This idea is the foundation of my book. Regarding things such as predictability, structure, coherence, meaningfulness, usefulness and so on, I group these together into a phenomenon I call "order." Regarding things such as unpredictability, randomness, confusion, meaninglessness, futility and so on, I group these together into a phenomenon I call "chaos." Order and chaos are cosmic forces. They are the opposite of each other, yet paradoxically they form a primal, inseparable union. I call this union "entasy." In a way, entasy is similar to phenomena such as spacetime, electromagnetism, mass-energy equivalence, and the wave-particle duality. These four scientific phenomena are each composed of two things which are very different from each other, yet the two things are simultaneously the same thing, forming an inseparable union. Such is the same with entasy.Let me propose an analogy. Let's say you were very bored one day. Searching for a way to while your time away, you find a pair of dice lying around, so you decide to just roll them over and over. With each roll, you come up with various numbers between the numbers 2 and 12. There is never any order or sequence to the numbers you get – they are just random numbers. Now let's say that, after a while, you roll the dice at one point and you get a 2, you roll again and get a 3, then a 4, then 5, 6, 7, 8 all the way to 12 in perfect consecutive sequence. You find this very strange, as they are just a normal, un-rigged pair of dice, and you lack the precise muscle control to deliberately make the dice fall in this manner. Nevertheless, you keep rolling. As you roll again, the pattern starts again: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and so on. This continues to happen for roll after roll. You even obtain a different pair of dice but the same pattern still keeps happening. At a certain point, you will probably say to yourself "This is impossible!" or "How is this happening?"
But why are you surprised by this event? It is probably because you understand the rolling of a normal pair of dice to be an activity that operates within the realm of chance. Chance is understood to be devoid of structure and pattern. Thus for a meaningful pattern to unfold immaculately through the random rolling of dice should be virtually impossible. But why? How can we impose restrictions or rules on chance? How can we dictate what chance can or cannot do?
Here’s an additional thing to consider: Is this event just a strange coincidence or are the dice generating this pattern for some particular reason? Where exactly do we draw the line between a coincidence and a reason? Is there a line at all?
One might think of the roll of dice to be something that conforms to laws of statistics. But strictly speaking, there are no statistical "laws" in the sense of something that explains what necessarily will occur. Statistics does not produce laws; rather, it produces models. The purpose of these models is to attempt to predict the unpredictable and understand the inscrutable. Statistics is not something that can stipulate what can or cannot happen; it can only map out the way things tend to happen given a large number of instances.
How long, would you say, can this strange dice behavior last? Technically speaking, nothing in probability is impossible. The pattern could go on forever. But our everyday experience with random behavior seems to tell us that this will not happen. We know intuitively that, although randomness has no strict rules, there is still a certain regimen that we expect randomness to follow. The dice will generally yield a pattern-less progression in which there is no meaningful relationship between successive numbers. There may be occasional instances where you may roll a series of consecutive numbers (or even a series of the same number or a repeating sequence of different numbers), but you would expect such instances to be rare and short-lived. But exactly how many times are the dice “allowed” to yield consecutive numbers before they must return to their normal regimen of unpredictability? Exactly how much repetition is allowed before "random" is no longer random? How do we precisely measure the "pull" of randomness and the "pull" of structure?
With this analogy in mind, consider the idea that maybe randomness and structure are not mutually exclusive or distinctly separate things, but are intermingled somehow. My belief is that the universe in which we live is a mysterious harmony and unity between randomness and structure, chance and purpose, between what could be and what is meant to be.
I describe the relationship between order and chaos as a tension, like a game of tug-of-war. Regarding the dice-rolling analogy, the "pull" that causes the dice to want to produce random results is the pull of chaos, and the "pull" that causes the dice to want to produce an ordered sequence is the pull of order.
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There are many examples in science of a strange kind of harmony between order and chaos. We can see much of this in quantum mechanics. Particles at the quantum level are subject to much chaotic and unpredictable motion, yet somehow all of this chaos translates to order and stability at the macroscopic scale of things. Electrons move unpredictably around an atomic nucleus, yet statistically they produce probability clouds which have orderly, predictable shapes.
Radioactive decay is a completely random process. There are no known mathematical formulas, laws or rules that can explain when a particular radioactive nucleus will decay, or explain why it decays when it decays. However, despite this randomness, the half-life of a given sample of a radioactive isotope is predictable enough to be used as a dating method in archaeology.
If you were to inflate a balloon, you would notice that the balloon forms an orderly, spherical shape. Seeing this, you would assume that the air or helium inside the balloon is pushing equally on all parts of the balloon's interior in an organized manner. But this is not the case. Counterintuitively, the gas molecules on the inside of the balloon are actually zooming around chaotically, bouncing off of each other and hitting the inside of the balloon in various directions and at various speeds. But there are so many molecules hitting the balloon that this chaos translates statistically into order on the macroscopic scale.
We can perhaps see evidence of entasy in the context of fluid dynamics. The laminar (smooth) flow of fluids, such as gases and liquids, is known to undergo turbulence under certain conditions. Turbulence is the swirling, chaotic motion of a fluid, which you might see in the smoke rising from the end of a cigarette. Yet interestingly, scientists and mathematicians are recently beginning to discover certain "coherent structures" hidden within this turbulent motion.
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There are two important things to know about entasy. One is that chaos has the potential to produce order. This can be demonstrated by many examples. For example, take snowflakes. Snowflakes are beautiful, ornate, symmetrical designs that materialize out of random activity in clouds. Another example is gemstones, which are orderly-shaped minerals that materialize from random geological processes. The sphericity of stars, planets and moons is a product of the force of order emerging from the chaos of mindless astronomical activity, such as the coalescing of cosmic dust and rocks. Another interesting example of this is in the phenomena of supernovas and black holes. Both of these are extremely destructive and chaotic phenomena, yet strangely they also produce order. The intense temperatures and energy of a supernova explosion is capable of causing enough nuclear fusion to produce elements heavier than iron – something that a star alone cannot do; and supernovas also give off stellar gases that can accumulate into nebulae, which can eventually give birth to new stars. A black hole is also orderly in that it is said to be the ordering mechanism at the center of many galaxies, holding the galaxy's stars together with its gravitational pull; and a black hole also emits jets of particles which can lead to the production of new stars. Probably the most fascinating example of order from chaos is evolution by natural selection. Natural selection has created the diverse array of life forms that exist on Earth. These life forms all possess a distinct sense of form and design and functionality, yet paradoxically all of this hinges upon the chaos of genetic accidents called "mutations."
This emergence of order from chaos is a result of something I call the "randomness paradox." The idea is this: the nature of chaos is to be unpredictable, but it would be predictable for chaos to be consistently doing chaotic things, so therefore chaos – in order to be chaos – must at some point do something non-chaotic, i.e. orderly. One example of this that I mention in my book is the decimal number of pi. Pi is an irrational number whose decimal is an infinite, random number sequence. But interestingly, there are rare points in pi where the sequence briefly stops being random and transitions to a limited sequence of repeated numbers. One of these points is known as the "Feynman point"; it is a sequence of six consecutive nines (999999) occurring at the 762nd decimal point of pi. There are more sequences like this in the decimal of pi. One might think that such sequences are merely "accidents," statistically inevitable instances of randomness stumbling upon structure. But I think there is much more to it than that. I think it is the result of entasy.
On the other hand, another important feature of entasy is that order has the potential to yield chaos – orderly things and orderly processes often have a tendency to fall apart. This is a phenomenon I refer to as "Murphy's law." Murphy's law is essentially the opposite of the randomness paradox. While the randomness paradox is often difficult to detect in practical, everyday life, Murphy's law is often readily observable. One obvious example is the fact that mistakes happen. Mistakes are a phenomenon that we just take for granted, but I believe they actually have cosmic implications. When we make mistakes or when plans don't turn out the way they are supposed to, this is an example of chaos emerging from order.
Murphy's law also manifests in our own bodies. We all know that mankind is subject to various forms of infirmity. The bodies of living things are subject to diseases, disorders, deformities, and defects. When we see people with things like multiple sclerosis, panic disorders, stuttering, blindness, retardation and so forth, we just accept these things as simply endemic parts of the human condition. But a question we often neglect to ask is: why? Why do our bodies tend to falter? I argue that this aspect of our existence can be explained by primal cosmic forces. The anatomy and physiology of our bodies is a manifestation of the force of order, and that order is inseparably linked to the force of chaos which disrupts that order.
The universe is full of orderly things, but all of these orderly things are flawed somehow. However, this does not mean that there is something wrong with the universe itself. This ubiquitous flawedness is simply the signature of the principle of entasy that lies as the heart of reality.
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I had an incident happen to me recently that I think is very illustrative of the entasy concept. When I go out, I usually carry a pen in my pocket in order to jot down notes or ideas as they come to me. But one time I happened to misplace one of my pens. I looked around for it for a while but eventually just gave up and started using one of my backup pens. Subsequently, one day I got into my car to go to work and the backup pen that I had in my pocket accidentally fell out and became lodged deep in the tight space adjacent to the car seat. I readjusted the car seat in order to open up the space and reclaim my pen, however in doing so I happened to find not just my backup pen but the other pen I had originally misplaced.
Now this story may seem rather mundane and trivial to you, but I actually believe it is indicative of cosmic forces. Here is a meaningless, random accident which, paradoxically, proves meaningful and useful. I view this incident as a further example of the randomness paradox – of order emerging from chaos. Incidents such as these fall under the category of a phenomenon known as "serendipity." Another similar phenomenon is called "synchronicity." While a serendipity is defined as a "useful accident," a synchronicity is defined as a "meaningful accident/coincidence." The phenomenon of entasy can cause life experience itself to appear to speak to us and give us relevant and useful messages from time to time. I have encountered numerous instances of synchronicity in my own life. Both of these phenomena -- serendipity and synchronicity -- are important parts of the entasy concept, and I discuss both of them in detail in my book.
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This is a brief overview of the contents of my book and the concept of entasy. My book goes into much more detail. In the book, I argue that this entasy concept is the key to understanding why we exist, as well as why anything exists and why things exist in the way they exist. People often contemplate the reason for the universe's existence apart from the mundane details of reality which we observe everyday; however, I argue that the little details of this universe in which we live are actually crucial to understanding the raison d'etre of the universe. What are your thoughts about this idea? Any questions, comments, criticisms? Do you think that this concept explains our existence?