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iApprove: Life, the Universe, and Everything.

March 15, 2009

Not the book (although I wholeheartedly approve of that as well).  I refer to literal life, the universe, and everything.

Let’s start with life.  I’m not entirely sure what to say about it.  I suppose the words of Dr. Lao sum it up best: “I’m alive, and being alive is fantastic.”  Thanks to hundreds of millions of variables playing out in just the right sequence, I have the opportunity to be here today, to live a full life, learn crazy things, irritate my parents, get married (maybe) and raise loads of scuzzy little kidlets in my image.  And honestly, what more could you ask for?  Some days I ponder this gift I’ve been given, and I wonder just what it was that led to the creation of “me” – that incredible network of neurons that created a consciousness in my head.  I wonder just what it is that makes me me – that gives me a singular, objectified perspective through which I can see the world.  It’s dizzying.

Then there’s the universe.  An enormous expanse, stretching out infinitely farther than the eye can see – but not empty.  Though it contains large quantities of empty space, the universe is nonetheless full of wonders; galaxies, which in turn are full of stars – all sizes and colors – and nebulae, vast colorful clouds of stellar dust.  No two galaxies are alike; each one has its own systems, its own inhabitants, its own shape.  And swirling through the universe, keeping these galaxies and stars and planets in synchrony, are forces we can barely understand – forces which govern the behavior of everything we can see and hear, and serve to tie us into other universes, those that lie beyond our realm of perception, where dark material and strange things are said to lie.  Yet I still feel that I have failed to do the universe justice.  Part of this is because of its enormity.  Many of the greatest things about the universe exist not in the present, but in its incredible history and future.  It is an everchanging beast, the push of physics moving it to become something new with each passing moment, swirling and turning with a seemingly-eternal dance with chaos.

And… everything.  Sure, there are parts of everything that I could do without, but when I think about it, I’m really not that bad off.  There are good bits and there are bad bits; the trick, in my experience, is to enjoy the good bits and use the bad bits to improve yourself.  It’s not always pleasant, but perhaps that’s a good thing – after all, if life, the universe, and everything were to conform themselves strictly to my standards, there would be little left for people with differing tastes, to say nothing of existences outside our limited perception here on Earth.  Instead, we live in compromise, and through slight individual displeasure I believe we lend greater benefit to the whole.

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