Adam Zethraeus's Reviews > An Introduction to General Systems Thinking

An Introduction to General Systems Thinking by Gerald M. Weinberg
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I’m always wary when I encounter a cliché, or an orphaned maxim. Often there are useful pieces of knowledge underlying the creation of these bundlings, but they’re not necessarily conducive to deriving it. Rather, the underlying utility is only recoverable through the process of independent, if potentially guided, discovery. This is after all why a good maths teacher will attempt to give you more context for a theory than just its corresponding formulae.

This book suffers from the sense of cliché, not in its contained ‘laws’ (whose context is well described), but in its general form. I understand that ’Systems Thinking’ is the art of being a generalist, breaking down problems, and applying cross-domain metaphors—but I don’t understand the conclusive picture these traits should ‘click’ into. As a result, I currently consider ’Systems Thinking’ as I consider ‘Constructivist’ political thought: largely a descriptive framework with narratives conducive to post-hoc extension, and largely not an applicable or predictive framework.

Most likely I’d reach the a more fundamental understanding from rereading the book, or approaching it in the seminar setting described in the preface. It’s also possible that I have too much computer science background to appreciate the book; it is after all an attempt to more generally apply a set of scientific, and often computer science oriented, principles.

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Reading Progress

December 22, 2017 – Shelved
December 22, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
January 22, 2018 – Started Reading
January 30, 2018 – Finished Reading

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