Saturday, July 30, 2005

The Measure of Randomness

Here's an interesting notion: This morning I sat down to write a funny little bit about my deep-seated connection to the second law of thermodynamics. That's the one that states that a system tends to move from an ordered state to a less ordered state. It's all about entropy and the reason why the blog has the name it has. I've been fascinated with the idea since I was fifteen and saw "Annie Hall" the first time.
This is where it gets interesting: I did a quick Google search for Woody Allen quotes and found the one with his character, Alvy Singer, as a kid in the doctor's office. His mother is very concerned because he is very depressed and he has stopped doing his homework. The doctor asks why - and Alvy replies, "What's the point? The universe is expanding."
So, I wrote a few loving paragraphs about entropy, and felt very amused and smug about my very clever bit of humor. Then I went to save and publish my entry, and the universe just swallowed it up. The page could not be displayed, and when I went back, there was the empty form - taunting me. My initial response was to recreate the piece from memory, starting with the "Annie Hall" quote. This time I Googled for "Alvy Singer on homework." Turns out that there are hundreds (really) of blogs and forums and discussions that center on this particular bit of movie dialogue. It occurs to me that I may have unwittingly stumbled upon a grand unification theory. All of physics, it would seems, bends back to "Annie Hall." After years of feeling hopeless, I have come to appreciate this: Comedy trumps the second law of thermodynamics.


Anonymous said...

I used to be a heroin addict.

Now I'm a methadone addict.


michelle said...

Alvy Singer: I'm so tired of spending evenings making fake insights with people who work for "Dysentery."
Robin: "Commentary."
Alvy Singer: Oh really? I had heard that "Commentary" and "Dissent" had merged and formed "Dysentery."