Everyday entropy: we are all refugees


I was burned out from exhaustion, buried in the hail
Poisoned in the bushes an’ blown out on the trail
Hunted like a crocodile, ravaged in the corn
“Come in,” she said, “I’ll give you shelter from the storm”

-Bob Dylan
If you spin the globe, you will find no place unpopulated by the children of refugees.  Some of us take refuge in the home where we were born, others on the far side of the world, but nobody is running from nothing.  Some of us find refuge in exercise, some in sex, some in music, some in drugs, some in meditation, but no person can live naked and open minded in the real entropy of the universe.
Human migration is no different from the entropy of an ideal gas.  We will never stop moving from places with less freedom to places with more.  To understand the formation of a great city, you need only look at the way diamonds form under great pressure.  Their crystalline structure gives their electrons more freedom, by sharing them with four neighbours, than the randomised crush of particles in the plastic slurry of compressed earth.  Like the carbon atoms in a diamond, we can also find freedom in the support of sympathetic relationships.
No place is privileged as the origin or location of any race or civilisation.  We are all refugees.  The question is not where did we come from, but what are we hiding from?

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