[EM] Thermodynamics

Carl Schroedl carlschroedl at gmail.com
Sun Jun 5 10:16:17 PDT 2022

As a software guy, the connection I make is to something I have wondered
for a while -- whether it is useful to study social choice functions as
lossy compression algorithms. I haven't thought it through, but it could be
interesting to see if the rate-distortion branch of information theory
would apply.

On Sat, Jun 4, 2022, 9:09 PM robert bristow-johnson <
rbj at audioimagination.com> wrote:

> Being an electrical engineer that was ABD for a PhD in communications
> systems and signal processing, I have a little trouble seeing the
> connection to Shannon Information Theory.  Either in the measure of
> information content of a message or set of messages or of the definition of
> entropy or of the capacity of a channel to carry information.
> So could someone make the connection for me?
>  I get that set of ordinal ballot data is discrete information and there's
> some way, such as Huffman coding, to represent that information in the most
> compact and essential way possible.
> But I don't see the connection to social choice theory.  Can someone help?
> robert
> *Powered by Cric ket Wireless*
> ------ Original message------
> *From: *Forest Simmons
> *Date: *Sat, Jun 4, 2022 4:06 PM
> *To: *Richard Lung;
> *Cc: *EM;
> *Subject:*Re: [EM] Thermodynamics
> True!
> Do an internet search of "information mechanics" to confirm the validity
> of this tight connection.
> Information mechanics seems to be the key for the "unified field theory"
> Einstein was looking for ... and more ... unification of classical and
> quantum fields for all of the forces ... strong, weak, and intermediate...
> if not a "theory of everything."
> El sáb., 4 de jun. de 2022 6:26 a. m., Richard Lung <
> voting at ukscientists.com> escribió:
>> Forest,
>> The efficiency of heat engines, in thermodynamics, offer an analogy with
>> voting methods. Many other sciences do so, if voting method follows the
>> Stevens structure of measurement, held in common by other branches of
>> science. (I published a free e-book, about scientific models of election
>> method, called: Science is Ethics as Electics.)
>> The basic principle, that thermodynamics and election method have in
>> common is conservation, either of energy or information. (I believe
>> scientists are currently translating energy terms into information terms.)
>> Common-place teachings of social choice theory, including the American
>> Mathematics Society, usually make the claim that there is no perfect voting
>> system. The equivalent statement in thermodynamics is that there is no
>> perpetual motion machine.
>> As you point out, that does not preclude voting methods of different
>> efficiency, the equivalent of heat engines of differing efficiency. The
>> engines depend on efficient transfer of surplus heat, to work requirements,
>> to keep the engine going. Similarly, transfers of vote surpluses, to
>> elective quotas, keep the count procedure going. Heat forms a random
>> distribution of motion. And votes typically form a random distribution of
>> choice (subject to left or right skews).
>> Binomial STV would perhaps be rather more efficient than traditional STV,
>> because it rationally conserves exclusion information. In rough analogy, a
>> binomial STV “heat engine” is better “insulated,” to conserve heat.
>> Thermodynamics is not just a dynamic of heat but also its insulation, in a
>> closed system. Likewise, an election method is not just an active election,
>> but also a closed system of exclusion.
>> Regards,
>> Richard Lung.
>> ----
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