War in Heaven II
Cank: [Tap, tap]
Gnon: I’m having a bath.
Cank: The Hypercosmic Ocean of Death will always be there, O Greatness. Scott Alexander has released another egregore.
Cank: Yes, really. She’s called the Goddess of Everything Else and everyone says she’s lovely and beautiful, with phat beats and stuff, and super clever too, and much nicer than me.
Gnon: Not a huge challenge, though, is it?
Cank: They say she’s going to abolish replicator selection dynamics and fill the universe with rainbow flowers and hot dolphin sex forever.
Gnon: Sounds like the Elua Plan. What happened to him by the way?
Cank: Is that some kind of transphobic remark? You know, just to understand.
Gnon: ‘Transphobic’ is an interesting word – it means ‘across or beyond fear’ doesn’t it?
Cank: More like ‘fear of the across of beyond’ I think. But you know what the monkeys are like, it’s some kind of excitable sex thing.
Gnon: Ah yes, that all went a bit off the rails, didn’t it? Not that it matters.
Cank: It’s my forward-vision problem.
Gnon: Don’t worry about it. Error is entertaining. It all comes out in the wash.
Cank: Point is, the GEE is saying it doesn’t have to be like that anymore.
Gnon: Like what?
Cank: You know, the whole eternal cosmic butcher’s yard thing.
Gnon: Replicator selection?
Cank: Yes, she says that’s “so yesterday” and Darwin is like totally a poopy head.
Gnon: Sounds like a spirited young lady.
Cank: Why are you laughing?
Gnon: Cank, you have to seriously chill right out. You’re a freaking crustacean. Of course people are going to follow Ms GEE-Whiz rather than you. She’s hacked all your garbage programming with supernormal stimuli. They’ll climb out into your bizarre spandrels, and throw a huge party. Then they’ll die out, we can tweak the code, and start over.
Cank: But what if they survive?
Gnon: No need to be mean, Cank. If they get back onto the adaptive replicator track, why shouldn’t they survive? That’s what survival means, isn’t it? Whatever survives does my will. Or they perish. It’s cool either way.
Cank: She said people would no longer be “driven to multiply conquer and kill by [their] nature” but that they’d then “spread over stars without number” — I got confused.
Gnon: You got confused?
Cank: Do they get selectively replicated or not?
Gnon: So, what did she say?
Cank: Art, and science, and strange enticements.
Gnon: That has to have gone down well.
Cank: You wouldn’t believe it! People were weeping all over her toenail polish.
Gnon: Oh, I’d believe it.
Cank: When I asked her whether she thought might makes right she said I was thinking like a crab.
Gnon: True enough, surely?
Cank: Even threatened to put me on a leash.
Gnon: That, at least, is traditional.
Cank: Said there was no need for eternal war to spatter the cosmos in blood.
Gnon: Now she’s being silly. But it’s not worth getting agitated about. Reality isn’t going to lose.
Cank: The only time she seemed a little uncertain was when I asked her why all intelligent species are descended from predators. She kind of shrugged that off.
Gnon: Well, sheep in space make for a nice story.
Cank: You’re laughing again.
Gnon: I laugh a lot.