The “unnatural” meaning of intelligence inside nature and economy

We have heard a lot of times that the world tends in a natural way to chaos. This is not exact; it is a bad statement of the second principle of thermodynamics. A better statement could be: “the entropy of the universe cannot decrease”.

English: two red dice Deutsch: zwei rote Würfe...
Two red dice (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Entropy is related to the number of possible states (at microscopic level) of a system. As there are always a bigger number of disordered states than ordered ones, a system in a disordered state is more probable than a system in an ordered one. If we play dice, the probability to get a certain value is only 1/6, however the probability to fail is 5/6. This fact can have an important corollary: people that bet against success instead of pro success always win on the long term. This could be a justification of the goodness of mediocrity instead of meritocracy. But we must remember here that probability says nothing about the next event, it always say us that in the future the mean value of events will have that proportion (a hit every six attempts). Of course, this is not very amusing but that is the reason why “the bank of the casino always wins”. If the bank of the casino bet pro success instead of against success they would finally lose.

The second principle of thermodynamics is a general law of physics, and then, it is always satisfied, but it must be well understood. When we say that the entropy of the universe cannot decrease we are talking at macroscopic level. This principle says nothing about a part of the universe. Any part of the universe can increase or decrease entropy, but in order that a part of the universe can decrease entropy other one must increase it at least in the same quantity.

Life is a process based on a certain order of molecules and atoms, although it is a very improbable state, there must be some force of the universe that tends to provide life. Human intelligence is even more improbable but as I can write this text, it is easy to understand that the second principle of thermodynamics cannot be against the existence of life and intelligence, because I must satisfy it too.

Unlike the bank of the casino, intelligence (natural or artificial) does not get its incomes with randomness; it gets its incomes through order. Intelligence is not only a result of decreasing entropy but it increases the probability of success when some kind of order in a system can be identified. Imagine a loaded dice. Intelligence takes advantage of that order, however, the bank of the casino will get fewer incomes when bets are done knowing how the dice are loaded instead of in a random way. As we live in a place of the spacetime where there is a lot of order, knowledge and technology can provide a lot of value betting for success.

This can be translated to the economy of a country when investments are driven to real or financial economy. Of course, as at the casino, banks always win, but sometimes, when the society is well ordered with low level of uncertainty, technology companies can provide high incomes (and funds can move from deposits to the stock market), however when the situation is totally random, banking business can win even much more.

I do not want to say that disorder benefits banks, and order benefits technology because turbulence finally can destroy all the sectors of the economy, but if you find that companies at the financial sector are getting a lot of incomes and technological companies cannot fulfill good results this can be a signal of a highly entropic society. What I want to say is that, in the business world, it is necessary some kind of order if technology must provide value, however banks can get value even in a more entropic situation as they do not bet, they only move the bargaining chips from a side of the table to another one (many times theirs). The problems at the financial system have appeared as a result of turning financial organizations into “betting offices” mixing commercial and investment banking. Some of them started to “bet for success instead of against it”.

I do not understand why people think that commercial banks are more comfortable with governments defending merit when they, in a natural way, can get even more incomes betting for governments that implant mediocrity as social standard, funding mortgages with the deposits of the savers instead of looking how the savers are funding technological investments at the stock market. Of course, the effect of mediocrity on the long time cannot be so favorable for their interests if the society finally collapses because of a bad management.

On the other hand, in order to get out of a turbulent economy, we need that the actions of the rulers are driven by agents that can take advantage of a more predictable situation instead of agents that can get more incomes staying at randomness because some of them can be only “putting sticks at the wheel”.


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