Electronic copy available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1269035Understanding Social Systems: A Free Energy Perspective Jing Chen School of Business University of Northern British Columbia Prince George, BC Canada V2N 4Z9 Phone: 1-250-960-6480 Email: [email protected]Web: http://web.unbc.ca/~chenj/September 2008 Abstract Social systems are a part of physical systems. In principle, social systems can be described by physical laws. However, there is a long running debate about how much knowledge from physics can be applied effectively to understand human societies. Compared with the vast amount of literature in both natural science and social science, attempts to understand social systems from physical laws are very sporadic. In this work, we show that the structures and evolution of social systems can be clearly understood with some simple and well established knowledge from physics. Key words: Free energy, social system, entropy, freedom, temperature, income Initial draft. Comments welcome. We thank Rongshu Chen and Balbinder Deo for helpful comments. Detailed comments and editing from Richard West greatly improved the quality of this paper.
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