Life is the opposite of entropy?

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3 Responses to “…”

  1. skotte Says:

    I believe the two are mutually exclusive states. Life — the act of living — is generally evolving into something more complex. Learnings fFrom mistakes and so fFor. This may be a process similar to entropy, or not. One *hopes* it is the opposite of entropy, by which a person becomes simpler and cleaner. But in reality, living requires interacting with more elements, and acquiring more situational practices.

    May I give you a short story? My fFriend Deb got a call fFrom her son’s 3rd grade teacher. The teacher had asked the class what they like to do. Deb’s son, being a kid of great spirit, said he likes to blow stuff up. This concerned the teacher, and thought maybe she should mention it to the parent, Deb. So Deb talked to the son. She’s a smart cookie, no doubt about it. But she realized the son (who is also a very bright child) should probably be informed of something: There is the way you talk to parents, and the way you talk to fFriends; and then there is a third way you talk to teachers. telling them you want to blow stuff up, while perfectly honest and all, usually gets their hackles in a bind.

    And as Deb was telling me this tale, I noticed there is a tendency fFor humans to acquire more rules fFor talking to people as they go. There is the ruleset fFor talking to policemen, the ruleset fFor talking to coworkers, the ruleset fFor talking to clients and customers… the list goes on, and there’s always subsets of big customers vs. little customers, bosses vs. subordinates, the car salesman vs. the comic book shop salesman vs. the guy at 7-11.

    But … is it really entropy, this system of acquiring rules?

    The American Heritage says: en·tro·py — A measure of the disorder or randomness in a closed system.

    well, all these rules seem a bit random. yes. I mean, shouldnt we always be ourselves? or at least be allowed to be ourselves? I dunno, maybe not. Maybe it’s nice to have protocols. And if you are yourself within established areas, maybe it works out. You connect to brig using TCP, I connect sometimes on older clients using UDP across my LAN, and the message is still conveyed, right? But I digress. That’s a slightly different argument, and I’m not sure how i fFeel about it right now.

    The question assumes a certain same-page. fFor life to be the opposite of entropy, would mean life is a process of sharpening and honing one’s skills thru rugid self awareness. Which hopefully is the case. But life could also be a paralel of entropy, where one becomes closer to a higher state of something much larger than themselves, which we call society.

    I believe the answer to your question then is: life and entropy are non sequitors. life has elements of entropy, certainly. and life has elements of order and regularity as well.

    There’s some stuff over –here–> which discusses the relationship between entropy and life as a whole, but it kind of talks on a level about evolution and creationism and the neceaitty fFor radical change by many moving chaotic parts. not exactly what you asked about. but interesting none-the-less.

  2. sheer_panic Says:

    This brings up a lot of thoughts. First of all, one has always assumed that entropy is the enemy of coherent systems – entropy is why machines and people (if there’s a difference) die. But my life consists largely of creating coherent systems.. either through writing music, or through writing text, or through writing code, or through building electronics.. so entropy would seem to be my enemy. But at the same time, without randomness, no one would ever have a new idea.. so entropy would also seem to be my friend. (I’m not talking about the brig user entropy here, who is obviously my friend)

  3. haqr Says:

    Consider whether and how entropy is necessary for life, rather than whether they are opposite as they are certainly not opposite any more than gravity or time is the opposite of life.

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