self-organisation is a high-level property that emerges from the underlying network, not a feature of any of the individual components.
This has interesting consequences. Where any part of the mechanism is sensitive to the environment, the whole self-organising loop can be too.
Here’s an example from the Resilience Alliance – the adaptive cycle – that maps nicely onto the four cultures of cultural theory:
The Adaptive Cycle
See also: redundancy and resilience
Image by randomtruth via Flickr
New Scientist has an interesting article on the ways in which it may make sense to talk about non-conscious entities creating meaning. Biosemiotics.
Hat tip to Meika.
I had been thinking abut this when I came across a report on the slime mould’s ‘irrational’ decision-making process.It seems that like humans, Physarum polycephalum makes quick foraging decisions based on comparisons of what’s available. These decisions aren’t strictly rational.
Canadian researcher Dr Tanya Latty of Sydney University said:
“If you are in a risky environment… it’s better to be able to make a quick decision that’s right most of the time rather than a perfect decision that takes too long and means you get eaten by something,”
There’s a radio interview on CBS.
…and another paper.