Tumbling Through

People are always making improvements. So, after hundreds of thousands of years, humanity should have reached a state of smooth running perfection. But that’s not the case. People are still making improvements. Therefore, we can conclude that there is a chaos component to existence.

For instance, after hundreds of millions of years, the Earth should be a polished rock, because that’s what happens to rocks over time, they smooth out. Yet the Earth is rough and jagged, there’s an underlying disorder that keeps things messy. Lava spews out, winds rip apart, waves smash, meteorites crash.

When I was younger, I used to purposefully mess with the configuration files on my computer in order to screw it up. I just wanted something to fix, it was fun. If tasked with designing a universe, a creator would necessarily include a chaos quotient lest the inhabitants become tragically bored. We enjoy games because they introduce the unexpected, repeatedly throwing obstacles in our way.

We can never reach a state of perfect efficiency, and we wouldn’t want to, that’s a static state, a frozen sphere. Every age experiences its own set of tumultuous circumstances, that’s the chaos we must contend with. The gains we make and the edges we round will fold back into raw material, ready for those next in line.

Like building with wooden blocks or sand at the beach, our efforts are pointless play. It’s enjoyable to strive against resistance when we don’t take things too seriously. Life is a playground in which we can playact, gossip, build, climb, stumble, team-up, teardown — engaging in all sorts of interesting activities. Realizing this provides the satisfaction we seek.


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