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The concept of a self-organizing
system has changed over time. In the early days it was defined
as a system which changes its basic structure as a function of
its experience and environment. The term appears to have been
used first by Farley and Clark of Lincoln Laboratory in l954 in
their paper in the Transactions of the Institute of Radio
Engineers, Professional Group on Information Theory. (Marshall C.
Yovits, 1962, Preface) However, it is important to note that an
organism does not organize itself independent of its environment.
Von Foerster persuasively argued that only organisms and their
environments taken together organize themselves. (Von Foerster,
1960). Ashby redefined a self-organizing system to be not an
organism that changes its structure as a function of its
experience and environment but rather the system consisting of
the organism and environment taken together. (Ashby, 1960)