Entropy, Social Entropy and Carnot Cycles

… i tried to use the word entropy to describe a situation this morning and realized that i don’t really understand it… i duck, duck go the term and turn up this article in Wikipedia… from there i follow a link to the disambiguation of Entropy… where i find that in the study of social systems, entropy is the natural tendency for any such system to decay… and i think, that seems to be what we are in the midst of right now… the decay of our organizing democratic norms… i start to think i want to do more reading on entropy… at least come to understand it so that i can apply the concept more accurately…

… as i start to post this, a thought passes through my brain that is based on my perusal of Wikipedia articles on the Carnot Heat Engine and the Carnot Cycle, situated within the Wikipedia article on entropy… i read that the Carnot Cycle is a reversible process, that is, instead of heat being used to do work, a heat engine, work can be done to accumulate heat, a heat pump… the Carnot Cycle is reversible and thus, one can have a heat engine or a heat pump… heat engines enable heat energy to be converted to work… heat pumps use work to concentrate heat energy…

… now, in my feeble brain, i combine this idea with the idea of social entropy, which jumps me to social media, and i wonder, do you have something like Carnot Cycles in the operation of a social network?… that is, do social networks pump human emotional heat from one place to another?… is radicalization on social media a kind of social heat pump?… are then, events like the January 6 attack on the Capitol, the result of a social Carnot Cycle in which human anger is concentrated and then released in the form of an angry mob storming the Capitol?… do algorithms act as switches to determine which part of the Carnot Cycle is in operation, heat pump or heat engine?…

… we have learned from Frances Haugen, the FB whistle blower, that human anger was discovered by FB to be a powerful aggregator, much more so than love or empathy… their engineers created algorithms to use shared anger to congregate market segments where they can be sold to with pinpoint accuracy…

… it has always been that sex sells, but it appears that anger and hatred are very effective sales aggregators too… in a strict and unregulated market capitalist society, the system objective is to accumulate as much heat as possible and cause it to do work that can be realized as gain of capital… might it be possible to have a different type of social system where the emphasis is placed on the accumulation of positive human emotions and actions where social and planetary well being is the primary objective?… to create algorithms that consistently pump us in the direction of social well being?… hmmm…

First Thoughts

… morning off to a bad start… Chas whines until i get up… it’s almost time anyway… both dogs ready to go… running around the ground floor while i weigh myself and get dressed… weight on a steady upward trend… don’t feel like i have been eating too much, but the trend is the trend… then while doing the morning set up, the dogs prancing all over the place until the side table by the couch is knocked over… not hard to do, it is too tall for the three legged slenderness of its legs, making it wobble at the slightest touch… the crash startles and enrages me, WTF! i scream several times while turning on lights to see what damage has been done and return everything to it’s wobbly higher potential energy place1… H gets up to ask what’s going on… i explain and apologize for waking her up… i think she was up already anyway… Fiona slinks off to the second floor and back to bed with H… Chas braves my ill mood on the ground floor, then accompanies me upstairs… i let him in to the bedroom and then happily am by myself again, the house at peace…

HCR meter, Alarm! Alarm!, democracy is under assault… yes it is, and whether congress is going to do anything about it is a serious question… so far, it doesn’t look like it… all kinds of sinister shit going on… contemplating the need to get involved locally… it’s all hands on deck for the 2022 midterm elections… congress must stay in the hands of Dems…

… drank too much last night… feeling the effects this AM… combination of needing to relax in a very worryingly unsavory national climate and just liking the effects of a drink or two at night… during dinner H wonders if we should line up to get our free joint on Friday… a store is giving them out two Fridays a month… i am sure they will be selling when the state works out the appropriate licensing regulations… i thinking that might be a better way to relax… less unpleasant effects the next day?… or would i overdo that too?… i wonder if there is a legal limit to pot and driving?…


  1. I initially write “return everything to its higher entropy place,” then suspect that I have not understood entropy correctly… high entropy equals low level of order, though it is questionable that the concept applies at all to the situation… I look up entropy and find a wikipedia entry that explains in great detail what entropy is, without being very clear at all, but that is because entropy is a hard to grasp concept… [return]

The Apology

… just wrote to E and apologized for forgetting the chickens… offered to make up any loses… feel bad… i let E, B and the chickens down… what do we have in life that is meaningful beyond caring for one another and living things in general?… entropy working its wickedness… it claims us all eventually…