Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Living

Sorry about this, but I realized that it would be more natural to turn the subject to Living instead of Viable Fragments. Even worse, I'm note sure why fragments can or should be viable, they are fragments, not Wholes. Wholes, a famous word in some scientific circles, totally unkown to many other disciplines.

Wholes is a well known concept for those that are familiar with the theory of Autopoiesis that was developed in the late '60's and early seventies by Humberto Maturana en Francesco Varela.

In a sense their work built on earlier work in both Cognition (see the famous article what the frogs eye tells the frogs brain) and Cybernetics (in particular that the observer is IN the system).

Maturana and Varela wrote a book on Autopoiesis that is often accused of hypnotyzing readers. The reason is that the sentences in the book are written in a sort of circular language that I cannot repeat here, but actually this way of writing was natural to them as their main argument is that living systems are closed systems with a self-referential organization.

Difficult stuff for a blog, but essentially this means that all processes in the living system (chemically, physically, language) are organized without having loose ends, they all connect, stimulate, inhibit each other ... they form a Whole.

Even the repair processes (for example when one breaks a leg) do not disrupt the closedness of the systems' organization and therefore the body is able to repair the damage. If such a thing happens (the closedness of the organization is broken), the living systems dies.

Next time I'll go a bit into the Autopoietic stuff. This time it is a promise.

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