When Sadi Carnot, Rudolph Clausius and William Thompson formulated their expressions of what we now think of as “The Second Law of Thermodynamics,” we (the whole blinking planet) were blissfully unaware of the changes that would take place in the philosophy of language after the mid-20th century we would later come to call the “Deconstructionist Turn.” Had we known then what we know now, we would have noticed the obvious – the various expressions of this law took place in the “curved space” (cultural context) of [ridiculously-] Christian thinking, and in light of a view of metaphysics best described as “overly-Newtonian.”
Consider that Einstein’s notion of “time-dilation” would greatly affect the rate of entropic expansion within an isolated system. Then we could ask about the effects that might inflect entropy if we assumed Brownian concepts of motion or Reimannian notions of space. Taken seriously, these altered ways of thinking (some would say more advanced, but not the only ones would could include in the set of “ideas that would materially affect how we both view AND CALCULATE the nature and progressions of entropy within systems”). Ladies and gentlemen, it is time now to think. Let us think.
Early notions of entropy show us that the cultural environment in which they were born were bound to display such notions as affected, or even created, by cultural concepts of the day that formed some of the tacit intellectual capital then taken for granted. This intellectual capital might seem grossly medieval by modern standards. I wish to suggest that my own studies reveal that the original conception of entropy is anathemic. It makes sense in a world characterized by a Great Fall, where God “cursed the man, the woman and the ground.” It would not make much sense in a thought-world characterized by inevitable progress and basic goodness, where we would expect Moore’s Law, but not entropy, to prevail universally. But in Christian-world of the 19th-century — “Jesus-Time” (Time as the progress of Anathema, unto the Apocalypse) formed the culturally-inflected background to the developed conceptions of entropy.
The culturally-inflected “Newtonian” assumptions standing behind the earlier entropy-concepts should alert us to the non-universal nature of our grasp of the entropic notion. Culturally-constrained notions of “what is universal” should warrant our suspicions. Moreover, various later conceptions of entropy (and their formulae) assume the tacit intellectual capital of mutually incompatible worlds — Newtonian, Einsteinian, Quantum, etc. It’s only funny until the wave function collapses on YOUR cat.
But let us consult a scientist on another matter — one that seems to work against entropy over time. Albert Einstein once averred thus: “There is no such thing as magic in the real world. But the closest thing to it is compound interest.” This I believe. If one were to graph the development of a steady-state accretion of the growth of compound interest, it would yield the traditional “parabolic incline.” Entropy (if we showed its converse — orderliness — would start off a little sloped downward past the point of a linear descent, showing declining “order within the system” (useful energy available), and that available energy would eventually fall to zero. But it could progress downward no farther.
Compound interest, on the other hand (representing to my mind Moore’s Law) could turn upward sharply past the knee of the curve and soar upward INDEFINITELY. If you pit the one against the other, compound interest wins. I believe in Moore’s law, so I regard entropy as an ephemeral (fly by night) fiction, not an actual law of physics, but rather a Christian and anathemic phantom. If Maxwell had a few demons, then so also Thompson. Here (We can expect ongoingly) I will be listing and challenging counterinstances to the various formulations of entropy to show that the law of progress is the actually law of the light of nature, and not entropic encroachment. I propose a more scientific end to all such Christianized silliness. There is no good reason to believe that our universe will end in heat death (The Christian apocalypse by refrigeration rather than by fire).
It is interesting to note, that like many born in his native Scotland, Kelvin was a religious man. According to http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/0/24535331 —
“Kelvin believed science must be treated with reverence, as he explained:
‘I have long felt that there was a general impression that the scientific world believes science has discovered ways of explaining all the facts of nature without adopting any definite belief in a Creator. I have never doubted that impression was utterly groundless.
‘The more thoroughly I conduct scientific research, the more I believe science excludes atheism. If you think strongly enough you will be forced by science to the belief in God, which is the foundation of all religion.’
Attendance at a chapel was part of Kelvin’s daily routine and he faithfully studied the Bible.”
Kelvin’s [religious] background and his father were considerable influences on him as Dr Andrew Holmes, a lecturer in the School of History and Anthropology at Queen’s University Belfast, explains:
“In all his endeavours, Kelvin sought to integrate his faith, politics, and professional interests. His Irish background was very important in shaping him.
“He came to the same position as his father: that the universe was a designed system that could be understood because God created the human mind in order, among other things, to understand the natural world.”
Here, I wish to present a view of entropy contrary to the one suggested by the Christian “anathemic view” of it. I hold that, instead of succumbing to it, we will progressively defeat entropy (that is both the nature of human progress [after a fashion] and the record of human achievement (Science tends to defeat entropy with the help of technology)], until we render it negligible in the course of future human progress. In the market place, they speak of “greed versus fear,” where greed indicates the buyers (bull market) and fear the bears (sellers). In my economic metaphor, we can shortsell entropy (make money and order declines) and invest long in science in technology to drive it back indefinitely until we render it negligible. With the wisdom of science and technology, and the persistence and pecuniary chutzpah of the greedy bastards, we cannot lose. Never underestimate the power of greedy bastards.
Please note that the use of negative numbers, non-referential indicators (in some thought-worlds, “Quantity-Lies”) the progress of accruing value on the negative side of the ledger provides the numerical counterpart to entropy — the growing “negative” value. This growing negative value proceeds only upon the non-referential side of the number line (No one can point to -50 oranges), and the “number” of -50 shows a false conflation of an operation (subtraction is repr. by the “-” sign) and the actual quantity “50.” This is known as a “category mistake” in informal logic — here, one confusing the ideas of a mathematical operation with the notion of quantity — united in a numeral supposedly displaying only quantity, and not operation + quantity — the actual false conflation conveyed.
Entropy also purports to show WHAT IS LACKING — a lack of order is a (referential) fiction, just as “absurd” (conceptually muddled) as is the concept of “-7.” Instead, entropy notions will eventually need reformulating to show available and usable energy — what is present — not what is absent.
More about this topic later.