Our Mission is to spread a framework for thinking holistically and engaging in meaningful dialogue about complex problems – that language is Systems Thinking. We aim to reveal truths about systems, not peddle ideologies.
We aim to inspire our readers to…
- question and revise deeply-ingrained mental models and unexamined biases
- see the unseen and show others how to do the same
- critically examine the consequences of social policies holisitcally, looking at not just the short-term but also long-term, not just one group but all groups
- develop the habit of asking why and forming causal explanations for phenomena
- understand universal truths about social systems behavior
People too often wield knowledge for manipulation rather than illumination. We’re disappointed with the proliferation of information but scarcity of wisdom. We’ve found it very difficult to learn truths about the systems that permeate our everyday lives if we rely on the news media, academic elites, central planners, or empirical economists for our knowledge. Rather than embrace complexity, these so-called experts often reduce the world to simple narratives. Meanwhile politicans only tell half-truths: the good things they want you to believe about their policies and the bad things they want you to believe about their enemies’ policies.
But we didn’t create this site to sensationalize, scapegoat, condemn, nor complain. This is a place for people to engage in intellectual honesty, critical thinking, empathy, and imagination. This world is too beautifully complex for us to ignore the truths it reveals to those who are deeply curious.
We believe in the power of understanding the underlying systems that surround us and drive change in our world. We believe that all people have the capacity to cultivate the intrinsic wisdom that lies in the ability to question deeply, assert bravely, and revise themselves freely. We value learners over masterminds, thinkers over followers. We believe that we must all take ownership of our moments and problems and think creatively about how to interpret and respond to them: this is about systems and us.
What does it mean to explore a topic from a systems view?
A systems perspective asks why things work the way they do. We’re not just mildly curious about a problem, but we have a tenacious desire to understand the root causes of behaviors. This starts by acknowledging that systems are complex and having parts that are driven by different goals.
Common Practices In Our Essays
- References to universal Archetypes we see over and over in all systems
- Causal Loop Diagrams help us visually represent the many cause-and-effect relationships in a system’s structure, which opens up our premises for critical examination
- Abstracting as far as we can go to find a universal structure without misrepresenting the key relationships. For example, we can start with the topic of teacher unions. Their behaviors can be compared to all unions, which can be compared to powerful organizations with privileged political clout. A systems story of teacher unions ends up demonstrating similarity in behaviors between labor unions and monopolies.
- Dynamic complexity over detail complexity – we focus on the complexity of relationships tugging the results in different directions. We put less emphasis on providing a smorgasbord of detailed statistics.
- Goals of each essay: timeless, systemic, nonpartisan, low barrier to entry