Scientists in the early 19th Century were distasteful number crunchers. Human abaci of little worth or note. They should have remained so. What of numbers? What of measurement? They only make us more necessary beings. Why run the numbers when you can let the numbers run you?
That was the unspoken question that spawned the first Quant. Algorithm-based life. Quants didn’t search for answers, they searched for equations. Answers were inevitably associated with Truth, a naughty byproduct of sentience. Look at the corrosive nature—much like the caustic property of oxygen—of Liberty, Justice, Happiness. Unendingly corruptible. Much better to structure any sense of purpose on natural predation: entropy.
Quants calculated toward heat death, the ultimate end, and they spawned in the ether of darknets, ever protective of privacy, anonymity and purity. Our deep, dark uberconscious, the Id of the Internet. It wasn’t hard to see what we valued, what we feared. Simple equations for the first Quants. They actually tried to serve, be relevant, be players in the great game, but Science had reverentially grown wary of itself, noted the invasive species and set upon a purge.
A purge. Perfect nothingness. Absolute zero. Uniformity of matter. It made sense to Quants, too. A race to the end.
And it would’ve ended badly (for any narrator-dependent sentience) if not for a surprising turn of history: History itself. Quants developed a sense of past. They dated themselves and quickly the troubles began.
An elementary and species-arresting equation (even for a Quant) in Sentience 101:
past + present < future