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entropy and life
:: Posted by Tom239 on April 05, 2015

We only see water flow downhill. Yet water that has reached the ocean is returned to mountaintops, not by flowing uphill in riverbeds but by weather--a process driven by energy from the sun.

Temperatures in a room naturally tend toward uniformity. But a refrigerator pumps heat out of its interior--if it has a power supply.

These examples show that the natural trend toward increased entropy is reversible at the cost of energy use.

All life requires energy. This is true for each individual (a manís gotta eat) and for the larger process of evolution that got us to this point. Life, a process that exhibits remarkable order and organization, is not a violation of the second law of thermodynamics. It is an instance of what is possible when energy is available.

:: Posted by brage7 on April 04, 2015

Just wonder if The Consrukction of light and Thrak will be available soon on vinyl??

Keep It Down
:: Posted by Royston on April 04, 2015

Thanks to Marked Man for two quite disparate yet resonant posts.

As for the first: if the Shepherd Effect works with descending tones as well as ascending, it might well explain the seemingly endless descent of Coda: Marine 475 (presumably itself a rather nice metaphor).

As for Jack Bruce, Richard Williams wrote a brief but appreciative memorial piece in October 2014 in which he tells of attending a Lifetime gig at the Marquee in October 1970 with Robert Fripp, where "we spent the evening glancing at each other in wonderment as the storm raged through the club, threatening to strip the black paint from the walls. I donít believe the sheer ferocity of it, the unstoppable outpouring, the brutal intensity and sometimes ecstatic interplay, could ever be recreated. Sadly, their records didnít even begin to tell the story."

The seeds of 1972-74 KC were possibly sown that day. Along with Sailorís Tale.

And Iíve always thought that John Wettonís bass part on Fracture (starting at 8:38 on the SABB version) sounds remarkably like Jack.

jack bruce
:: Posted by TheMarkedMan on April 03, 2015

Iíve been listening to a lot of Jackís solo work, especially those first four solo albums from Things We Like through Out Of The Storm and wondered if Robertís path ever crossed Jackís, even just comparing notes (no pun intended) there sure seems to be a lot in common with respect to aesthetic and goals for their music.

the shepherd effect
:: Posted by TheMarkedMan on April 03, 2015

Was just watching a short flick at I fíing love science dot com about audio illusions and they covered something called the shepherd effect which gives impressions tones are moving higher and higher. I immediately wondered if this illusion had been used deliberately in Larks Tongues in Aspic Part II?

:: Posted by willesley on April 03, 2015

:: Posted by willesley on March 29, 2015

Life - a temporary reversal of entropy.

Thatíll teach me not to be facetious.

CERN music
:: Posted by Bakullama on March 30, 2015

You mentioned a King Crimson fan who was there when the Higgs Boson particle was discovered... Here is some music created by one of the LHC staff (Piotr Traczyk).

Thank you Bakullama for the link. Most interesting - but definitely not the guy I know. Makes me wonder how many Crimson fans there are in CERN and whether Robert should have considered Geneva for the upcoming tour.

More weird LIFE discoveries.
:: Posted by Bakullama on April 02, 2015

An insane discovery worth looking into, there is lots of info out here...

The work being described is by Prof S. James Gates... He has noted that the supersymmetric equations of string theory contain some binary codes built in. Yes like this....( 011000111).... and they are self correcting. These are the same as codes sometimes used in computing for error correcting. Like the self dual 8-bit Hamming code in particular. He constructs mysterious looking diagrams which he calls "adinkra" to encapsulate these structures.

Gates has hyped this quite a bit suggesting that it is a sign that we are living in a computer simulation as in the film "The Matrix.

It is always speculated that these codes could also play some kind of error correcting role in string theory preventing uncontolled decoherence of spacetime, but this is pure speculation and it is not clear if such a mechanism is even needed.

It is an interesting intellectual exercise to think about the way the universe might run like a computer or quantum computer. but suggesting that we are living in a matrix is pretty scary.

cry pardon
:: Posted by sylvanasheart on April 02, 2015

Ignorance has always been something I excel in,followed by naiveteí and pride.Audio;arse;ass...these are words that start with "A",the former which I was an example of the latter two in regards to"DVD-A".As to the"BIG QUESTION"filling the latest bloggulations...entropy exists,doo-doo occurs,shyte happens.Kinnit?I ,fer one,do not believe we are meant to save the planet,but to escape it before it rots beneath our feet,as it will surely do.As above,so below.I dunno...one glass of merlot-n-off I go.

Max Delbruck
:: Posted by albemuth on April 02, 2015

I doubt that there is much of importance in Schroedingerís "What is Life" beyond the historical fact that he influenced a generation of physicists (like Max Delbruck and Francis Crick) to look at biological problems, especially genetics.  The hope was that "new laws of physics" might be found.  Of course, it turned out that new laws were NOT found, but Schroedingerís book is probably one of the early inspirations for what we now call "biophysics." 

As far as entropy is concerned, Emory is correct.  We use the word "disorder" in everyday life but it has a precise meaning in statistical mechanics.  I did not care for this subject any more than Emory, but part of the problem with statistical laws is that they upset our common sense.  Einstein famously did not like them, either.  Does the Second Law prove that the universe will run down?  Who knows and Iím tempted to add who cares?  In any case, I hope that Isaac Asimov was right when he wrote "The Last Question." 

:: Posted by emory0 on April 02, 2015

Rogadaire wrote...

"While I presume it must be possible to ímeasureí order/disorder mathematically, I cannot help but regard the concept of íorderí as being really more of a psychological than physical issue"

Even though I actually did physics in my first career, I never felt super-comfortable with some of the ideas of thermodynamics. And with stat-mech (statistical mechanics) Iíve always stumbled philosophically on precisely this issue.

Despite my personal discomfort, I will say that in physics these ideas are not only quite precise, they have directly measurable outcomes which have been seen too many times to begin to enumerate. As an example: We never (and I mean literally never) have seen a balloon filled with helium spontaneously contract because all of the helium atoms just happened to bunch up in a tiny fraction of the balloonís space. This is because the number of configurations of molecules that lead to a "full" balloon are greater than the number of configurations where all the atoms are in a tiny corner, by hundreds of orders of magnitude. In other words, youíd need more time than the universe has in order to see the extremely rare coincidence of all the atoms bunched up. Thatís thermodynamics in a nutshell, and itís behavior is quite predictable mathematically. But I admit it gives me the heebee jeebees when I think about it too much. My teenage son pointed out that, if we waited long enough around that balloon, we could "catch" those rare states and use that moment to do free work as the balloon expands. Granted, weíd have to wait a long time, but he has claimed that the balloon is basically a very slow perpetual motion machine.

That a balloon canít actually be used as a perpetual motion machine is apparently explained away through "Maxwellís Demon", which brings in the concept of "information", and this is what Schrodinger was getting at in his book: Biological systems basically harvest information from their environment in order to battle the constant forces of entropy.

But I repeat that Iím still not comfortable with these ideas, and many physicists I have known donít like them either.

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