A Potential Simple Analogous Heat Flow System to Explore Big History's Singularity Trend


Author: LePoire, David
Almanac: History & Mathematics:Investigating Past and Future

Many historical systems (e.g., civilizations) demonstrate trends towards acceleration of knowledge, energy flow, and complexity. These systems are far from thermal equilibrium as they depend on great flows of energy through them to maintain their structure, similar to Dissipative Dynamics Systems (DDS). This dissipation causes entropy, but while entropy is often associated with disorder, often ordered patterns can spontaneously develop in them to facilitate entropy generation. That is, entropy gradients (and the second law of thermodynamics) might be the driver to higher complexity. In addition, optimized engineered systems that are far from equilibrium, such as removing heat from electronic chips, also follows fractal pattern formation. A major trend in Big History is the singularity trend of complexity, which has substructure where the complexity tends to increase by a factor of about 3 for every shortening (by a factor
of ⅓) period. At the same time, the energy flow tends to increase at a slightly faster rate of about 4-5 within each period. This paper develops a simple analogous energy flow system that may help gain insight into this Big History trend, however, it is incomplete. Research areas are identified to tighten this approach.

Keywords: energy, environment, information, logistic.