We show that (1) an error invalidates the derivation (Dewar 2005 J. Phys. A: Math. Gen. 38 L371) of the maximum entropy production (MaxEP) principle for systems far from equilibrium, for which the constitutive relations are nonlinear; and (2) the claim (Dewar 2003 J. Phys. A: Math. Gen. 36 631) that the phenomenon of 'self-organized criticality' is a consequence of MaxEP for slowly driven systems is unjustified.