Peter Pogany nsIn hmolscience, Peter Pogany (c.1939-) is a Hungarian-born American economist noted, in human thermodynamics, for his 2006 Rethinking the World, wherein he argues that humans are over-grown supermolecules and that culture is a thermodynamic "system".

In 2006, Pogany, in his Rethinking the World, penned a chapter on the thermodynamics of cultural evolution; the following being a condensed extract from this work: [1]

“Culture may be regarded as a thermodynamics system … the world’s economic and commercial activities may be reduced to the simple definition of organized molecular structures creating, maintaining, operating, discarding, and reusing other organized molecular structures; [and] cultural evolution is subject to the laws of thermodynamics.”

Pogany goes on to give a good basis of thermodynamic reasoning, discussing Carnot, Clausius, Boltzmann, Gibbs, Prigogine, and a few others, giving an “island example” along the way, but then derails in his analysis by delving into discussions on Claude Shannon and measures of information entropy in bits. He does, however, interestingly, define states of condensed matter, e.g. a piece of coal, as an energy carrier; and superficially discusses the arrow of time, exergy, internal entropy, external entropy, negative entropy, and free energy among other points. He seems to cull his understanding of "free energy", to note, from Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen, which weakens his approach to an extent.

On people viewed as larger molecules (human molecules), Pogany states:

“Accumulated knowledge suggests that humans are billions of highly evolved, overgrown super-molecules (or ‘intensely conscious mice’?) that swarm in ever larger numbers on a piece of rock that wobbles, spins, revolves, and soars into nothingness at break-neck speed with an agitated, burning furnace in its interior.”

As to the origin behind Pogany’s quote, and his bracketed mention of mice, seems to come from American physical chemist Martin Goldstein's 1993 section “The Entropy of a Mouse” from his book The Refrigerator and the Universe, as listed in Pogany’s bibliography, in which Goldstein explains how to calculate the entropy of a mouse. On history, Pogany states: [3]

“Global history is a ‘disequilibrium thermodynamic process’ manifest through transformations in billions of physically interconnected cerebral cortices.”

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Pogany completed his “dr. oec” (PhD) in industrial economics in 1962 from the University of Economics, Budapest, Hungary, and a post-doctoral MA in 1967 in regional economics from the Wharton School, of the University of Pennsylvania. [2]

1. Pogany, Peter. (2006). Rethinking the World (ch. 5: Cultural and Cultural Evolution in the Context of Thermodynamics, pg. 103-38). iUniverse (and Shenandoah Valley Research Press).
2. Peter P. Pogany (About Me) –
3. ibid, Pogany. (2006). Global history quote, pg. 25.

Further reading
● Pogany, Peter. (2009). “From fame to Shame: the Coming Crisis of Unecological Economics”, S.V.R. Press, Apr. 30.
● Pogany, Peter. (2009). “Doctor, Please Don’t Turn Your Head Away!”, C.V.R. Press, Jun. 09.
● Pogany, Peter. (2009). “Fifth Structure Emergence in Economics: Observations Through the Thermodynamic Lens of World History (lecture)” (reference to the EoHT website in the presentation) International Gebser Society Conference, Hofstra University, New York. Oct. 15.
● Pogany, Peter. (2013). “Thermodynamic Isolation and the New World Order” (pdf) (abs), Sep 17, MPRA.
● Pogany, Peter. (2015). Havoc, Thy Name is Twenty-First Century: Thermodynamic Isolation and the New World Order. iUniverse.

External links
Pogány, Péter –
Peter Pogany (about me) –
Peter Pogany –

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