THE PRIMER TOOLBOX
CAUTION! TOOLBOX IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION. ITEMS FOUND BELOW ARE FOR DISPLAY PURPOSES ONLY. By Matthew Shapiro, Tom Mandel, Markus Schwaninger, et al.
We have two versions of our part (A) general definition: A system is (like) a family; or A system is (like) a family of meaningful relationships between the members acting as a whole.
Our part (B) particulars is not so simple. Recall that the purpose of our two part complementary definition of system was to enable us to say both general and particular at the same time. The general simple, the particular is complex.
Finding and identifying what we call our primary and secondary principles of systemics provides us with a list that may include all possible kinds of relationships. Furthermore, many of these primary and secondary relationships co-exist simultaneously, while others are emergent, and include time as a process. For example, a family may have a set of relationships while at home, but when a family or member of a family goes shopping, an entirely brand new set of relationships occurs. The simple act of gaining possession of an ice cream cone may in principle involve a new set of relationships which in turn imply other relationships the whole of which could easily include the entire universe. Well, think of this as a metaphor...
PART (B) Technically;
Systems, (from the Four Directions of Philosophy, Theory, Methodology and Application), as a family of meaningful relationships among the members acting as a whole and possessing organization as a process with aspects determined by boundaries as information and control set by the observer according to subjective and objective considerations that might be static or dynamic, with qualities or quantities that are simplicity compared relatively to complexity expressing itself as a closed or open system having form and function which can have emergent effects creating an evolution or devolution depending on internal or external relationships utilizing diffentiation and integration to form order out of chaoic behavior all at once over a period of time.
That was made from our toolbox, which as a LIST looks like this:
In terms of Philosophy, Theory, Methodology and Application.
Below, is the long version... Listed below is our part (B) definition of systemics. We have broken the sub-parts into word (intensional) and example (extensional) definition. This is a starting point and is not meant to be considered a final version such as we consider our part (A) We need to work on the details, wordings, examples, and most of all, how many more are there?
To further complicate matters. we may not be allowed to use the "is" of identity. So we may not be able to phrase our questions like so "What is..." simply because, remember the boundary problem, what we say is, is not all of it. We can say that "Jack is a father" but we all know that is not all Jack is. Is he a good father? Naturally we hope to resolve this semantical difficulty soon. Meanwhile, we are using both methods of definition.
We have chosen the "toolbox" metaphor because in an activity-based discipline such as systemics, we must always think in terms of action. Tools are almost always "used." So the below concepts are meant to be used. But really, they are a labor saving device, tools do not require philosophical justification. And most important, verbal discussion is usually limited to directions on how to use, which is an activity or relationship based language. If we were considering "ideas" or "concepts" it would take many many philosophical arguments to arrive at the point where the concept is put into terms of action. Starting out as a tool eliminates the need for any justification. It works or it doesn't work. If it doesn't work, it isn't needed. If you don't need it, ignore it.
The task presently at hand is: Have we left anything out?
· Relationship is mutual inter-activity between any pair
What does Relationship do?
Relationship (expresses) carries inter-activity between any pair
>The relationship between cat and mouse is legendary.
· A System is a family of relationships, among the members acting as a whole.
What does System do?
A System integrates relationships into a whole (family)
>Our economic system involves so many different transactions.
· An Observer is a being conscious of a relationship between itself and a system.
What does Observer do?
An Observer conceives of a relationship between itself and a system. The nature of the relationship can be one of conceiving, selecting, ordering, etc.
> To the casual observer, the sun appears to orbit the earth.
· Reference is the creation of any relationship by an observer.
Reference establishes a standard from which an observer can infer associations
of variables such as correlation or causality.
What does Reference do?
Reference creates a relationship for an observer.
> Right-wing politicians often make reference to welfare as a source of social disruption.
· Internal excludes relationships which belong outside
the reference boundaries established by a particular observer.
What does Internal do?
· Internal excludes non-related (external) relationships.
> Why should we be involved in another countrys internal problems?, asked the politician.
·External are those relationships which belong outside
the reference >boundaries established by a particular observer.
What does External do?
External includes non-related relationship. > There are many dangers external to the space shuttles protective skin.
· A Whole is a system which is observed without its internal
relationships, thereby embodying a function on its own.
What does Whole do?
A Whole is perceived by observers for its function on its own, instead for its specific relationships, subsystems, and parts. It quasi hides or has hidden its internal relationships from observation.
> I can see the whole city!, cried the boy at the top of the Empire State Building.
· A Boundary is a collection of all of the unobserved relationships
in a system being observed, which identifies it as a whole or an entity.
What does Boundary do?
Boundary collects all of the unobserved relationships in a system being observed, making wholes or entities.
> The boundary between the U.S. and Mexico is guarded closely.
· Entities, whether individual, corporation, or government,
can, in principle, be observed as to its function, structure, or behavior.
What does Entity do?
Entities expose their wholeness to observation.
> Any entity, whether individual, corporation, or government, is welcome to apply.
· Members are entities which define relationships.
What does Member do?
Members are entities defining their relationships.
> In order to be a member of that association, one must be at least 55 years of age.
· Closed means without external relationship.
What does Closed do?
Closed excludes external relationship.
> His eyes closed, he concentrated on repeating a mantra without visual distraction.
· Open implies external relationship or an external relationship
involving any of a system/wholes members..
What does Open do?
Open includes external relationship or an external relationship of any of a system/wholes members.
> Open a few windows and the whole building loses heat faster, but we get some fresh air.
· Aspect is reference to a single external or internal
relationship of a system, or to a group of them as a single relationship.
What does Aspect do?
Aspect highlights a single external or internal relationship of a system, or a group of them as a single relationship.
> Reliability is one aspect of this car which I really appreciate.
· Quality refers to aspects of relationships or aspects
What does Quality do?
Quality refers to aspects of relationships or aspects of systems/wholes.
> She has a quality which I just cant put my finger on.
· Quantity refers to amounts of relationships or amounts
What does Quantity do?
Quantity counts aspects, relationships or amounts of systems/wholes.
. > Thanks to the weather, this years harvest offers a great quantity of potatoes.
· Subjective means that reference is made to an observer.
What does Subjective do?
Subjective makes reference to an observer. >Your opinion is totally subjective - many people love this painting, she exclaimed.
· Objective means means either that no reference is made
to an observer, or >invariance with respect to different observers.
What does Objective do?
Objective makes no reference to an observer or observation.
> Thinking of themselves as objective, many people have tried to pretend that they were not directly involved.
· Simplicity is a state of wholeness.
What does Simplicity do?
Simplicity describes wholeness.
> Seen from afar, it is easy to think of the oak tree is a model of simplicity.
· Complexity is structural or perceptual shift between
less relationful whole/simplicity and more relationful whole/simplicity.
What does Complexity do?
Complexity shifts structure or perception between less relationful whole/simplicity and more relationful whole/simplicity.
> Halfway through class, the complexity of the formula beguiled every student in the room.
· Chaos is a state of subtle, complex, and rapidly changing
What does Chaos do?
Chaos generates subtle, complex, and rapidly changing order.
> What will emerge from this confusing period of chaos, we do not know.
· Identity is a subjective qualitative aspect of a system/whole
which enables a whole to be discriminated from other wholes.
What does Identity do?
Identity discriminates a system/whole from other wholes in a subjective, qualitative way.
> A drivers license will be sufficient to prove your identity at the store.
· Anonymity is the converse of Identity.
What does Anonymity do?
Anonymity converses obscures/backgrounds Identity.
> As he joined thousands of other briefcase-toting sararimen in the station, Tanaka became frustrated by his anonymity.
· Form is the structure of internal relationships of a
What does Form do?
Form structures the internal relationships of a system.
> Gabriella exhibits perfect form in her dance noted the ballet instructor to her mother.
· Function is an objective qualitative aspect of a system/whole
which defines the purpose or use of that system/whole.
What does Function do?
Function defines the purpose or use of a system/whole in an objective, qualitative way.
> Clothing often functions to provide both warmth and fashion.
· Organization is a structure of internal and external
relationships forming the identity and function of a particular system/whole.
What does Organization do?
Organization structures internal and external relationships to form the identity and function of a particular system/whole.
> The organization of my desk tells you alot, said the embarrassed doctor.
A systemic definition of 'organization'
"Organization is a pattern of relationships defining the identity of a system" - This is a definition at a general level, applicable to any system with an identity of its own, for example living organisms and social bodies.
If we revert to a more specific domain, - social systems -, the following definitions of 'organization' can be proposed:
A) Organization as a pattern of relationships defining the identity of a social system:
1. Institutional: " An organization is a purposeful social system".
Example: "A company is an organization."
--> body, institution
2. Instrumental: "Organization is a set of implicit or explicit
rules that govern the functioning(*) of a social system". Example:
"A company has an organization."
--> order, set of rules
(*) Here, ' relationships'could substitute for 'functioning'.
B) Organization as the activity of organizing:
3. Functional: "Organization is the activity of organizing, of (self-)
design and development or transformation of a social system".
Example: "A firm does (re-) organize itself and it is being (re-) organized".
--> action, activity, process
The process view applies to all three of these definitions, not only to the last one: Both, a pattern of relationships and (self-) organizing are dynamic features of systems.
· Emergence is the creation of a system or whole whose
complete quality is not predictable from those of its component systems
What does Emergence do?
Emergence brings into existence a system or whole whose complete quality is not predictable from those of its component systems or predecessors.
> With the emergence of a baby boy, their lives changed forever.
· Generation describes a system/wholes location in
space-time with reference to the emergence of a system/whole with which
it is objectively related.
What does Generation do?
Generation locates a system/whole in space-time with reference to the emergence of a system/whole with which it is objectively related.
> Todays fourth-generation wind turbines are much more cost-effective than their predecessors of only ten years ago.
· Evolution is a shift in phase from less relationful whole/simplicity
to more relationful whole/simplicity, to a higher order of simplicity.
What does Evolution do?
Evolution shifts less relationful whole/simplicity to more relationful whole/simplicity, to a higher order of simplicity.
> Jean enjoyed the evolution of her repertoire as she learned how to play new chords.
· Devolution is a shift in phase from more relationful
whole/simplicity to less relationful whole/simplicity, to a lower order
What does Devolution do? Devolution shifts more relationful whole/simplicity to less relationful whole/simplicity, to a lower order of simplicity.
> The devolution of Colombian society following La Bogotazo in the 1950s was frightening.
· Bifurcation is sudden and comprehensive change in course
during periods of chaos.
What does Bifurcation do?
Bifurcation changes a course suddenly and comprehensively during periods of chaos.
> Little Bessie saw the bifurcation coming when Mom and Auntie starting arguing about the pie.
· Unification is the tendency toward wholeness.
What does Unification do?
Unification gathers entities into wholeness.
The unification of our disparate theories might result in a clearer path for all.
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