Monday, February 23, 2015

NFL vs. Second Law of Thermodynamics

Jason Lisk, whoever that may be, takes some anonymous NFL scout to task for bad thermodynamics. The alleged misuse, re Jemais Winston, Florida State QB and 2013 Heisman winner with a checkered past:

“Someone will take him in the first round, but how could you even let that guy in the building?” another scout said. “The second law of thermodynamics basically is the more ways something can happen, the more likely it is to happen. That’s true of players. The more ways they can (expletive) up, the more chances they (expletive) up. This guy’s got a lot of stuff that would lean him more likely to be a bust than a good player.”

Mr. Lisk seems pretty sure that:

Yeah, that’s not what the second law of thermodynamics basically says, but this scout’s take on entropy is quite refreshing.

Actually, for a non-technical summary, I think the scout's version is pretty good. The second law really can be interpreted in terms of the tendency of systems to occupy all of the available (coarse-grained) phase space.