Governance Control Sequence
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Governance control flows downward through the multi-level hierarchy of living systems, their organization units and components. As it progresses, the control flow fans out from superorganism to multiple organisms, from organism to multiple cells, and from cell to multiple biomolecules.


Summary
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This first of three parts looks at where governance control originates and why it is performed. It shows how governance relates to homeostasis, and the purpose of control. In this context, the distinction between a living system's work mode and its self-maintenance mode is applied to explain who is the controller, and who is being controlled. A detailed chart is provided to delineate the entire flow of control through the three-level living system hierarchy.
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Homeostasis and Governance
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To clarify how governance issues commands to initiate work, some explanation is needed for why the work is required and how it is connected to the living system's homeostasis. Two key definitions illustrate the close relationship between homeostasis and governance:
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Homeostasis: The self-sustaining property of a living system that regulates its internal environment to maintain a stable, constant condition.
Governance: The control mechanism that produces and maintains homeostasis.

To live, a living system must maintain a protected internal environment where its life functions can be carried out by its components. As the living system interacts with its changing external environment, many adjustments and corrections are required to keep its internal conditions within critical limits, e.g., temperature, food supply, energy, etc. Whenever an internal condition goes outside those limits, sensory units alert the governance mechanism to issue control commands for work to bring the condition back into equilibrium.
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For completeness, the control sequence charts that follow show control that is initiated from the superorganism level, from which it flows through the entire three-level living system hierarchy. However, the same type of control could be initiated from the organism or cell levels, with a shorter path to the biomolecules.
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Note that the living system that originally issues the control command is operating in its self-maintenance mode, without a higher-level living system demanding its work. Specifically, when a superorganism originates a control command, it is operating in its self-maintenance mode, while its lower-level organisms and their cells are operating in their work modes. Similarly, when an organism issues a control command, it is operating in its self-maintenance mode, while its cells are operating in their work mode. And finally, when a cell originates a control command, it is operating in its self-maintenance mode. The following chart indicates self-maintenance mode with a blue background, and work mode with a yellow background:
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Superorganism


organization


Organism
Organism

organ
organ

Cell
Cell
Cell
organelle
organelle
organelle
Biomolecule
Biomolecule
Biomolecule
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Humans are often highly conscious of the difference between "work" and the rest of their activities. In contrast, most other kinds living system do not make this distinction. They see incoming control commands for work simply as sensory stimuli coming from their internal or external environments.
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Governance Control Fan-out
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As governance work commands proceed downward through the living system hierarchy, there is a one-to-many fan-out and multiplication of more and more detailed control flows. The fan-out sequence shown below starts from the superorganism level and proceeds through the entire hierarchy.
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  •  A superorganism governance mechanism controls multiple organizations.
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  •  Each organization controls multiple organisms.
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  •  Each organism governance mechanism controls multiple organs.
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  •  Each organ controls multiple cells.
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  •  Each cell governance mechanism controls multiple organelles.
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  •  Each organelle controls multiple biomolecules.
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  •  Control results begin with work by selected individual biomolecules.
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Governance Control Sequence Charts
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These charts provide details of the governance control sequence for human-based superorganisms, organisms and cells. Other kinds of superorganisms, such as ant or bee colonies, will have the same general architectural structure, but without a market layer and with some differences in detail in the action initiation mechanisms and governance units. To focus on the main day-to-day flow, actions by the Director governance function have been omitted.
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In these charts, Fan-out Conveyance rows are provided to show some typical examples of how control commands are communicated downward at increasing levels of complexity. Other command mechanisms not shown here may also be employed. For example the Organism-to-Organ communication is shown here using rapid "neurological stimuli" by way of the nervous system - - other slower forms of communication, such as the endocrine system, may use different control mechanisms.
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The downward arrow previously shown in Control Structure is repeated here to help illustrate how the same sequence of control steps occurs at each level of complexity. Under the Control Action column, the first word of each of these key steps is show in bold, to emphasize the structural consistency.
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Three versions of the control sequence chart are included:
Direct Control, Indirect Control to Organizations, and
Indirect Control to Organisms.



Control Sequence 1: Direct Control
This first chart shows the top-down sequence of control action steps, proceeding from highest- to lowest-level of living system. It indicates that control is initiated from the superorganism level and thereafter proceeds all the way through lower-levels to the biomolecule. This chart shows control flowing directly from the higher-level living system through its organization units to the lower-level component living systems. This mode is used for rapid response events, such as those involving war, national emergency, or major disaster.
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Control Sequence 1: Direct Control
Hierarchy Level Control Unit Control Action Steps



Superorganism: Administrator receive new sensory input
Superorganism: Administrator determine superorganism control action
Superorganism: Implementor orchestrate organization control commands
Fan-out Conveyance: laws, directives
Organization: manager receive control command
Organization: manager determine organization control action
Organization: staff orchestrate organism control commands
Fan-out Conveyance: work assignments
Organism: Administrator receive control command
Organism: Administrator determine organism control action
Organism: Implementor orchestrate organ control commands
Fan-out Conveyance: neurological stimuli
Organ: command receptor receive control command
Organ: function activator determine organ control action
Organ: component controller orchestrate cell control commands
Fan-out Conveyance: neurological stimuli
Cell: Administrator receive control command
Cell: Administrator determine cell control action
Cell: Implementor orchestrate organelle control commands
Fan-out Conveyance: chemical stimuli
Organelle: command receptor receive control command
Organelle: function activator determine organelle control action
Organelle: component controller orchestrate biomolecule control commands
Fan-out Conveyance: chemical stimuli
Biomolecule: chemical trigger receive control command
Biomolecule: chemical reaction perform biomolecule work


Control Sequence 2: Indirect Control to Organizations
This second chart shows control flowing indirectly from the higher-level living system to an intermediate market layer before reaching its organization units. This sequence enables freedom-of-choice by organizations in determining how they will interact with the market. Beyond the Organization Layer, resulting control flows directly to Organisms and on through the rest of the sequence.
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Control Sequence 2: Indirect Control to Organizations
Hierarchy Level Control Unit Control Action



Superorganism: Administrator receive new status information
Superorganism: Administrator determine superorganism control action
Superorganism: Implementor orchestrate market policy commands
Fan-out Conveyance: policies
Market: policy receptor receive market policy command
Market: parameter activator determine market parameter action
Market: demand/price setter orchestrate supply/demand factors
Fan-out Conveyance: demand, price
Organization: manager receive supply/demand factors
Organization: manager determine organization control action
Organization: staff orchestrate organism control commands
Fan-out Conveyance: work assignments
Organism: Administrator receive control command
Organism: Administrator determine organism action
Organism: Implementor orchestrate organ action commands
(The rest of this diagram is identical to the first version.)


Control Sequence 3: Indirect control to Organisms
This Third chart shows control flowing indirectly from the higher-level living system to the additional market layer, but this time control flows right to the organism instead to of the organization. This sequence enables freedom-of-choice by the organisms in determining how to interact with the market. From the Organism Layer it flows directly to Organs and on through the rest of the sequence.
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Control Sequence 3: Indirect Control to Organisms
Hierarchy Level Control Unit Control Action



Superorganism: Administrator receive new status information
Superorganism: Administrator determine superorganism control action
Superorganism: Implementor orchestrate market policy commands
Fan-out Conveyance: policies
Market: policy receptor receive market policy command
Market: parameter activator determine market parameter action
Market: demand/price setter orchestrate supply/demand factors
Fan-out Conveyance: demand, price
Organism: Administrator receive control command
Organism: Administrator determine organism action
Organism: Implementor orchestrate organ action commands
(The rest of this diagram is identical to the first version.)



Resulting Work Sequence describes how the collective results of controlled molecular actions proceed back up through the same hierarchy.


©1995-2012 Ackley Associates   Last revised: 7/20/11
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