by Jake Christie

a story.

Every story ever written is made up of the same twenty-six letters, just in different combinations.  That's a finite number.  You can't just create more letters – at least, not letters that will make any sense to anybody.  So every story that ever is, was, or will be is shackled by those twenty-six elegant little restrictions.

Which means that there is only a finite number of stories.

But only in the grandest scheme of things.  Consider, for a moment, that everything on the planet Earth is made up of the same hundred-or-so elements.  That's everything – everything – that ever is, was, or will be.  The combinations are finite, but almost limitless – I mean, look around at all this stuff.  Everything is just a quantifiable combination of molecules, the letters that make up the story of all of the stuff.  A thousand monkey scientists, writing on a thousand monkey whiteboards, would come up with the same sequence as the one that surrounds us… eventually.  But how eventual is eventually?  How many monkeys would it take to rewrite the universe before it fizzles out?  Or could they rewrite a better one?

At what point do you stop seeing those letters as restrictions, and start seeing them as opportunities?

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