Much as the background temperature of the universe grows ever closer to absolute zero (we're sitting around 10 Kelvin at the moment according to my astronomy class, but 2.7 K according to yossarian, just a few billion years to go either way!), this is the theory that given enough time, every node on Everything will reach a steady state of -2 reputation. I'm not quite sure why this would happen, but the theory is elegant and must therefore be utterly true without proof.

I can't take credit for this one, 'twas Pseudo_Intellectual's idea in da Chatterbox after some prodding by myself.
If v is the average number of votes per user allocated per day, u is the average number of users on E2 per day, w is the average number of writeups added per day, du is the average likelihood that a node will be upvoted by a user, dv is the average likelihood that a node will be downvoted by a user then the vote death of everything will occur in:
    ( v . u . w - 2 ) / ( du . dv ) days

If vote death is equivalent to all writeups possessing a reputation less than or equal to -2. I suggest the construction of vast generation ship to carry us to other, hypothetical, interactive, associative databases so that our great civilisation can be preserved.

This writeup was brought to you by the completely made up numerical analysis department of the Everything University.

This would be true, of course, only if Everything obeyed the Law of Conservation of Users (Users cannot be created or destroyed, but merely change form.). This is, however, impossible since Everything is not a closed system, new users sign up every day. In addition, we sometimes lose users or they get themselves axed. (a la Pinchemadre) Downvote Entropy can only occur if we stop accepting new users, which is unlikely anytime in the near future.

So, for example, the sun will burn out in a couple ten-odd eons or so. It will run out of fusable material and die. But Everything is like a sun with a big straw stuck in the middle, constantly pumping in deuterium. Verily, we will never burn out.

But if you take it at a larger scale, it is true that users are neither created nor destroyed - they simply convert to and from non-users. So there is a slower decay, which works because you cannot gain users simply by switching them around with other people.

You could argue that population increase would balance it, but the population cannot keep expanding forever. You could say that we could expand civilisation into space, but then you hit the problem of information - E2 would cease to function with the internet stretched across our solar system. The way I see it, there are three possible futures:

  • Big Crunch. Gravity starts to pull nodes together into broader and broader metanodes. The end is swift as the metanodes merge. In the last few seconds, the last few nodes are swallowed into one massive metanode.
  • Big Rip. More and more nodes cause E2 to expand exponentially. Stuff will stop operating, slowly the fabric of Everything will be ripped apart.
  • Heat Death. The reputation of nodes slowly settles out to -2. Everything slowly drifts on, getting dimmer and dimmer, then slowly whimpering out.

What joys await us?

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