photo neededIn human thermodynamics, Daedalus (c.1930-c.2000) is the penname to an anonymous thinker, noted for his theories on molecular sociology and financial thermodynamics as were described in several weekly columns of New Scientist, in the early 1970s. Each week the writer discusses various aspects of his ‘friend’s’ theory, in a half-serious, half-humorous manner.

The column seems to have been spurred into existence with human statistical mechanics publications of American physicist Elihu Fein (1970) and Australian mechanical engineer Roy Henderson (1971). [1]

To quote one example, from the April 20th, 1972 Ariadne column: [2]

“Some while back my pecunientropic friend Daedalus developed a ‘molecular sociology’ an analogy between people and molecules. In particular he identified wealth in people with energy in molecules; he is now developing a financial thermodynamics or thermodynamics of money.”

From the April 27th, 1972 issue: [4]

“This week my fiscothermal friend Daedalus continues his exposition of the thermodynamics of money, regarding it as a heat-like entity whose concentration determines a financial temperature.”

The person ‘Daedalus’ is described as friend of an anonymous New Scientist columnist writer, and his weekly column ‘Ariadne’, the column itself named after the daughter of King Minos of Crete, of Greek mythology. [3] The name Daedalus, itself, originated as the famous wing maker, maze maker, mythological figure of the circa 900 BC stories of Homer, referred to as a ‘great worker’. [1] In the 1924 book Daedalus by John Haldane, uses the name in the sense of a symbol of the revolutionary spirit of science; a book which was cited by Vladimir Vernadsky and his biosphere theory.

1. (a) Fein, Elihu. (1970). “Demography and Thermodynamics”, American Journal of Physics, Vol. 38, pg. 1373.
(b) Henderson, L. F. (1971). “The Statistics of Crowd Fluids”, Nature, 229: 381-83.
(c) Staff. (1971). “Molecular Sociology Arrives at Last”, New Scientist, pg. 286. Feb 11.
2. Staff. (1972). “Ariadne”, New Scientist (pg. 165), Apr 20.
3. (a) Ariadne – Wikipedia.
(b) Daedalus – Wikipedia.
4. Staff. (1972). “Ariadne”, New Scientist (pg. 232), Apr 27.

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