The Maximum Power Principle

Evolution Under The Maximum Power Principle

by Jay Hanson, 11/12/13, minor revisions 4/6/15

… in the first place, I put forth a general inclination of all mankind a perpetual and restless desire of power after power, that ceaseth only in death. — Thomas Hobbes, LEVIATHAN

The destruction of the natural world is not the result of global capitalism, industrialisation, “Western civilisation” or any flaw in human institutions. It is a consequence of the evolutionary success of an exceptionally rapacious primate. Throughout all of history and prehistory, human advance has coincided with ecological devastation. — John Gray, STRAW DOGS

…it may be time to recognize the maximum power principle as the fourth thermodynamic law as suggested by Lotka. — H.T.Odum, 1994

Maximum power principle

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Maximum Power Principle in Energy Systems Language adapted from Odum and Odum 2000, p. 38

The maximum power principle has been proposed as the fourth principle of energetics in open system thermodynamics, where an example of an open system is a biological cell. According to Howard T. Odum (H.T.Odum 1995, p. 311), “The maximum power principle can be stated: During self-organization, system designs develop and prevail that maximize power intake, energy transformation, and those uses that reinforce production and efficiency.”

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