BONUS: Time Drain
Volume 4: The Lost Side Quest
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BONUS: This article was going to be part of the closer for Volume 4, but ultimately, as mentioned previously, it simply didn’t quite live up to my vision. Still, it’s a pity to put all that writing to waste, so I’m making it available as a bonus to my paid subscribers.
Now, this isn’t a BAD piece of writing, not by any stretch. Indeed, perish the thought of me ever charging for writing I felt was substandard! It’s actually some of my best writing, it just didn’t fit in with the greater narrative I was aiming at. Which made it all the more difficult and painful to ultimately kill it.
I wholeheartedly feel you’ll find it an enlightening and edifying read, nevertheless. Just not necessarily “gaming” related, unless my Chrono analysis is still making the rounds through your synapses. In which case… yes, very relevant.
Anyway, here you go. As for Volume 5, preparations are going great, and I’ve got some AMAZING and—dare I say—magical stuff in store for you once we launch!
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Like a temporal Ying-Yang, both past and future seem locked in dualistic opposition. The past is the domain of nostalgia, simpler times, the prime times of our lives which we’ll never get back, and a long-gone era where playground structures were made out of metal. The future, on the other hand, is shrouded in mystery—since nobody knows how it’ll pan out, we view the future the same way we do anything unknown: with dread.
The future inspires fear in everyone—if not outright terror, then at least mild trepidation. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either:
b) The Dalai Lama, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, or Dr. Manhattan,
c) Clairvoyant [NOTE: If you suspect this might be the case, but the seer in question hasn’t used their knowledge of the future to become insanely wealthy or powerful, see “a)”]
After all, a year is a long time, in which a lot can happen—you don’t know if you’ll still have a job, a house, a partner, or even be alive by this time next year.1
The underlying fear, of course, is change. As a species, we don’t handle change very well. It’s the twin sister to the other primal fear I’ve repeatedly mentioned in this newsletter: the fear of the unknown.
But change is inevitable—it will happen, whether we want it or not. That’s kind of the point of time! Take away change, and time loses all meaning. Before the Big Bang, before the expansion of spacetime, when the entire Universe was compressed into a singularity,2 time had no meaning.
And at some mind-bogglingly far-off point in the future—AT LEAST 10^10^76 years,3 if not much longer—all the energy in the universe will be spent. And since change can’t happen without energy, this means there will be no more change, either. And time will once again lose all meaning.
There is a kind of sublime cosmic poetry to the idea that, given enough time, even time itself will die. Though it takes a hardcore stoic to extract even that slim sliver of beauty from such a grim prognosis. But the existential panic you’re probably feeling right now illustrates my point perfectly—the future, and all the change it brings (even the change to having no more change), is nothing short of frightening.
But again—we can’t change it. Because, again, time IS change, and change IS time. So, we might as well roll with change as best as we can.