A word popped up in my consciousness this morning – entropy. It was like hitting refresh on my dormant love for physics. Back in the day, physics was like the English part of maths to me. Physics gave maths a reason to exist; with physics, maths was not abstract. It would take me another 25 years after studying physics to realise the relationship between the sciences and how each science subject actually builds on the discoveries of the others, all with their foundations in maths. Let me not bore you with this science talk. Let’s get to the meat of the matter – entropy!
The second law of thermodynamics, also called entropy, states that in a closed system, the amount of disorder, or randomness, will increase over time. This means that as one goes forward in time, the net entropy (degree of disorder) will always increase (or at least stay the same). In plain English – All things tend toward disorder.
The impact of this law reaches beyond the realm of physics and affects our lives in many ways. If we understand the law and how to take advantage of it or escape its disadvantages of it. First, let’s explore the implication of this law in different aspects of our lives. Kindly remember that laws are not good ideas; they don’t need your understanding or lack of the same to determine the outcomes. Laws don’t offer themselves to negotiation, and laws can only be overwritten by higher laws.
In terms of physical systems, entropy can result in the degradation and eventual breakdown of physical structures, equipment, and machinery. For example, over time, a building will deteriorate and eventually fall into disrepair, and a car will eventually stop functioning due to wear and tear.
In the biological realm, entropy can result in aging and eventual death. For example, as a person ages, their physical abilities and cognitive functions decline, eventually leading to death. The passing of time supports life.
In social systems, entropy can result in the decline and eventual collapse of civilizations, organizations, and relationships. For example, over time, a once-thriving civilization may decline and fall due to internal conflicts, economic problems, or environmental disasters. Similarly, a once-strong organization may decline due to mismanagement, lack of adaptation to changing conditions, or internal conflicts. In relationships, entropy can result in the breakdown of communication, trust, and eventually the end of the relationship.
In all cases, the law of entropy suggests that over time, systems tend towards greater disorder and disarray and that it is difficult to maintain order and structure in the face of the natural tendency towards disorder.
What do we need to do to avoid the natural tendency of things to go to their worst?
1. Don’t be isolated. Entropy is for completely closed or isolated systems
2. Take deliberate action: Entropy reigns when we do nothing
3. Redeem the time – Time left on its own is an enemy, but the time put to work is your ally.
Nigeria needs a leader who will end its entropy. As we inch towards the time to make a decision for our country, cast your vote wisely, but understand that no matter what happens, because democracy is a vote of the majority, there is an opportunity to still be involved and influential in governance.