Saturday, February 9, 2008

Entropy-1 in tension with Entropy-2,..Entropy-N = Perpetual Disequilibrium

In my graduate school the faculty used a term, negentropy, as a marker for their goal. Entropy means homogeny, sameness and in natural/social sciences equates to stagnation and sometimes death. Negentropy was a pseudo-scientific way to say the crowd-pleasing term "diversity". The term negentropy has almost no use, whereas perpetual disequilibrium has use in social and natural sciences. [ to begin getting the essence of the term, please read Rising Flow -Out of Control and Seeking Sustainable Disequilibrium -New Rules for the New Economy by Kevin Kelly ]. Perpetual disequilibrium implies a less tidy and nice system dynamic than negentropy. Think of negentropy as what is taught in art classes for those not seeking art but rather therapy: "Ok, reach inside yourself and think of a place wonderfully populated with lions and sheep laying down next to each other in peace". Think of perpetual disequilibrium as what you learn in a good political science course, by playing in an avant jazz band, or trying to break into the international drug trade. It is sometimes beautiful, sometimes cruel, and almost always difficult. If perpetual disequilibrium has a phase of peace, it is because lions are full or the sheep are smart, fast and have steroid using goats in the flock.

About that pesky entropy. In the political sphere ( which the discourse you are reading falls into ) we tend to want entropy within a certain scope. Oh wait, I lied. In the US, and the old Soviet system, entropy in the form of coherent political platform has a global trajectory. E.g.; the planned parenthood group wants a Federal gov that implements their worldview, as do evangelicals, oil companies and their production economies, war protesters and AARP members. But the world isn't that simple. Each group has its entropy goal, and all the entropy goals compete or compliment with each other till there is an undesigned cumulative output -a function of perpetual disequilibrium.

Entropy is averted, the world is safe one more day from well-intentioned stagnation.

Supporting or relevant reference:
Rising Flow -Out of Control Kevin Kelly
Seeking Sustainable Disequilibrium -New Rules for the New Economy Kevin Kelly
Excerpt from my email to a friend:
"Unintended consequences are a good sign, a sign that the society is innovative beyond the pace of its own ethics. In a state of absolute adherence to its ethics it would die or be consumed by an innovative society. Balance can only slightly be achieved in perpetual disequilibrium. Absolute balance means death and entropy, perpetual disequilibrium is life."
posted in craigslist forums Philosophy

posted by dialectic (02/07):

Yes and no:

Prior to the integration of emotion into the human code, interactive reproduction was pure hardwired hardware.

Humans developed emotions in order to survive the exponentiated entropy introduced into the equation via tools. The movie 2001 showed man using a bone to beat 'other' into submission. This was such a shock to the reflective process that the 'rest' in hard coded behaviors advanced 'soft' coded emotion into the equation.

This, of course, suggests that further development of tools, further effected by emotional capacity (software), changes both the hardware and software in tandem.

This is why I persistently refer to the dangers of powerful technology in the hands of unethical people in positions of power. In value metrics, when you lean too far toward 'hard', you repress emotions. This can lead to mass human devaluation. The polemic opposite is also true. If you lean too far toward 'soft', you repress stubborn facts that can save a species.

Soft religion, balanced with hard science.

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