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Entropy production delusion

It is common in knowledgeable circles to talk about the development of civilization in terms of entropy discussion. The term 'entropy...

Thursday, September 6, 2012


A well-known investment writer had this to say.

"My theory is that this is because real-time commerce is the most overlooked force in the universe. Commerce even provides the test of the long-run merit of ideas: Ideas rooted in truth instantiate themselves in institutions and become part of history. Therefore, following the commercial thread through time means following meritorious ideas and the real ways in which people use them to live their lives. Yet because economic ignorance is so pervasive, especially in journalism and academia, few are in a position to follow this thread. They end up daydreaming about untruths for a living."

It is a common view. It is a view that has underpinned economic growth. It is a view that is leading to the collapse of economies because it is fostering an unsustainable process. The writer refers to 'the most overlooked force in the universe' which has come up with ideas. The problem with that logic is that ideas do not have substance: they are intangible. The systems of civilization are made of materials and use energy for their operation. That is the stark tangible reality.

The writer's 'force', however, has done immeasurable harm by leading to unsound decisions about making irreversible use of the limited natural material wealth.

Denis Frith

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