ABOUT

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Waiving Entropy is a blog with humble aims. What began in 2011 as a gesture toward self-improvement evolved into a vitalizing outlet for creative expression. To write is to live more fully, and it has now become something I can scarcely imagine life without—a kind of formless, free-floating impulse that hovers about like a pregnant cloud. Fortunately, blogging is a kind of catharsis for the restless. Nothing eases an active mind like seeing your ideas materialize in a meaningful way in front of you, which is to say I write for myself first and foremost. This blog acts as both heat sink and hard drive, helping me offload scattered collections of thoughts and organize them into a coherent whole.

The second reason I write is to get others excited about all of the things I am excited about. The world is an extraordinary place, crowded with enough ensorcelling ideas and insights to keep one’s mind engaged across several lifetimes. Even the most banal idea can galvanize the most sedated reader if presented just so. And lowering the difficulty of remote concepts can recruit newcomers to take part in conversations heretofore inaccessible. Good writing is a good conductor of emotional energy, and it is my hope that this blog helps fellow travelers become more deeply acquainted with and invested in the things I most enjoy thinking about and discussing. Each time I raise an eyebrow, pique a latent curiosity, or delight with an inventive phrase, I will have initiated a conversation with someone somewhere. And that’s a fulfilling experience.

While my interests are varied, they are not overbroad. You’re not likely to find posts about yarnbombing or Pooktre here, for example. What you will find is a lively mix of news items, explainers, long-form essays, and book reviews related to everything from science—chiefly climate change, evolution and microbiology—philosophy and religion to home theater, mobile technology and anything else warring for my attention. I am always learning, and I hope that you will learn with me by checking back in from time to time.

A few of my intellectual heroes include Carl Sagan, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, John Dewey, John Locke, David Hume, Mark Twain, Susan Jacoby, Patricia Churchland, John Maynard Keynes, Isaac Asimov, Friedrich Nietzsche, Albert Einstein (for his philosophy as much as his science), Bertrand Russell, Joseph Campbell, Paul Kurtz, Paul Draper, Richard Dawkins, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Sean M. Carroll, R. Joseph Hoffman, Massimo Pigliucci and so very many more.

Why Waiving Entropy?

We can think of time as an arrow moving in the direction in which entropy increases. This strong thermodynamic property is locked in as a fundamental feature of the universe we inhabit. All things tend toward decay and disorder (excepting a “Big Bounce” scenario perhaps). Thus, to “waive” entropy is to counter the inexorable, to push against the inevitable, to defer or postpone something that can be neither. As it is, none of us can take a pass on gradually drifting into the open arms of chaos, so the little play on words is just that.

Top 5

While these also happen to be the posts I’m most proud of, I’ve singled out the content below because they tend to garner the most hits each month. My primer on climate change is intended as a reference source for bringing novices up to speed on the state of the science. Think of it as a heavily abridged IPCC report, and (I hope) not nearly so dry. My settings guide for the Xbox 360 also generates daily traffic from various forums around the web. And my thought piece on the existence of God seems to be a regular favorite.

As for reviewing books, my primary goal is to summarize its insights such that someone who has not read the book will feel as though they had. A secondary goal is to set those insights in a larger context to show why they matter. A number of my reviews have been shared by the authors themselves.

  1. REVIEW: Guns, Germs, and Steel
  2. 5 Ways Evolution Is Awesome
  3. REVIEW: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters
  4. 8 Web Creations that Bring Science to Life
  5. REVIEW: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Long-Form

  1. A Climate of Change
  2. Xbox 360 HDMI Display Settings Guide
  3. The Bible: An Introduction
  4. What Would Convince You?
  5. REVIEW: God Behaving Badly

While I aim to be as prolific as possible, I do emphasize quality over quantity and write as often as the verbs in my life allow. To make sure you don’t miss a post, I recommend adding my RSS feed to your preferred reader, or connecting with me at my other online homes below.

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Questions, suggestions for future posts, errors, requests to guest blog on the site, freelance opportunities and other miscellany can be submitted here.


 



 


Daniel Bastian's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (to-read shelf)

 

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