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This report is taken from PN Review 224, Volume 41 Number 6, July - August 2015.

Certain Inherent Astronomical Obscenities Frank Kuppner
1. Who could ever have guessed that Nothing/nothing could be quite so interesting?

2. But, in the long run, is there really any such thing as ‘ordinary material’?

3. On the other hand, how can we take quite seriously something with so much hydrogen in it?

4. Yes. Surely the whole Universe doesn’t intend to go out wearing something like that, does it? (I mean to say, can’t it see what it looks like?) (‘I don’t care if it’s fashionable or not!’)

5. Perhaps the really great question is: What was the Cosmos like before it existed? [To which the most promising answer would rather seem to be: fwart! Yes. Yes, that seems to capture so much of it so precisely; so terribly well.]

6. But why does the Universe keep making that strange ‘Doing, doing, doing’ sound?

7. ‘Of course, a few billion years ago, it was all very different.’

8. But Time can begin nothing by itself. (Can Nothing begin Time by itself? – that’s probably the more central question.)

9. Yes. What was the chance that the Universe did/would not exist? Eh?

10. Or that Everything was merely one of those odd things that turns up from time to time?

11. Yes. For surely there must be more to existence as such than merely being the strangely active shadow of Nothingness?

12. Still: eventually it all escapes anyway. ...


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