Open systems not only maintain their balance amidst the flux, but also evolve in complexity. When challenges from their environment persist, they can fall apart or adapt by reorganizing themselves around new, more responsive norms. This, too, is a function of feedback--positive or deviation-amplifying feedback (also called "cybernetics two"). It is how we learn and how we evolved from the amoeba. But if our changing behaviors are not compatible with the challenges we face, and do not achieve a new balance with them, the positive feedback loop gets out of control and goes into "runaway," leading eventually to systems breakdown. … [click on title to read the rest]
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