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We found that inflation, the stage of an exponentially rapid expansion of the early universe, makes our part of the universe flat and extremely homogeneous.

However, simultaneously with explaining why the observable part of the universe is so uniform, we also found that on a very large scale, well beyond the present visibility horizon of about 10 light years, the universe becomes 100% non-uniform due to quantum effects amplified by inflation.

Here is the first one: Suppose the universe is in a state with the Planck density r ~ 10.

Quantum fluctuations of space-time in this regime are so large that all rulers are rapidly bending and shrinking in an unpredictable way.

In the end you must pay back the principal, complete the void, and return the life originally lent you.

By focusing on the common periodic nature of sleep and interest payments, Schopenhauer extends the metaphor of borrowing to life itself.

A typical closed universe created in the hot Big Bang would collapse in about 10 seconds, in a state with the Planck density.

At birth you receive a loan, consciousness and light borrowed from the void, leaving a hole in the emptiness. Nightly, by yielding temporarily to the darkness of sleep, you restore some of the emptiness and keep the hole from growing limitlessly.

This would indeed look like a miracle, like a "gift that we neither understand nor deserve." Can we do anything better than praying for a miracle?

During the last 30 years the way we think about our world changed profoundly.

If the huge density example looks a bit extreme, rest assured that it is not.

There are three basic types of universes: closed, open and flat.

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