The Mandate

The arc of human talent

Over the last 13 billion years or so, the universe has been under the thumb of entropy. Entropy is the force that causes energy in a system to decrease over time. It’s a tendency for things to become disorderly, lose their purposeful integrity, and finally die or simply become meaningless. Think of decaying orbits, dying suns, rotting plants, rusting iron, forest fires, old newspapers, or the destructive path of war.

Standing in opposition to entropy is life. Life is the impulse to fight against entropy. Remember Victor Laszlo in Casablanca? “If we stop breathing, we’ll die. If we stop fighting our enemies, the world will die.” Our common enemy is entropy; the impulse to resist entropy is called extropy.

Get Metaskills: Five Talents for the Robotic Age now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.