Friday, January 2, 2009


I like puzzles.  I like brain teasers – like if a bear walks by a house with four walls facing south – what colour is the bear?  Inane shit tickles me.   Innate shit fascinates me.  Thermodynamics is a puzzle of sorts, and I'd like to define some actions and their consequences with the laws of thermodynamics.

Prior to defining the laws of thermodynamics, I would like to thank the collaborative efforts at Wikipedia – my encyclopaedia of the minds.   

The Zeroth Law

This basically states that when things are in harmony, all parties involved will benefit from that harmony and no friction or forces will prevail.  The Law uses algebra to explain;

"If A and B are each in thermal equilibrium with C, A is also in thermal equilibrium with B."

Otherwise, if A & B were not in thermal equilibrium, C would have some action of force or energy on either A or B.  The remaining thermodynamic laws dictate which party is the consequence of C's actions. 

I like to analyze equations, the zeroth law seems as it may apply to many situations with replacing thermal equilibrium with other forces and defining parties A, B and C. 

I would like to expand slightly with a moral example. 

The P family harvested leeks for sale to the S group.  The S group in turn made leek soup with the other ingredients, which were supplied by the I family.  Both the P and I family purchased the soup for nourishment from the S group for the fair price of their time and labour of creating the soup.  It would seem that the S group would benefit from this transaction, as they would be rewarded for their time.  But a harmonization will occur of equilibrium, whereby the leek soup made by the S group would be generated in surplus and in abundance for sale to other groups outside of the three-party equilibrium.   Abundance would be realized by the equilibrated group.  It is only in times of greed and competitiveness that the equilibrium zeroth law is broken.  The P family decide to increase the price of their Leeks.  Ok, well the S group resell the leek soup back to the P family at an increased rate and the consequence to the action actually benefits the S group and hurts the P family.  The I family suffer throughout the process as they must pay higher prices due to the P family's greed and subsequent suffering.  The S group meanwhile see an opportunity to increase pricing for their leek soup to outside groups, ir-regardless of the prices of leeks and ingredients.  Greed has seeped in.  P and I families are unwilling slaves to the S group Greed.  Consequences to this action are unfathomable to think of, famine, angst, hatred, crime, punishment.  Equilibrium must be reached for peace.  Ultimate consequence of this example is the destruction of either family or group parties, either through famine, slavery or anarchy.  

The First Law

The first law states that all the energy into and out of a system must be accounted, and is accounted for in heat energy minus the work done by the system to cope with it's surroundings, or

"The increase in the internal energy of a system is equal to the amount of energy added by heating the system, minus the amount lost as a result of the work done by the system on its surroundings"

This, to me, is another definition of action and consequences. 

First let's, examine internal energy.  Make a fist.  Feel the electrical impulses trigger as the fist is clenched.  Heat ensues and is lost to the environment.  Calories are essentially burned.   The body is full of internal energy and releases heat that exhausted from work (fist clenching).  The inner workings of the body are beyond my knowledge base, and would take too much time to write at this point, but I'd like to extend the thought to a situation I've discussed.

The S group, now with power and unequal share, request more leeks from the P family.  At the same price previously discounted/contracted.  The P family must now work harder to generate their products.  The P family have added heat to their system.  The work done by the P family is lost to the surroundings controlled by the S group.  If the zeroth law is not followed, the P family suffer increasingly.  As do the I family.  The internal energy is added only to the subservient.  The S group reap rewards.  The S group are isolated to the zeroth and first law; they create entropy, or ruling power.  They have broken the laws.


The Second Law

The Second Law states that a system with increasing entropy, defined as a system in isolation not in equilibrium, will increase in time, approaching a maximum value at equilibrium.

Ok entropy has always fascinated me as strange – it is a form of energy that is unkempt – growing without checks until it increases in power and energy until it reaches a maximum, or in my interpretation, chaos.  Chaos is the first and zeroth laws re-equilibrating until equilibrium is reinstated.  I've observe a little, as is the case of the Ukraine when it was reported that the election they undertook in 2004 was exposed for corruption and chaos ensued.  An electoral commission decided party A won, although the 75% voter turnout decided party A received 39.32% of the vote and party B received 39.87%.  Tight, but seems that party B won – why did the electoral commission favour party A? Strange – the same way I think of entropy and don't understand it - strange.  Irregularities were recorded, ballot-stuffing, poisoning, other entropic isolated shit I don't understand.  The strangest part was that areas that apparently supported Party A got together and agreed they didn't support him in the vote and voiced their displeasure.  Chaos.  Followed by re-order.  A re-run was called for which Party B won with 52% of the vote.  Party A received 44%.  Equilibrium restored. 

So now the S group have created entropy, or strange habits - closed doors of isolated planning that exuberates, or overflows, personal gain with greed as the energy source.  Greed creates this concoction of energy that generates corruption and deceit, all to maintain their entropic state of control, far from equilibrium.  Maximum values must be reached.  The S group will create those themselves.  Recall the zeroth law and first law.  Exchanges of actions and consequences.  Entropy is an action – what is the consequence of entropy?  Equilibrium.  The P and I families must use the zeroth and first laws to create this.   If the P and I families collaborate and utilize common bonds and union to re-centre entropy, the S group must abide.  And the S group must abide, they cannot be outcast otherwise equilibrium cannot be maintained. 

The Third Law

I won't interpret this one, just state its definition:

"As a system approaches absolute zero, all processes cease and the entropy of the system approaches a minimum value"

So the S group have ceased to a minimum value.  Absolute zero, absolute freedom, absolute equality.  Free of maximums, of limits, of control, of corruption.  But remember who first broke the zeroth law – the P family, by raising their price of leeks.  Absolute zero, or nothingness, must come from within each party, otherwise trust is broken – and trust is sacred.

Equations can be powerful.  As is patience.  Patience requires time.  Time allows reflection.  Reflection allows thought.  Thought allows equation – equality – equilibrium.


  1. I like puzzles, too, and enjoy extrapolating truths from one system to another, so I found your post interesting. However, I know nothing about the laws of thermodynamics except what you have just tried to explain, and I could only grasp the Zeroth Law from your explanation. Also, I think that S could be greedy without any help from P, as is the case in real life with all of the businesses that have exported their labor of product making to China. And what Law explains making products at the expense of the environment and health/safety of workers and consumers? I think you may be onto something, but I would need more information to really understand what you're getting at. I hope you can elaborate a little bit.

  2. I appreciate your feedback - insightful, which drew me to your posts.

    The Zeroth Law is open for interpretation - and my understanding is only one of many, especially when applied to ethics and personal beliefs.

    I agree S can be greedy without the P, although my thoughts were to expand the interpretation to realize P and I may also be exposed to vices. But yes, S can create entropy out of nothingness.

    Environment, Health and Safety are great concerns of mine, and in the application of thermodynamic laws - perhaps Law-less?

    Thanks again for the thoughts

  3. I agree S can be greedy without the P, although my thoughts were to expand the interpretation to realize P and I may also be exposed to vices. But yes, S can create entropy out of nothingness.

    Yes, I think that this is a particularly interesting insight, i.e., that any of the actors may affect the equation.

    In any case, I think it is extremely unique and fascinating that you have been thinking about the application of thermodynamic truths to ethics and personal beliefs, and I hope you will write more about this.