Maxwell’s Demon as one explanation for the Democratic primaries

Daniel Faraday

If you’re like me you’ve been ass-deep in online Lost recaps these past few weeks, and that means you’re up to speed again on the concept of Maxwell’s Demon. The Demon is a device (existence believed to be physically impossible) for violating the second law of thermodynamics, for reversing the effects of entropy, for moving away from equilibrium. That is, it sorts.

Like with our undecided electorate, which started in a mixed state of equal approval for the party’s major candidates, so talented were they all and proud we were. But the sentiments have since fully self-separated by twin criteria: Irrational Clinton hatred, and its correspondent, irrational Obama fondness. The electoral molecules (my Maxwell’s Demon way of saying ‘voters’) have been sorted by whether they possess these two irrational qualities or the equally irrational and opposite compulsion to identify and decry their appearance everywhere in the populace and media.

Clinton supporters and Obama supporters are indistinguishable to the naked eye in daylight, yet can’t fucking stand each other now and are pledged to mutually assured destruction. The growing threat is that the primary season Maxwell’s Demon threatens the smooth function of our general election Maxwell’s Demon, which is the political blogosphere. This is already beginning to suffer from zero entropy, as more have begun editing or outright shutting down their comments sections because of trolls. (Troll, like demon, describes a mysterious physical process.)

One thought, though: To my knowledge no one has argued that irrational Clinton hatred is just going to go away (self-destabilize, dissipate through the natural process of entropy), given its staying power since Clinton 42. But we are warned that its mirror, irrational Obama fondness, is ephemeral, and it threatens to collapse and disappear the instant we are foolish enough to elect him.



  1. Posted March 1, 2008 at 11:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This is a tardy post but….have you read the Brooks post on your “irrational Obama fondness”? He says Obamanics are addicted to “Hopamine”.

  2. Posted March 4, 2008 at 8:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    “Hopamine,” interesting. In today’s column Brooks credits part of Obama’s appeal to Jane Jacobs. That’s a new one to me but i’ll bite.

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