Eventually everyone hated the theory of everything.
Obviously they loved it at first. All forces of the nature, including one hitherto unknown extremely weak one, finally unified in one grand theory. It was beautiful, fitting in just nine dimensions and describing an infinite set of exponentially rare elementary particles using just five basic constructs.
It was orthogonal. It was elegant. It was consistent. It had omega.
Omega was a large constant. Everyone thought it was something temporary. Surely such a cute theory couldn't come with an ugly 1642-bit constant. It was an artefact of the unorthodox strategy used to obtain the initial version of The Theory, surely! Once someone smart enough came along, poof, it would split into a few vibrations in higher order tensor spaces, or an extra axiom or two at most.
No such luck.
In fact, all research just managed to contribute to the amazing dullness of Omega. There was just nothing remarkable about it, other than the utter unremarkability of it. It wasn't even really random. It was a disgrace!
Analysis of The Theory, as the field of studying the theory modulo Omega was generally known, to distance it from the Omegists, did eventually produce a useful result. Everyone knew that the theory described all kinds of universes, and the constant was used in a way to drive the computation. It turned out, that one could compute which bits of Omega actually did have any effect on a particular solution of the theory, such as our universe.
This renewed the interest in reduction of Omega. Several thesis were written on strategies to construct Omega Primes, which would avoid the redundant bits. That is, until someone took a closer look at the bits that weren't needed.
One in eight bits was zero.
The remaining ones weren't especially random.
The first one to print out the ASCII characters did get a humorous last Nobel on physics, though.
"CONGRATULATIONS ON SOLVING THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING. WE RECOMMEND YOU PASS THIS THEORY TO THE NEXT UNIVERSE UNCHANGED, UNLESS YOU CRACKED THIS BEFORE MIDPOINT OF YOUR UNIVERSE. HAVE A NICE EXISTENCE!"#fiction #blag #public