Archives for posts with tag: Create

Entropy is a fascinating concept. It seems to be one of those underlying laws of the universe that works for work and life too.

From what I understand, the ever-expanding universe is subject to it, the tendency for things to naturally descend into a state of disorder, randomness and chaos. If you apply this principle to work and non-work, to put it crudely, it means that eventually everything goes to sh*t. Not in the literal sense of human effluent, but in the American sense of rubbishness, poorness, brokenness.

For me it rings true. On the one hand people say if it ain’t broke don’t fix, but on the other, if you don’t keep improving something and leave it to do its own thing, it will eventually break down and not work.

It also seems to me that in our work and our lives we should be engaged in a constant state of what I call ‘reverse entropy’, trying to create things, build things and fine-tune things, raging against the dying of the light, to borrow from a well-known Welsh poet.

Reverse entropy is our conscious, active way of bringing order, quality, skills and artifice to the world and what we do, from which we derive pleasure, money and nourishment.

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I was reading an article on the BBC website the other day and came across the ‘backronym’, which I’d never heard of before and which I immediately loved. I looked it up right away on wikipedia.

It is at its heart a reverse acronym, created to echo an original word or acronym. So, to borrow from wikipedia, where Radar is an acronym for Radio Detection and Ranging, the Amber Alert program was named after a girl called Amber went missing, but was later changed to stand for America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response, a backronym.

Cool, eh? We can create any number of our own humorous backronyms and use them to mock our ‘acronymic’ institutions.

Here’s the thing though: the backronym the BBC used in its article was the most interesting of all. Apparently, the word camp in its adjectival meaning is derived from kamp, standing for ‘known as male prostitute’, and harking back to the dingy old days when homosexuality was illegal. Not sure about that, myself, but was delighted to learn of the existence of the word backronym.