Sunday June 18, 2017
Book 17: A Little Immortality — Part IV


PUTZHO: Evolution doesn't stop with immortality.

Let's say you tell me a story.

I like it, but maybe I think the narrative structure is too choppy.

ULAQUE: Like an episodic melodrama, or a long-form comic strip?

PUTZHO: Or maybe I find it too self-referential.

ULAQUE: Too didactic, with characters telling each other things that they already know?

PUTZHO: Let me finish.

Since I'm not happy with your story as-is, I add some bridging material.

PUTZHO: Then I tell my version to a dozen other people.

Some of them never re-tell it.

Others make their own changes before passing it along.

After a thousand iterations, there are a billion different versions of your story.

ULAQUE: That's quite a culling, since the number of possible versions would be in the neighborhood of twelve to the power of 1000.

PUTZHO: Culling!


These tellings of your story are subject to the selection pressures of fitness, reproduction, and elimination.

Maybe there's no sex or death in the All-Star, but something in here has to keep evolving.

ULAQUE: Many somethings, Putzho, and they have been evolving for longer than your planet has had life on it.

PUTZHO: There might be more reasons why I don't like the story you tell me.