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"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.

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