The entropy of daily living

When did people stop taking shopping carts back? When did they stop driving in the right lane except to pass? More importantly, WHY did they stop? As the title of this post implies, I think it is simple entropy.

Here’s my reasoning:

  • In the beginning of any man-made system there is, almost by definition, order imposed on the system.

  • At first, this order remains intact, much as if their is an external force keeping things together.

  • As the system becomes commonplace and grows, there is not enough energy in the system to keep it orderly.

  • The system degenerates into, effectively, chaos. You have some pockets of order, but for the most part you have a system at equilibrium, where each piece just does its own thing.

Very simplistic, but makes sense (to me). The same type of reasoning can be applied to just about any social system (and I’m sure someone somewhere has done that before I ever thought of this), especially in the corporate environment. In your change management planning, don’t forget to consider the inevitable effects of entropy.

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