BPE 2016

PBE 2016 + ISEE 2016 poster
A poster for the collocated joint BioPhysical Economics (BPE) 2016 + Ecological Economics (ISEE) 2016 conferences, 26-29 Jun 2016 at the University of District of Columbia, Washington, DC. [1]
In conferences, BPE 2016 or 7th BioPhysical Economics (BPE) 2016 Meeting, see: Hmolpedia notice (Ѻ), subtitled “Where Natural Science Meets Social Sciences” (Ѻ), a semi-themed sociophysics conference, in association with International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE), as coordinated by Ram Poudel, a conference originated by Charles Hall, with the original aims of studying “systems of humans and nature using ecosystems perspectives, that is, by studying material and energy flows, and applying this perspective to attempting to understand human economies from a biophysical rather than just social perspective.” (Ѻ)

The following is Libb Thims, Jurgen Mimkes, Ram Poudel, and Serge Galam discussing social physics at BPE 2016:

Thims, Mimkes, Poudel, and Galem
The following are other noted photos from the conference:
Thims and MimkesYakovenko, Mimkes, Thims
Libb Thims and Jurgen Mimkes, at BPE 2016 opening day reception; Thims holding a newly-minted copy of volume one of the 10-volume print set of Hmolpedia.Victor Yakovenko, Jurgen Mimkes, and Libb Thims, grabbing some lunch, between BPE 2016 workshops, at Starbucks.
Yakovenko, Ayres, Mimkes, ThimsReaction Existence (icon)
Victor Yakovenko, Robert Ayres, Jurgen Mimkes, and Libb Thims, at a conference workshop.A photo of the "reaction existence" icon, shown on Thims' specially-made conference shirt (adjacent left), the affinity-free energy equation shown at center, indicative of Thims' Lotka's Jabberwock talk (see: slide #5) on abioism, and the premise that one cannot, from the point of view of chemistry and physics, be alive, but one can be reactively existive.
Dinner photo 2
A group dinner, of some of the 2016 BPE presenters, showing: Mrs. Mimkes, Libb Thims, a conference attendee, Robert Ayres, George Mobus, John Bryant, Gail Tverberg, Jurgen Mimkes, and conference organizer Ram Poudel.
Yakovenko, Hall, Thims, Mimkes, PoudelYakovenko, Hall, Thims, Mimkes, and Mobus
Victor Yakovenko, Charles Hall, Libb Thims, Jurgen Mimkes, and Ram Poudel; Thims holding copy of Hall's 2011 Energy and the Wealth of Nations, wherein he employs Roegen-Daly school + Odum school stylized thermodynamics.Victor Yakovenko, Charles Hall, Libb Thims, Jurgen Mimkes, and George Mobus.
Galam and Thims (Washington Monument)Thims and Galam (Lincoln memorial)
Serge Galam and Libb Thims in front of the Washington Monument talking about the "Forrest" scene from the Forrest Gump.Libb Thims and Serge Galam at the Lincoln Memorial; Thims telling Galam how he had recently learned that Abraham Lincoln had used Euclidean logic in his political and presidential decisions (Galam having recently begun teaching "political physics", i.e. social physics based politics, course in Paris).
Thims (White House)Galam (White House)
Libb Thims and Serge Galam at White House, trying to get a meeting with American President Barack Obama, to see if he can enact an education reform law requiring that American students pass a course in sociophysics, such as James Madison was taught, via the Princeton social physics, before graduating from high school.
Thims (Jefferson Memorial)Jefferson education quoteGalam (Jefferson Memorial)

Libb Thims and Serge Galam at Jefferson Memorial; Thims and Galam spending a good amount of time at the Jefferson exhibit (at the level below the statue), showing, e.g., 1808 Jefferson education quote (shown), Jefferson's multi-swivel writing desk, and the Jefferson bookstore, whereat Thims bought Andrew Holowchak's 2014 Thomas Jefferson: Uncovering his Unique Philosophy and Vision, which touched on Jefferson's Epicurean materialism philosophy; Thims telling Galam how Thomas Jefferson amassed some 6,500 books in his time.

The following is an interesting division of knowledge diagram from the Jefferson Memorial exhibit:

Jefferson division of knowledge diagram

(add discussion)

BPE 2016 is scheduled to have the following noted speakers: [5]

Juergen Mimkes | Talk: Bio-Econo-Physics, Synthesis of Social and Natural Science?

Abstract: Thermodynamics is a very general theory that is applied in natural sciences, in physics, chemistry, engineering, metallurgy, meteorology and many other fields. The theory depends on two parameters, temperature and pressure based on calculus in two dimensions and leads to the first and second law of thermodynamics. The Carnot process of engines depends on two temperatures, hot and cold. The efficiency grows with the temperature difference.

Economic theory depends on two parameters, capital and labor. Double entry accounting leads to equations that correspond to the first and second law of thermodynamics. The oil price-fixing defines the equivalence of capital and energy and, accordingly, of economic and thermodynamic theory: surplus and heat, capital and energy, labor and work, production function and entropy, standard of living and temperature are the corresponding terms. Economic production is a two level Carnot process, the efficiency grows with the difference of income and costs. Companies work like motors and banks like heat pumps. Motors require hot and cold, companies capital and labor, banks investors and savers, economies rich and poor. In a running motor the difference between hot and cold grows, in a running economy the difference between rich and poor grows.

Biology is a natural science and depending on two parameters, resources and work, the mechanism to build bodies of plants and animals. Again the laws of thermodynamics apply: Life is heat, resources are food and other energies, information for the genetic code is given by entropy. The Carnot process of production is the blood cycle of animals and the chlorophyll cycle of plants. No new theory is required for the full understanding of biophysical economics. Only existing theories have to be reinterpreted. Thermodynamics is a powerful tool in natural and social sciences and biophysical economics an excellent example for the success of inter-disciplinary research.

Jing Chen | Talk: The Unity of Science and Economics: a New Foundation of Economic Theory

Abstract: Certain principles of established economic theories, such as perpetual growth or sustainable growth, are inconsistent with the physical principles. If an economic theory is more scientifically consistent, could it provide more accurate description of the reality? Many people may feel human societies are too complex to be described from physical principles. Life systems, which include human societies, are indeed very complex. But beneath this complexity lies two common properties. First, all life systems need to obtain resources from the environment to compensate for the continuous dissipation to maintain life. Second, for any life form to be viable, its cost to obtain resources cannot exceed the value of the resources over its life cycle. Similarly, for a business to be viable in the long term, its average cost of operation cannot exceed its revenue. Costs include fixed cost and variable cost.

The first property is a physical principle and the second property is an economic principle. In short, all organisms and organizations need to satisfy a physical principle and an economic principle. By applying mathematical techniques from quantum mechanics, financial economics and the information theory to these two principles, we have developed a mathematical theory of economics. This theory provides an analytical relation among main factors in economic activities. Many people have criticized mainstream economic theories for being inconsistent with physical principles. But it is often difficult connecting physical principles to specific economic policies, such as monetary policies, fiscal policies, retirement policies, health care policies, educational policies, and regulatory policies. Should the interest rate be higher or lower? Should the tax rate be higher or lower? Should the retirement age be later or earlier? Should governments spend more or less on medical systems? Should the number of years of mandatory education be increased or decreased? Can the magnitude of business cycles and financial crises be reduced? Should government regulate business activities more or less? Does the creation of a Euro zone benefit or harm Europe?

Through our mathematical theory, we can derive very specific long-term impacts of these economic policies. If it is so fruitful to study social issues based on observable quantities, why is the theoretical foundation of mainstream economics still based on utility, an unobservable quantity? Over half a century ago, George Zipf advocated that social sciences should be built on observable quantities. He further pointed out that the elite will resist this idea and use the power of academic appointment to deter people from pursuing this approach.

In general, the elite implement policies that favor themselves, often at the cost of the working class. Without a quantitative theory, the working class cannot measure the precise gains and losses of a particular policy to all the stakeholders involved. This is why the elite will suppress economic theories that are based on observable quantities. From our theory, it can be shown that many of the so called “unintended consequences” are really long term byproducts of the intended consequences for policymakers. Many of today’s social and economic problems arise from these “unintended consequences”. Over ten years ago, James Galbraith discussed the social environment within the profession of economists and the prospect of a theoretical revolution. He wrote:

“Leading active members of today's economics profession …… have joined together into a kind of politburo for correct economic thinking. As a general rule--as one might expect from a gentleman's club--this has placed them on the wrong side of every important policy issue, and not just recently but for decades. …… And when finally they sense that some position cannot be sustained, they do not re-examine their ideas. Instead, they simply change the subject. No one loses face, in this club, for having been wrong. No one is disinvited from presenting papers at later annual meetings. And still less is anyone from the outside invited in. ……”

The reduction of many of today's leading economists to footnote status is overdue. But would those economists recognize a theoretical revolution if one were to occur? One is entitled to doubt it. Being right doesn't count for much in this club. For a theoretical revolution to occur and to flourish, it requires the active participation of many people outside the politburo to champion a consistent and objective way of understanding economics. Our theory was first systematically summarized in The Physical Foundation of Economics: An Analytical Thermodynamic Theory (2005). This theory includes three parts: theory of mind, theory of value and theory of production. An update is presented in a new book, The Unity of Science and Economics: A New Foundation of Economic Theory (2016). The preface (Ѻ) of the book provides a detailed introduction of our theory.

Libb Thims | Talk: Lotka’s Jabberwock: On the ‘Bio’ of BioPhysical Economics (Ѻ)

Abstract (short): “The ‘B’ of BPE is not recognized by the ‘P’. Biology, as Lotka (1925) — the coiner of BPE — classified as a Jabberwocky-like ‘nonsense’ term, as Sherrington (1938) said is ‘not’ recognized by ‘P’, and as Crick (1966) — the co-discoverer of DNA — said should be ‘abandoned’, is not recognized by physics, thermodynamics, in particular, and therefore in immediate need of terminology reform. Thermodynamics, according to the Johnstone-Pavlovich rule, applies to some things and not to others, and the things which it does not apply are unreal and do not exist. Life, in short, is a ‘thing’ (fictional concept) that is not real and does not exist. Concept and terminology reform, accordingly, is in order.”

Abstract (full): Lotka’s Jabberwock

John Bryant
Abstract: [add]
Robert Ayres
Abstract: [add]
Stephen Ternyik
Abstract: [add]
Victor Yakovenko
Abstract: [add]
Ram Poudel
Abstract: [add]
Charles Hall
Abstract: [add]
● Bruce Boghosian | Since 2013, interested (Ѻ) in kinetic theory applied to economics.

The following dropped out:

Alfred Rogers | Talk: Life does not exist; dropped out [Apr 7], per financial reasons; with added note:

“I regret not being able to hear [Thims] speak, but here are some things about my views you might want to mention in your discourse: (a) The non-existence of life does not mean human existence is cheap. If you were building a fire with wood and someone handed you a Stadivarius you would not throw it in. Why not, it's wood? Because some lifeless things are much more valuable than others. Humans fit this logical position. (b) The non-existence of life eliminates the need for a creation mythbut it does not eliminate the need for a value system to support a moral code. In my value system happiness (not pleasure) is the primary value inconsciousnessthat exists only from birth to death. Happiness is more likely to occur in a moral system similar to that proposed by Jesus of Nazarath in the gospels. There are many drawbacks in any belief system that includes life after death, witness today's suicide bombers, but Christianity is such a wide-spread teaching system that it probably makes more sense to utilize it than to try to replace it. Therefore I support it. I put up my web site [LifeDoesNotExist.com] to keep my ideas from dying in my sock drawer. Your interest has kept the web site from dying in obscurity. For this I cannot thank you enough.”
Alfred Rogers (2016), “Email communicate to Libb Thims”, Apr 7

Update: stated (Apr 18) that he will send a video synopsis of him explaining his abioism position to Thims for conference.

Jason Smith | Talk: Information Equilibrium as an Economic Principle (Ѻ) | Dropped out (Ѻ) Mar 12

The ISEE portion of the event, of interest, is scheduled to include the following noted speakers:

Herman Daly | Talk:
● Michelle Obama | See: Barack Obama (and his universal principles model of justice)

(add discussion)

The following is the preliminary conference program, as of Feb 2016: [5]

BPE 2016 preliminary program 1
BPE 2016 preliminary program 2
The following are the time slots for the program:
BPE 2016 preliminary program 3
BPE 2016 preliminary program 4
(add discussion)

Two cultures | Department?
Some of the conference, at least in the after dinner meeting, at the suggestion of Ram Poudel in discussion with Libb Thims, will focus on group discussion about how to go about forming America's first fully-established two cultures department, an amalgamation, so to say, of the short-lived (see: two cultures synergy) and newly-forming precursors:

Lausanne school of physical economics | Leon Walras (1890-1923)
Oxford Chair of Social Physics | Florence Nightingale (1874-1991)
Harvard Pareto Circle | Lawrence Henderson (1932-1942)
Princeton Department of Social Physics | John Q. Stewart (1945-1955)
● Western Washington University Physical Chemical Sociology | Ed Stephan (1977-1995)
● Pitesti Econophysics and Sociophysics Department | Gheorghe Savoiu (2007-present)

thereby melding the physico-chemical sciences with the social sciences.
Charles Hall (2013)
Graduate student Rigoberto Melgar, Charles Hall, and Kent Kiltgaard, and another person, at the 5th BPE 2013 meeting (Ѻ), Hall and Kiltgaard holding their 2011 Energy and the Wealth of Nations: Understanding the Biophysical Economy. [3]

In 2006, Americans systems ecologist Charles Hall and economist Kent Klitgaard (Ѻ), in their “The Need for a New Biophysically-based Paradigm in Economics for the Second Half of the Age of Oil”, opened to the following abstract: [4]

“The realization that the conceptual base for much of conventional economics is quite flimsy is no longer news to either those who follow events within the field or to many interested outsiders in the natural sciences. For an easy example, since 1998 a surprisingly large number of Nobel Laureates in economics (Joseph Stiglitz, George Akerlof, Daniel Kahneman, Robert Aumann, Thomas Schelling, and Amartya Sen) were people whose worked challenged, in various very fundamental ways, the basic existing paradigm of conventional neoclassical economics. More fundamentally, some twenty years ago [1982] in the Science, Nobel prize winner in economics Wassily Leontief found the basic models of economics ‘unable to advance in any perceptible way a systematic understanding of the operation of a real economic system.’ Instead they were based on ‘sets of more or less plausible but entirely arbitrary assumptions [leading to] precisely stated but irrelevant theoretical conclusions.” He asked others in ‘demography, sociology, political science … ecology, biology, health sciences and engineering’ to assist in removing economics from the ‘splendid isolation in which it is found’.”

Here, firstly, of course, we are reminded of the famous Samuelson dissertation defense anecdote: [6]

“It is widely reported that at the end of Samuelson’s dissertation defense at Harvard, the great economist Joseph Schumpeter turned to Nobel Laureate, Wassily Leontief, and asked, ‘Well, Wassily, have we passed?’”

Secondly, we are keen that Leontief, in his 1953 mathematical economics publication “Mathematics in Economics”, being well-seasoned in deeper roots discussions of Irving Fisher, Edwin Wilson, Leon Walrus, and Vilfredo Pareto, was well-honed to reality, when he makes pressing assertions that the majority of modern economics is foundationless.

In 2008, the first BPE meeting was held in Syracuse, New York, under Hall's leadership.
BPE logo (Facebook)
A 2016 Facebook PBE logo, which brings to mind Alfred Lotka's 1925 photon mill model of biophysical economics. [7]

In 2010, Hall and Klitgaard published their Energy and the Wealth of Nations: Understanding the Biophysical Economy, pictured in photo, the abstract of which is as follows: [3]

“For the past 150 years, economics has been treated as a social science in which economies are modeled as a circular flow of income between producers and consumers. In this “perpetual motion” of interactions between firms that produce and households that consume, little or no accounting is given of the flow of energy and materials from the environment and back again. In the standard economic model, energy and matter are completely recycled in these transactions, and economic activity is seemingly exempt from the second law of thermodynamics. As we enter the second half of the age of oil, and as energy supplies and the environmental impacts of energy production and consumption become major issues on the world stage, this exemption appears illusory at best.”

This indicates that their argument platform is the material entropy model. On this platform, they attempte to outline, thermodynamically, how the first law and second law, in their view, should be integrated into economic policy, albeit in what might be called the Roegen-Daly school of thought on entropy, i.e. the view of Nicholas Georgescu and his student Herman Daly, namely the very tenable view that entropy, in economic terms, equates to “value lost to waste”, and that this explains pollution, resource scarcity, unemployment, and depletion. They summarize that the two laws in biophysical economics equate to the translation that, in their own words: [3]

1. Energy conservation implies that every process of industrial and biotic production requires the input of energy
2. Entropy production implies that because of the unavoidable entropy production the valuable part of energy (called exergy) is transformed into useless heat at the temperature of the environment (called anergy), and usually matter is dispersed too.

A 2015 retrospect summary of the previous of sixth BPE conference, and promotion for the 7th conference, is as follows: [2]

“The first meeting of BioPhysical Economics was held in Syracuse in 2008 under the leadership of Charles Hall, a disciple of systems ecologist Howard T. Odum. By 2015 we have had six very successful meetings without, however, formalizing our group. During our 2015 Joint Meeting of Canada and United States Societies for Ecological Economics (CANUSSEE 2015) at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, the group decided to formalize its identity and become the “International Society for BioPhysical Economics (ISBPE).” We also decided to continue our loose ties to ecological economics. Thus the 7th BioPhysical Economics Meeting will be held in conjunction with the International Society of Ecological Economics in Washington.”

BPE co-organizer Ram Poudel envisions that the 2016 conference could be an “important meeting for social energetics”. [5]

1. Main – BPEconomics.org.
2. About – BPEconomics.org.
3. Hall, Charles A.S. and Kiltgaard, Kent. (2011). Energy and the Wealth of Nations: Understanding the Biophysical Economy (thermodynamics, 18+ pgs). Springer.
4. Hall, Charles A.S. and Klitgaard, Kent A. (2006). “The Need for a New Biophysically-based Paradigm in Economics for the Second Half of the Age of Oil” (pdf), International Journal of Transdisciplinary Research, 1(1):4-22.
5. Poudel, Ram. (2016). “Emails communications with Libb Thims”, Feb 22-29.
6. Samuelson, Paul and Barnett, William A. (2007). Inside the Economist’s Mind: Conversations with Eminent Economists (§:Coeditor’s Preface: an Overview of the Objectives and Contents of the Volume, pgs. xi-). Wiley.
7. Internal Society for BioPhysical Economics – Facebook.

● Hall, Charles. (2012). “Biophysical Economics” (1-hr) (Ѻ) (Q&A 45-min) (Ѻ), Global Utmaning, Sweden, Nov 9.

External links
International Society for BioPhysical Economics – LinkedIn.
7th BioPhysical Economics Meeting 2016 – Econophysics Forum.

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