The singularity of a black hole is a point of infinite mass, inasmuch as a layman is capable of understanding it. But what many fail to recognize is that infinite mass is also, essentially, infinite information. For what is information but mass, the arrangement of elementary particles in a certain way?

In this way, as a black hole grows, as it devours and compresses, it also is accumulating more information. Distorted, perhaps, by its consumption and compression below the event horizon, but information nonetheless.

One imagines that from such a cauldron of raw and seething matter and information, some sort of gestalt may–perhaps must–arise. One imagines a cold and calculated intellect arising, one nevertheless driven and bound by a primal need to consume more matter, more information. Not for any imperitive, not for any reason, but for its own sake, because that is how it must be.

Thinkers had toyed with this notion for a generation before it was put to the test. The surprising thing was not that they were right. Rather, the surprise lay in just how approachable and yet unfathomable the intelligence turned out to be.

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