Not since the advent of the digital age has it been true that entropy can be as easily destroyed as it was created.
Consider all of the hours that have gone into creating outcomes and mutable states; within video games, web histories, digital publishing, art, music, literature, etc. The levels of entropy in the Universe have exponentially increased; the “proof” of this being held in databases, key value stores, and physical & digital archives innumerable.
All of that is pretty obvious, even if one has never considered the scale of information that’s created over time. There is however a lot of data floating around, what I call entropic cruft, in hundreds of data centers. This cruft includes epistemological gems such as selfies, shit-posts, rants, negative reviews, cat photos, high scores, and so on.
Entropic cruft is the end result of pointless activities that do nothing to steer our species in a direction that paves the way for creatively solving problems we will invariably encounter.
Were we to mass-purge all that cruft, I think there would be an exodus of space recouped for more valuable data. The resting epigenetic state of creativity within our species would (hopefully) be reset. This may (hopefully also) result in an intellectual renaissance that comes full circle and focuses on the individual, and not the group (read: groupthink).
Star Trek: The Next Generation is one of my favorite series of all time. Anyone who’s ever watched it can bear witness to Captain Picard’s wisdom, diplomacy, and purpose.
One of the noticeable aspects of the future as envisioned by ST:TNG is the entropic ratio of the known vs. unknown universe. In that future currency is removed, replicators can create sustenance on demand, and there is a centralized global structure that focuses on simplicity and similarity (rather than the sum total of our complex differences).
This leads to generations of peace, and gives rise to very little in the way of emergent complexity on the fictional planet Earth. Rather, the magnitude of possibility — of entropy — is left to what the series aptly describes as “The Final Frontier.”
That shift in perception allows the fictional human race to focus all their collective energies in developing technology to journey faster, in creating art and philosophy that will affect not just themselves but other species that they encounter, and in traveling to the farthest reaches of space. Near infinite, positive entropy is created that shifts the balance of the universe towards objective, ethical, and moral virtues.
Last Updated: 2020-04-20