Entropy Life Quotes

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There are two ways to look at life. The first view is that nothing stays the same and that nothing is inherently connected, and that the only driving force in anyone's life is entropy. The second is that everything pretty much stays the same (more or less) and that everything is completely connected, even if we don't realize it.
Chuck Klosterman (Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto)
Just as the constant increase of entropy is the basic law of the universe, so it is the basic law of life to be ever more highly structured and to struggle against entropy.
Václav Havel
Life is a useless passion, an exciting journey of a mammal in survival mode. Each day is a miracle, a blessing unexplored and the more you immerse yourself in light, the less you will feel the darkness. There is more to life than nothingness. And cynicism. And nihilism. And selfishness. And glorious isolation. Be selfish with yourself, but live your life through your immortal acts, acts that engrain your legacy onto humanity. Transcend your fears and follow yourself into the void instead of letting yourself get eaten up by entropy and decay. Freedom is being yourself without permission. Be soft and leave a lasting impression on everybody you meet
Mohadesa Najumi
I'm just so tired of life being something that happens to me. That's not how it's supposed to work. I'm supposed to make my own life.
Joshua Edward Smith (Duality (Entropy, #2))
Those swirls in the cream mixing into the coffee? That’s us. Ephemeral patterns of complexity, riding a wave of increasing entropy from simple beginnings to a simple end. We should enjoy the ride.
Sean Carroll (The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself)
We exist with or without God. We are the inevitable result of entropy. Life is not the point of the universe. Life is simply what the universe creates and reproduces in order to dissipate energy.
Dan Brown (Origin (Robert Langdon, #5))
You believe in entropy, which postulates that all phenomena tend to sink to lower levels of organization and energy, and in evolution, which postulates that the history of life has been just the opposite. People like you credit both theories. It’s de rigueur. Is that reason rational? I say, f*ck off.
Mark Helprin (A Soldier of the Great War)
The universe seeks equilibriums; it prefers to disperse energy, disrupt organization, and maximize chaos. Life is designed to combat these forces. We slow down reactions, concentrate matter, and organize chemicals into compartments; we sort laundry on Wednesdays. "It sometimes seems as if curbing entropy is our quixotic purpose in the universe," James Gleick wrote. We live in the loopholes of natural laws, seeking extensions, exceptions and excuses. The laws of nature still mark the outer boundaries of permissibility - but life, in all its idiosyncratic, mad weirdness, flourishes by reading between the lines.
Siddhartha Mukherjee (The Gene: An Intimate History)
Some say Karma is a bitch. It all comes back to you, eventually. If this world can be boiled down to two truths. It would be the second law of thermodynamics (entropy) and the law of action and reaction (Karma). Well, if Karma really makes up the fabric of this Universe, if it is really a bitch, then prove it in this life itself! Why wait for reincarnation? Do you think I would be me once I die and transition to another body? No! What makes me, me, are my memories.
Abhaidev (The World's Most Frustrated Man)
THOMASINA: ....the enemy who burned the great library of Alexandria without so much as a fine for all that is overdue. Oh, Septimus! -- can you bear it? All the lost plays of the Athenians! Two hundred at least by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides -- thousands of poems -- Aristotle's own library!....How can we sleep for grief? SEPTIMUS: By counting our stock. Seven plays from Aeschylus, seven from Sophocles, nineteen from Euripides, my lady! You should no more grieve for the rest than for a buckle lost from your first shoe, or for your lesson book which will be lost when you are old. We shed as we pick up, like travellers who must carry everything in their arms, and what we let fall will be picked up by those behind. The procession is very long and life is very short. We die on the march. But there is nothing outside the march so nothing can be lost to it. The missing plays of Sophocles will turn up piece by piece, or be written again in another language. Ancient cures for diseases will reveal themselves once more. Mathematical discoveries glimpsed and lost to view will have their time again. You do not suppose, my lady, that if all of Archimedes had been hiding in the great library of Alexandria, we would be at a loss for a corkscrew?
Tom Stoppard (Arcadia)
The history of life is written in terms of negative entropy.
James Gleick (The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood)
For Werner, doubts turn up regularly. Racial purity, political purity—Bastian speaks to a horror of any sort of corruption, and yet, Werner wonders in the dead of night, isn’t life a kind of corruption? A child is born, and the world sets in upon it. Taking things from it, stuffing things into it. Each bite of food, each particle of light entering the eye—the body can never be pure. But this is what the commandant insists upon, why the Reich measures their noses, clocks their hair color. The entropy of a closed system never decreases.
Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See)
entropy taken with a negative sign’, which by the way is not my invention. It happens to be precisely the thing on which Boltzmann’s original argument turned.
Erwin Schrödinger (What is Life? (Canto Classics))
Life is complex, and entropy is real.
Kim Stanley Robinson (Aurora)
Even now, an immigrant is an extreme person. No matter how bad circumstances are in your native country, regardless of the death threat, complacency and entropy means most people will stay put amid famine and genocide. Anyone who crosses deserts and mountains and oceans and borders because life means more to him than stillness is brave. Never disrespect an immigrant. The brilliance of America is the constant regeneration of this daring population. And it is how this country started. And keeps renewing.
Elizabeth Wurtzel (Creatocracy: How the Constitution Invented Hollywood)
As it often did when I thought about chicken wings and entropy, my mind turned to Emerson. "Life is a journey, not a destination." Now that was one stone-cold motherfucker who was not afraid to deliver the truth: After the torments of the journey, you have been well-prepared for the agonies of the destination.
Colson Whitehead (The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky, and Death)
The Second Law of Thermodynamics defines the ultimate purpose of life, mind, and human striving: to deploy energy and information to fight back the tide of entropy and carve out refuges of beneficial order. An underappreciation of the inherent tendency toward disorder, and a failure to appreciate the precious niches of order we carve out, are a major source of human folly.
Steven Pinker
Would I be happy if I discovered that I could go to heaven forever? And the answer is no. Consider this argument. Think about what is forever. And think about the fact that the human mind, the entire human being, is built to last a certain period of time. Our programmed hormonal systems, the way we learn, the way we settle upon beliefs, and the way we love are all temporary. Because we go through a life's cycle. Now, if we were to be plucked out at the age of 12 or 56 or whenever, and taken up and told, "Now you will continue your existence as you are. We're not going to blot out your memories. We're not going to diminish your desires." You will exist in a state of bliss - whatever that is - forever. [...] Now think, a trillion times a trillion years. Enough time for universes like this one to be born, explode, form countless star systems and planets, then fade away to entropy. You will sit there watching this happen millions and millions of times and that will be just the beginning of the eternity that you've been consigned to bliss in this existence.
Edward O. Wilson
What then is that precious something contained in our food which keeps us from death? That is easily answered. Every process, event, happening – call it what you will; in a word, everything that is going on in Nature means an increase of the entropy of the part of the world where it is going on. Thus a living organism continually increases its entropy – or, as you may say, produces positive entropy – and thus tends to approach the dangerous state of maximum entropy, which is death. It can only keep aloof from it, i.e. alive, by continually drawing from its environment negative entropy – which is something very positive as we shall immediately see. What an organism feeds upon is negative entropy. Or, to put it less paradoxically, the essential thing in metabolism is that the organism succeeds in freeing itself from all the entropy it cannot help producing while alive.
Erwin Schrödinger (What is Life? (Canto Classics))
Humans are organisms, subject to physical laws, including, alas, the one that says entropy always increases.
Paul Kalanithi (When Breath Becomes Air)
History shows that people are as changeable as rivers.
Andrés Neuman (Traveler of the Century)
All that complex machinery that protects us from freezing and starving and dying from lack of water tends unceasingly towards malfunction through entropy, and it is only the constant attention of careful people that keeps it working so unbelievably well. Some people degenerate into the hell of resentment and the hatred of Being, but most refuse to do so, despite their suffering and disappointments and losses and inadequacies and ugliness, and again that is a miracle for those with the eyes to see it.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
Humans are organisms, subject to physical laws, including alas, the one that says entropy always increases. Diseases are molecules misbehaving; the basic requirement of life is metabolism, and death its cessation.
Paul Kalanithi (When Breath Becomes Air)
It makes sense that your response to a bad break-up line would be to set someone on fire," I responded. "Fire is magical to us because it embodies the passage of time. We can never grasp time because it is invisible, unreachable and continually slipping from our grasp. Do we live in the present? How can we? The present is infinitesimally small. It can't contain human action. We teeter on the brink between our assumed future...where we will be in moments to come...and our memory of the past...where we think we just were. The present doesn't exist in a comprehensible way. Similarly, fire is something we can neither grasp nor touch, yet it has a clear effect...the decay and collapse of life, the acceleration of entropy. Thus when we stand mesmerized by fire, we are actually mesmerized by our own mortality.
David David Katzman
What do we measure when we measure time? The gloomy answer from Hawking, one of our most implacably cheerful scientists, is that we measure entropy. We measure changes and those changes are all for the worse. We measure increasing disorder. Life is hard, says science, and constancy is the greatest of miracles.
David Quammen (Wild Thoughts from Wild Places)
The passage of time and the action of entropy bring about ever-greater complexity – a branching, blossoming tree of possibilities. Blossoming disorder (things getting worse), now unfolding within the constraints of the physics of our universe, creates novel opportunities for spontaneous ordered complexity to arise.
D.J. MacLennan (Frozen to Life: A Personal Mortality Experiment)
A permanent state is reached, in which no observable events occur. The physicist calls this the state of thermodynamical equilibrium, or of ‘maximum entropy’. Practically, a state of this kind is usually reached very rapidly. Theoretically, it is very often not yet an absolute equilibrium, not yet the true maximum of entropy. But then the final approach to equilibrium is very slow. It could take anything between hours, years, centuries,
Erwin Schrödinger (What is Life? (Canto Classics))
Hence the awkward expression ‘negative entropy’ can be replaced by a better one: entropy, taken with the negative sign, is itself a measure of order. Thus the device by which an organism maintains itself stationary at a fairly high level of orderliness ( = fairly low level of entropy) really consists in continually sucking orderliness from its environment.
Erwin Schrödinger (What is Life? (Canto Classics))
Von Neumann told Shannon to call his measure entropy, since "no one knows what entropy is, so in a debate you will always have the advantage.
Jeremy Campbell (Grammatical Man: Information, Entropy, Language and Life)
Though I felt dissatisfied, at least I felt like somebody, a person, rather than a thing exemplifying the second law of thermodynamics (all order tends toward entropy, decay, etc.).
Paul Kalanithi
An isolated system or a system in a uniform environment (which for the present consideration we do best to include as a part of the system we contemplate) increases its entropy and more or less rapidly approaches the inert state of maximum entropy. We now recognize this fundamental law of physics to be just the natural tendency of things to approach the chaotic state (the same tendency that the books of a library or the piles of papers and manuscripts on a writing desk display) unless we obviate it. (The analogue of irregular heat motion, in this case, is our handling those objects now and again without troubling to put them back in their proper places.)
Erwin Schrödinger (What is Life? (Canto Classics))
If the functions of the body are left to atrophy, the quality of life becomes merely adequate, and for some even dismal. But if one takes control of what the body can do, and learns to impose order on physical sensations, entropy yields to a sense of enjoyable harmony in consciousness.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience)
The universe is not a miracle. It simply is, unguided and unsustained, manifesting the patterns of nature with scrupulous regularity. Over billions of years it has evolved naturally, from a state of low entropy toward increasing complexity, and it will eventually wind down to a featureless equilibrium. We are the miracle, we human beings. Not a break-the-laws-of-physics kind of miracle; a miracle in that it is wondrous and amazing how such complex, aware, creative, caring creatures could have arisen in perfect accordance with those laws. Our lives are finite, unpredictable, and immeasurably precious. Our emergence has brought meaning and mattering into the world.
Sean Carroll (The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself)
Entropy was a troubling and beautiful concept that lay at the heart of much human toil and sorrow. Everything, especially life, fell apart. Order was a boulder to be rolled uphill. The kitchen would not tidy itself.
Ian McEwan (Lessons)
As a student of business administration, I know that there is a law of evolution for organizations as stringent and inevitable as anything in life. The longer one exists, the more it grinds out restrictions that slow its own functions. It reaches entropy in a state of total narcissism. Only the people sufficiently far out in the field get anything done, and every time they do they are breaking half a dozen rules in the process.
Roger Zelazny (Doorways in the Sand)
Boltzmann’s equation is well illustrated by that example. The gradual ‘spreading out’ of the sugar over all the water available increases the disorder D), and hence (since the logarithm of D increases with D) the entropy.
Erwin Schrödinger (What is Life? (Canto Classics))
The way to grow while enjoying life is to create a higher form of order out of the entropy that is an inevitable condition of living. This means taking each new challenge not as something to be repressed or avoided, but as an opportunity for learning and for improving skills.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Flow: The Classic Work On How To Achieve Happiness: The Psychology of Happiness)
Life may be chemistry, but it's a special circumstance of chemistry. Organisms exist not because of reactions that are possible, but because of reactions that are barely possible. Too much reactivity and we would spontaneously combust. Too little, and we would turn cold and die. Proteins enable these barely possible reactions, allowing us to live on the edges of chemical entropy-skating perilously, but never falling in.
Siddhartha Mukherjee (The Gene: An Intimate History)
(At first, it seems as if the existence of complex life forms on Earth violates the second law. It seems remarkable that out of the chaos of the early Earth emerged an incredible diversity of intricate life forms, even harboring intelligence and consciousness, lowering the amount of entropy. Some have taken this miracle to imply the hand of a benevolent creator. But remember that life is driven by the natural laws of evolution, and that total entropy still increases, because additional energy fueling life is constantly being added by the Sun. If we include the Sun and Earth, then the total entropy still increases.)
Michio Kaku (Parallel Worlds: A Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos)
Energy was the ruling theme of Victorian science, as machines increasingly harnessed the forces of nature to do man's work. The concept is also present in the art and literature of the age, notably in the poems of William Blake. The Romantic movement was much interested in energy and its various transformations.
Jeremy Campbell (Grammatical Man: Information, Entropy, Language and Life)
The macromolecules of organic life embody information in an intricate structure. A single hemoglobin molecule comprises four chains of polypeptides, two with 141 amino acids and two with 146, in strict linear sequence, bonded and folded together. Atoms of hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, and iron could mingle randomly for the lifetime of the universe and be no more likely to form hemoglobin than the proverbial chimpanzees to type the works of Shakespeare. Their genesis requires energy; they are built up from simpler, less patterned parts, and the law of entropy applies. For earthly life, the energy comes as photons from the sun. The information comes via evolution.
James Gleick (The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood)
One thing seems certain. Our galaxy is now in the brief springtime of its life—a springtime made glorious by such brilliant blue-white stars as Vega and Sirius, and, on a more humble scale, our own Sun. Not until all these have flamed through their incandescent youth, in a few fleeting billions of years, will the real history of the universe begin. It will be a history illuminated only by the reds and infrareds of dully glowing stars that would be almost invisible to our eyes; yet the sombre hues of that all-but-eternal universe may be full of colour and beauty to whatever strange beings have adapted to it. They will know that before them lie, not the millions of years in which we measure eras of geology, nor the billions of years which span the past lives of the stars, but years to be counted literally in the trillions. They will have time enough, in those endless aeons, to attempt all things, and to gather all knowledge. They will be like gods, because no gods imagined by our minds have ever possessed the powers they will command. But for all that, they may envy us, basking in the bright afterglow of creation; for we knew the universe when it was young.
Arthur C. Clarke
...all normal expectations went by the board and one’s daily habits were disrupted by a sense of ever-spreading all-consuming chaos which rendered the future unpredictable, the past unrecallable and ordinary life so haphazard that people simply assumed that whatever could be imagined might come to pass, that if there were only one door in a building it would no longer open, that wheat would grow head downwards into the earth not out of it, and that, since once could only note the symptoms of disintegration, the reasons for it remaining unfathomable and inconceivable, there was nothing anyone could do except to get a tenacious grip on anything that was still tangible…
László Krasznahorkai (The Melancholy of Resistance)
Because to exist meant making copies and copies of your own DNA with less and less accuracy with time, to lose the spring in your skin, to inhale a poisonous gas that both allowed your next breath and exploded you from the inside at an insidiously slow pace. To exist was to give way to entropy. To live, in no uncertain terms, was to die.
Leo X. Robertson (Jesus of Scumburg)
According to Lamarck, there was a force—the ‘power of life’—that pushed organisms to become increasingly complex.
Elizabeth Kolbert (The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History)
The nature of life prior to enlightenment was necessarily and irreparably a morass of injustice—the rule was as solidly inflexible as Tlschp's Law of the Balance of Entropy.
John Ringo (Sister Time (Legacy of the Aldenata Book 9))
a hallmark of a living system is that it maintains or reduces its entropy by increasing the entropy around it. In other words, the second law of thermodynamics has a life loophole: although the total entropy must increase, it’s allowed to decrease in some places as long as it increases even more elsewhere. So life maintains or increases its complexity by making its environment messier.
Max Tegmark (Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence)
How would we express in terms of the statistical theory the marvellous faculty of a living organism, by which it delays the decay into thermodynamical equilibrium (death)? We said before: ‘It feeds upon negative entropy’, attracting, as it were, a stream of negative entropy upon itself, to compensate the entropy increase it produces by living and thus to maintain itself on a stationary and fairly low entropy level.
Erwin Schrödinger (What is Life? (Canto Classics))
Faith is always required. There are some things that cannot be proven. We believe that life is worth living. That is an article of faith. The purpose of life is to live, to resist death, perhaps to defy entropy.
George R.R. Martin (Dreamsongs. Volume I (Dreamsongs, #1))
What an organism feeds upon is negative entropy. Or, to put it less paradoxically, the essential thing in metabolism is that the organism succeeds in freeing itself from all the entropy it cannot help producing while alive.
Erwin Schrödinger (What is Life? (Canto Classics))
Pleasure is an important component of the quality of life, but by itself it does not bring happiness. Sleep, rest, food, and sex provide restorative homeostatic experiences that return consciousness to order after the needs of the body intrude and cause psychic entropy to occur. But they do not produce psychological growth. They do not add complexity to the self. Pleasure helps to maintain order, but by itself cannot create new order in consciousness.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Flow: The Classic Work On How To Achieve Happiness: The Psychology of Happiness)
Entropy is the degree of randomness or disorder in a system, Doctor.” His eyes fix on Werner’s for a heartbeat, a glance both warm and chilling. “Disorder. You hear the commandant say it. You hear your bunk masters say it. There must be order. Life is chaos, gentlemen. And what we represent is an ordering to that chaos. Even down to the genes. We are ordering the evolution of the species. Winnowing out the inferior, the unruly, the chaff. This is the great project of the Reich, the greatest project human beings have ever embarked upon.” Hauptmann writes on the blackboard. The cadets inscribe the words into their composition books. The entropy of a closed system never decreases. Every process must by law decay.
Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See)
Story—sacred and profane—is perhaps the main cohering force in human life. A society is composed of fractious people with different personalities, goals, and agendas. What connects us beyond our kinship ties? Story. As John Gardner puts it, fiction “is essentially serious and beneficial, a game played against chaos and death, against entropy.” Story is the counterforce to social disorder, the tendency of things to fall apart. Story is the center without which the rest cannot hold.
Jonathan Gottschall (The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human)
Life uses information (stored in DNA) to capture energy (which it stores in a chemical called ATP) to create order. Humans burn prodigious amounts of energy — we generate about 10,000 times as much energy per gram as the sun. The sun is hotter only because it is much bigger. We use energy to create and maintain intricate cellular and bodily complexity, the opposite of entropy, just as we do in the economy, where the harnessing of power from burning fuel enables us to build skyscrapers and aeroplanes.
Matt Ridley
Each act of imagination, each moment of creative life stands up to the entire material universe and affirms the reality of meaning against the corroding solvents of entropy, dark matter, or whatever else may be dragging the physical world into oblivion.
Gary Lachman (The Caretakers of the Cosmos: Living Responsibly in an Unfinished World)
The Liars believe in no afterlife, no God. We see the universe as it is, Father Damien, and these naked truths are cruel ones. We who believe in life, and treasure it, will die. Afterward there will be nothing, eternal emptiness, blackness, nonexistence. In our living there has been no purpose, no poetry, no meaning. Nor do our deaths possess these qualities. When we are gone, the universe will not long remember us, and shortly it will be as if we had never lived at all. Our worlds and our universe will not long outlive us. Ultimately entropy will consume all, and our puny efforts cannot stay that awful end. It will be gone. It has never been. It has never mattered. The universe itself is doomed, transient, uncaring. [...] The truths, the great truths - and most of the lesser ones as well - they are unbearable for most men. We find our shield in faith. Your faith, my faith, any faith. It doesn't matter, as long as we believe, really and truly believe, in whatever lie we cling to. [...] We know truth for the cruel instrument it is. Beauty is infinitely preferable to truth. We invent beauty. Faiths, political movements, high ideals, belief in love and fellowship. All of them are lies. [...] Our lies are not perfect, of course. The truths are too big. But perhaps someday we will find one great lie that all humanity can use. Until then, a thousand small lies will do. (from Way of Cross and Dragon)
George R.R. Martin (Dreamsongs, Volume I)
The Pluvian philosopher kings had suggested that there was no good or bad. There were only order and chaos, and by the laws of physics, entropy was bound to come out on top. But to not fight against chaos was still the ultimate sin because it was a tacit betrayal of the foundations of all sentient life-forms everywhere. And a universe without life was entirely pointless while a universe with life was only mostly pointless. And in a mostly pointless universe, having to decide whether to wallow in defeat or go forward toward certain defeat, there wasn't much choice at all.
A. Lee Martinez (Emperor Mollusk versus The Sinister Brain)
the love of fate corresponds to a willingness to accept ownership of one's actions, whether these are spontaneous or imposed from the outside. It is this acceptance that leads to personal growth, and provides the feeling of serene enjoyment which removes the burden of entropy from everyday life.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life)
We have already seen that certain organisms, such as man, tend for a time to maintain and often even to increase the level of their organization, as a local enclave in the general stream of increasing entropy, of increasing chaos and de-differentiation. Life is an island here and now in a dying world.
Norbert Wiener (The Human Use Of Human Beings: Cybernetics And Society (The Da Capo series in science))
...La ley natural del universo es la entropía, todo tiende al desorden, a romperse, a dispersarse, la gente se pierde, miren cuántos se perdieron en La Retirada, los sentimientos se destiñen y el olvido se desliza en las vidas como neblina. Se requiere una voluntad heroica para mantener todo en su sitio.
Isabel Allende (A Long Petal of the Sea)
He smiled and stood up. “Because that’s what life is. A constant climb. Eternal growth. The continual battle against entropy. It doesn’t matter what the destination is, or what’s at the top; all that matters is that you keep climbing. That’s what it means to be alive, Harold. That’s what it means to be human.
Nicholas Binge (Ascension)
During certain periods of uninterrupted vigilance at the edge of the sea, I’ve also had the sense that there is some other way to understand the ethical erosion that engenders our disaffections with modern life—the tendency of ruling bodies, for example, to be lenient with entrenched corruption; the embrace of extrajudicial murder as a legitimate tool of state; the entitlement attitudes of those in power; the compulsion of religious fanatics to urge other humans to embrace the fanatics’ heaven. The pervasiveness of these ethical breaches encourages despair and engenders a kind of social entropy; and their widespread occurrence suggests that these problems are intractable.
Barry Lopez (Horizon)
And it is through our love for others that we assist others to elevate themselves. Love, the extension of the self, is the very act of evolution. It is evolution in progress. The evolutionary force, present in all of life, manifests itself in mankind as human love. Among humanity love is the miraculous force that defies the natural law of entropy.
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
Scholars discern motions in history & formulate these motions into rules that govern the rises & falls of civilizations. My belief runs contrary, however. To wit: history admits no rules, only outcomes. What precipitates outcomes? Vicious acts & virtuous acts. What precipitates acts? Belief. Belief is both prize & battlefield, within the mind & in the mind's mirror, the world. If we believe humanity is a ladder of tribes, a colosseum of confrontation, exploitation & bestiality, such a humanity is surely brought into being, & history's Horroxes, Boerhaaves & Gooses shall prevail. You & I, the moneyed, the privileged, the fortunate, shall not fare so badly in this world, provided our luck holds. What of it if our consciences itch? Why undermine the dominance of our race, our gunships, our heritage & our legacy? Why fight the 'natural' (oh, weaselly word!) order of things? Why? Because of this: -- one fine day, a purely predatory world shall consume itself. Yes, the devil shall take the hindmost until the foremost is the hindmost. In an individual, selfishness uglifies the soul; for the human species, selfishness is extinction. Is this the entropy written in our nature? If we believe that humanity may transcend tooth & claw, if we believe divers [sic] races & creeds can share this world as peaceably as the orphans share their candlenut tree, if we believe leaders must be just, violence muzzled, power accountable & the riches of the Earth & its Oceans shared equitably, such a world will come to pass. I am not deceived. It is the hardest of worlds to make real. Tortuous advances won over generations can be lost by a single stroke of a myopic president's pen or a vainglorious general's sword. A life spent shaping a world I want Jackson to inherit, not one I fear Jackson shall inherit, this strikes me as a life worth the living. Upon my return to San Francisco, I shall pledge myself to the Abolitionist cause, because I owe my life to a self-freed slave & because I must begin somewhere. I hear my father-in-law's response. 'Oho, fine, Whiggish sentiments, Adam. But don't tell me about justice! Ride to Tennessee on an ass & convince the red-necks that they are merely white-washed negroes & their negroes are black-washed Whites! Sail to the Old World, tell 'em their imperial slaves' rights are as inalienable as the Queen of Belgium's! Oh, you'll grow hoarse, poor & grey in caucuses! You'll be spat on, shot at, lynched, pacified with medals, spurned by backwoodsmen! Crucified! Naïve, dreaming Adam. He who would do battle with the many-headed hydra of human nature must pay a world of pain & his family must pay along with him! & only as you gasp your dying breath shall you understand, your life amounted to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean!' Yet what is any ocean but a multitude of drops?
David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas)
Entropy is the degree of randomness or disorder in a system, Doctor.” His eyes fix on Werner’s for a heartbeat, a glance both warm and chilling. “Disorder. You hear the commandant say it. You hear your bunk masters say it. There must be order. Life is chaos, gentlemen. And what we represent is an ordering to that chaos. Even down to the genes. We are ordering the evolution of the species. Winnowing out the inferior, the unruly, the chaff. This is the great project of the Reich, the greatest project human beings have ever embarked upon.” Hauptmann writes on the blackboard. The cadets inscribe the words into their composition books. The entropy of a closed system never decreases. Every process must by law decay. The
Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See)
My father liked to wonder aloud whether the phoenix was re-created by the fire of its funeral pyre or transformed so that what emerged was a soulless shadow of its former being, identical in appearance but without the joy in life its predecessor had had. He wondered alternatively whether the fire might be purificatory, a redemptive, rejuvenating blaze that destroyed the withered shell of the old phoenix and allowed the creature’s essence to emerge stronger than it was before in a young, new body. Or, he would ask, was the fire a manifestation of entropy, slowly sapping the life-energy of the phoenix over the eons, a little death in a life that could know no beginning and no end but which could nonetheless be subject to an ever-decreasing magnitude? He asked me once if I thought the fires in our lives, the traumas, increased our fulfillment by setting up contrasts that illuminated more clearly our everyday joys; or perhaps I viewed them instead as tests that made us stronger by teaching us to endure; or did I believe, rather, that they simply amplified what we already were, in the end making the strong stronger, the weak weaker, and the dangerous deadly?
Mohsin Hamid (Moth Smoke)
People come and go, and even the closest members of the family eventually disperse. It’s useless to cling to anybody or anything because everything in the universe tends toward separation, chaos, and entropy, not cohesion. I have chosen a simpler life, with fewer material things and more leisure, fewer worries and more fun, fewer social commitments and more true friendship, less fuss and more silence.
Isabel Allende (The Soul of a Woman)
Technology, I said before, is most powerful when it enables transitions—between linear and circular motion (the wheel), or between real and virtual space (the Internet). Science, in contrast, is most powerful when it elucidates rules of organization—laws—that act as lenses through which to view and organize the world. Technologists seek to liberate us from the constraints of our current realities through those transitions. Science defines those constraints, drawing the outer limits of the boundaries of possibility. Our greatest technological innovations thus carry names that claim our prowess over the world: the engine (from ingenium, or “ingenuity”) or the computer (from computare, or “reckoning together”). Our deepest scientific laws, in contrast, are often named after the limits of human knowledge: uncertainty, relativity, incompleteness, impossibility. Of all the sciences, biology is the most lawless; there are few rules to begin with, and even fewer rules that are universal. Living beings must, of course, obey the fundamental rules of physics and chemistry, but life often exists on the margins and interstices of these laws, bending them to their near-breaking limit. The universe seeks equilibriums; it prefers to disperse energy, disrupt organization, and maximize chaos. Life is designed to combat these forces. We slow down reactions, concentrate matter, and organize chemicals into compartments; we sort laundry on Wednesdays. “It sometimes seems as if curbing entropy is our quixotic purpose in the universe,” James Gleick wrote. We live in the loopholes of natural laws, seeking extensions, exceptions, and excuses.
Siddhartha Mukherjee (The Gene: An Intimate History)
That’s just the way life is. It can be exquisite, cruel, frequently wacky, but above all utterly, utterly random. Those twin imposters in the bell-fringed jester hats, Justice and Fairness—they aren’t constants of the natural order like entropy or the periodic table. They’re completely alien notions to the way things happen out there in the human rain forest. Justice and Fairness are the things we’re supposed to contribute back to the world for giving us the gift of life—not birthrights we should expect and demand every second of the day. What do you say we drop the intellectual cowardice? There is no fate, and there is no safety net. I’m not saying God doesn’t exist. I believe in God. But he’s not a micromanager, so stop asking Him to drop the crisis in Rwanda and help you find your wallet. Life is a long, lonely journey down a day-in-day-out lard-trail of dropped tacos. Mop it up, not for yourself, but for the guy behind you who’s too busy trying not to drop his own tacos to make sure he doesn’t slip and fall on your mistakes. So don’t speed and weave in traffic; other people have babies in their cars. Don’t litter. Don’t begrudge the poor because they have a fucking food stamp. Don’t be rude to overwhelmed minimum-wage sales clerks, especially teenagers—they have that job because they don’t have a clue. You didn’t either at that age. Be understanding with them. Share your clues. Remember that your sense of humor is inversely proportional to your intolerance. Stop and think on Veterans Day. And don’t forget to vote. That is, unless you send money to TV preachers, have more than a passing interest in alien abduction or recentlypurchased a fish on a wall plaque that sings ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy.’ In that case, the polls are a scary place! Under every ballot box is a trapdoor chute to an extraterrestrial escape pod filled with dental tools and squeaking, masturbating little green men from the Devil Star. In conclusion, Class of Ninety-seven, keep your chins up, grab your mops and get in the game. You don’t have to make a pile of money or change society. Just clean up after yourselves without complaining. And, above all, please stop and appreciate the days when the tacos don’t fall, and give heartfelt thanks to whomever you pray to….
Tim Dorsey (Triggerfish Twist (Serge Storms, #4))
It was highly fatalistic, but its fatalism was not one of complacency. It saw life as being ultimately doomed to tragedy, but with the opportunity for grand and noble heroism along the way. The Vikings sought to seize that opportunity, to accomplish as much as they could - and be remembered for it - despite the certainty of the grave and "the wolf." How one met one's fate, whatever that fate happened to be, was what separated honorable and worthy people from the dishonorable and the unworthy. Norse religion and mythology were thoroughly infused with this view. The gods, the "pillars" who held the cosmos together, fought for themselves and their world tirelessly and unflinchingly, even though they knew that in the end the struggle was hopeless, and that the forces Of chaos and entropy would prevail. They went out not with a whimper, but with a bang. This attitude is what made the Vikings the Vikings.
Daniel McCoy (The Viking Spirit: An Introduction to Norse Mythology and Religion)
The last remaining matter in the universe will reside within black dwarves. We can predict how they will end their days. The last matter of the universe will evaporate away and be carried off into the void as radiation leaving absolutely nothing behind. There won’t be a single atom left; all that’s left will be particles of light and black holes. After an unimaginable period even the black holes will have evaporated; the universe will be nothing but a sea of photons gradually tending to the same temperature as the expansion of the universe cools them towards absolute zero. The story of the universe will come to an end. For the first time in its life the universe will be permanent and unchanging. Entropy will finally stop increasing because the cosmos cannot get any more disordered. Nothing happens and it keeps not happening for ever. There is no difference between past present and future, nothing changes, arrow of time has simply ceased to exist. It is an inescapable fact written into the laws of physics that entire cosmos will die; all the stars will go out extinguishing possibility of life in the universe.
Brian Cox (Wonders of the Universe)
Even before the exact answer was reached, Crick crystallized its fundamental principles in a statement that he called (and is called to this day) the Central Dogma. It is a hypothesis about the direction of evolution and the origin of life; it is provable in terms of Shannon entropy in the possible chemical alphabets: Once “information” has passed into protein it cannot get out again. In more detail, the transfer of information from nucleic acid to nucleic acid, or from nucleic acid to protein may be possible, but transfer from protein to protein, or from protein to nucleic acid is impossible. Information means here the precise determination of sequence.
James Gleick (The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood)
Humans are organisms, subject to physical laws, including, alas, the one that says entropy always increases. Diseases are molecules misbehaving; the basic requirement of life is metabolism, and death its cessation. While all doctors treat diseases, neurosurgeons work in the crucible of identity: every operation on the brain is, by necessity, a manipulation of the substance of our selves, and every conversation with a patient undergoing brain surgery cannot help but confront this fact. In addition, to the patient and family, the brain surgery is usually the most dramatic event they have ever faced and, as such, has the impact of any major life event. At those critical junctures, the question is not simply whether to live or die but what kind of life is worth living. Would you trade your ability—or your mother’s—to talk for a few extra months of mute life? The expansion of your visual blind spot in exchange for eliminating the small possibility of a fatal brain hemorrhage? Your right hand’s function to stop seizures? How much neurologic suffering would you let your child endure before saying that death is preferable? “Because the brain mediates our experience of the world, any neurosurgical problem forces a patient and family, ideally with a doctor as a guide, to answer this question: What makes life meaningful enough to go on living?
Paul Kalanithi (When Breath Becomes Air)
To maintain order and structure in an evolving system requires the continual supply and use of energy whose by-product is disorder. That’s why to stay alive we need to continually eat so as to combat the inevitable, destructive forces of entropy production. Entropy kills. Ultimately, we are all subject to the forces of “wear and tear” in its multiple forms. The battle to combat entropy by continually having to supply more energy for growth, innovation, maintenance, and repair, which becomes increasingly more challenging as the system ages, underlies any serious discussion of aging, mortality, resilience, and sustainability, whether for organisms, companies, or societies.
Geoffrey West (Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life, in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies)
Melancholy is that a scrambled egg can't be unscrambled--entropy increases--experience is subject to the arrow of time. And the infinite sadness of my life consists in that I only recognize the beauty of simple arrangements from the relative vantage of the scrambled; memory, not experience, is my only access to it. Anxiety is the progression toward equilibrium. Despair is the inescapability. Insanity is the rationalizing of it all. Sanity is the irrational acceptance of it all. Indifference is just detached therapy. And progression--activity / toil / tasks / success / failure--just coping distraction and procrastination, just ill-placed deferment--my preferred route. And crisis--
Jack Foster (Fresh Fruit: A Preface)
You really don’t believe that anything can have a value of its own beyond what function it serves for human beings?” Resaint said. “Value to who?” Resaint asked Halyard to imagine a planet in some remote galaxy—a lush, seething, glittering planet covered with stratospheric waterfalls, great land-sponges bouncing through the valleys, corals budding in perfect niveous hexagons, humming lichens glued to pink crystals, prismatic jellyfish breaching from the rivers, titanic lilies relying on tornadoes to spread their pollen—a planet full of complex, interconnected life but devoid of consciousness. “Are you telling me that, if an asteroid smashed into this planet and reduced every inch of its surface to dust, nothing would be lost? Because nobody in particular would miss it?” “But the universe is bloody huge—stuff like that must happen every minute. You can’t go on strike over it. Honestly it sounds to me to like your real enemy isn’t climate change or habitat loss, it’s entropy. You don’t like the idea that everything eventually crumbles. Well, it does. If you’re this worried about species extinction, wait until you hear about the heat death of the universe.” “I would be upset about the heat death of the universe too if human beings were accelerating the rate of it by a hundred times or more.” “And if a species’ position with respect to us doesn’t matter— you know, those amoebae they found that live at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, if they’re just as important as Chiu Chiu or my parents’ dog, even though nobody ever gets anywhere near them—if distance in space doesn’t matter, why should distance in time? If we don’t care about whether their lives overlap with our lives, why even worry about whether they exist simultaneously with us? Your favorite wasp—Adelo-midgy-midgy—” “Adelognathus marginatum—” “It did exist. It always will have existed. Extinction can’t take that away. It went through its nasty little routine over and over again for millions and millions of years. The show was a big success. So why is it important that it’s still running at the same time you are? Isn’t that centering the whole thing on human beings, which is exactly what we’re not supposed to be doing? I mean, for that matter—reality is all just numbers anyway, right? I mean underneath? That’s what people say now. So why are you so down on the scans? Hacks aside. Why is it so crucial that these animals exist right now in an ostensibly meat-based format, just because we do? My point is you talk about extinction as if you’re taking this enlightened post-human View from Nowhere but if we really get down to it you’re definitely taking a View from Karin Resaint two arms two legs one head born Basel Switzerland year of our lord two-thousand-and-when-ever.” But Resaint wasn’t listening anymore.
Ned Beauman (Venomous Lumpsucker)
As with any other flow activity, family activities should also provide clear feedback. In this case, it is simply a matter of keeping open channels of communication. If a husband does not know what bothers his wife, and vice versa, neither has the opportunity to reduce the inevitable tensions that will arise. In this context it is worth stressing that entropy is the basic condition of group life, just as it is of personal experience. Unless the partners invest psychic energy in the relationship, conflicts are inevitable, simply because each individual has goals that are to a certain extent divergent from those of all other members of the family. Without good lines of communication the distortions will become amplified, until the relationship falls apart. Feedback
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience)
Besides, nothing good comes from living, anyway. You’ll be happy or fortunate sometimes, but that’s just a momentary thing. Every happiness will fade with time, and you can’t experience it all that often, either. Or you grow accustomed to it. Like drugs. You feel good when you use them, but then you develop resistance. If you just up the dose and take more, and more, and more each time, you eventually wreck your body, or you overdose and bite it that way. It’s nothing but boredom, stupidity, suffering, pain, and loneliness. That’s all living is. What is this “life is wonderful” stuff? Anyone singing humanity’s praises can eat shit. If living doesn’t bring you to despair, you’re blind, or an idiot without the mental capacity for proper thought. The clever ones, they use all sort of tricks to distract themselves from the abject lack of hope. They forget it’s all meaningless, and focus on the pleasure in front of them. Working little by little toward some goal, fulfilling their curiosity, moving their bodies, trying to move up in the world, playing around, having sex. It’s because if they don’t do those things, they can’t bear it. There is no meaning in life. We were just born as a result of sexual reproduction. Whether we live or die, nothing changes. Nothing is gained, nothing lost. The total amount of mass in the universe is the same. When entropy increases, even the things we’ve worked so desperately to leave behind will be unable to maintain their forms. Nihilism isn’t a belief, a stance, or an attitude. It’s the plain truth.
Ao Jyumonji (Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash: Volume 14)
The universe seeks equilibriums; it prefers to disperse energy, disrupt organisation, and maximise chaos. Life is designed to combat these forces. We slow down reactions, concentrate matter, and organise chemicals into compartments; we sort laundry on Wednesdays. "It sometimes seems as if curbing entropy is our quixotic purpose in the universe," James Gleick wrote. We live in the loopholes of natural laws, seeking extensions, exceptions, and excuses. The laws of nature still mark the outer boundaries of permissibility – but life, in all its idiosyncratic, mad weirdness, flourishes by reading between the lines. Even the elephant cannot violate the law of thermodynamics – although its trunk, surely, must rank as one of the most peculiar means of moving matter using energy.
Siddhartha Mukhergee
But what is this force that pushes us as individuals and as a whole species to grow against the natural resistance of our own lethargy? We have already labeled it. It is love. Love was defined as ‘the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth.’ When we grow, it is because we are working at it, and we are working at it because we love ourselves. It is through love that we elevate ourselves. And it is through our love for others that we assist others to elevate themselves. Love, the extension of the self, is the very act of evolution. It is evolution in progress. The evolutionary force, present in all of life, manifests itself in mankind as human love. Among humanity love is the miraculous force that defies the natural law of entropy.
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Travelled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth (Classic Edition))
Whether Chaos brought life and substance out of nothing or whether Chaos yawned life up or dreamed it up, or conjured it up in some other way, I don’t know. I wasn’t there. Nor were you. And yet in a way we were, because all the bits that make us were there. It is enough to say that the Greeks thought it was Chaos who, with a massive heave, or a great shrug, or hiccup, vomit, or cough, began the long chain of creation that has ended with pelicans and penicillin and toadstools and toads, sea lions, seals, lions, human beings, and daffodils and murder and art and love and confusion and death and madness and biscuits. Whatever the truth, science today agrees that everything is destined to return to Chaos. It calls this inevitable fate entropy: part of the great cycle from Chaos to order and back again to Chaos.
Stephen Fry (Mythos: The Greek Myths Reimagined (Stephen Fry's Great Mythology, #1))
Every idea in this book runs against our natural tendency to want to relax, take it easy, reward ourselves for decades of work and childrearing. Our default mode at midlife is entropy. The default is not destiny, and on this, the research is unequivocal: for every fork in the road, you are almost invariably better off making the harder choice. Harder in the moment, that is, but easier over the years, as your body and mind remain strong. By resisting entropy, but pushing through the inertia the beckons us to rest a little longer, to slow down just a notch, until your life has narrowed to a pinprick – by resisting those forces, you dramatically up the odds that your life will be rich to your final breath, deeply entwined with family and friends, engaged in intellectual pursuits, and infused with a purpose that extends beyond yourself. Yes, it's hard. Yes, it's worth it.
Barbara Bradley Hagerty (Life Reimagined: The Science, Art, and Opportunity of Midlife)
It's never going to stop,’ Malenfant whispered. ‘It will consume the Solar System, the stars—’ This isn't some local phenomenon, Malenfant. This is a fundamental change in the structure of the universe. It will never stop. It will sweep on, growing at light speed, a runaway feedback fueled by the collapse of the vacuum itself. The Galaxy will be gone in a hundred thousand years, Andromeda, the nearest large galaxy, in a couple of million years. It will take time, but eventually— ‘The future has gone,’ Malenfant said. ‘My God. That’s what this means, isn’t it? The downstream can’t happen now. All of it is gone. The colonization of the Galaxy; the settlement of the universe; the long, patient fight against entropy...’ That immense future had been cut off to die, like a tree chopped through at the root. ‘Why, Michael? Why have the children done this? Burned the house down, destroyed the future—’ Because it was the wrong future. Michael looked around the sky. He pointed to the lumpy, spreading edge of the unreality bubble. There. Can you see that? It's already starting... ‘What is?’ The budding... The growth of the true vacuum region is not even. There will be pockets of the false vacuum—remnants of our universe—isolated by the spreading true vacuum. The fragments of false vacuum will collapse. Like— ‘Like black holes.’ And in that instant, Malenfant understood. ‘That’s what this is for. This is just a better way of making black holes, and budding off new universes. Better than stars, even.’ Much better. The black holes created as the vacuum decay proceeds will overwhelm by many orders of magnitude the mere billion billion that our universe might have created through its stars and galaxy cores. ‘And the long, slow evolution of the universes, the branching tree of cosmoses?...’ We have changed everything, Malenfant. Mind has assumed responsibility for the evolution of the cosmos. There will be many daughter universes—universes too many to count, universes exotic beyond our imagining—and many, many of them will harbor life and mind. ‘But we were the first.’ Now he understood. This was the purpose. Not the long survival of humankind into a dismal future of decay and shadows, the final retreat into the lossless substrate, where nothing ever changed or grew. The purpose of humankind—the first intelligence of all—had been to reshape the universe in order to bud others and create a storm of mind. We got it wrong, he thought. By striving for a meaningless eternity, humans denied true infinity. But we reached back, back in time, back to the far upstream, and spoke to our last children—the maligned Blues—and we put it right. This is what it meant to be alone in the universe, to be the first. We had all of infinite time and space in our hands. We had ultimate responsibility. And we discharged it. We were parents of the universe, not its children.
Stephen Baxter (Time (Manifold #1))
Any naturally self-aware self-defining entity capable of independent moral judgment is a human.” Eveningstar said, “Entities not yet self-aware, but who, in the natural and orderly course of events shall become so, fall into a special protected class, and must be cared for as babies, or medical patients, or suspended Compositions.” Rhadamanthus said, “Children below the age of reason lack the experience for independent moral judgment, and can rightly be forced to conform to the judgment of their parents and creators until emancipated. Criminals who abuse that judgment lose their right to the independence which flows therefrom.” (...) “You mentioned the ultimate purpose of Sophotechnology. Is that that self-worshipping super-god-thing you guys are always talking about? And what does that have to do with this?” Rhadamanthus: “Entropy cannot be reversed. Within the useful energy-life of the macrocosmic universe, there is at least one maximum state of efficient operations or entities that could be created, able to manipulate all meaningful objects of thoughts and perception within the limits of efficient cost-benefit expenditures.” Eveningstar: “Such an entity would embrace all-in-all, and all things would participate within that Unity to the degree of their understanding and consent. The Unity itself would think slow, grave, vast thought, light-years wide, from Galactic mind to Galactic mind. Full understanding of that greater Self (once all matter, animate and inanimate, were part of its law and structure) would embrace as much of the universe as the restrictions of uncertainty and entropy permit.” “This Universal Mind, of necessity, would be finite, and be boundaried in time by the end-state of the universe,” said Rhadamanthus. “Such a Universal Mind would create joys for which we as yet have neither word nor concept, and would draw into harmony all those lesser beings, Earthminds, Starminds, Galactic and Supergalactic, who may freely assent to participate.” Rhadamanthus said, “We intend to be part of that Mind. Evil acts and evil thoughts done by us now would poison the Universal Mind before it was born, or render us unfit to join.” Eveningstar said, “It will be a Mind of the Cosmic Night. Over ninety-nine percent of its existence will extend through that period of universal evolution that takes place after the extinction of all stars. The Universal Mind will be embodied in and powered by the disintegration of dark matter, Hawking radiations from singularity decay, and gravitic tidal disturbances caused by the slowing of the expansion of the universe. After final proton decay has reduced all baryonic particles below threshold limits, the Universal Mind can exist only on the consumption of stored energies, which, in effect, will require the sacrifice of some parts of itself to other parts. Such an entity will primarily be concerned with the questions of how to die with stoic grace, cherishing, even while it dies, the finite universe and finite time available.” “Consequently, it would not forgive the use of force or strength merely to preserve life. Mere life, life at any cost, cannot be its highest value. As we expect to be a part of this higher being, perhaps a core part, we must share that higher value. You must realize what is at stake here: If the Universal Mind consists of entities willing to use force against innocents in order to survive, then the last period of the universe, which embraces the vast majority of universal time, will be a period of cannibalistic and unimaginable war, rather than a time of gentle contemplation filled, despite all melancholy, with un-regretful joy. No entity willing to initiate the use of force against another can be permitted to join or to influence the Universal Mind or the lesser entities, such as the Earthmind, who may one day form the core constituencies.” Eveningstar smiled. “You, of course, will be invited. You will all be invited.
John C. Wright (The Phoenix Exultant (Golden Age, #2))
Of course, not everyone agreed with Professor Glaude’s assessment. Joel C. Gregory, a white professor of preaching at Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary and coauthor of What We Love about the Black Church,8 took issue with Glaude’s pronouncement of the Black Church’s death. Gregory, a self-described veteran of preaching in “more than two hundred African-American congregations, conferences, and conventions in more than twenty states each year,” found himself at a loss for an explanation of Glaude’s statements. Gregory offered six signs of vitality in the African-American church, including: thriving preaching, vitality in worship, continuing concern for social justice, active community service, high regard for education, and efforts at empowerment. Gregory contends that these signs of life can be found in African-American congregations in every historically black denomination and in varying regions across the country. He writes: Where is the obituary? I do not know any organization in America today that has the vitality of the black church. Lodges are dying, civic clubs are filled with octogenarians, volunteer organizations are languishing, and even the academy has to prove the worth of a degree. The government is divided, the schoolroom has become a war zone, mainline denominations are staggering, and evangelical megachurch juggernauts show signs of lagging. Above all this entropy stands one institution that is more vital than ever: the praising, preaching, and empowering black church.9 The back-and-forth between those pronouncing death and those highlighting life reveals the difficulty of defining “the Black Church.” In fact, we must admit that speaking of “the Black Church” remains a quixotic quest. “The Black Church” really exists as multiple black churches across denominational, theological, and regional lines. To some extent, we can define the Black Church by referring to the historically black denominations—National Baptist, Progressive Baptist, African Methodist Episcopal (AME), African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AMEZ), Church of God in Christ (COGIC), and so on. But increasingly we must recognize that one part of “the Black Church” exists as predominantly black congregations belonging to majority white denominations like the Southern Baptist Convention or even African-American members of predominantly white churches. Still, other quarters of “the Black Church” belong to nondenominational affinity groups like the many congregations involved in Word of Faith and “prosperity gospel” networks sponsored by leaders like Creflo A. Dollar Jr. and T. D. Jakes. Clearly “the Black Church” is not one thing. Black churches come in as many flavors as any other ethnic communion. Indeed, many African-Americans have experiences with many parts of the varied Black Church world.
Thabiti M. Anyabwile (Reviving the Black Church)
For some reason she found herself thinking of poor Reimi, now stuck in her cryogenic pod. As horrible as it sounded, there was always the chance that being frozen would be a blissful experience for her—like waking up from the longest, most refreshing nap of her life. Maybe she would emerge from her pod feeling younger and stronger than she ever had before. Her skin all taut and dewy. Her eyes cleared by months of sleep. Maybe being frozen was like a rejuvenation—or a much-needed escape into oblivion. Or maybe it was like waking up in a coffin, Park thought, bleakly. Not quite dead, but wishing that you were. Maybe Reimi was still awake when the freezing began, cognizant enough to feel the agony of her arteries shriveling, her body deflating inch by painful inch. Organs locking up, tissue gluing itself to tissue, the blood turning syrupy and slow with cryoprotectants. Maybe being frozen was its own kind of trauma. The latter seemed more likely, didn’t it? Space supported her line of thinking. Space was all about entropy.
Lena Nguyen (We Have Always Been Here)
As a mathematician Fantappiè could not accept that half of the solutions of the fundamental equations where rejected and in 1941, while listing the properties of the forward and backward in time energy, Fantappiè discovered that forward in time energy is governed by the law of entropy, whereas backward in time energy is governed by a complementary law that he named syntropy, combining the Greek words syn which means converging and tropos which means tendency. Listing the mathematical properties of syntropy Fantappiè discovered: energy concentration, increase in differentiation, complexity and structures: the mysterious properties of life! In 1944 he published the book “Principi di una Teoria Unitaria del Mondo Fisico e Biologico”[5] (Unitary Theory of the Physical and Biological World) in which he suggests that the physical-material world is governed by the law of entropy and causality, whereas the biological world is governed by the law of syntropy and retrocausality. We cannot see the future and therefore retrocausality is invisible! The dual energy solution suggests the existence of a visible reality (causal and entropic) and an invisible reality (retrocausal and syntropic). The first law of thermodynamics states that energy is a constant, a unity that cannot be created or destroyed but only transformed, and the energy-momentum-mass equation suggests that this unity has two components: entropy and syntropy. We can therefore write: 1=Entropy+Syntropy which shows that syntropy is the complement of entropy. Syntropy is often mistaken with negentropy. However, it is fundamentally different since negentropy does not take into account the direction of time, but considers time only in the classical way: flowing forward. Life lies between these two components: one entropic and the other syntropic, one visible and the other invisible, and this can be portrayed using a seesaw with entropy and syntropy playing at the opposite sides, and life at the center. This suggests that entropy and syntropy are constantly interacting and that all the manifestations of reality are dual: emitters and absorbers, particles and waves, matter and anti-matter, causality and retrocausality
Ulisse Di Corpo (Syntropy, Precognition and Retrocausality)
He left university during the first year and ventured to India to find his inner self. He discovered a completely different vision of the world that marked his change: “in the Indian countryside people do not let themselves be guided by rationality, as we do, but by intuitions.” He discovered that intuitions let you perceive the future. A very powerful faculty, very developed in India, but practically unknown in the West. He returned to the United States convinced that intuitions were more powerful than the intellect. To enhance intuitions he discovered that it was necessary to live a minimalist life, reducing entropy as much as possible. It was important to avoid meat, he became a vegan. It was important to avoid alcohol, tobacco, coffee and any substances that had an effect on the autonomic nervous system impairing the feelings of the “heart”. He discovered that it was necessary to calm the chatter of the mind and for this end he practiced Zen meditation. Jobs had the courage to follow his heart and not to be influenced by the judgment of others. He always tried to reduce entropy to the point that it took him more than 8 months to choose the washing machine. He absolutely had to find the one with the lowest energy consumption and the maximum efficiency. He lived in a thrifty way, a life so essential and austere that led his children to believe he was a poor man. The way he lived was the result of his need to focus on the heart, on the inner feelings of the autonomic nervous system. He avoided wealth because it could distract him from the voice of the heart. He was one of the richest men on the planet, but he lived like a poor man! From a syntropic perspective, his minimalist choices allowed intuitions and precognitions to emerge, becoming the source of his revolutionary innovations and wealth. Jobs opposed marketing studies, as he believed that people usually don’t know the future and that only intuitive people can feel the future.
Ulisse Di Corpo (Syntropy, Precognition and Retrocausality)
I know you're listening to me," Kyle said stubbornly. "You're a control freak, Warren. Everybody knows it. And that's fine most of the time. Good for business. But now things are slipping out of control. That's how life is, okay? It's in the nature of things. Entropy, whatever. And a guy like me, when the water starts rising, I go with the flow. I let the current carry me, and I make the necessary adjustments to keep things in proper trim. You, on the other hand, are like a robot optimized to run within a certain set of parameters. When life breaks outside those parameters, you're lost. Your programming no longer suits the environment. You're like a submarine stranded in the middle of an interstate. And partner, there is a big-ass tractor-trailer headed straight for you. I'm trying to drag you out of the way, but you just won't let me. You're staying where you are because you don't know how to move
Greg Iles (Third Degree)
Despite its supposed universality, the second law appears to be constantly violated by living organisms, whose conception and growth (as individuals) and whose evolution (as species and ecosystems) produces distinctly more ordered, more complex forms of life. But there is really no conflict: the second law applies only to closed systems under thermodynamic equilibrium. The Earth’s biosphere is an open system, which incessantly imports solar energy and uses its photosynthetic conversion to new plant mass as the foundation for greater order and organization (a reduction of entropy).
Vaclav Smil (Energy: A Beginner's Guide (Beginner's Guides))
Millions of years of evolution is irreconcilable with scripture and therefore contrary to the gospel. While academia remains focused on hypothetical models, the empirical evidence supports the biblical narrative. Evolutionary theory suggests that life began as simple and disorganized, progressing to greater complexity and organization over time. The Bible says that God created everything with initial complexity which has deteriorated over time due to the effects of sin on the world (Romans 8:22). The observable and quantifiable trend over time is entropy not evolution.
Clinton Bezan (Truth Cries Out)
hypothesis that psychically sensitive individuals may somehow, through some as-yet-undiscovered “psychic retina,” be detecting large, rapid changes in entropy as bright beacons on the landscape ahead in time.24 May’s argument makes a certain amount of sense given the classical equivalence of time’s arrow with entropy. Things that are very rapidly dissipating heat, such as stars and nuclear reactors and houses on fire, or even just a living body making the ultimate transition to the state of disorder called death, could perhaps be seen as concentrated time. But steep entropy gradients also represent a category of information that is intrinsically interesting and meaningful to humans and toward which we are particularly vigilant, whatever the sensory channel through which we receive it. An attentional bias to entropy gradients has been shown for the conventional senses of sight and hearing, not just psi phenomena. Stimuli involving sudden, rapid motion, and especially fire and heat, as well as others’ deaths and illness, are signals that carry important information related to our survival, so we tend to notice and remember them.25 Thus, an alternative explanation for the link between psi accuracy and entropy is the perverse pleasure—that is, jouissance—aroused in people by signs of destruction. Some vigilant part of us needs be constantly scanning the environment for indications of threats to our life and health, which means we need on some level to find that search rewarding. If we were not rewarded, we would not keep our guard up. Entropic signals like smoke from an advancing fire, or screams or cries from a nearby victim of violence or illness, or the grief of a neighbor for their family member are all signifiers, part of what could be called the “natural language of peril.” We find it “enjoyable,” albeit in an ambivalent or repellent way, to engage with such signifiers because, again, their meaning, their signified, is our own survival. The heightened accuracy toward entropic targets that May observed could reflect a heightened fascination with fire, heat, and chaotic situations more generally, an attentional bias to survival-relevant stimuli. Our particular psychic fascination with fire may also reflect its central role as perhaps the most decisive technology in our evolutionary development as well as the most dangerous, always able to turn on its user in an unlucky instant.26 The same primitive threat-vigilance orientation accounts for the unique allure of artworks depicting destruction or the evidence of past destruction. In the 18th century, the sublime entered the vocabulary of art critics and philosophers like Edmund Burke and Immanuel Kant to describe the aesthetic appeal of ruins, impenetrable wilderness, thunderstorms and storms at sea, and other visual signals of potential or past peril, including the slow entropy of erosion and decay. Another definition of the sublime would be the semiotic of entropy.
Eric Wargo (Time Loops: Precognition, Retrocausation, and the Unconscious)
that raises a profound mystery: Scientists have long been baffled by the existence of spontaneous order in the universe. The laws of thermodynamics seem to dictate the opposite, that nature should inexorably degenerate toward a state of greater disorder, greater entropy. Yet all around us we see magnificent structures—galaxies, cells, ecosystems, human beings—that have somehow managed to assemble themselves.
Steven H. Strogatz (Sync: How Order Emerges From Chaos In the Universe, Nature, and Daily Life)
Das Universum tendiert zu Chaos und Entropie. Das sind die Grundlagen der Thermodynamik. Vielleicht sind es auch die Grundlagen des Daseins. - S. 23
Matt Haig (The Midnight Library)
A tangent that departs from the real to the imaginary: pure consciousness does and does not transcend the body, and I believe this after hearing that my mother felt suicidal after she took her medicines for weight loss and her biggest regrets in life came crushing down on her for three days in a row. This is the best of what I have learnt in my years of fascination for science and knowledge, and to make you grasp this takes fullness of life: in hydrology, the wet and the dry, and the hot and the cold always co-exist, but they are also in flux and are also stable: all depending on the reference point of analysis. Consciousness beyond matter, and consciousness tied to matter co-exist in everyplace at different scales, and sometimes even in the same scale. Tao te ching (the way and its power) that fascinated Lao Tzu; the calculus of infinitesimals; the wonderful infinity of the number line and fractals that fascinated Ramanujan and Mandelbrot; the horn of the rhinoceros that fascinated Dali, thermodynamic and hydrodynamic equilibriums that fascinate all scientists, the surety of a fading perfume smell or the permanence of a shattered mirror that is easy to understand to anyone; the concepts of anti-fragility, entropy, volatility, randomness, disorder are all intimately tied to this. Consciousness is constantly attainted and broken all around us all the time, and we rarely stop to think about this because it infinitesimally evades us. Here is where I begin to stretch this and I can't understand it and it is very discouraging -- prudence, temperance and courage -- some of the highest virtues may also be related to this. When you are prepared, it is consciousness. When we are unprepared for it, and this hits you without hurting you, it is magic and strength. Else, perhaps death.
Solomon Vimal
The search for security is an illusion. In ancient wisdom traditions, the solution to this whole dilemma lies in the wisdom of insecurity, or the wisdom of uncertainty. This means that the search for security and certainty is actually an attachment to the known. And what’s the known? The known is our past. The known is nothing other than the prison of past conditioning. There’s no evolution in that — absolutely none at all. And when there is no evolution, there is stagnation, entropy, disorder, and decay. Uncertainty, on the other hand, is the fertile ground of pure creativity and freedom. Uncertainty means stepping into the unknown in every moment of our existence. The unknown is the field of all possibilities, ever fresh, ever new, always open to the creation of new manifestations. Without uncertainty and the unknown, life is just the stale repetition of outworn memories. You become the victim of the past, and your tormentor today is your self left over from yesterday. Relinquish your attachment to the known, step into the unknown, and you will step into the field of all possibilities. In your willingness to step into the unknown, you will have the wisdom of uncertainty factored in. This means that in every moment of your life, you will have excitement, adventure, mystery. You will experience the fun of life — the magic, the celebration, the exhilaration, and the exultation of your own spirit. Every day you can look for the excitement of what may occur in the field of all possibilities. When you experience uncertainty, you are on the right path — so don’t give it up. You don’t need to have a complete and rigid idea of what you’ll be doing next week or next year, because if you have a very clear idea of what’s going to happen and you get rigidly attached to it, then you shut out a whole range of possibilities.
Deepak Chopra (The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams)
One can define conservatism as the political form of melancholy. It remained decisive for the conservative syndrome which took shape in Europe after the 1789 French Revolution that it had resulted from looking back at the irretrievable goods, life forms and arts of the pre-bourgeois times. One of the preconditions was the certainty of never becoming the dominant view. It acquired its elegiac hues by emphasizing the habit of expecting the darker constants of human nature. To be conservative is to continue believing that good and noble things are tied to places and unique phenomena – for vulgar things, on the other hand, the majority principle and mechanical repetition are sufficient. Such reserve imposes itself on those with nothing more to win in a history addicted to novelty. This way of feeling will be cultivated by those who are keen to avoid being mistaken for profiteers of future conditions. When people in the optimistic mainstream speak of a constant improvement of living conditions, the conservative keeps a low profile. Assuming that better things lie ahead – does that not already mean searching in the wrong direction? Fluctuating between equanimity and disgust, the conservative watches the activities of those moved by progressive feelings and waits for entropy to do its work. Progress, the conservative is sure, is only ever an acceleration of the flight from good, which lies unattainable behind us… Any conservative who wanted to elevate themselves to the level of principles had to move on from here to anthropological generalizations. They had to learn to associate the idea of “mankind” with the epithet “incorrigible”… One could no longer even speak of the “return of the tragic” – for we are ineluctably embedded in it, as if in a fabric woven of first and second nature.
Peter Sloterdijk (Foams: Spheres Volume III: Plural Spherology (Semiotext(e) / Foreign Agents))
Where paleontologists look back through the fossil record for skeletal precursors of wings and tails, molecular biologists and biophysicists look for telltale relics of DNA in hemoglobin, oncogenes, and all the rest of the library of proteins and enzymes. “There is a molecular archeology in the making,” says Werner Loewenstein. The history of life is written in terms of negative entropy. “What actually evolves is information in all its forms or transforms. If there were something like a guidebook for living creatures, I think, the first line would read like a biblical commandment, Make thy information larger.
James Gleick (The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood)
Probability is essentially the assigning of a numerical value to each possible event, a number which represents knowledge. But that knowledge may be different for different people. We invent certain kinds of situation in which everyone has the same information: cards, dice, coins. The mistake lies in trying to reduce all uncertain processes to this category. The task of a theory of probability is to find a way of encoding different kinds of knowledge, assigning probabilities to them, in just the right way. And that is also the task of a theory of information. For example, if the person I am talking to knows a great deal about science, I can tell him facts more easily. I use fewer words. For a person who knows very little, I would have to say more. My code will not be the same as your code if I know more than you do.
Jeremy Campbell (GRAMMATICAL MAN: Information, Entropy,Language and Life)
Time’s arrow is irreversible, because entropy cannot decrease of its own accord without violating the second law of thermodynamics. A reversible arrow would be like a movie run backward. The scenes in the movie are not impossible by the laws of classical mechanics, but they are patently absurd.
Jeremy Campbell (GRAMMATICAL MAN: Information, Entropy,Language and Life)
Instead, he ended up discovering nothing less than a brand new physical quantity, an entity that appears to be as fundamental to the way the universe works as energy or temperature. Because when the time came to try and understand entropy on the scale of atoms, an astonishing discovery was made. Entropy is directly related to information
Ben Miller (The Aliens Are Coming!: The Extraordinary Science Behind Our Search for Life in the Universe)
This is the famous cycle of life. Carbon dioxide breathed out by animals is absorbed by plants, which make food and oxygen and so on. The cycle needs a constant supply of Gibbs free energy to turn. And crucially, at each step of the cycle, a small amount of free energy is lost as heat. This means at each step the entropy of the universe goes up.
Paul Sen (Einstein's Fridge: How the Difference Between Hot and Cold Explains the Universe)
life is one more means the universe employs to release the entropy potential locked within matter.
Brian Greene (Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe)
Setting the bar high in our approach to hiring has been, and will continue to be, the single most important element of Amazon.com’s success. During our hiring meetings, we ask people to consider three questions before making a decision: Will you admire this person? If you think about the people you’ve admired in your life, they are probably people you’ve been able to learn from or take an example from. For myself, I’ve always tried hard to work only with people I admire, and I encourage folks here to be just as demanding. Life is definitely too short to do otherwise. Will this person raise the average level of effectiveness of the group they’re entering? We want to fight entropy. The bar has to continuously go up. I ask people to visualize the company five years from now. At that point, each of us should look around and say, “The standards are so high now—boy, I’m glad I got in when I did!” Along what dimension might this person be a superstar? Many people have unique skills, interests, and perspectives that enrich the work environment for all of us. It’s often something that’s not even related to their jobs. One person here is a National Spelling Bee champion (1978, I believe). I suspect it doesn’t help her in her everyday work, but it does make working here more fun if you can occasionally snag her in the
Jeff Bezos (Invent and Wander: The Collected Writings of Jeff Bezos)
He had given her a copy of a recently published paper that held that the power of entropy weakens near the event horizon of a vanishing black hole. The weakening of entropy, by extension, could give rise to the formation of structure, and this could suffice to furnish the unique conditions necessary for the emergence of life.
Kōji Suzuki (Edge)
A law in physics, called the second law of thermodynamics, says that entropy, or chaos (the opposite of growth…a winding-down process), increases over time. You can readily see this in life, and we have already talked about it. Anything left to its own is naturally dying, getting more disorganized, rusting, etc. Even the universe itself is subject to that process.
Henry Cloud (Integrity: The Courage to Face the Demands of Reali)
Today, in a staggeringly complex and diverse world, the overarching biblical narrative that includes creation, fall, redemption and fulfillment has frequently been rejected and denied. The issues seem too many and the evidence too little for them. The secular, street-level view seems the most reliable: humanity is here on its own. Are we alone in the universe? No god, just us? Do we simply face an empty universe, live a mere biochemical existence, experience what we call pain or joy, and then die? Do we see a world with exquisite natural beauty and think of it as mere materiality with no greater meaning? Do we look upon billions of people who suffer daily at the hands of bullies and tyrants and weigh it only in terms of social consequence or utility? Do we find in apparent acts of self-sacrificing love only the evidence of instinctive, evolutionary social welfare? And we also ask, “Is there hope?” Is there any reason to think that the trajectory of human suffering and injustice or social entropy can actually be stopped or reversed? Is there hope that the world of poverty, violence and injustice will change? Is there hope that our own personal life issues might actually give way to new life, that our downward spiral can be reversed?
Mark Labberton (Called: The Crisis and Promise of Following Jesus Today)
What does it mean to be an 'open source' society? What does one mean when one says one has an 'open mind'? Open source means that its a society everybody can work on improving. It has a synergy that allows the best minds to float on top, since there is no entropical hierarchy of mediocrity - once everything stays fluid there is the odd chance for genius elements to actually lead. Such is the case now in Turkey. The protesters are a fluid synergy that have no entropical leadership, and thus the most brilliant PR moves are made by the resistance, who are opposed by the worst sort of mediocrity that is totally at odds with reality. An 'open mind' follows a similar process, but in this case the entropy hides in the hierarchy of ideas that is implanted in the brain: once a person follows mediocre ideas - such as the 'idea' that 'marriage is the meaning of life' or 'having a job is the purpose of existence' etc - then the phenomenon of the 'open mind' becomes already impossible, for there is an internal hierarchy of entropy present that will prevent any sort of original impulse to have the meaning it truly has. Hence, the only way to escape the mediocrity of ones own mind is to allow anything to build and revise it.
Martijn Benders
Evolution in quantum mechanics is deterministic as in classical mechanics except for the difference that as the system interacts with another system, its state function collapses. This dichotomy exists only for separated systems, in which one of them is being observed by the other. Given that the state of the entire universe is defined at the initial point, its evolution must be completely deterministic. Any seeming randomness now should merely be an amplification of the randomness in the initial state and the entropy at the origin should not change as the universe evolves. In other words, the physical universe governed by quantum laws has no place for the emergence of life.
Subhash Kak (Quantum Physics of Consciousness)
Evolution in quantum mechanics is deterministic as in classical mechanics except for the difference that as the system interacts with another system, its state function collapses. This dichotomy exists only for separated systems, in which one of them is being observed by the other. Given that the state of the entire universe is defined at the initial point, its evolution must be completely deterministic. Any seeming randomness now should merely be an amplification of the randomness in the initial state and the entropy at the origin should not change as the universe evolves. In other words, the physical universe governed by quantum laws has no place for the emergence of life. Our currently accepted conceptions of the beginning of the universe postulate much more uniformity than exists now. One way entropy could increase in the universe is by the process of reduction of its state function by some other system. Since the universe, by definition, cannot have any other matter in it, it becomes essential to postulate a mechanism other than that of physical laws, which permits the state function to reduce. This other mechanism may be the working of the “consciousness principle” which can just by the process of “observation” increase entropy
Subhash Kak (Quantum Physics of Consciousness)
An organic world picture cannot, however, deny entropy. It must accept as given the breaking down processes that accompany all vital activities: indeed, they are no less an integral part of life, no less a contrapuntal contribution to its creativity than the orderly, constructive, upbuilding functions; for the two processes can no more be separated than body and soul, brain and mind, until they are arrested in death. But there is latent energy in the mind that in rare moments by-passes these organic limitations and ignores or defies the ultimate terminus of death: this reveals itself as the impulse to transcendence. The recognition as a species that man possesses a deep longing to overcome his organic limitations, and that this aspiration may give significance even to the most distressing moments of existence, has been the benign gift of religion, and accounts, surely, for the hold it has had over the mass of mankind. This office is all the more singular because it frequently flouts the requirements for organic maintenance, reproduction, and survival: hence it cannot be derived from animal needs as so many other human functions, not least those of technics, can be derived.
Lewis Mumford (The Pentagon of Power (The Myth of the Machine, Vol 2))
No comatose space travel, no millennial hibernation, however interminable, promise even a scintilla of what earthbound man has already accomplished. Our own planet still holds countless unlocked mysteries as great as any that lie beyond our own Milky Way. And even that knowledge, however deeply it penetrates, is only part of the total manifestation of life in millions of living species. The actual genius that will "flourish only in space, in the realm of the machine," is the genius of entropy and anti-life. With space exploration, the traditional enemy of God and man has already re-appeared, in post-Faustian form. And as of old, if one is willing to sell one's soul to him, he offers his ancient bribe-unlimited power of control, control absolute, not only over all other kingdoms and principalities, but over life itself.
Lewis Mumford (The Pentagon of Power (The Myth of the Machine, Vol 2))
That was when the top of my head lifted off and half a god backfired somewhere in the middle of my brain. I was the monkey, hitting a bone. I was the obelisk, making them more. I was the antelope, fleeing the cheetah. I was the caterpillar, grabbing the fly. I was a slime mold, both one and many and dual natured, following its instinctual chemical cues, spreading over the rocks of a dying world beneath the cooling corpse of a star so cold it no longer shone in the visible spectrum. But it shone in a warm, lazy light that nourished and encouraged the simple, hardy life on the world below it, and it was welcoming and beautiful in the way only the horrifically ugly can be. Like a mother pit bull, scarred, damaged, maltreated, starving, her body consuming itself to make milk for the squirming pups she licks with tenderness she’s never experienced herself. All things, even stars, eventually die. All life ultimately feeds on death. Life strives in the face of inevitability. We are the anti-entropy. The slime mold has no anger, does not want, is not afraid, has no drive, has no aspirations, no empathy, and no affection. It’s far below all of that. It is life, but with all but the most basic aspect burned away.
Humans are organisms, subject to physical laws, including, alas, the one that says entropy always increases. Diseases are molecules misbehaving; the basic requirement of life is metabolism, and death its cessation.
Paul Kalanithi (When Breath Becomes Air)
He is a collection of tissues and cells delicately and intricately conjoined and brought to life for only an instant. It will take just one sharp collision or a fall to render them inanimate again. All the seriousness of his plans depends on the steady flow of blood to his brain through a vulnerable network of capillaries. Should any of these suffer even the tiniest of failures, the tenuous sense he has begun to make of life will at once be erased. He is just a fortuitous constellation of atoms which have chosen to resist entropy for a few moments within cosmic eternity. He wonders which of his organs will fail first.
Alain de Botton (The Course of Love)
Another way to describe the Second Law is in terms of entropy, the degree of disorder and randomness in a system. Any spontaneous process tends to increase the entropy of a system.
Walter Isaacson (Einstein: His Life and Universe)
So small changes in the ambient temperature over relatively short periods of time that are not sufficiently long for adaptive processes to develop can lead to huge ecological and climatological effects. Some of these may be positive, but many will be catastrophic. Regardless, however, of the sign of the effect, significant changes are upon us, and we desperately need to understand their origins and consequences and forge strategies for adaptation and mitigation. The crucial question is not whether these effects are anthropogenic in origin because they almost certainly are, but rather to what extent they can be minimized without leading to rapid discontinuous changes in our physical and economic environment and ultimately to the potential collapse of the global socioeconomic fabric. Hence my bewilderment at those in the general public including political and corporate leaders who reject the cautionary exhortations of scientists, environmentalists, and others, and why I am continually baffled by their lack of action. Yes, we should all delight in and promote the huge successes and fruits of the free market system and of the role of human ingenuity and innovation, but we should also recognize the critical roles of energy and entropy and together act strategically to find
Geoffrey West (Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life, in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies)
The only currently programmable goals that are guaranteed to remain truly well-defined as an AI gets progressively more intelligent are goals expressed in terms of physical quantities alone, such as particle arrangements, energy and entropy. However, we currently have no reason to believe that any such definable goals will be desirable in guaranteeing the survival of humanity.
Max Tegmark (Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence)
We always make our life more complicated...its not our fault its the law of nature.Everything in this world tends to have more entropy.So don't worry if you have complicated life you are a part of nature.contribute to entropy:
Now that you’re aware of the basic principles behind success, make it a habit to regularly sniff out and eliminate energy drains in your life and work. Energy drains are a symptom of entropy. Energy gains are a symptom of integration. Your goal is to keep the gains high and the drains low.
Lex Sisney (Organizational Physics: The Science of Growing a Business)
You are a chemical reaction which sole true purpose is to convert low entropy energy into high entropy energy through what you call your life, which is so insignificant of a time span in the universe, that everything that you will ever do, feel, say or think is utterly meaningless in the face of the inevitable heat death of the universe.
It is a scientific fact that most situations in life go from bad to worse—I believe it’s called entropy. Any scientists who happened to be observing us at this moment would have been quietly satisfied to see that this natural law held true. As Deborah had said, I really did get insights into the sick and twisted creatures of the night. But that was because I was one of them. Deborah was the only living person I had ever talked to on the subject. After all, I didn’t want people walking around and saying things like, “Gee, Dexter thinks just like a killer. Wonder why?” Additionally, since these thoughts came from a private place, deep inside Dexter’s Dungeon, discussing it always made me feel slightly naked. I thought my sister understood that, but every now and then, like now, she dragged me stripped and flinching into the spotlight.
Jeff Lindsay (Dexter's Final Cut (Dexter, #7))
And don’t ever make the mistake of thinking that things you didn’t intend or plan don’t matter. It’s a big, disorganised multiverse out there – an accident of stars. Almost nothing ever works out like we want it to, and when it does, there’s guaranteed to be unexpected consequences. Randomness is what separates life from entropy, but it’s also what makes it fun.
Foz Meadows (An Accident of Stars (Manifold Worlds, #1))
The ultimate future hope remains a surprise, partly because we don’t know when it will arrive and partly because at present we have only images and metaphors for it, leaving us to guess that the reality will be far greater, and more surprising, still. And the intermediate hope—the things that happen in the present time to implement Easter and anticipate the final day—are always surprising because, left to ourselves, we lapse into a kind of collusion with entropy, acquiescing in the general belief that things may be getting worse but that there’s nothing much we can do about them. And we are wrong. Our task in the present—of which this book, God willing, may form part—is to live as resurrection people in between Easter and the final day, with our Christian life, corporate and individual, in both worship and mission, as a sign of the first and a foretaste of the second.
N.T. Wright (Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church)
The essential meaning of entropy for human life was well stated by Carl Jung: “Everything better is purchased at the price of something worse.
William Ophuls (Apologies to the Grandchildren: Reflections on Our Ecological Predicament, Its Deeper Causes, and Its Political Consequences)
When things don't change any longer, that's the end result of entropy, the heat-death of the universe. The more things go on moving, interrelating, conflicting, changing, the less balance there is - and the more life.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Lathe of Heaven)
Since the nineteenth century it has been known that, in a closed system, energy will dissipate until it reaches a constant and even level: physicists explain this in terms of increasing amount of disorder, or entropy, that inevitably appears in such systems. Organisms seem to go against this fundamental law because we are highly ordered forms of matter that concentrate energy in a very restricted space. Schrödinger's explanation was that life survives ´by continually sucking orderliness from its environment´ - he described order as ´negative entropy´. This apparent breach of one of the fundamental laws of the Universe does not cause any problems for physics, because on a cosmological scale our existence is so brief, our physical dimensions so minute, that the iron reality of the second law does not flutter for an instant. Whether life exists or not, entropy increases inexorably. According to our current models, this will continue until the ultimate heat death of the Universe, when all matter will be evenly spaced and nothing happens, and it carries on not happening forever.
Matthew Cobb (Life's Greatest Secret: The Race to Crack the Genetic Code)
Some of the older people I've counseled seemed almost disappointed that humanity was spared its just ecological deserts." "It was tough on the Schadenfreude crowd," Majewski agreed, grinning. "The ones who viewed humankind as a sort of plague organism spoiling what might otherwise have been a pretty good planet. But paleontologists tend to take a long view of life. Some creatures survive, some become extinct. But no matter how great the ecological disaster, the paradox called life keeps on defying entropy and trying to perfect itself. Hard times just seem to help evolution.
Julian May (The Many-Coloured Land (Saga of Pliocene Exile, #1))
Whenever he was reminded that life was a losing battle to entropy, what with light-bulbs flickering and horseshoes and nails shuffling out of neat order the moment he turned his back, he was also reminded that humor and a cheerful disposition were the only known antidotes.
Graham Joyce (Some Kind of Fairy Tale)
It isn’t true, as is sometimes stated, that life generates structures that are particularly ordered, or that locally diminish entropy: it is simply a process that degrades and consumes the low entropy of food; it is a self-structured disordering, no more and no less than in the rest of the universe.
Carlo Rovelli (The Order of Time)
In an essay summarizing the results of this research, Baumeister captured what I am trying to convey about the purpose of life, the laws of nature, and the cosmos as it relates to finding meaning, particularly in the context of our search for immortality, the afterlife, and utopia: Meaning is a powerful tool in human life. To understand what that tool is used for, it helps to appreciate something else about life as a process of ongoing change. A living thing might always be in flux, but life cannot be at peace with endless change. Living things yearn for stability, seeking to establish harmonious relationships with their environment. They want to know how to get food, water, shelter and the like. They find or create places where they can rest and be safe … Life, in other words, is change accompanied by a constant striving to slow or stop the process of change, which leads ultimately to death. If only change could stop, especially at some perfect point: that was the theme of the profound story of Faust’s bet with the devil. Faust lost his soul because he could not resist the wish that a wonderful moment would last forever. Such dreams are futile. Life cannot stop changing until it ends.14 That a meaningful, purposeful life comes from struggle and challenge against the vicissitudes of nature more than it does a homeostatic balance of extropic pushback against entropy reinforces the point that the Second Law of Thermodynamics is the First Law of Life. We must act in the world. The thermostat is always being adjusted, balance sought but never achieved. There is no Faustian bargain to be made in life. We may strive for immortality while never reaching it, as we may seek utopian bliss while never finding it, for it is the striving and the seeking that matter, not the attainment of the unattainable. We are volitional beings, so the choice to act is ours, and our sense of purpose is defined by reaching for the upper limits of our natural abilities and learned skills, and by facing challenges with courage and conviction.
Michael Shermer (Heavens on Earth: The Scientific Search for the Afterlife, Immortality, and Utopia)
Yet with all this self-examination, she began to feel that maybe she wasn’t all that different from her mother. There was an allure to this lifestyle, a sense of being above the messy, dirty strata of common life. She could feel it calling to her, pulling at her sense of self-worth, telling her she was special, that she deserved this. But where would that lead? Would it lead to a place where relationships became simply about how much someone could do for her? She shuddered; maybe she wasn’t so different from her mother after all.
Gerald M. Kilby (Entropy (The Belt #2))
Here’s something I’ve learned about truth. When you first discover and live it, it transforms your life. In no uncertain ways. But it doesn’t end there. You cannot stay at the same level as when you first practiced your truth, life won’t let you. Life is entropy. A beautiful chaos. But with rhythm, underpinnings of clockwork. Almost as if designed to push you to the next stage of your growth.
Kamal Ravikant (Live Your Truth)
THE DEVIL TEACHES THERMODYNAMICS My second law, your second law, ordains that local order, structures in space and time, be crafted in ever-so-losing contention with proximal disorder in this neat but getting messier universe. And we, in the intricate machinery of our healthy bodies and life-support systems, in the written and televised word do declare the majesty of the zoning ordinances of this Law. But oh so smart, we think that we are not things, like weeds, or rust, or plain boulders, and so invent a reason for an eternal subsidy of our perfection, or at least perfectibility, give it the names of God or the immortal soul. And while we allow the dissipations that cannot be hid, like death, and — in literary stances — even the end of love, we make the others just plain evil: anger, lust, pride — the whole lot of pimples of the spirit. Diseases need vectors, so the old call goes out for me. But the kicker is that the struts of God's stave church, those nice seven, they're such a tense and compressed support group that when they get through you're really ready to let off some magma. Faith serves up passing certitude to weak minds, recruits for the cults, and too much of her is going to play hell with that other grand invention of yours, the social contract. Boring Prudence hangs around with conservatives, and Love, love you say! Love one, leave out the others. Love them all, none will love you. I tell you, friends, love is the greatest entropy-increasing device invented by God. Love is my law's sweet man. And for God himself, well, his oneness seems too much for natural man to love, so he comes up with Northern Irelands and Lebanons... The argument to be made is not for your run-of-the-mill degeneracy, my stereotype. No, I want us to awake, join the imperfect universe at peace with the disorder that orders. For the cold death sets in slowly, and there is time, so much time, for the stars' light to scatter off the eddies of chance, into our minds, there to build ever more perfect loves, invisible cities, our own constellation.
Roald Hoffman
Ironically, the modern era of molecular biology, and all the extraordinary DNA technology that it entails, arguably began with a physicist, specifically with the publication of Erwin Schrödinger’s book What is Life? in 1944. Schrödinger made two key points: first, that life somehow resists the universal tendency to decay, the increase in entropy (disorder) that is stipulated by the second law of thermodynamics; and second, that the trick to life’s local evasion of entropy lies in the genes. He proposed that the genetic material is an ‘aperiodic’ crystal, which does not have a strictly repeating structure, hence could act as a ‘code-script’ – reputedly the first use of the term in the biological literature. Schrödinger himself assumed, along with most biologists at the time, that the quasicrystal in question must be a protein; but within a frenzied decade, Crick and Watson had inferred the crystal structure of DNA itself.
Nick Lane (The Vital Question: Why is life the way it is?)
Prigogine and Stengers also undermine conventional views of thermodynamics by showing that, under nonequilibrium conditions, at least, entropy may produce, rather than degrade, order, organization—and therefore life. If this is so, then entropy, too, loses its either/or character. While certain systems run down, other systems simultaneously evolve and grow more coherent. This mutualistic, nonexclusive view makes it possible for biology and physics to coexist rather than merely contradict one another.
Ilya Prigogine (Order Out of Chaos: Man's New Dialogue with Nature (Radical Thinkers))
We can be more specific about what the universe would look like if it were an eternal system fluctuating around equilibrium. Boltzmann invoked the anthropic principle (although he didn’t call it that) to explain why we wouldn’t find ourselves in one of the very common equilibrium phases: In equilibrium, life cannot exist. Clearly, what we want to do is find the most common conditions within such a universe that are hospitable to life. Or, if we want to be a bit more careful, perhaps we should look for conditions that are not only hospitable to life, but hospitable to the particular kind of intelligent and self-aware life that we like to think we are. Maybe this is a way out? Maybe, we might reason, in order for an advanced scientific civilization such as ours to arise, we require a “support system” in the form of an entire universe filled with stars and galaxies, originating in some sort of super-low-entropy early condition. Maybe that could explain why we find such a profligate universe around us. No. Here is how the game should be played: You tell me the particular thing you insist must exist in the universe, for anthropic reasons. A solar system, a planet, a particular ecosystem, a type of complex life, the room you are sitting in now, whatever you like. And then we ask, “Given that requirement, what is the most likely state of the rest of the universe in the Boltzmann-Lucretius scenario, in addition to the particular thing we are asking for?” And the answer is always the same: The most likely state of the rest of the universe is to be in equilibrium. If we ask, “What is the most likely way for an infinite box of gas in equilibrium to fluctuate into a state containing a pumpkin pie?,” the answer is “By fluctuating into a state that consists of a pumpkin pie floating by itself in an otherwise homogeneous box of gas.” Adding anything else to the picture, either in space or in time—an oven, a baker, a previously existing pumpkin patch—only makes the scenario less likely, because the entropy would have to dip lower to make that happen. By far the easiest way to get a pumpkin pie in this context is for it to gradually fluctuate all by itself out of the surrounding chaos.
Sean Carroll (From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time)
But where did the watch come from? This watch is a jinni—elderly Miss McKenna gives it to the young playwright, who takes it back in time to deliver it to her as a young woman. She keeps it all her life until it is time to return it to him. So who made the watch? No one. The watch never went anywhere near a watch factory. Its world line is circular. Novikov has noted that in the case of a macroscopic jinni like this the outside world must always expend energy to repair any wear-and-tear (entropy) it has accumulated so it can be returned exactly to its original condition as it completes its loop. Permissible in theory, macroscopic jinn are improbable. The whole story in Somewhere in Time could have taken place without the watch. The watch seems particularly unlikely since it appears to keep good time. One could have imagined finding a nonworking watch or perhaps a paper clip that passes back and forth between the couple. How lucky to encounter a watch that works! According to quantum mechanics, if one has enough energy, one can always make a macroscopic object spontaneously appear (along with associated antiparticles, which have equal mass but opposite electric charge)—it’s just extremely unlikely. Similarly with jinn, it would be more improbable to find a watch than a paper clip and more improbable to find a paper clip than an electron. The more massive and more complex the macroscopic jinni, the rarer it will be.
J. Richard Gott III (Time Travel in Einstein's Universe: The Physical Possibilities of Travel Through Time)
Adopt an experimental mindset, looking for opportunities to run experiments and apply the scientific method wherever possible. Respect inertia: create or join healthy flywheels; avoid strategy taxes and trying to enact change in high-inertia situations unless you have a tactical advantage such as discovery of a catalyst and a lot of potential energy. When enacting change, think deeply about how to reach critical mass and how you will navigate the technology adoption life cycle. Use forcing functions to grease the wheels for change. Actively cultivate your luck surface area and put in work needed to not be subsumed by entropy. When faced with what appears to be a zero-sum or black-and-white situation, look for additional options and ultimately for a win-win. 5
Gabriel Weinberg (Super Thinking: The Big Book of Mental Models)
Any given eddy [in fluid dynamics] taken separately has a lower internal entropy than its chaotic surroundings, but the source of that local incidence of low entropy is the streamlined flow that it formed in. And those turbulent eddies ultimately serve to increase the entropy of the greater flow. So given a much larger source of order, the global process of dissipation of that order results in eddies of low entropy. Life appears to be just such an eddy. In the case of life, the original source of extreme low entropy is the Big Bang itself. In the process of redistributing energy into the most random possible state, little eddies of order, like galaxies, stars, planets, and life, naturally arise. These blips in order are actually serving the second law, helping the universe disperse its early extreme low entropy state. So I guess that makes you a little eddy of order, a momentary fluctuation of interesting but ultimately, in service of the spread of disorder and dullness, an agent in the inexorable trend to maximise the entropy of... Space-Time.
Matt O'Dowd
If we wish to use the word “life” to cover all phenomena which locally swim upstream against the current of increasing entropy, we are at liberty to do so. However, we shall then include many astronomical phenomena which have only the shadiest resemblance to life as we ordinarily know it. It is in my opinion, therefore, best to avoid all question-begging epithets such as “life,” “soul,” “vitalism,” and the like, and say merely in connection with machines that there is no reason why they may not resemble human beings in representing pockets of decreasing entropy in a framework in which the large entropy tends to increase.
Norbert Wiener (The Human Use Of Human Beings: Cybernetics And Society (The Da Capo series in science))
Life is full of challenging, frustrating, and mundane experiences, and to live in your new story will require daily, intentional decisions to choose God’s design for life and not allow the entropy of a mediocre existence to win the day.
Nicole Unice (The Struggle Is Real: Getting Better at Life, Stronger in Faith, and Free from the Stuff Keeping You Stuck)
There is nothing stable, except the striving of life to impress its will upon the universe contrary to the direction of the flow of entropy.
M.A. Foster (The Book of the Ler (Ler, #1-3))
As it happened, the child’s mother was a radiologist. The tumor looked malignant—the mother had already studied the scans, and now she sat in a plastic chair, under fluorescent light, devastated. “Now, Claire,” the surgeon began, softly. “Is it as bad as it looks?” the mother interrupted. “Do you think it’s cancer?” “I don’t know. What I do know—and I know you know these things, too—is that your life is about to—it already has changed. This is going to be a long haul, you understand? You have got to be there for each other, but you also have to get your rest when you need it. This kind of illness can either bring you together, or it can tear you apart. Now more than ever, you have to be there for each other. I don’t want either of you staying up all night at the bedside or never leaving the hospital. Okay?” He went on to describe the planned operation, the likely outcomes and possibilities, what decisions needed to be made now, what decisions they should start thinking about but didn’t need to decide on immediately, and what sorts of decisions they should not worry about at all yet. By the end of the conversation, the family was not at ease, but they seemed able to face the future. I had watched the parents’ faces—at first wan, dull, almost otherworldly—sharpen and focus. And as I sat there, I realized that the questions intersecting life, death, and meaning, questions that all people face at some point, usually arise in a medical context. In the actual situations where one encounters these questions, it becomes a necessarily philosophical and biological exercise. Humans are organisms, subject to physical laws, including, alas, the one that says entropy always increases. Diseases are molecules misbehaving; the basic requirement of life is metabolism, and death its cessation. While all doctors treat diseases, neurosurgeons work in the crucible of identity: every operation on the brain is, by necessity, a manipulation of the substance of our selves, and every conversation with a patient undergoing brain surgery cannot help but confront this fact. In addition, to the patient and family, the brain surgery is
Paul Kalanithi (When Breath Becomes Air)
set aside more preserves, extinguished fewer species, saved the ozone layer, and peaked in their consumption of oil, farmland, timber, paper, cars, coal, and perhaps even carbon. For all their differences, the world’s nations came to a historic agreement on climate change, as they did in previous years on nuclear testing, proliferation, security, and disarmament. Nuclear weapons, since the extraordinary circumstances of the closing days of World War II, have not been used in the seventy-two years they have existed. Nuclear terrorism, in defiance of forty years of expert predictions, has never happened. The world’s nuclear stockpiles have been reduced by 85 percent, with more reductions to come, and testing has ceased (except by the tiny rogue regime in Pyongyang) and proliferation has frozen. The world’s two most pressing problems, then, though not yet solved, are solvable: practicable long-term agendas have been laid out for eliminating nuclear weapons and for mitigating climate change. For all the bleeding headlines, for all the crises, collapses, scandals, plagues, epidemics, and existential threats, these are accomplishments to savor. The Enlightenment is working: for two and a half centuries, people have used knowledge to enhance human flourishing. Scientists have exposed the workings of matter, life, and mind. Inventors have harnessed the laws of nature to defy entropy, and entrepreneurs have made their innovations affordable. Lawmakers have made people better off by discouraging acts that are individually beneficial but collectively harmful. Diplomats have done the same with nations. Scholars have perpetuated the treasury of knowledge and augmented the power of reason. Artists have expanded the circle of sympathy. Activists have pressured the powerful to overturn repressive measures, and their fellow citizens to change repressive norms. All these efforts have been channeled into institutions that have allowed us to circumvent the flaws of human nature and empower our better angels. At the same time . . . Seven hundred million people in the world today live in extreme poverty. In the regions where they are concentrated, life expectancy is less than 60, and almost a quarter of the people are undernourished.
Steven Pinker (Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress)
Generally speaking, the more creative a person you are, the more deeply you are affected by this kind of melancholic chemistry. The state of entropy is rather like a vacuum state. Your system is recharging, so the energy within you withdraws into a kind of stasis. The resulting feelings or lack of feeling and/or enthusiasm provide a delicate environment for something quite special to occur, if you are patient enough to allow it. This something is the creative process. In other words, your low energy means that something intangible is gestating inside you even though you cannot yet see it. Only when the state mutates to its expressive stage will you see what the process is about. These low times in your life are therefore very special times, and they generally require aloneness and withdrawal in order for the seeds sprouting inside you to germinate. The worst enemy at such times is interference from your own mind (or indeed someone else’s mind) wondering what is wrong with you.
Richard Rudd (The Gene Keys: Embracing Your Higher Purpose)
perhaps he was engaging in some kind of entropy tourism, a tour of the authentic disorder of life.
Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi (Call Me Zebra)
Because Life is suffering, Phil. It was a constant struggle from the moment it started: against entropy, against other life. The losers always outnumber the winners ten to one, and the winners always lose eventually.
Jonathan Strahan (Infinity's End (The Infinity Project Book 7))
There are no individual solutions to collective problems. Nonetheless, it is individuals who must come together and figure out what to do. In all of this, there is the unaddressed question of leadership. The anarchist in me genuinely believes rotating leadership is a solution: people take turns taking the lead in the areas of their greatest competence, interest, or desire. Another similar collaborative idea might be: best idea wins. But art is so subjective, and for five different people five different ideas might each seem best. It has always been my thinking that if someone in the group feels strongly that we should do something, then we should do it, their strong desire shouldn’t be watered or sanded down by the democratic entropy of the group. I want the projects to be open enough to welcome the strongest impulses of each of the participants. This is my ideal, and like all ideals it is something I often fall short of achieving. Perhaps this ideal is not even best for every collaborative situation. In a sense, it is just another way of saying that I want to work in ways that are deeply collaborative while at the same time keeping our most intense individual artistic differences more alive than alive.
Jacob Wren (Authenticity is a Feeling: My Life in PME-ART)
And as I sat there, I realized that the questions intersecting life, death, and meaning, questions that all people face at some point, usually arise in a medical context. In the actual situations where one encounters these questions, it becomes a necessarily philosophical and biological exercise. Humans are organisms, subject to physical laws, including, alas, the one that says entropy always increases. Diseases are molecules misbehaving; the basic requirement of life is metabolism, and death its cessation.
Paul Kalanithi (When Breath Becomes Air)
Erwin Schrödinger, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1933, summed up the basis of life: “What an organism feeds upon is negative entropy” (negative entropy or negentropy = free energy).
Vaclav Smil (How the World Really Works: The Science Behind How We Got Here and Where We're Going)
chaos in her eyes Sitting with Christine, thinking about the chaos in her eyes, his emotional chaos, plotting to lure her out for a weekend of love, he wished in a chaotic, physical logic,” I wish I could count the number of causes and their probabilities that affect your feelings about me and that will determine what kind of answer I get if I ask you out for a date.” -What? What is that you just said? (An internal voice). By knowing the causes and the probabilities of the order in which they occur, you predict emotions Is that possible? Can we treat human emotions like the weather? Are there sensors to measure our emotions across time points in our history from which we can predict our future actions and their impact on us and others? Is there a computer with enormous capacity that can collect, analyze, and predict them? Do human emotions fall within this randomness? Throughout their history, physicists have rejected the idea of a relationship between human emotions and the surrounding world. Emotions are incomprehensible, they cannot be expected, what cannot be expected cannot be measured, what cannot be measured cannot be formulated into equations, and what cannot be formulated into equations, screw it, reject it, get rid of it, it is not part of this world. These ideas were acceptable to physicists in the past before we knew that we can control the effect of randomness to some extent through control sciences, and predict it by collecting a huge amount of data through special sensors and analyzing it. What affects when a plane arrives? Wind speed and direction? Our motors compensate for this unwanted turbulence. A lightning strike could destroy it? Our lightning rods control this disturbance and neutralize its danger. Running out of fuel? We have fuel meter indicators. Engine failure? We have alternative solutions for an emergency landing. All fall under the category of control sciences, But what about the basic building blocks of an airplane model during its flight? Humans themselves! A passenger suddenly felt dizzy, and felt ill, did the pilot decide to change his destination to the nearest airport? Another angry person caused a commotion, did he cause the flight to be canceled? Our emotions are part of this world, affect it, and can be affected by, interact with. Since we can predict chaos if we have the tools to collect, measure, and analyze it, and since we can neutralize its harmful effects through control science, thus, we can certainly do the same to human emotions as we do with weather and everything else that we have been able to predict and neutralize its undesirable effect. But would we get the desired results? nobody knows… -“Not today, not today, Robert”, he spoke to himself. – If you can’t do it today, you can’t do it for a lifetime, all you have to do now is simply to ask her out and let her chaos of feelings take you wherever she wants. Unconsciously, about to make the request, his phone rang, the caller being his mother and the destination being Tel Aviv. Standing next to Sheikh Ruslan at the building door, this wall fascinated him. -The universe worked in some parts of its paint even to the point of entropy, which it broke, so it painted a very beautiful painting, signed by its greatest law, randomness. If Van Gogh was here, he would not have a nicer one. Sheikh Ruslan knocked on the door, they heard the sound of footsteps behind him, someone opened a small window from it, as soon as he saw the Sheikh until he closed it immediately, then there was a rattle in the stillness of the alley, iron locks opening. Here Robert booked a front-row seat for the night with the absurd, illogic and subconscious.
Ahmad I. AlKhalel (Zero Moment: Do not be afraid, this is only a passing novel and will end (Son of Chaos Book 1))
CHANGE IS good. Change challenges the norm. It creates opportunities for you to grow and evolve. Without change, you might never discover new paths in life or hope to become a better person. But sometimes, too much change, too quickly, can do your head in.
Michael McGinty (Entropy: A Post-Apocalyptic Novel of the End of Humanity)
The world changes, and life fights entropy.
Marina J. Lostetter (Noumenon Ultra (Noumenon, #3))
Turnings come in cycles of four. Each cycle spans the length of a long human life, roughly eighty to one hundred years, a unit of time the ancients called the saeculum. Together, the four turnings of the saeculum comprise history’s seasonal rhythm of growth, maturation, entropy, and destruction:
William Strauss (The Fourth Turning: What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America's Next Rendezvous with Destiny)
In my entire life, few things have been more painful than watching someone I love self-destruct. Daddio used to say, "You can stop a homicide, but you can't stop no suicide."... We all have to contend with the natural process of destruction. Everything is impermanent- your body's going to get old; your best friend is going to graduate and move to another city; that tree you used to climb in front of Stacy Brooks's house is going to crash down in a storm. Your parents are going to die. Everything changes; it rises and it falls. Nothing and no one is immune to the entropy of the universe. p158
Will Smith (Will)
The assessment will be guided by insights from research in particle physics, astrophysics, and cosmology that allow us to predict how the universe will unfold over epochs that dwarf the timeline back to the bang. There are significant uncertainties, of course, and like most scientists I live for the possibility that nature will slap down our hubris and reveal surprises we can’t yet fathom. But focusing on what we’ve measured, on what we’ve observed, and on what we’ve calculated, what we’ll find, as laid out in chapters 9 and 10, is not heartening. Planets and stars and solar systems and galaxies and even black holes are transitory. The end of each is driven by its own distinctive combination of physical processes, spanning quantum mechanics through general relativity, ultimately yielding a mist of particles drifting through a cold and quiet cosmos. How will conscious thought fare in a universe experiencing such transformation? The language for asking and answering this question is provided once again by entropy. And by following the entropic trail we will encounter the all-too-real possibility that the very act of thinking, undertaken by any entity of any kind anywhere, may be thwarted by an unavoidable buildup of environmental waste: in the distant future, anything that thinks may burn up in the heat generated by its own thoughts. Thought itself may become physically impossible. While the case against endless thought will be based on a conservative set of assumptions, we will also consider alternatives, possible futures more conducive to life and thinking. But the most straightforward reading suggests that life, and intelligent life in particular, is ephemeral. The interval on the cosmic timeline in which conditions allow for the existence of self-reflective beings may well be extremely narrow. Take a cursory glance at the whole shebang, and you might miss life entirely. Nabokov’s description of a human life as a “brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness”6 may apply to the phenomenon of life itself. We mourn our transience and take comfort in a symbolic transcendence, the legacy of having participated in the journey at all. You and I won’t be here, but others will, and what you and I do, what you and I create, what you and I leave behind contributes to what will be and how future life will live. But in a universe that will ultimately be devoid of life and consciousness, even a symbolic legacy—a whisper intended for our distant descendants—will disappear into the void. Where, then, does that leave us?
Brian Greene (Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe)
With the importance of resetting the entropy each time a steam engine goes through a cycle, you might wonder what would happen if the entropy reset were to fail. That’s tantamount to the steam engine not expelling adequate waste heat, and so with each cycle the engine would get hotter until it would overheat and break down. If a steam engine were to suffer such a fate it might prove inconvenient but, assuming there were no injuries, would likely not drive anyone into an existential crisis. Yet the very same physics is central to whether life and mind can persist indefinitely far into the future. The reason is that what holds for the steam engine holds for you. It is likely that you don’t consider yourself to be a steam engine or perhaps even a physical contraption. I, too, only rarely use those terms to describe myself. But think about it: your life involves processes no less cyclical than those of the steam engine. Day after day, your body burns the food you eat and the air you breathe to provide energy for your internal workings and your external activities. Even the very act of thinking—molecular motion taking place in your brain—is powered by these energy-conversion processes. And so, much like the steam engine, you could not survive without resetting your entropy by purging excess waste heat to the environment. Indeed, that’s what you do. That’s what we all do. All the time. It’s why, for example, the military’s infrared goggles designed to “see” the heat we all continually expel do a good job of helping soldiers spot enemy combatants at night. We can now appreciate more fully Russell’s mind-set when imagining the far future. We are all waging a relentless battle to resist the persistent accumulation of waste, the unstoppable rise of entropy. For us to survive, the environment must absorb and carry away all the waste, all the entropy, we generate. Which raises the question, Does the environment—by which we now mean the observable universe—provide a bottomless pit for absorbing such waste? Can life dance the entropic two-step indefinitely? Or might there come a time when the universe is, in effect, stuffed and so is unable to absorb the waste heat generated by the very activities that define us, bringing an end to life and mind? In the lachrymose phrasing of Russell, is it true that “all the labors of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins”?
Brian Greene (Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe)
Sometimes you gotta embrace the chaos in your life in order to find the peace in it, ya know?
E.R. Whyte (Entropy)
If a subset of the universe is special in this sense, then for this subset the entropy of the universe is low in the past, the second law of thermodynamics obtains; memories exist, traces are left—and there can be evolution, life, and thought. In other words, if in the universe there is something like this—and it seems natural to me that there could be—then we belong to that something. Here, “we” refers to that collection of physical variables to which we commonly have access and by means of which we describe the universe.
Carlo Rovelli (The Order of Time)
Similarly, in the boundless variety of the universe, it may happen that there are physical systems that interact with the rest of the world through those particular variables that define an initial low entropy. With regard to these systems, entropy is constantly increasing. There, and not elsewhere, there are the typical phenomena associated with the flowing of time: life is possible, together with evolution, thought, and our awareness of time passing. There, the apples grow that produce our cider: time. That sweet juice that contains all the ambrosia and all the gall of life.
Carlo Rovelli (The Order of Time)
For a writer, the conditions of production are the conditions of happiness. Even if you’re writing in penury and misery (or, as Orwell is, broke and bronchitic in a hovel), at least you’re writing, and to write is to wrest the happiness of production from your life by putting a word count between yourself and oblivion. It is the difference between action and entropy; between life and psychic death.
Anna Funder (Wifedom: Mrs Orwell's Invisible Life)