There are thermodynamic limits to knowledge, for in a condition of radiation equilibrium nothing can be known, and thus the thermodynamic state of a system, the universe itself, for example, determines what can in principle be known. This potential is dynamic. What could be known yesterday is not what can be known today. But these variations are of little practical significance to us, since only a tiny fraction of the instantaneous potential for knowledge is actually realised; hardly any of the changes in the universe have consequences elsewhere that amount to the creation of an image, or a reflection. The universe knows almost nothing of itself. Furthermore, the very little that it knows of itself is lost in short order. There is only the smallest chance that a reflection of any state will come into being, and even if it does, that reflection will be quickly disappear. Truth will not out, and it is certainly not eternal.

What is true at the universal level is, naturally enough, also true on earth. Most states of the world and its component pieces pass without notice, and even when noticed are only briefly observed and reflected upon. Who is to say that this is not paradise? To be observed, to be recorded, isn't that what an organism fears most? The bird that ignores you in the garden will quickly become alert and evasive if you fix it with a binocular stare.