Entropy and Authority

The use of technical jargon as a way to establish authority is a current topic in my writing class.  I have a lot of experience with this.  For example, teaching my sister’s kids about the laws of thermodynamics: the relationship between energy and entropy, how entropy only ever increases, and how this leads to the eventual heat death of the universe.  How, when an 82-kilogram man picks an object up off the floor and raises it 1 meter above the ground, the object’s gravitational potential energy increases, and with it an eventual increase in entropy.  But when a 27-kilogram child does the same thing, the increase in entropy is much lower, so “Please, Mookie, pick up your god-damned toys.”

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