“Oh, the poor bird that felt free and now strikes the walls of this cage! Woe, when you feel homesick for the land as if it had offered more freedom — and there is no longer any land.”—Freidrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science
Hi, I have just read your post regarding negentropy being an invalid concept where life is concerned. I concur with your comments about the creation of order and increase in entropy in these instances. But disagree that negentropy is an invalid concept in other cases, particularly in a closed system like our Cosmos. The order arising from this balance resides in the genomes and body plans of the organisms, the orbits of starts and planets, even geological stratification. IMHO of course :)
Hello, thank you for the well thought out ask! :D
While I understand where you’re coming from with your point, I do disagree. The order residing in the things mentioned - genomes, planetary orbits, etc. - is indeed present and is a local decrease in chaos, it isn’t an overall decrease in chaos.
To work with the example of planetary orbits and geological stratification (as those are the ones I’m most familiar with, haha), both can be shown to be local decreases in entropy caused by larger, overall increases. Stellar systems are able to form and settle into orbits as an aftereffect of gas clouds collapsing. The energy dispersal created in such a collapse is orders of magnitude larger than the energy organized in a planetary system.
The case is similar in geological stratification - the order arises as a result of millions of years of HUGE energy-dispersing activity. Volcanic eruptions, flooding, etc. Each of these things expends a great deal more energy than it ultimately organizes.
So perhaps the original statement was flawed. Negentropy can indeed exist at local levels, but only at the cost of an overall increase of the entropy of the system.
“I took my morning walk, I took my evening walk, I ate something, I thought about something, I wrote something, I napped and dreamt something too, and with all that something, I still have nothing because so much of sum’things has always been and always will be about you. I miss you.”— House of Leaves, Mark Z. Danielewski
“A human being is part of a whole, called by us the ‘Universe’ —a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts, and feelings, as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”—Albert Einstein (via nuclearharvest)
On 26 November 1977, the broadcast from the Hannington transmitter of Southern Television in the United Kingdom was overtaken by a voice claiming to be a representative of the Ashtar Galactic Command by the name of Vrillon. The source of the broadcast intrusion was never determined. This is the full recording of that interrupted transmission.
The question could be asked: if one was unaware of one’s own nonexistence before their life began, why then should they fear nonexistence after their life has ended? What is there to fear in death if there is nothing to be aware of? One may claim that the nothingness after life will be no more painful than the nothingness that ‘was’ before life.
However, this line of thought assumes that one has nothing to lose by succumbing. It assumes also that nothing has been gained in life – that whatever life has been experienced has no more value than the nothingness that was before them (and perhaps some beings do hold this to be true of their lives).
Certainly, one will not be aware of the loss of their own life, but is that in and of itself not a loss? It will not be actively painful, certainly, but there are far more horrible things in the world than pain. Nonexistence is one of these things.