David Porreca | Thermodynamics of civilizational decline

David Porreca is an associate professor of Classical and Medieval Studies in the Faculty of Arts, University of Waterloo. His recent scholarship addresses thermodynamics of civilizations -- the processes and consequences of the decline and fall of empires, with a special focus on late Rome to early Middle Ages. He observes that the surplus energy available for deployment in society is the crucial element that enables labour specialization, a defining characteristic of complex societies. Dr. Porreca contends that understanding the processes of civilizational decline from the past is critical for identifying the signs of gathering collapse today.