If this object happened to be found by future archaeologists, isolated and with nothing to compare it to, it would signify the existence of a complex and highly advanced civilization—even if its function was not known. The evidence: chromed metal, parts that function together as a whole, intricate design, meticulous manufacturing, a “system” to convey […]

Solutions (To Climate Change)

This is the final posting in the series on ecology We’ve reviewed the climate change situation from a whole-systems perspective observing that the key to managing complex living systems is to manage the parts in right functional relationship with the whole. With regard to climate, Earth is the whole and individual humans are the parts—“members” […]

Greta Thunberg

This is the 10th posting in the series on ecology In a previous posting in this series, one of the reasons I expressed optimism regarding climate change was the concern and initiatives of young people. Because sixteen-year-old Greta Thunberg has stepped up to speak to power with intelligence, wisdom and passion, I dedicate this posting […]

V. Earth House Rules

This is the 5th posting in a series on ecology In Ken Burns’ documentary, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, a paradox was cited where Congress debated over whether or not the Grand Canyon should become a “national park” or remain a “national monument.” The former restricts a park against any human use other than […]

IV. Sustainability

This is the 4th posting in a series on ecology To sustain is to maintain. With regard to ecosystems, that isn’t enough. While sustaining certain ecosystems may be all that can be done now to preserve what would otherwise be lost, the word “sustainability” allows us to continue to see the world as composed of […]

III. Ecoliteracy

This is the 3rd in a series of postings on ecology Ecoliteracy involves an understanding of the basic principles of ecology. Understanding is the relatively easy part. The challenging part is living accordingly. Due to the specificity and complexity of this topic, I draw heavily upon The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision by […]

IV. The Weak Link

This is the 4th in a series of postings on whole systems thinking.  A system is as strong as its weakest link. The link that breaks when a chain is stressed, is the part within the whole, person within the group and nation within the global community that is—or becomes—dysfunctional under stress.  To counteract the […]

III. Holons And Hierarchy

This is the 3rd in a series of postings on whole systems thinking. A holon is a discrete, living system composed of sub-systems, and is itself a sub-system of larger whole systems—simultaneously a whole and a part. The word isn’t one you’re likely to use or even hear, but because it points to the nestedness […]

II. Autopoiesis (Self-Making)

This is the 2nd in a series of postings on whole systems thinking. In the coming weeks, after the topic is introduced, I’ll offer a contemplation that relates the information to our personal lives and higher order systems.   Living systems are cognitive systems, and living is a process of cognition. The statement is valid […]

Part—Whole Relationship

Do you see the jetliner? Remove any one of the pixels in the above image and there would be a hole in the whole (photograph). It wouldn’t be complete. It wouldn’t be the same photograph. Some might say it has a flaw. The universe presents itself to us as a system composed of parts-within-wholes, of […]