Deep interlock and ambiguity

One of the 15 fundamental properties.

Deep interlock and ambiguity is the way in which the intensity of a given center can be increased when it is attached to nearby strong centers, through a third set of strong centers that ambiguously belong to both.

In a surprisingly large number of cases, living structures contain some form of interlock: situations where centers are “hooked” into their surroundings. This has the effect of making it difficult to disentangle the center from its surroundings. It becomes more deeply unified with the world and with other centers near it. The hooking effect is sometimes done literally […]. At other times, a similar unification is accomplished through the creation of spatial ambiguity, an ambiguous zone which belongs both to the center and to its surroundings, again making it difficult to disentangle the two. […] The center and its surroundings interpenetrate each other, using intermediate centers which belong to both of two adjacent larger centers.

The interlock, or ambiguity, strengthens the centers on either side, and they get their strength from the strength of the center in the middle.

Seems closely related to Boundaries.

In nature

Deep interlock comes about in many natural systems because neighboring systems interact most easily along extended or enlarged surfaces, where the surface area is large compared with the volume. […] Ambiguity, a similar phenomenon, comes about when a subsystem belongs simultaneously to two different overlapping larger systems.

A general theory to explain the pervasiveness of deep interlock and ambiguity might be formulated in terms of surface are and the impact of reactions and interactions between systems. Although it would be hard to do this in numerical terms which are fully general, it might be done in qualitative terms.

#book/The Nature of Order/1 The Phenomenon of Life/5 Fifteen fundamental properties#

#book/The Nature of Order/1 The Phenomenon of Life/6 The fifteen properties in nature#

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