Systematic thinking

Systems thinking is understanding how different parts of a system can influence one another within a whole.

Systemic thinking, unlike analytical thinking, requires multiple skill sets to establish a holistic view of a system and explain its behavior.  On the contrary, analytical thinking is used to break down a system in to simpler parts in order to identify the pieces and examine how they work together.  Unfortunately, humans most frequently analyze situations in a cause-and-effect relationship; we naturally handle these problems in isolation and solve them linearly. (Systems thinking works blog.)

At the highest level systemic thinking breaks down. There is no Theory of Everything: quantum mechanics explains subatomic particles and general relativity explains visible matter- but they are irreconcilable. Perhaps systems may be too complex for humans to understand.

Systems thinking is a management discipline that concerns an understanding of a system by examining the linkages and interactions between the components that comprise the entirety of that defined system. The whole system is a systems thinking view of the complete organisation in relation to its environment. It provides a means of understanding, analysing and talking about the design and construction of the organisation as an integrated, complex composition of many interconnected systems (human and non-human) that need to work together for the whole to function successfully…For every legitimate, official or consciously designed system (which is intended to be and is supposedly rational) there is a shadow system. The shadow system is where all the non-rational issues reside; e.g. politics, trust, hopes, ambitions, greed, favours, power struggles, etc. (Systemic Leadership Institute.)

Rationality is the quality or state of being reasonable, based on facts or reason. Rationality implies the conformity of one’s beliefs with one’s reasons to believe, or of one’s actions with one’s reasons for action. (Wikipedia)

The virtue of Rationality means the recognition and acceptance of reason as one’s only source of knowledge, one’s only judge of values and one’s only guide to action. … It means a commitment to the principle that all of one’s convictions, values, goals, desires and actions must be based on, derived from, chosen and validated by a process of thought. (Ayn Rand, quoted by The Importance of Philosophy). No. Entirely and completely, No. Convictions of the nature of the World, possibly may come from reason and observation, but require knowledge of humanity- you need to know unconscious bias before you may eliminate it, or you become stuck in rationalisation, argument which only seems rational but which comes from the conclusion you desire. And we are social animals: we have unconscious instinctive understanding of each other, which we share with monkeys, and is therefore the product of thirty million years of evolution. Actions should be decided by an understanding of the world, but often come from unconscious processes rather than conscious thought. Goals and desires are non-rational: some people want children, some are appalled by the idea. Each is right for that person.

My values are chaos of thought and passion all confused– some seem to be aesthetic; the closest I can come to an axiom is, What contributes to human flourishing is good. Each of us must choose our own way to flourish.

The meaning of Life is human goodness. I heard that on the telly last night, in the context of a discussion of In Parenthesis by David Jones.

According to Aristotle, The human soul has an irrational element which is shared with the animals, and a rational element which is distinctly human. The most primitive irrational element is the vegetative faculty which is responsible for nutrition and growth. An organism which does this well may be said to have a nutritional virtue. The second tier of the soul is the appetitive faculty which is responsible for our emotions and desires (such as joy, grief, hope and fear). This faculty is both rational and irrational. It is irrational since even animals experience desires. However, it is also rational since humans have the distinct ability to control these desires with the help of reason. The human ability to properly control these desires is called moral virtue, and is the focus of morality. Aristotle notes that there is a purely rational part of the soul, the calculative, which is responsible for the human ability to contemplate, reason logically, and formulate scientific principles. The mastery of these abilities is called intellectual virtue. (Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy.)

This is only a beginning.

Bruegel, the return of the herd

7 thoughts on “Systematic thinking

    • Each person has an understanding of the world, which might be closer to or further from reality. It is perfectly possible for someone to imagine they has systematic thinking, a sane advanced understanding, and be a climate change denier, or even a young earth creationist.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Nothing to do with your post … but I LOVE your new page cover page. If that makes sense. Love the Doctor and the Mistress! 😀


    • Me too. I think wordpress would call it a header picture, or a featured picture. She is my favourite Stephen Moffat character, here converting humanity to cybermen as a gift for the Doctor, an army to carry out his desires.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, whatever it’s called, I love it!! And I agree, I love her. I’m so annoyed it took me the whole season to work out who she was (well, I didn’t work it out, the told me!) but you know what I mean.


        • If, when you saw her taking tea with the dead, you had realised that she was the former Prime Minister who brought Humanity from billions of years in the future to live in wee floating globes and enslave humanity now, then turned all the people of Earth into clones of himself just as the Time Lords were invading, that would have indeed been impressive; but, then, you might not enjoy much fiction.

          I chose the picture because it expresses thoughtful against impulsive, careful against reckless- and how beautiful impulsive and reckless is!

          Liked by 1 person

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