Entropy LO23040

Steve Eskow (dreskow@corp.webb.net)
Wed, 27 Oct 1999 12:02:06 -0600

Replying to LO23002 --


Because you are so open to challenge and disagreement, I want your help in
dealing with my belief that the importation of concepts and "laws" from
physics into the realm of the human and the institutions humans have
created to organize their lives is a serious error, and one that obscures
and confuses rather than illuminates.

As support I begin with the work of one the thought leaders of the
mystical and the religious in the US, Ken Wilber, who says this of such
movements of physics into such realms as creativity and religion:

"This is a colossal error. Physics is a limited, finite, relative, and
partical endeavor, dealing with a very limited aspect of reality. It does
NOT, for example, deal with biological, psychological, economic, literary,
or historical truths..."

If Wilber is correct--and I , for one, have no doubt that he is--"entropy"
and other concepts imported from physics and the other sciences can not
deal with the psychology of creativity or the dynamics of human
organizations, including learning organizations.

To illustrate, we might take any topic or theme discussed in this
listserv, and ask if the concept of "entropy" helps us to illuminate, much
less "measure" what is going on.

Take the discussion of "linear thinking," which by now has moved to
attempts to mathematize thought (another possible intellectual
mistake),distinctions between "form" and "content," and so on.

Does the idea of "entropy" help us to understand the nature of that
discussion? Help us to "measure" the discussion? Help us to get to the
roots of the differences of approach and opinion?

Wilber demonstrates that all of our greates scientific minds deplored such
attempts to use, say, quantum physics to support mystical and religious
and other nonscientific aspects of human existence; Einstein called the
attempt "reprehensible"; Schrodinger called it "sinister."

Some of us learned about "Occam's Razor" in our introductory philosophy
classes, and used the razor to slice away unnecessary--and

When I look at this discussion, or what goes on in any of the
organizations I belong to through the lens of "entropy" I get no new
insights, no help in forwarding our work.

What would happen if we merely used Occam's razor to get rid of "entropy"
in our discussions of human creativity and organizational life together?

Steve Eskow

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