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The mid-Seventies. So I was walking down Argyle street (just one foot in front of the other – nothing fancy) and as I passed the large door at the side of the Palladium’s stage, which they used to unload major pieces of scenery, I noticed that for once, it was OPEN. I stopped and wandered in.

Everyone had apparently retired for lunch. The place was DESERTED.

Realising I would never get the chance again, I strode out to Centre Spot and turned to face the auditorium.

And then I GOT IT.

For years, I had heard celebs raving about doing the Palladium – and I was finally able to separate the TRUTH from the usual showbiz gush.

I understood WHY they loved it – it’s the ARCHITECTURE.

Thing is, most large theatres are NARROW and go BACK a long way, the reason being the limitations regarding the upper galleries. If you make the Room WIDE, you need PILLARS to hold them up. Then you get those awful “restricted view” seats.

But the Palladium’s designer used steel cantilevers (cutting-edge in the Edwardian era) and so it has two galleries of MAJOR width – and some DEPTH. Meaning both galleries hold nearly as many people as the stalls.

Furthermore, the Room does not go BACK too far. And all three seating sections are CURVED.

The whole conspires to create the effect that you could reach out from Centre Spot and shake hands with every member of the audience.

And THAT is why all those celebs adored playing the Palladium. Despite holding well over two thousand people – it has the INTIMACY of a two-hundred-seater.

Which gave me further pause, as it dawned on me I was standing on the EXACT same spot which, during its heyday (1945-70) had been occupied by LEGENDS from BOTH sides of the Pond and Europe.

Harry Houdini, Dickie Henderson, Gracie Fields, Billy Bennett, Sophie Tucker, Burns & Allen, Jackie Coogan, Ivor Novello, the Crazy Gang, Jack Benny, Paul Robeson, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Ramon Navarro, Cab Calloway, Ethel Barrymore, Josephine Baker, Fats Waller, Tom Mix, Max Miller, Vera Lynn, Arthur Lucan (Old Mother Riley) Kitty McShane, Elisabeth Welch, Tessie O’Shea, Jewel & Warris, Gracie Fields, Betty Hutton, Dinah Shore, the Andrews Sisters, Carmen Miranda, Martha Raye, Laurel and Hardy, Danny Kaye, Kathryn Grayson, Eleanor Powell, Harpo and Chico Marx, Benny Goodman, Dorothy Lamour, Frank Sinatra, Abbott and Costello, Nat King Cole, Donald O’Connor, Hoagy Carmichael, Judy Garland, Jimmy Durante, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, Bob Hope and Gypsy Rose Lee, Max Bygraves, Julie Andrews, Alma Cogan, Harry Secombe, Terry-Thomas, Sammy Davis Jr, Tommy Steele, Billy Cotton, Charlie Drake, Cilla Black, Norman Wisdom, Des O’Connor, Frankie Howerd, Ken Dodd, Tommy Steele, Ronnie Corbett, Arthur Askey, Shirley Bassey, Cliff Richard, the Shadows, the Rolling Stones and of course…

The Beatles.

My abiding memory of the place is those years spent watching Sunday Night At The London Palladium, hosted by Tommy Trinder, Bruce Forsyth, Norman Vaughan and latterly, Jimmy Tarbuck. Me and literally HALF THE COUNTRY. TV execs would sell their MOTHERS for ratings like that today.

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This question comes up a lot – and is right down there with “Why don’t psychics win lotteries?” and “How come 24-hour shops have locks on their doors?”

But let’s treat it like a sensible question…

Animals can be divided into two groups. Group A includes dogs, cats, dolphins and monkeys. Group B includes chickens, pigs, lambs and cows.

Group A animals are highly intelligent (different from, but on a par with – HUMAN CHILDREN) and possess SELF-AWARENESS (a.k.a. consciousness, sentience) – and we breed them primarily as COMPANIONS.

While Group B are NOT (you can call a cow Daisy and a chicken Henrietta, but they will not bond with you) – and we breed them primarily as FOOD.

You want more? Okay…

Veggies and Vegans (live long and prosper) refuse to eat animal meat, sometimes avoiding ALL animal products (leather, milk, etc.) And if the scientists ever manage to produce “cloned” meat in sufficient quantity and at an affordable price (they are trying, as I type) I will be MORE than happy to join them.

But remember, while we may one day be able to stop humans from eating animals – we will NEVER stop OTHER ANIMALS from doing the same.

What you gonna do – put all animals in a series of gigantic zoos and feed them solely on fruit and veg? For a start, those whose stomachs can only handle meat will DIE. And how far down the food-chain do you wanna go?

A cubic foot of earth contains millions of creatures mostly too small for the naked eye to see – who eat each other constantly.

Then you have gazillions of fish in the oceans. These make up seventy percent of our World and contain animals ranging in size from krill to whale sharks – most of whom survive ON EACH OTHER.

You wanna try to manage THEM?

Of course, the Veggies and Vegans would argue they are wild and we are civilised – and as such, should lead by example. We have CONTROL over what WE eat.

Fair enough – in any case, this piece is not a defence of meat-eating. It is about what is OKAY to eat – and what is NOT.

So with that in mind, let us examine the details of how they are killed…

World-wide, Group B animals are “factory farmed” and generally killed “humanely” – i.e., quickly and cleanly.

But in parts of SE Asia, things are very different for Group A…

In Japan, every year, up to two thousand dolphins are herded into a cove in Taiji, where they are brutally stabbed to death. In a frenzy which turns the water RED, these creatures – including mothers and babies – get cut to pieces by the so-called “fishermen” (even a MORON knows dolphins are intelligent MAMMELS). This is said to be a “tradition” – but it only goes back to 1969. Furthermore, the methods used to slaughter the dolphins would be ILLEGAL in Japan’s animal SLAUGHTER HOUSES.

And ALL OVER SE Asia, cats are rounded up – then skinned alive for their fur – and are finally thrown, STILL alive, into boiling water.

While dogs are collected – sometimes BOUGHT from locals, for plastic buckets and the like – then transported in small, rusty cages (without food or water) on open trucks, to their fate. Which is – for those unlucky enough to survive the trip – to be tied up by their back legs and BEATEN to death with sticks, in the misbegotten belief that the more pain and terror the animal suffers, the more TENDER will be the meat.

So – do ya STILL think eating cats and dogs is okay?

First, I need to point out that NONE of the piece below is MY work. I just AGREE with it. (I NEVER plagiarise).

It was written by a Quora writer called James Madison – and I’m just PARKING it here, rather than dumping it in my computer’s files.

That way, I can FIND it easily – and YOU can enjoy it too (although it has WAY more hits on Quora than it will EVER get HERE!)

So here it is…

  • God kills 2.4 million people in his book. Satan kills 10. Who is the more evil one?
  • God says everyone has to worship him for all eternity. What kind of self-centered egomaniac demands that?
  • What happened to the three-day-old babies when the flood of Noah came? Don’t envision a worldwide flood—hold in your mind the image of a single crib with a single baby, slowly drowned by the cold, dark waters. What could that child have possibly done?
  • Do you think slavery is okay? The bible supports it. It says you can have slaves as long as you don’t gouge out their eyes or break their teeth. Yeah, that makes it moral.
  • The bible says that you are to kill those who attempt to lead you away from God. I fully admit that right now, I am trying to undermine your faith and turn you into an atheist. Kill me. Do it. I won’t even defend myself. Why aren’t you?
  • No, I will not respect your beliefs—wars, genocide, gay bashing, honor killing, genital mutilation, suppression of science, forced parenting, and other real-world harm results from your beliefs. That is to be fiercely challenged, not respected.
  • God made us in his image? What is more likely: that, or that we made him in our image? The God of the Bible is self-admittedly petty, jealous, and vengeful—just like we are. Is it not more probable that we made him in our image?
  • Original sin? You mean holding people guilty for things over which they have no control. How is that remotely just?
  • What did Satan do? He stood up for himself. He said he wasn’t going to give in to God’s demand to be worshiped. How is that a crime?
  • What happens to the billions of people who never even hear of your path to salvation? How is sending them to hell for all eternity merciful or just when they have no choice in the matter?
  • Moses tells his soldiers to rape the virgin daughters of their enemy. Do you support this?
  • Jesus said, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”. Why are so many Christians so damn judgmental then?
  • Muslims believe theirs is the one true god too. And that they will go to heaven. And that anyone of another religion will go to hell. These are all things you believe too. How are you any different from them?
  • How do you know the bible is true? Name one thing that it says that could not have been written by uneducated desert tribesmen 2,000 years ago. The cures for polio and small pox, for example, can be written in just a few pages. Why doesn’t the bible contain anything like that?
  • Which is more likely, that Mary conceived as a virgin, or that Joseph knocked her up. Billions of people have gotten pregnant the old fashioned way—which is more likely here?
  • Genesis gives two factually different accounts of creation. The Four Gospels give two factually different accounts of Jesus’ life. How can these conflicts in basic facts both be literal truth?
  • You hold roughly the same religious beliefs as your parents and your country. So does 99% of everyone else in every other religion. What’s more likely, that yours is the one true religion, or that we all just get brainwashed into our parents belief system?
  • Some Christians argue that the New Testament made the Old Testament obsolete. Does this mean you’re willing to abandon the whole creationism farce and acknowledge that evolution is fact?
  • If your spouse told you that you had to prove your love toward him/her by killing one of your children, you’d think your spouse had gone insane. Yet this is what God told Abraham to do—and you don’t think that’s equally twisted?
  • Why do believers not regrow limbs? Surely some of our heroes coming home from war with missing body parts are true believers, from believing families, from pious communities. Why cannot a single amputee with such a strong belief regrow a limb, or have some other miracle that would in no way be explainable by science?
  • Babies are not a miracle from God. All animals make babies, some of them quite cute, and any 15 year old human can participate in the process.
  • What would it take to convince you to become a Hindu? A Muslim? A Jew? A Sikh? These religions are thoroughly unconvincing, aren’t they? I simply feel the same about your religion. How are your talking snake, pregnant virgin, blood sacrifice ritual (communion), or zombie claims (Jesus’ resurrection) any different?
  • If God is love, and Jesus taught peace, why are so many Christians warmongering gun nuts?
  • Why do communities, states, and nations with higher rates of religious belief also have worse indicators of quality of life and societal good? For example, the Deep South of the US is known to be very religious. Why does it have higher rates of crime, domestic violence, infant mortality, and other such social indicators? Same for, say, pious Central America versus Western Europe.
  • If religion is necessary for morality, then why do organizations like the National Academy of Sciences, whose members are over 95% atheist, have so few members committing crimes?
  • The bible says that it is an abomination for a man to lie with another man. The very next verse says that the penalty for doing so is death. Do you advocate the death penalty for homosexuality?
  • Why aren’t Christian funerals big parties? If you truly believe you’re all going to heaven after you die, why is it not a massive celebration? Why are Christians not all taking up base jumping and volunteer fire fighting?
  • No, damn it, Hitler was a Catholic, not an atheist. Please do your research before using that one again. But I don’t blame Catholicism for what Hitler did, any more than I blame atheism for what Stalin and Mao did. Mad men can be mad for reasons other than religion.
  • As an atheist, I’m just like you—I’m kind to others, I love my family, I continually try to be a better person. I just don’t need the threat of hell or promise of heaven to do it.
  • As an atheist, I too try to live by the Golden Rule, but I don’t need a god or an ancient text to see the wisdom of the rule. I do unto others as I’d have done to me because I know this is the right thing to do, and it makes me happy when I do.
  • As an atheist, I am amazed at the wonder of nature and the universe on their own merits. I don’t need to believe there is some sky daddy at the bottom of it to reach this conclusion.
  • As an atheist, I agree that it is not enough to just say what you’re against. That’s why I am also a Secular Humanist. Other atheists may hold different positive views, but we are more than just anti-religious.
  • As an atheist, I enjoy sex to its fullest. Particularly in my single years! As long as everyone consents (including my spouse once married, if polyamory happens to be our thing) then I don’t have to worry about the opinion of a god or his threats to my eternal disposition.
  • As an atheist, I don’t give up 10% of my income year over year, meaning I can retire 5 years earlier.
  • As an atheist, I deal with death by telling the people I love that I love them every chance I get. That way when they or I go, the one who survives can have the peace of knowing that we loved each other to the fullest.

Any references to God, Satan, or Jesus as anything other than an historical figure, are for the purpose of literary and philosophical analysis and critique only—it is not a statement of their supernatural existence any more than a movie critic referencing Darth Vader believes in The Force.

Christianity and the Bible are my focus as these were the elements of the religious indoctrination of my youth. I trust that those raised in other religions who are now freethinkers can make similar critiques of the religious elements of their upbringing.

Cornelius on… Optimism

As stated a few days ago by m’colleague Morphy, our belief system is Antitheist, basic, philosophic Buddhist, Darwinist, Humanist, Cosmicist, Continuumist, Optimist.

So now, allow me to expand on the LAST of those.

Optimists are normally seen as people with goofy grins, who believe that despite everything life throws their way – it will all be fine in the end.

But as the final part of my belief system, the word means much more.

Let us go back a stage to Continuumism. This is the belief that all we and our science can detect – ourselves, this World and beyond that, the Universe – exists in a BOX. The Continuum, if you will.

And if we are lucky, we get about eighty years in it – after which, we return to the random matter from which we came.

With me so far? Good.

But here is the problem; our science is great at answering those questions that begin with what, where, when, how and who(m) – but useless at those which begin with WHY.

Also, the further BACK you go, the more facts become replaced by theories.

The amoeba is arguably the tipping point. Science can rationalise our history AFTER it – but has little to offer but theories, BEFORE it.

Of course, this is not science’s fault. It depends on provable facts. And those are thin on the ground, before the amoeba.

Even the famous Big Bang Theory (the hypothesis, not the TV show – keep up) is mostly just based on the fact that the Universe is spreading outwards – universally.

Thus questions beginning with WHY get relegated to PHILOSOPHY. Which is unfortunate, as we have come a LONG WAY since Man began to think.

These days, most thinking people have dismissed religions as a collection of myths and superstitions MADE UP by early Man, in an attempt to answer the unanswerable questions he began asking, as soon as he developed the ABILITY.

So let us at least TRY to delve further.

First, by examining that BOX – the Continuum – a little more closely.

Despite its logicality in the later stages of its development, our Universe becomes ILLOGICAL in the earlier stages – particularly its beginning.

I mean, logically it should NOT EXIST. There should be nothingness, darkness, zip, zilch, nada.

But exist it does. I am typing – and you are reading – THIS.

Which in the case of the Continuum, renders it by definition – illogical. Right?

Yet here we are.

And since, from our personal point of view, it appears to have existed indefinitely BEFORE us – and will likely go on the same way AFTER us – we need to know WHY. While WE are not in it – what is it FOR?

It is clear we have not been here before (previous lives, like religions, being BOGUS). And once we take our last breath in This Place, our neural engrams, synapses et al will quickly wither and DIE, taking all that we were – our memories, knowledge, personality, consciousness and gym membership – WITH them.

Our brains will become MUSH.

Therefore, the BIG question is; what is OUTSIDE the box, This Place, the Continuum?

Logic says NOTHING. But then, logic says there should be nothing IN it either. And THAT is evidentially wrong.

At which point, we could seek answers from those who claim to have BEEN outside the box – people who have had a Near Death Experience.

Except that science can EXPLAIN those bright lights and tunnels they saw as merely illusions our brains concoct, when they are in crisis.

So no help there, then.

However, there is SOME hope. And this is where Optimism – as a BELIEF – comes in (and not a moment too soon).

For it offers a glimpse of what MUST BE. Which is ANOTHER existence. One that PARALLELS this one – and to which we will all RETURN, when whatever THIS is comes to an end.

And THAT, my friend, is Optimism.

Shortly before escaping cold, wet, miserable Broken Britain, fifteen years ago, I had to make a couple of trips by train.

I was staggered by the prices THEN – on their commercialised (they call it “privatised”) system.

Well, things have not improved.

I recently heard of a guy who had to travel from Sheffield to London (one way) and instead of taking the train – he FLEW – via BERLIN (enjoying a nice mid-afternoon break there) – and it was CHEAPER.

And while there, he discovered that in Germany, train travel cost approximately ONE SIXTH of what it does in the UK.

And NOW, I hear a return from Manchester to London (a distance which costs about twenty pounds, here in Thailand) is THREE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-EIGHT POUNDS!

Are they KIDDING? That’s over TWO WEEKS’ BRITISH PENSION.

Tell you what I’d do; thanks to the swingeing MOT system there, second-hand cars are ridiculously cheap, so I’d use the money to BUY one – and two tanks of petrol.

Then, after the trip – I’d still have a CAR.

I have known a hypomanic woman for over twenty years – the first four months, as a companion.

The only differences between her and Trump are; she is a short woman from the Midlands of Britain, while he is a tall man from New York – and she types using shouty ALL-CAPS, while he restricts his use of capitals to just SOME words (clearly realising that not to would be a dead giveaway).

And she refuses to use medication. Trump – who knows?

According to Wiki, hypomania (literally “under mania”) is characterized by persistent disinhibition and pervasive elevated (euphoric) mood, with or without irritability. Hypomania is distinct from mania in that there is no significant functional impairment, but it may have psychotic features.

Characteristic behaviours are that the subject is extremely energetic, talkative, and confident – commonly exhibiting flights of creative ideas.

While hypomanic behaviour often generates productivity and excitement, it can become troublesome if the subject engages in risky or otherwise inadvisable behaviours.

Like with my friend, I would not give Trump the keys to my car – yet the NSA have given him the Launch Codes.

So this is how it ends.

We are all going to die.

…also known as The Purpose… The Secret… and so on.

Being exactly one month short of his 65th birthday, you can understand why this writer has been giving these matters some thought.

And those thoughts divide roughly into six parts…

(1) RELIGION.

The reasons Man made up his myriad religions are threefold. First, the need for a father-figure, once he grows up and realizes his dad is not a god. Second, the need for answers to the impossible questions (like this one). Third – and most important – the need for some sort of afterlife.

But if one allows oneself to be sucked into these myths and superstitions, one quickly realises religion has no answers. In fact, I’ve already wasted seventy-eight words on the subject, where ONE would have sufficed. So…

(2) SCIENCE.

The MAIN concern a man approaching the end of his life has – IS its end.

Although science has a number of ways to forestall that. However, none of them attract.

Organ transplants; like putting a new engine, gearbox, whatever – into a clapped-out Cortina. It will still go GLONKALONKALONG for five seconds every time it hits a speed-bump. The paint will still peel. The sun will still blaze off the thousands of scratches on the windscreen. And it is pricey.

Hibernation; just means putting OFF the issue until science has advanced far enough to give us another shot at existence. However, the chances of re-animating the frozen bodies (or heads) that currently earn companies offering this service BIG bucks – is about the same as back-engineering three chickens from a plate of scrambled eggs.

Upgrading; like dumping your consciousness into a nice new genetically-organically-created body – or a computer.

We have all seen that old movie where some victim is strapped to a chair, wearing a crash-helmet stuffed with lights and wires (the victim, not the chair – keep up) while some nutty professor hits knobs and switches on a slew of techy devices (doubtless rescued from junk shops, yard sales and council dumps by the props department) in order to transfer the person’s consciousness into another – or the machine itself.

And had we not been so intent on getting jiggy with our companion, we might have considered the prospect – and reasoned that since computers and human brains are remarkably similar, that might actually be possible.

But since those days, we have discovered far more about both…

(3) BRAINS vs COMPUTERS.

In Britain’s Golden Year – 1967 – in “2001: A Space Odyssey” HAL 9000 achieved emotion and ultimately, some level of consciousness.

However, in the real World, this is as absurd as religion.

The human brain has a number of levels. At the bottom is memory. Then come its operating systems. Followed by processing (broadly speaking, intelligence). Then we have the more exotic qualities: personality, tastes, morals, character traits, etc. After which there comes what many believe separates us from machines; emotion. And only THEN – that pinnacle of achievement in Thought – the afore-mentioned CONSCIOUSNESS.

But only the bottom TWO levels are achievable by machines.

Over the FIFTY YEARS between “2001…” and now, while many more films showing machine intelligence have been made – and vast sums have been offered to anyone who could demonstrate that they had actually achieved this – we are no closer to AI than we were back in ’67.

Computers have certainly become much bigger and faster than they were then – the one I am typing THIS on probably has more power than all the ones that got Neil and Buzz to the Moon in ’69 – but NOT SMARTER.

Ultimately, they are just number-crunchers.

Which means the day that you can plug a lead from one into a USB port on your head and go flying – without a plane – to the Rio Carnival and bonk a hundred of the girls (or boys) there…is NOT coming any day soon.

Or indeed, probably ever.

The fact is, even the most STUPID person you know is a gazillion times smarter than a computer.

To “interface” with one, despite its similarity to our brains (synapses = pathways, neurons = transistors, both with terabytes of data storage) is impossible (aside from a few basic connections to enable disabled people to control machines without physical movement).

And transferring one’s consciousness into an ORGANIC body cannot be done either. We can relay a few simple thoughts to another person using basic telepathy – but to download the entire contents of our brains that way would take MILLENNIA.

However, there is ONE hope of escape from the slowly sinking ship that is your body…

(4) MEDICINE.

Better Living Through Chemistry (more likely, some kind of “procedure”) could slow, stop and ultimately REVERSE our “body clock” – meaning for the first time in History, we could actually “cure” AGEING.

Research into “telomere lengthening” has been promising.

But do we really want to LIVE LONGER?

Elsewhere in these ramblings I have said, “When a person reaches sixty, they should have learned all they needed to, experienced all they wanted to and achieved all they are likely to.”

And I still hold that to be true. If, at sixty, you have a “bucket list” – you are deeply SAD. This is because you are now too damn OLD to do the stuff you should have done in your twenties, thirties, forties or even (provided you managed to stay fit, open-minded and curious) fifties. You had your chance and BLEW it.

Imagine looking like you did at twenty-three – but with seventy years of memory and experience (not to mention scars) – trying to score with a twenty-year-old at the Ministry Of Sound. Bugger off, Grandad.

Of course, you can never go back – nor should you want to. We humans have evolved an inherited (hard-wired) life-plan, whereby we expect to live eighty years, in twenty-year slices: 0-20, growing up – 20-40, young adult – 40-60, middle-aged adult – 60-80, old geezer – then DEATH.

We can handle that. Granted no-one wants to die today – but no sane person wants to live forever. Do you wonder that Doctor Who is asexual?

No, eighty years will do – but what happens THEN…

(5) THE BOX.

Okay, this is where things take a turn.

All of our lives, we have EXISTED – we are used to that. But the prospect of NOT existing is SCARY.

Then again, what IS existence? We now know plenty about our brains and bodies. Like computers, controlling machines, they are fed by the calorific energy of food, which we convert into electricity.

However, as stated above, we are very different from – and surprisingly, superior to – machines.

Because we (and the higher-functioning animals) not only utilize the two lower levels of thought that computers can handle; but also intelligence, personality, tastes, morals, character and emotion – which they cannot.

And they will NEVER possess CONSCIOUSNESS.

But we DO. And so the $64,000 question is – where the F@%K does it go when we DIE?

The thing is, we live in a box. And in that box are we and everything our senses can detect (the five classic senses – plus about twenty more that scientists have discovered we also possess, over the years) and all that our instruments can see.

Which is a LOT. Seven-milliard-three of us, bazillions of animals, all on a gigantic planet. And that in a universe with (long scale) trillions of stars like our Sun – each with an as-yet-to-be-determined number of planets going around them.

But let us concentrate on us. We. Ourselves.

Our brains may each have terabytes of data, like computers – but when their energy source dies, so do THEY.

A computer can retain data perhaps CENTURIES after the plug is pulled.

But our data dies with US. In MINUTES.

Which means our consciousness – AKA self-awareness – AKA sentience – is only a TEMPORARY part of this box. As a Continuumist, I recognise that my “earthly remains” (ash and ground-up bone) will live on – but what about my bloody DATA…

(6) THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX.

Continuumism aside, before I was born, there was NOTHING. Blackness. Non-existence (I’m not even discussing reincarnation – it’s bollocks).

And after I have croaked, nothing will return. Blackness. Non-existence.

Or WILL it?

Science can explain our planet’s life (evolution and all that) and our own brains (the physical makeup and all of the functions).

But after we are gone, it merely states the neuroscientific view; which is that consciousness fails to survive brain death and along with all other mental functions, is irrecoverably lost.

Plus, it explains Near Death Experiences as hallucinatory states caused by neurological factors such as cerebral anoxia and hypercarbia.

(And don’t think I didn’t copy most of the last two paras from Wiki).

All of which is probably true – but supposing it is not?

Perhaps there is a SECOND box?

And the REAL we/us/ourselves are in THAT.

And this existence is just a temporary EXTENSION of that one.

And having served our apprenticeships in this box, there will be more boxes to follow.

Yes, I am going with that.

…a few days later… …an ADDENDUM.

Also in 1967, there was a “Prisoner” episode where Number Six (Patrick McGoohan) BROKE a super-computer which the then-current Number Two (Colin Gordon) claimed could answer ANY question.

And it was revealed Pat did so using Epistemology (look it up). He simply asked it – WHY?

Of course, that would not actually work. But then, back in ’67 few people understood computers (GIGO) – and still fewer OWNED one.

Nevertheless, the principle is SOUND. Science is very good at answering questions that begin with how, when, where or who(m) – but LOUSY with ones that start with WHY…

And thus it is that while science can explain everything in The Box, it is clueless when it comes to what may lie Outside.

Inside The Box is us, the World we inhabit – and apparently, many (long scale) trillions of others. And science can explain how all of that came to be (although the further BACK you go, the fewer FACTS it has – and the more THEORIES it is forced to serve up).

And therein lies the Achilles’ heel of science – its value is totally reliant on provable, repeatable data.

But when it comes to the BIG questions – there IS none.

Like, WHY is there all that stuff in The Box? Surely, it makes more sense for there to be NOTHING – blackness, silence, zip, zilch, nada.

And if we cannot develop interstellar travel, what is the point of all those OTHER worlds?

Things were simple in the Dark Ages; we lived on an island surrounded by sea, with a lit dome above. The Sun in the day – and a night-light.

But now we know all that we know (or BELIEVE we know) it seems highly illogical. This Place alone just should not BE.

All of which provides fuel for the argument; there must be SOMETHING ELSE – OUTSIDE that box.

But before the god-botherers start on me, science rationalises THEIR crap as well – religions’ origins, development and the reasons they survive are logical, easy to understand – and POINTLESS for explaining existence.

They merely BUCK-PASS. If God made everything – who made HIM?

No, the answer to this Ultimate Question will be a lot more complicated than some Cosmic Santa Claus.

It has rightly been said that even if the answer WERE forthcoming to us, it would be like trying to explain gravity – or an iPhone – to a primitive.

Despite our best efforts, our limited intelligences and experiences would probably render us too DUMB to comprehend it.

But if anyone out there (from ANY dimension) wants to try me, go ahead.

Anyhoo, I think that really IS it, now. Surely, there has to be SOMETHING after we peg out? But as to WHAT – your guess is as good as mine…