The developmental biology literature also has an interesting set of theoretical ideas: autocatalysis (positive feedback) and lateral inhibition. The latter has higher threshold and greater spread. Some of your references are indeed intriguing to bring into the fold. I certainly am not "anti Kaufmann", but still struggle with the issue of whether or not general theories of order (and co-order) can be applied across time domains, levels of inquiry, etc. If so, then that would be cool. Maybe lateral inhibition would then be relegated to a mere metaphor. Much more fun if it is something more substantial.
Would be a great Cape Cod discussion topic, by the way.
Back to exams.