Is it decent to blog about a publication that has appeared 46 years ago?
Some times I find some interesting topic that is a month old and find to old to still blog about. I've been planning to not worry about the date of the topic and just blog about it when it seams relevant. It was not the intention to be so extreme with the age of the publication, but this publication just amazing.
I've just started meetings on a weekly basis with Francis to make a paper on evolutionary cybernetics. A few days ago he suggest that I should read Ashby paper on self-organization. I've been dazed by two of he's concept: self-organization and going to equilibrium. I feel ashamed that I didn't read this paper earlier.
He begins the description of self-organizations as existing of two types. Their are parts that did not have influence on each and it becomes an organization as the parts get joined and interact. What also can be calls self-connecting. Next he make the case of good versus bad effects. Like a system that automatically change from feedback to make it more appropriate. This, than is also relevant for he's view on equilibrium. First he explains that equilibrium in a simple state trivial. It is when a system is dynamic and complex that it becomes interesting. In respect to life he first write about organization:"every isolated determinate dynamic system obeying unchanging laws will develop 'organisms' that are adapted to their 'environment' ". I guess the far from equilibrium dissipative systems is a nice example, as the elements are far from equilibrium the system as a whole is in equilibrium. The organization is used to define a more stable view on the evolution of live:"Thus, when we ask: What was necessary that life and intelligence should appear? the answer is not carbon, or amino acids or any other special feature but only that the dynamic laws of the process should he unchanging i.e. that the system should be isolated. In any isolated system, life and intelligence inevitably develop'.
Now the view may be updated with our state-of-the-art understanding on complexity, but it is gunnies in its simplicity. He's principle will be important for the paper we are working on.