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Invi tati on t o an Ent erpri se: From Physi cs

t o Worl d Hi st ory t o t he St udy of
Ci vi l i zat i ons
Part A.
Landmarks, principles, evolution. The modern scientific
enterprisethat beganwithNewtonabout threecenturies ago with
his 'WorldView' (space, time, matter, force, andthelaws of
motion) andhis 'Systemof theWorld' (or worldmachinemodel)
has inthelast century developedthecapacity totreat physically
complex systems. For somethreedecades, our interdisciplinary
grouphas beendevelopingastrategy or model for studyingsuch
systems. Wecall this model 'homeokinetics' (HK). Thepurpose
of this paper, interdisciplinary incharacter andauthorshipbut
centrally physical, is tooutlinebothahistory of thenatural sub-
ject study of civilizations, whicharethehighest formof human
social organization, andtocompletetheintroductionof sucha
scienceintimefor thenewmillennium.
Suitablematerial tobegintostudy theenterpriseis append-
ed, startingfromRandall 1940
andfollowedby aremarkable
interdisciplinary conference, Temperature, its Measurement and
Control in Science and Industry 1941
, sponsored by the
American Physical Society, the U.S. National Bureau of
Standards, dozens of Americanengineeringsocieties andcompa-
nies, andthecommunity of physiologists concernedwithtem-
perature, thermoregulationandenergetic or metabolic regulation.
WhilePercy Bridgman's book on'dimensional analysis', mathe-
matical scalingof complex system's processes, andhis 'opera-
tional' philosophy of sciencewas writtenin1927
(see, for exam-
ple, Encyc. Brit. 1975
onBridgman), thebasis for general scal-
ingof issues involvingsystems' stability (Buckingham's pi num-
bers) finds its introductioninthat first Temperature symposium.
Whilephysiological study or thebiophysics of metabolic and
temperatureregulationmay seemtohavereachedthebiological
organism, they still have not reached the social regulating
processes. That seems tohaveemergedinthe19
Century inthe
sheaf of disciplines knownas sociology (Saint- Simon, Comte,
Durkheim, Marx, Spencer, Ward, Weber, etc.), anthropology
(Morgan, Tylor), economics (AdamSmith, Marx-Engels), histo-
ry, includingworldhistory (distributed, rather thanconfined,
fromHerodotus on, reachinguptoworldprehistory by the1950s
and1960s withcarbondatingof fossil material andsystems, e.g.,
seesuchmaterial as G. Clark's writingonworld prehistory
(1969), nowreachingtoMcNeill andhis worldhistory, thestyle
of ecologically founded world history pursued by the
Braudelians, andthework of several ISCSC members, e.g.,
Hord, Hewes, and one of us [Wilkinson]), and politics
(Aristotelian and Renaissance beginnings leading to the
Enlightenment, thenontoHume, Bentham, deToqueville, and
What is only poorly knownis that thediscipline, nowcalled
sociology, was at first referredtoas social physics (morepre-
cisely physiquemorale) inthelineof scholars fromSaint-Simon
andtransmuted into sociology by Comte (seeChapter 6in
Iberall, Wilkinson, White1993
), followedthenby Spencer and
Ward. Nor didtheideaof aphysically basedsocial scienceexpire
Century. Infact in1950, J. Stewart
put forthamani-
festoinaphysics journal, signedby many scientists, callingfor
suchsocial physics study.
The processes that finally connect a social physics for
humans withmoderncivilizations arefirst that thesocial matrix
or mediais an'ocean' or collectiveof cultureandcultures, and,
second, that 'ocean' acts as a'solvent' or carrier for thepolitical
- command-control - andeconomic processes for social action
includingtheinteractions or exchanges withinor amongcultures
topermit thecollectivetosurvive.
Likely, akeynote for such disciplinary study was Karl
Polanyi's 1957foundationfor ananthropologically - basedstudy
of political economics (as valueinexchangesystems) inachap-
ter inPolanyi, Arensberg, Pearson(eds.)
. Wehaveprovidedan
HK primer for thestudy of civilizations (andagreat deal else) in
Foundations ..
, awork whichalsocontains pieces, touchingon
biological, social, andgeophysical systems, publishedfrom1984
Somesourcebooks for bothour contributions of anHK
natureintheliteratureof various other disciplines, that arealso
relevant tothestudy of civilizations, areMoore
Yates (ed.)
ininterdisciplinary sciencefor physical, biological,
social, geophysical systems; Karnes (ed.)
ininternational polit-
ical study; Modelski (ed.)" ininternational relations. Intheend-
notes tothis article, weseparateout our individual pieces inthe
publicationCCR, or material presentedat or for ISCSC meetings
or purposes 12
Civilizations andSocial Physics
Members of theISCSC, past andpresent, may continueto
wonder what asocial physics has todo withthestudy of civi-
lizations. Why infact havewewrittenso many suchpieces inthis
society's publications? They may besurprisedtolearnthat the
first author of this paper walkedintotheorganizingmeetingof
theISCSC in1971withtheideaandexpectationof developing
suchanewscience; whenherecognizedthat aclassmatefrom
CCNY in the 1930s, the NewSchool of Social Research
Weberian, BenNelson, was comingonboardas its first presi-
dent, theresoonwas amplereasonfor undertakingsuchstudy.
Thus it may beworthsomenotetoinspect howandwhenour list
of papers accumulatedinISCSC archives. That provides one
thirdof thereasons for writingthis paper.
A secondthirdwas expressedinarecent society letter from
Matt Melko, datedJuly 7, 1999. Heconfesses nowbeginningto
work onhis last book, totry toanswer questions hehadraisedin
abook thirty years earlier on The Nature of Civilizations.
Regardingthis piecetobeaproclamation, perhaps similar to
Stewart's manifesto, onsocial physics, Melkoinquires as towhat
basic questions doweanswer onthenatureof civilizations?
Thethirdset of reasons for this paper relates toanother meet-
ingthat was heldinMarch1999, as thecentennial meetingof the
AmericanPhysical Society. Theavowedpurposeof that meeting,
whichbrought morethan10,000members of thesociety togeth-
er, as avery considerablefractionof thetotal Americanmember-
ship, was toput forthanintroductiontophysics for thenew-
soon-to-be- millennium. Threephysicists (thefirst threeauthors
of this article) believedthat thetimehadcometoreally introduce
our subject, asocial physics suitablefor all humangroupsizes up
throughcivilizations, tothat community properly. Thus it also
seems appropriatetotry tooffer bothcommunities, APS and
ISCSC, acommonly foundeddeclarational keynote. As wehave
spelledout, it is not thefirst suchdeclaration, but webelievethat
its timehas come. As we(nowincludingafourthcolleague,
Wilkinson) will try toshow, webelievethat our claimhas merit.
Sotocompletethis paper, weproposetodotwotasks. One, we
will put downinafewparagraphs, anoverviewof theideas that
wehavepresentedtophysicists. Webelieveour joint credentials
assures thevalidity of our physics constructs. Two, weoffer an
interpretationof that physical descriptionwhichis suitablefor
theISCSC community, andindoingsoanswer Melko's question:
Howis thedescriptionthat weoffer for social physics tobeused
at all of thevarious spaceandtimescales amongwhichsocial
processes for humans, includingthecivilizational process, oper-
atetobeusedas governing, so-calledcommand-control, sys-
tems? Thenext sectioncanrepresent our argument tothephysi-
Part B.
A General Social Physics: For Tomorrow, Next Year,
TheNext Century, The Millennium
This is a20'" Century subject whosetimetoemerge, as a
physics subdiscipline, has come [Stewart, AmJ Phys, May
]. Our interdisciplinary grouphas beenoccupiedwiththe
study, as physics for complex systems, for morethantwoanda
half decades (http://www.trincoll.edu/depts/psvc/homeokinetics/).
Complexity of Humans.
Peoplearenot pingpongballs. They arephysical-chemical
atomistic units - persons - who engageinavery broadtemporal
rangeof intrapersonal as well as interpersonal interactions. While
therangefor thetimescaleof theformer may cover alifetimeof
memories, its very commonoperational scaleis perhaps achar-
acteristic day of actionfor theindividual. Thecharacteristic scale
of thelatter interpersonal process is afewseconds of cognition(a
sensory perceptionor two, aspokenwordor sentence, ahug). An
essential element inour group's definitionof complexity is the
sizeof that timescalingratio(intratointer) neededtodescribe
thebehavior of asystem. If that ratiois large, it makes thecol-
lectivesystem, their social system, complex. Theintegratedprod-
uct of energy-timemeasures action. Thesocial collectivemay
either beasmall groupwho liveor work together successfully, an
organizedpolity, acivilization, or aspecies. That definitionof
complexity, at this level of unit andorganization, is not measured
inhunits of action(his Planck's universal constant whichdom-
inates fundamental particleinteractions of 'action'; inlay talk: its
activities), but as a'factory day' of actionH
for people. H
about 2,000kcal per Earthfactory day. For other mammalian
species, our biophysics has scaledH withthe4/5ths power of unit
adult body mass. Thus, humanfactory actionscaling, its meta-
bolic energy, is 2,000kcal-days per Earthfactory days. Theseare
thephysical definitions.
TheFluxes, theEquations of Stateandof Change
Theprocesses whosepersistencedefines andmaintains the
system, arefiveinnumber of types, Xj toXg. Xj is theenergy,
whichat theorganismlevel is thenominal metabolic flux of 2000
kcal per day per person, andat thesocial level includes all other
energy requirements. X2is theindividual flows of molecular
matter - e.g., carbohydrates, fats, proteins, andall other required
materials. X3is theperformanceof characteristic actions - e.g.,
rest, work, procreation, recreation. X4 is the demographic
process involvingmaintenance(andgrowth) of thepopulation
number. X5- for modernhumansocieties - refers totheeco-
nomic processes andvariables, andis given, by us, theshort-hand
descriptionof a"value-in-exchange" measure(To graspour
group's usageof theeconomic variable, inventedby humans out
of mind, thereader is againreferredtotheanthropological eco-
nomics of K. Polanyi
, rather thanthemathematical economics
of K. Arrow; seeS. Hook, Human Values andEconomic Policy).
If thesesystems arehierarchically complex, e.g., areboth
consumer as well as producer societies withcomplex command-
control governingprocesses, thebalanceextends tothoselevels
also. Thevariables, Xj toX5, will befoundtobeboundincom-
monby relations calledthe'Equations of State' that describe
their codependence. InadditiontotheEquations of State, there
will befound'Equations of Change' whichgivetherates of
changeof thevariables interms of theinternal andexternal
'forces' or 'potentials' that governanddrivethesystem.
Driving potentials
Human collective systems (including civilizations) are
embeddedinanEarth's environment that affords thefollowing
sheaf of drivingpotentials: a) Solar flux: b) Earth's atmospheric
temperaturepotential (moreproperly, thespecific energy per
degreeof freedom); c) Physical-chemical resources of support
platformEarth; d) On-board chemical genetic potential: e)
Technological ratepotential emergent fromphysical-chemical
brainthat suggests tool changes that augment andincreasethe
actionflowstreams (beginningamonghominids 2-3Mya); andf)
A valuesystemwhich- whilefoundationally physical-chemical
- currently has tobeidentifiedby behavioral categories - world
images of self, interpersonal relationships, of nature, of society.
of ritual andinstitution, of other livingorganisms, of technology
andculture, of spiritual causality (fathers, leaders, gods), of art
forms (abstract attentionattractioninsensory modes), inaweak
senseof capability for abstract rational thought.
[.PNAS-USA, Sept. 1985
; Foundations for Social andBiological Evolution,
; Phys. Today, Letters. Feb. 1994
; Science, Aug. 18, 1978
: Perspectives
inBiomechanics, Vol. 1, Part A, 1980
Part C.
Social physics depends onandinvolves fiveflowvariables.
That physics is essentially obligatory. Thereis aflowof energy,
2,000kcal/day per adult intheregion. Howdo youknowthat? It
is written on effectively every article of food in America.
Expressedontheleft handsideof theequation, theright hand
identifies all themoderatesources or causes that changethat
amount of daily energy. For example, youmay work harder, you
may absolutely loaf, socially youmay bepreventedfromacquir-
ingthat energy, theremay beother stresses put onyour body
organism, or inacollectivegroupyoumay findother ways to
changethat daily expenditure(e.g., youmay steal or plunder it
also). To study acivilizationunder theguidanceof social physics,
onemust mapandscaleits energy flows.
Second, thereis aflowof materials. Youknowthat. It is
drummedintoyour head. Youeat carbohydrates, proteins, fats or
oils, drink water, ingest somevitamins andminerals. Thereare
compendiaof other RDA's (requireddaily allowances) spelled
out for youinmany sources, includinganumber of government
agencies, societal groups, andthenews media(e.g., calcium,
iron, andthelike, by medical andconsumer groups). Of course,
youmay havecultural ideas onhowyour components aresup-
plied, but regardless of theform- filet mignon, horsemeat, fish,
chicken, beef, vegetables, fruits, etc., richor poor foods, - they all
serve. Youandyour leaders havetojuggletheright sideof the
equationtodetermine, onceagain, howthesupply is arrivedat or
changed. To study acivilizationaccordingtotheprogramof HK
social physics, onemust mapandscaleits material flows.
If youwereinvolvedas or withasimpleflowfield, your third
flowvariable would be the momentumflow, described by
Newton's lawof motion, intheformthat therateof changeof
momentumis givenby thenet force. (Theusual text formof the
law, involvingforce, mass andacceleration, is F =ma.) But ina
complex system, wehaveargued that thebits of changing
momentumareintegratedintothedaily modes of action, or activ-
ity; inlay terms, thethings that thecomplex organismic system
does. Intechnical physical language, animportant measureof an
actionmodeis, as previously alludedto, theproduct of theener-
gy andtimescaleof theaction. Intotal, theactionis 2,000kcal-
days per Earthfactory day for anadult human. That is theidea
whichis buriedinwhat is calledthecircadianrhythm.
But what constitutes or uses upthat energy are, first, the
maintenanceor survival modes. Of the2,000kcal, about 1300of
themareused upinmaintenance. Howdo weknowthat?
Experiments doneonprisoners, with"informed" consent, show
that humans becomemoribundat about 1700kcal (per factory
day). Thevicious Nazi experiments testedlevels of near starva-
tiondownto500kcal andalsoabsoluteuse-upstarvation. The
latter demonstrates howmany total kcal arestoredinthebody.
Less vicious experiments or accidental starvations showthelevel
tobeperhaps 30days or so intime. Thus 30days x 1300kcal (per
factory day) represents about 40,000-50.000kcal as theapproxi-
matestoragecapability of thetotal body. Another way totest
thosenumbers is by therulethat carbohydrateandproteinsupply
about 5kcal per gr. of 'food' whilefat supplies about 9kcal per
gr. Skippingwater content andbone, onecanimagineperhaps 25
pounds tobecannibalizeable(by 'us' them, or themus) froma
150poundhumanbeing. This amounts toabout 500gr./poundx
25pounds or 12,000grams total food, at about 6kcal per gr., or
about 70,000kcal. Thesetwonumbers, 50,000to70,000kcal,
check out as similar magnitudes of what your organismcarries.
To study acivilizationsociophysically, onemust mapandscale
its actionmodes
Canacollectivelivewiththosethreeflowvariables? Yes, but
it cannot persist. Provisionmust bemadefor population repro-
ductionfromits ancestors throughits successors. So thefourth
requirement is thereproductionrate. At steady state, thenumber
of peoplebornwholiveanexpectedlifelength(e.g., 40to90
years, but morethan20-30years) has toequal thenumber dying
per year (why not thefactory day of anEarthday? Becauserepro-
ductiontakes 9months humangestation, andrelatedtimes for
humansizedanimals, sothat ayear is amoresuitable'factory
day' for primateor other largemammal reproduction, whichbasi-
cally is arareaction, not doneevery day).
Wedonot operateat steady state. Nor arewepermittedto
operatefar abovesteady statefor any great lengthof time. The
Earthor other availableenvironment wouldrunout of stores.
Andwecannot operatetoofar belowsteady state. Thelocal
groupor species wouldget lost. Thus wehavehadtoshow, per
dataandtheory, that thebirthanddeathrates cyclearoundeach
other tobenear azeroequilibrium. Theneedfor amarginof safe-
ty against extinctioninthechemical genetic competitionwith
other species demands anaveragesmall positivenet rateof
increase (Demetrius 1984
). Humans for the past 120,000-
40,000years haveperformedinthat fashion. A small sampleof
national andregional populationgrowthandtheslowness of its
ratecanbeinspectedfor thepast 2,000years, withconnections
toperhaps 10,000ya, inMcEvedy andJones, 1978
. Thesubject
is alsoreviewedinasimplefashioninFoundations..
1and2. Tostudy acivilizationhomeokinetically, onemust map
andscaleits demographic flows. If youmanageazooor afarm
or ajail or afamily, or atribe, thesearethefour variables that you
havetotakecareof withinthegenetic andEarthpotentials. Now
for thedifficult fifthflowvariableinmoremodernhumansoci-
Value-inexchange; theModernEconomic Variable
Accordingtoour HK interpretation of human history, a
"phase" transition fromhunter-gatherer lifeto settlements
occurredwhentheviablelandareas of theEarthwereabout tobe
fully occupiedby hunter-gatherer groups. Theneedfor ahigher
density social organizationledtotheinvention-adoptionof the
technologies of farming, herding, mining. These, inturn, ledto
thestorageandaccountingof goods, andtotrade(andwar), thus
givingrisetothenewflowvariable, theeconomic variableof
value-in-exchange. (Notethat very muchearlier inevolutionary
history, similar "inventions" arose, as ingenetransfer andvari-
ous forms of symbiosis.) This newvalueis formedout of acom-
plex integrationprocess involvingall theother values, andinturn
influences thoseother values. Inparticular, wenotethat theeco-
nomic variableinfluences technology, andtechnology influences
Consider theproblemas it exists today andalso 10,000-
15,000ya(e.g., fromtheearliest Mesolithic, precivilizational
startupof theKebaran; seedataabstractedfromMellaart inde
Laet, et al UNESCOand reviewed in note 121, and also
FoundationsChapter 5). Inamodernlargepolity, e.g., USA,
EU, thereareperhaps 50-100M households. They range, politi-
cally andeconomically (as apolitical-economic variable) from
thepotential support level, measurednot incurrent or disinflated
indexedyear dollars, francs, marks, rubles, but inpoverty 'living-
level' units (costs for poverty level livingfor households (HH's)
as food, clothing, shelter, andother essential services requiredfor
lifesupport andpopulationmaintenance). This is our formof
acceptanceof thePolanyi anthropological exchangevaluesystem
notionintosocial physics. At oneendof thesocial spectrumare
thoseHH's that liveat aconsiderablefractionof apoverty level
unit (PLU) suchas 0.7. Inthemiddlearethosewho liveat the2-
5PLU level, andat theextremeareafewhundreds of the'elite';
C. Wright Mills amongothers is knownfor havingpopularized
that groupandits power. Or, sealedcurrently, Forbes lists yearly
thetop 'billionaires' (perhaps soontoreachthe 'trillionaire'
level, sincethey already exist at theonetenthtrillionairelevel),
who operatetheir HH's with100,000-10,000,000PLU's (at some
point representativeof conspicuous consumption?).
Althoughits validity has not beenadequately tested(both
experimentally andtheoretically), weexpect, inconsequenceof
our fundamental theoretic, that therewill beshowntoexist a
scalingrelationbetweenthepopulationof thelarger political
entities, includingcivilizations, andtheannual compensation -
their 'take' inPLU's - for theeliteat theelitemarginor thestart-
inglevel of that group(e.g., as what wehavebeenabletoidenti-
fy as thetopmost groupof about '500' HH's). That scalingtheo-
ry is adynamical theory of thegrowth, development, andevolu-
tionof thespecies intheworldwithtime. For humans that
growth coupling has existedfor thepast 11,000years (see
) of urbancivilizations. Theconnected scaling
takes placeby thecombinationof agricultureandother supply
potentials producing surplus, and technology being able to
increasingly exploit thesurplus.
Beyondindividual polities, consider the'world' picture, the
UN's 180oddpolities, withperhaps oneor twobillionHH's
(congratulations areinorder tofellowhumans; wehavejust
reachedapopulationof 6billionpersons) who alsorequiretheir
supra- total management. Thechallengeis toaccomplishthat
task inafashionamicabletoall concerned.
Amongorganizations who havetriedtostudy suchproblems,
onecannotecurrently that theMacArthur Foundationhas acom-
petitionfor thefollowingstatedpurposes: "To support innovation
andexcellenceintheanalysis of thecauses, nature, andconse-
quences of international conflict andcooperation andinthe
development of improvedunderstandings of social security and
"It seeks tosupport research...projects that promisetoillu-
minatethedynamics of international security, sustainability, and
cooperation...." Apparently, asecondsuchcompetitionis also
Webelievethat our social physics canilluminatethedynam-
ics of international relations. At least thetechnical organizationin
the community of International Relations, the International
Studies Association, statedin1986that our programoffers oneof
thefirst significant theoretically foundedprograms intheir field
Perhaps wemay intimefindinterestedsupporters who may take
theauthority of our assertionmoreseriously thanmerely anaca-
demic exercise.
Our colleague, co-author, DaveWilkinson, has put forththe
claimof onecentral civilizationintheISCSC community. We,
nowfour authors, do accept that thesocial physics of humanity
has beeninvolvedloosely or intermittently inonesuchcentral
'civilization' problemof organizationfor nearly thepast 15,000
years, andwepoint out howdifficult andintractabletheproblem
is giventhe500year near periodic epochfor individual cine-
matic (andkinematic) episodes that havealready occurredto
outlinethat epic drama. It is truly aserial Perils of Paulinemovie
for humanchildrentowrite, direct, andact in. At least witha
social physics backgroundfor thenext millennium, onecanmin-
imally biteoff pieces tochewon; withworldhistories likethose
of Barraclough, or McNeill, or theBraudelians, or twonoble
efforts by UNESCO, as well as Foundations .. heretohelpyou,
andtherearesomerudiments of ascript. Inrecapitulation, here
arethedrivingpotentials whichareneededtodrivethefive
1.Youhavetomanageyour pieceof theproblemof the
recordof flowvariables anddrivingpotentials for your own
organism(for 70-90years?), for your family's HH (evenas their
constitutionchanges inavariety of abodes andphases of your
life) regardless of howmany PLU's youoperatewith.
2. Beyondthat, youalsohavetocontrol thelarger problem:
management of thehighly organizedcongeries of producing, dis-
tributing, andmaintainingunits. Thesearebuilt ontheexisting
technological potentials andtheir changingrates, theso-called
economic productivity, as peoplearetoldtoviewthetechnolog-
ical scene. Werefer tothis inHK as thetechnological ratepoten-
tial, whereinweuse'tools' toaugment thecapability of our
organism-drivenactions. Inorder topermit that growingstruc-
ture-functionof populationtopersist inincreasinginthecivi-
lizations' phaseof humanity, it is essential andfundamental to
understandthat thedriveof technology andits changeis the
major process that makes suchgrowthpossible.
ActingontheHomosapiens formof our hominidkind, we
expandedout over theEarth. By about 11,000ya, growthintoa
local denseformof urbansettlements begantobesupportedby
technology producingagricultural surplus. Our human bodies
candirectly manageperhaps 500kcal of volitional actionduring
eachfactory day, applyingdirect drivingstresses uptothelevel
of our bonestructures. That got us our Homoancestors' hunter-
scavenger-gatherer lifestyle. However, withsuitably augmenting
tools - technology - andincludinglanguageandcooperation, we
nowmanagetoaugment that fractionof onehorsepower eachup
toperhaps anaveragenearer to100horsepower (literally, until it
begins toseriously compromisethetotal availability of power
storableinour Earth's total environment).
3. Beyondthat is themanagement of thepolitical scale, per-
haps 2-6years withinthelocal polities. Thenthereis thebio-
physical - biochemical - scaleof thegeneration: reproduction,
nurture, education, absorptionintotheproductivesuccessionof
generations, i.e., thenominal centennial problem, andbeyond
that thenominal millenniumproblem. Wenowfinally learnto
appreciatetherolefor avaluesystem- whichrelates tohowand
what command-control is exercisedfor, andthat it has tobe
sharedby elite, pauper, andpolitical-economic governor near-
elites alike.
Werepeat thevaluesystem- for humans - as aset of nine
worldimages andatenthcompartment relatingtorationality to
bedescribedbelow. Eventhoughthevalues all deal withreal
internal chemical potentials, wehumans do not treat themas
such. Neither do most other livingorganisms. Rather, wehumans
operatethemas humanmanagers of their enormous chemical
factory-ladencompanies whether they areour community, our
city, our nation, our beehive, our forest, or our particular species.
They arelikesomecomplex formof aDupont, Monsanto, Union
Carbide, Imperial Chemical, General Electric, etc., eachof whom
has dozens of plants strewnall throughout theEarth's environ-
ment. Inthat complex of operations, weseehowtheproduction,
thedistribution, andthelongtermmaintenanceemerges.
Wemay supposethat themetaphor whichdescribes what we
aretalkingabout is containedinthestatement that torunoneof
thosecomplex company systems, youdo not havetobeanexpert
chemist or scientist. Rather youhavetobeacompetent chemical
engineer who understands unit engineeringprocesses andis will-
ingtotakeguidancefromamoreexpert chemist onthereaction
details heor shewishes toentrain, or is willingby experimental
trials todevelopachemical chainthat provides sufficient yield.
That really expresses thedifferencebetweentheengineering
guidanceof asystemandscientific guidance(thescienceand
engineeringthat makeupour technology). Or, as another target-
ingremark indicates, youdo not havetoknowhowtodesigna
car, only todriveit andprovidesuitablemaintenanceprograms.
4.Wereturnonefinal timetothevaluesystemas adriving
potential. Thevaluesystemfor humans consists of tencompart-
ments or components. Nineareimages:
a. Of self andouter world(for Dupont, it is aspecific pro-
ductionplant, andthelocationandconditions whereby that par-
ticular plant is managed, etc.)
b. Of interpersonal relationships (as onelast illustration, for
Dupont it is thecollectionof unit processes that makeupinthe
plant, not the'organs' of theplant but theorganisms, so that the
plant canbeusedas ageneral purposemanufacturingunit, not
only oneproduct alone. Plant designers of suchturnkey opera-
tions really do understandhowtoprovidesuchworkingdesign,
andthey havehadsuchchangingandgrowingskills for millen-
niaof experiences. Youcanseethis intheearly learningexperi-
enceof various architects as they developedtheart of building
thepyramids that early pharaohs of 4-5millenniaago beganto
desire, andthey todesign.)
c. Of nature(youdo havetounderstandyour environment)
d. Of society
e. Of ritual andinstitution
f. Of other livingorganisms
g. Of technology, morebroadly of culture
h. Of spiritual causality (fathers, leaders, gods)
i. Of art forms (abstract representations designedtoattract
attentionwithinsensory modes)
j. Inaweak sense, thecapability of formingabstract rational
logical thought
Weassumethereader understands that thenumber andorga-
nizational level that this litany carries depends onthespecies.
"Lower" species do not havethesefull tencompartments. They
may only haveafewof thebottomones. Yet currently, mid1999,
experimental data is accruing that higher human planning
processes areapparently tobefoundat considerably lower pri-
mateorganizational structure, i.e., inrhesus monkeys" - learned
decisionmakingby assessingthevalueof eachpossibleresponse
(seePiatt, Glimcher, Nature, July 15) operatingout of suchdeci-
sioncompetenceat theneural level withintheparietal cortex
(Thearticle's authors statethat "in[thefree-choicethey havepre-
sentedtheir test bedandanimals], bothmonkeys andposterior
parietal neurons behavedas if they hadknowledgeof thegains
associated withdifferent actions. Thesefindings support the
hypothesis that thevariables that havebeenidentifiedby econo-
mists, psychologists andecologists as important indecision-mak-
ingarerepresentedinthenervous system.").
Wehavetoviewthis as strongsupport for our HK modeling,
evenif wedo not subscribetothethesis that thedecision-making
choices madearetoberepresentedby theeconomists' rank
orderingutility functionassessment. Just as werealizethat our
humanso-calledrationality is not quiteuptoanability torunand
designan'automatic factory'. Just as wedo not yet knowhowto
designacontroller that canhandleall aspects of themanagement
of aflyingsystem. Wearenot yet ready totrust evenanauto-
matic pilot tomanageall components of acontinental flight. It
cantakecareof asegment of smoothstraight flight, but not take-
off andlandingandweather conditions changingsuddenly. (Even
amodel airplanesystemis toocostly tobetrustedby its owner to
manageits ownflight. Heor shemanages it fromcontrols onthe
ground. Else, onesoonhas asmashedmodel).
Thereareother things that wecando andstill not do. Some
of us havebeenmarriedfor nearly 60years. It still remains adif-
ficult learningexperience.
Themajor lessonwebelievewehavetooffer for modern
humanlifeis that inorder tomaintainthecontinuedgrowthin
population, wehavehadtolearnanewformof symbiotic attach-
ment toanimals andplants, andevenminerals as managers and
lords of theland. Thus arises thestability transitionfromhuman
valuedindividual andgrouplifetovalue-in-exchangeandwealth
(whenE.coli took upresidenceinhumanguts, it may haveshort-
enedthespecies life, but it certainly madetheir livingso much
easier). Inthis brief paper, wecannot developour themes com-
pletely, only suggestively, so wemoveon.
Species management still remains adifficult learningexperi-
ence. As aminor notevery fewof us areMozart's, Beethoven's
or Brecht's inour art competence, e.g., of music.
Uponthosetwonotes, weclose.
A. Iberall retiredscholar, UCLA
F. Hassler systems andR&Dpolicy, US Dept. Transport.
H. Soodak Physics dept., CCNY
D. Wilkinson Political Sciencedept., UCLA
1. JohnRandall, TheMaking of theModern Mind (Houghton, Mifflin, Boston,
2. Temperature: ItsMeasurement and Control inScience and Industry (National
Bureauof Standards, D.C., 1941).
3. Percy Bridgman, TheLogic of Modern Physics (HarvardPress, Cambridge,
4. Encyc. Brit., Bridgman, Percy (1975).
5. Arthur Iberall, DavidWilkinsonandDougWhite. Foundations for Social and
Biological Evolution (Cri-de-Coeur. LagunaWoods, CA 1993).
6. JohnStewart, "TheDevelopment of Social Physics," Amer. J. of Physics , 18
(1950) pp.239-253.
7. Karl Polanyi inTradeandMarket intheEarly Empires: Economics in History
and Theory, eds. Karl Polanyi, Conrad Arensberg and Harry Pearson (Free Press,
Glencoe, IL.. 1957).
8. Alexander MooreCultural Anthropology: TheField Study of Human Beings
(CollegiatePress. SanDiego, 1992).
9. F. EugeneYates (ed.) Self-Organizing systems: TheEmergence of Order (Plenum
Press, NY 1987).
10. DavidWilkinsonandArthur Iberall "FromSystemsPhysicstoWorldPolitics:
InvitationtoanEnterprise," inPersistent Patterns andEmergent Structures ina Waning
Century, ed., M. Karnes (Praeger, NY 1986). Examinetheprefatory material andthefirst
twochapters. Thesecondchapter isby DWandAI.
11. Arthur Iberall and David Wilkinson "Dynamic Foundations for Complex
Systems" inExploring LongCycles, ed., GeorgeModelski (LynnRienner Publ., Boulder,
12. Material specificallybasedinISCSC archival sources, e.g., CCRor invitedpre-
a. Arthur Iberall "On the Thermodynamic Theory of History," General
Systems Yearbook, 19(1974) p. 201. Presentedat theinitial meetingof thesociety, devot-
edtohonoringToynbee; it was left out of theperiodical Mainsprings. Instead, it was final-
ly publishedinGeneral Systems after reviewby thephysicist Henry Margenau
b. Arthur Iberall "Physical Principlesfor OrganizingCivilizations." Invited
ISCSC post-banquet speaker's lecture, Bloomington, Indiana(May 30, 1981).
c. Commentator SessionISCSC. A seminar on"Iberall'sphysical modelingof
civilizations" (May 28, 1982).
d. Arthur Iberall andDavidWilkinson"A Physical Tutorial onHord's Review
of Iberall-Wilkinson inModelski's ExploringLongCycles" CCR, 24(Spring 1991)
e. Arthur Iberall and David Wilkinson "On DefiningCivilization" CCR,
f. (Threemorepapers cometomindbut donot easily springintohand. One,
Iberall preparedaninvitedpaper for the1980Annual ISCSC conferencefor sessions on
theeconomic originsof civilization(andas aresult was invitedtopresent apaper at the
organizingconferenceof theEasternEconomicsAssociation), and- further - preparation
for oneonthedeathof civilizations. Second, Iberall joinedWilkinsoninanattempt to
model theinitial humanur-language, or at least amodel for afewhandfulsof basic words.
Another thirdpaper andtalk was preparedas the'loyal opposition' toKuhn's presenta-
tiononanappropriateanniversary of asecondeditionof hisparadigmthesis. Melko, if
recalledcorrectly, was thethrust behindgettingKuhntoour meeting- upstateNY, rec-
ollectionsays. That critiquingtalk isengravedas Chapter 1inasmall book publishedin
our Gen.Tech.Serv. Inc. company, onNature. Life, MindandSociety, Iberall (1976). Early
in1999, thePhysicsNobelist StevenWeinbergreviewshisattackingcritiqueonKuhn's
days inthepages of theNY Review. Becauseof thecoincidenceof our dual writingagen-
erationapart, Iberall didcorrespondbriefly withWeinberg. Somehowphysiciststakea
different viewof thethemethandoothers).
g. Arthur Iberall andDougWhite"OnaCharacteristic 500year Process Time
inCulture-civilizations" CCR. 32{Spring1995) pp.146-162. Thispaper was initiallypre-
paredandpresentedtoISCSC at its17
annual meetingat HamptonUniversity inMay
1988. WhiteandIberall, withsomeaddedwork got it publishedin1988intheEuropean
geography journal, GeoJournal: for addedexposure, withthemagazineeditor'sapproval,
wepublishedit inour book Foundations... in1993. That book was supposedtobe
reviewedat our Dublinmeeting, but timedidnot permit anadequateperiodfor discus-
sion. Holton, ontheISCSC's board, thought that the500year piecewas soilluminating
that heofferedtoseethat it got publishedinCCR. Thus thefinal Spring1995versionpre-
sentedit inor under theambiguoustitleof aforum.
h. Robert Holton "A ResponsetoIberall" CCR. 32(Spring 1995) p. 163.
Holtondidus thegreat honor andcourtesy of abrief reviewof our 500-year model piece
inthat sameCCRjournal issue. Thestunningpoint hemadetous, incritiquingour
physics, was that wedidnot seemtopay any attentionwithinthat limitlessphysicstothe
communications aspects inthesocial system. Weresponded withdelight. First we
appendedalist of our contributions tocommunications sciencewhich, among other
sources, wehadbeenledby WarrenMcCullochandour Army research. Thenwepointed
out that wehadbeenaskedtoprepareatalk onlanguage, but it hadinadvertentlybeen
swept off theprogramayear earlier. Sowereworkedthat paper andit appears next, with
abrief introductiontothescene.
i. Arthur Iberall "A Friendly Countercomment toHolton" CCR, 35(Winter
1997) pp.63-66. That sceneis set by listingsomeof theHK bibliography inlanguageand
communication, as part of aphysics of complex systems.
j. Arthur Iberall andDavidWilkinson"OnUnderstandingLanguage" CCR, 35
(Winter 1997) pp.67-86. Inthispiecewhat hadbeenpromisedfor preparationayear ear-
lier nowappeared[As asmall buriedfootnote, sincethequestionhadbeenaskedoblique-
ly at onetimeby Melko, howcomethisbibliography isnot moreextensively festooned
withthewritingsof Wilkinsoninandfor ISCSC? Theanswer is simple. Wilkinson'swrit-
ings, withafewother people, havebasically dominatedISCSC analytic discussions. It
wouldbefoolishandbrashtoclaimit all for ISCSC. Thus weinHK cut himhismore
modest share. Inasimilar vein, theauthorsIberall. as well as Hassler andSoodak, donot
display their other scientific-technical writings. SinceIberall does claim, particularly,
interdisciplinarycontribution, if heselectedfromhisCV other pertinent writingbut not
confinedimmediatelytoISCSC archives, hewouldaddanother hundredor soadditional
references. That iscompletelyunseemly.]
k. Arthur Iberall - Book Review "Carroll Quigley on the Matrix of
Civilizations: A Dialectic" CCR. 39(Spring1998) pp.106-134. Why aor this"review"?
Because, regardingQuigley as oneof themost important contributorstocivilizational the-
ory, Melkowantedtohaveabroadspectrumof reviewers of Quigley'smainbook contri-
bution. Iberall was asuitablecounterpoint. Thus hewas invited. Thejobhadtobedone
responsibly andresponsively, andregardless of howthereader judgesthereviewit was
donewithconsiderablecare. A secondreason, connectedwiththefirst, was that Iberall
hadreviewedanimportant book, Cavalli-Sforza, for theJuneISCSC meetingat Pomona.
Thetotal subject that Cavalli-Sforzatreats withhiscolleagues was TheHistory and
Geography of Human Genes. It was acasethat Iberall'sinterdisciplinary background
includingphysiology andbiophysicswas thought tobeuseful inreviewingthebook. This
may havealsoinfluencedthenext flurry of reviews.
1. Arthur Iberall. Threebook reviews inCCR, 40(Spring1999) pp.90-105.
Readas aconnectedstring, they tell amost completeandpowerful story about atheory
andunfoldingatheory for civilizations. What thisauthor learnsfromhisownreviewwrit-
ingsisthat hestartedas acompletenoviceinthe1960s whenhehappenedby accident to
buy acopy of Mellaart'sEarliest Civilizations of theNewEast, whileonvacation, ina
small but gorgeous book storeinBermudawhichcarriedHudsonandThames books. And,
30oddyears later, henotesthat havingjoinedISCSC, foundanthropologistsandother
social scientiststobefriend, e.g., Wilkinson, andspent agreat deal of USArmy research
money, hecomesout withanoutlook andperhaps comparableknowledgetoMellaart's
also30years later. That iswhat thesereviewsof Spring1999tell thisauthor. Andsonow
thispiece. Joinus, wesay onceagaininour enterprise.
13. Arthur Iberall "Outlining Social Physics for Modern Societies: Locating
Cultures, Economics andPolitics: TheEnlightenment Reconsidered," PNAS-USA, 82
(1985) pp.5582-5584.
14. Letter andResponse. Arthur Iberall: P.W.Anderson. Physics TodayFeb. 1994.
15. Harry Soodak andArthur Iberall "Homeokinetics: A Physical Science for
Complex Systems," Science, 201(1978) pp.579-582.
16. Arthur Iberall, Harry Soodak, andConradArensberg"Homeokinetic Physicsof
Societies- A NewDiscipline: AutonomousGroups, Cultures, Polities," inPerspectives in
Biomechanics, Vol.1, Part A, eds., H. Ruel et al (HarwoodAcademic, NY 1980).
17. L.Demetrius "Self-organizationof Macromolecular Systems: TheNotionof
AdaptiveValue" PNAS-USA, 81(1984) pp.6068-6072.
18. C. McEvedy andR. Jones, Atlas of WorldPopulation History (PenguinBooks,
NY, 1978).
19. M. Piatt andP. Glimcher "Neural Correlatesof DecisionVariablesinParietal
Cortex," Nature, 400(1999) pp.233-238.