In science, infodynamics, a portmanteau of information theory (or information) + thermodynamics, which refers to, as summarized by Peter Corning, efforts to incorporate information theory into the thermodynamics paradigm. [1]

The term “infodynamics” is a coining that originated in the 1993 work of American zoologist Stanley Salthe. [8] Salthe, to notes, seems to employ a large number of information/thermodynamics blended terms in his writings. [4] In his 2001 symposium article “What is Infodynamics?”, Salthe states: [2]

“My definition of infodynamics (meaning ‘information dynamics’) is the study of the accumulation of information constraints, as degrees of freedom, during the development of dissipative structures.”

In 2003, Salthe defined infodynamics as such: [7]

Infodynamics is a developmental perspective that animates information theory by way of thermodynamics. The isomorphism between Boltzmann's statistical interpretation of physical entropy as disorder and Shannon's formulation of variety as informational entropy signals a deep connection between information and entropy production.”

American socioeconomic ecologist Peter Corning describes Salthe as a leader of the ‘infodynamics school’ (see: schools of thermodynamics). [1]

In 2012, Ray Mansuri, published Infodynamic Psychology, wherein he uses Norbert Wiener’s cybernetics logic to argue that memes and computer viruses are similar in analogy, being that they are both driven by the same forces in nature, according to which a psychology can be developed wherein feedback of information can result in mental healing. [9]

Salthe seems to be someone who has been taken for a ride on the Shannon bandwagon. [3] He seems to get some of his wagon fuel from John Collier. [5] Salthe, being a zoologist, was also inspired by the 1982 Brooks-Wiley Theory, and the controversial hoopla and backlash that followed, which largely took place in Systematic Zoology. Salthe's circa 2002 article “The Natural Philosophy of Evolution”, for example, employs the Brooks-Wiley ad nauseam version of the Frautschi-Layzer entropy gap diagram.

1. Corning, Peter A. (2005). Holistic Darwinism: Synergy, Cybernetics, and the Bioeconomics of Evolution (infodynamics, pgs. 450, 466). University of Chicago Press.
2. Salthe, Stanley N. (2001). “What is Infodynamics?”, in: Understanding Complexity: a Commemorative Volume of the World Congress of the Systems Sciences and Isss 2000, Toronto, Canada (editors: Gillian Ragsdell and Jennifer Wilby) (pgs. 31-). Springer.
3. Thims, Libb. (2012). “Thermodynamics ≠ Information Theory: Science’s Greatest Sokal Affair” (url), Journal of Human Thermodynamics, 8(1): 1-120, Dec 19.
4. Stanley N. Salthe (faculty) – Niels Bohr Institute.
5. Salthe, Stanley N. (2001). “The Mutual Implication of Physical and Informational Entropies”, Niels Bohr Institute, Feb.
6. Salthe, Stanley. (c.2002). “The Natural Philosophy of Entropy”, Binghamton University, New York.
7. Salthe, Stanley N. (2003). “Infodynamics, a Developmental Framework for Ecology/Economics” (pdf), Conservation Ecology, 7(3):3.
8. (a) Salthe, Stanley N. (1993). Development and evolution: complexity and change in biology. MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
(b) Salthe, Stanley N. (2003). “Infodynamics, a Developmental Framework for Ecology/Economics” (pdf), Conservation Ecology, 7(3):3.
9. Mansuri, Ray R. (2012). Infodynamic Psychology (abs) (ΡΊ). Psy Publications.

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