Life, the Universe, & the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics The Inﬁnite Probability Drive John Ashmead
2nd Law of Thermodynamics The law that entropy always increases holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwells equations - then so much the worse for Maxwellsequations.…but if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics, I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation. -- A. S. Eddington In an isolated system, a process can occur only if it increases the total entropy of the system.
Maxwell’s Daemon “A very observant and neat- ﬁngered being”
Arrow of time Nothing in the statistics of an assemblage can distinguish a direction of time when entropy fails to distinguish one. -- Eddington
2 way time Let us assume that the three dimensions of space are visualized in the customary faction, and let us substitute a colour for the fourth dimension. Every physical object is liable to changes in colour as well as position. An object might, for example, be capable of going through all shades from red through violet to blue. A physical interaction between any two bodies is possible only if they are close to each other in space as well as in colour. Bodies of different colours would penetrate each other without interference
Inﬁnite improbability drive If such a machine is a virtual impossibility, then it must logically be a ﬁnite improbability. So all I have to do in order to make one is to work out exactly how improbable it is, feed that ﬁgure into the ﬁnite improbability generator, ...
7 ways to climb Mt. Improbable • Quantum ﬂuctuations • Many worlds • Many laws • Many ﬂuctuations • Positive feedback loops • Self-organizing criticality • Imagination
The Universe, Life, & Us • Universe • Life • Us
The inner (closest toGalactic Habitable the center of the galaxy) limit is set by threats to Zone complex life: nearby transient sources of ionizing radiation, including supernovae and gamma ray bursters, and comet impacts. Such threats tend to increase close to the galactic center. The outer limit is imposed by galactic chemical evolution, speciﬁcally the abundance of heavier elements, such as carbon.
By effectively removing all barriers to communication between different races & cultures, [the babelﬁsh] has caused more & bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation.
Beer & Civilization • Agriculture • Parties • Drinkable water Nin-kasi, you are the one who bakes the bappir in the big oven, Puts in order the piles of hulled grains, ... You are the one who waters the malt set on the ground, ... You are the one who soaks the malt in a jar The waves rise, the waves fall. ... You are the one who spreads the cooked mash on large reed mats, Coolness overcomes. ... You are the one who holds with both hands the great sweet wort, Brewing [it] with honey and wine
Sumeria: 2313BC • For taxes • Started as clay “counters” • Added envelopes • Got rid of contents
I’m afraid that the Question and the Answer are mutually exclusive. Knowledge of one logically precludes knowledge of the other.It is impossible that both can ever be known about the same Universe.