Ordo Ab Chao – Or Embrace Uncertainty

Masonic Motto: Ordo Ab Chao
Eternal Golden Braid

Only he who undertakes dizzying ventures is authentically human. A single chain of peaks links Prometheus with Siegfried.

~ Jean Mabire

Hello all first as always i hope everyone is safe. Second, i have not been able to write as much as i would have liked, life happens. More on that in later blogs this year.

Now to the current installment. i do not write about specific work topics at all however i am making an exception here as it pertains to the title of the blog. W.R.T. (with respect to) the title this is not some FreeMason diatribe so you can take off the tinfoil hats and stick with me, please dear reader.

If you saw this news Fransisco Partners of San Francisco, California purchased IBM, Watson Health of which i am currently the Global CTO and Chief Architect. Personally, i am extremely excited about this situation as it appears others were as well considering the number of inbound texts, emails, calls that i received. i truly appreciated all of the correspondence. It is an amazing opportunity with an amazing firm that understands the health technology industry with many well-placed investments.

Why does this pertain to the blog subject line? Change causes randomization, randomization can cause chaos. All of it yields Uncertainty. It also is an indicator of Entropy. I wrote a blog some time ago on Randomness.

One of my favorite equations and possible my favorite equation is one Entropy:

This is the original one based on Bolztman’s derivation:

$$S = k_\mathrm{B} \ln W$$

However, me being an information science type person i prefer the entropy of a channel made famous by one of my heroes Claude Shannon:

$$E = -1/N*\sum_{i}^{N}(p_{i})log(p_{i})$$

(Note: As 𝑁→∞ this gives an entropy which is solely related to the distribution shape and does not depend on 𝑁.)

Entropy (/ˈentrəpē/) is a measure of a thermodynamic quantity representing the unavailability of a system’s thermal energy for conversion into mechanical work, often interpreted as the degree of disorder or randomness in the system or lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder ergo our current subject of this blog.

Many people want to think or be told that it will be A-OK. Or OK. Being a word nerd I looked up the etymology of both A-OK and OK. Here is what i found:

The expression A-Okay:

Means everything is fine. A-Okay is a space-age expression. It was used in 1961 during the flight of astronaut Alan Shepard. He was the first American to be launched into space. His flight ended when his spacecraft landed in the ocean, as planned. Shepard reported: “Everything is A-Okay.”

However, some experts say the expression did not begin with the space age. One story says it was first used during the early days of the telephone to tell an operator that a message had been received.

Then there is OK (Okay):

The gesture was popularized in the United States in 1840 as a symbol to support then Presidential candidate Martin Van Buren. This was because Van Buren’s nickname, Old Kinderhook, derived from his hometown of Kinderhook, NY, had the initials O. K. i had no idea.

There are also fun ways to say okay. Some people say okey-dokey or okey-doke. Now with text, we have kk in some cases. i have even heard people say I’m doing “hunky dory”. This American-coined adjective has been around since the 1860s, from the now-obsolete hunkey, “all right,” which stems from the New York slang hunk, “in a safe position,” and the Dutch root honk or “home.” So basically you’re fine at home. (It is also a great album by David Bowie).

So even if you not OK, there are situations where we engage in some physical activity or mental endeavor where most want to know when “the end or finish line is near.” “OMG when is this going to END?!” However, one important factor that i have personally found when the distance is unknown and the end is unknown is when you truly find out who You are on this Earth. Sometimes the process is in the putting. Going way past what you thought possible is where the magic happens.

Uncertainty is the basis for which we live. Technically if you think about it we live next to an exploding star in an ever-expanding universe.

As a comparison here is a chart of Alan Chamberlin of JPL/Caltech. The subject matter is near-earth asteroids. Interestingly enough the objects were not previously known and thus there was no early warning. We knew when we knew. Take your time and let this chart sink into the old wetware.

This list does not include any of the hundreds of objects that collided with Earth, which were not discovered in advance, but were recorded by sensors designed to detect the detonation of nuclear devices. Of the objects so detected, 78 had impact energy greater than that of a 1-kiloton device (equivalent to 1000 tons of TNT), including 11 which had impact energy greater than that of a 10-kiloton device i.e. comparable to the atomic bombs used in the Second World War.

Why am i posting these statistics? Entropy until we know a universe that runs in reverse time or loops time it is ever increasing thus randomness and uncertainty writ large are always increasing.

So what does one do? Well we can only truly deal with what we can control. Anything exterior to that is superfluous in our thought patterns or should be extraneous and superfluous.

I wrote a related blog entitled “What Is It You Want?” which posited a different view. First, you need to decide what you want and if you are unable to decide what you want there is a good chance that what you don’t want is a more known entity.

Envision the worst thing that could happen. Fired from your job? Bankrupt? No. Try Grief. True loss as in the death of a loved one (including animals). Someone that will never ever return. Finality. We have all been there with someone.

In the same psychological realm True Loss can also be the other side of an “Aha!” moment. For instance, let’s say you have been working for months possibly years on something creative or an idea and suddenly in an ephemeral flash of lucidity you finally arrive at the ideation incarnate and grasp the totality of understanding. At that moment on the other side, you can no longer duplicate that feeling. It is gone. True Loss. For some that do not have family or friends, this is equivalent. Even for those that have family, friends and beloved animals, this is equivalent.

Yet we want to think in absolutes that someone somewhere will make it “OK”.

I say unto you: one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. I say unto you: you still have chaos in yourselves.

Zarathustra

Well as we say here in The South. “It’s OK until It Aint.” The only remedy is preparation but not analysis to paralysis. Train and train well.

The only other remedy is just GO and DO and move and make it happen. Only move in the direction of what YOU desire and want – it will make a huge difference.

The most intelligent humans, like the strongest, find their happiness where others find only disaster: in the labyrinth, in being hard with themselves and others, in effort, their delight is self mastery; in them asceticism becomes second nature, a necessity, an instinct.  They regard a difficult task as a privilege; it is to them a recreation to play with burdens that would crush all others.

R.A.C.

Humans are designed via the evolutionary process to work under stress. i believe we operate better when we are under the gun, under a deadline, reaching for goals, or striving for whatever it is that drives Us. Some prefer the sameness that comes with a 9-5 job. For me personally, i like to obtain order out of chaos.

So whenever you find yourself worried about what May-Be-Happening think instead of what IS-To-Be and make it happen. Alan Watts famously discussed the issue with no surprises in life is you know how everything turns out and if that is the case then that is living in the past.

Until Then,

#iwishyouwater <- Mavericks in Half Moon Bay doing its thing 3.22

@tcjr

Muzak To Blog By: Jeff Buckley’s Album “You and I”. Huge that this was all demos. Astounding talent left us to soon. He took a night swim in the Mississippi River and hit by a paddwheel boat. Random? Entropy? Safe? His autopsy showed no drugs or alchohol in a body.