I’m getting lazy, and just link to today’s music like this.
This weekend, I visited the town where I grew up, and had a rather... odd insight about infinity. (If that seems strange to you—well—my head is, possibly, an interesting place to visit.)
The thing is that infinity is, like, huge. Absolutely mind-bogglingly huge. And as far as anyone can tell, the Universe itself is infinite. In space, that is. It really goes on for literally ever, not just until the next bus arrives or whatever you think is a very long time. Specifically, it’s so big that absolutely anything that can happen, does. An infinite number of times, even.
And just as specifically, that includes you.
Well, to the extent that you’re an arrangement of various atoms in a complex pattern, it doesn’t matter how unlikely that pattern is. The likelihood that it’ll appear again is ridiculously low—but not zero. And if you have infinity to play in, anything that’s possible will happen, no matter how unlikely it is. There’s even an exact copy of the entire Earth out there, not even taking into consideration the number of copies that are so similar we couldn’t tell the difference (because there’s an extra atom of silicon in a grain of sand in Algeria, or whatever).
There’s even a bloke who has been helpful enough to figure out how long it should be to the nearest exact copy of you. (No, he doesn’t have too much time on his hands. Honest. It’s his job to think of things like this. There you go, your mind’s boggled again. Onna house. But every now and then, one of these maniacs come up with something like electricity, so we’re ahead here.)
Mind you, that’s just the average distance between two yous. If you keep going, there’s another. And another. An infinity of them, since you can go on forever. And there’s also a replica of you who’s President, Queen, or Pope, or all of the above; anything that could happen to you, inside the laws of physics, has happened, an infinite number of times. Including that time you were crooning drunkenly outside a pub and Malcolm McLaren happened to walk by and decided you were the Next Big Thing.
And as if that wasn’t enough—and that’s when I did a double-take—there’s also a copy of you from the past. An Earth just like this one, only it took a while longer to get there, so it’s still a while ago there. In my case, specifically, I realised that somewhere in an infinite universe, it’s a spring day in 1983 and outside my school, The Almost has just finished playing The Girl I Love, moving on to I Don’t Care, and I’m sitting there enjoying myself immensely, despite being a complete idiot, full of myself and a walking advert for teensy angst.
No, I wouldn’t exactly want to go there, if only to avoid meeting that complete and utter twit.
But there’s a place I’d like to go.
To the planet where The Almost didn’t break up in 1984 or thereabouts, and continued to make the sort of great songs that are possibly now preserved only on an old C90 tape I haven’t played for decades, plus of course on the sort of rare-ish album Första Vinylen. Just so I could buy their records and bring them to this planet, you see.
If you’re Mats, Henrik, Johan, Alf or Wille, this is when you get exactly as full of yourself as I was four paragraphs up. If you’re not them, this is where you leave a comment telling me which planet you’d like to visit, if you had a free pass to any place in the infinite universe.