Connections and systems

One of the main abilities we must develop is being able to connect things together. We must be able to do that to form systems. A system is a set of interacting or independent component parts forming a complex or intricate whole. Everything in existence is made up of parts joining together to form a whole, that whole is then just another part of an even bigger whole. Therefore, in all areas of our life we should make links to interconnect separate parts to form systems.

A causal system is when A→B. If you manipulate A you change B.

Causal systems aren’t good ways of thinking because they are massive simplifications and don’t account for inter-connectedness and feedback loops. Causal systems are created by reductionism which break systems down and simplify then by artificially restricting components to make observable repeatable experiences.

Holistic thinking is the opposite of causal thinking because it concerns itself with concentrating on the wholes rather than just the parts. The problem with holistic thinking is how do you determine the whole. Holistic thinking starts by looking at the behaviour and nature of the whole, and if it doesn’t yield results, starts to look at the bigger whole. This is the opposite of causal thinking. The problem with holistic thinking is that our brains simplify wholes so that we can understand them. The way our brain simplifies these wholes are determined by our perspectives and worldview.

  1. Therefore, we must be clear and explicit about our own point of view.
  2. We must make a serious effort to see systems through other people’s eyes.
  3. We can also look for unintended consequences of systems by looking at everything the system produces and assume an unintended consequence is its purpose.

Our perspective refers to how things look from our current position and our worldview refers to how we see the world, regardless of our current position. Therefore, it is possible to gain additional perspectives, but harder to change our worldview. To simplify a system without reducing the connectedness involves regarding it in a more abstract fashion. We must then bring the system back to reality again, potentially using reductionism. We must first identify the boundary which separates the system from its environment and then seek to understand how individual components look from within the system.




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