Requiem for a Dream

I guess God was getting too bored with nothingness when it all started. So He pulled out His laptop and started coding. He started off with His basic design template and thought of a pattern that He’d replicate in His entire code. So He created 3 classes – BasePositive, BaseNegative and BaseNeutral. Essentially, positives would repel positives, negatives would repel negatives and neutrals would be like the lazy bummers just loitering around with total detachment to surroundings. Also,positives and negatives would attract each other and sometimes blast into each other to form neutrals. So these 3 base classes with the three behaviors – attraction, repulsion and detachment, formed the kernel of the three dimensional world that we see today. He started with some of the smallest objects that only He could think of – something like the proton, neutron, electron trio – only infinitely smaller. He started a
while(true) {
} code block in the main class and started creating instances of these classes. He constrained them in orbits and saw them spin and bounce around. Of course it wasn’t interesting. With His infinitely powerful mind, everything was too predictable. The laptop for Him was still just a toy – not a device.

He had got the basic design right and had managed to create an intangible form of Maya by the behavior of attraction and repulsion. He had made sure by His command on Design Patterns, that Maya was to be part of any future development. Ironically, being the Knower of everything meant that He did not have a random number generator. “Hmph… So Ignorance is actually a bliss!” is what I guess He said to Himself. What could He use to substitute randomness to make it more interesting? So he took a piece of his mind with his finger (just like Dumbledore does with his wand in Harry Potter) and put it in his code. Since the only thing that God does not understand is God Himself (which is why he was getting bored in the first place!), he thought this would be a good way to get some unpredictability into the system. He changed his compiler to accept this piece of Himself and implemented it as a base class called Life. And so began the most primitive life forms, but with such a high pedigree, they didn’t take much time to evolve into more complex ones. However, God’s language allowed multiple inheritance; and all new classes were inheriting both from life and from some positive and/or negative classes. Attraction and Repulsion (or Maya) in the base classes ensured that every new object created, influenced every other in some way. The level of mutual influence depended on which and how many of the positive, negative and life classes one inherited from. But one thing was sure – Every Living or non-living object influenced every other.

However, He now lacked a conclusion. Besides, He didn’t want His piece of mind invested in the game to become another replica of Himself. So He coded in some additional functions. He realized that since only net positive or net negative life forms were contributing to the code, and the net neutral life forms had almost always realized the futility of procreating with other negative and positive ones and begun forming intelligent (yet predictable) societies of Their own, He decided to take back His Piece of Mind from such organisms and free Them from the circle of continuous existence through procreation. This way, slowly but surely He was to get His entire investment back. But still there were problems with His system I guess. What if there was an exception because of this pseudo randomness that He had added. Being used to the I Can’t Fail model, He hadn’t inserted any try catch blocks in His code. What if His compiler could not withstand so much chaos that it was never meant to compile. What if… “I’m sorry sir but that’s not allowed!”

“What !” I said, with my eyes half open. “You aren’t allowed to keep your head on the table. If the cops catch you like this, they’d think you are drunk and both of us would get into trouble.” It was the barman at a pub in downtown Bellevue, Seattle. I slowly came to terms with my existence looking at the huge empty beer glass in front of me and Kruti, my friend’s girlfriend whom I had met for the first time that evening, sitting next to me, giving judgmental stares. As I looked at Kabir playing pool, I realized what a tough day at Microsoft it had been. Interviews at Microsoft can get your confidence to either skyrocket or rock bottom (which strangely, was the name of the place to which my friends had brought me that evening) depending on how you perform. At each stage, the interviewer tries to identify your weaknesses and communicates them to the next in line, who then grills you further on the same. By the end of stage 5, you either stand satisfied, having successfully defended your fortress of technical acumen or deeply morose with the self-realization of how weak your defenses were. For me, it had been a great satisfying experience. Hence the beer had tasted good and the music sounded melodious. Even though the interview was over, the inertia of patterns, algorithms and data structures hadn’t spared my sleep-deprived mind. I had been indolently watching Kabir and Alex play pool from my barstool, and the cue-shot formed a fission like pattern which had led me to thoughts of destruction and creation and God before I had dozed off. “Do you need another beer?” Kabir asked. “Yeah sure…one for the Good Life! BTW Kabir, are there no lady bartenders here?” “No.” “OK. So that explains why God was a He!” “Hmmm… I guess you’ve had too many dude! Lets make a move.”

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