F. Carvalho Rodrigues. 2023
Professor Emeritus at IADE - UEP Institute of Art, Design and Business. Member of the Lisbon Academy of Sciences and the Navy Academy, as well as the International Society of Astronautics and the Research Center Professor Doutor Joaquim Veríssimo Serrão. He belongs to the Supreme Council of the Historical Society of Portugal and is an Honorary Member of the National Association of Opticians (ANO), as well as of the Professional Union of Opticians-Optometrists (UPOOP)
Founding Partner and President of the AASO Consultative Committee
Photography: Homem Cardoso
It was the first day: The light. Lux, the light, appeared. The Lumen, the luminous radiation, started to be in everything; with all. On the fifth day, Lux comes to life. In the sixth, Homo Sapiens inhabited the Earth. He was the son of Cosmos, Lux, light and radiation. The nature of the Son of the Cosmos led him to contemplation. On the seventh day he rested.
Everything that revolved around him seemed to be tailored to him; anthropomorphic. It seemed to be the center of everything. But, after all, there was only Harmony when it was “the center everywhere and the periphery nowhere” *. With drawing and its daughter, geometry, he led the lumen, until it was lux in his mind. On that day he saw and built the Optics. And from the far away, he made it close. The tiny, invisible, brought him to the sensorial and intelligible. The diffuse became clear. With Optics he was enchanted with Lumina: the lights, the eyes, the windows, the glory, the honor, the ornament, the sublime.
It was time to abolish slavery. Homo Sapiens Sapiens then invented Energy. Calculate, calculate, measure, measure the energy with the product of the force times its displacement. The weight times the distance. As if energy were the measure of his tiredness in the path he took! Even today it is completely anthropomorphic.
With Optics and Energy, Homo Sapiens Sapiens felt the center of the Universe. Soon he was reminded that whenever there is only one center in the Universe, harmony breaks down.
In the changes, he found the most Universal Law: he joins Energy with Entropy, in the second Principle of Thermodynamics. It expresses the rule for Light to create Life and for entropy to serve as a rein that guides it to death.
Mathematics expresses the second principle with an inequality. Hence springs diversity; an equation has a finite number of solutions. An inequality, an infinity. It has been, then, little more than a century and a half that we have been faced with diversity being the rule and also with entropy, in a closed system, always growing. The greater the entropy, the closer to extinction.
And, Homo Sapiens Sapiens knew then that it was; he had become, the Entropic Man**.
There was only one way to be sustainable. Open, the system to decrease entropy. In an open system, the internal entropy can even decrease. When this happens, that decrease is the measure of sustainability. For the same energy, for equivalent action, much less entropy export means greater sustainability.
In order to carry out a detailed and codified engineering in chapters, articles, paragraphs, paragraphs, the Entropic Man has to make use of concepts and methods that, however, emanated from the second principle.
One that has been well known since 1902 is the one from “Mutual Aid”.
Another is to operate in a network of Manufacturers, Opticians, Opticians-Optometrists, Optometrists, Ophthalmologists, Optics Professionals to collect what would go to waste, i.e., much of the entropy exported in a closed system, and reuse it, in every way , until the entropy that remains is the minimum.
The third, in the case of the work of the Entropic Man, with Lux and Lumen, is to praise the Society of Friendship, supporting the opening of the borders of a closed system by having created and by being part of the vocation of AASO.
*in Blaise Pascal, Pensées, 1670
**in Vitorino Nemésio, pg. 20, “Age of the Atom, Crisis of Man”, Bertrand, 1976