Politics, too, suffer from a kind of entropy that is only reversed by direct intervention. The moment of organization is a moment in which disparate atomized people become a resilient form, a collective body. We might call these people »workers« and their form a »union.« 1953, 35% of private-sector workers in the United States were part of a union, and by 2015 that number had fallen to 7%.
Disregarding the liberal use of metaphor at work in my description of disparate phenomena as entropic, quantum physicists today will take issue with considering entropy a force at all. It is contemporaneously considered only to account for the probability of an outcome concerning the movement of particles in the universe. They will say that it is improbable for an ice cube to do anything but melt at room temperature, that the particles will make state changes that tend towards the most likely outcome, and that the ice will become water. This does not invalidate what is asserted by classical physics, evidenced by the mere functioning of the steam engine. It accounts for the incalculably rare moments when the ice does not become water, or when just after the Big Bang, some particles did not act like the others, and so now here we are. It is only another way of looking at the universe, it is to think in terms of indeterminacy.
Humans have been experimenting with indeterminacy for at least as long as 3,000 B.C. through the use of Egyptian throwsticks and Chinese dice. By balancing a die such that all six outcomes are equally probable, we tap into the probabilistic universe and harness randomness as a tool.
Any revolutionary act hinges on the notion of indeterminacy, that there exists a possibility outside the set of conventions presented to us.
Part of Edward Snowden’s revelations about the United States’ National Security Agency described the agency’s plans to alter the Random Number Generator on Intel manufactured processors to include a »backdoor.« The implications of this potential modification include the ability to decrypt online communications, passwords, and most forms of privacy related to our online movements.
Encryption is ubiquitous and entirely obscured. Every time a credit card is swiped or a »send« button on a smartphone is tapped, a random key is created that scrambles the message, only to be reassembled on the other end. If the key is not random, unscrambling the message becomes a trivial task. Text encryption involves taking each character and changing its value by some number. Given »A« and adding 1 we get »B,« for example. For a string of characters, each individual letter would be changed by a different offset value. Consider the word »ENTROPY« going through this transformation, known in cryptography as a reverse Caeser-Shift.