Complex systems are systems that are difficult to model and predict. The amount of information required to fully document a complex system at a point in time is prohibitively large such that they can't be fully modeled by any known methods. Components of a complex system may appear to act spontaneously such that predicting complex systems with certainty is believed to be impossible. The following are examples of complex systems.
The UniverseThe Universe itself. The information required to fully model the Big Bang is increasing rapidly as the Universe moves from a state of order to disorder in a process of entropy.
ClimateThe climate system of Earth is influenced by a large number of variables including elements of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, lithosphere and biosphere.
EcosystemsCommunities of living organisms interacting as a system.
OrganismsIndividual organisms are complex systems.
CognitionThe human brain and human thought are complex systems. For example, people demonstrate nonlinear behavior whereby they change their mind and alter their behavior in a dynamic or spontaneous fashion.
Society & CultureAs human cognition is complex, systems based on human interaction also tend to be complex. This includes society, culture and related systems such as art.
Organizations may be organized using relatively simple processes, rules and technologies that would be possible to model. The human element of organizations is what makes them complex. For example, office politics may cause organizations to do spontaneous things such as making odd decisions. Human talents such as creativity are also a wild card in modeling organizations.
Cities demonstrate emergence and spontaneity despite systems of planning, rules and control that seek to make things predictable.Economic systems are based on the participation of a large number of competing and/or cooperating people. Economic systems such as markets are extremely complex.
This is the complete list of articles we have written about systems thinking.
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