We are nearing the end of our exploration of Universal Themes by designing new slides for Curious Quotes that I have collected along the way. The previous theme of Structure was by far the hardest one yet. Systems was slightly easier.
When you hear the word SYSTEM, what do you think of?
Do you have a SYSTEM for doing something? Where do you see SYSTEMS naturally occurring?
Begin by reviewing this list of Generalizations related to SYSTEMS.
What new ideas does this list give you?
What items on the list remind you of something else?
What else do you think belongs on this list of generalizations?
Are there any items on the list that you disagree with?
Our first quote of the collection comes from Steve Jobs. This is the first part of a much longer quote. Steve Jobs goes on to say, "Apple is a very disciplined company, and we have great processes. But that's not what it's about. Process makes you more efficient."
What do you think he is trying to say?
What is the difference between a system and a process? Is there one?
How can you have something and not have something at the same time?
Consider this quote from Kenneth E. Boulding, an English-born American economist, educator, peace activist, and interdisciplinary philosopher. Boulding was the co-founder of general systems theory. A system is a cohesive group of interrelated and interdependent parts which can be natural or human-made. Every system is bounded by space and time, influenced by its environment, defined by its structure and purpose, and expressed through its functioning.
Boulding's definition of a system takes us back to the Universal Theme of Order VS Chaos. Could we say that a System is anything that creates order? Or is this oversimplifying things?
For the next two quotes, our speakers offer definitions of Math and Science as it relates to Systems. First up is this definition from Shakuntala Devi who was an Indian mathematician that was known as the "Human Computer". During her lifetime she traveled the world publicly performing the mental calculation of large numbers. For example, Devi mentally calculated the cube root of 61,629,875 and the event root of 170.859,375. In 1977 she gave the 23rd root of a 201-digit number in 50 seconds. It took one of the most powerful computers available at the time longer to calculate the answer.
We transition from math to science with this quote from George Henry Lewes who was a philosopher and critic during the Victorian Era. Consider this quote and the one previous. What role do systems play in classification and solving problems? Are system necessary to do this? What would math and science look like if systems were not used?
We close this collection of Curious Quotes with this one from Coretta Scott King. Before I mentioned her name, did you know who this was? What do you think that Mrs. King is saying here? When do you think she may have said this? How have we seen this come to be in today's times? How was Coretta Scott King able to carry on the legacy and work of her husband after his assassination?