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Thinking in Systems: A Primer (2008)
by Donella H. Meadows, Diana Wright (Editor)
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Useful and practical. Nothing really new, but well done. ( )
This is one of those books that where it was almost useless to highlight valuable statements because I was highlighting multiple things every page. Meadows does not go into the mathematics of systems theory. As the title suggests, she focuses on the key ideas so that the reader learns to think about systems and their common properties.
One of the key takeaways from this book -- if I had to choose just one -- is that systems have common properties that apply regardless of their type. There are ways of thinking about environmental, human, technological, and other systems that show their deep similarities and give insights into their differences.
Overall, this book was readable and should be a required read for anyone who designs or influences systems, big or small.
Great book in general, highly recommended if you just have the curiosity to analyse and think about phenomena around you, because everything can be seen as a system so this book is a helpful guide on how to see and try to understand *everything*.
shelved in HT Green Library - by Reception - Monograph Library (R)
Recommended to me by a coworker. Tries to teach you how to view problems not in isolation but as systems - interactions of many variables at once. Tries to help you identify the likely leverage points - places where you can most efficiently effect changes in the system, hopefully in the direction you want (not guaranteed).
In the years following her role as the lead author of the international best seller, Limits to Growth - the first book to show the consequences of unchecked growth on a finite planet - Donella Meadows remained a pioneer of environmental and social analysis until her untimely death in 2001. Thinking in Systems is a concise and crucial book offering insight for problem-solving on scales ranging from the personal to the global. Edited by the Sustainability Institute's Diana Wright, this essential primer brings systems thinking out of the realm of computers and equations and into the tangible world, showing listeners how to develop the systems-thinking skills that thought leaders across the globe consider critical for 21st-century life. Some of the biggest problems facing the world - war, hunger, poverty, and environmental degradation - are essentially system failures. They cannot be solved by fixing one piece in isolation from the others, because even seemingly minor details have enormous power to undermine the best efforts of too-narrow thinking. While listeners will learn the conceptual tools and methods of systems thinking, the heart of the book is grander than methodology. Donella Meadows was known as much for nurturing positive outcomes as she was for delving into the science behind global dilemmas. She reminds listeners to pay attention to what is important, not just what is quantifiable, to stay humble, and to stay a learner. In a world growing ever more complicated, crowded, and interdependent, Thinking in Systems helps listeners avoid confusion and helplessness, the first step toward finding proactive and effective solutions.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)003Information Computing and Information Systems Theory
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