Information, Entropy, and Progress: A New Evolutionary Paradigm / Edition 1

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Market: Those in economics, especially thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, cybernetics, information theory, resource use, and evolutionary economic behavior. This book presents an innovative and challenging look at evolution on several scales, from the earth and its geology and chemistry to living organisms to social and economic systems. Applying the principles of thermodynamics and the concepts of information gathering and self- organization, the author characterizes the direction of evolution in each case as an accumulation of "distinguishability" information--a type of universal knowledge.
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Editorial Reviews

Ayres (environment, management, and economics; INSEAD, the international school of management in Fontainebleau, France) applies the fundamental concepts of phylogenic evolution to the development of socioeconomic systems and technological progress. Beginning with thermodynamics and adding information gathering and self-organization, he argues that all evolutionary phenomena are examples of deterministic chaos and can be characterized by increasing diversity, complexity, and stability. The basic arguments are accessible to nonspecialists, though some of the chapters on specific applications assume knowledge of the field. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780883189115
  • Publisher: American Institute of Physics
  • Publication date: 10/1/1997
  • Edition description: 1994
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 324
  • Product dimensions: 9.21 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Table of Contents

Partial Contents: Concepts, Definitions, and Analogies. Entropy & the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Irreversibility in Economics. Information. Theoretical Framework: What is Information? Joint & Conditional Probabilities. Information & Entropy. Physical evolution: From the Universe to the Earth. The Evolution of Matter. The First Picosecond & the Next Three Minutes. From Three Minutes to a Million Years. Geological & Biochemical Evolution. Geological Evolution of the Earth. Chemical Precursors. Digression: Other Unsolved Mysteries. Biological Evolution. Primitive Organisms. The Invention of Sexual Reproduction. Evolutionary Mechanisms & Discontinuities. Evolution in Human Social Systems. The Evolution of Cooperative Behavior. Games & Rational Choice in Social Systems. Evolution in Economic Systems. Evolution & Growth. The Problem of Economic Growth Revisited. Schumpeter's Contribution: Radical Innovation. The Economy as a Self- Organizing Information Processing System. The Analogy with Living Systems. Information Transformation and Value Added. Information Added by Materials Processing. Energy Conversion. Cost of Refining. Morphological Information. Labor as an Information Process. Ergonomic
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