Reality Blind - Vol. 1

in other words, where things roll downhill. Our entire universe has been “rolling downhill” in terms of entropy since the big bang 13.8 billion years ago, as it transitions from a highly ordered microscopic point of enormous energy density to a disordered and enormous expanding universe, which is trending toward cold dark vacuum. The important aspect of 2LoT for life is its loophole: while the entropy must increase on average , the process of entropy increase in a larger system may be used to reduce the entropy in a subset of that system. That means that life - which builds order from disorder - exists by being a participating intermediary in a process which creates more disorder than order. In the dry language of thermodynamics, this is called “work,” but it’s what animates life and makes it possible in a thermodynamic universe. The fact that entropy always increases is what makes thermodynamic systems irreversible. It’s why perpetual -motion machines are impossible, and Humpty Dumpty can’t reassemble himself. It’s why there’s always waste heat and disorder produced by any system or any machine we can build . It’s why life can evolve. Life catalyzes entropy, maintaining its order by causing greater disorder around it. Entropy is also what allows us to predict future events. Without knowing that an egg will smash when dropped, the universe would be completely unpredictable. TaaL: The second law of thermodynamics, when understood, is a great delusion- slayer. Many fantasies which “feel like” they should be possible, would violate 2LoT. This law is unbreakable on your planet and mine – as well as all other planets. How about an airliner with electric engines, powered by wind-power generators on its tail? You could literally get rich right now launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for it, but the thing wouldn’t fly because it violates 2LoT. It fails the pe rpetual motion test. “Drill Baby Drill” sounds like a great idea for energy independence, until it becomes clear that drilling in places where it takes as much energy to extract oil as the resulting oil provides is a losing proposition. Has Exxon bought and hidden the scientific discoveries making possible cars that burn water instead of gasoline? No, water on your Earth has already burned (i.e., hydrogen was combined with oxygen to form water). Hydrogen economy? Great! Where does the energy to free the hydrogen already bonded in H 2 O come from? Adapt to a planet that’s 6 ºC hotter? Waste heat won’t flow out of your human bodies past a wet-bulb temperature of 95 ºF, so good luck


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