express, in any terms applicable in physics, the change caused by having experienced death; even a close analogy to such a term will not do.

**2) ORDER**. Besides doubting that concepts of the inert world are adequate to ‘measure’ life, I have a problem with the use of order as an autonomously quantifiable concept. We use it to characterise a set of positional relationships between objects, events, phenomena, in space and/or time. As with all elements of the real world, the relative position of these elements in reality just ‘is’. ‘Order’ is a category, a concept we created to make a representation of that relationship, it is an instrument for gathering knowledge and making it fit for our use, just like colour and speed. It is an abstract, mathematical type of concept. Any application of that category, of that concept, requires the definition of the **dimensions** we will use to ‘catch’ the relative positions of the set of elements whose order we want to establish. The four classic and common-sense dimensions are the three dimensions of space plus time. We can also use fewer dimensions (1 for a line and 2 for a plane) or more (for virtual spaces).

These spatio-temporal relationships can play a role in the explanation of events, they can be part of the cause to which we ascribe the event. The sequence in space and time of the positions of a meteorite, and thus its trajectory and speed, will determine whether it will hit the atmosphere of our earth or pass it by. The importance of the position of various elements of reality in the chain of causality breeds the tendency to impute to that position an **autonomous** capability to influence events. Is that ever justified? I think not. and the purpose of this piece is to explain why.

The relative position of elements can have any causal effect only in conjunction with other attributes of these elements such as mass or energy. At least in physics there is no law which does not involve such additional elements. The first law of thermodynamics about the conservation of energy is applicable only if there is energy to conserve, and the laws of mechanics only if there is some mass. The ‘pure’ concept of order can be used in a purely descriptive way; but using it to explain a causal relationship can only be done in conjunction with other factors.

If order is to refer to more than the individual positions of the elements, it cannot be defined by a simple enumeration of their coordinates. It must also define a property of the relation between these positions, some rule by which we can generalize about them, like ‘all points which are grouped around a parabola’. In fact, that is its job. If we have determined such a relationship for two sets of data, we cannot from these relationships alone decide which set is more ordered than the other, unless we have a priori and in a totally conventional way defined a point of reference, such as a metre for length. Such a criterion has been developed and is widely used: the frequency distribution of points generated in a mathematical process involving probabilities of events to which we have assigned a probability. At one end are events all having the same probability, 0.5 in the case of two possible events, 0.25 with four events etc. At the other end are events which all have a probability of one (or zero, which can be converted to one by using their negation); such a set is totally determined, is not stochastic, is totally ordered. Order is measured by the place of the frequency distribution between theses extremes. As far as I know, that is the only generally accepted definition of a ‘quantity of order’.