#146: What Burns Never Returns

As this year limps across the finish line, it’s a perfect time to revisit one of my favorite quotes, from cybernetics pioneer Norbert Wiener: “There are local and temporary islands of decreasing entropy in a world in which the entropy as a whole tends to increase, and the existence of these islands enables some of us to assert the existence of progress.” The broad narrative about the pandemic is that it’s been the worst year ever, and that is undeniably true in the aggregate, as well as for many individuals, but in reality some people have had pretty decent years despite it all, or at least managed to tread water relative to those around them (even if everyone is certainly having less

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