I first read this story on Digg which posted it as a screenshot of 4chan, but here’s the original source: The Egg by Andy Weir. A very short story, but very deep and thought provoking and definitely worth the 5-10 minutes reading it.
When I was a kid, I had a belief that reality was merely an immersive experience that beings from a higher place (i.e. angels) were partaking. In fact, my belief was that I was the only “real” thing in my reality and everyone else existed only to make my world complete. When we died, we would wake up inside a contraption (which back then really just involved some sort of goggles) and be able to select a new experience (sort of like choosing a new movie). Next to me would be other “angels” enjoying their own virtual reality. I was small back then, so definitely not as thought out as “The Egg”, but this story triggered that memory.
Something else the story reminded me of was why humans are trying to achieve the hand of god (aka the divine move) in games such as Chess or Go. Here are 2 dialogs from Hikaru no Go I’d like to share:
Kuwabara: Sakamaki-san, did you know that Go is a two player game?
Sakamaki: Of course I know that.
Kuwabara: No, you don’t. You can’t play Go by yourself.
Sakamaki: I said, I know that.
Kuwabara: You need two people. A masterful game cannot happen with just one genius. Right, Sakamaki-san? You need two people with equal genius. Two. When you have two, you can finally take a step towards the divine move.
Hikaru: Then the god of Go must be quite lonely. There’s nobody on the same level as he is, after all.
Uncle: Maybe that’s why the god of Go is teaching men how to play and devote themselves to Go. To raise a player who can play equally against him.
Akira: Does that mean Go players of the past and present are all improving together through friendly rivalry?
Uncle: That’s right! With each person affecting the other.
Akira: Sounds like a plan that will take a million years.