CEO Entropy

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Chief Entropy Officer?

I routinely am asked about the "Chief Entropy Officer" title and what it means.  Surprisingly, many people do not know what the word entropy means.  Ironically, this is one of the few things I remember from my mandatory science classes in school (it took me 3 tries to pass Biology and almost kept me from receiving my degree - ironically, I ended up marrying a Biologist).

Simply put, entropy means being in a state of disarray and since the nature of the networking industry is constantly in flux, I thought this would be a good-natured play on the CEO title - and to let people know that I try not to take myself too seriously.  With that said, here is the dictionary definition for those who absolutely must know:

Entropy: A measure of the disorder of a system. Systems tend to go from a state of order (low entropy) to a state of maximum disorder (high entropy).

The entropy of a system is related to the amount of information it contains. A highly ordered system can be described using fewer bits of information than a disordered one. For example, a string containing one million "0"s can be described using run-length encoding as [("0", 1000000)] whereas a string of random symbols (e.g. bits, or characters) will be much harder, if not impossible, to compress in this way.

Shannon's formula gives the entropy H(M) of a message M in bits:

H(M) = -log2 p(M)

Where p(M) is the probability of message M.


Source: The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, 1993-1999 Denis Howe


However, I've also received this explanation from Owen Jacobs, Manager of Strategic Alliances at Kronos:

"a thermodynamic function that describes the natural movement of heated molecules from one body to another body that has less heated molecules"

Who'd have thought that a "business guy" would be so scientific?  :)

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