Cosmogony is defined as a theory of the origin and
development of the universe. A cosmogonist then
(reading into Webster’s a little here) is one who has a
theory of the origin and development of the universe.
Okay, that makes me a cosmogonist because I’ve got
a theory and here it is: I think my computer is
generating new life forms inside its plastic case.
Yes inside. I bravely violated the sanctity of
the beige plastic case by unscrewing the teeny
weeny screws with my teeny weeny screwdriver.
And you know what? It’s just plain scary in
there. No, not in a high-tech George Jetson kind of way
because of all the cool circuit boards, chips, and
components. No, it’s because of all the other more
organic material in there that is colonizing my machine.
Like an intrepid little boy scout troop on a mission
to climb a mountain, thousands of gray balls of fur
and dust are busy crawling up the sides of the
microchips and sliding down the ribbon cables.
Perhaps you think that the inside of
your computer is different. If you share your living quarters
with furry mammalian forms such as dogs and cats,
you may have noticed that you have hair in your
house. Know that all that fur is not just on the floor. It’s
also in your computer. That hair has a mind of its
own, and its mission is to find a way into your computer
so it can metamorphasize into those
microchip-climbing fuzzballs (or MCFs, for a shorter and more
Not all MCFs are successful in their climb, however. Some find new homes in the CD-ROM
and floppy disk drives (on my computer these
peripherals only work intermittently now).The MCFs that
don’t make it to the safe haven of a microchip or drive
end up as greasy grayish hairy goo that bonds to
the molded plastic parts of the case. These areas are
the MCF graveyard. After you take the cover off the
computer, you can use one of those cans of
compressed air to blow away the floating MCFs, but cleaning
out the graveyard requires some serious scraping
(known as MCF archaeology).
Flying MCFs are not easily thwarted. I have
done a number of things in an attempt to stem the
march of fur into the computer case. I cut up a yogurt
cup and placed the pieces strategically amidst the
molded plastic of the case to block floating MCFs from
my floppy disk drive. But I found that dirt and hair
go around plastic. And MCFs continue to proliferate.
I also have tried banishing all furry animals
from the vicinity of the computer. But I found that
hair and dirt go through doorways, under doors,
and around window casings. More MCFs and lots of
sad canine faces staring at me from my office
doorway. So I let the hound contingent back in where they
can sleep, sniff, and snorffle in comfort. I even took
an old nylon stocking and covered the computer’s
air ventilation openings. Now my computer looks like
it can rob a bank, but it still continues to have
fuzzballs within and a persnickity CD-ROM drive.
The only thing I can figure is that this MCF
dirt/hair formulation is actually a new life form. And
like all life forms, it yearns to grow and multiply.
The nice warm innards of my computer case are a
perfect environment for it to complete its life cycle.
Discussions about the origins of the universe are
never simple. But maybe all it really involves is a bunch
of dirt and hair.