The Beav according to Beav

Still crazy after all these years.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

I love these moments!

I just had a wonderful idea.

I was watching a show called Nova ScienceNOW that dealt with (among other things) the theory of emergence. Basically, emergence is the way complex systems and patterns arise out of a bunch of relatively simple interactions; essentially self-organization.

Now those of you with a science bent are probably thinking: "Wait, doesn't entropy say that can't happen?" It does seem to be contrary to what we know of organization. Order marches toward Chaos. That's entropy. What's up?

It occurs to me that just as we have conservation of energy and conservation of matter, we may have conservation of organization. When you see examples of entropy: as things decay, energy slowly transfers to create equilibrium; when you see examples of emergence: as computers teach themselves, molecules rebond in different configurations; what you see is not two different, opposite phenomena, but conversion of organization. Like the rock converts potential energy to kinetic when it rolls down the hill. Like the acid and base convert to water and salt when combined.

It may not be true. But it's certainly elegant.

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  • At 11:41 AM, Anonymous Moons Over My Hammy said…

    ergh - cannot - wrap - head - around -

    must - have - coffee - at - Denny's!

    (sorry. no real deep science bent here.)


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