Everyday entropy: turbulence


In the face of decay, it is hard to remember the benefits of maximum entropy and remember that decay cannot continue beyond maximum entropy.  Also, the inertial properties of a uniform body are special.  Unlike a turbulent body, the boundary of a uniform body will establish periodic wave patterns, and its interior will establish harmonic oscillations.  Remember also that sound travels poorly through turbulent air, and will be distorted substantially by temperature gradients.  Wind cannot produce waves on a turbulent body of water, and Kelvin-Helmholtz waves only occur at the boundary between two uniform bodies of air.  Turbulent air also distorts visibility because of internal density differentials.  A body at maximum entropy both produces and transmits cleaner information than a body with pockets of free energy.  It is only when the entropy of a body rises to its maximum that the body has a clear boundary.  This is why skin is such an important organ.  It allows the body to have a boundary without regard to its internal entropy.  The benefits of entropy should not be overlooked.  The skin is all dead on the outside, decaying to form a functional boundary layer.

The instinct to start a big war or clear cut a forest, while horribly misguided, may come from an almost rational desire to get back to the ground state of clarity.

Because information space is infinite-dimensional, the mind may also be tempted to see real space as infinite, even though the space of the earth’s troposphere is clearly limited.  War and clearcutting may come when the imagination of infinite space runs into the reality of a fully populated planet.


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