A room of high entropy. You cant make this room more messier. It can only get better from here.

If you are the expecting to read a rigorous scientific explanation complete with the famous Boltzmann equation for entropy, you have come to the wrong place. I must ask you to stop right now and utilize your time for better pursuits. This write up is for the common man. In his school days, he may have a vague recollection of his science teacher telling him that entropy is the degree of randomness and indeed it is; but why are we all concerned whether something is random at all? What is so special about being completely random?

To answer this, let us ask ourselves- What is special about a room which is messy beyond redemption? About a jigsaw puzzle all scattered and jumbled up? About a glass of milk dropped on the floor?

For a start, all the mentioned incidents can’t be made more worse. An uncleaned room for 8 months cant be more messy than it already is. Similarly, a jumbled up puzzle cant be made even more jumbled up. Milk on the floor is as good as a messy floor and I am not even going into the inevitable rebukes you will be getting. Hence, we all can agree that things can only go up from here. So this means from a position of highest randomness (messiness) there is only one way to go- to a position of lesser randomness. Now, as much as we would have liked, this doesn't happen on its own. A messy room does not clean up by itself but some strange power does make an ordered room messy. This is very important. This means — if you are staying in a room then there is only one way your room can be if it is left by itself for a period of time — messy. This is how the natural flow of events will culminate as far as your room is concerned. There are no two ways about this. To depart from this — an external agency has to involved (obviously you)! Now, we all can figure this out intuitively, but what about a phenomenon more complex than a messy room, an incident which the human intelligence cannot comprehend? How do we know which way it goes? This is where entropy comes in. We just need to find out in which direction the entropy increases or decreases. The natural flow of events will always be in a direction of increasing entropy or randomness or messiness-call it whatever you might. You may be surprised to know that we can extrapolate this phenomenon to everything happening in the universe.

Nothing exists except atoms and empty space; everything else is opinion.

Democritus

Universe is basically atoms and space. Atoms of a particular type can get arranged in a particular order to form an animal, a cricket ball or a lawnmower. Order is important in anything for it to gather value. A similar situation arises for any natural occurrence, just that, here, energy also needs to be accounted for, considering the dynamic nature inherent in a process.

We are getting too technical here, so lets keep it simple. We are slowly getting to know the importance of order or the lack of it. The beauty of this is not only applicable to matter or a process as mentioned before but also in our day to day life. For example, say, you want to be proficient in martial arts. You have to be under the tutelage of a master for a certain period of time. In other words, you are practicing a set of ordered movements over a period of time till it becomes muscle memory while the average Joe on the street goes about doing his random movements of everyday life. I am able to write this piece on entropy because I was going through a specific set of websites and research papers on entropy instead of randomly browsing on the internet or reading a magazine in which case my knowledge will be random. In order to go to the post office, you have to take a particular road instead of just any random route which will lead you nowhere or worse you can be lost. Hence, you see, to be skilled at something, you have to practice an ordered set of movements and thoughts or in other words reduce entropy in that particular direction. Another example would be how ordered alphabets form words having meanings. Ordered words form sentences giving ideas. Random words strung together are incoherent and doesn't lead anywhere.

Reducing entropy in thoughts and actions in a particular direction leads to getting higher up on a skill or vocation in that direction. More random your thoughts and actions are, more you will be like the average Joe on the street.

Researcher| Writer| Stock market rookie