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Viewing entries tagged with 'entropy'

Entropy sucks

Posted by Philip on 17 March 2014, 7:18 pm in , , ,

decaying propertyIn the last two days my dishwasher, vacuum cleaner and hose have broken.

There are two explanations:

  1. Planned obsolescence
  2. The second law of thermal dynamics.

"Planned obsolescence or built-in obsolescence in industrial design is a policy of planning or designing a product with a limited useful life, so it will become obsolete, that is, unfashionable or no longer functional after a certain period of time." (Wikipedia)

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

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

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).

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Sand castles, sand piles and social change

Posted by Philip on 17 January 2012, 8:18 pm in , , , ,

I love the idea of entropy, explained eloquently by the BBC's Dr Brian Cox.  According to Wikipedia, "In statistical mechanics, entropy is a 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)." 

Watch this video and then let's consider entropy from a social change perspective.

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