I’m thinking of developing this story for my MCM final project. Feel free to comment.
The old creation story began with darkness erupting into light. The new one starts with light and ends with darkness.
Not the kind of darkness that cradles, but the kind that occupies. Not the kind that is punctured by light, but the kind that envelopes it. Not the kind that fails to reflect, but the kind that absorbs. The kind in which nothing is seen and yet everything is known.
That was the darkness that befell us during the second phase of the Implosion.
First came the exile of the semioticians. They were few but enough to start a small colony. They were the first to go for several reasons:
1. Nobody understood what they were saying anyway, so the rest of society felt they were best off chattering amongst themselves.
2. They eagerly jumped on the opportunity to carry out proposed experiments (they didn’t need to, but everyone else was so trusting of experimental data that perhaps, once they had some, people would take them seriously) that could demonstrate cultural relativity. There was no way to test the productivity of language in a world where there was nothing else. So, the experiments turned out, different settlements on different worlds started eliminating different words, and this lead to a radically new existence. They were right, the earth grudgingly decided. Now nobody cares what the earth thinks.
3. They irritatingly questioned the very notions that made being, as most understood the word, possible. (The ultimate experiment, one might suppose, would test whether they could “be” on a prelinguistic planet).
Second came the fall of quantum indeterminacy.
Scientists on Wrin, with access to new substances, disproved quantum theory by showing that one could in fact predict the destination of an electron shot from an electron gun. They could actually see that quarks, as well as electrons, had spins, which in turn determined the particles’ behavior.
After the Great Apocalyptic Failure and consequent fall of religion, quantum theory was the last hope of discovering a counter to determinism. Through some twisted logic, philosophers were holding out that knowledge of quantum particles in the human body would make humans less machine-like (they feared machines, not because they were rivals, but because they were relatives). I say “twisted” because these philosophers neglected that machines, too, are made of quantum particles.
Now that this meager hope was lost, there was no excuse for holding people to moral responsibility. They surmounted the illusion of choice. Chaos and dystopia ensued.
So, the second to leave the Earth were the determinists.
But then it occurred to the government that people could lie about their philosophical inclinations out of motivation to maintain or escape statuses as Earthlings. People were especially suspicious that determinists would lie because they lacked moral responsibility.
So the scientists used fmri scans to detect the determinists. However, they soon realized this method already depended on a deterministic view of the brain: the view that people were programmed to believe what they did. So all the neurologists and psychologists were forced to Uir with the semioticians, where they soon broke into war over the validity of psychoanalysis.
Since there was nobody left to catch the determinists, the government gave up and agreed that determinists couldn’t help being what they are. Instead, they worked to keep everyone on earth ignorant of lack of free will, lest hell break loose. All the textbooks were burned, and the dark ages began.
The dark ages were and are ages of literal darkness. Because there were no textbooks, nobody learned about the energy crisis. Everyone learned to get around at night without light. And once they stopped relying on vision, the gene for eyes — which, as sites of desire discovery, required enormous human energy exertion — left the gene pool. In parallel, idioms like “Aah, I see” and “The answer’s in plain sight” faded from the lexicon.
We could restore eyesight by inventing some sort of machinery, perhaps, but nobody wants to. They have heard about how much violence vision did.