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February 23, 2011

Boyle's Law and the Physics of Politics

As you reduce the volume of the container, or add more molecules of gas,
the average distance between particles decreases, and the energy density of the system increases. Pressure also goes up, because collisions with the walls of the container become more frequent, and because collisions between particles inside the container happen more energetically and more often, the pace of chemical reactions rises as well.

This is exactly what has happened to the world, and very dramatically so, in the last few years. Not only has crowding increased in the world’s crowded places, but far more importantly, the revolution in electronic communications — in particular, the advent of massively interconnected, global social networks that operate with zero latency and with little regard to political boundaries — has decreased the average distance between individual human beings by orders of magnitude in a very short time. -- Boyling Over – waka waka waka

Posted by Vanderleun at February 23, 2011 12:45 PM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

It's definitely a different game when Google gets credit for "liberating" Egypt (we won't mention the Muslim Brotherhood). Much of our technical support is outsourced electronically to some stranger in India. It's not just energy under pressure, it's chaos under pressure... and high speed chaos under pressure. Adaptability, principles, even family aren't really much use under these conditions. Random chance, dumb luck, is as good as it's going to be for future generations.

Posted by: RedCarolina at February 23, 2011 2:14 PM

This has been the most recent fascination of the "media"; there were in the last couple of days multiple articles about "sidewalk rage."

It's really heartening to see these geniuses recreate what we were taught in high school 50 years ago about overcrowding, which can be reduced to the phrase "10 rats in a 9-rat cage."

Duh, as they say.

Posted by: Rob De Witt at February 23, 2011 2:14 PM

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