Principles for developing an energy description:
- Any such description depends on a clear physical description, using discipline-specific quantities, of a phenomenon in the lived-in world. Such physical descriptions may include mechanisms but should not invoke "energy".
Energy: not a mechanism; not tangible.
- Any such description must be purposeful: the description should be capable of yielding insight.
Only describe with energy where this yields insight.
- Energy is conserved and dissipated, and changes calculated in various ways but is just energy: qualifying adjectives are unhelpful.
Energy is just energy.
- A description constrains possible processes but does not predict whether a process happens, or explain how a process happens.
Energy insights reveal impossibilities: what could happen; not what does happen.
- An energy description represents a radical simplification, well-matched for describing some, but not all processes.
Where energy helps, the description is simple.
Avoiding this advice might lead to several missteps.