attempts at increased entropy
Saturday, May 29 2004
It was another busy day for me. First thing in the morning I drove out to the Catskill Animal Sanctuary to fix more computational lightning damage. One computer was easily fixed by simply removing its modem card. Looking at it, I could easily see the damage the lightning had inflicted. There were two craters in the largest integrated circuit, each about an eighth of an inch across. That must have made a loud pop when it happened.
I continued up to Saugerties to complete the ceiling fan installation gig, a job that took about three hours. I hated it. I kept cursing myself for having agreed to do it. To make matters worse, nothing was going right. The suspension rods were still too long (though acceptable) and because of the peculiarities of the ceiling construction, I wasn't really happy with the quality of the fans' attachment. As I worked I was listening to WAMC, the local public radio station, and for most of the time I was there they were playing an annoying concerto for piano. I was working in the community's common house, so people would come and go because they were doing their laundry or whatever, and one of them seemed genuinely surprised to see an electrician listening to classical music. "It's so mellow in here!" she exclaimed. But the thing about it was that it wasn't mellow, not in the least. It was some sort of overly-percussive jazz-influenced piece, and to me it was like fingernails making slow, every-so-punctuated progress across a blackboard.
Speaking of progress, the painters finished painting our house today.
I was out on the Stick Trail today and noticed that someone had scattered some of the demarcation sticks in three different places over the course of about a quarter mile. I could have easily fixed it, but I decided to wait to see if this was an ongoing erasure of my "work" or something temporary done by a transient vandal. I'd sort of expected this sort of thing to happen eventually, but it disturbed me more than I would have expected it to. What bothered me most about it, I think, was that the vandalism contained no contributed content of its own. The sticks had been scattered completely at random. They hadn't, for example, been reordered into some sort of symbolic "fuck you." As an occasional vandal myself, I expect more of my fellow vandals. I love graffiti and culture jams. If someone has a problem with my trail demarcation, he should at least come up with a clever way of representing that problem!
House pictures, before (grey, Fall 2002) and after (red, Spring 2004).
Still, such efforts to increase entropy are weak even at their most extreme, since the relative decrease in entropy (as manifested in the demarcation I've done) is minimal and expended over great distances. As long as the sticks have been moved to some place nearby, it takes almost no effort for me to put them back in place. To scatter many sticks from their demarcating positions takes a considerable effort, one much greater than any casual vandal will every be able to muster. When it comes to personal expression, it's rare that I've encountered anyone with a greater will than my own.
For linking purposes this article's URL is:feedback
previous | next