Autopoesis is a useful definition for life.
Autopoiesis (from Greek a?to- (auto-), meaning "self", and p???s?? (poiesis),
meaning "creation, production") literally means "self-creation" and expresses a
fundamental dialectic among structure, mechanism and function. The term was
introduced in 1972 by Chilean biologists Humberto
Maturana and Francisco Varela:
An autopoietic machine is a machine organized (defined as a unity) as a network
of processes of production (transformation and destruction) of components
(i) through their interactions and transformations continuously regenerate and
realize the network of processes (relations) that produced them; and
(ii) constitute it (the machine) as a concrete unity in space in which they
(the components) exist by specifying the topological domain of its realization
as such a network.
[...] the space defined by an autopoietic system is self-contained and cannot
be described by using dimensions that define another space.
When we refer to our interactions with a concrete autopoietic system, however,
we project this system on the space of our manipulations and make a
description of this projection.
Roger Clough, rclo...@verizon.net
"Forever is a long time, especially near the end." -Woody Allen
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