Entropy by Any Other Name

entropy

I’m a philosopher not a physicist, but I believe that I have a minuscule understanding of physics. Based on the two or three brain cells that have grasped the concept, here’s my interpretation of entropy.

In this universe, physics tells us that everything devolves into chaos unless effort (energy) is added. In other words, while an abandoned house falls down and is overtaken by vegetation, a house that has regular maintenance will not. Maybe this isn’t the most exotic explanation, but it provides the basics.

“If you don’t expend effort to take care of something, it will decay,” or as Firesign Theatre presented as Fudd’s First Law of Opposition–“If you push something hard enough, it will fall over.”

So, given that everything will eventually fall apart, why do your politicians expend so much time, effort , and energy on promoting chaos? Are they impatient and want to see utter ruin faster, are they ignorant of what they are doing, or is it something else?

And people for several thousand years have called me crazy?

John Stuart Mill Explains

mill

Some have noticed that I use the byline of “think vs feel.” I’ve tried to incorporate this attitude and philosophy into my writings. However, as the father of cynicism, I expect some readers to be, well, cynical. So, to plead my case, I am invoking the lessons of another, much more recent philosopher,  John Stuart Mill.

For an excellent article on this by Yukta Sinha, please click here.

 

A Simple Test

As the founder of philosophical cynicism, you might naturally expect me to attack any viewpoint with which I do not agree.

You’d be right, of course.

Today your Senate votes on the question of impeachment. I’ve heard arguments, delivered with a straight face that strained the truth well beyond its specifications. I guess people who are seeking re-election or being paid enough . . . .

I propose there’s a simpler way to find the truth.

If you were in the military and deploying to Afghanistan for a year,  would you:

  • Hand your credit cards to Donald Trump for safekeeping?
  • Give Donald Trump all your passwords so he could handle your business while you were gone?
  • Ask Donald Trump to check visit your wife?

 

If you like my posts–great. If you hate them–forward to those people who drive you crazy.

 

And There It Is

I have been busy, trying to ignore all the chaos in your political system.

I swept out my sewer (Yuch!–Even from me.), I went down to the river and bathed (Ahhh!), and when I walked away from the river, naked, someone offered me clothes–just as I anticipated. They didn’t fit well, but good enough.

Keep in mind that my philosophy is cynicism. So . . . . . . . .

I saw your supposedly “most deliberative body”–the US Senate”–make fools of themselves, yet again. As a cynic, I have both con and pro thoughts toward democracies, but, as has been said, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”

Legend has it that after the Constitution was written, Benjamin Franklin was asked, “What do we have? A republic or a monarchy?” His response, according to that legend, was, “A republic–if you can keep it.” It does sound like Ben.

Can America keep a republic? I don’t know, even with a couple of millennia under my belt. I’ll leave it to you. Can you face difficult decisions? Can you make wise choices? Can you hold your elected representatives responsible?

It’s not my future–I died long ago and just hang around to exercise my cynicism.

The future is yours–deal with it.

“Present!”

It’s no wonder that throughout history, people have dreamed of a Messiah who would be a great political and military leader who would straighten out all the problems with nations, governments, politics, etc. Those of you who are Christian know that such is not the way it works.

Vote tally: How senators voted on GOP health care motion ...

In the current situation in Washington, DC, the expectation is that political expediency (aka–how do I get re-elected?) easily trumps honesty, ethics, or even self respect. Regardless of anything else, it is virtually guaranteed that there will be an acquittal of your president. Any Republican who votes for impeachment will suffer greatly; they will end up without the prestige and power to which they have become accustomed and be forced to find–and work at–a real job.

However, will their constituents see things the same way? If the Senate allows neither witnesses nor evidence, what will the outcome be next election? Here are several issues to consider:

  • How many voters in the last presidential election voted AGAINST Hillary Clinton as opposed to FOR Donald Trump?
  • While there are vocal supporters of Donald Trump and some for other candidates, given how contentious politics have become, many people do not speak about their views–it’s too socially risky. What will they do in the voting booth?
  • It has been posited that if the Senate’s vote was by secret ballot, the outcome would be very different from what is generally expected. What does this mean?

I suggest a radical response.

If a Senator fears retribution, but whose honest assessment of the testimony calls for breaking with the party, vote “PRESENT”. If challenged, that senator can explain that neither side presented an overwhelming preponderance of guilt or innocence.

Suggest that to your elected officials. They’ll ignore it, of course, but recommend it anyway.

Honesty

Honesty was once valued.

Abraham Lincoln was known as Honest Abe. While the story of young George Washington chopping down the cherry tree is not believed to be true, his admission of guilt because “I cannot tell a lie!” was demonstrative of the value of honesty.

Today, it would be appropriate to relegate Washington and Lincoln to the dustbin of history. Perhaps in their stead we could use Warren G. Harding as an inspiration.

Warren G. Harding by Margaret Lindsay Williams
Oil on canvas, 1923 
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

You, Me, and Them

Being that I live in a sewer and am known for my lack of hygiene, I don’t often get out to the movies and they won’t install cable for me. However, I have subscribed to Netflix, so I can see movies and television shows, although they’re what you used to call “reruns”.

As I watch the political goings on, I am struck by the mob mentality. Mob might be a bit strong, but I believe someone once called it group-think. The phenomenon is that members of a group tend to surrender their individuality in order to fit in. Instead of using critical thinking and logic, they go with the prevailing opinion of the group.

The reason I mentioned Netflix is because I can’t say it better than how it was explained in Men in Black:

J: People are smart.

K: A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.