Candidacy Chaos
By R. D. Flavin


Dedicated to the 'retirement' of Jon Stewart from The Comedy Channel's The Daily Show (1999-2015). Liberal commentary has lost a tremendous representative.

     In this corner we've got the Republicans: Skip Andrews, George Bailey, Michael Bickelmeyer, Kerry Bowers, Jeb Bush, Dr. Ben Carson, Eric Cavanagh, Dale Christensen, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Brooks Cullison, John Dummett, Jr., Mark Everson, Jack Fellure, Carly Fiorina, Jim Gimore, Lindsey Graham, Jim Hayden, Chris Hill, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, Bartholomew James Lower, K. Ross Newland, Esteban Oliverez, George Pataki, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Michael Petyo, Marco Rubio, Brian Russell, Rick Santorum, Jefferson Sherman, Shawna Sterling, Donald Trump, Scott Walker, and maybe Bob Ehrlich, versus the Democrats: Howell Astor, Morrison Bonpasse, Jeff Boss, Harry Brawn, Andy Caffrey, Willie Carter, Lincoln Chafee, Hillary Clinton, Lloyd Kelso, Martin O. Malley, Bernie Sanders, Doug Shreffler, Michael Steinberg, Jim Webb, Robby Wells, Willie Wilson, Brad Winslow, and maybe Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren. Yeah, we're talking about candidacy chaos, here. And, the list doesn't even include the Communist candidate, the Independents, and whoever Ralph Nadar supports. Clinton v. Bush seems likely, but anything is possible when dealing with chaos.

     Political entropy might seem harsh, especially if you follow, say, THE AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY instead of the highly respected OED (Oxford English Dictionary). Apparently, some English words have different meanings than their expected American-English equivalents. THE AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY defines 'entropy' as:

en-tropy (ěn'trǝ-pē) n. 1. A measure of the capacity of a system to undergo spontaneous change, thermodynamically specified by the relationship dS = dQ/T, where dS is an infinitesimal change in the measure for a system absorbing an infinitesimal quantity of heat dQ at absolute temperature T. 2. A measure of the randomness, disorder, or chaos in a system specified in statistical mechanics by the relationship S = kinP + c, where S is the value of the measure for a system in a given state, P is the probability of occurrence of that state, and k is a fixed and c an arbitrary constant. [German Entropie : Greek en-, in + tropē, a turning, change (see trep- 2 as superscript in Appendix*).]

     While our generally highly esteemed OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY contributes:

Pronunciation: /ˈɛntrəpɪ/

Etymology: < Greek τροπή transformation (lit. ‘turning’), after the analogy of energy n. First proposed by Clausius (1865) in German form entropie. Clausius ( Pogg. Ann. CXXV. 390), assuming (unhistorically) the etymological sense of energy to be ‘work-contents’ (werk-inhalt), devised the term entropy as a corresponding designation for the ‘transformation-contents’ (verwandlungsinhalt) of a system.


1. The name given to one of the quantitative elements which determine the thermodynamic condition of a portion of matter. Also transf. and fig.

2.a. Communication Theory. A measure of the average information rate of a message or language; esp. the quantity −Σpi log pi (where the pi are the probabilities of occurrence of the symbols of which the message is composed), which represents the average information rate per symbol.

3.b. Math. In wider use: any quantity having properties analogous to those of the physical quantity; esp. the quantity −Σxi log xi of a distribution {x1, x2,…}

     And, then there's Wikipedia:

Entropy (order and disorder)

Difficulties with the term "disorder."

In recent years the long-standing use of term "disorder" to discuss entropy has met with some criticism.

When considered at a microscopic level, the term disorder may quite correctly suggest an increased range of accessible possibilities; but this may result in confusion because, at the macroscopic level of everyday perception, more ordered things seem more disordered, and more disordered things seem more ordered. For example, mixing water and oil counterintuitively creates more order from a thermodynamics perspective, because of the way water molecules and oil molecules interact. Equally, one can imagine on a beach in the summer if everyone arranges their towels in a "disorderly" fashion, people will struggle more to move and rearrange themselves (therefore more ordered from a thermodynamics perspective), whilst a more "ordered" towel arrangement means people are more free to move about (therefore more disordered from a thermodynamics perspective). It has to be stressed, therefore, that "disorder", as used in a thermodynamic sense, relates to a full microscopic description of the system, rather than its apparent macroscopic properties. Many popular chemistry textbooks in recent editions increasingly have tended to instead present entropy through the idea of degrees of freedom and energy dispersal, which is a dominant contribution to entropy in most everyday situations. The textbook examples of a messy (disordered) and tidy (ordered) bedroom for describing entropy do not provide particularly good analogies, because (being a textbook) they're both still images, meaning they have an entropy of 0, because everything is fixed, and so there are no degrees of freedom. A better comparison to the tidy bedroom would be a bedroom where the socks are free to fly around the room randomly, rather than being confined to the sock drawer. Thermodynamics, unlike mothers of teenage boys, doesn't recognise whether the socks are in a specific place in the sock drawer, or a specific place on the bedroom floor, both represent highly ordered states.Oka

      Okay (i.e, wow...).



     One of my favorite political stories is from my youth, but perhaps pertinent in the context of this column. During the 1972 presidential election of Nixon v. McGovern, though I was only in eighth grade, I was liberal, precocious, and handed out McGovern leaflets door-to-door. One day, my father informed me he'd given Nixon a $50 donation check... Well, this did not set well with my well-established Democratic agenda, and though it took a couple of weeks of prodding, my dad eventually wrote McGovern a $50 donation check. The odd thing was on Election Day, my father DID NOT vote. When I inquired as to why, he replied, “Because they were both jerks...” I'm proud of my dad's contribution AND his recognition both Nixon and McGovern really were ...jerks

     I'm sure we'll hear much from Sarah Palin about many various asinine topics. While “G*d does not play dice,” humans are prone to error and I expect much candidacy chaos in the months ahead.

2016 is not that far away,

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