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Tag Archives: entropy
Thomas Aquinas was the Leninist of his day; he was a Party man. For Aquinas, nothing should be done without reference to The Party. All focus should be on The Party. The Party is the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy … Continue reading
Whatever Works: Pierce’s Abduction, Darwin’s Evolution, Entropy, Bayes’ Rule, and Rorty’s Pragmatism
I’ve recently been struck by the similarity between Charles Sanders Pierce’s notion of abduction (reasoning to the best hypothesis; “may the best hypothesis win”), Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution (survival of the fittest; “may the best organism win”), entropy (what … Continue reading
The three word definition. The physicist Brian Greene, in his book The Hidden Reality (Knopf 2011), gives the best definition of information I’ve ever encountered: So, you start to ponder. What actually is information, and what does it do? Your … Continue reading
At The New Yorker, Joan Acocella asks why novels, even great ones, so frequently have endings that sag. One of her examples is David Copperfield: The first half of “David Copperfield” leaves you gasping. You laugh, you cry, you think you’re … Continue reading
This is in the business section of the Los Angeles Times today: Managers spend nearly 17% of their working hours dealing with poor performers, according to a report from staffing firm Robert Half International. That’s basically a full day a week that could … Continue reading
It seems to be universally agreed upon, whether you are a theist or an atheist, that one of the characteristics of dead matter is the following: it can sometimes come to life. Let me say it more explicitly. Whether you’re Jewish … Continue reading
The apparent fine-tuning of the cosmos’s physical constants is an unusually strong argument for God’s existence. Below, I’ll set out the argument very concisely, try to make a plausible case for it, and see if anybody in the comboxes comes around … Continue reading
One way to think about entropy is as a measure of disorder in a system: where disorder is high, entropy is high; where disorder is low, entropy is low. I don’t have the exact quote in front of me, but the … Continue reading
I like this definition of a book (which I found in a Times Literary Supplement essay): I. A. Richards called the book “a machine to think with” . . . Notice that the definition has the two elements that Aristotle … Continue reading
Could a physicist (or someone at least somewhat in the know) answer a simple question for me? Does the video below roughly approximate what went on at the Big Bang (a symmetry is broken, its granular debris entropically shattering and cascading … Continue reading
The New York Times yesterday had a curious science article suggesting that maybe one way that entropy manifests is as gravity; or, to put it another way, gravity may not be a fundamental force in the universe, but just another way … Continue reading