mother Nature throws at us, or we throw at ourselves. As a species, we’re genuine survivors.
If you’re reading this story a hundred-thousand or a million years from now (however you’ve evolved and whatever form you’ve taken on) you’re much closer to knowing how it might end.
Will it be the smaller things that trip us up.
Will we stop smiling and waving to our neighbor each morning on our way to work, whether they be black, white, yellow, brown, or green, and whether we be green, brown, yellow, white, or black? Will we lose the war? Not the war between countries or the war that pits us one against the other—the kind of war that is waged to take lives—but the war on poverty, the war on pollution, the war on hate and lies—the kind of war that is waged to save lives.
Will we stop changing for the better? Will we become even more intolerant of others just because they see the world a little differently from us? Will we always want too much, more than this place can provide? Will we become too busy to tell our children about the good old days when we were young, and let them know that their future is bright and meaningful? Or will we let them be taken from us, held captive by the Entertainer, by apathy, by hopelessness? Will we take offense at everything ever said, too keen to pass judgment on the past, and forget how to laugh? Will we stop listening to each other and become inflexible in our ideals? When will the last of the good ones stop caring?
As the Thinker says, “Could it all have happened so easily?” Sometimes, it’s the little things that will trip you up.
So, if you’ve invented the FSP kind of time travel I imagined for Aleph-1, then I’ll be waiting for you in the pre-Enlightenment year of 2022 at the Twig & Sparrow café in Willetton, Western Australia, ready with a coffee; a flat white or long black if you like.
Because I’d like to know the catalyst as well—so we can fix things and overcome entropy ourselves.
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