Monday, July 12, 2010

Why Cleaning One’s Room Goes Against Nature and Promotes Energy Inefficiency

     Today is one of those great days that teachers love, where we get to apply abstract principles learned in science class to real-life situations. It’s also one of those days that kids will love, where I provide them with a valid scientific argument against cleaning one’s room. Sorry parents. So let’s begin!

     So in science there’s this thing called entropy. Entropy is the loss of energy and order from a system and, unfortunately, all systems tend towards entropy and disorder. It’s why we can’t build a perpetual motion machine, contrary to the claims of a few people every year who manage to piece together some contraption that they think are convinced will move forever. Even though… well… it won’t. Especially since most of these people, being… er… rather confused anyways, I doubt many of these contraptions would move for more than 5 minutes.

     More importantly, entropy is the reason why my room, and everyone else’s rooms, tend to get messy after a while. Some people, whose names will remain unspoken *cough* *cough* Mom *cough* *cough* have the uncanny ability to combat entropy. In fact, I consider them to be Warriors Against Entropy. They wage a nonstop battle against entropy and, therefore, against nature itself. They somehow manage to, immediately after being finished with using something, put it away again. They also periodically go through their closets and belongings and get rid of anything they don’t use anymore.

     Sure, entropy is an unfortunate process, and perhaps their battle against it could be portrayed as admirable, even noble. I, however, disagree with this assessment. My counterargument lies in considering the system of the room and the person doing the cleaning. I will use myself as an example. My past year living in a single has been an ideal experiment in considering entropy and energy inefficiency. If you took a snapshot of my room every day, you would see a slow process of deterioration of order and organization. Yet in no way did this inhibit my ability to perform in any way. As time progressed, I did not have increased difficulty finding things, I did not trip over anything, and it was in no way excessively inconvenient. There was even a nice little path from my door to my bed, passing by my desk, to allow access to all the important locations in my room. This is where the key argument comes in: if I had cleaned my room, fixing a situation that was not broken, I would have expended large sums of energy, pushing my own body towards entropy, for nothing. After cleaning, I would in no way be more convenienced. In fact, it may have been MORE difficult for me to find things in their new “proper” locations rather than conveniently placed a foot away from me on my floor. I think that making one’s bed is the epitome of this: there is no point to it! Why bother expending energy, promoting entropy in the system of your body, to make your bed look nicer when you’re just going to undo everything you just did that day? Why bother doing x when you’re just going to subtract x later on? Okay, so maybe it does have some rather useful applications in a few obscure math problems, but this is by no means obscure! The average person expends huge amounts of energy over their lifetime making their bed when it serves no purpose whatsoever! And so many other procedures are similarly pointless! I would encourage everyone to not let the expectations of society push you towards the inefficient expenditure of energy; be your own person. Be an energy-efficient occupant of a messy room. And be proud of it.




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  2. I support this idea, but there are a few things to consider. Firstly, at some point it becomes a health hazard, either through composition of the mess or simply the magnitude of it. Unfortunately, steps have to be taken to reset the system to working order.

    As for the making and unmaking of beds, I completely agree, it makes no sense to make a bed, when someone is simply going to be undoing your hard work in a few hours.