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Forbes on Physics and Chess

From Atoms To Bits, Physics Shows Entropy As The Root Of Intelligence

By: Anthony Wing Kosner

 

We have been taught to think of entropy as a bad thing. “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;/Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,” wrote William Butler Yeats in the aftermath of World War I, in words that still ring true today. Yet Yeats was both a Romantic poet and a Modern one, and he followed up this couplet with a more counterintuitive one, “The best lack all conviction, while the worst /Are full of passionate intensity.”

These lines have always been a kind of zen koan for me. Lack of conviction would seem to lead to “mere anarchy,” but so often we find that it is fervent, fixed beliefs that lead us astray. Throughout history, poets, philosophers and heretics of all kinds have tried to express the kind of openness of mind that leads to reliably good outcomes. In the 70s Fritjof Capra’s The Tao of Physics introduced a generation to the intersection of science and Eastern thought. Now, we can add a computational physicist to that crowd.

 

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Comments


  • 16 months ago

    PeaceRequiresAnarchy

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;/Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world"

    Anarchy is not a snyonym for disorder. Anarchy is a situation lacking a state/government. For more information, check out Murray Rothbard's essay "Society Without a State": http://mises.org/daily/2429

  • 16 months ago

    OldChessDog

    My three favorite things in one article! Physics (a long term interst of mine), chess of course, and Poetry :-).

  • 16 months ago

    StevieBlues

    Good stuff here

  • 17 months ago

    SometimesReasonable

    Good story, interesting ideas.

  • 17 months ago

    D_for_DJ

    cool stuff

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