October 29, 2012
Is the Obama Machine Running Out of Steam?
The science of thermodynamics may provide a means of assessing Obama's likelihood of re-election. Political machines are much like heat engines and tend to obey the same laws. In thermodynamics, all steam and fuel engines are treated as "heat engines," wherein a source of heat (red) is created and the heat is allowed to flow to the colder "sink" (blue) through the engine (yellow). Some of the flow is converted into useful work (purple), but a fraction of it must of necessity flow from hot to cold as waste or "increased entropy" (gray arrow) . A tyranny is much like a heat engine. It extracts labor and goods from its people and gives some of it back -- but keeps a fraction (gray arrow) for the ruling class and the supporting military. If this "graft" is too small, the regime loses support; if it keeps too much, it runs the risk of either a revolution or a collapse of incentive in the work force. Tyrants usually rely on a combination of...(Read Full Article)