A system which possess sufficient stored energy to be able to draw on its reserves to react to some external stimulus.
G. BATESON gives the following examples: "If I kick a dog, his immediatelely sequential behavior is energized by his metabolism, not by my kick. Similarly, when one neuron fires another, or an impulse from a microphone activates a circuit, the sequent event has its own energy sources" (1973, p.379).
However, as stated by BATESON: "Of course, everything that happens is still within the limits defined by the law of energy conservation" but "… in general, in the systems with which we deal, the energy supplies are large compared with the demands upon them; and, long before the supplies are exhausted, 'economic' limitations are imposed by the finite number of available alternatives… A telephone exchange at a time of emergency may be 'jammed ' when a large fraction of its alternative pathways are busy. There is, then, a low probability of any given message getting through" (Ibid).
A complex system has generally "… the necessary circuit structure so that (its) energy expenditure can be an inverse function of energy input" (Ibid., p.457).
Such a system, when its energy reserves are lowering, will generally redirect their use to replenish them.
This was the general idea of W GREY WALTER's electronic tortoises.(1955).
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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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