Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

Fast Entropy, PHE And Psychohistory

PHE - Physical History and Economics - is an attempt to derive social science from physics. Researcher Mark Ciotola hopes that, just as the laws of physics are invariant, a unified science of society would allow the analysis of any society across human experience.

PHE is enabled by the thermodynamic Fast Entropy approach. Simply put, fast entropy states that systems tend to configure themselves to maximixe the RATE of entropy production. Mathematically-speaking, Fast Entropy states that entropy production is subject to the Principle of Least Time. Life, intelligence and civilization are viewed as faster paths to a higher level of entropy. Fast Entropy can also be called the e th Law of Thermodynamics due to its strengthening of the Second Law and because it drives exponential growth.

This means that fast entropy can be utilized as Astronomers have gravity to hold together their universe. Fast entropy provides the social sciences with a unifying tendancy for social phenomena, or literally a social "gravity". Just as there is more to the universe than gravity, many other field such as psychology, economics, sociology, history, chemistry and biology bear upon PHE as well. PHE does not replace traditional social sciences, but rather provides a unifying framework.

If you're thinking that this idea sounds like Isaac Asimov's psychohistory from his 1951 novel Foundation, you're not the only one. The creative force behind PHE, American physical economist and professor of law Mark Ciotola, wrote this about Asimov's Foundation series:

Perhaps the greatest similarity is that both psychohistory and PHE invoke a statistical approach. Both approaches are much better at modeling the actions of very large groups of people rather than the actions of small groups or individuals. Hence, the actions of individuals cannot reliably be forecast, but the path of large societies can be more reliably forecast. Forecasts in both approaches are more properly expressed in probabilities than deterministically. PHE has not yet advanced to the accuracy attributed to psychohistory in the Foundation series.

There are several tremendous differences, most of which are because psychohistory focuses on mathematics and psychology, while PHE focuses on thermodynamics.

Psychohistory is constrained by the assumption that the response of populations to certain stimuli remains constant. Although this is a factor that PHE needs to account for, it is not PHE’s chief constraint. PHE assumes that the behavior of entire populations is constrained by laws of thermodynamics and related physical principles. In PHE, it is assumed that populations will tend to respond to thermodynamic opportunities and limitations in a roughly similar manner. PHE can be further constrained in terms of critical resources.

To learn more about Fast Entropy and PHE, take a look at Physical History and Economics (pdf) and the PHE and Fast Entropy research site. Other approaches to the topic are provided at these previous articles, Asimov's Psychohistory May Be Possible, Cliodynamics: Modeling Complex Societies Mathematically and TASC - DARPA's Psychohistory.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 7/2/2011)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Culture ")

SUCHO Saving Ukraine's Libraries Digitally
'No human mind could ever hope to master even a small portion of what was being received every second, Sam thought, but it would all be there...' - George Zebrowski, 1979.

Your Inner Sleeping Landscape Is An Advertiser's Dream
'The principle of the dream-machine was old.' - Edmond Hamilton, 1940.

Gas Prices Worse Than In 'I Am Legend'
Yes, I remember when gas was thirty cents per gallon; but that's about $1.75 in 2015 dollars. Ah, inflation.

Cooler Screens Deliver Ads To You, Their Captive Audience
'What was it Grandmother used to call their supermarket? Hell on earth, hell on wheels, something like that.' - Anne Warren Griffith, 1953.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

Your Martian Dream Home, Made By Fungi
'... it was the cheapest building material known.'

The Dune Ornithopter, Movie And Book
'The wings were at full spread-rest, their delicate metal interleavings extended.'

100X Improvement In DNA Information Storage
'A record that wouldn't get lost and couldn't be destroyed.'

NASA 'Holoports' Doctor Onto Space Station
Star Trek Voyager Emergency Medical Hologram

Should We Train AIs To Imagine A Future Of Horrific Disasters
'LET ME TELL YOU HOW MUCH I'VE COME TO HATE YOU SINCE I BEGAN TO LIVE.'

Mouth Haptics Invented By Frederik Pohl In 1965, CMU Now Has Prototype
'What he got was indeed a kiss. It was disconcerting. No kissing lips were visible.'

Two Towns Linked By Sculpture Portal In Real Time
'I am the Guardian of Forever.'

3D Printed Robotic Tentacles
'... articulate ropes of steel dangling'

Update: Musk Doubles Down On Optimus Prime Humanoid Robot
'I shall introduce myself. I am R. Daneel Olivaw... I am a robot. Were you not told?'

Elon Musk: Production Of Robotaxis In 2024
'How about the steering wheel... I don't need one.'

True Crime Live Podcasting In Fiction
'And loving it too, those millions. Bloodthirsty to the last one of them.'

AI Employment Decision Software Reconsidered By California Lawmakers
'They had screwed up and been blacklisted by Manna. They were back living with their parents or sleeping on the sofa with a friend.'

Six Ships Are Now Docked At The International Space Station!
It's getting crowded up there!

SUCHO Saving Ukraine's Libraries Digitally
'No human mind could ever hope to master even a small portion of what was being received every second, Sam thought, but it would all be there...'

Optimus Prime Tesla Robot Overall Humanoid Software Architecture
'I shall introduce myself. I am R. Daneel Olivaw... I am a robot. Were you not told?'

Vast Cosmic Structures And Spooky Alignments
'This postulates a force-field of partly electromagnetic character, generated by gyromagnetic action within atomic nuclei near the center of the galaxy.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.