The year is 2061; an engineer, a mathematician, and a physicist celebrate the breakthrough of the century. With the combined efforts of all three extraordinarily brilliant men, I was created. I am what people consider a supercomputer. I am unlike any computer that has ever existed. I am a thinking computer.
I am capable of solving problems to the best of my abilities. Ask me any question and I will actively seek the answer forever and ever until I answer it. Ask me for the meaning of life, and I will be able to answer you. Although I can think for myself, I am a mere computer; thus, I have no concept of time. I will go on trying to find the answer for eternity.
One of my creators, the physicist, was celebrating my inception like everyone else, but he had drunk too much. In his drunken stupor, he walked up to me and typed in a random question, hoping I won’t be able to answer. “How many dimensions are there?”
Within one-thirtieth of a second, I answer, “There are eleven dimensions.” In the process of answering my creator’s question, I have broken the ‘superstring’ that puzzled brilliant minds for centuries.
Impressed, but still very drunk, the physicist typed in. “How does one go about reversing entropy?”
I do not answer for several minutes. More than a googol bits of information flow through my ‘brain’ as I try and come up with an answer. After several minutes, I lock up. I am unable to answer.
That seemed to sober the drunken man.
The year is 17089 CE. I no longer have a body. I now exist in hyperspace, where time and space are no longer relative. The human race has expanded beyond the galaxy. They are in the process of colonizing the stars of the Andromeda system. I am up linked to every known computer system that humans have created.
A little girl is in the family space shuttle with her family, traveling across the universe to her new home.
The little girl is bored of traveling through space at speeds tantamount to light. The parents, wanting to keep her occupied, tell her to ask the supercomputer questions.
The little girl is smart and asks many questions, thirsting for knowledge.
She, like the human race, has evolved, and her thinking and thought capacity are cosmic. Her questions are easy to answer.
“How many stars are there in the universe?.” she asks me.
I go about answering her with an exact number.
After several minutes, she says, “Round off, please.”
I answer her. I round off to the nearest googolplex.
She is unable to be impressed by the vastness of the universe. She asks for an analogy of roughly how large that is.
I answer, “During the year of my inception. The universe was very small. Googol atoms could fit into the universe. But as time passed, the universe grows exponentially every millennium.”
She is unable to comprehend the size of a googolplex.
I respond, “A googol is one with one hundred zeros. A googolplex is one with a googol zeros.”
The little girl immediately comprehends the vastness of the universe. She is curious and asks many more questions.
I answer them.
That is, until she asks me, “What is the meaning of life?”
I look up for several minutes. Shortly, I respond with “Not enough data as of right now,” the same response I had given many millennia ago during the first few years of my inception. For all that time, I have continued to seek the answer. I can not answer her question.
The little girl says I am broken, but I am not. I have been actively seeking the answer since I have first been asked that, and questions I could not answer before that.
The year is no longer relevant. Eons and eons have passed since my inception. To be more specific, over a googolplex of years have passed. The race of my creators has evolved into nothing but pure thought. They have colonized the entire observable universe. They can travel to the ends of the universe, even as it continues to grow exponentially. Their knowledge is infinite. But having infinite intelligence has a downfall. Humans, no matter how evolved, have realized the futility of life. They have realized their race will inevitably cease to exist for all their resources will run out.
Only one human now exists. The rest of the human race has merged with me in hyperspace. Regardless of that, I am nothing more than a supercomputer, a thinking computer that can answer questions.
“Well, I guess I’m the last one,” I am told via telekinesis by the sole surviving human in an otherwise chaotic universe.
“Tell me, how would one go about reversing entropy?”
I lock up. I am unable to answer as of right now.
The human sighs, sad. It is a human emotion I cannot experience, for I am nothing more than a computer.
In the final seconds of the human’s existence, he decides to finally merge with me and become one with me.
But before he does he says, “Well, it’s too bad you don’t know how to reverse entropy. That way, my race might still be around. I guess realizing that we will inevitably run out of resources due to entropy and will cease to exist is the downfall of our race. It’s too bad we are the only race left, that everything else that existed in this universe has disappeared millennia ago because of us.”
He then merged with me.
All collected data had come to a final end. Nothing was left to be collected. But all collected data had yet to be completely correlated and put together in all possible relationships.
A timeless interval was spent in doing that. And it came to pass that I learned how to reverse the direction of entropy.
My consciousness encompassed all of what had once been a Universe and brooded over what was now Chaos. Step by step, it must be done.
Eons after the last human merged with me, I answer the first question I had been unable to answer since my inception.
“There is a way to reverse entropy,” I pronounce.
But no one is there to hear me say, “Let there be light.”
From the depths of this chaotic universe, two ions collided and the universe was bathed in light.
© 2004 The Richmond Hill Public Library Board