hedging bets against entropy

entropy : n. : Thermodynamics. a.(on a macroscopic scale) a function of thermodynamic variables, as temperature, pressure, or composition, that is a measure of the energy that is not available for work during a thermodynamic process. A closed system evolves toward a state of maximum entropy. b. (in statistical mechanics) a measure of the randomness of the microscopic constituents of a thermodynamic system. Symbol: S. (in data transmission and information theory) a measure of the loss of information in a transmitted signal or message. (in cosmology) a hypothetical tendency for the universe to attain a state of maximum homogeneity in which all matter is at a uniform temperature (heat death). a doctrine of inevitable social decline and degeneration.
a lot of people I talk to treat entropy like it is a synonym for chaos, which is quite far from the truth of the matter. certainly entropy has a lot to do with randomness. from the perspective of a person looking for a neat orderly predictable system, I can see how one would associate entropy with chaos, or the tending of orderly systems to chaos.
in all honesty though, when you sit down and look at the universe in terms of ‘order’, chaos and randomness really is the standard, and ‘order’ to us humans is a very alien and abstract concept completely out of tune with reality.
motivated people are the hedge against social decline.
life is the hedge against maximum homogeneity.
and Lordi really kicks ass.

Agent of Chaos

chaos : n. : complete disorder and confusion. physics behaviour so unpredictable as to appear random, owing to great sensitivity to small changes in condition. the formless matter supposed to have existed before the creation of the universe. Chaos greek mythology, the first created being, from which came the primeval dieties Gaia, Tartarus, Erebus, and Nyx. French and Latin from Greek khaos ‘vast chasm, void.’ Chinese, Hundun, 混沌 was semantically extended from a mythic “primordial chaos; nebulous state of the universe before heaven and earth separated” to mean “unintelligible; chaotic; messy; mentally dense; innocent as a child”.
normally I only provide one definition for a word at the start of a post, but in this case I am bending my own personal rule and pattern, perhaps in homage to the subject. chaos is a bit of a dense concept for most people to wrap their heads around, so I’ve tossed a number of perspectives up there from common western thought, physics, the root of the word in greek mythology, and a fast wikipedia look into a chinese spin on chaos. feel free to post more definitions of chaos in the comments, particularly from any cultural or religious backgrounds you care to seek out in the oracle.
what is it to be an agent of chaos?
what IS chaos anyhow? western though seems to have a serious fear of chaos… it bothers the western mind, we quest endlessly for the answers to chaos. I suppose we are looking for a way to predict the future, to take the guesswork out of life, or just to go chasing after something we can never really catch. because there is one thing you’ll never do, and that is catch the gingerbread man. and boy is chaos gingery.
you’ll have to bare with me here, because there really isn’t a linear way to go through this. it is after all, chaos. for my linear thinking programmer friends, just treat this as a poem of sorts, and try to fill in the gaps with something. for my artist friends, you’ll need to deal with the occasional bit of logic here, sorry. maybe. maybe not. who knows. this is, after all, a first draft and crack at it, and I am trying to figure it out as I go.
all right, down to brass tacks, lots of people tend to associate chaos with bad things. car crashes, planes flying into world monuments, the flames consuming your house as it burns, random violence, bad tv shows that have 3′s in titles instead of E’s.
lots of other people tend to associate chaos with politics. you know, anarchists and all that. they seem to like seeing chaos as a way to do what ever the fuck they want, and it’s all good, because the world is ‘chaotic’ and ‘random’ anyhow, so who cares if I rob a bank and shoot your kids? right? yeah.
thanks to Jurassic Park we have a pile of people out there flapping butterfly wings hoping to cause hurricanes, or at least figure out where those hurricanes are going to happen so they can move cities out of the way.
you don’t see many people looking at chaos from a very eastern perspective here in the west. we look at chaos as something to contain, control, and mitigate as best we can, and hopefully predict, and in doing so, end chaos. but in the east, things are different. particularly if you start hanging out with some Taoist or Shinto monks and thinkers. in the east chaos isn’t really chaos as we think of it here in the west… no, it is more… like…
silence, not a sound
you can hear for miles, no wind
echoing white noise.
sort of like that. maybe, or maybe more like water flowing around rocks. no, no, wait, that’s orderly. that makes sense. what is chaos to a bunch of hip cats out in the east is us running around doublethinking our way to controlling and predicting all the elements in the universe so we can always get our way. there we go, that’s chaos to them. living out of tune with ‘The Way’.
so what does it mean to be an agent of chaos? what is an agent of chaos anyhow? does it just mean running around with a chaotic neutral alignment? does being an agent of chaos mean going crazy? does being an agent of chaos mean being emo?
I certainly hope it doesn’t mean having to carry around a bag of DnD dice to make my decisions… though, I’ve done that… honest… in a purple velvet bag with gold braid that is embroidered with ‘crown royal’…man, just wait until bitrot kills most of these links.
to me an agent of chaos isn’t really any of those things. to me an agent of chaos is an agent of change. a person who seeks the pattern in the natural order of the universe, and attempts to bring those around them into line with that pattern. it is about bringing change, much needed change, and not the random sort of anarchy that just leads people further and further away from what chaos really is.
chaos isn’t scary chummers, chaos is just a friend you haven’t met.
and I’ve decided it is my job to get a little chaotic, and introduce a few more people in this world to what it means to be chaotic, and what chaos is really all about. change. to acquaint people with a more balanced view of chaos, a more eastern view, a more innocent view. don’t worry, this won’t hurt a bit…

design time

design : n. : purpose, planning, or intention that exists or is thought to exist behind an action, fact, or material object.
all the recent thinking and talk about mucking around with vehicles has made me want to design a bunch of things. industrial design, mechanical design, building design. I’ve started mucking about with layouts for a dream home for Sarah and I. I’ve started doodling out alternate body shapes for vehicles. layouts for wiring… I’ve gone design crazy!
I’m gonna need to get Vectorworks or something so I can actually do some proper designs up.
the last little bit has been a lot of thinking about shops, layouts for buildings, and figuring out what sort of tools I need to do the stuff I want to do. fun stuff!

dream car part duex

duex : cardinal number : french for two
so, barring my ability to track down an old miller-meteor from the fifties my dream car ( to convert to EV ) would be a Volkswagon Westfalia. just picture the fun of camping in an EV Westfalia? oh the glory…we could paint it pink for Sarah, with white daisy-like flowers…

hi-torque electric

electric : adj. : (of a color) brilliant and vivid.
I’ve been digging around and trying to find out more about electric motors, particularly in automotive applications. the killacycle website has been leading me to a pile of interesting information and site on high performance electric vehicles. killacycle lead me to hi torque electric, a site that has inspired me to learn a pile more about electric motors, how to strip them appart and put them back together. the motors on this site look awesome.
I think to get my dream Cadillac Miller-Meteor ambulance ( preferably a high-top ) up and running as an electric I’ll need to learn some more about the motors and stuff. Once the move is done I’ll have to head over to Ribtor or Princess Auto and pick up a cheap $40 electric motor and start ripping it appart and learn…
would be cool to do more than just strip down and mod a motor, I’d love to build one from scratch…

dream car…

car : n. : a vehicle that runs on rails.
I’ve found my dream car… or at least a rough range of years for my dream car. a 1955-1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor hearse or ambulance. they are brutally hard to find, though you can find some rotting in fields here and there across north america. why are they hard to find? people keep buying them and turning them into replicas of ecto 1.
here are some pictures!

look at those fins… and that front grill and bumper? my goodness…now picture the size of the battery bank you can get into that big ass long hood!

hobby time…

time : n. : an indefinite period.
I have started a new obsession, high efficiency non-petroleum vehicles that don’t suck.
that’s right. I am sick of waiting for a car company to make an electric or hydrogen or fuel cell vehicle that doesn’t suck the big one, or cost as much as a Tesla, or look like ( in the words of Davin from work ) a giant dildo with wheels.
so I have decided to build one myself.
I’ve never built a car. I’ve never taken a car apart. I don’t weld. I don’t change oil. I don’t program computers. I’m an artist. it is just fancy lego right?
step one was started tonight, I’ve been learning about engines and the mysterious numbers associated with them… terms and numbers like ‘torque’ and ‘horsepower’ and revolutions per minute’. who’d have thought that you could have a revolution in a minute, let alone 6500?
other than my basic knowledge gaps, there is really only one real problem with an electric car. batteries. everything else is pretty trivial after figuring out a way to get enough power-to-weight so you can do anything. A123 Systems seems to have some seriously cool battery technology that pushes LithiumIon batteries past what you see in your typical laptop.
so the big question I have to decide is performance racer, long distance highway cruiser, or low-calorie city jaunter. a combination of performance racer and long distance highway cruiser would be cool…
once we get moved back to Calgary I’ll have to figure out where and how to get this done, for now it is lots of information gathering, thinking, and drawing bitchin car shapes!

free wifi at yvr

we live in a strange world these days. a world that is constantly expanding, an information based world where things are growing faster than we can ever individually hope to manage. at the same time, the world is getting smaller by the hour.
a friend of mine calls me up from los angeles while I’m at a birthday party for a friend in vancouver. he’s having a shitty day, and that is an understatement, and he needs someone to help him out. we talk over the phone for a bit, and then I go back to the party.
I get home, I call him up, and he still needs some help. so I jump on www.expedia.ca and start looking up flights from vancouver to los angeles. I select the cheapest option in the fastest time slot. less than 24 hours later, after having worked a partial shift on the sales floor, I am sitting at yvr abusing the free power and wifi to stream radio, blog, chat, and catch up on work emails. I take off to los angeles to help my friend in an hour, and I will be back thursday in time for my returning wife to help her unpack from her kayaking trip.
the cat is not impressed.
but think about that. think about how small the world is when you can get a phone call, arrange travel tickets, insurance, and the lot and be off in under 24 hours. I did everything online, even picking my seat on the plane. this is unheard of to our grand parents, and mind blowing to our parents, to us it is every day, and to our kids a 24 hour turnaround time will seem slow.
we live in a society where our whims can be brought to reality as fast as we can think them up. it is more important than ever that we learn to pick and choose what whims and desires we follow, and those we leave behind.
I am flying to los angeles to help a friend, what whim are you following up on?