Harold Nieburg

photo neededIn hmolscience, Harold Nieburg (1927-2001) was an American political scientist noted, in political thermodynamics, for 1973 discussion of energy and entropy in politics.

In 1973, Nieburg, in his chapter "Political Thermodynamics", with a section on energy and entropy, to his 1973 book Culture Storm, postulated that:

“In any specific bargaining engagement, one party’s order becomes another’s entropy.”

Nieburg cites a few HT pioneers, such as: Bertrand Russell, Claude Levi-Strauss, and Eric Berne. The following is example aggregate quote: [1]

“We assume that all individuals and groups seek to impose order around them. The boundaries of conflicting systems of order, however, overlap creating arenas of social entropy (relative disorder) and competition. Thus, one may postulate a thermodynamic law of behavior: assuming, based on the law of conservation of energy, that organisms seek to conserve energy and values, and, based on the law of entropy, that social disorder and decay are constant threats that energy and values must overcome.”

Beyond this, Nieburg really doesn’t seem to go into too much detail in theory speculation, although he does use the term entropy as the measure of social disorder in some of his other works. In his 1984 book Public Opinion, Tracking, and Targeting, for instance, he comments that “symbols, which are the main tokens in the transactions of public opinion, enable society to combat entropy”, where “entropy is the second law of thermodynamics.” He seems to have first used entropy concept in his 1966 book In the Name of Science, chapter five: Entropy and Prime Pumping. [3]

Nieburg completed his PhD in political science in 1960 at the University of Chicago. He was a political science professor from 1970 to 1995 at Harpur College of Arts & Sciences, Binghamton University. [2]

1. Nieburg, Harold L. (1973). Culture Storm: Politics and the Ritual Order (ch. 5: Political Thermodynamics, pgs. 81 -104; quote, pg. 81). St. Martin’s Press.
2. Yanchunas, Dom. (2001). “Harold Nieburg”, Press & Sun Bulletin, Oct 11.
3. Nieburg, Harold L. (1966). In the Name of Science (ch. 5: Entropy and Prime-Pumping, pgs. 85-). Quadrangle Books.

External links
Harold L. Nieburg – Wikipedia.
Nieburg, H. L. (Harold L.) – WorldCat Identities.

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