Homo sapiens amans LO26550

From: AM de Lange (amdelange@gold.up.ac.za)
Date: 04/20/01

Replying to LO26523 --

Dear Organlearners,

Don Dwiggins <d.l.dwiggins@computer.org> writes:

>One sentence stood out for me:

>> In my thirty years of interaction with the desert I have
>> learned a most profound lesson -- all nature's preservation
>> is accomplised by production rather than conservation!!!

>I had to stop and exclaim "Wow!'. I think elaborating on this
>theme, with variations, would make an excellent contribution.
>One of the most common and pernicious mental models is
>the opposite of this: preservation by exclusion, by "thinking
>ackward" to avoid destructive change.

Greetings dear Dwig,

Yes, what a strange sentence! Some succulent plants, trying to protect
themselves, produce an armour of spines. Other produce a legioen of
poisonous substances. The variation is endless.

>From 1966 up to 1982 I though in terms of the second law of thermodynamics as
. irreversibility=dissipation
typical of my training in physics. Then I made a discovery upon which I had to
acknowledge that
. irreversibility="entropy production"
is much closer to its basic meaning.

Only afterwards I realised that I had gained in the desert the tacit
knowledge that protection/adaptation/resilience/... is based on production
rather than conseravtion. I felt mad at myself for having clinged so much
to what I obviously gather by rote learning:
. irreversibility=dissipation
Diispation is one of the many outcomes (one-to-many-mapping) of
irreversibility rather than equal to it.

When we want to cultivate plants or breed animals successfully, this
"preservation is accomplished by production" still holds. So what about
the world of business -- or the world of arts for that matter?

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <amdelange@gold.up.ac.za> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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