Continuous, accurate information processing

“Continuous, accurate information processing is essential for many adjustment processes of any living system. Constant, vigilant visual observation, for example, enables a fish to know at every moment the locations of dangerous bigger fishes about it. When a school of large fish rushes toward it and surrounds it, presenting more and more threatening images, if it cannot process all the information it receives and as a result becomes confused, its survival as a living system is threatened.”

– Living Systems, James Grier Miller, pg 121

“Pathology at the level of the group. Certain arrangements of the channel and net subsystems of groups centralize communications in one or a few members, and they consequently tend to suffer from information input overloads. Frequently one member of a group – like the chairman of a committee, the quarterback of a football team, or the ranking officer in a command post – takes on an undue proportion of the total information processing being carried out by his group. Under such circumstances pathological group processes can easily arise. There appear to be no experimental studies of such pathology, however.”

Living Systems, James Grier Miller, pg 169