The Langoliers or Inevitable Entropy:
"The ultimate purpose of life is to facilitate entropy. We are the langoliers of the present reality." - Kurt Vonnegut
Stephen King's "The Langoliers"
When a plane passes through a mysterious time warp, several people find themselves utterly alone when the rest of the passengers and all of the crew vanish. Diverting the plane to Bangor, Maine, the survivors manage to land, where as they discover that time seems to stand still and that they seem to be the only people left on the planet. To complicate matters, mysterious creatures called Langoliers are chasing them. The Langoliers' work is to erase moments in time that have already passed into history. The survivors still exist because they were sleeping when the plane passed through the warp, and they conclude that if they can all be asleep once again when the plane returns, they will stay alive. However, one passenger must remain awake, and predestined to die, to pilot the plane on its return through the warp.
The movie version of "The Langoliers", produced for screen on ABC-TV, was filmed generally entirely in and around the Bangor International Airport, Maine (King's hometown) during the summer of 1995. King himself made a character part appearance in the film as Craig Toomy boss in a hallucination.
The concept of entropy has entered the domain of sociology, generally as a metaphor for chaos, disorder or dissipation of energy, rather than as a direct measure of thermodynamic or information entropy.
In the nineteenth century, a well-liked scientific notion suggested that entropy was gradually increasing, and therefore the universe was running down and eventually all motion would cease. When people realized that this would not happen for billions of years, if it happened at all, concern about this notion generally disappeared.
Entropy, historically, has often been associated with the amount of order, disorder, and or chaos in a thermodynamic system. The traditional definition of entropy is that it refers to changes in the status quo of the system and is a measure of "molecular disorder" and the amount of wasted energy in a dynamical energy transformation from one state or form to another. In this direction, a number of authors, in recent years, have derived exact entropy formulas to account for and measure disorder and order in atomic and molecular assemblies.
In science, the term "entropy" is generally interpreted in three distinct, but semi-related, ways, i.e. from macroscopic viewpoint (classical thermodynamics), a microscopic viewpoint (statistical thermodynamics), and an information viewpoint (information theory). Entropy in information theory is a fundamentally different concept from thermodynamic entropy. However, at a philosophical level, some argue that thermodynamic entropy can be interpreted as an application of the information entropy concept to a very particular set of physical questions.
The role of entropy in cosmology remains a controversial subject. Recent work has cast extensive doubt on the heat death hypothesis and the applicability of any simple thermodynamic model to the universe in general. Although entropy does increase in the model of an expanding universe, the maximum possible entropy rises much more rapidly and leads to an "entropy gap", thus pushing the system further away from equilibrium with each time increment. Other complicating factors, such as the energy density of the vacuum and macroscopic quantum effects, are difficult to reconcile with thermodynamical models, making any predictions of large-scale thermodynamics extremely difficult.