experts agree: this is the most insufferable place in all reality. I came anyway, in search of the true meta: pure, unadulterated, straight from the source. passing under the giant torii gate, I entered into an agora of sorts. thousands of squawking voices, embodied and otherwise, flickering at the edge of my draw distance, all seeking what I sought, in the ancient way: socratically, through debate. once you go beyond one level of meta, it becomes mathematically impossible to be funny or cool. pointing to yourself is a neat trick; pointing to yourself pointing to yourself is insufferable nerd shit. everyone here accepts this. everyone here is an insufferable nerd, comically pedantic and emotionally stunted. they are all playing a variation of the same game: find the pattern. jump up a level. repeat. we play by high fantasy rules: to speak a thing's true name is to kill it. our discourse is wide, spanning all subjects; but all are mentioned in passing only. unconsciously, I have jumped up a few levels already. everyone below my level is an idiot, and everyone above my level is a maniac. before I am too far gone, let me attempt to describe things more concretely. next to me, they are discussing Goodstein's hyperoperations. you are familiar with addition, multiplication, and exponentiation, I assume. Goodstein recognized that these are merely the first three hyperoperations in an infinite sequence. so: what is the fourth hyperoperation? think for a minute, and you can work it out yourself. savor this moment, for this is your first glimpse of the true meta. don't you see? once you become aware of a pattern, you almost can't stop yourself from iterating. across from this group, another has figured out that they are characters in a short story. recall: breaking the fourth wall is a neat trick; breaking the fourth wall's fourth wall is insufferable nerd shit. so obviously, the nerds didn't stop after their first epiphany. epiphanies are addicting, and we all chase the dragon. if you can draw a line, tracing the discussion of hyperoperations — and another, tracing the discussion of metatheatre — and travel to the point at infinity where they converge — there, you will find the true meta. it felt good, didn't it, to puzzle out that 4th hyperoperation. just think of how big a number you could express with, say, the 7th hyperoperation. and why stop there? 7 is a puny number; maybe we could use hyperoperations to get a really big one... but before you continue, think on this for a minute: what is the 7th hyperoperation? you can point to it, but you can't compute it. until, that is, you compute the 6th hyperoperation, and the 5th before that. that's why people can spend an eternity here: the levels of meta are not random-access. if you ever think you are scaling many levels at once, pause and reflect on how you're doing that. immediately, it will become clear that you have made almost no progress at all; you are only spinning your wheels. I pass a group of musicians, their baroque compositions morphing into single notes, radio static, silence; and a group of taoists, smiling contentendly, having agreed that the true meta is unknowable. I have left my body far behind, and my mind as well. the air is rarified and the territory is made of maps. whether I gaze upward or downward, I only see more levels. but those below are finite, while those above extend forever. for all my progress, I am no more than an inch above the ground. surely, the true meta is yin — unconditioned being. and surely, we seekers are yang — being of this world. and now, an inch above the ground, mountains are surely mountains, and rivers are surely rivers. when I was a nerd, I did nerd shit; but now the time has come to put nerd shit away. I will let fall the meager meta I have gathered. I will depart from this land. I will seek metta instead.