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The Tinkered Mind
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March 1st, 2020
When Lucilius finally died of extremely old age, he woke up and found that he was once again fourteen years old. He could remember his previous life vividly, but after a few weeks of bizarre and nostalgic déjà vu, the memory started to fade, and his life proceeded in much the same way it had before.
When Lucilius finally died of extremely old age, he woke up and found that he was once again fourteen years old. But this time he experienced a new a profound déjà vu: he was reminded of that experience when he’d been fourteen and he’d felt like he’d awoken after the death of an identical long life. This time, Lucilius got to work. He quickly took pen to paper and wrote down a number of stocks that he could vaguely remember did well during the next couple decades. He immediately started skipping school in order to work for some money and when the companies he’d written down finally went public, he invested his small savings and quickly became stupendously wealthy.
When Lucilius finally died of obesity and general gluttony, he wasn’t that old, but he woke up and found that he was once again fourteen years old. Upon waking he was struck by the notion that he should pause this time. He skipped out on school and went for a long walk to think about what was going on, and what he might do. It was difficult to separate all of the memory into the different lives. They seemed to blur into merely what was possible for this life. The first memory was such a good life, and he’d inadvertently thrown it all away in exchange for a life of gluttonous abundance. There was so much that he missed out on and things had ended so short. He endeavored to go about things a little differently. He worked a bit and still invested in the companies he could remember even more clearly now, but he played around with the course of the first life that he could remember. He began to discover subtle pain points that he was able to alter, opening up an entirely new avenue of life.
When Lucilius finally died of an extremely old age, he woke up and found that he was once again fourteen years old. He had now spent countless lives exploring the many ways he could love the people who generally filled his life. Lucilius could see himself easily spending eternity exploring these different ways, but curiosity also had word in the discussion, and Lucilius felt – perhaps mistakenly – that he could always return to this way of life. He began to dedicate his life to innovation and technology, using his investments to fund wildly amazing projects. The task nearly destroyed him as it was so exhausting but he discovered hacks in the fabric of nature and by understanding them deeply enough, he managed to catapult humanity into a golden age of peace and exploration.
When Lucilius finally died of an unimaginably old age, he woke up and found that he was once again fourteen years old. He nodded slowly, sitting on the side of his bed, as though acknowledging some kind of supreme power that was watching him wander through this maze. He went to a local bookstore, purchased a few notebooks and spent the next few days writing out the salient points of his previous life’s discoveries. When he was finally done, he sighed at all the work that had been undone, that he now felt obligated to carry out again. But an idea came to him. He ripped out each individual discovery and mailed each one to the relevant colleague that he knew he would meet. Unfortunately, one of them – and Lucilius should have seen this coming – weaponized the innovation and used it to install a world dictatorship. Everything got quite dystopian. Lucilius thought about starting over, and realized he might be able to make it happen faster, but worried that it might break the pattern. Instead he took up a dangerous hobby, that of trolling the government.
When Lucilius finally died at a fairly median age, he woke up and found that he was once again fourteen years old. He sighed in relief, grateful that he was once again at the start of it all. He again wrote down everything that was important, everything that he knew would fade from memory as he delved into this life. It eventually took Lucilius many lifetimes to get the wording just right. That of notes sent to colleagues who would develop beneficial technologies for humanity. Some of them he had to engineer meetings with and influence them in certain directions, but after a while Lucilius figured out how to provoke humanity into it’s golden age without much effort. And with each iteration he managed to get this whole process to be even more efficient with less effort on his part.
After what can only be paradoxically described as trillions of centuries, Lucilius woke up and found that he was once again fourteen years old. He breathed deeply, the satisfying air. He could not be sure, but he had a feeling that he’d finally intuited something so deep about understanding the universe and he was excited to see what might happen. He did not write anything down, but went about his life as he had in his earliest memory. During the third day, he was sitting in French class during third period. It was a fresh spring day and birdsong was floating in through the open window as the class babbled before the teacher rose to start. Lucilius removed his shoe and took out a pebble that had been bothering him. He looked at it, briefly and smiled, then he carefully chucked it without much aim out the window. That single action started a chain reaction that ultimately catapulted humanity into it’s golden age.
When Lucilius finally died due to transubstantiation via uploading into the cosmic digital cloud, Lucilius unexpectedly woke up and found that he was once again fourteen years old. He was briefly puzzled before he began laughing.
“What a neat game.” he said aloud to the mysterious force behind it all. Then he jumped out of bed to get started. He got it now, he could see the geometry behind the obvious, he felt the trigonometry of action as he took it. Each action he took, kicking the dirty laundry aside, the two steps to the door, slipping the threshold. Each felt now like a stroke of art, dynamic, as though painted upon a canvas of time that itself was now rethreading itself into permutations of the future. Lucilius had a beautiful eternity ahead of him, and he now knew – had finally decided how he would spend it. He knew them all, every single person that existed and would come to exist. He’d met them all through trillions of separate centuries, and now it was time to see them all together. He smiled thinking not just of how much work lay ahead of him, but how beautiful this work would be. He had already begun.