1. SYSTEMS of INTERACTION

The theory assumes all human activity is embedded in three distinct but closely coupled systems, that is, the social domain of human interactions, the natural environment of life supporting properties, and now the constructed environment, namely cyberspace -- .an assumption that holds within and across all levels of analysis, as defined below. While the logic of lateral pressure theory argues for their joint or co-dependence (even co-evolution), only social systems are characterized by fully articulated decision systems, as we understand them. Clearly, humans make decisions that have impacts on life supporting properties, directly or indirectly, and the feedback effects are subject to the decision mechanisms of nature. The cyber arena, created by human intelligence, assumes properties of its own that are seldom entirely subject to social decision or control. Early on, lateral pressure dynamics were considered largely in terms of social interactions in an international context. It gradually became apparent that the propensity to expand is manifested in environmental traces of all human activity and, more recently, in the cyber arena.