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Fwd: 2nd Law of Thermodynamics



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Forwarded message:
Subj:    Re: 2nd Law of Thermodynamics
Date:    95-11-10 12:59:35 EST
>From:    Dinogeorge
To:      ArtSippo

In a message dated 95-11-10 10:31:29 EST, you write:

<< I agree with you that it takes more energy to keep the books in a library
on shelves in a particular teleological order (eg. alphabetically by author
or title, or by subject) but in a physical sense, there is no difference
between a catalogued library and books randomly on shelves.  The amount of
energy available to do work is determined by the amount of energy available
to do work which in the case of books on shelves depends on the amount of
mass on each shelf and the height of the shelves. >>

Nevertheless, the fact that there is only one correct "teleological" order to
the books in a library, and scadrillions of incorrect orderings, produces a
distinct gradient that is very costly to climb toward order and very easy to
coast down into disorder. If we assume all the books are the same size and
weight, one can disorganize the library without doing any physical work at
all, since the books will be reordered onto the same shelves they were
originally seated on, and for every book moved to a different shelf, another
book will be moved into the space formerly occupied. But it still takes
energy to do this.