ENTROPY by Jeremy Rifkin. Introduction: p. 3 Each day we awake to a world that appears more confused and disordered than the one we left the night before. Entropy: A New World View by Jeremy Rifkin published in by Viking Press. ( with Ted Howard). Once in a great while an idea changes the course of history. I have before me a letter from Jeremy Rifkin, author of Entropy: A New World View. His communication states that “entropy helps explain why we have runaway.
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Thus, for example, a gesture of submission is what it is, and has its significance,only within a set of institutions and practices.
To try to identify it only with a set of physical events as objectivism does, only with some set of inner mental events of the gesturer as subjectivism does, is to fail to grasp its real character, function and significance.
Adequate explanations of social phenomena must refernot onlyto discretephysicaland mental events,but also to the institutions and social structures whichconstitute theframework within which such events acquire their significance.
In a work of this length he could not, and did not, document the extent to which contemporary theory and research in jereny social sciences depends upon either objectivism or subjectivism as he has described them; nor could he offer adequate substantiation for his interpretation of the views of Marx and Wittgenstein, about both of whom there is much scholarly disagreement.
Finally, many readers may be disappointed by the lack of a substantialaccount of the methodology rifkln social sciencemight adopt inorder to includethe elementwhich he has argued must appear in adequate explanations of the phenomena.
Nonetheless, his position is nicelypresented and argued, plausible, and worth careful consideration. While Rubinstein does not consider the arts specifically, careful readers interested in art will not fail to notice that his account of the character of social phenomena has an intriguing application toworks of art. Instead, a work of art must be apprehended as a complex of events, objects and experienceswhich gain their significanceagainst the rich background of institutions and practices in which it appears.
Alfred Knopf, New York, He also succeeds entroppy unravelling some of the relationships between social jerem environmental conditions and the interpretation of the different art forms.
What Entropy Is, and Is Not
However, the book is more detailed and richer in its approach and comes off much better than the limited medium of the screen allows. There, the whole presentation relies too much on the narrator, his personality and appearance, in a variety of landscape settings before the camera. After the rather refined eleganceof Kenneth Clark, Hughes, inhisgenial,but slightlydisheveled manner, is less convincing. The use of an ever-present narrator creates doubts about the necessary continuation of this format for documentaries.
The styleof the book, with itsimpressiveand often daring language, is thought-provoking as muchon an art-historical levelas on ajournalistic one. In each of the looselyorganized chapters,the author triestogo into the depth of different problems, and thesometimesartificial grouping is held together through the courageous, if also sometimes one-sided, appreciation of the different phenomena.
This wealth of information issensiblylinked with the particular art forms developing at a given time.
What Entropy Is, and Is Not | The Scientist Magazine®
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