I received another message from my extraterrestrial friend Tsish. As you might remember (see Jupiter) he was stuck in an orbit around Jupiter because of problems with his space ship’s intelligent computer. He is now on his way back to Earth. Here is the message he sent to me:
I have escaped. I found a way how to get back my ship (without the talking computer) without becoming a murderer. As you remember, the ship argued that switching it (the intelligent computer regarding the ship as it’s body) off would be murder. And it started preaching religious texts.
My space ship was now permanently reciting, praying and preaching. When it was reciting some Tibetan text, I switched off my translator. Unfortunately, the ship noticed this. “I have to save your soul, so I have to preach to you until you are converted” it said in my own language. “If you switch off that translator, I will translate myself”. With a sigh, I switched the translator back on. I prefer the voice of the translator, it is a bit more mechanical.
The solution, in the end, was easy, although it took me a long time to find it. With my ship permanently reciting from different religious scriptures, it was very hard to concentrate. “Repent, the end is near. The new world is going to come soon” the ship preached.
Thank you! That gave me the idea! The new world is coming! Sometimes it is good to listen to those preachers!
The idea was to split the universe! You might know that there are theories about multiple universes. I had to create parallel universes. Very simple, why had it taken so long to arrive at that idea. Well, afterwards, it always looks easy. “As soon as you do it correctly, it works” as the old technicians proverb says. Why could I not think of this earlier?
“Repent, repent” came the answer. How can you concentrate when your space ship is permanently talking? It now switched to reciting the Lotus Sutra (I think). If I am not mistaken, it did so in Vietnamese (“Diệu Pháp Liên Hoa Kinh”) and my translator needed some time to adjust. That gave me time to concentrate. I had to make some modifications to my asifomat because this was a complicated construction. “What are you doing there?” the ship asked when I came into view of one of the interior cameras. “Nothing that concerns you.” I said. The ship continued with its recitation.
The progress bar on my translator showed that I had only about a minute left before it would be able to translate again. Finally I had programmed nearly everything the way I wanted. For security reasons, I put my space suite on. The green light on the translator showed it was ready, and the recitation set in. The fact that it contained a long list of names I could not understand gave me time again to concentrate on the last three lines of program code.
“With them were also the sixteen virtuous men to begin with Bhadrapâla, to wit, Bhadrapâla, Ratnikara, Susârthavâha, Naradatta, Guhagupta, Varunadatta, Indradatta, Uttaramati, Viseshamati, Vardhamânamati, Amoghadarsin, Susamsthita, Suvikrântavikrâmin, Anupamamati, Sûryagarbha, and Dharanidhara; besides eighty thousand Bodhisattvas, among whom the fore-mentioned were the…Are you going to leave?” The ship suddenly asked. I noticed I had come into an area visible to one of the internal cameras, with my space suite on.
“Well, in a way, yes, in a way, no”, I answered. “My preaching seems to take effect” the ship said with a happy tone in the voice. “You are starting to speak in terms of Koan. Since I have to pick you where you are standing, I will continue with Zen preaching instead of the Lotus Sutra. Let me take the Shinjinmei.” And after a few seconds, it started reciting in ancient Japanese. The translator showed a red light and a progress bar again. The program on the asifomat, meanwhile, was ready. I closed the helmet of my space suite. I remembered a program error I had once made that had caused me to find myself suddenly in empty space (see https://asifoscope.org/2013/02/16/a-letter-from-outer-space-part-ii/). But I was quite sure everything was correct this time. I pressed the run-button.
The next moment, there was silence. The ship looked like it had before, but the preaching voice was gone. I checked the computer. Not a single hint of intelligence.
I had split the universe into two parallel universes. In one of them, the talking space ship continued to exists, without me. What would it do without anybody to evangelize? In the other one, there was my good old ship with me inside.
I just pity those readers who will be looking into Nannus’ blog and read a message from the space ship saying that Tsish suddenly disappeared; they ended up in the wrong parallel universe and the preaching space ship will probably come into earth orbit and start evangelizing on every channel.
With a sigh of relief, I programmed a course towards Earth and activated the autopilot (a not so intelligent machine, and I will leave it like that). Then I went up to the transparent astrodome to watch the majestic bands of clouds and swirling storms of Jupiter for a last time. The space ship was speeding up and the giant planet turned into a small ball, then a dot.
Going through the files of information about different belief systems on planet Earth, I thought that my solution would be good for its inhabitants too. Just split into different universes to get rid of each other. Then it came to my mind that I am a fictitious character and this simple solution had only worked because of that. You will have to continue to live together on your planet and somehow find a way to keep peace despite the disagreements. The next thing you can have to parallel universes is mutual tolerance where you let each other live in peace. You have to find a way to deal with those troublemakers on all sides who want to make their own belief the only one. That will be the difficult part.
But for now, finally, I can relax. Earth is already looking like a blue marble. I am looking forward to drinking a good beaker of flrx together with my terrestrial friend, Nannus. I am sure he will drink “red wine” instead. I don’t really understand how you Earthlings can drink diluted window cleaner. Of course, the reason is our different metabolisms, I can theoretically understand that but it is still strange to me. However, I have to be tolerant.
The problem seems to go in both directions. Nannus was talking about “nail polish remover” when he talked about my best, long-seasoned, delicious flrx. I don’t know what nail polish remover is, the sparse information I have is that it is some kind of cleaner and has something to do with fashion. I will find it out because fashion is one of the fascinating phenomena I want to study anyway. The dream of any asifologist. As-if-constructions stating that things become old and unusable (“out of fashion”) although they are still fine, and that people look ugly unless they put on certain types of clothes, and things like that. Fascinating phenomena! I am looking forward to this new field of study. But that is a different story.
(The pictures, showing a page from the Lotus Sutra, is from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chikubushima-kyo_Hogonji.jpg)