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Thursday, June 20, 2013

E is for Entropy

Chaos. Anarchy. Free will. They give entropy a very bad name.

There are many applications to entropy in terms of thermodynamics and even information theory, but I am naïve enough to choose my own take on the subject.

Entropy is basically how undesired counters the desired...and it fascinates us, whatever form it takes because it reminds us that we are not in control.

You could say it's the Ying to a Yang, the Joker to the Batman, Kryptonite to Superman...the shit on your doorstep that ruins a perfect day (like a last-minute goal that turns your draw to a loss on PS3...not like I'd know anything about that. Ahem).

But I believe that Entropy is more than a pothole on a good road. I think it the universal humbler of human assumption. We feel the need to be in control, to be our own gods, to have everything right where we want it...we feel the need to support a 'comforting lie'. The truth is bitter, but not defeating.

When Entropy hits us, it may or may not give advanced warning (it can be impolite that way), but it is not an enemy. It isn't a friend either. It is whatever we want it to be.

When I learned that my friend 'Dolu' died, I was a few days late in hearing about it. When my friend Kunmi died the morning I was scheduled to visit him at the hospital. When my daughter was born. When my time with team Ghenghen was up. When my girlfriend left me for my friend. When my plan to get married bowed to the realities of a misalignment of personalities. When my house caught fire in the middle of costing a c-section.

All of these sentences are where Entropy came into my life to rip the already frayed cords of predictability in my life...I paused. I realised Entropy did not do these things to me. In my perspective, it did them 'for' me to see that I am not the only person in my life. That my life is not the only important one in the world. That the truth is more than convenient facts that have been put together by the cleverest minds in the world over the centuries.

Dolu died. Kunmi died. My daughter was born. Team Ghenghen is not my place. My girlfriend was looking to be happier. Dating is more about knowing who you won't marry than finding who you will. Sometimes things have to burn down so you can build higher and better next time.

These things did not just happen to me alone. Things took shape in ways I was not prepared for...and I've grown broader shoulders by bearing these 'strange weights'.

I visit gravesides with more ease now. My daughter's smile and energy promise 'interesting times'. I look back on the Ghenghen in my time and I look forward to hearing wackier episodes. I enjoy working projects with my ex-girlfriend. I hold my ex-fiancé with more regard and respect now than before...and I love easier and wiser. I've got shelves done for my 2,000+ books.

Entropy is not the enemy. Chaos is the name we give when we aren't prepared for or even interested in growing up to changing challenges.

Entropy is anarchy is when we find that people won't bend to our will, even when we have great plans for them, but are unable or unwilling to have them join in our will by speaking their language.

Free will is when people decide to be people and dare limits that others would be more comfortable to ignore. This isn't the same as waving their 'free will' in the faces of others as if to say 'I must trend by force'. That's just tired and crippled behaviour.

So please, when you're about to get upset because Chaos, Anarchy, or Free will bump your is only the enemy if it actually 'hurts' people, not just your ego or your insatiable need to be a 'god' in your world.

Did I make sense? Do I make sense? Should I make sense? Must I make sense? Or am I Entropy's buddy by night, enemy by day, and ambivalent observer by afternoon? Or do I really need to sleep right now?...meh

It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well -- Rene Descartes

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