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Thinking in Systems: A Primer

5 Ratings: 3.8
A book by Donella H. Meadows

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 … see full wiki

Tags: Books, Cafe Libri
Author: Donella H. Meadows
Genre: Business & Investing, Science
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
5 reviews about Thinking in Systems: A Primer
review by . February 18, 2010
If you're trying to grapple with problems or to make predictions in things like a business, a charitable organization, or a classroom, this book can help you see what you're working with as a system. Doing so -- and the numerous simple real-world examples make it possible -- can help you approach problem-solving in a new and probably more successful way.     If you enjoy thinking about philosophical issues or the great problems of the world, systems thinking is an intriguing …
review by . June 12, 2009
We tend to think in terms of linear cause and effect chains ("if I do this, this will happen"), or expecting to know in advance what output will correspond to what input, and we put emphasis on immediate results ("I will do this if the direct results are beneficial") over long term consequences. This straightforward guide to systems thinking shows the problems with considering the world to be easily manipulable. The fact that rewarding a team for good performance, for example, increases their short …
review by . April 16, 2009
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 …
review by . March 26, 2009
Nearly everything that humans deal with is a system, which by definition is a structure with many parts that are interconnected in many different ways. One, but by no means the only mistake that can be made is to fail to recognize that something is a part of a system. If that mistake is made, then what happens can be unexpected and completely out of proportion. A change in some parts of a system is damped out so that even a major change in the part will have little overall affect on the system. …
review by . March 17, 2009
As a long-time admirer of Donella Meadows' work, and knowing that she died much too young in 2001, I was surprised and enormously gladdened to learn that another book had arrived. Meadows all but completed the volume which has been edited and released by the Sustainability Institute.    It is her masterwork. (You did us right, Dana! As Cat Stevens framed it, "Oh very young, what did you leave us this time? You're only dancing on this earth for a short while ...")     The …
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