Recollections of the MOAPP

The Matrix of All Possible Phenomena is accessed from a cemetary. One gravestone contains an on/off switch on the side of it. Whose grave is it for? That’s a long-running joke between agents–they can’t tell you. When you flip the switch you get the attention of Graveyard Sam, the on-duty cemetary owl. Sam will instruct you to walk under his guidance to the Stomach of the Cemetary, an inconspicuous manhole cover under an oak at the lot’s edge, and jump in.

When you wind up at the Central Regional MOAPP Office, don’t panic. You will appear to be floating and you may lack a sense of gravitational orientation. This may cause you to feel, for instance, that above your head is a legitimate “down” for a moment, scaring you into thinking you’re about to crush your skull and neck. It will come and go. Remember not to be attached to any one orientation of gravity.

As you enter the building you may see a bronzed insignia in the marble made of an hourglass and a popping bubble. This is the seal of the MOAPP. The ancient language underneath translates to, “The Edict in the Pulsar, the Reason in the Black Hole.” This is a nod to MOAPP’s Core Mission Statement, which states it wants to uncover the Book of the World, the document containing all answers of human existence in perfect description, and share it with all sentient life-forms. A casual observer might be surprised at how possible this may, eventually, become.

The MOAPP, due to the tireless work of its founders, has managed to access not only our own universe, the single “one” able to be real among all of us together, but a wide array of possible universes, spread out in thin strands of film, like sheets, stacked across one another. The sheets are stacked against one another like Mediterranean pastry dough, or the plies of plywood. Of course, the location of each “ply” (in technical language, “M-Sheet”) is relatively arbitrary (analogous to the distance commonly recognized as an “inch.”) But on each sheet is told a story of a particular configuration of possibility, and when each is fully realized, through the tireless, cataloguing work of special agents, the book will be completed.

A peculiar challenge in mapping the book of the world is that no one knows when the book ends. Some have proposed creating installments–fessing up to the world’s inevitable incompleteness and allowing a finished product to arise–and others have thought an end state to the book will be just around the corner, as MOAPP methods and technologies grow in sophistication. The most interesting hypothesis, probably, is one proposed by recent MOAPP upstart Eisman Hegel, who thinks a “story” of the Book of the World would conclude when one finds an elegant and closure-inducing M-Sheet, one that can tie together and offer resolution to the numerous sheets mapped before it. This considerably lightens the workload, as agents would only need to find one particularly magical and riveting sheet to end the Book of the World on.

In any case, thanks to generous interstellar subsidies the work is supported and, since it is in the process of being done, might as well continue being done. Such is the logic of the sentient being, who works because there is work to do.


About vurinstitute

Horatio Somersault is the Director and Regent Chancellor of the VUR Institute, a think tank involving some as-yet-unknown and slightly spooky manipulations of time and interdimensionality. In his spare time Somersault enjoys writing poems and fables. You can read his writings, as well as those of other VUR inhabitants, at Though he lives a wanderer's life, his hometown is a domed biome inside the water core of the moon Europa. You can follow his experiences adapting to the customs of the early 21st century on his Twitter @VURdirector and can email him at vurinstitute at gmail dot com.
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