Tuesday 23 January 2018


My use of the word entropy with something I sent you troubled me a little. So I brushed up on it’s meaning to see if I was correct!

Entropy is a measure of how organized or disorganized a system is: “Gain of entropy eventually is nothing more nor less than loss of information”[3]

Entropy is an important part of the second law of thermodynamics. Thermodynamic systems consist of objects, e.g. atoms or molecules, which “carry” energy. In applied thermodynamics, as a matter of convention, entropy is measured in Joules of energy per kelvin (a unit of temperature).

ETT is focused on one particular aspect of user –efficiency. (related to energy use and flows of capsules carrying people and goods).

From my friend Gary Neville came this explanation that helped me a lot. “The use of the word has become an interdisciplinary subject from Outer Space to Inner Space, from Astrophysics right down to boring Sociological, Pattern, Modeling and Immigration studies”.

Developed by engineers to explain the presence/absence of thermal energy (to do work) in steam locomotives/engines.

Today any energy-related science–with practical applications like heat engines/pumps, refrigeration–in addition to almost everything else from “work”–whether as in Physics or Organization Theory and structural efficiencies and most appropriately in today’s computer age, Information Theory.

Simply put, think of an evolutionary human activity that is well-coordinated and purposely orchestrated to perform some useful “work”–whether building a pyramid, playing a symphony, think of everything that is required to make those things happen such as a stable political system offering shelter, food –an efficient agro-production, education, an efficient transportation network, human use of engineering principles, development of manufacturing technology and processes.

Now imagine Systems Breakdown–what happens when the INVESTMENT in maintaining that high level of coordination/education etc. starts faltering LIKE NOW as many of America’s carefully-crafted institutions start dysfunctioning from reduced investment in maintenance, such as the interstate network, railroads, airports, and harbors. If one focuses on education for a minute–Imagine the capability after the local talent pool atrophies from lack of instruction, plant equipment knowledge and lack of data transmission to the next generation.

No more would much of anything be grown, distributed, built (for replacement, etc), transported efficiently, communicated equitably as the required original talent pool atrophies, diseases proliferate unchecked, and human and animal life dies off as the means of production eventually breaks down and the demand from the remaining population outstrips the supply…. and after 1-2-3 generations of this Neanderthal state of affairs, the world descends/ regresses into a “last chapter” of completely destructive, low-level survival mode to be followed by a final hundreds years of  chaos, and ultimately, death and decay! Ashes to ashes–dust to dust! That process, especially in terms of cosmic scale time, is the inexorable and inevitable INCREASE OF ENTROPY–the heat (absence of) death of the universe. It’s molecular motion ceases.

The act (the thinking and motions–expenditure of energy by you) of organizing your desktop at the end of the day to do the next day’s job fast and efficiently can be considered a REDUCTION OF ENTROPY within your workplace system!

The desktop analog is used a lot in the layman’s discussion of “entropy”.

Graham Kaye-Eddie

M.U.D.            536 words        3/14/2010

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