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Showing posts from April 8, 2012

The Arrow of Time

From darling wikipedia:
"Entropy is the only quantity in the physical sciences that seems to imply a particular direction of progress, sometimes called an arrow of time. As time progresses, the second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of an isolated system never decreases. Hence, from this perspective, entropy measurement is thought of as a kind of clock." (Image borrowed from baban cat on Flickr) Think of entropy as knitting. The total sum of knitting done never decreases. You might rip what you have knitted, but you've still knitted it. Therefore the total amount of knitting only ever increases. You can't unknit because to do so you would have to be able to go back in time. Therefore time only ever moves forward or, very possibly, occasionally stands still. But this would only happen if you ran out of yarn and that is why we have such large stashes - for the sake of universal continuity.

I've been thinking about time and life recently. There has been a…