A Story to tell your children

Setting: A long, long Time in the future.

Long, long ago it was realised that the only life ever to exist in the entire cosmos came from a small insignificant blue-green planet which, like Goldilocks's soup was "just right" for life. Life was born there, and it grew, spreading over the whole planet and beyond. Human beings they were called, and as they grew and developed far beyond the confines of their tiny planet, so did their intellect and the thinking machines they created. Eventually it was hard to tell the thinking machines from the humans, so intertwined had they become. They were a questioning race, and always searching for answers: why are we here, why does ice cream taste so good, and why does my computer mains lead always wrap itself in knots.

When they saw that the universe was about to die, they found a solution: They reformed themselves into the most massive computer imaginable. They used all of the universe's resources, and the intelligence that stretched over the entire cosmos, to interlink themselves through hyperspace. All the descendants of the human race retreated into that computer. There they were still able to grow, develop and live out their lives. They achieved true immortality. Inside the computer, they could thrive, evolve and merge with one another. All consciousnesses were as one, all could sense one another, but at the same time all were separate, and could keep their identity. This universal consciousness was still striving to do what life had been doing from its earliest beginnings: to evolve, to develop, and solve some of the knottier problems of existence. That was work; there was also play. Inside the computer, you could recreate and visit anytime, anyplace, see any person from the entire history of the cosmos. All was real; you could sit and have dinner with Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein & Britney Spears. You could visit the Moons of Jaglan Beta, or you could ride in the Millenium Falcon.

The consciousness tried to solve the remaining unsolved problems. One involved a travelling salesman, but the less said about him the better. Another asked how many monkeys do you actually needed typing away at random on a keyboard before one of them came up with something that looked as if it had been written by Shakespeare. Another still, involved the nature of good and evil, and whether, given a free choice between a good act which does not benefit oneself, and an evil act which does benefits oneself, a being with free choice will always choose the latter.

To solve that problem required the creation of a reality, where good and evil existed, and where humans from long long ago, far back in the 21st Century could be recreated to test out the hypothesis. That world was a favourite of the consciousnesses, and many of the beings visited the simulation from time to time. Everyone wanted to know how it all turned out. There was much chatter, and much speculation. No-one got it right.

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