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Показать все книги автора/авторов: Adams Scott
 

«God's Debris», Scott Adams

Introduction

This is not a Dilbert book. It contains no humor. I call it a 132-page thought experiment wrapped in a fictional story. I’ll explain the thought experiment part later.

God’s Debris doesn’t fit into normal publishing cubbyholes. There is even disagreement about whether the material is fiction or nonfiction. I contend that it is fiction because the characters don’t exist. Some people contend that it is nonfiction because the opinions and philosophies of the characters might have lasting impact on the reader.

The story contains no violence, no sexual content, and no offensive language. But the ideas expressed by the characters are inappropriate for young minds. People under the age of fourteen should not read it.

The target audience for God’s Debris is people who enjoy having their brains spun around inside their skulls. After a certain age most people are uncomfortable with new ideas. That certain age varies by person, but if you’re over fifty-five (mentally) you probably won’t enjoy this thought experiment. If you’re eighty going on thirty-five, you might like it. If you’re twenty-three, your odds of liking it are very good.

The story’s central character has a view about God that you’ve probably never heard before. If you think you would be offended by a fictional character’s untraditional view of God, please don’t read this.

The opinions and philosophies expressed by the characters are not my own, except by coincidence in a few spots not worth mentioning. Please don’t write me with passionate explanations of why my views are wrong. You won’t discover my opinions by reading my fiction.

The central character in God’s Debris knows everything. Literally everything. This presented a challenge to me as a writer. When you consider all of the things that can be known, I don’t know much. My solution was to create smart-sounding answers using the skeptic’s creed:

 

The simplest explanation is usually right.

 

My experience tells me that in this complicated world the simplest explanation is usually dead wrong. But I’ve noticed that the simplest explanation usually sounds right and is far more convincing than any complicated explanation could hope to be. That’s good enough for my purposes here.

The simplest-explanation approach turned out to be more provocative than I expected. The simplest explanations for the Big Questions ended up connecting paths that don’t normally get connected. The description of reality in God’s Debris isn’t true, as far as I know, but it’s oddly compelling. Therein lies the thought experiment:

 

Try to figure out what’s wrong with the simplest explanations.

 

The central character states a number of scientific “facts.” Some of his weirdest statements are consistent with what scientists generally believe. Some of what he says is creative baloney designed to sound true. See if you can tell the difference.

You might love this thought experiment wrapped in a story. Or you might hate it. But you won’t easily get it out of your mind. For maximum enjoyment, share God’s Debris with a smart friend and then discuss it while enjoying a tasty beverage.

The Package

The rain made everything sound different—the engine of my delivery van, the traffic as it rolled by on a film of fallen clouds, the occasional dull honk. I didn’t have a great job, but it wasn’t bad, either. I knew the city so well that I could lose myself in thought and still do the work, still get paid, still have plenty of time for myself. When you’re inside your own head, the travel time between buildings evaporates. It’s as if I could vanish from one stop and reappear at the next.

My story begins on a day I delivered to a place I’d never been. That’s usually a fun challenge. There’s a certain satisfaction when you find a new place without using the map. Rookies use maps.

If you work in the city long enough, it begins to deal with you on a personal level. Streets reveal their moods. Sometimes the signal lights love you. Sometimes they fight you. When you’re hunting for a new building, you hope the city is on your side. You have to use a little bit of thinking— you might call it the process of elimination—and you need a little bit of instinct, but not too much of either. If you think too hard, you overshoot your target and end up at the Pier or the Tenderloin. If you relax and let the city help, the destination does all the work for you. It was one of those days.

It’s amazing how many times you can travel the same route without noticing a particular sign. Then when you’re looking for it, there it is. Universe Avenue. I would have sworn it wasn’t there a day ago, but I knew it didn’t work that way.