thermodynamik alles 2

Thermodynamics against the Right..

Now, however, to all those who just heat up again against foreign infiltration and mixing, against mixing culture, language, origin, black bread and hummus, I would like to say to all of them that in their anger they are not rebelling against the liberals or against the so-called Volksparteien (people’s parties) or even Merkel (wait, the sentence goes on for even longer), but, watch out, against physics itself, more precisely against the Second Law of Thermodynamics.


The second law of thermodynamics states that every time matter is transformed into energy, part of this energy will no longer be usable, thus increasing the disorder of the environment. And we call the measure for the degree of disorder entropy. More about this later. And for matter to transform into energy, we don't even have to put a log in the stove or start a motor. This happens in every moment of our existence all by itself - driven by the insatiable thirst of the universe for homologation: the urge to balance unstable states.
If you open the window in a heated room and it's cold outside, the temperature presses for balance: Inside it gets cold. And in fact it gets a tiny bit warmer in the whole universe. Part of the energy becomes unusable and increases entropy, the disorder in the universe. If you pour milk into the coffee, the liquids do not remain cleanly separated, but strive for mixing. Unfortunately, this circumstance brought to light not only the coffee latte, but also the latte macchiato, or as they say in some places: lattematchiato. Keyword language: mixing par excellence! There is no such thing as the German language. It is and always has been a muddle of thousands of influences, an intercultural emulsion. Customs, music, art: ditto. Nothing pure, and certainly nothing racy. We also owe the power socket to the Second Thermodynamic Thing: energetically charged particles strive for balance and wander through the conduit. Speaking of hiking: Migration is as old hat as the universe itself. Like energy, humankind has always been striving for balance. Hunger here, yum-yums there? Let's get over there! Here desolation, there work? Rural exodus! War there, peace here? 2015!

Physically, everything strives for stability by mixing. Unstable systems are reactive, stable systems are unreactive. The most unstable state imaginable was once the Big Bang, since then the cosmos has expanded and everything reacts like crazy, clumps, finds and mixes. Until one day the last fish is caught, and the last unstable state is balanced, everything freezes in total immobility, because then there will be no more reason for anything to move. Then the stability is at its greatest and the disorder (entropy), as paradoxical as it may sound, is at its highest. Interesting note: The degree of highest disorder is at the same time the most stable state. Not good news for parents who want to get their little ones to clean up.
Also not good news for those who want to keep their identity neatly filleted in Tupperware and protect it from contamination. In vain. It's like trying to prevent the milk that spreads in the cappuccino from making out with the coffee molecules.
Of course, the unavoidable is not always the desirable. But it is unavoidable all the same. It's a pity that languages mix so well that in the end everyone speaks the same language. It's a pity that the retail trade is dying, and we all end up buying from Zara and Zalando worldwide. It is a pity that the San Daniele ham loses its flavor in the entropy-promoting EU policy. It is a pity that customs are not preserved and that pagan fertility symbols may be offered at the most Christian of all festivals. Brrr!
But it is not a pity that the homologation prescribed by physics leads to the fact that there is not only black and white. Not only m/f, but also m/f/x. Not only poor and rich, but also something in between. You can be called Trump and Kurz and Orban and Höcke and fight against them, but borders will disappear, people will wander, differences will balance out, language barriers will disappear and coffee and milk will become delicious café au lait.

How did I actually come up with this? Well, not on my own. I came across a favorite book while clearing out: "Il dubbio" (Praise of Doubt) by Luciano de Crescenzo. There it is written, recommended for reading. At that time, however, we were still talking about cappuccino, not latte macchiato. Good old times!

(Artwork: Desna Marleen Wackerhagen)

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