Bad and good – the asymmetry

Delicate life embellishing entropy's inexorable advance

There is an asymmetry between bad and good.

It takes a long time to create something good like an oak forest or a wholesome culture or a beautiful building. And all that can be destroyed in a few moments or in one electoral cycle. It takes centuries for wise men to create a fabulous library, and a few hours for vandals to burn it to ashes.

It takes great skill to create a good thing, but no skill to destroy it. There are an infinity of bad arrangements of paint, but far fewer good ones.

Good requires continual care and maintenance, while bad is often irreversible or make take very long to recover from.

In the long-run you would think that bad wins. The energy and skill needed for bad is less, the number of correct bad solutions far outweighs the number of correct good solutions.

Good is somehow connected to life – that beautiful thing which piggybacks on increasing entropy and appears to slow it down. It creates complex, local order, apparently self-regenerating. Really all it does is to embellish the entropic process. Life is just an incredible, ineffable wind-up toy. Bad appears to speed up the entropic process through violence and destruction. So good people have to string out entropy for as long as we can.

Why is it that the toy doesn’t wind-down more quickly? Why don’t the spokes just disengage and let the spring coil unwind in a trice?

Sometimes people weary of that steady decline into chaos, and when they have nothing to lose they reassemble and fight back.

Sometimes bad is so horrific, that it triggers a backlash against itself.

Sometimes people become hungry for something better.

Sometimes forces of bad burn themselves out and period of quiet regeneration can ensue.

As long as there is life, as long as there is that primeval urge to emerge from the darkness and seek the light, there is a chance to counter bad.

 

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