Another Brick Falls

"Now, the second law of thermodynamics isn't really a law, in the most precise terms. From a statistical standpoint, it reduces to the trivial statement that 'Those things usually happen which are most probable'. Its true power lies in the fact that actions which violate the second law of thermodynamics, and thus decrease entropy, on any macroscopic level are so absurdly improbable that...well, to take a concrete example, if a brick, of mass, say, 5 kg, were to have all its molecules suddenly travel upwards, so that it spontaneously rose into the air..."

David awakened in the alley as he did most days. He groped for his bottle of Ripple, and found it almost empty. He must have missed some last night, he thought fuzzily, finishing it off.

He stood up and stumbled out into the vacant lot. Out of the corner of his eye he saw a brick suddenly leap up into the air, as if someone had thrown it with great force. He watched it as it arced upwards and then landed back in the dirt. With great care, he made his way over to the spot the brick had started from. Nothing there but more dirt.

"Fuck it," he said. The Ripple must be eating his brain. He'd be turning into Jerry Fabin any day now, seeing fucking aphids everywhere.

"...we'd have to wait, on the average, through about 10^20 lifetimes of the Universe for even one such event to occur."

"That's assuming a closed universe, though, isn't it, Professor? If it's open, then the lifetime is infinite."

He sighed. "True enough. In an infinite universe, any number of entropy- decreasing actions could take place an infinite number of times. But we won't likely be around to see them."

Back to my talk.bizarre page...

The Den of Ubiquity/ Aaron V. Humphrey /