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This report is taken from PN Review 174, Volume 33 Number 4, March - April 2007.

Some Marginalia from a Fairly Poor Encyclopaedia Frank Kuppner

I/xxvii. Good Lord! I have just discovered the Secret of the Universe - but, alas, there is simply too much space in the margins of this book for me to be able to jot it down!

I/1. Oh, all right then. Why isn't everything something else? At the very least, why is there something rather than something else? (Perhaps because everything is the ultimate nature of reality? But here even the shallows close over our heads.)

I/3. The Entire Universe isn't one. (Though I dare say everything affects or influences everything else, to however slight a degree.)

I/79. How extraordinary, thinks the number 110 to itself, that I should be here, just here, precisely between 109 and 111 - when I could so easily have ended up more or less anywhere else.

I/111. If numbers could think (for not being alive is a drawback in this regard, as in no doubt so many others) would it be reasonable for an even number to wonder why it wasn't odd? Would that be a profound thought? How profound? For this is exactly the sort of problem (though the Entire Universe is not as such a problem - for one thing, there is no space left over for any answer) which many people plague themselves with all the time. Forever this absurd: 'But what if I, X, were instead Y - would things be better or worse for me?' ...


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