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Diary of Anne Ku Webmaster Discussion Forum



The Diary of Anne Ku


24 May 2000 Wednesday

I'm one day ahead of myself.  I'm writing this on Tuesday the 23rd - and it has been drizzling and chilly, but bearable, as I headed to the Internet World UK 2000 Exhibition on Tuesday.

This morning, already late for an appointment, I rushed around looking for my business cards.  Couldn't find them anywhere!  The other day, I looked all over the place for my cat's flea prevention kit.  Couldn't find them either.  My clothes, dirty and clean, are everywhere.  My dishes, wok, pots and pans all unwashed, scattered in the kitchen.  My place has become a mess!

Was it the second law of thermodynamics - otherwise known as the law of entropy - that stated: everything left on to its own will tend to disorder.  It takes energy, i.e. effort, to put things back in order again.  I studied entropy with relation to uncertainty and flexibility many years ago.  It seemed such an attractive subject then.  In chapter 7 of my thesis, I wrote the following conclusion:

The underlying theory behind entropy is not appropriate for our conceptual understanding of flexibility. Entropy does not discriminate between states, therefore it cannot differentiate between the favourable and the unfavourable. It does not recognise value and thus ignores the favourability inherent in flexibility. The permutation of probabilities is not unique. To use entropy, we must treat the future as uncertain, thus removing the value preferences of the decision maker.

Wow!  Did I actually write like that?  Did I expect anybody to understand me? There are so many useful laws in physics, useful mathematical formulae, and all-around useful concepts I came across in academia.   But, how in the world will the layman make use of them if they are written in academic-speak, in passive tense, and hidden away in subscription-only journals? 

Luckily I am familiar with the law of entropy, and I realise that I have to clean up my place immediately.