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l1_systems_notes - 1 An Introduction to Systems Theory...

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Unformatted text preview: 1 An Introduction to Systems Theory William Gustav Gartner People and Resources (Geography 139) Fall 2008 What is a System? • Components • Flows • Relationships (Connectivity) General Systems Theory • The essential nature of matter lies not in objects, but in their relationships. • Relationships - not objects or simple causes - explain phenomena. • Relationships reflect “statistical regularities” • Living systems are self-organizing and “goal-directed”. Ludwig von Bertalanffy (1901-1972) and many others! 2 Reductionism and Rationalism • Reason is independent of experience. • Basic physical mechanisms explain complex phenomena. • Linear cause and effect. • Perfect knowledge and prediction. The Complexity of Relationships Feedback The Complexity of Relationships Feedback 3 The Complexity of Relationships Sensitivity to Initial Conditions (Chaos Theory) Andy Goldsworthy: Excerpts from Rivers and Tides The Complexity of Relationships Emergent Properties M. C. Escher, Möbius Strip II (Red Ants)M....
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l1_systems_notes - 1 An Introduction to Systems Theory...

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