What Plan B is about is not waging war with Plan A, but the restoration of order and fairness. WLL

The role of prudent choice making in entropy extraction

It is generally appreciated that the 2nd Law, the most secure law in the entire natural law collection, calls for entropy (a measure of disorder) of the universe to increase to a maximum. People of advanced age, like us, experience 2nd Law effects on a frequent, personal basis. Everyone knows to proactively retard the aging process by diet and exercise.

This level of knowledge about the 2nd Law and the aging process exhibits that a way to extract entropy, in seeming defiance of the 2nd Law, is allowed by Nature without making any concessions to Her law’s origin in the Big Bang, 13.8 billion years ago. Her rule that allows you to extract entropy locally says that as long as the entropy of the universe goes up by your efforts equivalent to what you extracted plus Her tax, She will not interfere.  In other words, as long as you are willing to increase the rate of entropy increase of the universe, you can have your local pocket of low entropy. But, that’s only the permission part. Nature is not going to help you extract entropy one bit. It’s all on you.

To actually reduce entropy locally, your goal, requires a “structure” to hang the disorder on and the physical work, “force x distance,” to take the mess, sort it out, and hang it on the rack. There two functionalities require prudent choice-making surrounded by significant creativity. This is why experience in thinking for Cat 3 problems is so valuable for tasks like this. Knowledge is potential. Process is realization. Feedback is knowledge.

It’s easy to understand the rules of entropy extraction. It is another thing altogether to put them into effect.

There are many requisite factors that impinge on entropy extraction. The amount of intelligence, creativity, and effort it takes to succeed is always more than anyone can imagine. Even defining the goal of the structure takes intelligent choice and creative work. The law of optimality is in full control. Experience affirms that diligence in entropy extraction, when the entropy buildups are small, is way better than letting things get into crisis mode before you commence. System maintenance is entirely entropy extraction. Don’t do maintenance as you go and control of the future trajectory of the system is abandoned to the 2nd Law.

Picture puzzles provide a simple, beautiful example of entropy extraction. The box contains the chaos and the entropy extraction task to be accomplished is obvious. You do the physical work of moving the pieces into their correct relationship using clues you have to determine.

Like prudent choice making, entropy extraction requires a reliable up-front, GPS-quality goal definition – what “done” looks like, the picture on the puzzle box. This can be no small assignment itself. Always remember; the goals set by others for you to attain have been made by incompetent choice makers using the least reliable knowledge of the issue. Finding the right goal for entropy extraction navigation is a responsibility you owe to yourself, your well being. The fact it helps your social system is second priority.

There are no half-way benefits in entropy extraction. It’s all or nothing. Entropic drift encounters a natural regression to chaotic equilibrium, another expression of the Nash Equilibrium. As your own experience affirms, gaining entropy is easy and quick. A stick of dynamite will do the job in a second and it’s exciting. Putting the picture puzzle back into the box is a snap.

Extracting entropy is slow going, risky, and tedious. Because it is so dependent on individual creativity, there is no way to speed up the process. Adding people to a late entropy-extraction effort makes it later. The rush of satisfaction comes only after the goal is attained and the expected results are in.

Stopping after you find out how hard this task is is a crime. As you become comfortable with the world of entropy extraction by experience, it self-explains why only a tiny fraction of 1% of the population will knowingly engage. The failure to extract entropy is, by itself, quite sufficient to explain why humanity is now in a dilemma it caused, it can’t fix. A bureaucracy, by role, is deliberately clueless about entropy extraction. Although it is their undoing, the world’s Establishments are maintenance averse. Bureaucracies are incapable of doing any of the requisite steps of entropy extraction. Accordingly, maintenance is the last thing on their minds. Then their empire collapses.

I love the idea of bringing order out of disorder which is what the mystery is about. I like the way in which it affirms the sanity of human life and exorcises irrational guilts.  P.D. James

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