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Flock Theory: A New Model of Emergent Self-Organization in Human Interaction
Unformatted Document Text:  Flock Theory 11 The process that individuals undergo to attempt to increase the level of understanding between each other is a function of autopoiesis, or the recursive self-reproduction of components in a system. One of the main functions of an autopoietic system is to maintain it’s autonomy, and thus can be further defined as “a network of processes that produce all the components necessary to embody the very process that produces it.” (Krippendorff, 1991, p. 138). In this sense, autopoietic systems recursively produce all the components necessary to have a historically reproductive network, and likewise self-reproducing. Yet, Maturana and Varela (1987) argue that within this reproduction it is important for organization, or the system (and in this case the “flock”), to maintain its identity while it’s structure can change to adapt to the environment. Thus, autopoietic systems have the ability to maintain an organization in relation to a structure while remaining operationally closed. The system is structurally coupled with the environment and organizationally closed to it at the same time. This can be applied to emergent systems where a set of parameters of interaction can remain constant regardless of structural changes, both internally and environmentally These concepts focus on the axis of change being the relationship, not identity, similar to Eisenberg’s (1990) balance of autonomy and interdependence. Likewise, the structural coupling of the system and the environment, or other systems, does not necessarily direct the internal rules of the system. Instead, the environment only causes structural changes within the system, revealing recurrent interdependencies between the environment and system (Maturana & Varela, 1987). Thus, a system lacks the ability to undergo structural change without structural coupling, explaining the foundation of the emergence of the system. The convergence of communication via emergent systems is then a coupling of the individual pattern system with other pattern systems, be it another individual or a flock, in which

Authors: Rosen, Devan.
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Flock Theory 11
The process that individuals undergo to attempt to increase the level of understanding
between each other is a function of autopoiesis, or the recursive self-reproduction of components
in a system. One of the main functions of an autopoietic system is to maintain it’s autonomy,
and thus can be further defined as “a network of processes that produce all the components
necessary to embody the very process that produces it.” (Krippendorff, 1991, p. 138). In this
sense, autopoietic systems recursively produce all the components necessary to have a
historically reproductive network, and likewise self-reproducing. Yet, Maturana and Varela
(1987) argue that within this reproduction it is important for organization, or the system (and in
this case the “flock”), to maintain its identity while it’s structure can change to adapt to the
environment. Thus, autopoietic systems have the ability to maintain an organization in relation
to a structure while remaining operationally closed. The system is structurally coupled with the
environment and organizationally closed to it at the same time. This can be applied to emergent
systems where a set of parameters of interaction can remain constant regardless of structural
changes, both internally and environmentally
These concepts focus on the axis of change being the relationship, not identity, similar to
Eisenberg’s (1990) balance of autonomy and interdependence. Likewise, the structural coupling
of the system and the environment, or other systems, does not necessarily direct the internal rules
of the system. Instead, the environment only causes structural changes within the system,
revealing recurrent interdependencies between the environment and system (Maturana & Varela,
1987). Thus, a system lacks the ability to undergo structural change without structural coupling,
explaining the foundation of the emergence of the system.
The convergence of communication via emergent systems is then a coupling of the
individual pattern system with other pattern systems, be it another individual or a flock, in which


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