Monday, July 11, 2011

What is a system

I've been reading "Thinking in Systems: A primer" by the late Donella Meadows. Excerpts are readable at Amazon or Google Books.

I was taken in by the elegance and simplicity of her definition of a system:
(From page 2)

And, later from page 12, some similar words:

She opens the book by quoting Poul Anderson:

I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when looked at in the right way, did not become still more complicated

I love it!  [And it's not as dry as the Defense Acquisition University's definition of a system as given in para 1.2 of their manual.]

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