Most behaviors in natural complex systems are multi-determinated, i.e. not controlled by only one device.
G. BATESON states: "Characteristically, every feature of the anatomy of an animal or plant and every detail of behavior is determined by a multitude of interacting factors at both the genetic and physiological levels; and, correspondingly, the processes of any ongoing ecosystem are the outcome of multiple determination. Moreover, it is rather unusual to find that any feature of a biological system is at all directly determined by the need which it fulfils" (1973, p.476).
BATESON understands also that: "What is true of the species living together in a wood is also true of the groupings and sorts of people in a society, who are similarly in an uneasy balance of dependency and competition" (p.407).
Human engineering and planning, unfortunately, are much less sophisticated, not taking account of what lies directly in the path of their purpose. As a result, single-minded determination introduced in processes and controls frequently impairs flexibility, and even survival of the managed systems. Would be controllers should at least try to act prudently on variables that could prove "lethal".
Multi-determined control should seek to copy nature, where checks and counter-checks interactions tend to lead to better global stability.
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To cite this page, please use the following information:
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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