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1. Nature’s First Law
What Is Energy?
The Emergence of the First Law of Thermodynamics
Impossibility of Perpetual Motion Machines
Radioactivity and Perpetual Energy
2. Nature’s Second Law
The Beginning of a New Science
The Birth of the Second Law of Thermodynamics
Nature’s Irreversible Trend
What Is That Quantity Called Entropy?
Maxwell’s Demon Attempts to Demolish Nature’s Law of Entropy
Entropy as “Time’s Arrow”
Boltzmann’s Entropy Relation
3. Nature’s Laws in Action
The Relentless Increase of Entropy
From a Clockwork Universe to the Heat Death of the Universe
Thermodynamics and Cosmology
Entropy as a Measure of Ignorance and Uncertainty
Humans as an Open Thermodynamic System
Why Do We Age Irreversibly?
Is Evolution a Miracle in Violation of the Second Law?
4. Knowledge and Entropy
Knowledge Undergoes Thermodynamic Transformation
Thermodynamic View of the Educational System
Disorder in Knowledge
High-Entropic Life in the
Possessions Generate Entropy and Dissipate Time
More Choices but Less Time
Are We Freeing Ourselves from Machines, at Last?
6. The Agricultural-Industrial Complex
Modern Agriculture and the Second Law
Chemical Control of Insects
Soil Erosion and Degradation of the Environment
7. What Does the Second Law Really Say?
The Availability of Energy and Natural Resources Revisited
Entropy: The Supreme Manager of All Natural Processes
The Greenhouse Effect
High Tech’s Environmental Entropy
Can We “Control” Natural Processes?
8. Economics, the Environment, and the Laws of Thermodynamics
The Economics of Computers and Technology
The Concept of Environmental Externalities in Economics
Economics as an Applied Science
9. Why Things Look So Good on the Horizon—Until We Get There
Why Great Expectations Turn to Disillusionments
Is Nuclear Fusion Our Response to the Second Law?
Space: The Unlimited Frontier?
Entropy and Global Interdependence
10. The World Through the Eyes of Thermodynamics
The Concept of “Doing More with Less”
Change and Technological “Progress” Re-examined
Recognizing Low- and High-Entropic Actions and Life-styles
11. The Thermodynamic Imperative
Does Science Tell Us How to Live?
The Necessity of Projecting a Consistent Scientific Message
Making Entropy a Part of Our Daily Language
Thermodynamics and the Unity of Knowledge