Sunday, October 18, 2009

Entropy

The Anglican Curmudgeon has a good post up about the entropy overtaking The Gay Church. As happens with many (perhaps all) institutions, it carried on for a while on a surge of original energy, but today we see it falling to the inexorable Second Law of Thermodynamics.
In the same way, institutions can for a time defy the Second Law. They accumulate people and energy, and flourish and spread and thrive. Some can maintain their health for centuries, or even millennia. But if the flow of energy out begins to exceed the amount that is taken in, eventually the institution must succumb to the Second Law if the process cannot be reversed.

The Episcopal Church (USA) is no exception to the Law. I submit that all of the outward signs point to a draining from it of people and energy which at the moment is very much greater than what it is managing to attract to itself.

Being purely mortal, the Episcopal Church is sharing the fate of all purely mortal things, which will also be the fate of our governments, cultures and civilizations in time.

But let us not be too downcast. The topic gives me a chance to post a YouTube video by Flanders and Swann, giving a musical physics lesson. I have to say, this little song has worked for me over the years. If someone mentions the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics, I immediately hear the syncopated verse in my head:
HEAT - cannot-of-itself - PASS - from ONE - body-to-a-hotter - BODY."



And while we're at it, here's another Flanders & Swann song - 'The Gasman Cometh', animated with Lego figures. This is one of my favourites, and I have even learned to play it on the piano!

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