Monday, August 10, 2009

Thinking in Systems

Unlike the previous book I reviewed which I came across in one of my bargain hunt adventures, I ordered my copy of Thinking in Systems from the Earthscan site using my 20% off voucher. I got it at around 900 pesos, still quite a bargain and even I pay a bit more it is still totally worth it.

I had always wanted to have a copy of this book. I remember taking up Systems Analysis in graduate school and not appreciating a thing about it because I have to deal with classmates who have no idea what they are doing in graduate school and took the course as part of our program's core curriculum. The behavior of those people is a unique example of how they could not think in a context of a system since they have so much prejudices about how things should be like "women not being able to perform much and within they prove their beliefs at a greater cost" and such prejudices are the cause of most of the systemic problems we encounter today.

The first part of the book tackles the basics or theoretical foundation of Systems Analysis. How natural phenomena can be reduced to basic functional forms and how each element affects the stocks and flows of the system. However, the author Dana Meadows cautions that too simplistic views should not be used in examining systems, there are components that we could never know.

The latter part of the book provides guidelines on how we can use a systems approach in looking at things and be humble enough to be able to accept that we do not know everything.