The status of collections of objects as related to systemic concepts is somewhat ambiguous (R. PATON, 2000, p. 147-159)
There are different types of collections, reflected in collective terms.
A heap of sand has merely vague systemic undertones, and this only since it has become used in relation with chaotic dynamics, unstable equilibrium and power laws. In these cases the systemic behavior of the collection is generally implicit and manifests itself through fleeting episodes.
A swarm of locusts or a school of fishes, or a colony of ants already show more constant common behavior, corresponding to variable degrees of organization emerging of reciprocal constraints.
A similar type or more or less coherent systemic organization appears in collections of humans when not very permanent: conferences or congresses for example.
Biology offers us examples of collections which have an organizing power within complex systems: the genome seems a clear case.
In short, collections seem to be a kind of prerequisite situation or state, while their systemic value depends on the nature- and in cases, the evolution (see for ex. Dictyostelium discoideum) of the relationships among the elements.
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Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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