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Entropy, Information or Communication

Basic Olicognograph: Thermodynamic Cautiously

Second Law of Thermodynamics, once again ...

"The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is one of the pillars of the physical sciences, and rightly so. Schrödinger characterized a living system as being, quintessentially, an embodiment of thermodynamic order - what he termed "negative entropy." Whereas the Second Law posits a general tendency toward energy dissipation and maximum disorder in nature (entropy), Schrödinger asserted that living systems are able to elude this fate by “extracting order” from their environments. Ilya Prigogine et. al. based a theory on treating living organisms as, in essence, “dissipative structures” that evolve via increased energy flows and successive perturbations or “bifurcations”. Brooks and Wiley laid claim to a “natural law of history.” In contrast with Prigogine, “biological evolution is an entropic process...Increasing complexity and self-organization arise as a result of, not at the expense of, increasing entropy.” But they relie on a new conception of informational entropy.

Swenson called for “law of maximum entropy production”. Others told us that “life emerges because thermodynamics mandates order from disorder whenever sufficient thermodynamic gradients and environmental conditions exist”. Economist Georgescu-Roegen also formulated a “fourth law of thermodynamics,” which he asserted governs economic life. He posited that, in a closed system like a human society, “material entropy must ultimately reach a maximum”. Kauffman and others also regularly invoke “self-organization” and “auto-catalysis” as inherent ordering influences in evolution".


Care not to open Pandora's box, and free all the devastating power of overall Entropy

Now what is important in our 'artistic perspectives' is common knowledge and ability to detect protentials of transformations and skillfully cautious; use them for "our common future". That is, understand the relative configuration of distributed maps of matter and (mostly material based) energies in the environment and most efficient ways of transformations toward our interest. But also to minimize damages, energetic releases, especially brutal expressions of entropy. Another way to say it, is to estimate the optimum information that can be required for driving wisefull transformations. This makes essential the ability to assess, balance, set criteria of efficiency, care and cautions as:

  • Maximal minimization of the levels of energy involved in transformations; but take into account a peak margin needed for obtaining the desired transformations (sort of energy of activation in complex transformations from one metastable state to another),
  • Consider also life as the maintainance of relative critical configurations allowing our existence,
  • Remind any opportunities and synergystic use of energy, exergy of excess or remain (and environment part of the system from which is extracted at the cost of more entropy, the resources of this maintenance or increased neguentropy),
  • Think that the metastable states, obtained should be socially manageable (by a safe social and natural environment, at minimum for resilience, at best for renewal),
  • Environment: be it social or ecologically, free of human massive "terminators" (or major natural or men made disasters) may react to abusing transformations, stress, activate resilience, then adapt (anyhow well but of lower anthropic utility),
  • Maintainance of artificial situations (say like an agriculture ager), generally implies energetic costs of maintenance, if not affecting thresholds dependent counter-over-reactions
  • Complexities of management, implies that principles of precaution may be too: non sustainable, have counterproductive effects when not important waste of means or very high costs.

Observe that human practices set categories "inducing-inductivelly" (if with enough logical tools for inducing a rigorous system) or "deductivelly-forcing" (when having developed enough covering tautologies) and unwiselly extend logical systems of analysis, as well as cultural prejudgments. So that transformers (engineers) may even forgive the anchors required by natural realism.

In our programs of actions or anthropic engineering, especially in infrastructures projects, we try to manage at least in 2 or 3 analytic registers. Like: 1) One reflecting the physical-materialistic where many social project of infrastructure have a strong ground; 2) A would be of social "ideological" representation, supposed to reflect how we see the social system, but made pragmatic, respectfull and translated into energetic values; 3) The bio-ecological system also in thermodynamics terms (even if complex).

Let it be made, for example, by the physical layer system of 3 values (the minimum cardinal for exploration: yes - no - doubt) be this ground or anchor for: matter - information - energy (thermodynamic). You may observe at that step mixtures and complexities making that nor the matter, nor the energy can be purelly separated concepts. Entropy, detailed would be an "intermediate concept of information" extracted from previous levels.

The social register system, taken similarly could be in a triadic system like: social - economics - political (to specify as realistically as possible: at humane distance). But for realist analysis, definitions (categories, classifications, ontologies) can be very diverse.

Consider also other Relevant Definitions to our energetic complex aprroaches:

  • Available Energy = Potential energy capable of doing work and being degraded in the process (Units: kilocalories, joules, BTUs, etc.),
  • Useful Energy = Available energy used to increase system production and efficiency (units: available joules, kilocalories, etc.),
  • Power = Useful energy flow per unit time (units: joules per time),
  • Emergy = Available energy of one kind previously required directly and indirectly to make a product or service (units: emjoules, emkilocalories, etc.),
  • Empower = Emergy flow per unit time (units: emjoules per unit time),
  • Work = An energy transformation process which results in a change in concentration or form of energy,
  • Transformity = Emergy per unit available energy of one kind (units: emjoule per joule),
  • Solar Emergy = Solar energy required directly and indirectly to make a product or service (units: solar emjoules),
  • Solar Empower = Solar emergy flow per unit time (units: solar emjoules per unit time),
  • Solar Transformity = Solar emergy per unit available energy (units: solar emjoules per joule).

Mis-correspondance between Entropy & Communication

There could be a gap (or mis-matches) between what are the really observed differenciated maps of energy, the entropic gains or losses (support of information used by processes of transformations and what is said about them and communicated to in another place, at not a simultaneous time and always to different people. That what make the fraud of communication. But different degrees of actors' rights and involvement make that there could be, after all, good or bad art of this fraud.

Many virtual pictures transmitted are officially called information. Here we suggest to care more the essential ground rather than only medias' enunciates. Indeed there is also the need for a proper vocabulary of sharable systemic). While suggesting what we are for caring humanes ' realities, as close as possible to communities (something like a collective empathy).

We do not think that "evidences" transmitted from other places, since other cultures, should be mismanaged. But it is often what geopolitics is doing, despite always having experts and consultants for explaining errors and meanings of events. Quite often experts' reputations depend more on saying what manipulators, from their own cultures, as expected to be eared. Less to understand what is going on in the real "battle fields of humanity".

Information in a proper sense should be seen as the real knowledge that has been useful, in enough amounts, in the proper place at the proper time to produced the transformations. These are ex-post conditions of analysis. Not necessarilly to requalify blindly them for the future. There are predictions' difficult to know since in a complex world (not oversimplified) and of what could effectively work next. In determinist modern dis-constructive open systems, poor care often prevail: because large provisions of matter, energy and pieces of structures have been imported and wasted. They often carry information that can save energies of transformations, but reconformation or reconfiguration of local energetic and matter maps; may have induced anti-developing, unsustainable reconfigurations in other places and times.

In traditional projects management there is the typical bias of "reports of information" that can nevertheless almost always succeed to show you positive results; but turn catastrophically negative some months or years later. Ignored, the laters by the artificial processes of communication. As an result we tend to prefer not to call traditional reports of projects or management full of wordy theories (not excludinf our own): essential information. Communication can be biased, very easilly manipulated and, above all, not properly rooted or anchored to objective physical world and system. Thermodynamic understanding (despite harder and unsensitive) makes information and communication itself may be not, even if nevertheless looking having sense in many circumstances because treated it so.

It is not to pretend that what is defined in economics and other kind of social sciences of report is just wrong and not supported by convenient technical coefficients or ratios (verified). Neither to take for granted anything that looks like engineers' stuff; but to think that it is more explicit and more "phenomenological" (evidenciable by reality) to mind that way. Care indeed with humane issues try to suggest to everyone to recognize that it can often be much more fruitfull to check issues according scales of technical parameters (energetic eficiencies, consumption of raw material, and so on), rather than conduct, untransparently perfectly modelized economics assessment of any project.

Somehow the purpose of working information is to catch the local disposition and disposal of. Have investigation, research and enquiry join transformations comprehension, but not necessarilly produce perfect monographies of cases (as international financial institutions do); since things are very uncertain and complex. But, processes of projects, able to understand (artfully), show efforts at the respect of local social logical maps. Actors should be able to make synthesis from time to time, to show that projects really care to understand, analyze and nurture strategies and tactics of implementation. Also to consider the objective human environment with sense of critic, care of legitimacy, choice and autonomy. Enhance capacity of proper treatment of pieces of consistent information (not propaganda and self-justification) Information well formated for people empowerment.

Nowadays socialization observed in the worked fields create many distorsions like with:

  • Completelly comprehensive report(s) for/from outside, waste time, create illusions, lie often about project's capability that they design more for their benefit. And often few brief pieces of technical synthesis, done byside of regular activities required by local processes can testify better that things go well,
  • Simple systems of enquiry near local relevant witnesses, not choosen by the process like critics from insiders or outsiders, as wrongly disguarded as dispicable,
  • Basic essential people capacities, may be simply ignored by foreign managers, not wanting independence happen on proper ground of skills,
  • Useful communication have nevertheless started on cultural capacities of skillfull management positive evolution (despite more concerned by costs savings).

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