Entropy reduction: think well, do well, explain well

The wise man said that happiness comes from an optimistic attitude.

This is right, but it is not very operable. A happy person is probably optimistic by nature. How can a person who is not optimistic by nature be happy?

He needs to understand the meaning of happiness before he can find a way to be happy.

I think that happiness does not necessarily mean laughing often, which is of course good, but what is more important for happiness is to understand things so that they can be treated calmly.

And to understand things is to avoid a mess, a darkness, a chaos!

This reminds me of the concept of “entropy” in physics. What is entropy is order. Order is a measure, which is meaningless in itself, but the changes in order are easy to understand. When we have figured it out and things are in order, then we will be able to understand and clarify. We have a sense of comfort and happiness. Physically speaking, the entropy becomes smaller. The greater the entropy, the more disorderly.

What is money, what is love, what is career, and what is friend? As long as you figure out these things, you will be very calm, and will no longer let yourself go into chaos and cause disorder because of other people’s words and eyes, so you will be very happy.

Perhaps people would think that a fool is the happiest, because he knows nothing about the pain of the world, and he hums unclear songs every day, so comfortable. Actually no, his head is in chaos, like a pot of muddy water, completely mixed evenly, it is the extreme of disorder, and it cannot be said to be happiness.

Clear and orderly, think clearly, do it clearly, and say it clearly, this is happiness, but this is not easy to get. The second law of thermodynamics explains this difficulty very clearly. This law says that an isolated system spontaneously evolves in the direction of thermodynamic equilibrium, that is, the state of maximum entropy, which is irreversible. The bowl fell on the ground to break, and the originally ordered bowl became disordered fragments. A drop of color dripped into a glass of water, and the color gradually spread to all parts of the water. The water became turbid and disordered.

However, this law has a premise that this is the case with “isolated systems”. We can make up the broken bowl and use chemical methods to turn the mixed water into clean water, and the order will change from disorder to order. Is the second law of thermodynamics wrong? No, because we have entered a larger system, people and energy have entered, thus providing energy to the original “isolated systems”. In other words, we reversed this process with the use of bowl-filling and chemical knowledge, and the entropy became smaller.

Without the energy of the sun, everything on our earth would not be so orderly. Without green plants and animals, it would be completely chaotic.

Therefore, to be more clear about the affairs of the world, we must continue to obtain and use energy to resist the increase in entropy.

Note that it is not that the more knowledge, the happier. If you can’t grasp the law and the essence, the more knowledge, the more chaotic.

Understand that the source of happiness lies in reducing entropy, which in itself makes people happy, because you understand the reasons for unhappiness. The word “reduce” is also very enlightening, that is, you have to take action. If there is no action, the entropy will automatically increase continuously. You have to add energy to yourself, but not just calories!

Entropy is one of the most incomprehensible but also the most fascinating thing when I studied physics. It brings meaning to the world. If the world had only matter and energy, it would be very boring, it would not be so colorful. But with the concept of entropy, our minds are immediately different, and existence has meaning. Hamlet’s words “to be or not to be”, that is, “to live or not to live” need not be discussed anymore. At least I think so, because “not to be, not alive” is the maximum state of entropy. You don’t need to know anything, you become part of the land. But “to be” is completely different, it means that we have to put things in an orderly position, make them structured and meaningful. To live lies in quality, not in numbers, but in searching for energy, power, in action, in clarification, and in resisting the second law of thermodynamics. It can be said that all the activities of life lie in this, and some things that the theory of evolution and religion say on this point are interlinked.

Because of entropy, time has meaning, we can have sorrow and happiness. We can remember the past and look forward to the future.

When is the happiest? I think you should know it by now. It lies in thinking clearly, doing it clearly, and speaking clearly. In short, when you understand the order of the world, you can face everything calmly.

After knowing this, we can happily learn, listen, talk, perform, and work. This is the difference between us and animals!

Boltzmann, the originator of the concept of entropy, understood this truth. In 1886, he said in a lecture to the Royal Austrian Academy of Sciences:

In this world between the sun and the earth,… Energy is not randomly distributed according to probability. The survival of all things is not just a struggle for general materials, such as air, water, and soil. It should be said that the substances on which these organisms depend for survival are still very abundant. Their survival is actually a war against entropy, and this war is possible because of the energy supply of the sun. Plants face the surface of their leaves to the sun. Before the heat of the sun has warmed the ground, they convert them into energy that can be used by species through some chemical reactions (photosynthesis). These chemical products are the reason why the world is alive.

Photosynthesis, entropy decreases, and an orderly beginning.

Unfortunately, he did not fully understand this truth. Because his theory was not fully accepted, or for other reasons, he finally chose to commit suicide, which maximized his body’s entropy. However, he used his concept to guide us in the direction of existence and happiness, that is, resisting the increase in entropy.