As Above, So Below: Universal Entropy

Considering that my ramblings have touched on the “as above, so below” maxim, i found this timely.  It is by user JackFlap at

To understand where I’m coming from with this topic I wanted to relay to you the plot of four movies.  Now, these four movies aren’t the only movies with this particular plot but I’m using these four because I just recently watched them and this topic dawned on me.  As a warning I’m letting you know that I will be revealing the plot of these four movies so if you had any inclination of watching these, you might want to skip the first section.

House Of Nine is a movie about nine people who awake in a house with no recollection of how they got there or why they were put there.  All attempts at escape from the house are futile and everything is tried.  They soon realize they are being watched as the subjects notice cameras all over the house.

All attempts at communication with whoever is on the other side of the cameras is useless.  After some time a voice is heard over an intercom in the house identifying himself as The Watcher.  The Watcher tells them that they are there to amuse him and that they are playing a game of survival.

The game ends when there is one person left alive.  The last person left alive will receive five million dollars cash.  Everyone is appalled by this and demand that they be set free.  The intercom is silent.

At first they all join together and resolve not to play this game.  After a while though the relationships degrade and people start killing each other.  The last person left standing gets a bag of cash and a door opens to a hallway which leads to a room with no exit and many other people holding bags of cash.

The Exam is a movie about eight people who have been selected for possible employment with a very prestigious, sought after, and powerful corporation.  Once you’re employed by these people, your life is drastically changed for the better.  Every one really wants a job with them.

The candidates are brought into a windowless room and sat at desks with a paper in front of them.  Someone called the Invigilator is in front of the room and tells them that they have eighty minutes to answer one question.  He also tells them that there are three simple rules that must be obeyed and the candidate who is found not following these rules will be disqualified.

The rules he states are that they are not allowed to attempt communication with him or the armed guard who is at the door to the room.  They cannot spoil the paper that is in front of them in any way.  They cannot leave the room for any reason.  He asks if there are any questions and no one flinches.  He starts the timer and leaves the room.

All of the candidates begin to turn their papers over to see the question and realize that they are all blank pieces of paper.  One candidate decides to take out a pen and begin to write why she should be selected for employment.  The guard comes over and escorts her out of the room for spoiling her paper.

The others begin to wonder if the question is printed with a special ink that can only be seen with certain kinds of light.  This fails and they wonder if the question is brought to the surface of the papers with a fluid that has possibly been infused in the water for the sprinkler system which they promptly trip and use the paper from the girl who was ejected to test it.  I mean they were selected for their smarts so they were using them to figure this out.

At wits end and desperately wanting the position with the mysterious corporation they begin to turn on each other and accuse one another of being a corporate plant.  Soon they surmise that eliminating the competition is what the test is about.  They begin to turn on each other and people begin dying.  One person is left and is given the job.

The Killing Room is a movie about four people who sign up for a psychological test for some quick cash.  They found out about the test from a small newspaper article.  The four are brought into a white room with a table and chairs that have been bolted to the floor.  A large and long two way mirror is positioned at the upper part of one of the walls and affords whoever is on the other side a perfect view of the room.

The four begin filling out a questionnaire and one guy seems to know the routine.  So he tells the other three what to put as they continue to answer the strange questions.  Another guy comes into the room with a briefcase and sits down with a questionnaire and begins to write on it.  He gets up and introduces himself as a doctor.

The participants presume that this is the guy in charge of the test and their money.  So the guy tells them that they are to do a standard psychological test that will last eight hours and at the end they will be paid two hundred and fifty dollars.  He says that some of them will be eliminated earlier as a consequence of their answers to the questions but not to worry because even if they leave early, they are still going to be paid the full amount.

The participants smile and the doctor tells them that the test begins as soon as he walks out the door.  He turns around slowly and asks the only woman in the room what her name was again.  Just as she is about to say it, he puts a pistol to her forehead and pulls the trigger.  Her brains fly out of the back of her head and the doctor quickly leaves the room.

The other three are left to realize their new reality with the corpse.  They are given questions like what number would the average American pick from 1 to 123?  The two participants with the closest answer will move on and the one with furthest answer will be eliminated and they are not allowed to all pick the same answer or they run the risk of all being eliminated.

A gun with one round is dropped in the room at one point and in the end only one participant survived and moved on.  He had a certain trait that the researchers were looking for.  The whole thing was a modern day MK Ultra program and a new scientist was being brought on board as the test played itself out so the new recruit could watch the methods employed to weed out the undesirables.

Breathing Room is a movie in which a girl awakens naked in a room with thirteen other people.  Everyone arrived the same way and took a jumper that had a number on the chest of it and put it on so they could be clothed.  They realize there is no way out and that they are being filmed.

Try as they might, there is no way out or no way to communicate with whoever is on the other side of the cameras.  The players individually find hidden notes that have been placed for them though.  The notes say things like, don’t trust number four.  Or, number eleven has the key.  Paranoia is rampant so no one shares their secrets with each other.

The lights begin to go out at regular intervals and when the lights are put back on one of the players is dead and a clue is left with them.  Soon they begin accusing each other of being in on the whole mess and people begin to kill each other off.  One player is left who goes through a now open door.

On the other side of the door are people who are monitoring not only that room but several other rooms with the same game being played in each of them with different people.  The lone survivor asks one researcher if they found what they are looking for and he answers, as always.  The lone survivor then cleans herself up, disrobes and enters another room with different people acting as if she just appeared there.

The Wrap up

Now, in all of these movies we see a closed system that degrades into chaos.  The process is called entropy I believe.  I believe these movies were made to demonstrate this process as realistically as possible.


Statistical mechanics demonstrates that entropy is governed by probability, thus allowing for a decrease in disorder even in a closed system. Although this is possible, such an event has a small probability of occurring, making it unlikely. Even if such an event were to occur, it would result in a transient decrease that would affect only a limited number of particles in the system.

Consider that the particles in the system are the people depicted in these movies.  Notice that it is possible for that system to actually decrease in disorder but it has such a small probability of occurring that it is very unlikely.  Even if it did happen, only a limited number of particles or people would be affected.

Now consider our own planet and what kind of a system it is.  Consider our universe and what kind of a system it is.  I can see them as closed systems independent of each other.  Do we find ourselves in a closed system with no recollection of how we got here?  Is there someone on the other side of the camera?  We may slow the process down with tall tales of how we appeared and rationalize our existence but how long can we hold it off?


On the large scale, it’s correct that the universe will tend toward chaos and disorder. It is also true that “pockets” within a closed system can exchange energy, thereby causing temporary increases in order.

People within the closed system can exchange energy and cause temporary increases in orderTemporary.

2 Responses to “As Above, So Below: Universal Entropy”

  1. I’ve seen two of these four movies. Once I get past them, I will have to get back to this post, I don’t want to spoil it.

  2. I just saw all of these movies and I have to say they are all great. I think The Cube movies should have been included on this list. The process of Entropy makes a lot of sense, I never thought of it that way.

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