A box of egos recently found abandoned at a bus stop in New York has caused quite a stir within the scientific community. After the bomb squad declared it to be of no immediate threat, the inevitable squabbling began as to who should be able to possess and study it, for a disembodied ego is a great rarity, and a box full of them is a windfall beyond the dreams of any student of the human phenomenon. In the end, a consortium of interested scientists was established to provide access to the box for researchers from many disciplines.
These studies are, of course, in their infancy; but certain findings have already caused a stir. Perhaps chief among these was the realization that there was a very real, though probably slight, danger that these egos could achieve some explosive critical mass. For this reason the box has been secured in an underground bunker to protect the population at large.
This 'theory of the critical mass', as it is now being called, at first met with a great deal of skepticism since it is entirely counter-intuitive to the apparent nature of the individual egos. Egos, it seems, have a natural repulsion to one another. There are not two in this box of hundreds which do not repel each other. They apparently cannot exist unless they exclude every other. How then could they come together to create an explosive critical mass?
The answer seems to be that, though an ego always retains its insular, monadic character, it can actually further realize that character in identification with another ego. Through a process not yet fully understood, an individual ego can affirm its own special individuality by surrendering that individuality to another. Needless to say, this discovery has quantum physicists full of back-slapping giddiness.
Furthermore, it was discovered that the ego to which another ego has surrendered is consequentially confirmed more deeply in its own singularity. This apparent 'enlargement' of the ego has spawned considerable debate and further study into the question of whether some egos can be 'bigger' than others. Most scientists seem to agree that, though these apparently inflated egos may show exaggerated signs of insularity, they do not transcend the essential repulsive insularity of every ego. The ego, it would appear, is essentially the same in whatever mode it may choose to appear, whether 'large' or 'small'.
Returning to the possibility of these egos achieving an explosive critical mass, it seems possible that the mechanism whereby one ego identifies itself with another can be replicated en masse until there is in effect one massive ego which, being egoic, requires some resistance in the form of an 'other' to which to repel. In the absence of such a resistance, it is thought that the entire ego-mass might implode explosively.
Still more chilling is the prospect that, should two or more such boxes come into repulsive contact, the consequent explosion could devastate the planet. Needless to say, we will be watching closely for further developments.
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