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October 11th, 2020
This episode is dedicated to Sam McRoberts, a specialist in SEO who regularly posts on Twitter about simulation theory. Connect with him as Sam_Antics
Lucilius bore a proud and content smile as he hunched over the computer screen, watching with rapt attention. He’d accidentally discovered the most intoxicating form of entertainment conceivable to man. He got up from his computer and walked the short few steps to the galley, as he liked to refer to it, an idiosyncrasy of his days at sea when he would get up early to help the cook. The bunker was a tight space, but arranged quite nicely so that Lucilius never felt cramped. He’d built the bunker years and years ago during an overly paranoid time in his life when he was beset with a drive to be abundantly cautious. Later he found it to be quite a lovely place when he wanted solitude, and it had served him very well when he’d gotten into crypto mining. That was one hobby that had worked out particularly well for Lucilius and was what now allowed him to spend the last few years tapping away at his computer, running his experiment, getting weekly automated deliveries of food and whatever other knickknack caught his eye during the week.
He pasted the two pieces of bread together, the diced pickle and mayo, cold bacon and tomato melding together and took an oversized bite. He was already leaning forward as he sat down again at his desk.
On the screen was the image of a man with a rapt tension in his eyes as he too stared at his computer, and within that screen, both Lucilius and he watched on that computer the image of a third man who was in a laboratory in the final stages of concocting a new type of organism.
After Lucilius had cashed in his crypto efforts and diversified some of its fungibility, he’d built a new set up and had plied efforts to the whim of his curiosity that had since been bent upon the idea of making a simulation. He’d succeeded and had sped up the simulation until humans had evolved and one day while perusing the vast world that he’d created, he found someone within the simulation who had done the exact same thing. It was this second, nested simulation that they were both watching, the middle man, of course oblivious to the fact that he himself was being watched and had a companion in his own audience.
The man who was watching along with Lucilius got up and stepped away from the frame for a moment and returned with a sandwich and the two chomped away as the scientist on the smaller screen grew very still as the final part of his experiment came to fruition. With a sudden burst the man stood back, a contorted piece of laughter and disbelief erupting from him.
Yes!, He yelled, raising his fists to the sky.
Then he tapped the enter key on his computer and a short distance away an advanced 3D printer sprang to life. The scientist scurried over to it and hunched over, and before he’d even settled to watch the printer was done. The scientist stood back up, suddenly confused.
Hm, I thought… he said out-loud. I thought I set it to a magnified size…
The scientist leaned in and looked at the spot where the printer had touched the printing plate and touched it himself. He looked at his finger to see if there was anything there. Confused further he went back to his computer. He stared at the data on the screen for a moment and then leaned back, his confusion growing with connection, his expression becoming troubled.
No… he said softly. Then as though suddenly sensing something he looked around, frantically, then down at his hand which he held up before his own face.
Oh no… no no! He yelled. Lucilius and his voyeur companion leaned in to see what was going on. The scientist was looking at the finger that he’d used to touch the printing plate. The tip of the finger was beginning to disappear, and where one might imagine blood and bone and muscle the scientists was gazing into a a void like a prism, as though light were degenerating along the lines of replicating mirrors.
As he brought the dissolving finger closer to his face the scientist muttered in horror: What the..
But he brought the growing opening too close to his face, and screamed. The prismatic opening had touched his face and had now begun to grow there too, and the man was disappearing faster and faster at each moment. Both Lucilius and his counterpart sat wide-eyed, in disbelief, their mindless chewing of sandwiches growing rapid with the unfolding drama.
The strange shades of collapsing light spread to the table and floor and then it began seemed to crawl upon the other side of the screen just before it went dark.
Lucilius’ counterpart watching the drama leaned back.
What the… he spoke lightly as he pressed a combination shortcut on his keyboard to revive his computer. But before he could try his computer again, his attention was suddenly drawn to a corner of the room where a 3D printer had suddenly stirred to action.
Lucilius watched the man in the screen look bewildered, and as if having just forgotten everything he’d just seen he walked over to the printer which had already finished it’s operation. Lucilius saw the man lean in close and after a few quiet moments the man sprang back, screaming watching the side of his hand crumble to the prismatic opening. The man stumbled around, screaming, bumping into his desk and falling against the wall and at each touch, the deformation of space and light stuck and spread. Within moments Lucilius’ screen had gone dark, and he leaned back in wide-eyes wonder. He took the last bite of his sandwich and chewed slowly as he reflected of the experiment of years, now come to such an unexpected and abrupt end. He smiled with a quiet and muffled chuckle. It was such a strange world - a set of worlds really, that he’d been so invested in for years. He’d tinker with the computer tomorrow to figure out how it had crashed and get it running again. He yawned, suddenly realizing how tired he was, wondering how long he’d been awake, and just as the comfortable breath was leaving him with a cozy sense of the evening now spent, the sound of electric motors and precision wheels on articulating tracks sprang to life. A cold slithering dread slipped through Lucilius’ warm sense of comfort as he slowly turned to look at the printer in the corner of his bunker, suddenly operational.
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