What the Hell is Entropy Anyway?

Arron used to have this thing about Entropy. In the film that his friend Rob made from Arron’s stag, the one that was played at his memorial service, he tells his friends, “Entropy is all there is.” I honestly don’t know what the hell Entropy is other than a measure of randomness. If you want to learn more, here is the Entropy page on Wikipedia. Yea, I didn’t get it either. But I still wonder what his fascination with it was. Knowing him, he just liked saying the word. Entropy. It’s a good word. And it makes you sound smart. He was smart and did probably actually know what it meant.

I got into a discussion with one of Arron’s cousins who knows I go in for all that “psychic/ghost hooey.” He’s read my book and knows I believe that Arron is around somehow, hanging about in some other-worldly place, drinking martinis and looking after Olivia while she goes under the knife. Davey thinks I am full of crap. He is one of the many who claims to be of the scientific ilk and he needs scientific proof that an afterlife exists. In the meantime, he is happy with the “lights out” theory of afterlife. He doesn’t care that its grim, lacks any kind of imagination, would do away with any good ghost/horror movies and kind of puts a damper on life. Or maybe, as he claims it doesn’t. Living life to the fullest takes on new meaning. I get it, sort of.

Part of his argument, is that the human brain is capable of so much more than we will probably ever understand (and I just LOVE that kind of irony!) and that it is capable, if not instinctually pre-wired to believe in an afterlife. Our brain is our very own self-soother, rationalizing any old pesky fear we can come up with. SO… with that in mind, our brain does all these kooky things like believe in psychics and signs from our lost loved ones in the form of lights turning on and the smell of smoke and make us think, of COURSE there is an afterlife. But what if its just our brains making us believe there is, because, well its a whole lot more interesting than that silly “lights out” idea, right Davey?

I guess the huge brain theory is just as viable as the afterlife one. Who am I to say? If there is one thing I know in this random world, its that anything is possible. Still not sure how the entropy thing fits into all of this, but boy, it sure sounds good, doesn’t it?

10 Comments

  1. Nancy O October 12, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    Hi Abby – there are many applications of the term entropy, and I think the definition of "psychic entropy" or "psychological entropy" makes the most sense to me. Perhaps you would find it useful:

    http://www.eoht.info/page/Psychic+entropy

    Cheers,
    Nancy O

  2. BigLittleWolf October 12, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    Off topic, I know. Apologies. BUT – LOVE LOVE LOVE your idea posted on Dadshouseblog for a cross-country-singles party!! YEAH! All of us who haven't been invited to any rip-roaring parties in years, let's all meet somewhere in the middle!!!

    (But what in the hell do we do with the kids??)

    OK… we'll figure that out later…

  3. anniegirl1138 October 12, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    I always thought entropy was the word for the way all things break down and effect those things around it. There is a great song by Switchfoot called Stars (I like the acoustic version) that mentions entropy and the chaos theory,

    "Stars looking at a planet watching entropy and pain
    And maybe start to wonder how
    The chaos in our lives could pass as sane
    Ive been thinking about the meaning of resistance
    Of a world beyond my own
    And suddenly the infinite and penitent
    Began to look like home"

    Anyway, I just smile indulgently when the "lights out" people go on and on. It's probably easier to believe that life has no larger mean and that there is no accountability after we are done.

  4. Abigail October 12, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    Thanks Nancy O for the link. I will have to read it when I am a little less bleary eyed (a double work-out today. Never crush on your trainer! Haha).

    And BigLittleWolf: I KNOW! Wouldn't that be fun? If we couldn't all fly to one place then maybe we could link individual parties up by Skype or something and random people from different parts of the country could talk to each other. Speed dating by Skype.

    Now if only we could find a good married couple to host… hahaha

  5. Silindile Ntuli October 13, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    Entropy sure sounds smart, though I don't fully get it… About the afterlife I've always believed that we're born, we die and then our souls get transferred to a new body so we can be born chain, it's a awake. I know there's a huge possibility I'm wrong and that's cool, but the reincarnation theory helps me with the whole buried in a coffin thing, I'm afraid of the dark and what if I wake up down there all alone. Plus it explain deja-vu.

    Anyways I'm gonna go back and read the entropy page I wanna understand it.

  6. letterstoelias October 14, 2009 at 2:54 am

    I've had many conversations about the various after life theories as well. There have been numerous instances since Elias died that I felt his presence, or a 'sign' from him in some way – and while of course my rational brain states that these things may very well have come into my life anyhow, or that I'm just putting this added importance on it because I 'need' to feel him – to me in the end it doesn't matter much.

    If it gives me a moment of peace throughout this heartache, even for just a split second, then that's good enough for me. I guess that would support your friend's huge brain theory . . . but I still prefer to believe there is something more.

    Now, it's 1am and I hear all sorts of strange knocking sounds . . . . Elias??? =)

    ~C~

  7. BigLittleWolf October 15, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    I read the entropy page on wiki. Je n'y comprends rien. Niente. Nada. Which I will chalk up to a lack of clarity in Wiki, and not my own BIG (little wolf) brain. All that aside (and your wonderful suggestion re SKYPE & married couple to host, tra la) – I've always been a hybrid believer of something like that Big Brain Theory (we self-soothe) and things we cannot understand but that are definitely real.

    Of course, for those who haven't experienced some of these inexplicable happenings (some say "spiritual" others say "psychic"), we're either full of it or nuts. OK.

    But having gone through plenty of loss in life, and some other things I've experienced, including recently, it's hard not to question everything, to periodically assess whatever it is we believe and make room for more possibilities. That's vague, I know. But there are times we feel things and know things that theoretically we cannot. Or, we simply haven't found the scientific explanation.

    I, for one, am fine with mysteries in life – and whatever comes after – if anything. I am also a firm believer in the seeds of those we love planted deeply in our memories and senses, and it keeps them very close. It is bittersweet, but more sweet, than bitter.

  8. tomeoftheunknownblogger October 16, 2009 at 11:01 am

    I'm an engineer and so have worked with entropy (while in university, not since graduating) and I would try to explain it as the tendency of all natural things (matter or energy) towards a state of lowest energy. This also happens to correspond to the highest degrees of randomness or chaos.

    It might make more sense when looking at it in reverse with a simple example: We humans are quite busy building things – homes, stores, buildings, malls, roads, bridges, tunnels – trying to create "order". This all takes a lot of energy and it works directly against entropy. The amount of work energy put into creating order is about equal to the amount of entropy that would be released if all the materials and energy put into building or creating something fell back apart towards a state completely opposite of being in order.

    Okay, enough of that.

    Regarding the lights out thing: I'd always been one to require "proof", but definite experiences I've had in the wake of my first wife's passing have been enough to assure me that there is something happening after death.

  9. dadshouse October 16, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    People stuck in the mind are funny to me. I used to be one of them. I'm like you now – I believe in presences we can't see. I mean, come on – does your friend truly think the only thing that exists is what we can see, smell, taste, measure? Our senses are limited.

    Love is the essence of the universe. We are all connected as one. Have your friend read Ken Wilber sometime. "A Brief History of Everything" is a good place to start.

  10. shafeen charania November 2, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    So…

    The opposite of entropy (disorder) is enthalpy (order). Children tend to be more entropic, adults tend to be more enthalpic.

    The natural tendency of the universe is towards entropy, the natural tendency of our religions and belief systems (why do we exist, what's the meaning of life, etc.) is towards enthalpy.

    Is it any wonder that you can't get an appointment with a therapist and they're not taking new patients??

    Oh to be a kid again and revel in entropy:)

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