Quotes About Systems

Quotes tagged as "systems" (showing 1-30 of 77)
Albert Einstein
“Everything must be made as simple as possible. But not simpler.”
Albert Einstein

Marcus J. Borg
“The point is not that Jesus was a good guy who accepted everybody, and thus we should do the same (though that would be good). Rather, his teachings and behavior reflect an alternative social vision. Jesus was not talking about how to be good and how to behave within the framework of a domination system. He was a critic of the domination system itself.”
Marcus J. Borg, The God We Never Knew: Beyond Dogmatic Religion to a More Authentic Contemporary Faith

Stuart A. Kauffman
“Pick up a pinecone and count the spiral rows of scales. You may find eight spirals winding up to the left and 13 spirals winding up to the right, or 13 left and 21 right spirals, or other pairs of numbers. The striking fact is that these pairs of numbers are adjacent numbers in the famous Fibonacci series: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21... Here, each term is the sum of the previous two terms. The phenomenon is well known and called phyllotaxis. Many are the efforts of biologists to understand why pinecones, sunflowers, and many other plants exhibit this remarkable pattern. Organisms do the strangest things, but all these odd things need not reflect selection or historical accident. Some of the best efforts to understand phyllotaxis appeal to a form of self-organization. Paul Green, at Stanford, has argued persuasively that the Fibonacci series is just what one would expects as the simplest self-repeating pattern that can be generated by the particular growth processes in the growing tips of the tissues that form sunflowers, pinecones, and so forth. Like a snowflake and its sixfold symmetry, the pinecone and its phyllotaxis may be part of order for free”
Stuart A. Kauffman, At Home in the Universe: The Search for the Laws of Self-Organization and Complexity

Albert Einstein
“When the number of factors coming into play in a phenomenological complex is too large scientific method in most cases fails. One need only think of the weather, in which case the prediction even for a few days ahead is impossible.”
Albert Einstein

“Big whirls have little whirls,
That feed on their velocity;
And little whirls have lesser whirls,
And so on to viscosity.”
Lewis Fry Richardson

Murray Gell-Mann
“Today the network of relationships linking the human race to itself and to the rest of the biosphere is so complex that all aspects affect all others to an extraordinary degree. Someone should be studying the whole system, however crudely that has to be done, because no gluing together of partial studies of a complex nonlinear system can give a good idea of the behavior of the whole. ”
Murray Gell-Mann

Arthur Stanley Eddington
“An ocean traveler has even more vividly the impression that the ocean is made of waves than that it is made of water.”
Arthur Stanley Eddington

Erica Jong
“Any system was a straightjacket if you insisted on adhering to it so totally and humorlessly.”
Erica Jong, Fear of Flying

Stuart A. Kauffman
“If biologists have ignored self-organization, it is not because self-ordering is not pervasive and profound. It is because we biologists have yet to understand how to think about systems governed simultaneously by two sources of order, Yet who seeing the snowflake, who seeing simple lipid molecules cast adrift in water forming themselves into cell-like hollow lipid vesicles, who seeing the potential for the crystallization of life in swarms of reacting molecules, who seeing the stunning order for free in networks linking tens upon tens of thousands of variables, can fail to entertain a central thought: if ever we are to attain a final theory in biology, we will surely, surely have to understand the commingling of self-organization and selection. We will have to see that we are the natural expressions of a deeper order. Ultimately, we will discover in our creation myth that we are expected after all.”
Stuart A. Kauffman

John Stuart Mill
“The tendency has always been strong to believe that whatever received a name must be an entity or being, having an independent existence of its own. And if no real entity answering to the name could be found, men did not for that reason suppose that none existed, but imagined that it was something peculiarly abstruse and mysterious.”
John Stuart Mill

“We can't impose our will on a system. We can listen to what the system tells us, and discover how its properties and our values can work together to bring forth something much better than could ever be produced by our will alone.”
Donella H. Meadows, Thinking in Systems: A Primer

Don DeLillo
“We can't get outside the aura. We're part of the aura. We're here, we're now.”
Don DeLillo, White Noise

Freeman Dyson
“The essential fact which emerges ... is that the three smallest and most active reservoirs ( of carbon in the global carbon cycle), the atmosphere, the plants and the soil, are all of roughly the same size. This means that large human disturbance of any one of these reservoirs will have large effects on all three. We cannot hope either to understand or to manage the carbon in the atmosphere unless we understand and manage the trees and the soil too.”
Freeman Dyson, From Eros to Gaia

Nick Harkaway
“Like casinos, large corporate entities have studied the numbers and the ways in which people respond to them. These are not con tricks - they're not even necessarily against our direct interests, although sometimes they can be - but they are hacks for the human mind, ways of manipulating us into particular decisions we otherwise might not make. They are also, in a way, deliberate underminings of the core principle of the free market, which derives its legitimacy from the idea that informed self-interest on aggregate sets appropriate prices for items. The key word is 'informed'; the point of behavioural economics - or rather, of its somewhat buccaneering corporate applications - is to skew our perception of the purchase to the advantage of the company. The overall consequence of that is to tilt the construction of our society away from what it should be if we were making the rational decisions classical economics imagines we would, and towards something else.”
Nick Harkaway, The Blind Giant

Nick Harkaway
“This, not incidentally, is another perfect setting for deindividuation: on one side, the functionary behind a wall of security glass following a script laid out with the intention that it should be applied no matter what the specific human story may be, told to remain emotionally disinvested as far as possible so as to avoid preferential treatment of one person over another - and needing to follow that advice to avoid being swamped by empathy for fellow human beings in distress. The functionary becomes a mixture of Zimbardo's prison guards and the experimenter himself, under siege from without while at the same time following an inflexible rubric set down by those higher up the hierarchical chain, people whose job description makes them responsible, but who in turn see themselves as serving the general public as a non-specific entity and believe or have been told that only strict adherence to a system can produce impartial fairness. Fairness is supposed to be vested in the code: no human can or should make the system fairer by exercising judgement. In other words, the whole thing creates a collective responsibility culminating in a blameless loop. Everyone assumes that it's not their place to take direct personal responsibility for what happens; that level of vested individual power is part of the previous almost feudal version of responsibility. The deindividuation is actually to a certain extent the desired outcome, though its negative consequences are not.”
Nick Harkaway, The Blind Giant

Nick Harkaway
“Another important consequence in the arrival of digital technology and its facilitation of feedback is that we can look at large systems and recognize them once more not only as part of ourselves, but also as components that can change...
Now, though, we live in a world where text is fluid, where is responds to our instructions. Writing something down records it, but does not make it true or permanent. So why should we put up with a system we don't like simply because it's been written somewhere?”
Nick Harkaway, The Blind Giant

Tony Judt
“ask . . . what it is about all-embracing 'systems' of thought that leads inexorably to all-embracing 'systems' of rule.”
Tony Judt, Reappraisals: Reflections on the Forgotten Twentieth Century

“It is always easier to destroy a complex system than to selectively alter it.”
Roby James, Commitment

“Hierarchical organization in biological systems thus is characterized by an exquisite array of delicately and intricately interlocked order, steadily increasing in level and complexity and thereby giving rise neogenetically to emergent properties.”
Clifford Grobstein

“Sufficiently simple natural structures are predictable but uncontrollable, whereas sufficiently complex symbolic descriptions are controllable but unpredictable.”
Howard Pattee

“Hierarchy and discipline gave shape to the world;that was what he had always believed.Life was made easy by adherence toa rigid structure.But maybe that only really worked when you were at the top of the ladder,when you were doing well.The further down the rungs you went,the more of a victim of circumstances you became and the less it mattered whether or not you were in control.”
James Lovegrove, The Age of Ra

“The system, to a large extent, causes its own behavior! An outside event may may unleash that behavior, but the same outside event applied to a different system is likely to produce a different result.”
Donella H. Meadows, Thinking in Systems: A Primer

Christina Engela
“As you may follow, they are an extremely hostile species (i.e. there is no word for ‘welcome’ in the Ruminarii language.) In four short centuries they had managed to lay waste to almost a thousand star systems, enslaving their populations and stripping them of all they wanted.”
Christina Engela, Black Sunrise

“Generating a system architecture is not a deterministic process. It requires careful consideration of business requirements, technology choices, existing infrastructure and systems, and actual physical resources, such as budget and manpower.”
Andrew Holdsworth, Oracle9i Database Performance Planning

Steven Magee
“As humanity progresses its technology on a global level, the observed degradation of natural processes and growth cycles are the alarm systems that nature uses to alert us that some of this progress is biologically toxic.”
Steven Magee

Steven Magee
“Regarding solar power systems, the bigger the system is, the more likely it may go on fire.”
Steven Magee

Umberto Eco
“But I must hope that books possess a life of a more varied kind than their authors' myopia concedes to them. A book is a kind of of machine which the reader can freely use as a generator of intellectual stimulation. It is enough that the book should be truly a machine for thinking, that it should generate a variety of possible conclusions without its author's ordaining and limiting them in advance.”
Umberto Eco

Paramahansa Yogananda
“You must methodize your life. God created routine. The sun shines until dusk and the stars shine until dawn.”
Paramahansa Yogananda, Conversations with Yogananda: Stories, Sayings and Wisdom

Rasheed Ogunlaru
“All the tools, techniques and technology in the world are nothing without the head, heart and hands to use them wisely, kindly and mindfully”
Rasheed Ogunlaru

“Problems and solutions nest within a complex array of related systems and problems.”
Bob Wiele

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