Entropy: Why Everything Tends to Fall Apart

Understanding the Inevitable Slide into Disorder


Decay is the standard process of existence.

Over time, coffee cools, buildings fall apart, businesses fail, people age, and stars die.

Entropy drives the universe. Understanding its implications makes the difference between merely existing and living with intention.

At its core, entropy measures chaos versus order, and the universe shows a clear preference for chaos. This leads to a fundamental rule:

There are infinitely more ways for things to be chaotic than ordered.

“It is possible to fail in many ways, while to succeed is possible only in one way.”

— Aristotle in Nicomachean Ethics

For example, if you shake a box of red and blue balls, they’re more likely to land in a random mess than align by color.

What does this mean for everyday life?

Maintaining order demands effort.

Maintaining order requires constant effort. Without it, everything tends toward disorder — be it a galaxy, a startup, or your romantic relationship.

Consider these:

  • A business thrives on robust structure and teamwork. Without it, it will likely fail fast.
  • For your relationship to work, you need purposeful communication and actions. If not, chances are you will drift apart.
  • Keeping your personal project on track requires constant effort. Without it, there are endless ways for it to derail.

Entropy is widely studied in physics, information theory, biology, sociology, economics and business — and it profoundly impacts our everyday lives.

In any system, unchecked, randomness leads to inevitable disorganization—whether through molecular motion, employee decisions, or everyday challenges.

Chaos is the natural state; order is artificial and temporary, maintained only through deliberate effort.

Because physics.

“You should always bear in mind that entropy is not on your side.”

— Elon Musk

Here are 3 other concepts you might benefit from:

The Streetlight Effect

Via Negativa

Causal Reductionism