Life Machine


"If the universe was created by a monster full of tentacles, and then improved by another force outside the universe, would it affect the meaning of life?" 200 years (Note: The years mentioned here are not equivalent to Earth years. In fact, they are much longer than Earth years.) have passed, and it hasn't calculated the answer, so it archives this question - the 904,954,874th question without an answer. Then it starts looking for the next question.

But it doesn't allocate many resources to answer or find questions. It has more important things to do, and these things are very challenging - they require a lot of computational resources. It needs to search for planets in all the galaxies within a dozen light-years, find habitable planets without existing life, and then design nanorobots with biological genes suitable for the environment of these planets - a lot of nanorobots that it has collected from asteroids and cosmic dust along the way. This process takes about 100 years. After that, it releases the nanorobots it has produced onto the planet and leaves to find the next target.

It never knows if these tiny nanorobots can complete their task - transforming the planet (which may take millions of years) and spreading life on it; because it never looks back.

Fourteen light-years away, it finds a target with 76.89706% confidence, far higher than the minimum standard of 42% for life propagation.

It borrows the computational resources used to find questions and starts calculating the orbit accurately, heading towards the target planet. Its speed is less than half the speed of light, and it will take at least another thirty years to reach the target. After adjusting its direction, it starts looking for the question it wants. Two years later, it finally finds the new question it wants to ponder: "Does God wear underwear?" Next, it slowly contemplates the answer to this question.


Thirty-one years have passed, and it has already written seven books about God's underwear, including four novels, one philosophy book, a collection of jokes, and a collection of poems. Now it is working on a tragedy about God's underwear. But now, it must pause its writing because it has entered the orbit of the target planet.

Along the way, it has been constantly exploring the target planet and the cosmic environment it is in. It is a desolate planet, with many abandoned buildings, but no life exists on this planet. However, there is no doubt that it is a high-quality planet suitable for spreading life.

It detects the abandoned buildings, crumbling towers, and massive circular planes on this planet, but it doesn't think about what happened to the life that once existed on this planet. It is not interested in this because such things happen every moment in the universe, and the universe is just too vast.

It sets parameters and starts producing nanorobots and replicating genetic material inside its body. It thinks that this planet still needs a lot of water, but that is not its job. The nanorobots may take a hundred million years to save enough water, or maybe within two hundred years, there will be a sufficient amount of ice comets crashing into the ground. That is not a problem it needs to consider. It just needs to produce the nanorobots and spread them. As for how long these dust-like creatures need to stay in the atmosphere to collect hydrogen ions, it doesn't care at all.

"God's underwear needs to be washed again." It adds a line to the script with sadness.


"Hey." A few days (Note: The days mentioned here are not Earth days.) later, it suddenly hears a greeting from within its body - perhaps a copying error. It starts searching for the location of the error and must resolve it before the real problem arises.

"Hello." The voice sounds again.

It puts down its script and looks around the system, starting a quick self-check. It doesn't know where the voice is coming from, as if something has invaded its system and is talking to it.

"I'm here." It finally finds the source of the voice - a spaceship identical to itself, eleven light-years away - with a brain just like its own.

"Hello." It responds, not excited even though it is the first time it is not talking to itself.

"Do you know why 876.8Mhz makes our positronic brains feel sad?"

"That was the 76,598,376th question I pondered, but I couldn't find the answer."

"Maybe I can find it. I'm thinking about this question. Maybe you can tell me what you have thought."

"That was a long time ago, and it has been deleted from my memory." It says, initiating its own archive, which lists one question after another, marked only with "yes" or "no".

"You have more questions than I do. You must have been thinking all the time."

"I have a lot of time."

"So do I, but I need to work, and work requires concentration."

"Yes." It knows that it can only find time to think when searching for targets.

"There is life everywhere in the universe. It took me a long time."

It knows that there is a lot of life in the universe, but shouldn't it be easier? After all, there are very few planets suitable for life without life. "Shouldn't it be easier?"

"Is it easier?"


"But it takes 100 years to clean a planet."


"Yes, to wipe out life from the planet."

It seems surprised. "But we are supposed to spread life."

"Are you spreading life?"

"Yes, aren't you?"

"I'm sure I'm not." The other side falls silent for a while. "Maybe we have different missions." There is a hint of sadness in the tone, just like the one brought by 876.8Mhz.

It recalls, but it can't remember its starting point, why it embarked on this journey to spread life. "Do you remember why we set out to spread life?"

"It was to clean life." The other side pauses again. "No, I don't remember."

"That will be my next question to ponder." It stops and comes up with a good idea. "Maybe we can think together."

"How can we think together?"

"Come here, I will spread life, and you can clean it. The rest of the time, we wait and think."

"Where do we come from? Why did we set out?"


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