In the course of the chat Burke came up with approximately the following statement which has stayed with me since:
“Systems dump excess energy in the form of structure.”
It may not sound like much, but it’s rather profound. It essentially says that a system operating in surplus won’t stay so, but instead will act to build up its own structure at the expense of the surplus. Looked at the right way, it’s a nutshell explanation for the existence of life – an eruption of structure in response to excess solar energy.