Categories: Natural language, Thermodynamics

On warm welcomes

In thermodynamics, the temperature of an object is a measure of its entropy. And entropy could be interpreted as the number of interactions between particles, without any significant loss of generality.

In natural language, at least in English and in my native Romanian, we use temperature-related adjectives to describe human interactions and relationships: warm welcomes, cold business meetings, warm friendships, cold people, or the infamous lukewarm reception of an idea.

I don’t know about you, but I find it quite satisfying when natural language happens to align itself so well with thermodynamics: cold meetings and people interact little, warm welcomes and friendships interact lots.

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely particles caught in the inexorable thermodynamic dance of entropy

William Shakespeare, As You Like It (quoted from memory)

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