Systemantics Thought for the Day: Loose Systems Less Hostile to Human Life

From John Gall’s Systemantics:

Since most of modern life is lived in the interstices of large systems, it is of practical importance to note that:

LOOSE SYSTEMS HAVE LARGER INTERSTICES

and are therefore generally somewhat less hostile to human life forms than tighter systems.

As an example of a System attunned to the principles of Systems-design enuciated thus far, consider the system of the Family. The Family has been around for a long time. Our close primate relatives, the gorillas, form family units consisting of a husband and wife and one or more offspring. As Jane Goodall has shown, gorrillas take naps after meals (Every day is Sunday for large primates). The youngsters wake up too soon, get bored, and start monkeying around the nest. Father gorilla eventually wakes up, leans on one elbow, and fixes the youngster with a penetrating stare that speaks louder than words. The offending juvenile thereupon stops his irritating hyperactivity, at least for a few minutes.

Clearly, this is a functioning system. Its immense survival power is obvious. It has weathered vicissitudes compared to which the stresses of our own day are trivial. And what are the sources of its strength? In brief: extreme simplicity of structure, looseness in everday functioning, “inefficiency” in the efficiency-expert’s sense of the term, and a strong alignment with basic primate motivations.

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