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PRINCIPLE OF SELF-ORGANIZATION
"every isolated, determinant
dynamic system obeying unchanging laws will develop organisms
that are adapted to their environments." "The argument is simple
enough in principle. We start with the fact that systems in
general go to equilibrium. Now most of a system's states are non-equilibrial. So in going from any state to one of the
equilibria, the system is going from a larger number of states to
a smaller. In this way, it is performing a selection, in the
purely objective sense that it rejects some states, by leaving
them, and retains some other state, by sticking to it. Thus, as
every determinate system goes to equilibrium, so does it select.
We have heard ad nauseam the dictum that a machine cannot select;
the truth is just the opposite; every machine, as it goes to
equilibrium, performs the corresponding act of selection."
(Ashby in W. Buckley (ed.) MODERN SYSTEMS RESEARCH FOR THE
BEHAVIORAL SCIENTIST, P.115)
"A system shows self-organization, if its behavior shows
increasing redundancy with increasing length of the protocol.
Since redundancy may increase either by a reduction of H or an
increase in H max, and since H max may be increased only by a
redefinition of the system (a change in the number of its
states), we may speak of the organization of a system only in the
case where the increase in redundancy results from a decrease in
H. (Ashby, Handout, 1961) See also self-organizing.