Sunday, October 21, 2012

squirrel redundant entropy




































Up the pole in Sutherland Road.

As I pay the cashier at Sainsbury's my old friend the fishmonger comes up to me. He has bad news. He has been made redundant. He begins to tell me all about it and I to question him sympathetically. But we are in the way of an elderly woman behind me, who needs to pack her shopping. "Excuse me," she says, "We women are usually accused of doing what you're doing."

I'm not sure why but I am a friend to entropy - the principle that things move in one direction -  from order to disorder, that disorder is the fate of everything. I find this reassuring in the same way that the vastness of the universe and its apparent continued expansion is reassuring. There is nothing more frightening than a sense of permanence and stability.

3 comments:

Lucas said...

The point about entropy is very interesting. A friend of mine always congratulates people on breaking things. As they tut and scold themselves he laughs encouragingly and says, "You've merely restored it to its natural state..."

Roderick Robinson said...

Jim Al Khalili's recently-started three-part series on BBC4 (which takes in entropy) is called Order and Disorder in obedience to the aims of headline writing. But on its own the headline is slightly misleading. Energy concentrated in one source appears to get weaker but only because it is dispersing elsewhere - a better picture than the one created by the rather terse: energy can neither be created nor destroyed.

I too am in favour of entropy. I prefer to drink black coffee "boiling hot" but not really. Coffee that never dropped below 99 deg would deny me my party trick.

I am conscious that you know this and that you (secretly of course0 believe me to be pedantic for writing it out. But pedanticism is a dog that needs exercising if it is to earn its living snarling at the subjective turn-ups of fiction.

Next: I will deal with mixed metaphors.

Joe Hyam said...

RR You are right it was Jim Al Khalili. Thanks for the prompt and for exercising your dog. I have a similar pet.