Entropy, in the non-physical sense

Disclaimer: Before you guys go fleeing for the hills because I used the word “entropy”, don’t worry, because this isn’t going to be (entirely) a scientific piece. These are just some thoughts I have about the literal versus metaphorical meanings of entropy, and I’ll try to keep it simple.

Here’s your thought for the day: does entropy apply to non-physical objects as well?

The Second Law of Thermodynamics states:

The entropy of an isolated system never decreases, because isolated systems spontaneously evolve towards thermodynamic equilibrium—the state of maximum entropy.

Entropy is a measure of the order and disorder of the universe. Put simply, the natural state of the universe is chaos, and any system, no matter how organized and carefully constructed, will disintegrate over time due to entropy. These systems can be anything: human bodies, buildings, large machines…you get the point.

If you view everything with this perspective, I began thinking if the laws of entropy apply to non-physical things as well. First, let’s think about memories. In the literal sense, a memory is a series of electrical impulses in our brain with accompanying neurotransmitters, among other things; in the metaphorical sense, the sum of these impulses and neurotransmitters create the experiences that shape the people that we are.

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How and why I live my life through music

“Music is love in search of a word.”

“Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music.”

Respectively, these were the words of French novelist and performer, Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, and Russian pianist and composer, Sergei Rachmaninov. These two quotes summarize my feelings about music and its impact on my daily life.

Have you ever had the chance to lie down on the floor next to a person playing a concert grand piano to feel the vibrations as well as hear the sounds? Do you get this feeling of peace and zen, a sense of om when the oboe plays an “A” and everyone begins tuning in synchrony? Sat down during an orchestral rehearsal in the auditorium, closed your eyes and just let the music wash over and through you? Do you constantly have some sort of music coursing through your head at all times? Do you feel no shame whatsoever singing Journey as you’re walking down the street? These are just a few things I do on a regular basis, and a small example of how I feel while doing some of these activities.

Music is my panacea, my place of zen, my balm. It lives in my DNA, it runs in my veins, it resides in my soul. I believe that music holds the key to many of our problems – even diagnostic medicine is looking to frequencies and tones to pinpoint ailments now! Both the acts of listening and playing help me through life. A few years ago, when I found myself unable to cry over losing someone, going to a performance of Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem unlocked something in me and allowed me to grieve. Even now, when I feel overwhelmed, angry, sad, or upset, turning to my violin, going to orchestra rehearsal, and/or playing with a friend or two causes me to focus completely and turn off all my troubles for a couple of hours, letting me channel everything into my playing. Also, ask anyone I know: I’m a nexus of music – many things that people say remind me of a song (that I’ll instantly start singing or humming in my head or out loud), or I’ll almost always be humming or singing a tune as I’m simply sitting or walking around. Music in every form holds some sort of association or poignant memory in my mind, and when I hear certain songs, it causes me to travel back in time and relive those moments as if they had just happened yesterday.

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The Principles of Love

(Note: Technically a reblog, but I didn’t want this lost in my Facebook wall, because it’s far too sweet. Edited for minor errors. ~GY)

The phone rang.

She was sobbing badly on the other end of the line.

“I’m going over,” I told her and hung up before she could protest.

1am. It was going to be a long night ahead..

She was still crying when she opened the door. She looked so broken, so vulnerable. I didn’t have to know what was wrong, I just held her in my arms. She cried even more.

“He broke up with me,” she finally said.

I just kept quiet as she let it all out… questions, tears, anger, hurt.

“Why does love have to hurt so much?”

“No, love… doesn’t hurt,” I said gently.

“So says the guy who’s been single forever? What would you know about love,” she jabbed.

“So says the guy who’s been your friend though Mr. Now-ex-#4,” I grinned. “Love doesn’t hurt you.. it’s the person that doesn’t know how to love or appreciate love that hurts you. But love never hurts.”

“You won’t understand, Matt,” she sighed, “you’ve never been in love…”

“That’s not entirely true, you know…”

“Wait what- so who’s this girl I’ve never heard abou-“

“What did you love about #4 anyway?” I interjected.

“I don’t know… he is just perfect. And I love him so much.”

“But you don’t know what it is that you love about him?”

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Borrowed time

We have all used or experienced borrowed time before. There are always costs associated with it, but we find ourselves wanting it all the same.

The simplest example of borrowed time is credit. You are borrowing time from the bank to use money that you do not have yet, but that you know you will, in theory, be able to return this time. The cost of not returning this time is interest, where you simply have to pay an additional percentage of the initial cost. Very simple and straightforward.

Terminally ill patients who live past their given life expectancy are said to be on borrowed time. The cost here is not so straightforward. The cost could be fiscal, as keeping someone knocking on death’s door can be very expensive. The cost could be someone else’s life, where only that person’s organs will prolong the inevitable for ten to fifteen more years. The cost could also be emotional, as families have spent time preparing for the end; when the patient makes it past the diagnosed time, since we humans are creatures of hope, a small part of us may begin to wonder if your loved one is the statistical anomaly, the one exception. The price for this borrowed time, is devastation.

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What phone numbers do you still remember, and why?

1.) +6562422812 (Disconnected)
My old home number in Singapore…considering I was never home for the 3-4 years we had this number, I’m surprised I still remember it.

2.) +65XXXXXX38, +65XXXXXX08
My parents’ cell phone numbers, still in use. Of course I’ll remember these in case of emergencies. No, I don’t remember my sister’s Hong Kong or Singapore phone number 😦

3.) +1 (516) 889-8633
Phone number for my apartment in Long Beach, NY, when I lived there from 1997-2002. It’s just one of those weird things that still sticks in your memory, I guess.

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