Interaction and Organisation
or Meta System Transition

This is part of the Systems Analysis of Organisation, Ego, Control and Authoritarianism.
It is also related to:
The First Cambrian Explosion or the Global Cellular Meta-System Transition
The Second Cambrian Explosion or the Global Human Meta-System Transition

It is a fundamental principle of system theory that systems are "made of" sub-systems and they interact to 'make' super-systems. A meta system transition [FR] is the phenomenon where a group of interacting systems integrate to apparently form a super-system. This process can be observed when particles form molecules or molecules form cells or cells form organisms or organisms form ecosystems or humans form civilisations and so on. We humans are not outside the scope of the systemic dynamics that drives the universe, we are systems operating within a systemic context, we are made of systems and we interact to make systems. To put it another way, we are super-systems that arise from the integration of sub-systems and we are also sub-systems that integrate to form super-systems.

Due to the MST process complex systems integrate and due to its opposite process decay, systems disintegrate. Through these two processes systems appear and disappear, they are born and they die, but what is happening is that they integrate into coherent networks and these networks dis-integrate back into disorganised collections of sub-systems. The MST process underlies all apparent coming into being and its opposite process underlies all apparent decaying into non-being.

In these creative and destructive processes there is nothing fundamentally created or destroyed, it is simply underlying systems changing their state of organisation. It is only organisation that is created and destroyed and organisation is structure or pattern; it is dynamic information. In this sense systems are "made of information" and they process information in the form of communication between themselves and within themselves in the form of the transformation of information from input to output. For this reason I often speak of "information systems" because as quantum physics confirms, there is nothing fundamentally 'solid', it is all a kind of information in flux.

Asymmetries in interaction bandwidth (or communication energy) within this network mean that some regions are more closely interacting and tightly integrated than others. When an observer views the system network via an entropic perceptual process (one that loses most of the details), things become blurred and the high bandwidth interactions seemingly bind systems into single high level objects whilst low bandwidth interactions are perceived as the space between these separate objects. The reason for this is that when sub-systems are tightly interacting then when an incident signal impinges upon one sub-system it is communicated through the network and it influences many of the sub-systems thereby producing collective behaviour. When sub-systems are loosely interacting the incident signal will dissipate or be deflected without impinging upon most of the sub-systems so they will be perceived to be independent.

This is how the experience of objects in space arises or groups in society arise from the underlying 'effervescence' of system interactions. Through an entropic observation most of the information is lost so collectives of many sub-systems seem to form into individual higher level systems or a field of intricate social interactions seems to form into a field of groups engaged in group interactions. This is the deeper nature of the process of meta system transition, it is only an 'apparent' transition from an ensemble of sub-systems into a single higher level system; it is a perceptual phenomenon that is experienced differently depending on how one observes the situation.

In this way the undifferentiated system network is seemingly fragmented and perceived as separate higher-level entities which are objects within a field of interactions. As the patterns of underlying systems change in a coherent way and information from this flows into the senses of an observing system this creates the experience of objects in space that interact and change, as they seemingly come into existence and go out of existence. The observing system observes its own underlying sub-systems in an entropic (lossy) way too so it experiences itself within the world as a single object amongst other objects engaged in interactions on its perceptual level of complexity, hence it experiences itself as having a distinct identity and body, which was born, changes in time and will die.

All perceptual systems perceive other systems and themselves only by outer observable states and from this they determine their understanding of their 'self' in relation to their 'world'. All of their perceptions occur at a single systemic level so they are generally oblivious to the many levels of complexity that lie below and above. All systems succumb to systemic perceptual illusions; whilst we experience ourselves as a 'person' an observer with a different perspective, say a passing particle, will not experience a 'person' but rather a complex interacting cloud of particles. In a similar manner a civilisation can experience itself as a single entity even though from our perspective it is a vast network of interacting people, places and objects.

Living systems experience their internal states as sensations or feelings or states of mind however they are swayed by the voracity of their senses to focus outwardly and assign more reality to sensory forms outside themselves than to subtle experiential forms inside themselves. This is a natural evolutionary focus because nourishment and potential threats lie "out there" in the network of interacting systems at their own level of complexity. Only when dis-ease or anxiety arise does the inner realm become undeniably present to their awareness. This is our personal experience and also the experience of organisations and civilisations.

It is the content and the network of communications that determines how the systems integrate and what emergent properties the super-system will have. Hence, when humans integrate into civilisation it is the content and network of communications that determines the civilisation that will arise. Control of communication gives control over every aspect of a civilisation. If we are to bring peace to this civilisation it could only happen by creating parallel discourses of peace and encouraging these to grow until they eventually infiltrate the mass media and the mass discourse. This will initiate a restructuring of the way that we integrate and ultimately the type of super-system that we create out of ourselves.

Next section is: The First Cambrian Explosion or the Global Cellular Meta-System Transition.
Or return to: Systems Analysis of Organisation, Ego, Control and Authoritarianism.