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Thinking in Systems: A Primer by Donella H.…
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Thinking in Systems: A Primer

by Donella H. Meadows

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» See also 3 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
If you care about global issues [complex systems], this is your starting point to understand. This book guides people to look underneath the surface to look at the systems that determine short and longterm outcomes. ( )
  willszal | Jan 3, 2016 |
Simplistic and ideological. ( )
  antura | Feb 7, 2014 |
This is a nicely written and provocative introduction to systems. ( )
  olfmanl | Aug 15, 2012 |
A concise introduction to systems thinking. It starts with diagrams (supported by a technical appendix) to illustrate key relationships, like feedback dynamics. Then the author tries to extract some basic insights from systems analysis that might be useful to businesses, policy-makers, and even personal lives. These are expressed in simple English with catchy sounding rules of thumb. Finally, the book turns to a spiritual guide ("Dance with the system.") The book was intended for a wide audience and has attractive features to that end. However, it is rather heavy on the mysticism and spirituality and rather thin on the connection between cases of systems analysis and the rules of thumb for decision-making. Also, it is always surprising to see how systems analysts ignore their own counsel when studying the economy. They assume away incentives and prices and model behavior as mechanical rules, such as always invest x percent of profits. Naturally, when mechanical rules of behavior are combined with presumed delays in perception or adjustment, there will arise nonlinear responses to shocks. Systems analysts ought to be the first to recognize that behavioral responses will adjust rather than mechanically march on. This failure stems from the engineering and computer science backgrounds of systems analysts, such as Dr. Meadows herself, where human behavior is coded as constants of proportionality, rather than (semi) rational behavior. All in all, however, I did enjoy this short book, and, at the very least, it conveys some fundamental and important insights resulting from decades of systems analysis research. ( )
2 vote Mandarinate | Jan 17, 2011 |
A non-mathematical guide to systems theory that not only applies to engineering and design, but to social dynamics, nature sustainbility, and personal approach to life in general. We all make mental models, and this book encourages you to identify and step beyond your models, to reduce the comprehensible, but also embrace the incomprehensible, to accept what is there, and also to leverage for change. great book for how to think in life. ( )
  eugenios | Jul 20, 2009 |
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"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 primer brings systems thinking out of the realm of computers and equations and into the tangible world, showing readers how to develop the systems-thinking skills that thought leaders across the globe consider critical for 21st-century life."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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