Ok I think I’m getting it: Environments naturally prefer steady-state processes over transient processes because steady-state processes disturb the environment the least. The environment can “form a crust around it” as it were, allowing the steady state process to just do its thing as it does.
This to me explains the tolerances in steady-state systems: usually perturbing a steady-state process doesn’t result in its collapse because the structure of the steady state mechanism in cooperation with the environment can nudge the steady state process back to where it should be.
Environment averages the differences as it were. The metronomes on the skateboard on top of the cans situation.
WAIT: If an environment prefers steady-state processes (they are efficient and don’t disturb the environment as much as transient states), that could help explain (to me) the extreme proliferation of life on the planet Earth.
Lifeforms are generally nice little efficient machines. Predictable from a broad view. They keep to themselves yet also their outputs contribute to the inputs of other lifeforms.
So life makes for a nice buzzing machinery cooperating with the environment which cooperates with the life.
Transient situations such as evolution (punctuation marks as it were) are followed by long periods of punctuated equilibrium where there’s not these bursts of sudden change.
Steady-state, transient-state, steady state, transient state, steady-state.