Self-Organization in Non-Equilibrium Systems

Artur F. Silva artsilva at
Thu Feb 1 04:30:13 PST 2001


Thank you very very much for your comments and references, Doc.
I will follow the links this week end... Some coments.

At 23:38 31-01-2001 -0800, Richard Holloway wrote:
>Normal systems is a label which is probably not very meaningful.  If you are
>referring to "normal" living systems, then the criteria may be relatively
>simplistic for defining those.

I don't remember if I referred to "normal systems". If I did it was  indeed
meaningful :-(

But what I was thinking about was on "normal Organizations" (or "current
organizations"). I mean, human organizations that still live in a command
and control way, that never tyied to use OST or to become LOs. I was not
refferring to physical or living systems.

But it is very interesting that you referred to "living systems". Because
maybe you can help me with a "generalization" I am having some troubles.

I didn't read Capra, but I red Maturana and Varela, "The tree of knowledge",
where the autopoiesis you referred is well explained. The all process
that conducts from a living cell to a living organism, including cognition,
(and I like the broad sense you give to cognition!) was explained.

But the reason I decided to study autopoiesis was to try to make sense
of the idea of Arie de Geus, The Living Company, where he seams to
believe that companies ARE living beings. Not only that they act like,
but that they are.

Do you know of any writings, or would like to make any comments of your
own, about the possibility of enlarging the autopoeisis concept one
step further from humans as living systems to "human organizations"
as living systems.

Warm regards


PS; And I will come back to Bateson some day to try to think about
the "Ecology of mind" in OST terms... Any comments?


>Capra suggested (Web of Life) that these
>criteria are three (to summarize):
>Ø The pattern of life, or autopoiesis: a self-making network pattern in
>which the function of each component is to participate in the production or
>transformation of other components in the network.  The network is
>organizationally closed, though it is open to the flow of energy and matter.
>Its order and behavior are not imposed but established by the system itself.
>It is autonomous, while interactive with its environment through a continual
>exchange of energy and matter.  Their continual self-making includes the
>ability to form new structures or patterns of behavior.  The network is a
>set of relations among processes of production of components.  They must
>continuously regenerate themselves to maintain their organization.


>As you probably are aware, Capra's three criteria are synthesized from the
>works of people such as Prigogine, Maturana & Varela, Bateson and many
>others.  Prigogine primarily contributed this concept of self-organization
>in non-equilibrium systems.

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