World System Energetics

7 Pages Posted: 28 Apr 2013

Date Written: April 27, 2013


The Snooks/Panov curve is discussed, concerning the economic history of human societies as energy transduction systems. A first formalization and mathematization of world system energetics is proposed.

Human societies are evolving energy transduction systems and the biophysical flow of energy in a socio-economic system quantizes the flow of time and drives temporal acceleration. The decisive role of money in a monetary production economy is highlighted as temporal access to energy. The greater the natural energy input for productive output, the higher the economic wave frequency and the shorter the wave length. A singularization of human history, i.e. a replacement of long wave patterns, in the nearer future depends on the technical achievement of a relatively constant energy input. According to the basic formulae of the Snooks/Panov curve, a significant quantum change of the temporal flow will take place in the next decade; it is an open mathematical guess and an ongoing human intelligence test, if this temporal turning point is of discrete or continuous nature.

Keywords: transduction, energetics, economic history, quantization

JEL Classification: B41

Suggested Citation

Ternyik, Stephen I., World System Energetics (April 27, 2013). Available at SSRN: or

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