Welcome to the 21st post in our Journey in Dialog. In previous posts, I have identified barriers, restraining forces, and impediments to transformational dialog. In this post, I add the concept of entropy.
The root of entropy comes from the physics of energy. A broader definition of entropy is lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder. Yes, we can find entropy in our attempts to experience transformational dialog.
In an article originally published on JamesClear.com, Clear offers some insights about entropy. “Left to its own devices, life will always become less structured. Sand castles get washed away. Weeds overtake gardens. Ancient ruins crumble. Cars begin to rust. People gradually age. With enough time, even mountains erode and their precise edges become rounded.”
However, we can fight back against the pull of entropy. “You have to expend energy to create stability, structure, and simplicity. Successful relationships require care and attention. Successful teams require communication and collaboration.”
Clear quotes Steven Pinker. “The ultimate purpose of life, mind, and human striving: to deploy energy and information to fight back the tide of entropy and carve out refuges of beneficial order.”
Clear comes up with some interesting examples of “beneficial order.”
“The collection of atoms that make up your body could be arranged in a virtually infinite number of ways and nearly all of them lead to no form of life whatsoever. Mathematically speaking, the odds are overwhelmingly against your very presence. You are a very unlikely combination of atoms. And yet, here you are.”
“Artists create a form of order and symmetry that … the universe would never generate on its own. It is so rare in the grand scheme of possibilities. The number of beautiful combinations is far less than the number of total combinations.”
“You have a combination of talents, skills, and interests that are specific to you. But you also live in a larger society and culture that were not designed with your specific abilities in mind. What do you think the odds are that the environment you happen to grow up in is also the optimal environment for your talents?”
“There are many disordered states …. Given the odds against us, what is remarkable is not that life has problems, but that we can solve them at all.”
So, what is my point in this seeming digression? Look out! This is a big hypothesis. Transformational dialog is an effective means to overcome social/societal entropy.
• It is a way to build bridges across many conflicts that contribute to that entropy.
• It is a means to bond potential kindred spirits to achieve synergistic outcomes.
• It is a beneficent force within the grasp of all dialog-motivated human beings.
We need more tests of this hypothesis.
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