In Dubious Battle

You can not escape entropy. Your heat slowly dissipates. Your systems tend toward disorder. Time’s arrow flies forward, eventually piercing your heart.

Entropy is actually what gives time direction. The mere fact of dilapidation orients us in space-time. Old things do not become new again, not really. Order is not created, at least not in a sustained way. If heat could be created from not heat (i.e. not energy), we could live backwards, but it can’t and we can’t. The universe grows cold. Death comes to us all.

That’s the bad news.

Eddington dropping truth bombs.

The goods news is that the flow of time isn’t constant. It speeds up and slows down based on your orientation to gravity. In practical terms, you can burn energy to create order within yourself. You can build health and fitness, and that will cause time to eddy inside you. The pace of entropy will slow as you push back. Despite the unalterable increase in disorder, you can slow things down.

You can grow and you can heal.

The paradox here is that as you burn energy, breaking down muscle fiber, starving your body of oxygen and nutrition, you’re actually improving your ability to slow time. Those muscles grow larger, more resilient. Your lungs expand. Your heart strengthens. Maybe your mind even opens. That is not a scientific fact.

In real ways, you are breaking physics.

My more sedentary friends laugh at me. “What? Are you trying to live forever?” they say.

“Yes.” The answer is yes. I am buying sunrises and more time with the people I love. Call me a romantic. I don’t fear death as much as I fear that dilapidation, that time when I’m still alive, but no longer capable of living.

This is what it means to rage against the dying of the light.