Design in Nature
Design in Nature

Design in Nature

better ways to design roads and transport systems; to predict the evolution of civilization and science, of cities, universities, sports, and the global use of energy. (Location 77)

For a finite-size flow system to persist in time (to live), its configuration must evolve in such a way that provides easier access to the currents that flow through it. (Location 82)

Flow systems have two basic features (properties). There is the current that is flowing (for example, fluid, heat, mass, or information) and the design through which it flows. (Location 87)

The engineered world we have built so that we can move more easily does not copy any part of the natural design; it is a manifestation of it. (Location 98)

The constructal law dictates that flow systems should evolve over time, acquiring better and better configurations to provide more access for the currents that flow through them. (Location 111)

Life is movement and the constant morphing of the design of this movement. To be alive is to keep on flowing and morphing. When a system stops flowing and morphing, it is dead. (Location 123)

Advanced Engineering Thermodynamics; Shape and Structure, from Engineering to Nature; and Design with Constructal Theory— (Location 138)

Through this book I hope to help you recognize how the constructal law is shaping everything around—and within—you. (Location 144)

first recognize what flows through them and then think of what shape and structure should emerge to facilitate that flow. (Location 166)

Step three turns our drawing into a movie because designs evolve. Flow systems configure and reconfigure themselves over time. This evolution occurs in one direction: Flow designs get measurably better, moving more easily and farther if possible. (Location 169)

tomorrow’s system should flow better than today’s. (Location 172)

All generate designs that should evolve to better facilitate the flow of these currents. This insight allows us to recognize pattern in phenomena long dismissed as accident. (Location 175)

Complexity is a result, not an objective; not an artist’s wish; and, contrary to current dogma based in fractal geometry, it is certainly not “maximized.” (Location 183)

observed at all timescales, including during our own lifetime. When we speak of rivers and animals evolving to increase flow access, we are describing very gradual changes. (Location 200)

Because of the natural tendency toward equilibrium, the momentum (the movement) is transferred laterally to the surrounding still air and water (Location 218)

through the design phenomenon of turbulence. In all instances, design emerges because things flow better with configuration. (Location 219)

The constructal law is what is known in science as a first principle, an idea that cannot be deduced or derived from other laws (if it could, it would be a theorem). (Location 232)

Why does “designedness” (configuration, rhythm, scaling rules) happen everywhere in animate and inanimate systems alike? Why does the design-generation phenomenon persist in time? (Location 235)

Indeed, once we recognize that the constructal law governs design in nature, we can predict all configurations using only our minds. Such is the power of theory. (Location 255)

Specialists are using it to illuminate a wide range of subjects, including linguistics and sociology, nuclear decontamination, globalization, finance, warfare, patterns of residential segregation, and human mortality. (Location 257)

“given freedom.” (Location 261)

Constraints abound in our world, preventing things from organizing themselves in more efficient ways. (Location 262)

Given freedom, flow systems will generate better and better configurations to flow more easily. (Location 274)

Design in nature is generating a lot of excitement today over the entire range of science—from geophysics and biology to social dynamics and engineering. The interest is fueled by two trends: (Location 288)

1. A voluminous body of knowledge has accumulated, and it shows that features our minds perceive as design (configurations, rhythms, scaling rules) are present in all flow systems in nature. 2. Design phenomena are not covered by the existing laws of physics. (Location 290)

What I did know at the time was thermodynamics, the science of how to convert heat into work and work into heat. (Location 301)

Both are first principles: The first law commands the conservation of energy, and the second law summarizes the tendency of all currents to flow from high (temperature, pressure) to low. These two laws are about systems in the most general sense, viewed as black boxes, without shape and structure. (Location 303)

Nature’s boxes are filled with configurations—even the fact that they have names (rivers, blood vessels) is due to their appearance, pattern, or design. Where the second law commands that things should flow from high to low, the constructal law commands that they should flow in configurations that flow more and more easily over time. (Location 306)

The constructal law does much more than explain the designs we see in nature. It articulates a law we can use to understand why designs emerge and predict how they will evolve in the future. In recent years, many (Location 319)

People want to believe that life isn’t purposeless and random. (Location 331)

Their comments underscore the fact that we are living in revolutionary times, when fundamental assumptions are being challenged. (Location 338)

This fundamental division between physics and biology is false. It does not result from a broad view of how the world works but from that ancient adage: (Location 346)

Your answers are only as good as the assumptions underlying your questions. (Location 347)

At its best, science encompasses everything—it seeks to provide a rational basis for all that is. (Location 351)

Instead there is a single principle of physics that governs the design-generating action of soil erosion or genetics. (Location 370)

that there is no overarching direction to evolution. (Location 374)

but they never explain why these changes should occur and what they mean by “better.” (Location 375)

The constructal law, by contrast, predicts that evolution should occur because of the tendency of all flow systems to generate better and better designs for the currents that flow through them. (Location 377)

Nature is governed by the tendency to generate shapes and design that evolve in time to reduce imperfection. Design evolution never ends. (Location 401)

geometric rules predicted by the constructal law: Their depth is proportional with their width—big streams are wide and deep; (Location 406)

small streams are narrow and shallow. (Location 407)

The constructal law teaches us that nothing operates in isolation; every flow system is part of a bigger flow system, shaped by and in service to the world around it. (Location 409)

The definition of a word, like the boundaries of a thermodynamic system, spells out exactly what it is and what it is not. Science and language are rooted in the past, which means both history and geography. (Location 431)

When I noticed that the systems I was creating were strikingly similar to those that appear in nature—and that a single principle of physics, the constructal law, accounts for their design—I was thrust into a strange and contentious world. (Location 437)

The modern world is built by the simple process of turning raw materials, such as metals and minerals, plants and animals, into useful things. (Location 444)

Billions of people earn their livings creating and constructing designs. (Location 447)

crossing a heath, suppose I pitched my foot against a stone, and were asked how the stone came to be there; (Location 458)

Confining himself to biology, he argued that the appearance of design we see in complex life-forms does not reflect divine intent. (Location 467)

So when I started speaking of design in nature, of the direction and purpose of evolutionary phenomena, I found myself embroiled in long-simmering controversies. (Location 481)

Everything that moves is a flow system that evolves over time; design generation and evolution are universal phenomena. The changes we witness in animals, plants, rivers, and steaming pots of rice represent a clear improvement over the configuration that had been flowing before. This is the direction of evolution, creating flows that move more easily, better, farther, etc. (Location 486)

—is a manifestation of this tendency in nature to generate shape and structure to facilitate flow access. (Location 490)

They do so because they are governed by the principle of physics described by the constructal law. I know this is a hard idea to grasp—design without a designer. It becomes easier when you consider another law, gravity. If you go to the top of a building and drop a rock, it will fall, faster and faster. No one would argue that the rock wants to fall, but it does, it must. (Location 492)

Its knowledge turns us into sorcerers and soothsayers, able to tell the future with certainty: (Location 496)

The constructal law identifies a phenomenon as old as the universe itself but unrecognized until now. Its power and correctness rest on this fact: It enables us not just to describe but to predict the evolution of all flow systems. (Location 501)

lung, blood vessel, tree, river, or lightning bolt should look like if it has the freedom to change over time to flow more easily. (Location 503)

The constructal law predicts that for rivers to flow more efficiently, their width should be proportional to their depth; (Location 505)

Instead of studying the system we find in nature, we use the constructal law to imagine what a theoretical fluid flow architecture should look like if it is to perform these functions with low mass transfer resistance and low fluid flow resistance, (Location 511)

Phylogeny (the study of the evolutionary relatedness among various groups of organisms) creates genetic architectures that, like boulders in rivers, are slow to erode. (Location 540)

laryngeal nerve in mammals when a shorter path would be more ideal—reflect the move toward better flow within the constraints of evolutionary history. (Location 542)

What the constructal law captures is a central tendency in nature. (Location 546)

This is why we can say that this unintentional tendency has a purpose. (Location 548)

purpose, that we can predict how things should evolve in the future. Using the constructal law we can (Location 550)

But the central tendency is the selection of characteristics that ease the flow—that allow animals and plants to generate more flow (movement) for their mass with less expenditure of useful energy to achieve this movement. (Location 553)

of all the possible configurations, the ones that persist are those that facilitate flow. (Location 556)

What is a flow system? Why do things flow? Why do they evolve? How are direction, purpose, and design possible without the guiding hand of God or man? (Location 563)

All natural designs are engines (of heat, fluid, or mass) driven by useful energy derived from the sun. All things that flow, including people and other biological creatures, acquire evolving designs that allow them to move more current farther per unit of useful energy consumed. (Location 592)

We define the system by drawing a sharp and precise boundary around the entity in question (Figure 8). (Location 600)

The difference between input and output is the mass that is being stored (accumulated) inside the system. We have just described a law obeyed by all systems, open or closed: the law of mass conservation: (Location 615)

and Clausius observed that while a system cannot create energy, it will conserve and can transform it. (Location 627)

Our bodies convert the energy from food to power ourselves. (Location 629)

When we examine any system, we ask: How well is it doing? How efficiently is it using the available useful energy? (Location 630)

“energy-conversion efficiency” of the engine. Better designs are more efficient; they perform more work for less useful energy. (Location 631)

Note: gross margins?

Resistance is the phenomenon of opposition to movement. It is best known as friction—for example, the horizontal force that a human, animal, or motor must exert on a vehicle in order to make it move horizontally. (Location 638)

have to understand the function it will perform and the hurdles that stand in the way. I shape and assemble its parts so that the global system will function in the least imperfect manner possible. My struggle as a designer never ends. (Location 646)

has evolved to allow them to move more easily and efficiently in an environment that resists the movement. (Location 673)

can be predicted when we recognize the two flow systems in the maple: water and stresses. (Location 677)

prerequisite, then, is for the flow system to be free to morph. The emerging flow architecture is the means by which the flow system achieves its objective under constraints. Freedom is good for design. (Location 683)

Why does anything flow at all? Why does anything move? What is the wellspring of this action? For things people make, there is a simple answer—we provide fuel (i.e., useful energy, exergy) to power the devices and systems we build. (Location 685)

Because their effect on people’s lives was very good. It was dramatic. Engines were empowering people. (Location 692)

Carnot saw that everything flows in one direction: from high to low. (Location 694)

This “one-way flow” principle is known today as the second law of thermodynamics, irreversibility, dissipation, inefficiency, water under the bridge, etc. By looking at the operation of machines, Carnot discovered a law of nature. (Location 697)

For example, if the system is isolated (not touched by anything)—and this is a big if—nature tends to efface differences and create uniformity. (Location 699)

from a smooth laminar flow to the whirling eddies of turbulent flow, and vice versa. (Location 717)

What the constructal law reveals is that flows choose the design that will better facilitate their movements at any given time. (Location 736)

The universal principle is that when the specific threshold is reached in every case, the flow changes (it clicks!) into the better design. (Location 743)

Every eddy is a package of two flow mechanisms: streams (the roll) and viscous diffusion (laminar, inside and outside the roll). (Location 767)

when the flow is fast enough, the turbulent flow becomes the more effective way to transfer momentum laterally. (Location 769)

Why do isolated systems evolve toward equilibrium? We don’t know. (Location 773)

Where the second law describes the universal tendency to flow from high to low, the constructal law describes the universal tendency to generate evolving configurations that facilitate that flow. The (Location 775)

To see the constructal law at work, imagine a box filled with a compressible fluid (air), with parts of high pressure and low pressure. (Location 788)

Geometric form is generated in natural systems that are internally “alive” with flows and driving gradients (for example, temperature and pressure). (Location 805)

It suggests that there is a single principle of physics—not of biology, or geology, or sociology, but of everything—from which the phenomenon of configuration and rhythm can be deduced without (Location 818)

Nature is indifferent, impersonal. But it does have a tendency—to mix and to move everything on Earth, more mass, moved farther. This constructal tendency (Location 822)

That is, if we know what is moving (Location 865)

through a flow system, we can predict the sequence of designs that will emerge and evolve to facilitate the currents that run through (Location 865)

Faster, easier, cheaper in terms of fuel (useful energy, exergy) used and materials required for movement: that is the flow system’s mantra. (Location 870)

The constructal law reveals that these flow systems generate strikingly similar designs in order to facilitate their own movement. (Location 877)

First, they are steady-state systems, that is, the currents that run through them (heat, water, blood) do not change much. (Location 878)

Second, all three systems face one of the most common challenges in nature: how to move currents (of heat, fluid, people, goods, it doesn’t matter) from a point to an area or from an area to a point. (Location 879)

Remember, flow occurs in the physical world; thus, it is always tied to space, to geography. (Location 904)

the channels and the finite-size spaces between adjacent channels (called “interstices”). (Location 915)

In all designs, currents move slowly over relatively short distances through the interstices, and faster over longer distances through the channels. (Location 916)

It is this transition to a new way of flowing that provides the contrast, which is the essence of design. (Location 953)

This phenomenon also tells us something else. In order to move more easily, the flow system acquires geometry, design. (Location 964)

That is, I improved the performance of the whole system by changing its (Location 1007)

be—better flow through the reduction of global imperfection. (Location 1011)

These include the fact that rivers meander—that is, they have a snakelike pattern whose wavelength is proportional to the width of the channel. (Location 1082)

the width of the channel is about five to ten times greater than its depth. (Location 1083)

As we noted, these include Robert Horton’s descriptive finding that the number of daughter streams connected to a mother stream is between 3 and 5, (Location 1087)

that the length of the longest daughter stream should be roughly proportional to that of the mother stream—a proportionality factor between 1.5 and 3.5. (Location 1088)

We considered possible configurations and found that the proportion of daughter to mother streams should be 4 to 1 (not 2 to 1 or 8 to 1). (Location 1091)

the generating principle (the constructal law) that is unique and deterministic, and the properties and external forcing of the natural flow medium that are not known predicatively and accurately at every point. (Location 1102)

If nature were a laboratory with a perfectly stable and unchanging environment, then every river basin would be identical. Instead, the river basins of nature are strikingly similar, because they have the same governing principle, which means the same rules of design and the same performance level, even though they look different. In nature, we find numbers varying between 3 and 5; given the immense diversity out there that means roughly 4. This also reminds us why flow systems continue to evolve, why there is always room for improvement. (Location 1105)

By refocusing our attention on how things look—on their evolving designs that are the morphing boundaries of their flow systems—the constructal law reveals, predicts, and explains design in nature. (Location 1130)

boundaries—structural constraints and organizational possibilities—that reduce the pool of potential outcomes. (Location 1160)

What are the principles that make them work better? What does “work” mean? What does “better” mean? (Location 1162)

Human beings, however, abhor uncertainty, so we have transformed this intellectual impotence into the certainty of doctrine and dogma. (Location 1170)

All are vehicles for moving mass (their bodies, and what flows through their bodies). Thus, all should have evolved in strikingly similar ways to facilitate their flow of mass across the landscape. (Location 1188)

Every living system performs better when the power that is required for maintaining its movement is minimized. (Location 1190)

animals should have evolved to cover a greater distance for less effort, which means per unit of useful energy derived from food. (Location 1192)

The traits that have emerged, the evolutionary changes that have persisted as well as the behaviors that are learned, should facilitate flow. (Location 1195)

Diversity is also very lucrative. Jobs, salaries, prestige, and opportunities in science—with its area-specific language, concepts, books, journals, libraries, university departments, academies, and awards—depend on specialization. (Location 1208)

Larger animals are faster, their bodies undulate less frequently, and they are stronger (Location 1214)

Thus, the stride frequency of land animals scales with approximately the same relation to body mass as the swimming frequency of fish; the speed of running animals scales with approximately the same relation to mass as the speed of flying birds. (Location 1220)

These findings are descriptive, not predictive: They tell us what we see but not why this should be so before we see it. (Location 1226)

It takes fuel or food to produce the work that powers every engine. (Location 1228)

The fuel or food generates an amount of heat. (Location 1229)

A significant fraction of this heat—called useful energy, available energy, or exergy—is in principle available to be converted into work. (Location 1229)

neither animals nor heat engines can fully convert the useful energy into work. (Location 1230)

With the produced work, cars, people, and birds battle wind and gravity among other things; the water in rivers rubs against the hard earth and against other obstacles that would slow it down. This is how the precious fraction of useful energy that had become work is ultimately destroyed. All of it. (Location 1234)

This is achieved by a better and better distribution of imperfections. (Location 1238)

configures and reconfigures itself so that the water is discharged more and more easily from the entire plain to the mouth of the river. (Location 1239)

all designs that distribute their resistances so that globally the flow system becomes less and less imperfect. (Location 1241)

All are engines that generate work to move mass in an environment filled with things (brakes) that oppose their movement. (Location 1243)

Like everything that flows, animal locomotion represents the tendency of moving objects to overcome obstacles, chiefly from gravity and the friction against air, water, and land. (Location 1244)

flying bodies should flap their wings with the right rhythm to enable them to achieve the right speed to move their mass a greater and greater distance. (Location 1266)

However, the constructal law predicts that they should be balanced against each other so that their sum is made smaller and smaller through the selection of a rhythm (Location 1283)

Just as with birds, we can use the constructal law to predict the runner’s speed and stride frequency if we know the body mass (M). (Location 1336)

Speed is proportional to M1/6 and the stride frequency proportional to M−1/6. (Location 1337)

The force–mass relation of engineered motors is the same as that of fliers, runners, and swimmers. (Location 1410)

Larger animals must perform more work (force times distance) to travel the same distance as smaller ones. (Location 1415)

provides a theoretical physics basis for the economies-of-scale phenomenon noted throughout engineering, economics, logistics, and business. The efficiency of moving something in bulk increases with size (Location 1434)

toward not only more movement but also more efficient movement. (Location 1438)

isolation; every flow is part of other flow systems. If we consider a bird in flight, we can see its influence on at least three different levels at once: internally, externally, and behaviorally. (Location 1459)

Around its body, feathers minimize heat leaks and friction so that the bird can move its mass more and more efficiently. (Location 1462)

allowing it to expend less useful energy to cover the same distance. (Location 1475)

In sum, the constructal law predicts complex features that have evolved as animal design. (Location 1481)

Question: Why does the model Soviet citizen read only the sports page in Pravda? Answer: Because that is the only section where the news was not known beforehand. (Location 1499)

Biologists teach us that evolution is an ongoing phenomenon, happening everywhere all the time. (Location 1505)

It teaches us (1) that everything evolves, not just biological creatures, (2) that there is a predictable direction to these changes, and (3) that we can witness many entities morphing—becoming better and better—right before our eyes. This occurs every time we marvel at the tree-shaped design of lightning bolts that flash across the sky and when we watch (Location 1507)

This is a particularly fruitful area of inquiry because it shows how the constructal law leads us to see common things in a startlingly new light. (Location 1513)

Seen constructally, speed sports are a flow system that identifies, trains, and cares for a moving population of fast athletes. (Location 1526)

The new champions tend to be bigger than the previous ones. Bigger means heavier (larger M) or taller (larger Lb). (Location 1542)

have body densities that are roughly 1 percent greater than the body densities of whites. (Location 1604)

The constructal law challenges this perspective by revealing that the wheel is a natural design whose evolution can be predicted in the same way that we predicted the design of animal locomotion. (Location 1692)

In accordance with the constructal law, it enabled us to move more mass per unit of fuel. (Location 1696)

which states that all flow systems (including human movement on the landscape) persist in time by acquiring configurations that flow more and more easily. (Location 1703)

On top of the old design of movement, a better one was woven. (Location 1708)

This is one reason why simple forms persist even as more complex ones evolve, why microbes and fruit flies live among dolphins and elephants, why people (myself included) still use pencils in an age of computers. (Location 1709)

The urge is also known as the instinct of conservation (or self-preservation), which is supreme. (Location 1815)

One is a fish and the other a mammal, and the fish are much older than the mammals. (Location 1818)

Over time, however, all flow systems tend to evolve into the designs that facilitate their movement. (Location 1819)

They are different—each in the present-day frame of its movie of design evolution in big history. (Location 1823)

Next, it predicts that, given freedom, flow systems evolve over time in order to move more easily. (Location 1848)

Finally, it illuminates the fact that all flow systems are connected to and shaped by other systems, in a global tapestry of flow. (Location 1850)

Following Darwin’s lead, the established view of vegetation in biology describes trees as living structures that emerge during a highly complex evolutionary process, driven by an ever-growing list of competing demands. (Location 1866)

What it leaves out is the principle and the physics. Why “must” the tree do all these things? Why do trees act as if they have minds of their own? And, even though no two trees are identical, why are they all treelike? It also ignores a fundamental question: Why do trees exist? (Location 1871)

If there’s anything that doesn’t seem to move, it’s a tree. (Location 1875)

for moving water from the ground to the river mouth, trees and forests are pumping stations operating 24/7 to move water from the ground to the air. (Location 1877)

The tree is a design for moving water. Beginning with the roots that pull water from the (Location 1879)

Key to this understanding is the principle of flowing from high to low. (Location 1882)

that nature should manifest the tendency to move water from wet to dry both locally and globally. Trees (Location 1883)

Taking a step back, we see human projection written all across Darwin’s account. It is how people in the West tend to describe the “struggle” for life. (Location 1887)

Because of the constructal law, a wide range of morphing and mating flow designs have emerged to facilitate that movement. (Location 1894)

Trees “happen” because that is where the water is and must flow (upward), not because “trees like water.” (Location 1896)

Both are manifestations of the constructal tendency to generate designs to move more mass (in this case water) on Earth. (Location 1898)

The water stored in cacti is flowing through the movement of desert animals that eat cacti, and in this way the cacti flow systems spread much more than they would in the absence of symbiosis with animals. (Location 1901)

This is correct as far as it goes, but it misses the crucial point that few plants are needed there because there is so little water. Why, after all, would you need a lot of water pumps in the desert? (Location 1904)

Animals occur where there is water to flow, as animal mass flow. (Location 1909)

Rivers, lightning bolts, trees, and animals are designs that emerge to handle the currents that flow through them and along with them. They do not exist in service to themselves but in service to the global flow. (Location 1911)

The first is the movement of water from the ground to the air. The second is the flow of stresses caused by the wind. (Location 1919)

Engineers and biologists have long been aware that objects must be strong enough to withstand two forces that could destroy them—the weight of the object itself and outside forces that can break them. (Location 1951)

a rod, the force exerted flows through it from one end to the other. One end “feels” that the other end is pulled. (Location 1957)

The tree’s design distributes these stresses uniformly, spreading the highest stresses (and the chance to fracture) throughout, so that each part withstands the maximum allowable stress, giving each part a maximum chance at survival. (Location 1966)

Longer bones are round, with a uniform diameter, because this is the lightest design for distributing stresses uniformly. (Location 1970)

If the wind blew in only one direction, an I-beam type of cross section would work better—which is what we find, for example, in (Location 1973)

His tower was so tall that it must be uniformly resistant to lateral bending due to the wind and axial compression due to weight, just like a tree. (Location 1988)

best and once nature finds something that works, it runs with it. (Location 2017)

The constructal law proclaims that every building block and larger construct of any flow system should be guided by the universal tendency to generate patterns that increase flow access over time. (Location 2075)

hierarchy. Few large trees and many smaller ones is the blueprint for forest-floor design. Despite any Darwinian struggle for survival that might occur among all the forms of vegetation on the forest floor, the design is known in advance. This is also the physics basis for the emergence of hierarchy in nature that we will explore in the next chapter. In summary, it is possible to place the emergence of vegetation architecture on a purely theoretical basis, from roots to forests. The key idea is the integrative view of design in nature as a physics phenomenon governed by the constructal law. In the big picture, each forest is a component of the global flow system—that includes rivers, oceans, and weather patterns—that reflects the universal tendency toward design generation and evolution to facilitate flow access. In this context, the forests are organs of the much larger global system. Similarly, (Location 2104)

that flow and design themselves together. From this idea we can predict their designs and (Location 2112)

This insight also challenges the Darwinian concept of winners and losers. In time, some species do flourish and others wither away. (Location 2113)

The constructal law teaches us to see all flow systems as components of a single organism, the entire globe, which evolves its design to enhance its flow. (Location 2115)

The idea of winners and losers might make sense if evolution were a zero-sum game with no direction in time. But because flows morph to increase flow access for the whole, the whole becomes the winner. (Location 2117)

The constructal law places a physics principle behind Darwin’s ideas about evolution. It tells us why certain changes are better than others and shows that those changes do not arise by accident but through the generation of design. (Location 2122)

showing that the natural tendency of biological change is the same tendency that shapes the inanimate world. (Location 2124)

certain idiosyncratic variation encoded in their genes, (Location 2134)

Karl Marx offered a “scientific” view of history that brought misery and death to the masses before it was discredited by experience. (Location 2143)

More recently, literary authors and social scientists have misused the concept of entropy (suggesting that all systems will tend toward disorder) and Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle (popularized as the notion that ultimate knowledge is unknowable) to advance pessimistic and relativistic arguments about society. (Location 2145)

At bottom people say, “I know something’s going on here,” but until now they haven’t quite been able to put their finger on exactly what. (Location 2151)

one that has separated people from the physical world and cast scientific knowledge as a tool we use to manipulate the world around us. This pragmatic “us” and “it” approach has paid huge dividends; the flourishing of civilization and technology has depended on our increasing understanding and control of nature, knowledge we use to create comforts and achieve progress. (Location 2153)

that we are, in fact, subject to these laws in profound ways. It cannot account for that sense that these laws push, prod, and shape us, guiding the choices we make about how we live, love, work, and play. Now we can. One of the most powerful insights born from the constructal law is that social systems are natural designs that emerge and evolve to facilitate the flow of the currents they represent on the landscape. (Location 2156)

This evolution has a direction in time, toward greater and greater access to move more mass (for example, people, goods, information) per unit of useful energy. (Location 2159)

All are throbbing, pulsing designs that evolve in time, that persist or perish based on their ability to facilitate flow access. (Location 2162)

We are a part of nature; its oneness includes everything, even us. Our special gift is not the ability to act apart from nature but the ability to generate complex and evolving natural designs that allow us to move more mass faster, farther, with longer lifetimes, and more cheaply than other animal-mass flows. (Location 2167)

Structures are seen as static and transactions as dynamic. To be fair, there is a literature about transitions between structures, but these transitions are anomalies, periods of structural breakdowns or “revolutions” leading to new periods of stable structure. (Location 2172)

Rather than being taken as given, the living flow structure is always in flux, ever evolving to provide better and better flow access. (Location 2175)

Thus the environment is an essential dimension of any given flow structure. The environment, in turn, can be defined as a series of overlapping and interwoven flows that interact in space and time. (Location 2177)

call these environments of multiple, interwoven flows “tapestries.” In nature, tapestries might be given labels such as “ecosystem” or “geomorphology,” and in the human environment they might be called an economy or society. (Location 2179)

tapestry is morphing its configuration to seek better paths in the context of other flows doing the same. (Location 2181)

So the movement of people will tend to be along paths of less and less resistance. Over time, transportation systems, like highway and railroad networks, develop treelike patterns much like river basins, responding to similar geographic challenges. (Location 2189)

Weber’s concept of bureaucracy is premised on a similar assumption: that the rules of bureaucratic organization determine outcomes, not the unique characteristics of the individuals in a bureaucracy. (Location 2193)

third explanation is that individual motivations are canceled out in situations involving large numbers of people, a topic studied by the field of collective behavior. (Location 2195)

A final explanation is that while people’s motivations may vary to some extent, most people, most of the time, are rational actors (Location 2196)

Note: we have evolved behaviors that seek to optimize efficncg r exhbit beavior which have led to greater efficiency

construct evolving flow systems that enable people and their goods to move more easily, more cheaply. This is not human desire. It is physics. (Location 2200)

Although they are far more complex, human organizations are also area-to-point or point-to-area flow systems. Governments, corporations, religious groups, universities, sports teams, communication and transportation networks, cities, nations, etc., produce and transmit currents (goods, services, people, information, etc.) to an area through actual channels. (Location 2202)

allow the flow system to persist (Location 2215)

The constructal law is not an abstract theory but pure physics, observable nature, and unifying principle. It predicts the movement of physical entities over the globe, the flow of things we can see, hear, feel, taste, and touch. (Location 2217)

Ford is the vast global structure of channels and interstices through which currents of materials, products, and information flow. If these currents were to stop flowing, the factories would be dead buildings. (Location 2222)

This word is an improvement, a better channel for communication, because it captures the central idea of the interdependency of (Location 2228)

It reminds us that design arises in order to spread often-nourishing currents across an area or throughout a volume. (Location 2230)

persist in time it must deliver life-giving ideas, materials, and goods to all its workers and customers. (Location 2232)

“For a finite-size flow system to persist in time (to live), its configuration must evolve in such a way that it provides easier access to the currents that flow through it.” (Location 2234)

There I said that everything that moves and morphs in order to flow and persist is alive. We (Location 2236)

when material and information stop flying to and from a business, the business withers and dies. (Location 2238)

The patterns of their channels should have a vascular shape and structure as we observe in other point-to-area flow systems, and those patterns should evolve in time to provide greater flow access. (Location 2240)

Although it has received a bad rap as a symbol of inequality, hierarchy is essential to good design. (Location 2243)

The few large feed the many small, and vice versa. (Location 2249)

it—the one, the few, and the many. While the Greek philosopher was defining distinct political systems, he also suggested the hierarchical structure of design in nature. (Location 2257)

There is always one main channel—the Mississippi, the Danube, the Seine. (Location 2261)

These, in turn, are sustained by many small tributaries and rivulets in an immense system that moves water from the entire plain to the river mouth. (Location 2263)

Almost every government has one leader—the chieftain, king, sultan, president, prime minister, governor, or mayor—who, like the main river channel, must handle the most important flow of information and authority. (Location 2271)

Using the constructal law, we can predict that its structure should have a few large channels and many smaller ones, (Location 2280)

because point-to-area and area-to-point move their currents more efficiently with it than without it. (Location 2292)

Enlightened democracies and rigid dictatorships both display hierarchy, as do well and poorly run companies. (Location 2293)

The constructal law also predicts that the rigid hierarchy will give way in time to a freely morphing hierarchy. This is why dictatorships are relatively short-lived and democracies have staying power. (Location 2295)

the CEO is the main channel. But as we go down the level of authority, from senior and middle managers to the foreman on the factory floor, these tributaries serve as main channels for the streams they feed. (Location 2305)

Similarly, the internal structure of multicellular organisms has a hierarchical structure, albeit one that is far less complex than that found in animals such as humans. (Location 2310)

This highlights the false assumption that because one flow system is younger and less evolved than another, it lacks hierarchy. (Location 2317)

Flow systems generate just enough complexity for the size of the territory they bathe with current. (Location 2326)

The phenomenon of design in nature is not one where complexity increases in time. (Location 2327)

The tendency in nature is not toward greater complexity but better flow access globally. (Location 2330)

If we zero in on the subvolume between two alveoli in the lung, we do not rediscover the structure that resembles the human lung with its twenty-three levels of branching. (Location 2332)

Science is what we can say about nature; it is our knowledge of how things are in nature (around us and in us) and how they work. In its rawest form, science is a collection of many observations. (Location 2337)

Today, the constructal law is uniting a host of seemingly far-flung phenomena—design and evolution of the inanimate and the animate—through a single principle of physics. (Location 2358)

We keep up with the steady flow of new information through a process of simplification by replacement: (Location 2360)

Civilization is the story of better and better flow access. The evolving design of politics, economics, technology, (Location 2368)

and all the rest have created channels that improve the movement of people, goods, and ideas. (Location 2369)

But in the long run, there is a clear direction in time: The currents that persist are those that facilitate movement. This is progress. (Location 2371)

Both flow systems are preexisting and evolving. The first part of this statement is easier to appreciate than the second when we are looking at a river basin, because its design has emerged over millions of years. (Location 2373)

Now, if the worst fears about global warming were to come true or some other cataclysm were to dramatically alter the current system—if the middle of America (Location 2377)

Science is a much younger and far more complex flow system than the river basin. (Location 2380)

scientific ideas appear to take a long time to take hold. (Location 2384)

For lack of better laws, researchers try to squeeze new data into the old channels. (Location 2387)

because they depend on and benefit from the existing design, (Location 2387)

Truly original ideas break this mode and replace the existing structure with one that flows better. This is what the constructal law predicts for the evolution of science. (Location 2389)

CEOs use managers and workers to create their company’s products and spread them to their distributors and customers, just as presidents, prime ministers, and dictators use advisers and countless bureaucrats to develop and spread their policies across the land. (Location 2393)

The big need the small just as surely as the small need the big. The individual sustains the crowd—and vice versa. (Location 2398)

Organisms compete with one another for scarce resources; we compete with the environment, etc. It is, largely, a tale of winners and losers. (Location 2404)

toward flowing together and in balance, is the central tendency of design in nature. (Location 2406)

have emerged because they are efficient designs for global flow (Location 2409)

Every business is a component of local, national, and world economies. (Location 2426)

The Internet is swelling as traditional channels shrink because it can facilitate heavier flows (more efficiently, to boot) than the structure generated by traditional media. (Location 2509)

For all our thinking and debating, our long record of achievement, our torturous history of conflict, we have generated natural designs. And (Location 2528)

As useful as they all may be, none was inevitable. (Location 2535)

But those currents would facilitate our flow through multiscale channels in order to reach all the people they serve, which means to enable all the people to move more easily on the globe. (Location 2536)

and a corporation must deliver goods and services to its customers. All generate vascular designs with hierarchy, all go with the flow. (Location 2542)

The more interesting question is: Why does it work? (Location 2549)

This ad hoc approach is laborious but effective, enabling us to fathom a wide range of phenomena. (Location 2558)

The answers emerge when we remember that the constructal law concerns movement, access, and speed. (Location 2575)

Although these designs are what grab the eye and command attention, they are not the main attraction. Like trains and planes, they are a means to an end. They are global engines that have arisen for one reason: to enable the currents that flow through them to move more easily across the landscape. (Location 2576)

is less important than the fact that it moves the most current quicker and over a longer distance. The smaller channels of varying sizes and the interstices move less current, less rapidly, over shorter distances. (Location 2579)

The time to move fast and long should be roughly equal to the time to move slow and short. When this occurs, currents flow with ease over the area inhabited by the entire flow structure. This is the foundation of all constructal designs, including the Atlanta airport. (Location 2582)

It predicts how dogs should run along the beach; the path of your morning commute; as well as the development of Rome, Paris, and other cities. (Location 2586)

that given freedom, entities on the move should generate and seek paths that allow them to move faster and farther per unit of useful energy. (Location 2588)

They are part of a continuum in which smaller structures should morph inside and along with larger ones. (Location 2591)

First, the complex designs are rooted in the simplest—the intricate air transport routes followed by all the planes flowing over the globe (Figure 42) grow out of the basic movement of people walking from here to there. (Location 2591)

Second, even as each component of the flow system evolves to flow more easily, it is also part of a larger system whose shape and structure are also evolving to strike the right balance among all its components to enhance its flow. (Location 2593)

finds the nexus between individual self-interest and collective action. (Location 2595)

The run and the swim should be balanced against each other such that the entire effort of getting from A to B is reduced. (Location 2617)

finding the quickest way to get from point A to point B when two forms of movement are involved. (Location 2618)

Dogs of innumerable generations before Elvis learned this the hard way by catching the food floating at B, starving, or drowning. (Location 2620)

It proclaims that everything should seek greater and greater access in an environment booby-trapped with constraints, obstacles, and surprises. (Location 2628)

These countless constraints—such as the relative running and swimming skills of people, the topography encountered by ground water—account for much of the diversity we find in nature without violating the principle. (Location 2628)

My work addressed the far more common broken-line problem in nature of how to minimize the travel time involving two flow regimes and innumerable currents over an entire area. Put another (Location 2642)

all the goods and services produced by a local or global economy. (Location 2659)

So far we have focused on the evolving design of the channels that carry that current. (Location 2661)

our transportation systems did not begin with highways and airports but with the flow of people across untamed ground that created the first footpaths. (Location 2678)

Even by today’s standards, their size is immense and their form is perfect. (Location 2694)

that to engineer is natural, to tend to migrate on the globe is natural, and that the geometry of all material flows (animate and inanimate) can be reasoned based on a single principle. In the making (Location 2699)

(As technology has evolved, work sites have moved farther from the sources of material because it takes less effort to transport them.) (Location 2704)

For example, to ship Lucky Strike cigarettes from Durham, North Carolina, to soldiers in Dunkirk is not to send them on the shortest (geodesic) line that links the two cities. (Location 2717)

It is to send the goods along a less expensive path if possible, which could be the refracted ray consisting of the short and high unit price (land route, by truck from Durham to Savannah), followed by the long and low unit price (by ship, from Savannah to Dunkirk). (Location 2718)

Every point of the area must have greater and greater access to a common point on the perimeter. (Location 2724)

one with low resistivity (channel flow; vehicles on the street) and the other with high resistivity (seepage through wet riverbanks; walking). The shape comes from the tendency to facilitate flow access. (Location 2725)

this: The time to walk along half a concourse is about the same as the time to ride quickly on the train, end to end—about five minutes. (Location 2768)

The minutes needed to get to the train station should be comparable to the minutes spent on the train. In (Location 2779)

time it takes everyone to complete his or her journey; it describes the flow design of huge numbers of people, not the experience of each person. (Location 2790)

which has reduced the time it takes to cover an area. (Location 2800)

A grid is a network because it has loops, as if it were woven into a net. The grid is a net because it is a superposition of actual flows, which are shaped like trees. (Location 2835)

improve, a second beltway (wider, faster, with a radius twice the original radius) will emerge around the city and the first beltway. (Location 2845)

that are slow and short and fast and long, every step of the way. (Location 2847)

For them, the time they spend walking from their house to the curb (1) and driving out of their cul-de-sac (2) is their short and slow movement. Their time speeding down the avenue (3) is their fast and long. (Location 2849)

This underscores the folly of trying to impose a design that has not evolved naturally. (Location 2859)

When this balance is reached, large numbers of citizens (future users) vote for the design. They vote in the booth, telling the city to build it. They (Location 2861)

This is why the flight from Washington, D.C., to Raleigh-Durham takes half an hour—the same time that most of us need to drive home from the airport. (Location 2863)

Security checkpoints in the airport and in war zones work best when the time and effort spent in the bottlenecks are comparable to what is spent en route to them. (Location 2867)

Culture serves as memory in the evolution of urban design. (Location 2873)

Using the constructal law, we recognize that not only biological species but also technology and language, religion, education, and all the rest are flow systems that configure and reconfigure themselves so that the bodies that possess these designs (we, the cultured) move more easily on the globe. (Location 2891)

How these changes are happening are mechanisms, which should not be confused with the principle, the constructal (Location 2895)

What flows through a design that evolves is not nearly as special in physics as how the flow system acquires and improves its configuration in (Location 2900)

The constructal law advances our understanding of evolution by proclaiming that design should emerge across nature to facilitate flow. (Location 2903)

Evolution, then, is measurable in terms of how much easier and farther things move on Earth. (Location 2905)

Despite their great diversity, flow systems faced with similar challenges and constraints tend to acquire similar designs. (Location 2906)

The vascular, hierarchical designs we find throughout nature strike a balance between the speeds of their currents (each of which selects the mode of flow, slow and fast, that works best for them) by generating multiscale channels. (Location 2910)

Researchers have observed but could not predict. They have known the what but not the how. (Location 2915)

prevailing view holds that the institutions built by humanity are subject to the desires of people, not the laws of nature. (Location 2917)

Each has the tendency to flow more easily; all find it is easier to flow together, with design. This means that social designs, like other flow designs, occur naturally. (Location 2920)

Because knowledge and information are currents that enhance our own movement, they acquire evolving design in accordance with the constructal law. (Location 2938)

tiny number of top-ranked universities, a few more second-tier institutions, and many lower-ranked schools. What may seem remarkable is that this hierarchy is as rigid as the one we find in those other “natural” systems. (Location 2940)

by predicting that education is an evolving global flow system with design that is governed by the constructal law. (Location 2943)

Instead, all the colleges and universities are components of the single larger flow system that covers the entire globe. (Location 2945)

A scholar and a university become known because of the ideas they generate. (Location 2949)

The good ideas are the ideas that are adopted by others worldwide. (Location 2951)

Students flock to high-ranking schools because they know these schools can help them enter the main channels of society. Education flows in one direction: from those who have it to those who seek it. (Location 2956)

It is the ideas that flow through these human links and into the books of our evolving science and culture with which we walk on Earth. (Location 2960)

because of the fame of the ideas they have and continue to generate. This entrenched hierarchical design persists because it facilitates the flow of ideas across the world. (Location 2966)

that all the universities should generate a hierarchical design to facilitate this (Location 2967)

That is, they should produce the distribution of design features (in this case, of universities) that we find in the design of river basins, forests, and other natural phenomena. The ranking of these schools should be based on the fame, the usefulness, of the ideas they generate. (Location 2968)

All hinge on the prediction that as flow systems become larger, covering a bigger area, they should facilitate the access for the currents that move through them. For universities, this means that a hierarchical vasculature should emerge that facilitates the flow of ideas. (Location 3011)

which are due to the evolutionary process that brought the whole world of information sharing to the present level of effectiveness. (Location 3046)

artificial, because it is not demanded by the natural evolutionary flow and geography that created the tapestry of academic flows that covers our world. (Location 3062)

Such wishes are analogous to damming, blocking, or digging river channels. (Location 3064)

The artificial features of the flow network require constant maintenance (spending), more when the artificial does not resemble the natural. In the end, the water knows how and where to flow, the dams break, the dug channels dry up, and the natural design wins. (Location 3065)

Over time, the river basin improves the positions of its channels, and the channels stay in roughly the same places. (Location 3068)

Again, “largest” does not mean the greatest number of bodies moving in and out of the classrooms. It means the streams of the most creative, that is, the channels that attract the individuals who generate new ideas and who develop disciples who produce and carry new ideas farther on the globe and into the future. (Location 3071)

Cataclysmic change (for example, plate tectonics) in the landscape of flow access is the answer. Likewise, the flow of higher education can be diverted through major changes in the loci of generation of new ideas and channels for the flow of information. Freedom is good (Location 3077)

These changes had the effect of instituting a marketplace where the flow of ideas was freer. (Location 3083)

We predicted that the ranking of college basketball teams should be just as rigid because college basketball, too, owes its existence and robustness to a geographical tapestry of area-to-point and point-to-area flows of multiple sizes. (Location 3097)

There is a correlation between success in the Final Four tournament and success in sending players to the NBA. (Location 3112)

The reason is that knowledge and Academy membership are two very different flow systems in the same landscape. The first concerns the flow of ideas; the second, the flow of people already in the Academy. (Location 3172)

I noted that empire building is a phenomenon that dominates today’s research landscape. Large groups, national priorities (for example, nanotechnology, fuel cells), and research centers dwarf the spontaneous individual investigators. (Location 3182)

What is flowing? How does the design facilitate that movement? Regarding the golden ratio, we ask: What flows when we look at a page with text, math, and art? And why do the shapes with L/H ~ 3/2 appear to “breathe” and “flow” better than the others? (Location 3246)

The architecture of the brain consists of bundles and bundles of constantly forming and adjusting tree-shaped channels of neural fibers that provide easier and easier point-to-volume and point-to-area access to the regions of (Location 3256)

The evolution of writing, toward simplicity and universality (one alphabet), is one phenomenon of design generation. The evolution of spoken languages, especially the emergence of lingua francas, from ancient Greek and Latin to French and now English, is another example. (Location 3261)

biological and cultural/technological evolution. Both are governed by the constructal law. (Location 3324)

Through the much shorter annals of human history, our designs have evolved to create easier access for the flow of information to our brains, and to humanity at large. (Location 3325)

We consider them lovely and intriguing because they are in tune with how we see the world and are therefore useful. (Location 3331)

Everything that flows (including us) generates designs that enable it to move more mass, more easily, on Earth. (Location 3332)

Inanimate and animate systems evolve in order to flow more easily. In chapter 3, we used this mental viewing to predict the scaling laws of all animal locomotion. (Location 3338)

Designs evolved so that at each subsequent stage of evolution the newer animal forms were able to cover more area for less consumption of useful energy. (Location 3341)

The constructal design of animal locomotion calls for a balance between the work of lifting mass (W1) and the work of moving the body horizontally against the resisting medium (W2). (Location 3343)

The time direction of this evolution has been toward higher speeds, and it is shown qualitatively in Figure 56, which is a detail of the side plane of Figure 55. More movement and more mixing of the Earth (upward in space) have always been aligned with time, more speed, and more space traveled per unit of animal mass and useful energy consumed. (Location 3363)

This has made the flow of animal mass much more efficient, faster, and enduring. (Location 3373)

The evolution toward more movement, space, and speed (Figure 56) is also the evolution toward better, more powerful vision. (Location 3378)

At the end of the day, intelligence and knowledge (Location 3391)

name for the acquired knowledge passed on through the generations—it (Location 3392)

We generate mental viewings of the world of movement and actions that surround us. We do this every instant. We reflect not only on the past and the present but also on the future. (Location 3401)

The better and more easily we guide and power our movement, the more our movement (our culture) persists. (Location 3406)

to use the environment as fuel (food) and to guide its movement with sensory organs. (Location 3407)

been toward more, easier, faster, farther, and longer life-movement. (Location 3408)

To speculate is to look into nothing except the mirror of the mind (speculum means “mirror” in Latin). This purely mental activity means “theory,” and the ability to theorize, too, is evolving so that, (Location 3410)

Culture flows from high to low, like all the other streams that obey the second law of thermodynamics. (Location 3413)

and the barbarians attacked them at the same time to acquire what they lacked (food, shelter, culture). (Location 3418)

In a nutshell, we are becoming more and more civilized because culture flows. Interruptions like those that caused the Dark Ages can happen, but the natural tendency expressed through the larger pattern is toward more culture flowing through. (Location 3419)

Culture is inventing and knowing the channels and the ways in which to move. (Location 3425)

Those who possess it travel far, which is the opposite of being taken to the morgue. (Location 3427)

The less cultured understand this, because they are attracted by the obvious effect of culture—more plentiful food, shelter, and, above everything, freedom. They speed walk toward us. Nobody is forcing them to wear suits and speak English. (Location 3429)

It teaches us that anything that flows—which is just about everything—is “alive” because it evolves as it flows. (Location 3442)

When the flow stops, the configuration becomes a flow fossil (for example, dry riverbeds, snowflakes, animal skeletons, abandoned technology, and the Pyramids of Egypt). (Location 3444)

While recognizing important differences—no one should ever confuse people with rivers—it identifies the single principle of physics that makes an entity “alive,” that governs the evolution… (Location 3449)

In fact, the film truly began running when the universe formed and flowing currents began… (Location 3454)

By teaching us that life is flow, the constructal law collapses the false distinctions between the animate and the inanimate, providing a… (Location 3458)

Even the “nonnaturally” arising chemicals and inventions humans create reflect the natural tendency to make designs that allow us to move our mass… (Location 3461)

For all the diversity we find in nature, the history of our planet is, in fact, the unfolding story of the interaction between solar energy and the mass it sets in motion. This… (Location 3466)

Life on Earth is a tapestry of engines (which drive every flowing current) and brakes (all… (Location 3468)

the currents encounter). All these designs, the engines and their brakes, evolve hand in glove and… (Location 3469)

We start with the biggest flow system that surrounds us: the Earth, which is nature itself. Nature looks complicated, all the more so as we separate its components into walled-off areas for study—the… (Location 3474)

Nature is in fact a tapestry woven on a very simple loom. The designs in all these spheres consist of many flow types and sizes,… (Location 3476)

However, they ceaselessly tend to fit better and better over time. The fact that everything that moves is free to morph means that every thread and motif of the… (Location 3479)

Taking a bird’s-eye view is very good medicine for those sickened by the dogma that nature is complicated, diverse, random, nondeterministic, complex, emerging, fractal, turbulent, nonlinear, chaotic … words that sound scientific but… (Location 3482)

urged his students to step back, look at the whole, make it simple but “do not throw the baby away with the bathwater.” Professor Den Hartog was… (Location 3486)

probabilities that animate the crowd that marches today. It is the coming together of larger and larger quantities of mass. It is the macroscopic black lines that emerge and evolve on the macroscopic white pages of… (Location 3490)

This current flows from sun to Earth because the sun’s temperature is higher than the Earth’s. Similarly, a current of energy flows from the Earth to the sky,… (Location 3495)

One word for this constantly morphing design is climate, and, not surprisingly, the main features of the Earth’s climate (climate zones, temperatures, wind speed, and so on) have been predicted from the constructal law. This fundamental finding belies the claim… (Location 3498)

It accounts for the fact that all the live systems on Earth (not just the climate) intercept and use… (Location 3501)

They all flow by acquiring configurations that evolve in time. How do these guts fit in the big animal? The animal is the globe, as an intermediate stop for a train of… (Location 3503)

Anything that moves on Earth does so because it is driven. The driving is done by very subtle engines… (Location 3506)

The second part of the design of nature is the movement that occurs against resistances that constantly try to stop it. Without such resistances, the objects driven by the work, W, would accelerate forever and spin out of control. (Location 3527)

First, remember that in the steady state the Earth cannot store energy. What arrives from the sun penetrates the spheres, sets things in motion, and bounces off into the cold sky. (Location 3541)

As the engines we call rivers or animals move, they must rub against the brakes of their surroundings. They must get the environment out of the way. (Location 3546)

The only reality we know is the one we see before our eyes. (Location 3552)

What we do know is that flow resistances plague all of them, that they are all imperfect. (Location 3554)

First, if the flows and moving parts of an engine morph in time so that they move more easily, the engine design evolves in the direction of producing more and more work (W) from the fixed heat input (QH). (Location 3557)

All flow systems improve over time, so that we find the evolution of better-flowing engines (lower dissipation) and more effective brakes (higher dissipation). (Location 3579)

All the flow systems on Earth function as converters of useful energy (fuel or food) into mass moved. (Location 3581)

Because the tendency in nature is to equilibrate not only the hot with the cold but also the slow with the fast—equilibrium means uniformity in every respect. (Location 3600)

This flow moves in one direction—from the entity that possesses it (whether it’s momentum, warmth, chemical species, knowledge, food, culture, etc.) to that which does not. (Location 3603)

In time, new structures emerged that could move currents faster and farther: rivers of lava, atmospheric and oceanic currents, and rain and rivers. (Location 3607)

in one direction in time, acquiring better and better designs for flowing, mixing, and churning. Remember, all the flows on Earth move actual currents of mass through actual channels. (Location 3610)

Easier flow, then, means moving more mass (or weight) on Earth by using the finite driving power derived from the (Location 3613)

to move more mass more easily. (Location 3625)

beetle—we should not consider it in isolation but see how it enhances global flow access. (Location 3627)

While it is true that new designs often absorb or replace those that had existed before, there are no winners and losers. (Location 3629)

mix the medium that surrounds them because they draw in nutrients and oxygen and they expel products of metabolism. (Location 3632)

Churning means mixing of all kinds—of momentum, energy, and chemical species. Eventually, and inexorably, newer creatures evolved that were better at facilitating this mixing. (Location 3637)

Animals move mass from here to there. Animals in tandem with air, water, sand, and dust move more mass than the inanimate currents did before animate systems emerged. (Location 3650)

What it does predict is that if the conditions exist for a biosphere or river basin to arise, then they should acquire configurations that facilitate movement and mixing. (Location 3655)

to facilitate the movement of more mass on Earth. (Location 3658)

that they have evolved as manifestations of the tendency of all things to enhance global mixing and churning in accordance with the laws of thermodynamics and the constructal law. (Location 3659)

Yes, because evolution toward greater access means that flow systems should evolve to penetrate, mix, and churn larger areas and volumes. (Location 3676)

Big animals and big trucks may be more efficient than smaller ones in terms of the expenditure of useful energy, and they also mix and churn more of the environment. But smaller animals can penetrate spaces that larger ones cannot. This is the design that sustains all ecosystems. It takes all kinds. (Location 3692)

First, throughout this book we have noted that all flow systems will morph if “given freedom.” (Location 3695)

Our great achievements—hunting, agriculture, religion, science, medicine, government, art, commerce, etc.—all reflect the tendency to generate configurations to move our mass on Earth, and to reshape the Earth. Indeed, the recorded history of mankind chronicles the invention of better and better designs for this. (Location 3701)

the creation of new and better systems that flow across the Earth’s crust. (Location 3710)

we have enlarged ourselves with knowledge, which means everything: machines, shelter, food, and links all over the globe. We are flowing internally, in our organs. We also flow externally, through every move and sound, from the planted fields to the school yard, from the horse to the airplane, from the telephone to the Internet. (Location 3713)

Thanks to engineering in all its forms (technology, medicine, business, education, communications, government), each of us is much larger, stronger, and faster than our naked bodies. Each of us is as big as the global sphere. (Location 3718)

Life is monumentally easier for those who possess knowledge. (Location 3722)

All the mass that moves with us and because of us (people, goods, information) is flowing more easily with progressively greater access all over the map: from human migrations in history to globalization and free trade today, (Location 3724)

More mass moved to greater distances for every unit of fuel (food) and effort. (Location 3727)

Mass moved and the Earth’s crust mixed. (Location 3729)

All are flow systems that have emerged and continue to evolve in order to facilitate the movement of mass on Earth. All are evolving in time to increase access for their currents. All are part of the tapestry of mating and morphing flow designs that cover the Earth. (Location 3735)

Internet, we have developed, then improved upon, designs to enhance our movement. (Location 3740)

No law of thermodynamics calls for this design and design change. Yet design evolution happens because it is an integral part of physics. This is the part of physics covered by the constructal law. (Location 3745)

The short answer should be obvious by now: a multitude of flow designs that move more mass better—cheaper, farther, faster. On the world stage, you can place solid bets that the entire globe will continue spreading the rule of law, free trade, human rights, globalization, and all the other design features that guarantee more movement for us and our stuff. (Location 3747)

Relatively new technologies—such as cell phones and handheld computers that have increased and improved the flow of information, people, and goods across the globe—will be complemented by new inventions that will allow our currents to sweep the globe more easily, more cheaply. The (Location 3752)

The pursuit of higher efficiency will not lead to less fuel consumption. (Location 3757)

Throughout human history, when one source of power proved insufficient, a new one was added—first people, then people with animals, then medieval contributions from windmills and water wheels. (Location 3759)

Our movement is proportional to the amount of fuel that we burn. It represents everything that characterizes us as (Location 3765)

This is why the GDP values of all countries and political regions of the globe are proportional to their respective amounts of fuel usage. Movement is wealth, and wealth is physics. “Getting lucky” is a manifestation of design. (Location 3766)

By understanding that energy usage is not simply a political or social problem but a natural phenomenon that governs human actions, we see the issue in truly global terms. (Location 3772)

the evolution of better designs to move more, not less, mass on Earth. (Location 3776)

Better-flowing configurations replace existing configurations. (Location 3781)