Saturday, March 19, 2016

entropy as a force, evolution, economics, dynamics

He does not explain the variables clear enough for me to understand or use.  Your summary of it, which he states in a similar way, is a common tactic in competition against others or nature when the future is less predictable.  But in well defined problems that you can model completely, there is a specific path chosen that can greatly violate this rule (as viewed from the perspective of someone with less knowledge). But from an omniscient view, knowing the best path is like never having an option except to choose that path. Not knowing or being able to control the future is intrinsic to wanting to keep options open. "Options" depends on amount of knowledge like "order" and entropy.  "Entropy" is a measurable thing not subject to opinion, but it is a willful blinding of the most of the data: it throws out the details of the exact momentum and position of each particle and relies only on the bulk measurements of T, P, N, and V.
I believe "keeping options open" is equal to not spending Gibbs free energy which a combination of potential energy and pre-existing order.  He shows a weight on a stick that automatically balances. I do not know how he got from his equation to that, but maintaining potential energy achieves the same thing. It is also the lowest-entropy state: we can see it is straight up which is a defined position, but it may fall in many different directions. It is keeping options open, and yet it is preventing entropy from being increased.  As you've listed the equation, the standard entropy force, it should immediately fall. This is not exactly the equation he uses. His subscripts are saying max entropy gradient over a certain time, or something like that. It seems his equation is maintaining the gradient at a max which is right before it "decides" which way to fall. 
We keep assets (potential energy in a low entropy state) that we believe will maintain value (be convertible to work energy with minimal entropy production, aka efficient) in times of turmoil. It could be dollars, gold, bitcoin, skill, or social contacts. But if we know the future, we spend it on other things that will result in the most long term profit (acquisition of other low entropy potential energy assets like a stock that may fluctuate wildly in this value. The end goal is supposedly to transfer the potential energy gains to our offspring so they can survive in the future, where "offspring" could be children, ideas, machines, or the greater community. 
You have cast this physics idea as under the control of intelligence, but I believe the physics of matter causes intelligence to occur.  I believe the "meaning of life" (the goal of godless, mindless dynamics) is to emit entropy to the universe while decreasing it locally and increasing local potential energy.  For example, biology seems to be replacing itself with more efficient machines that depend on very strong bonds in order to acquire sunlight energy and to use that energy to move matter, make structures, and to think about how to do it most efficiently and profitably (more potential energy and lower entropy in the end).  These very strong bonds in today's society depend on oxygen atoms being removed from carbon (nanotubes, graphite, carbon fiber), metal ores, and silicon (CPUs and Solar cells). I do not know the chemistry of cement well enough to include it.  Imagine society if the silicon, metals, and carbons did not exist (or they still had their natural oxygens attached). Look at the exponential trends of these increasing as biology decreases in relevance to the economic (economizing) machine.  Economizing means spending energy and order (ores in a vien is pre-existing low entropy) effieicntly, but what is economics efficiently trying to do?  The will of people?  No.  That assumes mind controls matter, but mind is not seperable from body, and mind has no rpe-existing force dynamics did not give it.  Believing mind controls us is like believing in a soul. It's a handy but false model like a "selfish" gene.  Mind and genes are implementing physical dynamics.  Genes are the physical memory of past dynamics.  Mind is a chemical reaction, not a pre-existing or fundamental force. 
Evolution is the result of the dynamics of matter.  Matter moves as a result of energy potentials (F=-dU) and low entropy (F=TdS). We think mind controls, but it is the expression of past dynamics under these two forces.  Schrodinger initially said "negative entropy" was key to life, but in an update he corrected himself to say it was Gibb's free energy, dG=dU+pdV-TdS.  For Earth's surface, p, V, and T are kind of constant, and the remaining dU and dS are the two forces I've just mentioned. The minus sign works out because here we have F=T*dS and all other forces are the result of F=-dU. F=ma implies an intelligence behind the F to move the m, but there it is ultimately sourced from a -dU and TdS.    -dU+TdS=F=ma, not Mind+genes=F=ma.
I view evolution as dynamics creating memory/computation systems that catalyze matter into forming more memory/computational systems.  Structures and bodies are the support structures for minds to create more minds, so it is easy to see why we think of mind as a primary force. But the primary source is dynamics.  "We" (dynamics) cash in on the environment's dU and -dS to replenish and add more of them to our own systems (energy is released if we put the oxygen back into our silicon, metals, and carbon, as well as entropy increasing back to where it was). The dynamics trend is to create local order and increased potential energy, cashing in on energy from the sun. Fossil fuels are being depleted, but there's potential energy in the new bonds we are creating and they are harder to get started in burning.  Entropy does not increase on Earth because it is an open system. 
When oxygen is removed, the refined solids have 1/5 as much entropy. The waste heat and entropy emitted in the refining is released to the Universe, leaving a much lower entropy in the solids that make up society. They also acquire a large amount of potential energy like fossil fuels compared to the previous ores.  Denser materials result in lower entropy because less flexibility means fewer position*momentum states that can be occupied at a given temperature.  This also means the materials are more predictable and controllable in a deep sense that makes them more efficient in structures, thinking machines, energy acquisition, and movement of matter. 

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