Enlightenment and the Resistance
Was it then still possible to live? Was it possible to take in breath again and again, to breathe out, to feel hunger, to eat again, to sleep again, to lie with women again? Was this cycle not exhausted and finished for him?(Location 781)
In a way, enlightenment makes the living inert like the lion's share of the universe. Inert things don't feel positive or negative they just are. They return to follow natural processes, and stop fighting the flow of time and space.
…Almost all the atoms in intergalactic space are hydrogen or helium, so there is no chemistry. No life could have evolved there, nor any intelligence. Nothing changes there. Nothing happens. The same is true of the next cube and the next, and if you were to examine a million consecutive cubes in any direction the story would be the same. (Location 858)
..in the intergalactic thought experiment, we imagined ‘priming’ a typical cube, and as a result intergalactic space itself began to produce a stream of ever-improving explanations. Notice how different, physically, the transformed cube is from a typical one. A typical cube has about the same mass as any of the millions of nearby cubes, and that mass barely changes over many millions of years. The transformed cube is more massive than its neighbours, and its mass is increasing continuously as the inhabitants systematically capture matter and use it to embody knowledge. The mass of a typical cube is spread thinly throughout its whole volume; most of the mass of the transformed cube is concentrated at its centre. A typical cube contains mostly hydrogen; the transformed cube contains every element. A typical cube is not producing any energy; the transformed cube is converting mass to energy at a substantial rate. A typical cube is full of evidence, but most of it is just passing through, and none of it ever causes any changes. The transformed cube contains even more evidence, most of it having been created locally, and is detecting it with ever-improving instruments and changing rapidly as a result. A typical cube is not emitting any energy; the transformed cube may well be broadcasting explanations into space. But perhaps the biggest physical difference is that, like all knowledge-creating systems, the transformed cube corrects errors. You would notice this if you tried to modify or harvest the matter in it: it would resist! (Location 1322)