Heat Death

The second law of thermodynamics tells us that entropy always increases: even if some arrangement of matter temporarily produces order in one part of the world, it will leak disorder elsewhere, and the house always wins. Stand against the second law and not only can’t you win, but you can’t brake even. But entropy is also a measure of information, as Claude Shannon discovered: it is surprise. And so, in hermetic fashion, there is a microcosmic heat death of the mind to mirror the macrocosmic heat death of the universe.

Each of us is invested in surprise. The vast majority of our nerve cells, by weight, are…



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John Ohno

Resident hypertext crank. Author of Big and Small Computing: Trajectories for the Future of Software. http://www.lord-enki.net