Entropy and Extropy

From: Lee Corbin (lcorbin@ricochet.net)
Date: Fri May 04 2001 - 15:27:38 MDT

At 02:58 PM 5/4/01 -0400, Spudboy100 wrote:
>Perhaps, the purpose of intelligent life is to correct entropy?

It's possible that more advanced civilizations try
to achieve reversibility. It might be kind of an
"ecologically" or "environmentally" friendly way to
calculate. Primitive civilizations, like ours, might
be forgiven for charging ahead irreversibly.

But I think the same way about trying to avoid entropy
(with reversibility, say) as I do about worrying too
much about resource consumption. We hardly know anything
yet; after we get some Dyson shells going around a few
stars we can wonder whether we ought to try computing our
civilization reversibly.

So while intelligence is possible without entropy increases,
it doesn't seem worth the effort. I'm sure that people and
probably most life represent an increase in entropy production
from what it would have been if life weren't around, e.g., the
Berserkers get their way (Jim F. and Damien will doubtless
know what I'm talking about).

I don't think that "Extropy" should ever be taken to mean
literal, explicit avoidance of entropy. Au contraire.

Lee Corbin

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