Systems perspectives as different ways of seeing, organizing, and understanding the world

| It’s not what you see. It’s how you see it. | What we see as a system, and how we understand the interactions of its parts in relationship to the whole, is a function of our own perspective. By changing our perspective, we can conceptually reorganize the same phenomenon as different types of systems […]

Systems of organization: Ladders, webs, and fractals as organizing structures

If we look carefully, we can see systems literally everywhere. But what exactly are we looking for? Why does our perspective matter? And how do different perspectives affect how we think about the world? There are all kinds of systems: physical (mechanical, infrastructure, environmental, physiological), social (political, economical, legal, health care), informational (ideological, mathematical, linguistic). […]

How culture affects the ways we learn to organize the world

Culture, perspective, and systems In this 2012 Clever Apes: Nature and Human Nature podcast, scientists described research comparing the ways Native and non-Native children learn to think about the world. Although non-Native children’s thinking involved hierarchical categories (organizing by type), Native children’s thinking involved ecological or “systems-level” principles (organizing by relationships). These represent very different […]

The power of networks: Knowledge in an age of infinite interconnectedness | Manuel Lima

I’m going to talk today about the power of networks and the challenge of mapping an increasingly complex world. And I’m actually gonna start this talk with trees…This widespread metaphor it’s so so popular because it really expresses a human desire for order, for symmetry, for hierarchy, for simplicity, for balance and unity. Trees are […]