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Another way to put Wiki:DoTheSimplestThingThatCouldPossiblyWork. Everything that happens, any change in a system, needs energy, at least initially. It's easier to do things that need little energy, are done in the short time and provide an immediate, visible advantage (more energy than put into the system initially). Replace "energy" with "workhours" or "money" if you like. Life is efficient (read ChristopherAlexander) and seeks the least energy paths through system changes. This means that most transformations are "structure preserving" and "respecting the existing" as far as possible, because it's expensive to tear things down to rebuild them.

Energy is not the cause, sense or reason for changes, it is the book-keeper. If overwhelming energy is in effect, like in an avalanche or a complete rebuild of a city district, the result is not desirable, most of the time. Transformations should happen because they serve the people affected. This is best implemented, when these people understand and basically control the design process of what is happening. Then they will identify with what comes into existance. This is not a matter of energy/money but of entropy/knowledge.

Also path of least resistance, energy conservation.

But, the path of least resistance is a local optimization rather than a global optimization. Sometimes one may be stuck in a local minimum and it may be necessary to expend energy to break through a barrier and leave the local minimum in order to achieve a more optimal global minimum.


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