The Figurative Law of Chaos and Why It Makes You Subconsciously Pessimistic

Edit from 9/3/2017: I have been informed by a physics major that I am mixing up entropy with Chaos Theory. Chaos Theory is essentially the butterfly effect, stating that many seemingly disconnected and unpredictable events in the present may all stem from one small action in the past, such as a butterfly flapping its wings. Entropy, or the Second Law of Thermodynamics, is the principle that the energy or arrangement of a system naturally falls into disorder. Please forgive this error. We will not be taking down this post, as this warning should be seen by any past readers wishing to return to the original article. However, for an article that better discusses this point, please see the blog “Can One Person Make a Difference“? 

Note: Please do not confuse this with scientific Chaos Theory. This post is purely philosophical. For Chaos Theory, please consult your local mathematician or physicist.

italian-building-italy-destroyed (1)
Skitterphoto via Pexels

To begin, what is the Law of Chaos? In science and math, it simply states that systems automatically move toward a more disorganized system without the need for extra energy input. For that, simply Google the word “entropy.”

But here at, we like to view things from the abstract and philosophical point of view. So in the abstract sense, the Law of Chaos means that it takes more effort to create something than to destroy it.

Take a tower of blocks, for instance. It will take a child half an hour to build it so that it stays upright, but one small tap and the whole thing comes crashing down. We also see this on a large scale with high-rises and wrecking balls. Around us we see examples of this law of disorder every day. One minute to build a house of cards, one second to send it all crashing down.

This understanding, unfortunately, makes many people needlessly pessimistic. In English, we associate the words “build” and “create” with good, and the words “destroy” and “tear down” with bad. This is called a word’s connotation: associating some extra feeling even if it isn’t part of the word’s definition.

We enjoy making things, and we loathe breaking them. Right? So when we think of the Law of Chaos, does that just mean that all good things require hard work and all bad things come automatically?

Well, no. Destroying something is easier than creating something, but the problem here is that “destroy” does not always equal “bad.” Sure, a hero on a quest can be destroyed much more easily than one can be born, raised, and trained. But at the same time, it’s also much easier to destroy an evil regime than it is to build one up. Countless stories glorify the destruction of evil, which is, of course, a good thing. And since that good thing involves destruction, it is easier than creating something evil.

This has just been another example of the English language tricking us. It makes us think destroy = easy and destroy = bad, therefore bad = easy. But such is not the case because destruction isn’t always a bad thing. Disorder = easy, but disorder doesn’t necessarily = bad. It only seems to be bad when we use strong, loaded words like “chaos.”

Which is why you should just use the word “entropy” and get on with your life.


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