Does the universe tend toward disorder? According to what I was able to glean from Googling the question for a solid 20 minutes, this statement is too simplistic to really convey the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Despite my exhaustive research, that was all I was able to comprehend.
Does the universe tend toward disorder?
According to what I was able to glean from Googling the question for a solid 20 minutes, this statement is too simplistic to really convey the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Despite my exhaustive research that was all I was able to comprehend.
But the evidence before my eyes as I keyboard these words onto my computer conveys that the closed system that is my desk is tending toward disorder at an alarming rate.
But mess can be relative. What I might consider to be mild disorder, others might consider a zoning code violation.
A former colleague with a pristine working environment said she was OK with being my neighbor up until the disorder in my universe became visible above the cubicle walls separating us. She grumbled about staging neatness raids on my working space when she was unable to remain blissfully unaware of the anarchy that loomed so close to her ordered universe.
Still, even my predisposition toward clutter is being tested by the various piles of newsprint, point-and-shoot cameras, unread books, photo printouts, notebooks in various stages of usage, pens, pencils, stickies, CDs, unused plastic spoons, and one unopened Hostess Blueberry Danish with an optimum fresh-sales date of March 11, 2006, that surround me in teetering resplendence.
Another colleague recently approached my cubicle to ask for a phone book. Moments after I began excavation efforts on the south face of my desk, he seemed to lose faith that I would locate the item.
“Um, that’s OK,” he said, backing away.
“No, no,” I assured him. “I’ll find it.”
A mere few minutes later, I unearthed not one but two phone books for his use, one five years old that was missing the front cover and a second fully intact specimen from 2008.
“I know where everything is,” I assured him.
“I can see that,” he replied in a tone of less than convincing sincerity.
So it was refreshing to me to cover for a vacationing editor recently, which entailed moving to his cubicle for the day.
You’ll never truly know another human being until you walk a mile in his cubicle. His universe was even more disordered than mine, at least at that moment in time in their respective evolutions.
An impartial observer might actually consider the level of messiness on par, I must admit. Maybe it was the different styles that impressed me. His mess included an array of empty plastic water bottles, a touch absent from my chaotic jumble.
His clutter also grew around his workspace, creating a fourth cubicle wall, while my own off-desk pile tends to manifest itself underneath my desk, out of sight like the mantle below the earth’s crust.
Debate aside, the closed system that was my colleague’s workspace demonstrated that there are indeed whole other dimensions of workspace universes and their tendencies toward disorder.
A two-minute Google of “universe and dimensions” provided me with the information that physicists of the superstring theory persuasion believe there are no fewer than 10 dimensions. I understood this even less fully than the Second Law of Thermodynamics I had Googled earlier but was comfortable with the knowledge that the evidence is out there.
Frank Mulligan is an editor in GateHouse Media Service’s Raynham, Mass., office and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.