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Note Ludwig von Bertalanffy has been on of the most acute minds of the XX century. Here is a miscellanea of passages from his General System Theory. The first part of the text focuses on the function of the theory of systems and on the main features of closed and open systems.
The second part presents a conception of the human being not as a robot or a moron aiming at reducing tensions by satisfying biological needs, but as an active personality system creating his own universe, who revels in accepting open systems model business plans, solving problems and expressing his artistic inclinations.
The Quest for a General System Theory There exist models, principles, and laws that apply to generalized systems or their subclasses, irrespective of their particular kind, the nature of their component elements, and the relation or 'forces' between them.
It seems legitimate to ask for a theory, not of systems of a more or less special kind, but of universal principles applying to systems in general. In this way we postulate a new discipline called General System Theory. Its subject matter is the formulation and derivation of those principles which are valid for 'systems' in general.
A consequence of the existence of general system properties is the appearance of structural similarities or isomorphisms in different fields.
There are correspondences in the principles that govern the behaviour of entities that are, intrinsically, widely different. To take a simple example, an exponential law of growth applies to certain bacterial cells, to populations of bacteria, of animals or humans, and to the progress of scientific research measured by the number of publications in genetics or science in general.
System isomorphisms also appear in problems which are recalcitrant to quantitative analysis but are nevertheless of great intrinsic interest. There are, for example, isomorphies between biological systems and 'epiorganisms' like animal communities and human societies.
It seems therefore that a general system theory of systems would be a useful tool providing, on the one hand, models that can be used in, and transferred to, different fields, and safeguarding, on the other hand, from vague analogies which often have marred the progress in these fields.
The isomorphism under discussion is more than mere analogy. It is a consequence of the fact that, in certain respects, corresponding abstractions and conceptual models can be applied to different phenomena.
Only in view of these aspects will system laws apply. This is not different from the general procedure in science.
There is, however, another and even more important aspect of general system theory. Concepts like those of organization, wholeness, directiveness, teleology, and differentiation are alien to conventional physics.
However, they pop up everywhere in the biological, behavioural and social sciences, and are, in fact, indispensable for dealing with living organisms or social groups.
Thus, a basic problem posed to modern science is a general theory of organization. General system theory is, in principle, capable of giving exact definitions for such concepts and, in suitable cases, of putting them to quantitative analysis.
Aims of a General System Theory While in the past, science tried to explain observable phenomena by reducing them to an interplay of elementary units investigable independently of each other, conceptions appear in contemporary science that are concerned with what is somewhat vaguely termed 'wholeness', i.
Conceptions and problems of this nature have appeared in all branches of science, irrespective of whether inanimate things, living organisms, or social phenomena are the object of study.
Not only are general aspects and viewpoints alike in different sciences; frequently we find formally identical or isomorphic laws in different fields. In many cases, isomorphic laws hold for certain classes or subclasses of 'systems', irrespective of the nature of the entities involved.
There appear to exist general system laws which apply to any system of a certain type, irrespective if the particular properties of the system and of the elements involved.
General System Theory, therefore, is a general science of 'wholeness'. Closed and Open Systems Conventional physics deals only with closed systems, i. However, we find systems which by their very nature and definition are not closed systems.
Every living organism is essentially an open system. It maintains itself in a continuous inflow and outflow, a building up and breaking down of components, never being, so long as it is alive, in a state of chemical and thermodynamic equilibrium but maintained in a so-called steady state which is distinct from the latter.
It is only in recent years that an expansion of physics, in order to include open systems, has taken place. This theory has shed light on many obscure phenomena in physics and biology and has also led to important general conclusions of which I will mention only two.
The first is the principle of equifinality. In any closed system, the final state is unequivocally determined by the initial conditions: This is not so in open systems. Here, the same final state may be reached from different initial conditions and in different ways.
This is what is called equifinality. Another apparent contrast between inanimate and animate nature is what sometimes was called the violent contradiction between Lord Kelvin's degradation and Darwin's evolution, between the law of dissipation in physics and the law of evolution in biology.
According to the second principle of thermodynamics, the general trend of events in physical nature is towards states of maximum disorder and levelling down of differences, with the so-called heat death of the universe as the final outlook, when all energy is degraded into evenly distributed heat of low temperature, and the world process comes to a stop.
In contrast, the living world shows, in embryonic development and in evolution, a transition towards higher order, heterogeneity, and organization.
But on the basis of the theory of open systems, the apparent contradiction between entropy and evolution disappears.
In all irreversible processes, entropy must increase.Managed Care is a health care delivery system organized to manage cost, utilization, and quality. Medicaid managed care provides for the delivery of Medicaid health benefits and additional services through contracted arrangements between state Medicaid agencies and managed care organizations (MCOs) that accept a set per member per month (capitation) payment for these services.
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Cyber Security Planning Guide.
TC-1 Table of Contents larger companies take steps to secure their systems, less secure small businesses are easier targets for cyber criminals. • Marketing plans • Business leads and enquiries • Product design and development plans.
Open systems by definition are changing. When there is awareness, the system can manage this change to meet its own needs. Change management in this model is a three-step process.
The Open Group is committed to delivering greater business efficiency by bringing together buyers and suppliers of information systems to lower the barriers of integrating new technology across the .