Ascendancy应用说明 In the beginning, the Universe decides to play a game. Life, the dust of dust, is given a chance. The Universe does not change itself to suit life—the one rule of the game is adapt or die out. From the perspective of the Universe, time is as still as space. The Universe is not limited to witnessing only one moment of time. Every action has a direct immediate effect on every other action. So the Universe watches life and sees a tapestry in time, a beautiful pattern from beginning to end. Life, on the other hand, sees itself and events trapped in time. It cannot see the pattern. If life could comprehend the Universe's view of time, life might be envious of such vast perception. Perhaps the Universe envies the excitement of life's desperation. But neither can trade places and so each must accept its role. Between the galactic core and the loneliest outer tendrils of a typical spiral arm galaxy there are nearly 300 billion stars. Density waves pack these stars into swirling galactic arms—a cosmic traffic jam that lasts for uncountable eons. Amidst this ocean of light ride passengers of inconsequential size: planets orbiting the stars. 20 billion of these planets can support life. How many of them do support life? On how many has life evolved intelligence? How many species are there, looking outward, ready to leave their own oceans and explore the boundless ocean of the universe? How will these species meet? There are laws to the Universe, and life must try to learn them. Life is compelled to increase its understanding. Any new understanding, though it be only an atom in a sea of knowledge, could lead to a better existence, a better chance at growth. And every self-aware creature has its own way of learning, its own ability to piece through the Universe's clues, however sparsely provided. The Universe does not care about the fate of life. For it, the pattern is all. And life can barely afford to feel slighted. There is enough to worry about.