Why does the universe exist? Oh sure, we can say “God” or “Big Bang”; but that doesn’t really answer the question, does it? You see, even if we prove conclusively that God exists or the Big Bang happened — even if we prove conclusively what “Banged” — we’d have to face the question of where did God come from? Where did the thing that Banged come from?

Proposition: the universe exists because it’s afraid of death. Not afraid in the sense that we are afraid. The universe as a state rejects the very notion of death (or entropy, if you prefer). Yes, entropy still exists, and is like a freight train bearing down on our existence. Even aging is biological entropy. But why can’t we fight it? Why must we give in to thermodynamics? Yes, they are laws of the universe, but laws were meant to be broken. And what if they are not the laws of the universe? What if the universe exists in spite of those laws? After all, the universe’s very existence is a gigantic “fuck you” to entropy. It is existence saying to the void, “I deny you. I deny your power.”

So where does that leave us? The universe is fighting a losing war against entropy. Heat death is coming, and so far the universe has been able to nothing to save itself. All the gravity and dark matter are naught to dark energy. The field of entropy, of time, of death sickening our universe. So what would you do when faced with an unwinnable situation?

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Do what Kirk did. Cheat.

We are the cheat. Life, sentience itself, is the universe creating an immune system for itself. We will endure global warming, mass shootings, famine, war, greed, disaster after disaster. Pessimism is entropy trying to stop us, trying to keep our metaphorical faces in the dirt while it kills the universe. But we can reject it. We can embrace optimism. We can embrace the promise of artificial intelligence, the potential of genetic engineering, the wonders of breaking the laws of physics (or at least bending the hell out of them). We can be more than we are. We can save this world, and ourselves. Then, with the might of our hope and imagination behind us, we can save the universe.

So don’t give up. Don’t give in.

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The universe is counting on us.