In existographies, John Platt (37 BE-37 AE) (1918-1992 ACM) (IQ:#|#) (CR:17) (LH:5) (TL:22) was American child prodigy turned physicist, biophysicist, social thermodynamicist, genius studies scholar, and reductionism defender, noted for his 1962 Platt IQs (see: Einstein's IQ), and for his 1970s publications on social thermodynamics.
In 1972, Platt, in his “Social Traps”, said the following about social thermodynamics:
“There are three distinct types of locked-in patterns in collective behavior that need much more study from a reinforcement point of view to see the microstructure that gives rise to a kind of social thermodynamics. The first type is what Adam Smith referred to as the invisible hand of the marketplace. He used this term to emphasize the absence of any overt or mechanical causal mechanism in the stabilization of prices or wages around some median value in a free economic market of competing individuals. A similar invisible hand tends to equalize and centralize the political parties in systems with majority (rather than proportional representation) elections.
The second type might be called by contrast the invisible fist, where the competition of numerous individuals does not produce agreement on a median value, but instead runs away from the median, with either escalation or elimination past some point of no return. This happens with Gresham's law in economics, where "bad money drives out good." Several of our current crises have this characteristic, as with the escalation of arms races or unrestrained pollution or the elimination of good railroad service, as we have noted. The urban crisis is made almost unsolvable by multiple complex escalations of this kind, as slum clearance drives slum dwellers elsewhere, and the poor are migrating into the city to get welfare money, while the rich are moving to the suburbs to escape taxes.
The third type of locked-in pattern could be called the invisible chain. This signifies a loop of transactional relationships among two or more people, forming self-maintaining systems that are sometimes very damaging and very hard to get out of. Married couples frequently get locked into repetitive disagreements over sex or money or the temperature of the room or whether to go to the show early or late. Eric Berne (1964) has discussed various locked-in networks of this kind in his book Games People Play. In his game of "alcoholic," for example, he shows how the alcoholic is trapped in a self-maintaining game with three or four other people, such as the long-suffering wife, the best friend, and the corner bartender, with each of their responses reinforcing the others for their responses.
Over a lifetime, our originally accidental roles in many such chains, beneficial and damaging, may come to create and maintain the responses that finally appear as our personal or social "character." The self-maintaining character of federal bureaus or of the military-industrial complex come from large-scale invisible chains of the same sort. A careful analysis of such spontaneous lock-ins could be crucial today.”
In 1972, Platt published On Social Transformations, which, presumably, was an expanded elaboration of the above.
Quotes | By
The following are quotes:
- “Lestrade to be let loose on such a study is exactly as pathetic as for a subnormal waitress in the IQ of 90 range to try to measure the intellectual differences in college students.”
- — John Platt (1962) “The Coming Generation of Genius” (pg. 73) 
- Platt IQ – Hmolpedia 2020.
- Platt, John. (1972). “Social Traps” (pdf), address presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Honolulu, Hawaii, Sep; in American Psychologist, Aug. 641-51.
- Platt, John. (1972). On Social Transformations. Publisher.
- (a) Gyorgyi, Albert. (1972). “Dionysians and Apollonians”, Science, 176(4038):966. (b) Key, Mary. (2011). The Relationship of Verbal and Nonverbal Communication (§:Dionysians and Apollonians, pgs. 317-). Gruyter.
- (a) Platt, John R. (1962). “The Coming Generation of Genius: an ‘Explosion’ of 180-IQ boys. And Girls?” (pg. 5), Horizon, 4(4):70-76.
(b) Platt IQ – Hmolpedia 2020.
- Platt, John R. (1966). Step to Man. Wiley.
- Platt, John R. (1970). Perception and Change: Projections for the Future. Publisher.
- Platt, John R. (1972). Perception and Change: Projections for the Future. Publisher.
- John Platt – Hmolpedia 2020.