POTD: Moving Toward Entropy #3

Moving Toward Entropy #3
Lisbon, Portugal
2017

I started a series with this title some time ago and while I’ve added relevant photos to my collection, I have not posted anything on the topic recently. Maybe this image will jump-start that effort and get it going again. I went back and read my original synopsis on the idea of entropy and how these photos relate and found it to be a bit lacking. So I will try again to explain my motivation for this series.

Entropy is the subject of the second law of thermodynamics regarding the ultimate disorder of matter towards which a closed system (most interestingly the closed-system of the universe) is necessarily progressing. Webster’s dictionary offers the following more general definition of entropy which is more indicative of what I am trying to document in these photos: “the degradation of the matter and energy in the universe to an ultimate state of inert uniformity.”

In this photo, the highly structured repeated pyramid shapes on this stone wall are gradually being worn down into a random, more chaotic distribution of material. I can image that “soon” (by some measure of time passing) the wall will be nothing but a rough surface with an indistinguishable random pattern or texture. Eventually I can even see it being worn down to just a pile of grains of stone dust slowly spreading across the surrounding area. That, to me, is the process of entropy and it does not take much looking around to see numerous examples of structures moving from order to disorder.

2 thoughts on “POTD: Moving Toward Entropy #3”

  1. This reminds me strongly of an M C Escher drawing where it’s difficult to tell up from down. Or one of those optical illusion drawings where the foreground/background images “flip” in and out of prominence. Cool!

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