Why are we so obsessed with the multiverse?

Why are we so drawn to the idea of multiple realities? More than a trend, it seems to come from a deep emptiness within us—a longing for a place where our world's limits don't exist, where anything is possible. The idea has caught hold from the alternate timelines and worlds of Scott Pilgrim Takes Off to the phenomenon that was Everything, Everywhere, All at Once, to Marvel's critically acclaimed Loki series. And it's not letting go.

Our fascination with alternate realities says a lot about where we are now. We're living in a time where it often feels like our destiny is out of our hands, shaped by technology and society’s expectations. Our paths seem set out for us, our futures decided by algorithms and social norms. That's why the idea of a multiverse is so appealing. It's not just a sci-fi idea but a symbol of hope, freedom, and unpredictability. It's a quiet admission that maybe we're not heading toward a future we want, a way for us to process feeling small in the face of huge global problems.

In our universe, in this universe, we're facing a climate crisis. The health of our planet hangs in the balance, threatened by rising temperatures, extreme weather events, and human failures. There is a growing fear that our home will become utterly unliveable in our lifetime. And more immediately, there's a housing crisis, with affordable homes becoming increasingly scarce, leaving too many of us struggling to find stable, secure places to live. An economic crisis looms, marked by job insecurity, widening inequality, and financial instability that affects millions. And now, we're grappling with an AI crisis, where the rapid advancement of technology raises questions about privacy, ethics, and the very nature of work and human interaction.

In the shadow of these colossal issues, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and powerless. Many of us are terrified that it might be too late to turn things around. Our actions—like recycling, voting, or advocating for change— seem insignificant in the grand scheme. This feeling is compounded by the fact that even the content we consume is no longer in our control. It's determined by algorithms that decide what we see online, shaping our perceptions and choices without us even realising it, making our path feel absolute and inevitable.

This sense of powerlessness is pervasive. We're questioning whether our voices and actions have any weight at all. We're caught in a cycle where the more we learn, the more helpless we feel.

Multiverse stories are a space where we can rethink who we are and what our future could be, free from the constraints and disappointments of our reality. It’s escapism taken to the extreme. In these other realities, the mistakes we've made haven't happened, the environmental disasters haven't occurred, and the political chaos has gone…differently. Each universe offers a new start, a chance to see 'what if' in countless ways.

The multiverse reflects our deepest fears, unmet desires, and never-ending hope. It symbolises our wish for a world where surprises are still possible, where the future isn't a repeat of the past; it’s a story waiting to be written. As we deal with lives that feel predetermined, the multiverse is a comforting alternative, with endless paths, showing us that even in the most scripted of worlds, the chance for change is always there—somewhere, in some parallel universe, just waiting to be found.

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