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Foreplay

You and I have been dating for some time, and we always have the best time when we get see each other. The only thing that has ever prevented us from having a good time is your massive ego coupled with your deluded belief that you are always right. I'm literally always right. Whenever our conversations do escalate into arguments, things can get heated, because I'm always right, and this makes you mad.

I went to visit you, and I decided to rehash an old topic that had digressed into an argument the last time. I asked about Fermi's paradox, and how you felt about the existence of extraterrestrial life. Unsurprisingly, you pessimistically stated that aliens do not exist, and even if they did, humans have long since destroyed them. You were sure to emphasize that humanity is doomed within our earthly ways.

I nodded along, even though I did not agree. Then I brought another science fiction musing to the table, to see how you might feel comparatively. I asked how you felt about the conundrum posed by Isaac Asimov in his short story "The Last Question". Even though it’s science fiction, the question regarding the entropy of the universe still remains unanswered.

All of the life within our solar system is sustained by energy derived from the sun. The sun is the only energy source known to man. Asimov posed the question of what will happen once the sun dies out, as it inevitably will. You were struck by this question and wanted to stay on the science fiction tangent, rather than the philosophical one. So I indulged you.

You responded with another hypothetical in which scientists can predict exactly when the sun will explode, and then plan for it accordingly. You described for me a scenario where humans build a geothermal orb so large that it surrounds the sun, and all four of the closest planets, Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars, just in case Mars has some potential for sustaining life. I listened intently. I asked you to draw out a diagram and give me more information about this theoretical sphere.

You said that the sphere was to be built with very special, state-of-the-art technology. As long as the sun was still emitting useful energy, then the sphere would allow humans to live off of the sun. Then once the sun explodes, as it inevitably will, then the explosion will kill all life within the bubble, and all of the harmful radiation and excessive heat would be trapped as well, to ensure and contain all of the damage deserved upon humanity.

I thought you described something very interesting, and I took a moment to consider your proposal. In response, I wanted to revisit Asimov's actual question. The question of what will happen once the sun dies need not be limited to just humans, and the question of an energy source need not be limited to the sun. An increase in entropy in the universe is a given. It seems to be a given in our relationship, too.

You maintained that aliens don't exist, and if they did, then humans have already long since destroyed them. If that were the case, then it's also very possible that many other energy sources, or suns, have existed before too, and have also long since died out. If human's develop the technology to create such a sphere that would ensure the demise of the entire race, then how are we to know that such a cycle has not already occurred in other galaxies far far away?

I watched your frustration mounting, and you asked me if it was even possible to restore the sun, or a sun, once it has already exploded. Given what I know about chemistry and the laws of the universe, I assured you that reconstructing the sun is incredibly thermodynamically unfavorable, and harnessing the energy required is simply beyond the human scope. Once the sun or any star explodes, all of its individual particles of matter fly out into the universe, uncontained. You then turned to me and smiled, thinking that I had just proven your point, that humanity is doomed. However, I still had some scientific knowledge to throw your way.

I reminded you that the entropy of the universe is always increasing. Any compound, any bonded matter, is bound to combust. It is just unknown exactly when. I explained that there are gravitational forces at play, forces that are theorized to be heavily influenced by dark matter. Dark matter is also not fully understood among scientists, but it is basically the concept of invisible matter that holds a very large mass. The mass is large enough to harness gravitational force so strong that not even light can escape.

Dark matter surrounds the universe, and its invisible gravitational pull determines the ever-increasing chaos within the universe. However, matter, the individual atoms, remain within the universe. Some are closer to each other than they are to the inescapable dark matter. The individual atoms then affect a gravitational pull on each other, form a bond, and together create a new compound. The new compound is more massive than either of its original atoms, and it now has an even larger gravitational pull on other space particles. Breaking bonds and combustion is heavily favored and is universally considered to be a spontaneous reaction. Forming bonds requires energy and is considered unfavorable by the universe, but it still happens anyways.

You were seething when I explained my personal opinion regarding the universe. I told you that gravity allows bonds to form, and the laws of entropy ensure that the bonds will break. However, which is bound to happen fastest remains unknown. I don’t know why you looked so upset over this open-ended question. There is no right or wrong answer, but it sure makes for interesting conversation. Then you crumpled up your lovely diagram and told me to go fuck myself.

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