Review: Thinking in Systems by Donella H. Meadows

Cover of the book Thinking in Systems.I have been studying complexity theory a lot recently (as part of my own research) and read dozens of books about it and all kinds of vaguely related subjects. As such, there wasn’t much in this book that was completely new to me. In spite of this, Thinking in Systems felt like an eye-opener that brought many things together very neatly. It also put some things I’ve known for an even longer time — from reading about sociology, say — into a neat general framework. So many things are systems that operate under their own laws, but we may imagine them to be much simpler to change than that, or to be directly based on individual choices in case of social systems. So this book perfectly plausibly brings thermostats and social inequalities under the same general framework. Continue reading