I’m writing this from a Starbucks in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I’ve never written anything in a coffee shop before, but it seems to be a thing that real writers do, so here I am.
This vacation has been awesome, but I gotta point out one thing about traveling in today’s world. More and more, every place I go looks almost the same. This Starbucks has a pretty sweet fireplace and no breakfast sandwiches, but other than that, I might as well be in London. I drive down any major street in any decent-sized city, and it’s Wal Mart, McDonalds, Starbucks, Pet Smart, CIBC, Starbucks, some generic family restaurant chain, Starbucks, another family restaurant chain, etc., repeat. Any major street corner plaza could be constructed, and probably be successful, by putting the names of big franchised businesses into a hat and pulling a dozen out.
One of the most fundamental laws of the universe is that entropy constantly increases. Things get more spread out, random, arbitrary. Less meaningful. Us humans like to think of ourselves and our society as an exception to this law, getting around it due to the open vs. closed system loophole in nature, as we get more organized, and our lives becoming more meaningful. But maybe that’s not entirely true.
Maybe the future of human civilization is every restaurant collapsing together into a Kelsey’s-flavoured mass; every coffee shop mixing into a super-grande cup of Starbucks. Then, like milk poured in coffee will eventually spread out randomly until it’s just a beige sludge, each type of business, represented by a single brand, will randomly disperse throughout the world. The “character” of a city will be determined purely by chance fluctuations in its mix of businesses.
The fact that you can already get a hot cup of Starbucks coffee on every corner of every city is an early warning sign that the heat death of human civilization is near.