Everyday entropy: flushed

Magic in motion

A curious sensation emerges after three hours of cycling, surfing or tennis, and it becomes crystal clear after five hours.  It isn’t a runners high, although it feels a bit anaesthetic.  The feeling isn’t painless, it is more like being cleansed from the inside out, from balls to bones, like every bit of energy in your body has been recycled.  It is like all of the muscles and the entire metabolic system has been flushed. There is no molecule of active metabolism that has not been recycled.  There are no muscle fibres that have not moved.  There is no myosin filament that has not rowed its course and no motor neuron that has not fired.  Every molecule in your body that had been isolated and inert has been integrated into the flow of the whole.

In statistical mechanics, conservation of momentum means that the dampening of the majority of oscillations and harmonics requires the amplification of a random selection of oscillations or harmonics.  So, while the entropy of an isolated system increases, the isolation of the system decreases, and once the entropy of the system is maximised, the system overall is as free of dissonance as it is free of harmonics.  In terms of thermodynamics, a body at maximum entropy has a dominant wavelength of blackbody radiation that establishes its temperature.  This is important when you look at success, where the success of one body can’t be isolated from the failure of its neighbours.  The dominance of Christianity in the west and forms of Buddhism and Confucianism in the east can’t be isolated from the statistical dampening of the average idea.  Similarly, the success of Facebook isn’t down to Facebook being a great online bulletin board, it is down to the average dampening requiring a random amplification.  Some shitty app had to be the one everybody uses.  This happens in atmospheric effects like hurricanes and oceanic currents and rogue waves.  Entropy approaches a maximum, boundaries collapse, but momentum is conserved.

So there is this moment, when you are flushed, when you can’t do anything.  But the feeling is not a bad feeling. It isn’t inertia so much as expectancy.  Every cell feels cleansed and primed.  From this place there is a clarity of purpose in the body.  Maximum entropy is also minimum dissonance, and there is this feeling that what comes next will be a pure note.  Just not now.



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