Second law of thermodynamics and humpty dumpty

This post was written by DoctorJay on October 10, 2009
Posted Under: ease of life

The second law of thermodynamics states that left by themselves things move from ordered to less ordered. That’s to say:

Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
And all the king’s horses,
And all the king’s men,
Couldn’t put poor Humpty, together again!

Many subsidiary questions arise such as did the king’s horses try first and having failed asked the king’s men for help. Or did the king’s horses and men work together.

Never mind….

Because, if the king’s horses and the king’s men understood enough physics they would have understood that this was an impossible task and would not have wastes their time. The second law of thermodynamics was developed in te nineteenth century to explain the maximum efficiency of heat engines (say steam engines). In it’s original format it states:

It is impossible to transfer heat from a lower temperature to a higher one without expending energy (that’s to say all refrigerators use energy and in fact if you leave your refrigerator door open it becomes a heater). Later concepts such as entropy (randomness or lack of order) and information were added to the second law of thermodynamics.

But where it becomes important in life is that things (including people) get old and decrepit. Things break down. Repairing and upkeep will make things last longer but will not make things last forever. No matter how you calculate things death of all material objects is inevitable.

All sorts of people have rephrased this idea many times:

  • Life is suffering – the Buddha.
  • S…. happens.
  • You cannot turn an omelet to raw eggs.
  • If you don’t clean your room – it will get messy and dirty.

I’m writing about this because things have been messy in my life for the last two months. We have had two different leaks in our condo – neither of which were caused by us – both of which we had to pay for. I had to change our hosting company – I’m still recovering from that.  I have been procrastinating about setting up some new websites (updating your video driver) even though I’m a coach to others I was not using my own knowledge. Then eventually I stopped procrastinating and managed to put up the first few of the new websites and was working on the rest and my computer display broke.

It was at this time I knew I had to accept whatever is and write this post. Things break. Ceiling will leak. You will have problems. Be thankful that you have challenges – it means:

You are alive….

Remember that you (the you, you identify with) are made of matter and will (according to the second law of thermodynamics) die. So be glad for your challenges as these show that you are alive. Remember someone talking to another complaining about noy having money to pay her mortgage. The other replied, “Oh you are so lucky to have a mortgage – it means you own your own home. I have never owned a home. I wish I could own a home even for a single day and then they could foreclose on me….”

If you feel bad – remember more than one billion people on earth live on less than two dollars a day. Be thankful!

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