Here’s a story. You are on the cavernous Blue Ship, hurtling through space at eighteen point five miles per second. The nine hundred people who live, work, love, play and die on the Blue Ship are here because their great-grandparents committed their lives and the lives of their offspring to the trip.
The designers of the Blue Ship equipped it with a canonical library of digital books, music, and all other recorded knowledge and art authored by mankind. They also provided the inhabitants with a sports arena, a food preparation area, a medical facility, and a theater.
You have lived your entire life on the Blue Ship. Your great-grandchildren, should you decide to bear them, will deactivate the transit crystal, break the welded seam on the titanium door, and once again breathe the warm air of home.
This is the only life you will ever know. This is the only life your shipmates will ever know.
You may live your life by delving into the various prepared entertainments that the ship’s designers have provided for you: an endless catalog of books, movies, and artistic recordings, and creative and academic works of every imaginable type.
Or you can exit your rest cell, tap on the doors of your neighbor’s cells, and try to interest them in a game of cribbage. Or distract them by telling knock-knock jokes. Or you can make fun of them, or hate them, or love them. Or talk existential philosophy with them. You can even try to get a volleyball league together.
Or ignore them, all as you please, and draw concentric patterns uninterrupted in your rest cell. You are stranded on the Blue Ship, screaming at eighteen point five miles per second, and you can never, ever leave this place.
Also, there are nine hundred people here who can never, ever leave this place either.
Do what you will.by