To the Editor:
Ever feel like the world is falling apart? Well, it is now. In fact, it always has felt super stressed, but now, the crash is even greater. Physicists call that endless chaos entropy, a measure of the number of possible arrangements the atoms in a system can have. In this sense, entropy is a measure of uncertainty or randomness.
Entropy is the persistent trend toward disorder. Mix salt and pepper together and they merge. Travel to another country and see how its culture changes who you are. Watch one of your heroes go bad. Watch both CNN and Fox. That’s entropy. And that creates disorder. It’s a given that we cannot lose.
Entropy affects our world and our lives; both get more conflicted and more confusing. For government, businesses, weather, viruses, wars and crime, they will not disappear. Wars do end but have deadly consequences and then get reborn. Promote recycling and our landfills get filled with more plastic. Provide first-rate education to our kids and then demand that “divisive and racist topics” are prohibited. But wiping clean our history will not make hate go away.
And chaos is happening in our state houses as much as it is in our schools. In Ohio, gerrymandering is the weapon conservatives use to violate our state Supreme Court ruling (Jane Mayer). The Ohio Supreme Court and its redistricting commission have struck down the third set of district maps in a 4-3 ruling, finding that the maps, like predecessors, violated the state’s constitutional prohibitions against partisan gerrymandering and its proportionality standards. The right-leaning Ohio legislature has rejected the order.
Entropy is a disease that will not stop giving. Regardless of which political side you’re on, think about the way you get the news. If most of it is from Facebook and Twitter, and not from nationally respected newspapers and magazines, that invites trouble. If your sources lean in one direction like Fox or MSNBC, mix it up, i.e. watch them both. If that makes you nervous, that’s entropy and learn to live with it.
Thomas Klein, professor of English emeritus