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#6 Thermodynamics


#6 - Thermodynamics: it came to my attention lately that a brilliant fabulous friend of mine had never heard of the 2nd law of thermodynamics. This made me realize there may be many out there not yet privy to this little gem, commonly credited to the work of 19th century mechanical engineer, Nicolas Léonard Sadi Carnot. The 2nd law of thermodynamics is an important frame for our discussion of fire and so I shall briefly recap. The axiom asserts that energy in a “closed system” will always spontaneously devolve toward a less organized and less useful state. The higher the orderliness the greater the productive potential. But time’s thermodynamic arrow points toward disorder, and every imaginable action and process intensifies this natural tendency toward chaos. In short: you can’t unbreak the egg. Bricks will not spontaneously stack themselves, though the stack may well fall down eventually.  As a closed system, the universe was at its most orderly state when infinitely small and dense just before the Big Bang. Ever since it has been expanding (time‘s “cosmological” arrow), and becoming less and less orderly (time’s thermodynamic arrow) [Hawkings]. On this scale it’s hard to lament the epochal creep toward chaos. It’s simply too grand. For all intents and purposes however, our planetary island may also be understood as a “closed system”. Plate tectonics, organic digestion, and who knows what else are excellent global recycling systems however we can be relatively certain that sources of orderly (aka productive) energy in our system are finite and will eventually be reduced to rubble, the question is how quickly? One might argue, “why fight the inevitable?”. Hawkings posits, that as creatures requiring high-order resources (food/land/water/air) to exist at all, we have skin in the game of the devolution of energy — as do our all our plant and animal friends. I’ve come to think of burning as a fast forward button on the March of chaos in Earth's system. And so…#101WaysNotToBurn. #noburnnation #moneymoney #thermodynamics. 👍🏻. 

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