I’ve created a PDF of the first two sermons that is easier to print than the raw blog posts are, and prettier. Hope you like it. Having it laid out on physical paper makes the text feel different to me, and the illustrations do improve on the plain text.
The premiere of the second Sermon went very well and I’m very grateful to have found such an attentive and appreciative audience in the astonishing Less Wrong community. This group is truly a collection of remarkable minds, and I’m sure much will become of it. There were about 30 of us, and we went through both existing Sermons non-stop. I was pleased to learn nobody could tell where the first one ended and the second began – after all, the whole thing is a single poem, though in seven parts, and I hope to one day present it as a single, huge, roughly 100 minutes experience.
So, being dust, what lets us live?
What raises us above
the countless, mindless, primitive,
raw atoms we’re made of?
There is no life within this dust:
Most specks remain unchanged
from back in ancient stars. It must
be how they are arranged.
The Games of Entropy are nearing completion, which feels great. I’m now filling small gaps, sandpapering over rough bits and worrying about how to cut it all down to size. For reasons that will be explained eventually, every sermon has exactly 80 stanzas. I completed about 120 anyway, as for the previous one, because I really liked how when finishing up the first one, trimming and compressing it improved it quite a bit. Trimming is painful, but it is a good kind of pain. (Of course I’m throwing out a much larger number of uncompleted stanzas when I realize I can’t get them to fulfill all the criteria, but I’m much less attached to those.)
Work on the second Sermon – now named The Games of Entropy – is progressing, slow but steady. Its subject is more challenging than that of the first one, where I was really just paraphrasing Carl Sagan. But I’ve become more proficient at the craft of assembling the lines into rhymes and the rhymes into stanzas, leaving me with more capacity for the task of abstracting science into poetic language. So I’m confident I’ll finish the second Sermon in spring 2015.
Now this is going to be fun!
It truly does feel great
to realize we all are one.
So we shall meditate.
This meditation’s rhyming verse
describes a paradigm
of us inside this universe,
adrift in space and time.