Ourobouros

I’ve had a long drive, at the end of a long day, to wrap up a long week. So for tonight I’m just going to leave you with a wonderful short story by the great Isaac Asimov — an old favorite that I just found online. It’s called The Last Question, and it’s a gem. Enjoy.

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3 Comments

  1. Kevin Kim says

    I had recently blogged about shaggy god stories. Didn’t know that Asimov had written one as well!

    The “last question” simply sounds like the typical yearning for permanence. What was more fascinating, for me, was Asimov’s notion of a spine-shaped computer running the length of a space vessel. I don’t know why, but I found that image evocative.

    Kevin

    Posted May 27, 2007 at 2:50 am | Permalink
  2. Malcolm says

    Hi Kevin,

    Indeed you had just mentioned “shaggy god stories”, a term I had never heard before. It ought to have occurred to me that this was a good example.

    What I liked about the story, which I suppose does reflect a yearning for permanence, was the way the universe creates the agent of its own resurrection through intelligent life, connecting its end to its beginning in the way the mythical snake ate its own tail.

    Posted May 27, 2007 at 10:56 am | Permalink
  3. Kevin Kim says

    Yes, I thought your post title was apropos. I had similar thoughts, but mine were decked out in the tropes of Hinduism and Stephen Hawking’s idea of time as “finite but unbounded,” like the surface of a sphere. (Does Hawking still subscribe to this view? I don’t know, but I think Carl Sagan references it in Sagan’s preface to Hawking’s A Brief History of Time.)

    Kevin

    Posted May 28, 2007 at 5:29 am | Permalink