Regulation In Biological Systems
10/7.[concl.] When considering this second form [of defence] we should be careful to notice the part played by information and variety in the process. The fencer must watch his opponent closely, and he must gain information in all ways possible if he is to survive. For this purpose he is born with eyes, and for this purpose he learns how to use them. Nevertheless, the end result of this skill, if successful, is shown by his essential variables, such as his blood-volume, remaining within normal limits, much as if the duel had not occurred. Information flows freely to the non-essential variables, but the variety in the distinction “duel or no-duel” has been prevented from reaching the essential variables.
Through the remaining chapters we shall be considering this type of active defence, asking such questions as: what principles must govern it? What mechanisms can achieve it? And, what is to be done when the regulation is very difficult?
- Ashby, W.R. (1956), An Introduction to Cybernetics, Chapman and Hall, London, UK. Republished by Methuen and Company, London, UK, 1964. Online.