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Thinking in Systems: a Primer (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 14. September 2015

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aWhen I read "Thinking in Systems" I am reminded of the enormity of the gap between systemic thinkers and policy makers. If this book helps narrow the gap, it will be Danaas greatest contribution.a
aLester Brown, founder and President, Earth Policy Institute


aDana Meadows was one of the smartest people I ever knew, able to figure out the sensible answer to almost any problem. This book explains how she thought, and hence is of immense value to those of us who often wonder what she'd make of some new problem. A classic.a
aBill McKibben, author of "Deep Economy"


a"Thinking in Systems" is required reading for anyone hoping to run a successful company, community, or country. Learning how to think in systems is now part of change-agent literacy. And this is the best book of its kind.a
aHunter Lovins, founder and President of Natural Capital Solutions and coauthor of "Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution"


aDana Meadowsa exposition in this book exhibits a degree of clarity and simplicity that can only be attained by one who profoundly and honestly understands the subject at hand--in this case systems modeling. Many thanks to Diana Wright for bringing this extra legacy from Dana to us.a
aHerman Daly, Professor, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland at College Park


aIn Dana Meadowsas brilliantly integrative worldview, everything causes everything else; cause and effect loop back on themselves. She was the clearest thinker and writer co-creating the art and science of systems dynamics, and "Thinking in Systems" distills her lifetime of wisdom. This clear, fun-to-read synthesis will help diverse readers everywhere to grasp and harness how our complex world really works.a
aAmory B. Lovins, Chairman and Chief Scientist, Rocky Mountain Institute


aDana Meadows taught a generation of students, friends, and colleagues the art and science of thinking beyond conventional boundaries. For her systems thinking included the expected things like recognizing patterns, connections, leverage points, feedback loops and also the human qualities of judgment, foresight, and kindness. She was a teacher with insight and heart. This long anticipated book, the distillation of her lifeas work, is a gem.a
aDavid Orr, Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics, Oberlin College


aThe publication of "Thinking in Systems" is a landmark. To live sustainably on our planet, we must learn to understand human-environment interactions as complex systems marked by the impact of human actions, the prominence of nonlinear change, the importance of initial conditions, and the significance of emergent properties. Dana Meadowsa final contribution is the best and most accessible introduction to this way of thinking we have. This book is destined to shape our understanding of socio-ecological systems in the years to come in much the same way that "Silent Spring" taught us to understand the nature of ecosystems in the 1960s and 1970s.a
aOran R. Young, Professor, Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at University of California, Santa Barbara


aReading "Thinking in Systems" evokes the wisdom and even the voice of Dana Meadows. We are reminded of how she was not only one of the great systems thinkers, but also one of our greatest teachers. This is modestly called a primer, and indeed it is, but unlike most books with that title, this one quickly takes one from the elementary into deep systems thinking about issues as critical today as they were when Dana wrote these words. The discussion of oil use and the interaction of its extraction pattern with economic decision making should be required reading for all energy policy makers and energy company executives (as well as all informed citizens in a democracy). The fisheries case reminds us of how little any government or private actor has done to grasp the importance of takeout flows in determining stocks when the input flows are not within our control. The commentary on economics and, yes the need to consider limits, is a clear systems statement that clarifies a great deal of discussion that goes back to "The Limits to Growth,"
It is remarkable that Dana is able to explain with such clarity such systems concepts of stocks, flows, feedback, time delays, resilience, bounded rationality, and system boundaries and to illustrate each one with multiple informative examples. Her statement that goals that optimize subsystems will sub optimize the functioning of the total system, is truly profound. As the book moves from the amechanicsa of systems dynamics to Danaas more philosophical perspective, we are treated to her inherent belief in human values that consider the good of all, and how much more effective considering the needs of others is likely to be in solving larger, complexproblems. The universe and our society may be very complex and operate in counterintuitive, non-liner fashion, but following the insights of this book and applying them will provide for far more effective solutions to the challenges of a 7 billion person planet than current incremental, linear responses by governments, corporations and individuals.a
aBill Moomaw, Professor of International Environmental Policy at the Fletcher School, Tufts University


aAn inspiring sequel to Dana Meadowsa lifetime of seminal contributions to systems thinking, this highly accessible book should be read by everyone concerned with the worldas future and how we can make it as good as it possibly can be.a--Peter H. Raven, President, Missouri Botanical Garden

aFew matched Dana Meadows remarkable blend of eloquence and clarity in making systems thinking understandable. When Dana began her career, the field was esoteric and academic. Today it is the sine quo non for intelligent action in business and society. The publication of Meadowsa previously unfinished manuscript is a gift for leaders of all sorts and at all levels.a--Peter M. Senge, author of "The Fifth Discipline" and "The Necessary Revolution"




"Publishers Weekly-"Just before her death, scientist, farmer and leading environmentalist Meadows (1941-2001) completed an updated, 30th anniversary edition of her influential 1972 environmental call to action, "Limits to Growth," as well as a draft of this book, in which she explains the methodologyasystems analysisashe used in her ground-breaking work, and how it can be implemented for large-scale and individual problem solving. With humorous and commonplace examples for difficult concepts such as a areinforcing feedback loop, a (the more one brother pushes, the more the other brother pushes back), negative feedback (as in thermostats), accounting for delayed response (like in maintaining store inventory), Meadows leads readers through the increasingly complex ways that feedback loops operate to create self-organizing systems, in nature (afrom viruses to redwood treesa) and human endeavor. Further, Meadows explicates methods for fixing systems that have gone haywire (aThe worldas leaders are correctly fixated on economic growth a]but theyare pushing with all their might in the wrong directiona). An invaluable companion piece to "Limits to Growth," this is also a useful standalone overview of systems-based problem solving, aa simple book about a complex worlda graced by the wisdom of a profound thinker committed to ashap[ing] a better future.a

"Publishers Weekly" (Starred Review)-Just before her death, scientist, farmer and leading environmentalist Meadows (1941-2001) completed an updated, 30th anniversary edition of her influential 1972 environmental call to action, "Limits to Growth," as well as a draft of this book, in which she explains the methodologyasystems analysisashe used in her ground-breaking work, and how it can be implemented for large-scale and individual problem solving. With humorous and commonplace examples for difficult concepts such as a areinforcing feedback loop, a (the more one brother pushes, the more the other brother pushes back), negative feedback (as in thermostats), accounting for delayed response (like in maintaining store inventory), Meadows leads readers through the increasingly complex ways that feedback loops operate to create self-organizing systems, in nature (afrom viruses to redwood treesa) and human endeavor. Further, Meadows explicates methods for fixing systems that have gone haywire (aThe worldas leaders are correctly fixated on economic growth a]but theyare pushing with all their might in the wrong directiona). An invaluable companion piece to "Limits to Growth," this is also a useful standalone overview of systems-based problem solving, aa simple book about a complex worlda graced by the wisdom of a profound thinker committed to ashap[ing] a better future.a

"Few matched Dana Meadows remarkable blend of eloquence and clarity in making systems thinking understandable. When Dana began her career, the field was esoteric and academic. Today it is the sine quo non for intelligent action in business and society. The publication of Meadows' previously unfinished manuscript is a gift for leaders of all sorts and at all levels."--Peter M. Senge, author of "The Fifth Discipline" and "The Necessary Revolution"





"An inspiring sequel to Dana Meadows' lifetime of seminal contributions to systems thinking, this highly accessible book should be read by everyone concerned with the world's future and how we can make it as good as it possibly can be."--Peter H. Raven, President, Missouri Botanical Garden

"Reading "Thinking in Systems" evokes the wisdom and even the voice of Dana Meadows. We are reminded of how she was not only one of the great systems thinkers, but also one of our greatest teachers. This is modestly called a primer, and indeed it is, but unlike most books with that title, this one quickly takes one from the elementary into deep systems thinking about issues as critical today as they were when Dana wrote these words. The discussion of oil use and the interaction of its extraction pattern with economic decision making should be required reading for all energy policy makers and energy company executives (as well as all informed citizens in a democracy). The fisheries case reminds us of how little any government or private actor has done to grasp the importance of takeout flows in determining stocks when the input flows are not within our control. The commentary on economics and, yes the need to consider limits, is a clear systems statement that clarifies a great deal of d

""Thinking in Systems" is required reading for anyone hoping to run a successful company, community, or country. Learning how to think in systems is now part of change-agent literacy. And this is the best book of its kind."

--Hunter Lovins, founder and President of Natural Capital Solutions and coauthor of "Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution"



"Dana Meadows taught a generation of students, friends, and colleagues the art and science of thinking beyond conventional boundaries. For her systems thinking included the expected things like recognizing patterns, connections, leverage points, feedback loops and also the human qualities of judgment, foresight, and kindness. She was a teacher with insight and heart. This long anticipated book, the distillation of her life's work, is a gem."

--David Orr, Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics, Oberlin College



"In Dana Meadows's brilliantly integrative worldview, everything causes everything else; cause and effect loop back on themselves. She was the clearest thinker and writer co-creating the art and science of systems dynamics, and "Thinking in Systems" distills her lifetime of wisdom. This clear, fun-to-read synthesis will help diverse readers everywhere to grasp and harness how our complex world really works."

--Amory B. Lovins, Chairman and Chief Scientist, Rocky Mountain Institute



"Dana Meadows was one of the smartest people I ever knew, able to figure out the sensible answer to almost any problem. This book explains how she thought, and hence is of immense value to those of us who often wonder what she'd make of some new problem. A classic."

--Bill McKibben, author of "Deep Economy"



"When I read "Thinking in Systems" I am reminded of the enormity of the gap between systemic thinkers and policy makers. If this book helps narrow the gap, it will be Dana's greatest contribution."

--Lester Brown, founder and President, Earth Policy Institute



"Dana Meadows' exposition in this book exhibits a degree of clarity and simplicity that can only be attained by one who profoundly and honestly understands the subject at hand--in this case systems modeling. Many thanks to Diana Wright for bringing this extra legacy from Dana to us."
--Herman Daly, Professor, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland at College Park


"The publication of "Thinking in Systems" is a landmark. To live sustainably on our planet, we must learn to understand human-environment interactions as complex systems marked by the impact of human actions, the prominence of nonlinear change, the importance of initial conditions, and the significance of emergent properties. Dana Meadows' final contribution is the best and most accessible introduction to this way of thinking we have. This book is destined to shape our understanding of socio-ecological systems in the years to come in much the same way that "Silent Spring" taught us to understand the nature of ecosystems in the 1960s and 1970s."
--Oran R. Young, Professor, Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at University of California, Santa Barbara


"When I read Thinking in Systems I am reminded of the enormity of the gap between systemic thinkers and policy makers. If this book helps narrow the gap, it will be Dana's greatest contribution."--Lester Brown, founder and President, Earth Policy Institute

"Dana Meadows' exposition in this book exhibits a degree of clarity and simplicity that can only be attained by one who profoundly and honestly understands the subject at hand--in this case systems modeling. Many thanks to Diana Wright for bringing this extra legacy from Dana to us."--Herman Daly, Professor, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland at College Park

"In Dana Meadows's brilliantly integrative worldview, everything causes everything else; cause and effect loop back on themselves. She was the clearest thinker and writer co-creating the art and science of systems dynamics, and Thinking in Systems distills her lifetime of wisdom. This clear, fun-to-read synthesis will help diverse readers everywhere to grasp and harness how our complex world really works."--Amory B. Lovins, Chairman and Chief Scientist, Rocky Mountain Institute

"Dana Meadows taught a generation of students, friends, and colleagues the art and science of thinking beyond conventional boundaries. For her systems thinking included the expected things like recognizing patterns, connections, leverage points, feedback loops and also the human qualities of judgment, foresight, and kindness. She was a teacher with insight and heart. This long anticipated book, the distillation of her life's work, is a gem."--David Orr, Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics, Oberlin College

"The publication of Thinking in Systems is a landmark. To live sustainably on our planet, we must learn to understand human-environment interactions as complex systems marked by the impact of human actions, the prominence of nonlinear change, the importance of initial conditions, and the significance of emergent properties. Dana Meadows' final contribution is the best and most accessible introduction to this way of thinking we have. This book is destined to shape our understanding of socio-ecological systems in the years to come in much the same way that Silent Spring taught us to understand the nature of ecosystems in the 1960s and 1970s."--Oran R. Young, Professor, Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at University of California, Santa Barbara

"Thinking in Systems is required reading for anyone hoping to run a successful company, community, or country. Learning how to think in systems is now part of change-agent literacy. And this is the best book of its kind."--Hunter Lovins, founder and President of Natural Capital Solutions and coauthor of Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution

"Dana Meadows was one of the smartest people I ever knew, able to figure out the sensible answer to almost any problem. This book explains how she thought, and hence is of immense value to those of us who often wonder what she'd make of some new problem. A classic."--Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy

"An inspiring sequel to Dana Meadows' lifetime of seminal contributions to systems thinking, this highly accessible book should be read by everyone concerned with the world's future and how we can make it as good as it possibly can be."--Peter H. Raven, President, Missouri Botanical Garden

"Few matched Dana Meadows remarkable blend of eloquence and clarity in making systems thinking understandable. When Dana began her career, the field was esoteric and academic. Today it is the sine quo non for intelligent action in business and society. The publication of Meadows' previously unfinished manuscript is a gift for leaders of all sorts and at all levels."--Peter M. Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline and The Necessary Revolution

Publishers Weekly, Starred Review-Just before her death, scientist, farmer and leading environmentalist Meadows (1941-2001) completed an updated, 30th anniversary edition of her influential 1972 environmental call to action, Limits to Growth, as well as a draft of this book, in which she explains the methodology-systems analysis-she used in her ground-breaking work, and how it can be implemented for large-scale and individual problem solving. With humorous and commonplace examples for difficult concepts such as a "reinforcing feedback loop," (the more one brother pushes, the more the other brother pushes back), negative feedback (as in thermostats), accounting for delayed response (like in maintaining store inventory), Meadows leads readers through the increasingly complex ways that feedback loops operate to create self-organizing systems, in nature ("from viruses to redwood trees") and human endeavor. Further, Meadows explicates methods for fixing systems that have gone haywire ("The world's leaders are correctly fixated on economic growth ...but they're pushing with all their might in the wrong direction"). An invaluable companion piece to Limits to Growth, this is also a useful standalone overview of systems-based problem solving, "a simple book about a complex world" graced by the wisdom of a profound thinker committed to "shaping a better future.

Publishers Weekly, Starred Review- Just before her death, scientist, farmer and leading environmentalist Meadows (1941-2001) completed an updated, 30th anniversary edition of her influential 1972 environmental call to action, Limits to Growth, as well as a draft of this book, in which she explains the methodology-systems analysis-she used in her ground-breaking work, and how it can be implemented for large-scale and individual problem solving. With humorous and commonplace examples for difficult concepts such as a "reinforcing feedback loop," (the more one brother pushes, the more the other brother pushes back), negative feedback (as in thermostats), accounting for delayed response (like in maintaining store inventory), Meadows leads readers through the increasingly complex ways that feedback loops operate to create self-organizing systems, in nature ("from viruses to redwood trees") and human endeavor. Further, Meadows explicates methods for fixing systems that have gone haywire ("The world's leaders are correctly fixated on economic growth ...but they're pushing with all their might in the wrong direction"). An invaluable companion piece to Limits to Growth, this is also a useful standalone overview of systems-based problem solving, "a simple book about a complex world" graced by the wisdom of a profound thinker committed to "shaping a better future.

"Reading Thinking in Systems evokes the wisdom and even the voice of Dana Meadows. We are reminded of how she was not only one of the great systems thinkers, but also one of our greatest teachers. This is modestly called a primer, and indeed it is, but unlike most books with that title, this one quickly takes one from the elementary into deep systems thinking about issues as critical today as they were when Dana wrote these words. The discussion of oil use and the interaction of its extraction pattern with economic decision making should be required reading for all energy policy makers and energy company executives (as well as all informed citizens in a democracy). The fisheries case reminds us of how little any government or private actor has done to grasp the importance of takeout flows in determining stocks when the input flows are not within our control. The commentary on economics and, yes the need to consider limits, is a clear systems statement that clarifies a great deal of discussion that goes back to The Limits to Growth.

It is remarkable that Dana is able to explain with such clarity such systems concepts of stocks, flows, feedback, time delays, resilience, bounded rationality, and system boundaries and to illustrate each one with multiple informative examples. Her statement that goals that optimize subsystems will sub optimize the functioning of the total system, is truly profound. As the book moves from the 'mechanics' of systems dynamics to Dana's more philosophical perspective, we are treated to her inherent belief in human values that consider the good of all, and how much more effective considering the needs of others is likely to be in solving larger, complex problems. The universe and our society may be very complex and operate in counterintuitive, non-liner fashion, but following the insights of this book and applying them will provide for far more effective solutions to the challenges of a 7 billion person planet than current incremental, linear responses by governments, corporations and individuals."--Bill Moomaw, Professor of International Environmental Policy at the Fletcher School, Tufts University

Synopsis

In the years following her role as the lead author of the international bestseller, "Limits to Growth", Donella Meadows remained a pioneer of environmental and social analysis until her untimely death in 2001. Meadows' newly released manuscript, edited by the Sustainability Institute's Diana Wright, brings systems thinking out of the realm of computers and equations and into the tangible world, showing readers how to develop the systems-thinking skills that thought leaders across the globe consider critical for 21st-century life. Some of the biggest problems facing the world - war, hunger, poverty, and environmental degradation - are essentially system failures. They cannot be solved by fixing one piece in isolation from the others, because even seemingly minor details have enormous power to undermine the best efforts of too-narrow thinking. Although both tools and methods are included, the heart of the book reminds readers to pay attention to what is important, not just what is quantifiable, to stay humble and to continue to learn. "Thinking in Systems" helps readers avoid confusion and helplessness, the first step toward finding proactive and effective solutions. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch.

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Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Was haben die Umwelt, der Bundestag und eine Ameise gemeinsam? Sie alle können als Systeme aufgefasst werden. Dieses Buch von Donella Meadows erklärt einfach die Grundlagen. Von Lagern (stocks) bis hin zur Selbstorganisation wird der Grundaufbau eines Systems behandelt.

Doch Objektivität und geprüfte Fakten hätten dem Buch nicht geschadet. Das Skript auf dem das Buch basiert wurde etwa 1992 verfasst, dennoch sind einige Fehler in diesem Buch enthalten, die auch damals schon bekannt waren. Die teilweise sehr subjektiven und ideologischen Texte stören meines Erachtens das Verständnis. Gerade bei solch einem generellen Werkzeug, wie der Systemtheorie sollte man objektiv bleiben.

Fazit: Grundlagenbuch zum Thema Systemtheorie mit subjektiver Färbung.
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Positive points:
+ Very clear structure
+ Good for beginners
+ Lots of examples

Negative points:
- Can be a bit repetitive if you understood the concept after the first example
- I still haven't figured out how to use what I learned in the book at work or in my private life

Conclusion:
This books provides the basics to describe all types of systems in a synthetic overview. A lot of examples help understand it, but it remains general and it's not easy to implement the concept.
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This is a must read for those who want to understand the "why". Great introduction in why organizaitons, companies, communities behave as they do. Why we have difficulties to manage the fishing in oceans and why the rich become more rich. No math (for those who would be frighted :-))
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HASH(0x8e60ae40) von 5 Sternen THE handbook for living 12. Januar 2009
Von Carolyn Thornlow - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
In a nutshell, this book is about systems. So much more than this, it is a journey into the meta-rules of how the universe and everything in it comes and "plays" together. There is one thing to be understood that applies to physiology, businesses, economies, plants and puppies alike. Everything is a system. And all systems have behaviors and rules. As Donella Meadows writes: "The trick...is to recognize what structures contain which latent behaviors, and what conditions release those behaviors -- and where possible to arrange the structures and conditions to reduce the probability of destructive behaviors and to encourage the possibility of beneficial ones."

Grasping "the whole universe" is certainly a momumental task. The book brilliantly presents concepts in very graspable units. She starts with picturing what a system is -- a stock with inflows and outflows that affect its stability and all of which are further affected by feedback loops and delays.

So armed with this model, individuals may be better guided in their decisions and actions as it becomes clear that actions can beget other actions and reactions (or unintended consequences.) But there is even more complexity. For instance, policies are a way to control the stocks and flows within a system. However, one of several behavior archetypes is policy resistance which comes from the bounded rationality of the actors within a system, each with his or her own goal. Meadows takes the reader on a deep and thought-provoking journey through all the behavior archetypes of systems. The result is an empowering "forewarned is forearmed" knowledge.

That is the ultimate goal of this book. When people affect positive change in the world -- and it just may be everyone's duty to do that -- it is through smart and correct controls on a system. Ms. Meadows then gives the knowledge to do this. She lays out the leverage points in any system -- the opportunities for making things right or better. The coda is a legacy of thoughts to live by, the last and perhaps most important of which is "Don't Erode the Goal of Goodness."

With such profound applicability, this book is the handbook for living. Everyone on the planet should read it.
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HASH(0x8e865d38) von 5 Sternen Very useful introduction 16. April 2009
Von J. B Kraft - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
I first learned and practiced systems analysis back in the 1970s, and it's a skill that seems neglected in the training of many young professionals I come in contact with.

"Thinking in Systems: A Primer" is a book I hoped would be informative and accessible for people who need to develop the skill or just refresh their own talents. It does present its subject systematically and without confusing jargon.

While I found the writing clear and well-organized in its development and presentation of the subject, I found many of the illustrations less than helpful. I would have liked a less holistic and more concrete development of the analysis of the examples in the book.

For use as a textbook, an appendix with a glossary of terms of art and sybols would be very helpful. Nonetheless, reading this will give the novice an appreciation of what systems analysis is, and why it is critical to problem solving. Its informal approach may be more suited for young people today than a more formal and rigidly structured treatment.
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HASH(0x8e8653f0) von 5 Sternen Freshman Initiation 13. Juli 2010
Von F. Mullen - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
In her "Note from the Editor," Diana Wright advises the reader that the manuscript for "Thinking in Systems" went unpublished for eight years before Dana Meadows' unfortunate death. Perhaps there was a reason for that: perhaps Dana Meadows recognized that the manuscript was not ready for publication. For the text is uncertain whether it is an introduction to systems analysis as a scientific endeavor, a tableau of counter-intuitive results "explained" by "systems thinking", or a pseudo-analytic basis for the usual policy preferences of the political left. In its raw form, it is a mish-mash of these and other incomplete themes, so by the end you're not sure what the point was.

Were it an introductory text in systems analysis for freshman students of English literature, the first four chapters might be ok. Meadows introduces the notions of stocks, inputs, and outputs in a way that could persuade a non-technical reader that systems analysis was a quantitative science and that the relevant quantities might be computed so long as students from another department were available. She also introduces the notion of feedback and discusses the qualitatively different forms of output resulting from positive or negative feedback. She even discusses the effects on the output of varying feedback delay. This may be about as far as you can go without introducing any math, and as Meadows did not introduce any math, this also might have been a good place to stop.

But sadly, the editors chose to publish what came next. Next was chapter 5, "Systems Traps...and Opportunities." Here we find discussions of a variety of very complicated systems--Romanian and Swedish abortion policy, for example--whose analysis is beyond most humans, let alone freshman literature students. From these discussions Meadows derives generalized "systems traps" and "ways out".

Her first trap, for example, is called "policy resistance": "When various actors try to pull a system stock toward various goals, ...[it] just pulls the stock farther from the goals of the other actors and produces additional resistance...." Translation: people disagree. And here's the "way out": "Let go. Bring in all the actors and use the energy formerly expended on resistance to seek out mutually satisfactory ways for all goals to be realized...." Translation: can't we all just get along. And so on. The "traps" and "ways out" are of a nature so obtuse as to defy any sort of concrete analysis, and as insights they are the sort that cease to seem profound after sophomore year.

And it gets worse. Chapter 6, "Leverage Points--Places to Intervene in a System," might have been a good place to discuss system sensitivity analysis--in a qualitative way, of course--but instead it leans heavily toward the justification of pet liberal causes like environmentalism, government regulation of industry ("The power of big industry calls for the power of big government...; a global economy makes global regulations necessary"), and high taxes on anyone with more wealth than a Dartmouth professor. Chapter 7, "Living in a World of Systems," sets new standards for sentimental whole-earthism, recommending, on the strength of "the tool of systems thinking," that the future be "brought lovingly into being," that we learn to "dance with great powers" as the Eskimo "have turned snow into ... a system with which they can dance." Be caring, be good: these are the final admonishments before the book, thankfully, ends.

In addition, there is economic illiteracy displayed throughout, as for example this, which follows an inept discussion of Adam Smith's "invisible hand": "Economic theory as derived from Adam Smith assumes first that 'homo economicus' acts with perfect optimality on complete information, and second that when many of the species 'homo economicus' do that, their actions add up to the best possible outcome for everybody." This is utter nonsense. Smith says nothing about perfection of optimality nor completeness of information. He merely observes that, in the aggregate, a collection of humans seeking their individual interests often advances the economic welfare of society as a whole. And he certainly does not assert that everybody will arrive at "the best possible outcome." The "invisible hand" operates even in the presence of individual failure and distress, and in some ways because of them.

Winding up for the conclusion, Meadows admits that "[s]ystems thinking has taught me to trust my intuition more and my figuring-out rationality less...." If you've gotten this far in the book, you will certainly agree, for in writing it she gave intuition free rein while rationality was on the Costa del Sol. If you're a student of Dana Meadows, this book will give you considerable insight into her intuition and her prejudices. If you are simply interested in some qualitative discussion of systems, there are some not-bad introductory bits in the first four chapters. But if you're going to buy just one book on systems analysis, buy a different one.
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HASH(0x8e8788c4) von 5 Sternen Best intro and comprehensive guide on systems 7. März 2011
Von Robert Richman - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Incredibly easy to understand, comprehensive summary of systems theory. The world looks very different after reading this book, and can help anyone who is looking to create or change systems.
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HASH(0x8e6eb4bc) von 5 Sternen Zoom Out Before Zooming On and In 25. Oktober 2010
Von Quercus - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
In the middle of the book, Donella outlines the 12 most strategic intervention points within a system. Her number one, most strategic intervention point is in transcending paradigms. That's what this book fosters -- transcending paradigms.

Become a meta thinker, look at the systemic whole before becoming entranced and consumed by the minuscule details. If zen could be put into scientific models, I see it taking a form very similar to this book. Systems thinking is a zen level of thinking, beyond our egoic tendencies and habits -- finding where information or resources flow from, end up, what feedback loops are perpetuating or limiting the system. We are ourselves very complex systems, embedded within millions of systems. This book is a wonderful introduction to systems thinking, and will benefit all who pick it up.

As a whole-systems designer, this reading has had huge implications on my professional and personal works. Step back, take a deep breath, observe before interpreting, see the system flow. That's HUGE, no matter where you live, work, play, this writing will add new dimensions to your mental models. One may find themselves instead of observing isolated events or objects, seeing the many influences, interconnections and feedback loops that create and give life to observed reality.
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