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Systemics as a deterrent to ignorance

Abstract: Why systemics? Are systemics relevant any more? Are there alternatives and/or complements?

Keywords: systemics

Introduction: What problems do systemic approaches solve?

Pragmatic questions for systemicists include:

  • What problems do systemic approaches solve?
  • How are systemics applied, and what alternatives and/or complements exist?
  • Are we asking too much from systemics?

(Outline the sections that follow)

Systemics is an enemy to ignorance

(College on Medical Ignorance)

Systemics represent a large body of knowledge, and complementary views have emerged

In modern times, the systems movement has been linked to the founding of the Society for General Systems Research.

Systemic thinking

Focus on interconnections between thing – system dynamics

Scenario planning is an alternative to systems thinking

Thinking about potential futures, including unlikely ones

Systemic methods


Project management is an alternative to systemic methods

Identify and mitigate risks

Systemic design

From social systems design through architecture and urban planning

Pattern languages are an alternative to systemic design

Christopher Alexander, through to Software Design Patterns

Systemic practice

Mostly about social change or changelessness

Organizational learning is an alternative to systemic practice

Communities of practice

Systems science


Interdisciplinary research is an alternative to systems science

Less a search for the truth than a bridge between the two

Systems philosophy

Back to the Greeks?

Postmodernism is an alternative to systems philosophy

Like sociotechnical systems to socioecological systems

Systemics represent "a" tool, not "the" tool

A signal that systemics is becoming a discipline is when it becomes the hammer looking for the nail.

Systemics helps to balance expansiveness and reductiveness

Reductionism is based on analysis, but over-emphasis on analysis results in brittleness or lack of robustness in a changing environment.

Expansiveness draws in the environment, to the point at which nothing can get done in a world with finite resources and finite time.

The battle should be with arrogance, not alternative approaches

Putting a label on something as “non-systemic” is arrogant in itself.

ig.txt · Last modified: 2016/05/29 00:00 (external edit)