When we consider the human body, the atoms that make up your body could be arranged in nearly any combination and lead to no form of life.
Mathematically speaking, the odds are against your presence. Yet, here you are. It is truly remarkable.
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Entropy is the natural tendency of things to lose order and become less organized. Left to itself, it will always become less structured. Weeds overtake gardens. People age. Sandcastles erode or get washed away.
Over time, everything deteriorates. This is known as the Second Law of Thermodynamics and one of the fundamental laws of our universe. The second law of Thermodynamics states that the entropy of a closed system will never decrease.
This insight - that disorder naturally increases over time but that we can use our effort to create useful types of order that can counteract the pull of entropy - reveals the core purpose of life.
You can pull the weeds in your garden. You can clean your room. But because everything in life naturally turns to disorder, you have to use energy to create stability and order.
Artists can create a form of order and symmetry that the universe cannot replicate on its own.
The number of beautiful combinations is far less than the number of total combinations. We should treat it as something unique.
Marriage can fail in many ways - financial stress, parenting problems, interference from an outside party, conflict in core values, lack of trust, and so on. A breakdown in any of these areas can ruin a family.
To be happy, you need some degree of success in each area. Happy families work towards order in all the areas.
You have a combination of talents, skills, and interests that are unique to you. But you live in a larger society that may not consider your abilities.
It is improbable that life is going to grant you a situation that perfectly matches your strengths. You may not be in the optimal culture for your interests. You may be exposed to the wrong subject or sport. Knowing this, you have to take an unsuitable condition and turn it into a well-matched one.
Murphy's Law states that if anything can go wrong, it will go wrong.
Entropy explains why Murphy's Law is so prevalent in life. Life can go wrong in more ways than it can go right. What is remarkable is not that life has problems, but that we have the ability to solve them.
The second law of thermodynamics, the so-called 'the entropy law', it is said to be one of the most important laws in nature. This law states that entropy, which is a measure of disorder in a closed system, almost always increases in time.
If we want our knowledge to compound, we’ll need to focus on the invariant general principles.
Half-lives show us that if we spend time learning something that changes quickly, we might be wasting our time.
The Stoics realized that morality is simply wisdom in actions. Being good is not an arbitrary, aesthetic choice. It is a practical, wise thing to do and involves being truthful, fair, cooperative and accepting of challenges and outcomes.