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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Is everyone the product of their Age (Page 3)

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Author Topic: Is everyone the product of their Age
fugu13
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That isn't a grammatical criticism, but definitional. And the earth isn't anything like a closed system; the sun that you so blithely dismiss is what drives huge swathes of the natural processes we observe.

But yes, for most intents and purposes, the solar system is a reasonable approximation of a closed system. So what? That says very little interesting about the solar system other than that it will have an eventual heat-death. I'd be happy to discuss any other particular qualities people feel are involved, but nothing springs to mind.

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beleaguered
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Malanthrop,

You're suggesting the Earth is almost a closed system. I believe the Earth is self-regulating, is this what you mean when you say it's almost a closed system? Just out of curiosity, where might it not be a closed system?

I wonder at what level the ant thinks, and just how much the ant comprehends. Are we their destructive Gods?

Edit- Fugu, you are talking about the sun's role and how it excludes the Earth from being a closed system. I think the sun is the source of life where ever life is had in this solar system. Of course the Earth is dependent on the sun, so if that excludes the Earth from becoming a closed system, so be it. I mentioned I believe the Earth is self-regulating, well not without the sun it isn't. The sun and the moon each play their role in the regulation of life and activity on Earth. I have a feeling you'll dismiss these comments as being useless to the conversation- if they are indeed useless, I'm sorry to have wasted your time.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I have a feeling you'll dismiss these comments as being useless to the conversation...
Why do you think they're relevant?
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beleaguered
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Tom,
They relate to the comments made by Fugu, Malanthrop, and Oshki. It seemed to me Oshki was directing his line of thought to life forces in general, and how Entropy might play a role in regulating those life forces. Malanthorp discussed how the Earth and Solar System are closed systems. Fugu said Earth is NOT a closed system. I suggested though the Earth relies on the Sun and Moon in order to be considered a closed system, and therefore isn't closed on its own, it IS self-regulating because of them. I was merely trying to draw a connection between fugu's discussion of the sun and energy as they relate to entropy with Oshki's life force being regulated on the Earth using the sun's energy. I thought the concept of self-regulation is helpful in a discussion on Entropy and energies.

I appologize if you do not approve of my post.

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ClaudiaTherese
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The sun is a major source of energy. It is also dying--it's falling apart itself (albeit over milennia on milennia), and its level of entropy exceeds the amount of order driven by its own death throes.

If you are going to calculate a balance for our solar system, put the sun on the "overall, going toward entropy" column. The order you see being created by its energy are just ripples and eddies surrounding a big ol' vortex of death. There is local order, but overall disorder.

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fugu13
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Yes. And the local order makes it silly to try to talk about most stuff just on earth in terms of the laws of thermodynamics. Earth is a wonderful, complex place with huge amounts (and arguably net) entropy reduction, because we're killing off the sun to do it.

There is value to be had in discussing many things in terms of entropy (thermodynamic or information). Heck, I've published a paper about using an information theoretic entropy divergence measure to infer structure in collaboration patterns. But I don't really have any idea what you want to talk about. Vague prognostications haven't clued me in.

For instance, what do you mean by self-regulating? If you mean, it can regulate itself without help, then no, it isn't. See comments about the sun. But I think you get that, so what do you mean? Taking terms and applying them to situations they don't obviously apply to and saying "don't you think this makes sense?" isn't reasoned discussion, it is playing a game of darts. Use terms with generally understood meaning to make a coherent picture of what you mean, and then feel free to use an unusual term to describe that coherent picture.

And always tell us why it matters. I am happy to agree that entropy plays a large role in life on earth, but without a more specific focus of discussion I don't really see a need to discuss that; it is obvious and trivial, as a whole. There are certainly some interesting aspects of specifics, potentially, but this discussion has gone nowhere near them.

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Shigosei
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quote:
because we're killing off the sun to do it.
Hey! I resent the implication that we're doing anything to destroy the sun. We're merely shamelessly exploiting its death.
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fugu13
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*points at the poetic license on his wall [Wink] *
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Noemon
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quote:
Originally posted by Shigosei:
quote:
because we're killing off the sun to do it.
Hey! I resent the implication that we're doing anything to destroy the sun.
Are you calling my sun voodoo doll useless? Are you? ARE YOU? [Mad]
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fugu13
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*imagines using a yellow gob stopper as a sun voodoo doll*
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BlackBlade
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He certainly doesn't look like he's dying.
[Confused]

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Noemon
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quote:
Originally posted by fugu13:
*imagines using a yellow gob stopper as a sun voodoo doll*

You'd have to use a chewy one. Otherwise the needles wouldn't go in.
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fugu13
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BB: He's just putting on a brave face.

Noemon: you use needles? I prefer holding it over a candle flame.

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Leonide
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fugu, that's gotta be some brand of cannibalism. or poetic justice. which I guess you have to exact once you've obtained a poetic license...
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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
He certainly doesn't look like he's dying.
[Confused]

*coffee onto screen

He's obviously being sedated with some really good s-- uh, stuff.

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orlox
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quote:
Originally posted by fugu13:
Heck, I've published a paper about using an information theoretic entropy divergence measure to infer structure in collaboration patterns.

Sounds interesting! Got a link?
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fugu13
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Sure, here you go: Understanding Outside Collaborations of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Using Jensen-Shannon Divergence (pdf)

It just does some very basic stuff with the idea; I'll hopefully expand on the approach sometime in the next three or four months.

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orlox
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mmmm clustery goodness... Thanks!
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Achilles
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quote:
Originally posted by fugu13:
Sure, here you go: Understanding Outside Collaborations of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Using Jensen-Shannon Divergence (pdf)

It just does some very basic stuff with the idea; I'll hopefully expand on the approach sometime in the next three or four months.

Sounds like a paper put together by the Stand Alone Complex Committee.
[/LIST]

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Annie
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You know what I hate? When I think I'm being totally original, only to find out later that I was just riding the cultural tide.

This happened to me with cats. My best friend and I thought that campy pictures of cats were hilarious for years, but it just turned out we were soaking up the same LOLvibes as everyone else.

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Shigosei
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A candle flame, fugu? Personally, I'd take it outside on a sunny day and hold it under a magnifying glass.
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beleaguered
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That's sick, shigosei- Using the sun to injure itself by scortching its own voodoo replica. Is there a name for that? Some kind of self cannibalization maybe?
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Oshki
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fugu13

I know that you think that I am an air head so I will live down to those expectations. Could you answer two questions? they are really simple and the type an air head would ask and I expect that you can answer them in a heart beat.

What is Pi?

Which does not belong with the rest?
fly,ant,spider,moth

[ March 20, 2009, 05:51 AM: Message edited by: Oshki ]

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by beleaguered:
That's sick, shigosei- Using the sun to injure itself by scortching its own voodoo replica. Is there a name for that? Some kind of self cannibalization maybe?

Heliomasochism.
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TomDavidson
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*blink* Oshki, why not actually engage in honest discussion?
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fugu13
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Oshki, this latest response makes me wonder if you're confused about the nature of discussion. Discussion is not a question and answer session. In order to have a discussion, when one person posts something, and another person responds, the first person needs to respond in some way that vaguely resembles the same topic, that demonstrates having read and honestly attempting to understand and engage the second person's post.

edit: Take a look at this from my perspective. I have written pages of posts responding to a variety of posts you have written, typically filled with questions, and generally in an honest attempt to address what you are talking about. I have informed you about parts of your posts I do not understand, and asked you to clarify. You have never even once responded to a point I raised or answered a query I had about your meaning. You have totally ignored what I have said except to get indignant about it. If you want to demonstrate you are an adult instead of the child you are working very hard to act like, don't behave as you have been.

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Scott R
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Is this the right room for an argument?
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Teshi
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I've told you once, Scott.
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Scott R
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Right! Right. You did. Sorry!
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Teshi
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Hang on, hang on, something's not right here...
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Oshki
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Fugu13
I am aware that the way conversation works is that one person will say something and the other may repeat it back in different words. This process continues until a point is reached where misunderstandings may occur. Both parties then know the level effective communication. It seemed to me that most of the responses that I have been getting from you are knee jerk and there is no real attempt to understand what the point of all this has been.

I asked:” What is Pi?” because the majority of answers that I get when I ask that question is a knee jerk response of “3.14159”
Which is not the answer to that question but rather to the question: “What is the value of Pi?” The answer to” What is Pi?” is the ratio of a diameter to its circumference.

The second question was made to demonstrate what I meant by a box. There are three boxes present: I would call them boxes because they are made by man to categorize and often once a box is built we assume that all the work is done. In other words, why look into the box? Inside the box of all bugs (I know that there is a category of true bugs that have been assigned their own box.)One box is labeled Insect and another is labeled Arachnid.

If one is taking an IQ test the answer is Spider because the testers are asking the question “which does not fit” or which does not belong” to find out if we know the difference between boxes as we have been taught.
So no one bothers to look into the boxes to answer the actual question and determine which one does not fit.

If we compare the fly, spider, ant, and moth we see that they are indeed built differently and have been categorized by their body types, but if we look at the individuals we see that the spider has something in common with the fly, and the moth and that is: in order to insure the continuation of its species each individual is responsible to survive and mate. The ant is the exception because this is not an individual responsibility.

The point is that we need to look into the boxes that make up our understanding not just at the labels.

I do appreciate your last response because I felt that you were actually talking to me. If we never look into boxes we may end up being very good at moving boxes around but may loose the chance of building a new box of origional ideas.

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fugu13
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You might want to take another look at your definition of Pi. I'm glad you have reasons for asking your questions, and I never really doubted that. That was never the problem.
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Teshi
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Oshki, I too am confused about the nature of your thread here. The reason I asked you about your homework is because you seem to be asking homework-y questions of us without first answering them yourself.

If you look in other threads, you will find that most of them give some single discussion point at the top-- a link, a quote, a comment, a rant and yes occasionally people will give a question.

Usually, however, people give their own answer or their own feelings on the subject. Sometimes they don't: in the "Big Love to show LDS temple ceremonies" thread, speed merely commented that it should be interesting. He/she (sorry) knew the topic would be of direct interest to the people here at Hatrack.

The only time when people will be asking questions without giving a response of their own is when they genuinely have no idea and cannot find out the answer themselves.

Usually, though, this happens only once per thread for the same person. Once a topic has been introduced, people begin to give opinions and then opinions on opinions until the mud-flinging begins and Papa Janitor steps into to stop the madness.

If a new question is asked, it's usually because someone is genuinely confused about something, or, having given their opinion, want someone to clarify what they said.

Threads often get off-topic, but it's usually because of a natural progression. The thread beginner rarely has the power to stop a thread in mid-discussion and change the topic (although we've had threads over the rights of the thread beginner here, too!)

The way you have created this thread, and continued to ask questions without giving any answers yourself is hugely off-putting aside from any scientific or historical inaccuracies that are included in the responses. I don't want to sit here being grilled by someone who tells me, condescendingly, that I am "on the right track", as if there was only one track to go on. Even if that's not what you meant, that's how it comes across.

I think it's unfair to say that you never answered any questions, but I think it is fair to say that you answered them in such an oblique fashion as to break the flow of the thread. Often, you concluded your post by asking another only marginally related question.

Sometimes, though, you did simply just ask a question out of the blue, for example:

quote:
Can you find any Equivalence between the Second Law of Thermal Dynamics and the rise and eventual fall of nations through out history?
This sounds, for all the world, like a (bizarre) essay question for a class exam, except even an essay question would likely give a, "if not, why?" option. The way you phrase it sounds as if you know there is one and you want me or Vyrus (who were both attempting to be involved in the discussion) to try and guess what you're thinking of.

As I said, it's offputting.

quote:
...what the point of all this has been.
Despite your claim to being a constant student, you seem to have come here expecting to be teacher. I guarantee you that everyone at Hatrack is at least as intelligent as you and most of them have considerably more knowledge and understanding than you appear to think they do.

Oshki, you are not the first to come through here thinking you have cracked the world open and peered inside. If you truly want to be a student, start being one.

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Scott R
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quote:
Originally posted by Teshi:
Hang on, hang on, something's not right here...

Yes it is!

SEE! I gotcha!

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Teshi
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Aw.
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Scott R
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You fell victim to one of the classic blunders!

...and I'm not telling you which one!

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Noemon
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Teshi? Did you get involved in a land war in Asia?

[ March 20, 2009, 11:37 AM: Message edited by: Noemon ]

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beleaguered
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I think it was, "Never mess with a sicilian when death is on the line." That's the one only slightly less known than the land war in Asia.

Teshi,

you seem to be practicing your psychoanalysis here. Wow, you're really letting him have it. It seems to me maybe he wants to be the teacher, but maybe he just wants to generate discussion, and this his way of trying to do so. He's come up with lots of different topics, and I wonder if he's sitting on the common thread, the piece holding them all together. You really think we're doing his homework for him?

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Xavier
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beleaguered = Oshki?

Registered two days apart and all.

Edit: being too lazy to search the past posts of both, this is probably just a crazy theory.

[ March 20, 2009, 03:21 PM: Message edited by: Xavier ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
He's come up with lots of different topics, and I wonder if he's sitting on the common thread, the piece holding them all together.
Oh, it's not like it's a secret. He's got a pet social theory, but wants us to come to it on our own.

I'm willing to bet that beleaguered, Oshki, and malanthrop are all either the same person or know each other, yeah.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
I guarantee you that everyone at Hatrack is at least as intelligent as you and most of them have considerably more knowledge and understanding than you appear to think they do.
Come on, you don't really believe that there's no way he could be smarter than the dumbest person on Hatrack?
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Teshi
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quote:
I'm willing to bet that beleaguered, Oshki, and malanthrop are all either the same person or know each other, yeah.
Oh man, I figured they were connected but not in such a direct way until:

quote:
I wonder if he's sitting on the common thread, the piece holding them all together.
Heh. Tres subtle. You know what? I think that Locke was right all along!

Beleaguered, I'm hardly letting anyone have it. I'm not being splendidly accepting of everything, no.

quote:
Come on, you don't really believe that there's no way he could be smarter than the dumbest person on Hatrack?
I suppose there is a possibility. Toss a "likely" in there.
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Hobbes
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quote:
Teshi? Did you get involved in a land war in Asia?
And if not, why?

Hobbes [Smile]

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scifibum
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I just LOVE deliberately oblique and mysterious-sounding lessons on the nature of everything.
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Teshi
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quote:
Originally posted by Hobbes:
quote:
Teshi? Did you get involved in a land war in Asia?
And if not, why?

Hobbes [Smile]

I can't help it if I'm a pacifist [Frown] .
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Hobbes
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quote:
I can't help it if I'm a pacifist [Frown] .
If you want to pass you better write longer responses than that.

Hobbes [Smile]

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malanthrop
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FUGU
That isn't a grammatical criticism, but definitional. And the earth isn't anything like a closed system; the sun that you so blithely dismiss is what drives huge swathes of the natural processes we observe.

But yes, for most intents and purposes, the solar system is a reasonable approximation of a closed system. So what? That says very little interesting about the solar system other than that it will have an eventual heat-death. I'd be happy to discuss any other particular qualities people feel are involved, but nothing springs to mind.
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Thanks for the critisism, I've been away but the point I was attempting to make is that even closed systems are a matter of perspective, I even acknowledged the sun in my assertion. Do closed systems even exhist? Using a cooling loop for example, although it has a compressor that is fed with electricity, etc. If you took the cooling loop to venus and it melted, you would say it melted due to an outside influence but is the fact that it is solid here not due to an outside influence? You might suggest the metals would be solid in space, but unfortunately so would the coolant. Theres always inertia, gravity, light, whatever. The only true closed system is the universe in it's entirety. We view galaxies that interact gravitationally with one another so you could argue no compononent of those galaxies is truly closed. I can't feel the nearest galaxy to ours but it exerts its influence on us nonetheless. If by defenition a closed system is independent of outside influences, the only true closed system in the universe is the universe itself, in it entirety.

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fugu13
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A cooling loop is nothing like a closed system. I don't know who you think would argue such absurd things about a cooling loop, either. Yes, the universe in its entirety (whatever that means [Wink] ) is the only truly closed system. There are some systems that in many ways are reasonable approximations over some time spans, though.

But again, so? What does it matter, other than to make clear how inapplicable the second law of thermodynamics is to something as obviously not closed as a social system, which has already been discussed sufficiently?

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malanthrop
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When I was in the Navy, the "smartest" technician I ever met was not allowed to touch the equipment. He is the only person I ever knew to score an 80 (perfect) on the advancement exam. He spent a day researching and studying an apparent power supply problem with a transmitter. I listened to his lenthy detailed explanation about possible broken transformer windings or potentially opened bridge rectifier diodes, etc. The "smartest" guy I ever knew, scratching his head, deep in thought when I asked him if he checked the breaker box in the p-way for a tripped breaker on one of the phases.
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malanthrop
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Scial imbalance is an emotional perception, jealousy, etc. Not everyone can be the boss but we need the worker and the worker needs a job provided by the boss. Try to fit in in Yemen, wander down to Compton or maybe Beverly Hills and tell me social systems aren't closed.
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