Social organization: The thermodynamic basis
Summary: Why do individuals come to live (to move) together, to organize? Here, we pro-pose that organization is a reflection of the physics reality (bio and nonbio) thatit takes less power (useful energy, fuel, food, and exergy) to move 1 unit ofmass in bulk than to move 1 unit individually. The objective of this work isto establish the connection between energy engineering and social organiza-tion and to bring social organization under the big tent of physics. We illustratethe predictability of organization and its evolution with 2 simple models ofmovement on an area, one inanimate (river basins, generated by several rulesof construction) and the other animate (distribution of heated water for use inhuman settlements). The 2 models lead to the same conclusion: The movementbecomes more hierarchical as the size and complexity of the architectureincrease. The distributi on can be made more uniform (more equal) by impos-ing identical channels distributed uniformly over the area. The flow architec-ture becomes a grid instead of a tree; yet, even in designs with imposedequality, the hierarchy persists. This theoretical framework also reveals thephysical meaning of innovation: It is a local design change that liberates theflow over the entire territory inhabited by the organized movers.
Keywords: constructal, economies of scale, evolution, hierarchy, innovation, organization, wealth, inequality