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a condition characterized by a balance of forces. (Umpleby)
Literally, "balance", here balance of forces acting on each other. In a static equilibrium forces compensate each other so that the system is motionless, e.g., a scale at rest. If forces do not compensate each other fully at one instant in time, a system moves until it encounters higher-order constraints, e.g., after starting an engine, it accelerates to a point at which energy supply and work load plus friction are again in balance. In such a dynamic equilibrium, forces complement each other dynamically so that the system's behavior is repetitive, predictable, does not generate new states and the trajectory follows a regular cycle. E.g., mass production at a well-worked out assembly line, stereotypical conversation within a family, routine administrative procedures. A system may have several distinct equilibria (see polystability). A system in equilibrium conveys no information. One important equilibrium property is stability. homeostasis is a process of interaction favoring an equilibrium. (Krippendorff)
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