Terms of Art

Autocatalysis:
the ability of a collection of organic molecules to facilitate one another's creation or reactions; greater than the sum of its parts

Autopoesis:
the process in which an organization or system reproduces itself

Basins of Attraction:
a repeated state cycle of a system to which all starting points lead; need a reason to find commonalities among our organizations

Chaos:
sensitivity to initial conditions; all chaos reveals patterns

Co-Evolution:
the coupling of species in an ecosystem such that changes in the genetics of one species influences adaptation in other species; unrolling/unfolding; simple to complex; building new systems

Communications:
a measure of the entropy of a message between sender and receiver; assumptions, protocol, perceptions, address, global connections, sharing, vertical and lateral empathy, respectful feelings

Communities of Practice:
groups who share similar goals or interests and employ common tools and methods

Complexity:
the study of autocatalytic systems that exist on the edge of chaos; enjoy the simplicity in which nature packages complexity

Convergence:
to come together near a point sharing ideas

Cybernetics:
information and feedback and control are connected and feed each other

Design:
take your ideas and test them

Dialogue:
two similar entities having an exchange in context

Double Slit Experiment:
the behavior of matter depends on how you set up the experiment; the how-to in measuring waves and particles

Ecological System:
a network of interconnected loops

Economics:
creation and management of wealth

Emergence:
the genesis of a group behavior that has no corresponding individual behavior of any member of that group; result of individual and collective actions; an unforeseen occurrence

Feedback:
a message from a sensor of a system to the controller of a system regarding the difference between expectation and condition; simple & complex

Fitness:
the sum of traits which increase or diminish the likelihood of an organism (or idea) to have offspring and perpetuate itself; how well systems work together, i.e., Nav Center

Fitness Peaks:
the optimal expression of a set of traits by a species or organism; always strive to get to the next peak

Flocking:
an emergent behavior that allows individuals with no "flockness" to move in concert with one another; its all about learning

General Systems Theory:
models of behavior and action that can be applied across many disciplines as general principles; everything is interconnected

Hierarchy:
an arrangement of a system into a chain of command and decision by the structured passing of information and feedback between successive layers of subordination; add new layers of activity but don't change the simple things

Homeostasis:
like a pupil of an eye, we need to react properly and quickly
; the ability of a system to operate within an envelope of viability

Intelligence:
reasoning; knowledge

Law of Increasing Returns:
them that has, gets; life on earth alters earth to get more life; exposure to/use of different ideas

Morphogenetic Fields:
fields that are responsible for "the characteristic form and organization of systems at all levels of complexity" and the transmission of these forms across time and space; imaginary blueprint that instructs on what to do

Networking:
interconnection of agents via channels into a web; accomplish together what we cannot learn alone

Order for Free:
the hypothesis that autocatalysis is built into the nature of things so that the emergence of complex systems is less subject to random association of organic molecules but is a natural feature of organic chemistry

Particle/Wave:
you can't have form without energy and vice versa

Patch Theory:
a method of allowing groups to evolve high quality solutions to high-conflict problems; groups optimize each other

Phase Transitions:
the boundary and process of passing from one state of a system to another (like solid to liquid); we encounter both chaos and order in organizations

Sapiential Leadership:
whoever can see the situation, the solution and communicate it to others is the leader; rotates to take advantage of the skills of the group

Schrodinger's Cat:
nothing is real until it is observed

Self-Organizing Systems:
see autocatalytic systems; share a common set of rules

Strange Attractors:
in chaos theory a limit cycle around which a system moves but which never repeats itself; systems always have order; chaos and order

Uncertainty Principle:
the act of observing influences what can be observed and the observation itself; preconceptions; premeasurement can alter your outcomes

copyright 1997 MG Taylor Corporation. All Rights Reserved