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timtyler comments on In Praise of Boredom - Less Wrong

23 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 18 January 2009 09:03AM

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Comment author: timtyler 15 June 2012 12:58:53AM *  0 points [-]

A better (metaphorical) maximand might actually be local entropy minimization. It's obviously impossible to minimize total entropy, but life has a tendency to decrease the entropy in its local area. Life tends to use energy to remove entropy from its local area by building complex cellular structures. It's sort of an entropy pump, if you will. So if we metaphorically pretended it evolution had a purpose, it would actually be the reverse of what you claim.

Prigogine actually came up with a genuine entropy minimization principle once (in contrast to your idea - which has never been formalised as a real entropy minimization principle - AFAIK). He called it the theorem of "minimum entropy production". However, in "Maximum entropy production and the fluctuation theorem" Dewar explained it as a special case of his "MaxEnt" formalism.