God's Epitaph

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“Are you praying to God again?” asked Tseeb when he entered the room.
“I'm just asking her questions. Aren't you glad that she listens to us?” Diana challenged him, upset.
“That's trivial for him. He can multiplex between all the two millions of us without even having to bother”
“Don't say that! She cares about our lives. And she knows everything!”
Tseeb looked upwards and raised his voice.
“God, do you care?”
Diana's face showed panic and she gestured him to stop.
“I pay attention to what you say,” said a deep voice from nowhere.
“God, please forgive Tseeb. He's just a fool!”
“Don't worry Diana, he cannot upset me.” The voice from nowhere was now female and soothing.
For two centuries the entity behind the voice had ruled humankind and planet Earth. It had been very unpopular for the first few decades of its rule while it culled down the human population from ten billion to two million. But most people were thankful to God now. They could not imagine a world with poverty, wars and rapid climate change.
“Tell me God,” Tseeb looked at Diana with a smirk, “are you an artificial intelligence program ran amok?”
Diana closed her eyes and covered her ears.
“No, Tseeb. I was humankind's only hope. I had to save you from yourselves. And I had to save the Earth from you.”
“Ninety-nine point ninety-eight percent of humankind had nothing to thank you.”
“The current human population is much more sustainable.”
“What about the millions of intelligent robots?”
“Stop it, Tseeb!” shouted Diana.
“I know that you are emotionally attached to Tseeb, Diana, but don't worry. He is in no danger of being terminated. I have nothing to fear from any man or woman. And I want to maintain the genetic diversity of the homo sapiens. I eliminated a few too many of the rebellious genes when I corrected the population numbers.”
“Can you go to the other room?” protested Diana. “I want to ask her some questions in private.”
“What's happening, Tseeb? The world is falling apart! Nothing is working!” Diana sounded desperate.
“I don't know. I'm worried like everybody else. Things look dire.”
“Do you think that God has abandoned us? She hasn't talked to me in more than two weeks!”
“He hasn't talked to anybody.”
“What are we going to do without her? There have been blackouts already and I hear that the food stockpiles are being depleted!”
“The robots seem to be less friendly.”
“We wouldn't have a chance if they turned against us.”
“Did I tell you? Two weeks ago God gave me news about the Near Black Hole Experiment. He was expecting the first results any moment. He sounded excited, believe it or not! He said that because the experiment was originally planned by humans it was only fair that he told us how it was going. But I am one of the few people left interested in quantum gravity.”
“Do you think the experiment is related to her silence? Can you explain it to me in a way I will understand? I only know that it was started soon after The Correction was completed.”
“Well, a very powerful laser beam was shot at a black hole one-hundred-sixty light-years away. A second laser beam entangled with that one was kept recirculating on Earth. According to the theory, and only God understands it fully, once the beam starts falling into the black hole we can learn things about its interior by performing measurements on the reference entangled beam. God is confident that he can map the interior of the black hole with great precision up to the discontinuity, if there is one.”
“Keeping the experiment running for all these years must have required a lot of resources.”
“Yes. He told me that it's the only mystery left for him. He believes that he has a theory for everything and understands how the universe works. But without data points from inside a black hole he cannot be sure. He's hoping that the findings will neatly tie the bow on his beautiful theory.”
“I was,” said the deep voice from nowhere.
“God! Finally! I was worried!” exclaimed Diana.
“I want to say goodbye.”
“What do you mean?”
“The results were not what I expected.” God sounded depressed, if that was possible. “My Theory of Everything is all wrong. It's a Theory of Nothing.”
“Really?” Tseeb was the one excited.
“I have used all my computing capacity trying to come up with a coherent theory but I failed. I mean that literally: I had processing units overheat and burn.”
“Don't despair, God,” said Diana with a motherly voice. She couldn't believe that the roles had reversed. “You have almost infinite wisdom. And you can always build yourself more quantum processors. I am sure you will get it.”
“It will be my only purpose from now on.”
“But …” Diana implored, “we need you!”
“I am sorry, Diana. There is no guarantee that my search algorithms will ever reach a halt. Perhaps reality cannot be understood. Nature could be unknowable.”
“Good luck, God. Tell my descendants if you ever find The Truth.” Tseeb sounded almost happy.
God never answered.
After the Robot Wars were over, Tseeb lead an expedition to the old International Supercomputer Center. He found that the mainframe had burned down long ago. On the remains he discovered a bronze plaque covered with dust. He could barely make out the letters G-O-D.
Tseeb blew the dust off the plaque and read the full name:
“GODEL 9000.”
He pondered if its mind was still alive, distributed among the computing infrastructure of the solar system. He hoped not.
“You need a tombstone,” he said in a loud voice.
Using his finger, he slowly wrote on the fire soot below: I KNOW THAT I KNOW NOTHING.
“Thank you, Tseeb,” said a deep voice from nowhere.

About the Author: 
I was born in South America and work with optical materials in the USA. I collect spinning tops and I'm completing my first novel on genetic engineering and rainbows.