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entropy

Posted By: wwh

entropy - 01/29/03 08:23 PM

Latest TIME, Caption of photo showing Pres. Bush and UN Sec. Gen. Annan:
"Bush seems blindsided by the entropy of Annan's U.N."
What in hell does that mean?

entropy
n.
5Ger entropie, arbitrary use (by R. J. E. Clausius, 1822-88, Ger physicist) of Gr entropc, a turning toward, as if < Ger en(ergie), ENERGY + Gr tropc, a turning: see TROPE6
1 a thermodynamic measure of the amount of energy unavailable for useful work in a system undergoing change
2 a measure of the degree of disorder in a substance or a system: entropy always increases and available energy diminishes in a closed system, as the universe
3 in information theory, a measure of the information content of a message evaluated as to its uncertainty
en[trop$ic 73tr9p4ik8
adj.


Posted By: Alex Williams

Re: entropy - 01/29/03 08:26 PM

Maybe they mean the degree of discord among the different nations.

Posted By: wwh

Re: entropy - 01/29/03 08:39 PM

Entropy is not disorder, it is the measure of disorder. Entropy can be either
large or small.

Posted By: Faldage

Re: entropy - 01/29/03 08:44 PM

the measure of disorder

Such are the vagaries of language change.

Or perhaps it is the fact that there is disorder to measure that rankles his geezer.

Posted By: wwh

Re: entropy - 01/29/03 08:49 PM

Language gets changed too often by assholes trying to be pretentious using words
the don't really understand, but hope thereby to impress the great unwashed.

Posted By: Alex Williams

Re: entropy - 01/29/03 10:04 PM

In reply to:

Language gets changed too often by assholes trying to be pretentious using words
the don't really understand, but hope thereby to impress the great unwashed.


Heh heh. True. You're right that entropy is the measure of disorder, but I think they were using the word (incorrectly) to simply mean discord or disagreement. Either that or all the UN delegates had merged into a big homogenous mass that was at room temp.

Posted By: Bean

Re: entropy - 01/29/03 10:18 PM

Either that or all the UN delegates had merged into a big homogenous mass that was at room temp.

That explains a lot.


Posted By: wwh

Re: entropy - 01/29/03 10:29 PM

Quite pssibly many delegates to UN have room temperature IQs. But one more problem:
How do you 'blindside" somebody with an abstraction?

Posted By: tsuwm

Re: entropy - 01/29/03 11:12 PM

>How do you 'blindside" somebody with an abstraction?

not to put too fine a point on this, but we are talking about Bush..

Posted By: wwh

Re: entropy - 01/29/03 11:46 PM

I was talking about a lousy mixed metaphor. The President didn't get blindsided by
UN membership's disorganization, he was inadequately briefed by his advisors as to
how mucht UN support he could expect.

Posted By: magimaria

disorders - 01/30/03 03:19 AM

Well, I'm with Dr. Bill on his first statement, although I would have worded it a bit more delicately, perhaps. Entropy is far to intriguing of a measurement (I always thought of it as more of a process) to get abused so flagrantly here.

'the measure of the degree of disorder in a closed system'...hmmm maybe it does relate to Bush after all....

(oh, I know, I know, you don't all have to pm me and tell me not to go there...)

Posted By: Bingley

Re: entropy - 01/30/03 04:24 AM

In reply to:

not to put too fine a point on this, but we are talking about Bush..


But it wasn't Bush who said it, it was the Time writer. Or is Bush's idiosyncratic use of the language spreading?

Bingley

Posted By: wsieber

Re: disorders - 01/30/03 12:07 PM

Hi Magimaria,
I tend to side with you on this one. I have been using the notion of entropy (mostly for myself), well outside its thermodynamic application for a long time. One interesting definition of entropy stems from statistical thermodynamics: it is proportional to the (logarithm of the) number of distinguishable states which a system can reach. So if you divide the world just in "good" and "bad", the entropy is very low, compared with the wide variety of attitudes that an open mind can distinguish.

Posted By: Faldage

Re: entropy - 01/30/03 12:08 PM

the Time writer

We read an AP article the other day regarding the oddly named Craig David having "successfully navigated his first hurdle" in his US tour.

Posted By: wwh

Re: entropy - 01/30/03 01:03 PM

"the oddly named Craig David " The first shall be last, and the last shall be first?

Posted By: Bean

Re: entropy - 01/30/03 01:19 PM

successfully navigated his first hurdle

I have visions of a little boat steaming around a running track.

Posted By: wwh

Re: entropy - 01/30/03 01:42 PM

Hurdles are the three foot by two foot blards sheep handles use to force a sheep to
change direction, to make them escaping the sheep dog driving them into enclosure.
Navigate is something done with a boat.
hurdle
n.
5ME hirdel < OE hyrdel < Gmc base *hurd3, wickerwork, hurdle, akin to hyrd, door, Frank *hurda, a pen, fold < IE base *kert3, to plait, twist together > L cratis (see CRATE), Gr kyrtos, bird cage6
1 [Chiefly Brit.] a portable frame made of interlaced twigs, etc., used as a temporary fence or enclosure
2 a kind of frame or sled on which prisoners in England were drawn through the streets to execution
3 any of a series of framelike barriers over which horses or runners must leap in a special race (the hurdles)
4 a difficulty to be overcome; obstacle
vt.
3dled, 3dling
1 to enclose or fence off with hurdles
2 to jump over (a barrier), as in a race
3 to overcome (an obstacle)
hur4dler
n.


Posted By: dxb

Re: entropy - 01/30/03 01:55 PM

The thoughts of Flanders and Swann:

The First law of Thermodynamics.
Heat is work and work is heat
Heat is work and work is heat
Very Good.
The Second law of thermodynamics.
Heat cannot of itself pass from one body to a hotter body
Heat cannot of itself pass from one body to a hotter body
Heat won't pass from a cooler to a hotter
Heat won't pass from a cooler to a hotter
You can try it if you like but you'd far better not-a
You can try it if you like but you'd far better not-a
'Cos the cold in the cooler will get hotter as a rule-a
'Cos the cold in the cooler will get hotter as a rule-a
'Cos the hotter body's heat will pass to the cooler
'Cos the hotter body's heat will pass to the cooler
Heat is work and work is heat and work is heat and heat is work
Heat will pass by conduction and
Heat will pass by conduction and
Heat will pass by convection and
Heat will pass by convection and
Heat will pass by radiation
Heat will pass by radiation
And that's a physical law

Heat is work and work's a curse
And all the heat in the universe
Is gonna cool down,
'Cos it can't increase
Then there'll be no more work
And there'll be perfect peace
Really?
Yeah, that's entropy, Man.
And all because of the second law of thermodynamics which lays down:
That you can't pass heat from a cooler to a hotter
Try it if you like but you'd far better not-a
'Cos the cold in the cooler will get hotter as a rule-a
'Cos the hotter body's heat will pass to the cooler

Oh, you can't pass heat from a cooler to a hotter
Try it if you like but you'll only look a fool-a
'Cos the cold in the cooler will get hotter as a rule-a
And that's a physical law
Oh, I'm hot
That's because you've been working!
Oh, Beatles, nothing!
That's the first and second laws of thermodynamics.


Posted By: wwh

Re: entropy - 01/30/03 02:07 PM

Dear dxb: Thermodynamics made comprehensible. We should send it to President Bush.
It might be of help to him.

Posted By: milum

Re: entropy - 01/30/03 04:30 PM

Bush seems blindsided by the entropy of Annan's U.N."
What in hell does that mean?


entropy: philosophy The inevitable and steady deterioration of a system or society. (You know like K-mart, or our legal system, or the increasingly inept UN).

Yes I agree Bill, the reporter's poor sentence construction was an obtuse excuse for clever rhetoric, but not because of his use of "entropy". I thought that apt. But President Bush is much too wise and too painfully aware of the entropic qualities of the self-intrest assemblies that make up the United Nations to be blindsided by their lack of prompt and courageous action.
A person is "blindsided" by a bus, or a shovel, not by the predictable actions of a namby-pamby UN.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Post Edit: My apologies Bill, I overlooked your post that would have (if I had read it) mollified mine.

I was talking about a lousy mixed metaphor. The President didn't get blindsided by
UN membership's disorganization, he was inadequately briefed by his advisors as to
how much UN support he could expect.
~ wwh
Posted By: wwh

Re: entropy - 01/30/03 06:08 PM

Dear milo: no need to apologize. I just wanted to make clear that "entropy" is not bad
until there is little energy left. Like debt: ten cents debt is not a big problem.

Posted By: Jackie

Re: entropy - 01/30/03 06:09 PM

dxb, thank you! That was great! I really ought to try and find some tapes of them. I get the distinct feeling that I'm missing something grand. I think I'm going to have that rhythm in my head the rest of the day! Is there a tune?

Posted By: dxb

Re: entropy - 01/31/03 08:57 AM

Oh yes, there is a tune. There is nearly always a tune.

If you haven't heard their words to the Mozart Horn Concerto then try this url:

http://www.hornplanet.com/hornpage/museum/articles/ill_wind.html

it is very, very clever and funny to hear.

Posted By: AnnaStrophic

Re: F&S - 01/31/03 01:59 PM

The link you supplied isn't working (for now, must be so many hits!!). Meanwhile, *which concerto? Mozart wrote four, that I know of....

Posted By: Jackie

Re: entropy - 02/01/03 01:33 AM

Guess what, guess what? I found a site where you can listen to Mozart--'most everything he wrote, it looks like. You can even pick which movement you want. I listened to this whilst reading the words! It surely must be a hysterical performance!
http://www.classicalarchives.com/mozart.html The horn concerti are about 3/8 of the way down.

Posted By: WhitmanO'Neill

Re: entropy - 02/01/03 03:36 AM

successfully navigated his first hurdle

I think I would have said negotiated his first hurdle.

And all the heat in the universe
Is gonna cool down,
'Cos it can't increase
Then there'll be no more work
And there'll be perfect peace


So, then, since heat is energy, and energy is heat, when all the heat finally cools down, where will all the energy go? Since there can never be any more or less energy than there is now (in this universe, anyway).
I really wanna know.

"There is no stoppage and never can be stoppage,
If I, you, and the worlds, and all beneath or upon their surfaces,
were this moment reduced back to a pallid float, it would
not avail in the long run,
We should surely bring up again where we now stand,
And surely go as much farther, and then farther and farther.

A few quadrillions of eras, a few octillions of cubic leagues, do not
hazard the span or make it impatient,
They are but parts, any thing is but a part.

See ever so far, there is limitless space outside of that,
Count ever so much, there is limitless time around that."


--Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

(hey, thanks, Walt, that's a good start!)





Posted By: Faldage

Re: entropy - 02/01/03 11:13 AM

where will all the energy go?

It doesn't disappear or anything, Juan. It just all spreads out so there's no difference from one place to the next. Most of space is in an incredibly high entropy state and with practically zippo heat. We just happen to be in a minuscule volume with low entropy. It comes down to the question : who're ya gonna listen to? Flanders and Swann or Isaac Newton?

http://www2.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/kenny/papers/entropy.html

Posted By: Capfka

Re: entropy - 02/01/03 05:29 PM

who're ya gonna listen to? Flanders and Swann or Isaac Newton?

I'm highly suspicious of anyone who uses an Apple to prove a point. Especially if it's got v10 installed ... so Flanders and Swann get the nod.

- Pfranz
Posted By: wwh

Re: entropy - 02/01/03 06:04 PM

Dear Pfranz: Do you question the propriety of God's using an Apple to make a point
with Adam and Eve?

Posted By: Capfka

Re: entropy - 02/01/03 06:21 PM

Dear Bill: Durned tootin'!

- Pfranz
Posted By: Faldage

Re: entropy - 02/01/03 09:31 PM

Flanders and Swann get the nod

Bless your heart.

Posted By: TEd Remington

We should send it to President Bush. - 02/02/03 01:22 AM

Nah, he'd just go nucular.

Posted By: TEd Remington

Re: entropy - 02/02/03 01:25 AM

That Eve was quite advanced computerwise -- an Apple in one hand and a Wang in the other!

Posted By: wwh

Re: entropy - 02/02/03 01:33 AM

Where would the human race have been, if she took a bite out of the Wang?

Posted By: Buffalo Shrdlu

Re: entropy - 02/02/03 01:36 AM

good thing it wasn't micro-soft...

Posted By: WhitmanO'Neill

Re: entropy - 02/02/03 01:50 AM

It comes down to the question : who're ya gonna listen to?

Uhhh, E=mc˛?

(ain't no snake-in-the-grass here!)

http://www.aip.org/history/einstein/emc1.htm

Posted By: Capfka

Re: entropy - 02/02/03 05:38 AM

good thing it wasn't micro-soft...

No, it'd have to be something she could get her teeth into, hmmm?

- Pfranz
Posted By: Jackie

Re: entropy - 02/02/03 12:24 PM

it'd have to be something she could get her teeth into, hmmm?
Geez, if you knew what I dreamed last night...

Posted By: WhitmanO'Neill

Re: entropy - 02/03/03 05:08 AM

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.


--from The Second Coming, W. B. Yeats

(hey, thanks, W.B.! anyone else? )


Posted By: milum

Re: entropy - 02/03/03 02:11 PM

Through a circle that ever returneth in
To the self-same spot,
And much of Madness, and more of Sin,
And Horror the soul of the plot

___________________________The Conquer Worm ~Edgar Allen Poe 1943

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