Thursday, July 27, 2006

My First Law

A friend suggested I post my Laws. So I shall.

First Law:
Where there's a positive, there is a negative.

Everything operates in systems; everything is a trade-off. My first law parallels one of the most basic laws of nature: the conservation of energy. It cannot be created or destroyed. It simply flows from one system to another in a variety of forms.

As British scientist and author C. P. Snow interprets the First Law of Thermodynamics [1]:
"You cannot win (that is, you cannot get something for nothing, because matter and energy are conserved)."
This of course precludes its sibling, the Second Law of Thermodynamics, addressing the direction of that conservation. Again, in the words of Snow:
"You cannot break even (you cannot return to the same energy state, because there is always an increase in disorder; entropy always increases)."
Natural proccesses that involve energy transfer go in one direction and that process is irreversible. Steven Hawking explains it thusly using time as an example: when time moves in a foward direction and one breaks a cup of coffee on the floor, no matter what happens, in our universe, one will never see the cup reform. Cups are breaking all the time, but never reforming.

Another parallel is Newton's Third Law of Motion: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Forces always involve interactions and they always come in pairs - equal and opposite action-reaction force pairs. Examples of this law abound in nature: the wings of a bird push air downwards. In turn, the air reacts by pushing the bird upwards.

Thus the Tao of physics, the yin and yang. Yet it is not a simple Descartian duality for which there is an invisible division. Opposites are always in motion, transitioning from one to the other; it is the complementation of natural proccesses.
The natural order requires complementation between the harmonious rule of order and a continuing respect for the fertility of chaos. Order needs to be at all times suppliant and responsive to fertile transition so that new order can emerge from the natural ferment of chaos.
Our reality is a paradoxical complement of our subjective consciousness and the physical universe. That physical universe is itself a paradox of relativity and quantum uncertainty in which the future and the past become lost in probabilities. The description of physical reality is no more and no less than a narrative told about the stabilities and correspondences of our conscious experience.

Thus the philosophy that attempts to understand the fundamental nature of all reality, whether visible or invisible; it seeks a description so basic, so essentially simple, so all-inclusive that it applies to everything: metaphysics.

This is the First Law. It is the Tao.

Quantum physics will always be controversial, it hinges on the metaphysical thus it is almost like trying to describe God.


  1. Have you read "The Tao of Physics?"

    I've got a copy somewhere that I read decades ago, if you'd like to borrow it. Assuming I can find it.

  2. Yes, read it many many years ago and given copies to colleagues. Been meaning to read it again, but Zen of Motorcycle Maintenance won :)

  3. Thank you for posting this entry. I found it to be helpful and interesting. Also, I'm about to pick Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance back up, now that my Colorado journey is winding down.

    I hope you're doing well.

  4. I do hope you are enjoying your walkabout. I'm glad you went. Email me when you return. You can reach my at the same email addresses.

  5. Anonymous10:05 AM

    Hey Elzi!

    Great blog entry - and I don't read blogs. Heh.

    Based on this and other entries you've made, specifically referencing some comments you made about wanting a flash drive implant, you might enjoy reading a book I'm now reading. It's Ray Kurzweil's "The Singularity is Near". It's a great read about the coming disruptive change to the path of humans as strong AI and nanotechnology mature.