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Posted by Philip on 13 November 2013, 1:06 pm in , , , , , ,

Feel like things are becoming less and less orderly? Here's the science behind it.

Man biting fingers and looking woried

I've used the scientific notion of entropy before — it's the measure of the number of ways in which a system may be arranged, often taken to be a measure of "disorder" (the higher the entropy, the higher the disorder) [*] — to justify the need to decay culture and structures in order to better understand and accommodate diversity.

In the TEDxTalk below, Sean Carroll, a theoretical physicist at Caltech, explains the inherent increase in entropy of the universe. In other words, the universe has and will continue to become more and more disordered over time (in fact, he points out, increasing entropy is how scientists explain the flow of time from past to present).

When you apply this inevitable increase in entropy/disorder to our social, economic, political and environmental conditions, it becomes clear. Things are destined to become less and less ordered.

If this is so, any attempt to slow, stop or reverse this entropy/disorder/chaos is futile. The challenge becomes, how do we adapt to it? 

 

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