Thursday, July 12, 2007

Systems thinking and art

Not long ago, The Diagram published one of my system dynamics diagrams because they were attracted by its design ("But is it art?"). Recently I discovered a quotation I wanted to share with you, for I think it conveys something important about about organizational or societal simulation and modeling as well as about art.


Suggestion—the part standing for the whole—is a principal means by which art communicates; this is why art often tells us so much with such economy.

Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, p. 377.


That's what system dynamics in particular and systems thinking in general is all about: economy in expressing the essence of a problem to foster economy in solving the problem and economy in creating deeper insights to be able to solve the next, similar problem.

I like that quotation.

I like the book, too; I'll probably write more about it soon.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Robyn said...

I'm always delighted to see people discover Jane Jacobs, especially "Death and Life"... I look forward to hearing your thoughts on her work from a systems perspective.

26 July, 2007 08:44  
Blogger Bill Harris said...

Thanks for dropping by, Robyn! I found that recommendation on Andrew Gelman's The best nonfiction books ever. I've just got to find the time to put my thoughts into words before I forget too much of what I read!

26 July, 2007 09:04  

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