The Gods

Photo by: Al Forbes

At the White Horse Pub in Belgium a group of hyper-intelligent men gathered around Felix’s laptop computer. “This is connected to the Themis satellite,” said Felix.

“What’s Themis?” said George.

“A molecular computer the size of Mount Everest,” explained Howard. “More computing power than in all the world.”

“Yep. And today, I’m accessing its entire processing ability. This program simulates an entire universe with just a few simple rules. I’m starting it now.”

The program ran. In minutes billions of simulated years passed. Matter coalesced, galaxies formed into galaxy clusters, stars were born and died.

Because they couldn’t view in fine detail, they didn’t realize life emerged on millions of worlds.

And then, within the simulation:

A group of hyper-intelligent Tyr gathered around a computer and started a universe simulation program.

Within the Tyr simulation:

A group of hyper-intelligent Prruth gathered around a computer…

At the White Horse:

“Look at that!” exclaimed Felix. “Universes are spawning within my universe. But how?”

“There’s thousands of them!” cheered George.


Philippe, the pub’s cat chose that moment to leap upon the keyboard, changing universal environment variables. Within seconds Felix’s universe collapsed.

“Darn cat!”

“Oh relax!” said Howard. “Lives aren’t at stake. It’s only a simulation. Just restart it.”

They never felt it when gravity suddenly reset to a different value. In an instant their bodies disintegrated into elementary particles.

In another universe (simulated?):

Hklomark shooed away the pub’s pet Glud.

“Darn Glud!”

“Oh relax!” said Bahkor. “Lives aren’t at stake. Just restart the simulation!”
Written for Sunday Photo Fiction:

Author’s Notes:

Are we living in a simulation?

Acclaimed physicist Neil Degrasse-Tyson puts the odds at 50-50. “I think the likelihood may be very high,” he said.

About EagleAye

I like looking at the serious subjects in the news and seeking the lighter side of the issue. I love satire and spoofs. I see the ridiculous side of things all the time, and my goal is to share that light-hearted view.
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25 Responses to The Gods

  1. James says:

    I recall an old “Outer Limits” episode (the title of which escapes me) where a scientist develops an artificial world in the lab. Time in this world is highly accelerated and he is able to watch the environment rapidly evolve. Plant life was no surprise, but when he spots something like a pterodactyl wing in one of his observations, he’s stunned. Hour by hour, day by day, life continues to evolve in the miniature environment until he discovers what looks like a rocket ship on a launch pad. Horrified by the thought of what his creations would discover, he shatters the biosphere destroying the universe he created.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      That is awesome. I’ve never seen that episode, but now I’ll look it up. The Outer Limits has always been cutting edge science fiction. Thanks for pointing this one out to me!

      p.s. Found it. It’s called “Wolf 359.”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. If we are, then there seems to be a critical bug in the code. Perhaps the purpose of the experiment is to see how much a fragile system can take when surmounted by virtually limitless greed and cruelty. In that case, it’s a stunning success.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      I’ve thought a lot about that. The systemic tendency towards evil is irrational and unbelievable to me. More dreamlike than real. It was pondering this that made me wonder if we really are living in a simulation. Later I discover, it isn’t only idle thinkers like me who’ve considered this. Eminent scientists and philosophers have considered it as well. Greed and cruelty, beyond the point where it has any practical value, for me, is one datum of proof in the Simulation Hypothesis.

      Thanks for your thoughts!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Joy Pixley says:

    Reminds me of my college philosophy class, when I found myself arguing on the side of the “brain in a vat” hypothesis. Everyone else’s reason for rejecting it seemed to be, “Well, I don’t have any logical argument, but come on, that’s just ridiculous.” Even the teacher said, “It’s just a thought exercise.” And I replied, “But that’s exactly what you’d think if you were a brain in a vat, and all of this was a simulation!” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      Yep. It’s one of those things you cannot definitively prove, but you cannot definitively dis-prove it either. With no external frame of reference, there’s no way to be certain.

      Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      Something we know for certain is that we are not entirely seeing reality. This is because our brain is programmed to “interpret” what’s happening around us. For this reason, we “see motion” sometimes when there is none. In animation the character doesn’t actually run to the left, our brain just fills in that motion. The brain does a lot of things to make sense of things but these “edits” do not perfectly reflect reality, and that’s why illusions work. So in truth, we aren’t seeing reality anyway!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. joetwo says:

    The simulation argument is really a tough one. It involves a lot of guess work and statistics. Good story though.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. In my school days I would diligently watch the ‘Star Trek’ TV series. your post brought back the memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. L.E.R.T says:

    Wow! Talk about layers within layers. Felix didn’t realize that he might be as insignificant as the lives in his simulated universes. Great writing this one is. Conveyed a lot within few lines. Cheers, Varad


  7. Indira says:

    It’s mind boggling. Tough for me.Trying to understand.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Made me think of the last scene in Men In Black when they are looking out of the locker and the aliens are playing a game with their “universe” 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Fun with created parallel universes? 🙂 Darn cat/Glud.
    It’s an interesting idea that this could all be a simulation, makes for a lot if’s. As if there weren’t enough already.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ha, ha, the pet Glud upset things also. At this rate, the universe will be ruled one day by cats, gluds, .and a random collection of other pets. It might have been planned on purpose by smart pets. Good writing, Eric. 😀 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I loved that. I believe we are either all in a simulation, or all in someone’s dream. Or I could be talking nonsense, and this could be something much more fearful called real life. Gosh, I really hope not.

    Great story Eric,

    Liked by 1 person

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