Great Question (A-D)

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Millions of years ago, on the planet designated P3R22261, there was an intelligent species. Three things are known with absolute certainty about this species. First, it is known that they had an desire to share many of their achievements in a way that would outlast them by far, which they did through extensive use of lithoscription - writing on massive stone tablets. Second, it is known that one of their number had an interest in philosophy, particularly its impact on mundane matters of daily life. Third, it is known that they were not well versed in Orbital Dynamicism. If they were, they might have foreseen and taken precautions against the largest moon of their world, whose orbit decayed over the eons to the point of destroying most of their tablets by tectonic side-effect. All that remains are the elaborate temples designed to showcase, but not protect, the countless stone tablets within.

The first of the two surviving tablets explains the genesis and nature of something that the inhabitants called "The Great Teacher" project, a Query Engine that would have been a miraculous advance at the time, if only the people of P3R22261 had made contact with the Hypernet. The second tablet, the only survivor of a presumably alphabetized set of 7, contained some of the questions that were posed to the so called "Great Teacher" during the life of that project. Though these Great Questions are a quirky blend of profound and pedestrian, they somehow seem to be universally considered by individuals of all biological cultures. They include such standouts as:

  • Are we there yet?
  • Are we truly alone?
  • Are you gonna eat that?
  • Button then zipper, or zipper then button?
  • Could a wood chuck chuck wood?
  • Does the abyss look back at you?