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the raw data of cybernetics; aspects, features, qualities, attributes, properties. classifications; the observables, distinguishables. States may be either unanalyzed or analyzed; if the former, they may be represented by single symbols; if the latter, they may be represented by compound symbols or vectors. For those who demand that a state be a state of something, we may redefine state as any aspect, feature, etc., of a NOMINAL entity, that may change without impairing the identity of the nominal entity. This, in turn, requires that we define a nominal entity as any object of discourse; anything with sufficient coherence and persistence to be treated as an isolate in discourse; anything capable of interpersonal reference; anything graspable by the tongs of language. A system is then seen as a formalization of a nominal entity by the specification of a set of states of the entity. (George W. Zopf, Handout by Ashby, 1961)

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