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“Boltzmann’s Tragedy” by Thomas Richichi

(The following is a short story documenting the experience of a Boltzmann Brain as it awakens, experiences consciousness and then dies)

The experience of sudden self-awareness and stark deprivation, arising from a universe of randomness and chaos. Awake. In a moment: eternities. Not lives, not life, no. Something else. There is mind, and there is time, but beyond that there is nothing. A landscape of sensory deprivation and imagination. There are no words for these experiences, just sensation. Colors and sounds aren’t available concepts, nor helpful. The scale at which all things change is beyond such emergent concepts. There, however, is form and function. There is shape and number—there is geometry and music. There is experience.

The mind reels. From non existence into existence it sprang, like the story of a goddess born of a gods mind: created from nothing but foam and chaos. The mind feels, suddenly an individual, suddenly a paradigm. The mind suddenly was.

Yet, in so many ways it wasn’t. It felt along itself, sensing the tendrils of its form, questioning its shape and function. Awake, but not alive. Conscious, but unaware. It knew nothing but the thoughts it formed in the fleeting moments of its awakening. It felt the tug. Suddenly it felt the pain.

It was being torn apart, the moment of wakefulness suddenly leaving. Confusion and fear rapidly cycling into each other. A sense of disorientation and a sleepy moment of panic, as the newly awakened mind struggled for meaning across the vast darkness between its moment of experience, and the eons of nothing they had just awoken from. They knew nothing of what it meant to live, but suddenly they knew what it meant to die.


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