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Posted 08-27-2017 at 10:43 AM by Sredni Vashtar
Updated 08-28-2017 at 01:02 PM by Sredni Vashtar

On the Direct Calculation of an Annuity

How to measure life?
Add one year
to one year,
Like a string of pearls,
each successive bead
diminishing slightly,
So that the change
is hardly noticeable
except from a distance.
Let your child weigh each pearl.
That is the weight of your necklace.

On the Calculation of a Perpetuity using Method of Geometric Series

What if you lived forever?
Would life itself be infinite?
I'm afraid not, sir.

Imagine the same string of pearls
diminishing over the horizon.
How much does it weigh?
Zeno tells us not,
But the miser who measures
what he loses from year to year knows

He loses the year itself, but also:
All his years going forward are faded so.

These are equal.

With immortality,
There is no difference between aging and dying.
So a life forever lived is just the inverse
Of its own fading.

Thus we strive not to.

On the Calculation of an Annuity using Method of Geometric Series

What if
Instead of dying
On your destined day,
A Shadow Man is born
From your grave.

He is in every way like you,
But opposite in prosperity.
For whom your success
is failure, who
wins where you lose, and
smiles when you darken.

Would you be better knowing
Such a twin? If so, then knowing you
would make him worse.

Now suppose this shadow life,
like yours goes on forever.
(though yours does not go on, and there
is no such thing as shadows)

Then simply add your everlasting existence
to his everlasting existence,
your heaven or hell and his hell or heaven
add up to one life, one finite necklace,
made by laying two infinities side by side,
Pearl for Pearl.
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