The Doctrine of Cold

by @tyleretters

St. Antony

This post has an audio mirror in “From the Forest to the Stars”.

The doctrine of cold speaks not for she has no lessons to teach and no philosophy to express. She is ancient, primal, the eldest of the doctrines. Her wisdom: defined by negation. Her caress: defined by abscence. Chain reactions from Brownian motion all the way up to supernovae naturally oppose her on the great wheel. She goes by many names: most recently eschatological aphorisms like Heat Death or The Big Sleep. All strife can be thought of as aspects of her antithesis. For what is strife but exchange of energy? And what is cold but the absence of strife?

Smaller! Faster! Denser! We cried all throughout the Information Age. Excited authors pumping excited communiques down excited fiber optics read by excited users. While we de-fragged our gigabytes she sighed and a thousand hard drives stopped spinning for the last time. A mercy. A gift.

Higher! Further! Longer! We cried all throughout the space age. Racing to event horizons we did not understand nor deserve. While we dreamed in zero gravity she cocooned us in ice and vacuum. A warning. A concession.

Bigger! Stronger! Better! We cried all throughout the industrial revolution. Exciting ourselves, our land, our neighbors. While we stoked the bellows she simply smiled and burrowed in a little deeper. Soon cousin rust would do his work.

Down and out through time, she has known the score. Even though the twin helix of anarchy and entropy may now wax, it is she who gets the final soliloquy at curtain call. For the ultimate fate of all things in motion is to one day return to rest.

Even the arrow of time is said to come to a halt when the head catches the fletching. And on that day the doctrine of cold will become absolute and all encompassing. Her matrix of harmonic simplicity will extend in every direction and for every distance. It is deterministic. Her perfection is promised. Inescapable, ineffable, infinite.