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Entropy isn't what it used to be


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#1 bonanova

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 02:49 PM

The title of this puzzle was a bumper sticker's humorous way, a while back, of expressing the famous 2nd law of thermodynamics. Entropy is a measure of disorder, and the Law states that it always increases, when properly accounted for. Examples are shuffling a deck of cards, shaking salt and pepper in the same shaker after carefully placing all the salt on top, and the ongoing need to straighten up the house.

Even if I used tweezers to replace each grain of salt, or restored the cards to suit order, or cleaned the house, the Law still holds. The system would then have to include me. And, sad but certain to say, my entropy would have increased more than the decrease in entropy I would have produced in the cards, salt or house. The gloomy fact is that the Universe is running down. In the struggle between order and disorder, disorder wins out.

In my early years that seemed unfair to me. I thought it should at least be a draw. You should only have to clean the house once. Unless there are small children about ... But it's not so.

So here is the puzzle. Does the Second Law give evidence to a universal evil force that wanders about, looking for ordered states to destroy? Or is there a view that permits neutrality in that regard, while still asserting the Second Law? Well of course there must be a view like that, because that's how things actually are.

The puzzle is, how would you simply and intuitively state such a view? How would you explain to my younger self, or to your child or grandchild, that fairness [neutrality] and the Second Law can and do coexist?

Coveted bonanova Gold Star goes to the most concise answer.

Enjoy this one!
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The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution.
- Bertrand Russell

#2 curr3nt

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 03:03 PM

Spoiler for ...?

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#3 phil1882

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 03:34 PM

Spoiler for well...

Edited by phil1882, 12 October 2012 - 03:34 PM.

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#4 Prof. Templeton

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 03:49 PM

Spoiler for I agree with phil

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#5 lokii

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 04:45 PM

This is my first post here. Hope i understand the question correctly .

To your younger self id say :
The two concepts of fairness ( neutrality ) and the 2nd Law ( decay ) are two completeley diffrent things.
The universe cares not for our perception of fairness.
One is an external force..the other an internal state. They need not meet or be grasped at the same time . It is just very satisfactory to a human brain when they do.

ok..took a crack ..let the cards fall where they may :)
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#6 plainglazed

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 06:13 PM

Spoiler for how i'd explain it to my kids if it had to be concise

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#7 mmiguel

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 11:57 PM

Spoiler for My thoughts

Edited by mmiguel, 15 October 2012 - 12:03 AM.

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#8 phaze

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 04:00 AM

Spoiler for

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Perfecting Mafia suicide since August 2008

#9 TheChad08

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 05:23 AM

First off I would say:
http://www.theatheis.../life-a-poem-2/

Second:
Spoiler for

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#10 Yoruichi-san

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 09:12 PM

Spoiler for Entropy is not "evil" for the same reasons...

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Women are definitely stronger. We are [Fe]males, after all...

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