Thursday, January 19, 2006

Anti-entropic timeflow

Although time may generally move in the direction of greater entropy, as the second law of thermodynamics dictates, surely there is the possibility of antientropic eddies within that flow, in which a system will exhibit a growth in energy, coherence, and orderliness. Living systems seem to have this characteristic, and even after they have ceased to grow in the ordinary sense, they can be seen to be "growing" in terms of regenerating themselves as long as they are alive. This is because living systems are never closed; they are constantly exchanging energy with other entities in the environment, so they don't run down like a clock that someone has wound up and then put away in a drawer.

Therefore, if it is possible to pedal uphill against entropy, even if only in the short term, and if one can take a breath of fresh air and enjoy a moment of clarity even in the awareness that the doomed universe is headed for final extinction and heat death in billions of years, then it is clear that the landscape of time is marked by many, many mountains, valleys, crevasses, and other irregularities. And since time is relative to the observer, as we know from Einstein's special theory of relativity, there are inherently multitudinous points of view about how fast and in which direction time is moving. For you, it may be going south. For me it may be moving north by northwest and I don't know a hawk from a handsaw.

In which case I might just be crazy enough to stay alive awhile longer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Another dimension of growing in humans is, while stopping to grow physically, we keep growing internally as persons - which bring this idea out of the purely physical world into the realm of metaphysics.