Man in a room

Once upon a time, a man (though he could have been a woman) lived in an enclosed room. He had everything he needed. It was a large and exciting room, and there was plenty to keep him occupied.

Being an intelligent kind of guy, he investigated every part of his environment and became an expert on it. He developed ways of working out what it was made of, and even where it might have come from – assuming that nothing had changed in the way things worked since the beginning.

He decided that it was very, very old and had come into existence by chance. He invented a theory to explain how this might have happened, although it was not entirely convincing. However, as he pointed out, there was no other theory.

It was suggested to him that perhaps there was something outside the room, but he found this was an unsatisfactory idea, because it could not be tested. In fact, he felt that people who thought such a thing possible were in some way mentally deficient.

He examined the room in great depth and worked out what would happen to it eventually.

He knew that after he was gone some people would find out more about the room, and that was fine. Eventually everything there was to know about the room would be known.

Some people said there were things in the room that he could not detect – perhaps things that could go in and out without his seeing them. He thought this was stupid, because if he had no experience of them, they could not be there.

He wrote many books about the room, and they explained many things about it. But none of them explained why it was there, or why he was there. Or who he really was.

He did not think these were good questions.

One day his room exploded. Nothing survived.