Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Systems Science: A Systems Approach To Civilization's Demise & Death

ISSS - Wikipedia
A large body within the realm of science is called "Systems science" because it is a scientific discipline that studies "systems" (which ends up being a complex arena to say the least).

Regular readers know that Dredd Blog has dealt with the notion of a Global Climate System for some time, even quoting from a book by that name upon occasion, so, today we will take a look at the Global Climate System from the point of view of what most interests a lot of people who take a look at this area of science --the surprising reality of the common system behaviors that different systems have in common.

At least in terms of systems science.

Identifying and studying those systems, including common behaviors, is a daunting exercise:
Systems science is an interdisciplinary field that studies the nature of complex systems in nature, society, and science itself. It aims to develop interdisciplinary foundations that are applicable in a variety of areas, such as engineering, biology, medicine, and social sciences.

Systems science covers formal sciences such as complex systems, cybernetics, dynamical systems theory, and systems theory, and applications in the field of the natural and social sciences and engineering, such as control theory, operations research, social systems theory, systems biology, systems dynamics, systems ecology, systems engineering and systems psychology.
(Wikipedia, "Systems science"). What, psychology is in there too?

After thinking about it a bit, that is not so strange (mixing systems psychology with the global climate system) because there are fervent deniers of climate change as well as equally fervent activists who want to stop injecting green house gases into the atmosphere.

This series will begin, as the title hints at, with a systems scientist who wrote a piece recently that deals with the psychology of death and the climate system:
Our western culture cannot accept its death. Even though there are numerous signs "out there" and "in here" that our world is deteriorating, and even decaying, the majority of us remain stuck in our old ways.
One of the aspects of Western Culture that refuses to die is our philosophy about the world. While science (e.g., quantum physics, chaos theory, systems theory) has questioned our linear, reductionist and highly pyramidal power schemes, it appears that we are grounded in a place of rigid top-down control. This linear control system is reflected in our religion which has figure heads such as the Pope or Church Central Committees overseeing the underlying Bishops that oversee the underlying Priests who oversee the congregation. Of course, on top of that is the remote control ruling power of the Almighty God who exists in a transcendent heaven and oversees everything.
While guidance and strong parenting, which teaches children the ways of Nature (primarily) and the culture (secondarily), helps children to live a full life, the fact is, our delinquent adolescents simply mirror the sociopathology of the dominant culture. It does not take long for one with open eyes to see the similarities between girls who are engaging in promiscuous sexual behavior to sensual advertisements that have phallic lipsticks moving seductively over desirous wet lips. Nor do we see the violence of adolescent boys as being a reflection of a culture that has been constantly at war for at least the past 200 years and the bloody movies and video games that blow people up with the click of a mouse.

The issues with our children are systemic.
The criminality of a CEO and an anti-social adolescent are one and the same. These are complex systemic issues. In essence, we are oftentimes trying to counsel a delinquent adolescent into "behaving", while, in fact, he is already behaving as an inherent cell in a sociopathic system.
What we need to change is Mother Culture, not Mother Nature. This means we need to change. It's not enough to get an adolescent to stop engaging in anti-social behaviors. WE need to stop engaging in anti-social behaviors, this includes the 1%, the media (e.g., the pitting of left against right on CNN and Fox News) and the seductive advertising that leads young girls to believe that they are simply about legs, breasts and butts and young boys into believing they can save the world via a computer game that prepares them for military service.
At this point, we cannot align our hopes into any one discipline to help reduce these rates. In line with complexity theory, we need to take multidimensional approaches to the environment and our happiness. We can't separate out our environmental well being from our personal psychological health or the culture's health. Ecology, economy, and sociology are three legs of one resilient stool. Create a wobble in any one of them and the other two are thrown off balance, causing the entire stool (organism) to tip precariously.

We must understand what the underlying patterns are behind the extinction rates of species in relation to how our children are being raised at home and in school, our political messes and high crime rates in relationship to our high rates of depression and other emotional issues are related.

What ties them all together? To answer this question, we must all take a deep look at ourselves in relationship to the world we live in. How is it that we are conditioned? Can we move beyond that conditioning?
(Complexity, Sustainability ... of a ... Planet; a Burl Hall review of "COMPLEXITY AND SUSTAINABILITY", by Jennifer Wells; emphasis added). The system scientist quoted sees that any social, psychological system is systemically related to the Global Climate System.

She points out that not seeing that systemic relation is a result of sociopathic tradition.

This post is getting a bit long, so we will pick in up in the next post of this series.

Stay tuned.

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