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Positive Feedback in Stability and Emergences

SERIES: Positive Feedback
AUTHOR: Jim Schofield


This is not a single paper, but a series of five covering a period of time that commenced some four years ago, and containing an important set of processes, which can deliver productions as far apart as the Radical Creation of the entirely New, all the way to playing a crucial role in the maintenance of a Stable Overall Situation or Level.

Clearly, such a range of possibilities for what appeared to be a single process, demanded a through-going analysis, which, for this author, reached a recent climax in his Theory of Emergences (2010).

In this particular set, however, are much earlier technical considerations involving the conception of Positive Feedback all the way from the simply comprehended Avalanche, to integral parts of systems such as those involved in Living Organisms (Metabolic Pathways)

There is, of course, a much broader area of feedback than the above definition, and elsewhere it has been shown that both Positive and Negative feedbacks are different manifestations by natural transformations of a single set of circumstances, where one can be transformed directly into the other.

But here, we are concentrating upon a more limited, yet considerably more important, remit:-

to equip ourselves to tackle the clearly alternate episodes of Emergence and Stability in all overall processes of Development.

Positive Feedback in Stability and Emergences
is a succinct description of the range of roles involved.

The Nature of Processes is a wider look at all forms of Feedback, and outlines their roles in everything from the Second Law of Thermodynamics to Emergences.

Then Moderated Positive Feedback looks at the basic elements involved in that process, and particularly at how it can be changed from an unchecked avalanche to a controlled Phase in a bigger system.

Preparatory to their confident inclusion in Emergences, the inter-relation of separate feedback processes is carefully considered in Sequences of Feedback, which plots a path to their ultimate integration into the Metabolic Pathways of Life itself.

Finally, the necessary wherewithall for the construction of a simulation/animation model of positive feedback is included in Modelling Positive Feedback, which though by no means comprehensive, should be sufficient to guide the initial attempt at the creation of such a necessary and revealing demonstration.

This is not a comprehensive collection (that would certainly require a very much-expanded publication, which would require a very different location and a much longer involvement by the author. But, several possible following developments have been outlined, and they will, if they prove both appropriate and useful, be also aired here on SHAPE Journal.


1.The potential range of forms of positive feedback is intimated beyond the ubiquitous Avalanche.

2.These include the dissolutory forms (Second Law of Thermodynamics), the creative forms (Emergences), and the stable forms (Moderated Feedback in Stability).

3.The extension of individual avalanches into sequences and cycles traces the changing role of such feedbacks in differing ( indeed evolving) circumstances.

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