en·tro·py
ˈentrəpē/
noun
noun: entropy; plural noun: entropies; symbol: S
  1. 1.
    Physics
    a thermodynamic quantity representing the unavailability of a system's thermal energy for conversion into mechanical work, often interpreted as the degree of disorder or randomness in the system.
  2. 2.
    lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder.


Everything in the Universe is concentrically related.  The movement of the Earth is elliptical as is its orbit around the Sun.  Our galaxy and others move very much in the same way.  The ellipse is, more or less, a universal shape and a universal motion.  The systems that drive the universe effect one another in much the same way, concentrically.  Entropy as defined above is basically the loss of heat to the universe to such an extent that the systems they power become ineffective.  They erode into non-discernable patterns; chaos.  The second definition is essentially chaos itself, not simply the decline toward it.

 

      Human beings are a part of this universe.  We are subject to the same laws.  Heat is an essential component of our very survival, and the loss of it makes us ineffective and eventually kills us.  When we die our bodies lose heat, decay, and eventually erode into dust, a non-discernable pattern.  Why all this talk about death and erosion?  It doesn't have to do exclusively with death.  I am merely trying to draw a connection to the universe and ourselves.  Honestly, I believe the truth is a lot less tangible.  Human instinct has been dulled to the point of a low intensity malaise.  But there are some things intuitively that we cannot escape.  There are things around us that we sense and feel no matter how hard we try to ignore it.  No matter how much we ply ourselves with drink, distraction, and entertainment.

      What is this thing that I am talking about?  Entropy.  Which is not to say our individual and inevitable doom.  Nor am I speaking about any kind of Dark Age or impending apocalypse.  I am talking about the human version of thermodynamic unavailability for purposes of mechanical work.  What I mean is , we can all sense the erosion of things around us into chaos.  Not rotting vegetation, or that carton of Chinese food in your fridge.  I mean we can sense that the world is beginning to make less and less sense to us.  It is becoming chaotic.

       Celestial bodies occupy the cold expanses of space.  The Sun gives off enormous amounts of heat through a process of fusion.  Most that heat is lost in a vaccum of cold emptiness.  Human beings, on the other hand have the distinct advantage of not only generating heat, but absorbing it from other sources and retaining it.  I'm speaking of the collective action of generating, losing, and exchanging heat.  Our process of erosion or decline it not an automated and solitary process.  Unlike the Sun, we do not have 5 billion years left on our individual lives.  But we do have the potential for prolonging our existence and the existence of the things we create through a process of exchange.

       Thousands of years ago, man acquired language.  And through the commonality of language and the necessity of the time he/she created culture, custom, tradition, laws etc.  These things were created because through commonality we found cohesion.  Through cohesion we found "heat",  through which we convert that heat into purpose and work, and value.  There are patterns in cohesion.  And in patterns we find order.  Order is the diametric opposite of chaos.  We agree to live in societies, obey laws, and trade using standard currencies.  Without order, no advanced endeavors would be possible.

      This order is in jeopardy.  At least, in the West, we have become a society of individuals.  We are all our own individual stars, drifting in the cold expanse of space.  We gleam more brightly in such solitary conditions, looking no less glorious because our proximity to other stars is so great.  We are also expending our heat, our energy, our life to those frigid expanses.  But we were not meant to live this way.  Why do people instinctively huddle together when they are outside on a winter day?  Why do we snuggle that much closer on the sofa or in bed when it is chilly in the house?  We do it to arrest the loss of heat from our bodies.  We radiate it, and exchange it with our loved ones and close friends when it is cold.  Not only is our individual "order" being maintained, i.e. our lives, but an order of sorts is established in this sort of action.  A tacit agreement is entered into for exchange of services based upon necessity.  No one person is measurably more important than another in this order.

        Is it possible that the inverse is happening in our daily lives?  Is the distance between the individual growing?  What I see is not people seeing the inherent value in others.  I see us as people holding ourselves above others, as if the laws of physics and the universe don't apply.  Not only do we hold ourselves above others, but we actively seek to do so.  When opinion becomes fact in the minds of individuals, unable to be released by ego or vanity.  We are losing the ability to think and act collectively, completely oblivious to the fact that it is necessary for our survival.  Like the example of people huddling together on a cold day, we have the ability to act in concert to serve a greater purpose, to form orders and systems comprised of one another that will allow us to maintain heat and therefore order.

        This process of individualization progresses, we grow farther and farther from other sources of heat and energy.  For stars this is ok, it is part of the natural order.  But for human beings who generate and absorb heat this process is potentially harmful.  We are no longer in a position absorb the heat of others and the heat we produce ourselves is less likely to be transferred to another.  Further, as we grow farther apart from others there is less and less of a discernable pattern amongst us.  As that pattern erodes, all of the social and political systems we have created also begin to erode. 

       We have begun to view the systems that we created as oppressive so we instinctively move away from them.  And some of these systems are oppressive.  But putting distance between yourself and others isn't necessarily the way to go.  Heat in human dynamics is just an metaphor for work, mechanical or otherwise.  It represents not simply physical distance and loss of heat leading to erosion into chaos.  It also represents psycho-spiritual distance and the loss of equivalent energy.  The result is an eroded and disordered society.  It is this that I beleive human beings can intuitively sense.

       We are becoming a society of miserable individuals huddled in the expanses of humanity, bleeding our heat into space.  Yet we have another advantage over the Sun.  For all its awesome power, and capacity for generating immeasurable energy, the Sun has no choice.  It will burn out one day.  Human beings have a choice.  We can choose to reset the clock on the systems we have built.  We can actively choose to survive by making a conscious decision.  Human beings can choose to re-establish a sense of cohesion by finding or creating commonality.  And it is in finding this commonality that our systems, our cohesion, and our patterns can evolve and continue to have discernable patterns for us.  We can choose for our lives and the world they occupy to make sense.

About the author
J. Austin Yoshino
Author: J. Austin Yoshino
Editor-In-Chief
That's what I do; I read and I know things.
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