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Emo-Thermo Conference

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A smart student who applies themselves at their studies might find themselves at an elite institution of higher learning, Duke University for example. And were they to excel there, they might find themselves studying under the auspices of a world famous scientist, perhaps someone who has discovered a new principle in physics, someone perhaps such as Adrian Bejan discoverer of the Constructal Law. The odds of this latter fortune unfortunately, are rather low since not too many first principles of science are likely to be discovered in one’s lifetime. Now I was a relatively smart student and I went to a good college, not a “Duke” by any means, however I didn’t apply myself as hard as I could have, I wasn’t seeking mastery, learning for the love of learning. I felt like I was there just to complete grades 13 to 16, not to mention avoiding going to Vietnam, and yet, nevertheless last weekend I found myself in a classroom repurposed as a conference room as part of a boutique hotel, being tutored in the Constructal Law by none other than the discoverer of this new found principle of Thermodynamics, Adrian Bejan. It was the rarest of opportunities. Higher education doesn’t get any better. And to top it off, I then presented my application of Constructal Law to my immediate-moment theory of behavior with Adrian sitting a few feet away. It was as if I was presenting a Doctoral Thesis with the world’s most eminent authority on the matter sitting in review. (In this regard I have indeed applied myself wholeheartedly).

I’m grateful to Willem Larsen, our co-presenter, for putting this conference together. (Even got to meet the elusive Garth, an important behind the scenes person.) And although dog behavior is not Adrian’s domain I’m happy to report that he affirmed that I have applied the Constructal law correctly in my construct of the Canine Constructal Mind. Onward!

I believe that for the first time the hard science of Thermodynamics, the nebulous realm of emotion, and the most intimate intricacies of the animal mind (from both a tracking and an immediate-moment perspective) were successfully integrated into one cohesive swarm of ideas. Thermodynamics affects everything, from geo-politics, economics, animal migratory patterns and the specific story recorded in each footfall, anatomical evolution, and finally, to the most inscrutable and intimate workings of the mind.

The conference concluded as Willem sluiced its main ideas into a number of diverse applications for subsets of the group to chew over, subjects ranging from family dynamics, workplace flow, environmentalism and re-connecting with nature. I’m grateful to have been a part of such a grand and ambitious synthesis. I believe the tape of the conference will be made available and I hope many will tune in to this video in order to find themselves at a Duke University first rate lecture courtesy of Adrian Bejan and Willem, the stuff that great Ted talks are made of.

I remain mystified that the field of biology and behaviorism have not realized the profound implications that the Constructal law means for evolution and even the specific architecture upon which the animal mind is organized and dictates what it learns. As Adrian stated unequivocally everything is physics, even biology, an argument I am extending to behavior.

In my final summation I searched for a statement that would encompass the three main themes of our conference,\; Constructal Law, Emotion and the motive to behavior. I believe the following does so:

How can I move and remain upright?

This statement might seem simplistic but it contains complexity, what I call the Present, Past and Future tenses of body language. First of all, to move and remain upright, which is the universal motive underwriting all movement and even moments of inaction, gives us a simple principle of conductivity, energy moving from high pressure to low pressure; behavior in the present tense, the simplest principle of Thermodynamics. Secondly, when movement involves a challenge to remaining upright, in other words the individual is encountering resistance, then an emotional charge is acquired and is stored; Thermodynamics 2nd principle; the law of conservation. Emotion becomes stress. Finally, Stress causes the organism to be attracted to the “negative” so that it can only-get-out-the-way-it-went-in and this means that Objects-of-Resistance are identified by the law of conservation and an internal emotional force is acquired (Stress) that increases the individual’s drive to make contact with that which caused it to internalize Stress. This is the Future Tense, the Constructal Law, importing Objects-of-Resistance into the configuration in order to improve the flow, i.e.convert stress back to emotion, the solid mass (stress) converted back into the fluid current (emotion) and along the way the social structure emerges. Thermodynamics, emotion and behavior are all of one piece, and this falls under the domain of Physics, not biology or behaviorism.

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Published October 25, 2017 by Kevin Behan
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4 responses to “Emo-Thermo Conference”

  1. Sheri Miller says:

    Kevin, you did indeed apply yourself wholeheartedly to this. You gave the best overview yet of your immediate-moment theory, and the presentations by Adrian, Willem, and Brandt were all fantastic as well.. This was the best conference I have ever been to. The melding of ideas was incredibly intriguing and will serve as fodder for my mind for a long time to come. I highly recommend people attend it next year. Thank-you!

  2. Brandt says:

    It was an incredible honor to participate in this symposium, and your work has inspired me immensely! I’ve been talking about, sharing your insight ever since.

  3. Kevin Behan says:

    Thanks Brandt: I got so tunneled in on Thermodynamics in this post I neglected to mention your presentation. For the first time I now have an understanding of Chinese Medicine and how it constitutes cycles within cycles, and moreover, simple common sense when you explained how you position the needles for certain conditions that reflect specific emotional impasses. Your passion is infectious, the audience was clearly lifted and inspired. It was also clear that you have brought a level of academic erudition into your synthesis and this distillation made ideas that I used to find unapproachable, easy to understand. That you can find correlation with my model is a quite humbling experience for me.

  4. Rose Sira says:

    Always love reading your posts and can only imagine how exciting and thrilling this must have been for you! Keep up the good work…keep spreading the word… keep pushing…

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Books about Natural Dog Training by Kevin Behan

In Your Dog Is Your Mirror, dog trainer Kevin Behan proposes a radical new model for understanding canine behavior: a dog’s behavior and emotion, indeed its very cognition, are driven by our emotion. The dog doesn’t respond to what the owner thinks, says, or does; it responds to what the owner feels. And in this way, dogs can actually put people back in touch with their own emotions. Behan demonstrates that dogs and humans are connected more profoundly than has ever been imagined — by heart — and that this approach to dog cognition can help us understand many of dogs’ most inscrutable behaviors. This groundbreaking, provocative book opens the door to a whole new understanding between species, and perhaps a whole new understanding of ourselves.
  Natural Dog Training is about how dogs see the world and what this means in regards to training. The first part of this book presents a new theory for the social behavior of canines, featuring the drive to hunt, not the pack instincts, as seminal to canine behavior. The second part reinterprets how dogs actually learn. The third section presents exercises and handling techniques to put this theory into practice with a puppy. The final section sets forth a training program with a special emphasis on coming when called.
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