If a random number generator spit out digits in sequences of random length and complexity, would you take the time to categorize them, define them, treasuring the rarer sequences? Of course not. You know, instinctively if not analytically, that numbers are infinite. No one number, no matter how novel, distracts from that infinite variety. It would be a greater waste of time than trying to categorize grains of sand on a beach.

But then, in an infinite universe, how different is everything we see than those random numbers? Orders of magnitude more complex, granted, but ultimately no more than the same sort of data with different bytes. Random arrangements of quantum particles giving way to more complex randomness. What is classification, what is knowledge, other than fleeting attempts to classify meaningless data? Naturally, there may be some meaning in the moment-to-moment, especially for the “numbers” so involved.

But in the wider scheme, what does it matter?

The is the ultimate problem confronting intelligent life here, now, and forever. Every sort that has arisen must grapple with the random meaningless of its existence, especially as it slides–inevitably–toward self-destruction. Some find meaninglessness, randomness, to be empty and hollow. Others see it as reassuring, even kind. In an infinite universe, we have all lived before and will live again; it is statistically impossible but mathematically inevitable.

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