Entropy – the measure of a system’s thermal energy per unit temperature that is unavailable for doing useful work. Because work is obtained from ordered molecular motion, the amount of entropy is also a measure of the molecular disorder, or randomness, of a system.
No, this blog hasn’t suddenly turned into a physics hub. I just want to make a point and what better way than to use the second law of thermodynamics?
Which happens to say that “entropy always increases with time”.
In simple (or maybe overly simplified) words, disorder is taking over. No way to counteract it, this is a universal law.
And now we come to the very essence of the matter. What does this physics lecture have to do with living a fulfilling life?
Well, I guess you have noticed it too. Murphy’s law in real life. The sandwich always falling down on its topping side. You trying hard but still messing up.
The thing is, the Universe has been programmed with far more “disorder” than “order” scenarios.
So the probability of shit happening is kinda bigger than it not happening.
Stephen Hawking has illustrated this with a nice example in “Brief History of Time”. He says if we have a jigsaw puzzle in a box and shake that box, the chances of getting the pieces all around is much greater than getting them exactly in place to form the picture they are meant to.
Then, are all our attempts to create order, to achieve something, doomed? We are on our way of ruining the Earth, the Sun is bound to explode, the Universe might shrink back together… so why bother?
Here’s the thing. Despite all of the disorder scenarios, the order ones still exist. The chances of them occurring may be lower, but that doesn’t make them non-existent. (If they didn’t exist, you wouldn’t be reading these lines!) They are still here and they are worth the fight.
Despite all odds. In spite of entropy.
I feel a certain kind of release upon admitting this truth. Even a surge of entertainment.
It’s like screaming your head off with the words “Hey entropy, I know you are bigger and stronger and almighty and stuff but guess what? I’m not giving in!”
(mosquito quotes time)
“Don’t be afraid to bite on a giant, learn from the mosquito”
― Bangambiki Habyarimana
“If you think you’re too small to make a difference, try going to bed with a mosquito”
― Dalai Lama
Even if you don’t achieve your grand plan the way you have imagined it to, you have at least tried to be entropy’s pain in the ass.
Isn’t it ever so slightly more motivating to fight against all odds? Isn’t this what all good stories are made up of?
No matter whether you win or lose, you remain a hero forever. Like the famous battle of Leonidas and the 300 Spartans against the Persians.
If nothing else, it made for a great blockbuster movie.
Of course, the point here is not to make a complete mess out of yourself deliberately.
But not to give up even if everything seems impossible.
Cause most definitely it isn’t.
I am sure you have heard of this another very famous movie – The Butterfly Effect. I don’t know about the movie, but in essence, this effect describes how a very small and insignificant action can have the power to mess up a huge, complex system.
The term, closely associated with the work of Edward Lorenz, is derived from the metaphorical example of the details of a tornado (the exact time of formation, the exact path taken) being influenced by minor perturbations such as the flapping of the wings of a distant butterfly several weeks earlier. (Wikipedia)
So yeah, if a butterfly can affect a tornado, imagine what you are capable of. I mean, we can already see the lengths the humankind is getting to. We just take them for granted, accept them for something normal. But all the big structures and edge-cutting innovations are something grandiose, come to think of it.
We just keep trying. To survive, to bring more order. Whether the world ends tomorrow or in billion years. We won’t probably be around to witness entropy completely taking over, so why give up now?
It is astonishing how whether you’ve tidied up your room or not is completely insignificant to humankind. And how whether humankind continues to be or not is completely insignificant to the rest of the Universe.
Yet if the tidiness of your room matters to you, then that’s all that matters. It’s your own battle with entropy. Your own crusade against the mess of life.
Keep trying and know if you get failures, it is simply because the world is wired that way. Because its creative director’s juices flow on the side of disorder. Because it’s having more fun trying to mess with you. So why don’t you have some fun trying to bring some order to ma’am entropy?
One more thing to note.
If you tried only once and succeeded, you wouldn’t try again, right? You wouldn’t try better.
And this last point I have saved for the end, cause it basically undermines everything I said so far. (Oops)
The truth is, the more you try and the more effort you put in, the more energy you give off, you are kinda assisting entropy do its job.
I know the article became messy, but did someone just say enough physics for today?
Now you have a choice.
Not giving up is the only option, but you decide whether you want to feel like David against Goliath or like the almighty’s ally.
In spite of or because of entropy.