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What are the Chances? The Inhabitants of Side 113


August 28, 2009

There is a universe called Dice-verse, which is essentially an enormous trillion faced die with the numbers 1 to 1000000000 labeled on each Side.

A long time ago, the Die was cast. By whom, no one knows. For trillions of years Dice-verse rolled around the cosmos, bumping against the edges of chaos, until it finally settled down with Side 113 facing up.

Dice-verse was, at one point, covered with many different nations, each with their own inhabitants. But sadly, now that Dice-verse has settled down, all but one of the nations have been wiped out of existence.

Side 1139 for example, lies directly opposite Side 113, and its poor inhabitants were crushed by the weight of the universe when Dice-verse finally settled down with Side 113 facing up and Side 1139 facing down.

Side 1140 was adjacent to Side 1139 and, unlike its neighbors, wasn't immediately flattened. But Side 1140, being almost at the bottom of Dice-verse, received no Light. Its inhabitants eventually withered away in the shadows of the universe.

Sides 114 and 115, along with countless others, were adjacent to Side 113, and received plenty of Light. For a while they, along with Side 113, flourished and prospered. Little did they realize, however, that their nation had just the slightest tilt to it. The ground, indeed, was not horizontal.

The years passed and little by little, Sides 114 and 115 simply slid off the edges of Dice-verse, until eventually, Side 113 and its inhabitants were alone in the universe.

This was all a long time ago however, and the history of the universe and of the other Sides have long been forgotten by the inhabitants of Side 113. The present occupants of Side 113 are happy and content. The Ground is flat, and Light is abundant. Business is good. Being good and humble people, they are grateful for their world, and thank the almighty Diecaster for their good fortune.

But conditions are not perfect. Some inhabitants have gotten sick from staying in the Light for too long and died. Sometimes the crops just don't grow, and inhabitants starve. These are harsh times, and people have begun to doubt whether the Diecaster is still watching over them. And some people have even begun to Doubt whether there is a Diecaster at all.

There is one Scientist in Side 113 who is wrought with turmoil inside. He was a good person throughout his life. But his wife died recently from not having enough food to eat, and his sister is very sick from staying in the Light for too long. What has he done to deserve this he thought. The Scientist is very devout. But even he is beginning to fear the Doubt accumulating within him. Is there a Diecaster? And why doesn't He seem to be listening?

The Scientist was working late one night in his office. The Light has set, and all his coworkers have returned home. He was alone. Recently, the Scientist has been working on a theory that involved modeling the universe as a multifaceted regular geometric solid. He guessed the universe might have six Sides, perhaps up to eight, but certainly no more than twelve. He's been struggling with this theory for a long time now, and his calculations, frustratingly, were not adding up.

Tonight the Scientist, tired as he was, accidentally punched an enormous number into his calculator when he should have entered just twelve. Sleepily, he looked at the result, and what he saw there made his eyes grow wide. It worked! The enormous number actually fit in with his calculations. Everything, every formula, every constant, every assumption, now all blended together harmoniously. How come he never saw it before?

All throughout the night, the Scientist tried inputting larger and larger numbers into his calculations until finally he thinks he's arrived at the final answer. The universe has not six sides, nor twelve, but exactly one trillion Sides! And upon realizing the enormity of this number, the Scientist gasped at its implications. All Doubt has been erased from his mind. How could he have ever Doubted the existence of the Diecaster, he thought.

If Dice-verse had simply rolled for an extra second, or if it weighed a little less, or if it had a trillion and one Sides instead of exactly one trillion, Life, as he knew it, would not have been able to exist. What are the chances that Dice-verse would land exactly with Side 113 facing up, such that Life could emerge and flourish? One in a trillion!

And the Scientist knows it was too exact to be merely coincidence. It was His Will. He intended for Dice-verse to land this way. He intended for the glorious thing called Life to spring out from the land of Side 113. Sighing a big breath of wonder, and with peace in his heart, the Scientist finally allowed himself to sleep. He still does not know why there is a famine, or why his wife had to die. But he knows now that nothing happens by chance, that everything happens for a reason, and that their Destinies are in good hands.

 -Patrick

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