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Survey Says To UK — Repeal Laws of Thermodynamics 208

Posted by kdawson
from the einstein-is-next-up-against-the-wall dept.
mostxlnt writes "As we noted, the new Tory UK government has launched a website asking its subjects which laws they'd most like repealed. There are proposals up for repeal of the Laws of Thermodynamics: Second, Third, and all (discussion thread on this one closed by a moderator). One comment on the Third [now apparently deleted] elucidated: 'Without the Third Law of Thermodynamics, it would be possible to build machines that would last forever and provide an endless source of cheap energy. thus solving both potential crises in energy supply as well as solving the greenhouse gas problem in one step... simples... eh?'"
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Survey Says To UK — Repeal Laws of Thermodynamics

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  • idiots pour through.

    • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @01:21AM (#32806870)
      Not idiots, just trolls who want a few lulz.
    • by fractoid (1076465) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @01:42AM (#32806996) Homepage
      Parent is a restatement of the second law of Thermodynamics. Idiots flow from areas with fewer idiots to areas with more idiots, but it takes work to reverse the flow and decrease the idiot density of one (low-density) area while increasing the idiot density of another, higher-idiot-density area.
      • by w0mprat (1317953) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @02:18AM (#32807192)

        Idiots flow from areas with fewer idiots to areas with more idiots, but it takes work to reverse the flow and decrease the idiot density of one (low-density) area while increasing the idiot density of another, higher-idiot-density area.

        Now demonstrated to be false since the discovery of Quantum Bogodynamics, back in the early days of IT. http://wikibin.org/articles/quantum-bogodynamics.html [wikibin.org] Idiots flow from idiot-dense areas to low idiot density - non-idiots must work hard to either keep idiots out. This force is transmitted by an Idiot giving up a particle of Bogon which is absorbed by a non-idiot. Thus manifesting as an attractive force.

        This is why the most beautifully engineered and brilliant machines will fail in the most spectacular way when the strongest bogon emitters are invariably attracted to them. This is why Lamborghinis seem to spontanously catch on fire but that old Toyota Corolla you can't can't kill.

        • by fractoid (1076465)
          Aw bugger, I got the first bit the wrong way round. Oh well, it was only a simple sign error... and the second bit, I hope, made it clear what I meant. :P
        • This new theory could lead to the large head-on collider to discover the until now mythical higgs-moron particle.
      • by CAIMLAS (41445) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @02:20AM (#32807204) Homepage

        Did parent and GP just describe the influx of people from high-replacement rural areas to low-replacement urban areas, or did I miss something?

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Tablizer (95088)

        Fox News has prior art. You're gonna get sued.

      • But all it would take to reduce the idiot flux in a particular place (say my office) would be to place an idiot detecting demon at the front door. When an idiot approaches the demon closes the door. When a non-idiot approaches the demon opens the door.

        Now to explain this to management...

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by fractoid (1076465)
          The problem is that the idiot-detecting demon at the front door (let's call him Maxwell) will, sadly, become more stupid with each idiot he allows to walk outward, and each idiot he refuses entry. Ultimately, Maxwell will be enough of an idiot that he will fail to function.

          ...don't you hate it when you take an analogy way too far and still, somehow, it holds?
          • by Ihmhi (1206036)

            I'd love to visit Maxwell's house. I bet he has good coffee.

            • Nahhh. The idiot burns his damned coffee. If you can find the Folger's demon, he has pretty decent coffee. To get better coffee, you have to get fresh ground and freshly roasted beans. But, you probably knew that already . . .

      • I call the reversal of the process Idiostmotic Pressure.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @01:53AM (#32807068)

      idiots pour through.

      Whereas most smart people in Britain would rather repeal the law that Americans don't get British sarcasm and wit, but sadly that also seems to be an unchangeable law of nature...

    • by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @02:25AM (#32807230) Journal
      When you are caught break a regular law (speeding, larceny, etc.), you can expect to be punished with a fine or worse.

      If you manage to break any of the Laws of Thermodynamics, you can expect to be lauded, copied, co-author a stream of high-impact papers, get offered some cushy sinecures, and eventually receive a Nobel prize.

      The far likelier outcome, of course, is to be given an Ignobel prize, for a fruitless and ill-conceived waste of effort. I suspect the UK government can look forward to at least an honorable mention at the next Ig award ceremonies.
      • by fractoid (1076465)
        "Lisa! In this house we OBEY the laws of thermodynamics!" - Homer Simpson
      • by itsdapead (734413)

        If you manage to break any of the Laws of Thermodynamics, you can expect to be lauded, copied, co-author a stream of high-impact papers, get offered some cushy sinecures, and eventually receive a Nobel prize.

        ...which may be some consolation as your body tempreature spontaneously drops to 100 degrees below absolute zero...

      • by Muad'Dave (255648)

        When you are caught break a regular law (speeding, larceny, etc.), you can expect to be punished with a fine or worse.

        Over here, you get a citation for speeding (bad thing), and a citation for catching a large fish (a good thing). Confusing! What if you catch a large fish while speeding? Do the citations offset like in American football?

  • What about the first law?
  • by Luke has no name (1423139) <fox&cyberfoxfire,com> on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @01:20AM (#32806862)

    No other way.

  • Brilliant (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Government actually uses the internet for something potentially beneficial, and people troll it. I'm surprised there isn't anything related to lazers, mudkips, or Pedobear on there.

    • Re:Brilliant (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @01:25AM (#32806882)
      Well what the hell did you expect? The site is little more than theater - nobody in power is going to take it seriously one way or the other, so why not have a little fun with it?
      • How will you know? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by SuperKendall (25149) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @02:02AM (#32807126)

        Well what the hell did you expect? The site is little more than theater

        It is because people like you are making it one.

        What if it's real? Why try to kill something that might actually help before it has a chance to show if it's theater or not?

        Why is it so hard to believe that a group being voted in on a wave of people finding the government unreasonable, might in fact want to git rid of some of the more egregious laws that have sprung up? It seems pretty obvious if you get rid of very unpopular laws you (and your group) are going to win more elections. So the thought that it's theater did not occur to me, if for no other reason than politician self-interest - and do you really want to bet against THAT?

        • by Miseph (979059) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @02:37AM (#32807296) Journal

          Being theater is not mutually exclusive to being taken seriously. Just because they couldn't really care less, doesn't mean they are somehow above throwing the people a meaningless and symbolic bone to appease them. Never forget: good theater keeps the lights on and the players employed.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by excelsior_gr (969383)
          Because political parties are not even doing the things they promised *before* the elections. Should't they at least *try* to implement their political portfolios before they start pondering what their next move should be? In my opinion, this is just a distraction from their inneficiency to do what they promised, or at least something meaningfull. The fact that the discussion evolved into a Monty Python sketch shows that they cannot fool people any more with their rubbish. People are not taking them serious
          • by digitig (1056110)

            Because political parties are not even doing the things they promised *before* the elections. Should't they at least *try* to implement their political portfolios before they start pondering what their next move should be?

            This was in the LibDem "portfolio" -- their manifesto promised "we will introduce a Freedom Bill to restore the civil liberties that are so precious to the British character", and this is a step towards that. I think we need to take your "political parties are not even doing the things they promised *before* the elections" with a pinch of salt, given that you've just shown that you don't actually know what they promised.

        • by Tim C (15259)

          Not only that, but whatever government won the election was going to have an extremely tough time staying in power at the next one; the measures necessary to cut our country's deficit are unlikely to win many votes.

        • by FuckingNickName (1362625) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @04:39AM (#32807890) Journal

          Well, I could give you mounds of evidence, but here's what stands out:

          Clegg, the overt organiser of this circus, has sold out his Party to a power shak^Hring agreement, abandoning pretty much every core platform on which they established their vote. More insidiously, he's accepting arrangements which make it look like the LDs are pushing for their manifesto when in fact they're doing precisely the opposite. For example, his Party has steadfastly put voting reform to Proportional Representation at the top of the political agenda for decades, but now he is proposing the Alternative Voting method - a "compromise" system even less Proportional than FPTP which will inevitably be voted against in any referendum, ensuring the status quo.

          The LDs have always been the "Party who cares"[tm], i.e. proposes more than just slight tweaks, and they've always been laughed at because, "They'd never really do that and can only say that because they'll never get into power." Well, now they do have a certain degree of power. And they're doing none of what they said. Instead, as just illustrated, their method will be to listen, propose a "compromise" which no-one wants at all, then wait until it's not imposed and nothing changes at all. The exceptions will be where laws were already going to be tweaked, in which case this site will be used as an excuse (digital economy, personal welfare).

          tl;dr We are living in a representative democracy, not a direct democracy. There is neither the framework, education, means nor (most importantly) interest to listen directly to the people. Even referendums are barely an exception as they're worded precisely by the government and (hi, EU!) sometimes just repeated until the population is worn down and the right answer is obtained.

          • by pr0nbot (313417)

            Alternative Voting method - a "compromise" system even less Proportional than FPTP

            [citation needed]

            • Explanation needed, perhaps, but not "citation".

              Try starting here [telegraph.co.uk]. Don't forget to follow the link giving the detail of LD Roy Jenkins' (RIP!) opinion.

              • by pr0nbot (313417)

                Hmm... my understanding was that the proportionality (fairness) of a voting system was not a matter of opinion, but rather a fairly well-defined area of mathematics, and so an assertion that AV was less fair than (say) STV or FPTP could be backed up some formulae and numbers.

                I'm not saying you're wrong - just that the finality with which you stated it made me want a solid, indisputable citation.

              • by Ragzouken (943900)

                Am I overlooking something is the only argument against AV in that article a complaint that people are stupid enough to for Labour?

          • by Ragzouken (943900)

            "which will inevitably be voted against in any referendum, ensuring the status quo."

            Why are you so sure of that?

    • Re:Brilliant (Score:4, Informative)

      by jd (1658) <imipak@noSPam.yahoo.com> on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @01:28AM (#32806904) Homepage Journal

      I suspect that nobody is really that bothered by laws requiring those under 16 to practice with the longbow or cabs to carry bails of hay. I also seriously doubt that many people even know that many laws, let alone which ones are absurd.

      • by Shimbo (100005)

        I suspect that nobody is really that bothered by laws requiring those under 16 to practice with the longbow or cabs to carry bails of hay.

        Generally, these stories are apocryphal, and were either never true or long ago repealed.

      • by Muad'Dave (255648)

        Obligatory Tiller's Rule correction: Units of hay are bales; bails appear on fishing reels, as handles on buckets, and in courtrooms (as in let out on bail).

        We now join our regularly-scheduled program [that is] already in progress.

  • Newsbiscuit, anyone? (Score:4, Informative)

    by boundary (1226600) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @01:25AM (#32806886)
    I think it's happening because of this article on a British clone of The Onion, called NewsBiscuit... http://www.newsbiscuit.com/2010/07/05/nick-clegg-to-repeal-second-law-of-thermodynamics/ [newsbiscuit.com]
  • by n2rjt (88804) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @01:37AM (#32806962) Journal

    I remember a news article that circulated around the communications company where I worked, on some April 1st, saying that Shannon's Law had been repealed, and the company was ready to release a new product offering high speed Internet access over HF on a 2.8 kHz channel. So, I'd vote for Shannon's Law to be repealed.

  • by 91degrees (207121) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @01:59AM (#32807110) Journal
    Here was I thinking we had a coalition of Tory and Libs.
    • by Rogerborg (306625) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @03:53AM (#32807692) Homepage

      Here was I thinking we had a coalition of Tory and Libs.

      Yup, the Libs think that too. Aren't they just adorable?

      • by iserlohn (49556)

        right.. go on.. one small step astray and off to another election..

        • by Rogerborg (306625)

          Oh, sure, they'll spit their dummies and force an election the instant the ink is dry on any new voting system that gives them even a sniff of real power, which is why the Cons will never let them have one.

          And they can't throw their toys out of the pram over the issue, because until they have a new system, they'll always be a minority party, and so they have to walk the talk about how it's possible for them to be part of a working coalition government. If they bring down the government under the current

  • by aauu (46157) * on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @01:59AM (#32807112) Homepage
    We need simple easy to remember mathmatical and physical constants. Alabama failed to pass this modification to the universe. Washington could do much better.
  • by Angst Badger (8636) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @02:02AM (#32807124)

    I actually thought about this once, not that I have any illusions about being able to do it; it was just a Gedankenexperiment. My conclusion was that if the Second Law was eliminated, the odds are good that somewhere in the universe some process would enter a feedback loop, producing ever more energy at an ever accelerating rate, and the first we'd know about it would be when the shock wave washed over us at a substantial fraction of the speed of light.

    The universe as it stands may be a raw deal, but most imaginable tweaks to the laws of physics make it even worse.

    • Precisely. Entropy provides the damping necessary to maintain a stable system.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tablizer (95088)

      The universe as it stands may be a raw deal, but most imaginable tweaks to the laws of physics make it even worse.

      The Winston Churchill rule: This is the worse universe, except for all others.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mrthoughtful (466814)

      Well actually, the British Empire is no more, so the effects of UK legislation would be limited to it's borders.
      I'm pretty sure that biological processes require 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, so life in the UK would cease, but all of UK neighbours would benefit from the energy leakage of from (possibly) the only non-singularity free of the second law.

    • by selven (1556643)

      Repealing the second law of thermodynamics doesn't repeal conservation of energy. If we can, I'd say why not - with the law intact you can't live forever.

  • Correction (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @02:26AM (#32807232)

    the new Tory UK government has

    It's not a Tory government, it's a coalition government.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @02:35AM (#32807284)

    http://yourfreedom.hmg.gov.uk/restoring-civil-liberties/repeal-the-british-north-america-act-1867

  • Just trolls (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @02:36AM (#32807288)

    It's a joke, amazed that you guys think these submissions are from idiots that believe this is possible. It's a British site, we enjoy taking the piss out of government crap.

  • by perryizgr8 (1370173) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @03:07AM (#32807474)

    ...rule 34?
    is it a law?

  • How is this news? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by deblau (68023) <slashdot.25.flickboy@spamgourmet.com> on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @03:33AM (#32807610) Journal

    I mean really, it's not even tagged "Funny". Probably because people trolling what appears to be a legitimate attempt by an oppressive government to actually be, you know, less oppressive, really isn't funny to begin with.

    Same goes for the previous "story", whose title is not just grossly misleading, but plain wrong. Curiously, these two stories have the same editor. And yes, I'm willing to risk my karma to point this out.

    • by mike2R (721965)

      Probably because people trolling what appears to be a legitimate attempt by an oppressive government to actually be, you know, less oppressive, really isn't funny to begin with.

      That's cute. My own interpretation would be: attempt to grab a few headlines and sound like we're listening while continuing to do what we would have done anyway. We've had this kind of shit for 13 years (No 10 petitions anyone?) and if the new government seriously thinks people are going to fall for it just because it's a differen

    • by Tim C (15259)

      Has anyone ever lost karma for pointing out that kdawson is a bit of an idiot?

  • ... politicians had it wrong, reduce law to increase order.
  • The most worrying thing is that I wouldn't put it past the government to pass a law repealing the third law of thermodynamics!

    I was quite impressed with the Monster Raving Loony party's campaign this year. Introduction of a 99p coin to save on change was genius, but this definitely tops it.

  • Is it that hard yanks to get your head around the idea of a coalition government? For two parties to work together?

    The new UK government is a coalition between the Tories and Liberals. And they should rule the country for the next 5 months... This has been extended from the original estimate of 5 weeks.

Dennis Ritchie is twice as bright as Steve Jobs, and only half wrong. -- Jim Gettys

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