Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

This is an article that deserves a deeper discussion, but in the space I have here I want to make just one point: the list of effective leverage points in a system, as described by Donella Meadows, is exactly the inverse of the list of effective leverage points in a network. And we can understand this by understanding how any sufficiently complex system becomes, effectively, a network. To change a system, you change paradigms, objectives and rules. But a network is not based on paradigms, objectives and rules, and trying to change them is like trying to push a fog bank. In a system, a change to a small parameter, like the rate of return on a rental property, is insignificant. In a network, these small parameters are everything., because there are no higher-level parameters to which these must conform

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Mar 30, 2021 8:00 p.m.