Up here in the real world, entropy rips through everything at such a lightening quick pace that we hardly ever notice. But there are parts of the world where entropy cannot be relegated to an abstract, high school physics classroom learning objective. These are places where energy is expensive and therefore entropy moves slowly—and so do the people. It’s not a coincidence. In the
It takes a lot of applied energy to slow down a runaway anything. To slow down these two north New Jersians to Caribbean speed, it took three flights, (two Red Stripes and a calamari sandwich on homemade wheat bread at Ray’s on Trellis Bay), one ferry ride, one decidedly un-slow taxi ride over the mountainous roads of Virgin Gorda. But once we were on the balcony of our room, looking out over the placid, moonlit
The entire island chain, from the
First, a bit of telling history by way of James A. Michener’s
These two good men, one a governor who kept his stealing within reason, the other the scion of a splendid family and himself destined to become a colonial governor, had identified the fundamental reasons why Spanish lands in the New World would fail, during the next four hundred years, to achieve any simple, responsible system of governance, democratic or not, in which good men would rule without stealing and alienating the riches of their countries.
A fatal tradition had already been codified during the rule of Diego Ledesma in
In this chapter of his historical fiction, Michener describes how Spanish cultural norms affected
Greed is not an exclusively Spanish trait. But Michener goes on to postulate why Spanish culture was less entropically suited to rule what they called the “
It was a system that provided swings of the pendulum so wide that men became dizzy, and a form of government that wasted the tremendous resources of the
In the next entry I will write some thoughts about how social entropy plays out today on the one island we visited (unsurprisingly, ice cream is involved), and hopefully post some pictures.