I have no time
Ergodynamics not only deals with energy transformations other than thermal energy, it emphasizes explicitely the factor of time. On the other hand, thermodynamics "has nothing to do with time" (Alberty and Daniels, 1980). The mechanistic‑thermodynamic society does not want to have anything to do with time. In more physical terms, industrial society aims at the minimization of time at enormous costs. Highest speed is quickest is best. Ergodynamics defines relationships between the energy cost and the minimization of time, and describes optimization functions as a compromise between high efficiency and high power output. Relative to the situation 200 years ago, one of the most drastical changes on our globe concerns the "tempo" of events in society, the increase in speed and power; from the speed of walking and running to that of driving and motor racing, from the full gallop of a horse to the ultrasonic propagation of a jet air craft. A basic ergodynamic theorem implies a connection between haste and waste: high speed and high power are necessarily wasteful in terms of energy utilization. The survival and evolutionary success of organisms depends greatly on a strict balance between economical utilization of energy resources and effective utilization of time. Adaptation to the environment involves a tight control over the relative value of energy and time, and results in the divergence of power strategy and economy strategy. The problems of limited energy resources, environmental pollution and the drive to achieve various aims in a short time are general biological phenomena which are by no means restricted to the human society. The ergodynamic analysis of physiological optimization in the conflict between power and efficiency can help us rationalising our own position in balancing the relative cost of wasted energy and elapsed time. Adaptation to the rules of the ergodynamic theorem is not a diminution of our freedom to do anything at any rate, but it is the achievement of harmony with nature by which all biological systems have gained the "freedom" of evolutionary development.
Erich Gnaiger (introduction to 'The Power of Life' - I had no time yet for publication)
Power and Efficiency - Thermodynamics and Tempo Giusto
"Efficiency and speed characterize the time value of the modern age." Processes should be efficient, fast and powerful. The term efficiency is used in common and scientific language with different meanings, and correspondingly vague definitions may lead to confusion.
Today, high efficiency is valued as an achievement and goal. In physiology and ecology high efficiency is considered to be adaptive. Why, then, are efficiencies of technologically designed and biologically evolved processes limited?
Did evolution paradoxically fail to exert selective pressures on the efficiency of anoxic ATP production in active vertebrate muscle, where efficiencies are so much lower than in the sluggish anaerobic intertidal mussel?
The antagonistic energetic constraints of passive anoxia (environmentally induced) or active anoxia (physiologically induced) provide striking examples for transitions between economy strategy with low power and high efficiency, and power strategy with high power and low but optimum efficiency.
In different ecological contexts the limiting resource is either exergy, which then promotes economy strategy (E-strategy); or the limiting resource is time, and effective utilization of time is achieved in power strategy (P-strategy).
Tissues geared towards high burst activity for a short time, however, encounter low efficiency and high direct costs during explosive performances of the power of life.
Gnaiger E (1993) Efficiency and power strategies under hypoxia. Is low efficiency at high glycolytic ATP production a paradox? In: Surviving Hypoxia: Mechanisms of Control and Adaptation. Hochachka PW, Lutz PL, Sick T, Rosenthal M, Van den Thillart G (eds) CRC Press, Boca Raton, Ann Arbor, London, Tokyo: 77-109.