January 31, 2012 | John Berendzen | Uncategorized


complexity ---> chaos

For me, reading-for-pleasure is usually found within non-fiction Philosophy-Mathematics-Physics.  (Surveys, i mean, not source material. Wittgenstein may or may not have threatened Popper with a fireplace poker at Cambridge on the evening of Oct 25, 1946, for example.  Trust me here . . . riveting.)

Anyway, so Physics is the study the natural world, looking for rules to explain what has been and to anticipate what is to come; Mathematics describes quantity, structure, space and change; and, Philosophy offers systematic voice to the intersections of the other two.
And this has anything to do with architecture, you wonder?
Earlier this week, I was reading a passage about the directionality of Time as an expression of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.  Time seems to us to go only forward, as the energy-matter of the universe goes only* from high energy/complex accumulations, to low-energy simplistic ones.
* “only” is probably too strong a word (never say never; one of these days a pile of whipped cream COULD suddenly re-form itself on top of my hot chocolate.)
So, then the next morning I’m photographing the Schwartz & Van Hoefen saucer building, and VOILA!  there’s the equilibrium reached when the passion and vision of the Grand Project is spent -stasis, then decay.  People push materials into a pile and declare it a building; but Time has other plans for those atoms.
That is, unless, New Energy / New Vision is brought to the system to change the direction of events.  That’s what I see happening in the efforts to save the Saucer Building.  That’s at least as exciting as the poker story.

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