In discussing the debacle at the Oscars, government incompetence, political surprises, and unintended cultural consequences, Jonah Goldberg invokes the Second Law of Thermodynamics. This is the principle in physics that closed systems will increase in entropy (become less ordered) unless energy is introduced to maintain the order. (A lay definition by me, a layman. Feel free to explain it better.)
Goldberg applies this to social systems as well. I suspect this is more of a figure of speech than an actual application of physics. (Again, those of you who know, weigh in.)
But his point seems to hold true: Our political system needs our continual input of energy to keep it going, otherwise, it will degenerate. Societies, cultures, and institutions need the continual effort of their members to keep them from descending into chaos. By extension, we could observe that marriages need continual work to keep them strong. So do churches.
What other applications do you see? [Read more…]