Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Systems Bible: The Beginner's Guide to Systems Large and Small: Being the Third Edition of Systemantics” as Want to Read:
The Systems Bible: The Beginner's Guide to Systems Large and Small: Being the Third Edition of Systemantics
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Systems Bible: The Beginner's Guide to Systems Large and Small: Being the Third Edition of Systemantics

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  127 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Hardcover published by Quadragle/The New York Times Book Co., third printing, August 1977, copyright 1975.
Hardcover, 314 pages
Published January 1st 2002 by General Systemantics Press (first published 1977)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Systems Bible, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Systems Bible

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 379)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
John
I think what this book demonstrates is that a certain kind of common sense isn't sense at all, but rather a cynical tyranny of half-truths. It is disingenuous, in that it attempts to borrow the prestige of technical language exactly while also writing in a register of humor, so that any attempt to see past it would provoke the guard reflect of not being in on the joke. Another frequently-used convention is to use upper-case words to make conceptual entities seem justified, well-known, and cohesi ...more
Tony
This is a weird book. I found out about it by accident, and read it on a whim. The book mainly covers how most systems don't work, or work mainly for their own ends, and not the ends set out at the system's inception. It does this through a series of maxims which define general systems behavior. Often times the book is irreverant (a lame joke about mental retardation is contained within the first chapter), and the approach isn't exactly scholarly, but it's hard to ignore the basic common sense o ...more
Will
It's a one of a kind book -- it's the System as idiot blind Azathoth, piping a monotonous tune on a flute at the center of the Universe. It's the System at two in the morning, faking a human voice, blithely informing you there is no emergency and you have always been on fire. It's the System you created that tells you it's going to take your face to make its customers feel more comfortable.

It's a book that tells you every program that you write will have bugs, every company you work for will hav
...more
Nathan Glenn
Not what I expected, but still very relevant. I expected something very academic and mathematical. The author claimed many times that his principles were "axioms", and that they were pristinely mathematical in nature and all self evident. This was a rather annoying claim, since the book was not mathematical at all, nor were the axioms necessarily self-evident (though good supporting examples were provided). Despite this, it all still rings perfectly true. A system can be a blessing or a curse, b ...more
John
I would like this book to be required reading for all high school or college students. It would help dispel the now unhealthy wide-spread blind faith in "systems." To paraphrase the author: A large system (Congress for example) never does what it says it does. Large systems have their own goals.

"The Systems Bible" is written for the layperson. It is very witty and full of usable wisdom.
Ilya
A cross between Dilbert, Dao De Jing and Charles Perrow's Normal Accidents. Large technological and social systems lose track of their original purpose and turn self-serving; they do not function as designed because their creators forgot Le Chatelier's principle and were unaware of various feedback loops. The process of observing the systems changes them. Passive safety is better than active safety; when used mindlessly, safety devices and procedures themselves become safety hazards.

The examples
...more
Lou Cordero
The copy I read is subtitled "How systems work and especially how they fail". Wonderful easy read sheds light and humor on the development of complex systems. The impossibility of solving the problem correctly and completely. I recommend this book to anyone involved in the design of complex systems.
jeffrey
Jokey, snarkey, undeservedly self-congratulatory. There's a good book to be written on systems analysis, but this isn't it.
Justus
tries unsuccessfully to be flip and not very insightful, but its a quick read with an interesting of mind tickling maxims.
Das Anjos
Entertaining for people with experience designing and using systems, full of internal jokes and insights.
Kyaw
purpose of tutorial is help to understand
TK Keanini
One of the better summary of Systems Theory.
Bennet Meyers
Bennet Meyers is currently reading it
Aug 25, 2015
Kevin
Kevin marked it as to-read
Aug 23, 2015
Steve Homer
Steve Homer marked it as to-read
Aug 20, 2015
Nc
Nc marked it as to-read
Aug 18, 2015
Tim Gunderson
Tim Gunderson marked it as to-read
Aug 11, 2015
Remo
Remo marked it as to-read
Jul 29, 2015
Steve Todd
Steve Todd marked it as to-read
Jul 27, 2015
Luigi Dollosa
Luigi Dollosa is currently reading it
Jul 27, 2015
Robin
Robin marked it as to-read
Jul 25, 2015
Ahmed
Ahmed marked it as to-read
Jul 25, 2015
Cymen Vig
Cymen Vig marked it as to-read
Jul 25, 2015
Evan
Evan marked it as to-read
Jul 25, 2015
Logan
Logan marked it as to-read
Jul 22, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 12 13 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Set Phasers on Stun: And Other True Tales of Design, Technology, and Human Error
  • An Introduction to General Systems Thinking (Silver Anniversary Edition)
  • The Logic of Failure: Recognizing and Avoiding Error in Complex Situations
  • Things That Make Us Smart: Defending Human Attributes In The Age Of The Machine
  • Are Your Lights On?: How to Figure Out What the Problem Really is
  • Measuring and Managing Performance in Organizations
  • The Architecture of Open Source Applications
  • The Elements of Programming Style
  • The Humane Interface: New Directions for Designing Interactive Systems
  • The Design of Design: Essays from a Computer Scientist
  • The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation Lean Product Development
  • Systems Thinking: Managing Chaos and Complexity - A Platform for Designing Business Architecture
  • Computer Power and Human Reason: From Judgement to Calculation
  • Thinking in Systems: A Primer
  • Making Software: What Really Works, and Why We Believe It
  • Business Dynamics: Systems Thinking and Modeling for a Complex World with CD-ROM
  • A Discipline of Programming
  • Mars Rover Curiosity: An Inside Account from Curiosity's Chief Engineer
SYSTEMANTICS. THE SYSTEMS BIBLE Sayonara Home Run!: The Art of the Japanese Baseball Card Systemantics: The Underground Text of Systems Lore Dancing With Elves: Parenting As a Performing Art Hit By a Low-Flying Goose: And Other Cautionary Tales. Notes from the Life and Practice of a Pediatrician and His Wife

Share This Book