"Imagine exploring the workings of a computer," said Macrig. "I think Adrig has put it like that before. At one level all you see are charged particles moving around governed by the forces of attraction and repulsion among positive and negative electric charge. And so you think you understand a computer, for it is just a seemingly pointless machine in which charges move, all governed by simple physical law. But you have missed something. The purpose of it all… the software coded into the initial state that makes the moving charges fulfil a higher purpose that you have not glimpsed. The pattern that was set in the structure to govern how it developed. You have not really understood a computer at all... Now consider life, and see the atoms and molecules and ions all bumping and bouncing around, all governed by physical law, and all destined, or doomed, to make the life evolve into versions that are increasingly more adept at making more of themselves - at reproducing. But are you missing the purpose of it all? You see what I mean? ... Edrig... Do you see what I mean?"
"You have not been listening at all, have you?"
"I try not to," said Edrig, "because it is all.... what's the term they use? Oh yeah, because it's all pish."
"You may be missing something," muttered Macrig.
"What I am missing," said Edrig, "is half of my beer. The half that was in the top of the glass but is now no longer there."
"Ah yes," remarked Macrig a little wearily. "The half that is no longer there is the happiness that you have had, while the half that is still in the glass is the happiness that has yet to come, but, you are not happy with having had some happiness and still having more to come so..."
"A top up?" the nearby and somewhat slumped Adrig suggested, rousing from his dreamy doze as the word "beer" entered his awareness.
"Yes, a top up!" affirmed Edrig enthusiastically, while Macrig shook his head, giving, not for the first time, an impression of mild contempt.