More from my Complexity MOOC: this time a learning from the second law of thermodynamics, about entropy.
Entropy is the ‘heat’ or loss created by changing energy state in a system. It can be considered the cost of that transfer. [And apologies for any holes in my understanding. It was not real education; just a MOOC :)]
The idea of entropy can be transposed to information management theory, as the unpredictability of the data.
Moving data, sharing information, aligning teams and organizations all cause entropy. This is a cost to the system. The second law of thermodynamics shows entropy as a statistical certainty.
However, a little fella called Maxwell’s Demon shows – in theory – that the “intelligence of a very observant and neat-fingered being” can be employed to reduce system entropy.
Who might play the role of Maxwell’s Demon in an information system? How about a Community Manager! Someone with their finger on the pulse of the network, someone who knows just when and how and who and what and where and why to connect. Someone who smooths out the friction and energy loss.
I have seen lucky enough to experience this in my own network life through the ‘neat-fingered’ community management performance of Maria Ogneva – prompting and prodding the quiet hum of the hive(mind) at work and play; ensuring a common vernacular is developed and a common velocity is deployed.
It is devilishly difficult to achieve, but a beautiful sight indeed.
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