91 – Closed versus Open Systems …

A Closed System is an ‘un-natural’ system in the sense that it is not only man-made, but it is deliberately restricted and conditioned in its interactions with the environment to fit or obtain more or less expected results.

Open Systems, on the other hand, are ‘natural’ systems in the sense that they are engendered through primal processes with a degree of freedom to interact with environments, and by absorbing and dissipating energy sources they may or not adapt and perpetuate their survival.

Although closed systems are never found ‘naturally’ in Nature, experimentation with prototypes to test concepts has been instrumental in our understanding of the nature of reality. But because these experiments are generally constrained not only by the expectations of the experimenter and his/hers funding sources, but also by the sterile settings in which they are studied (oftentimes totally prevented from exchanging information with the environment), they have come to impress in us a view of Nature that is completely alien and detached from experience.

It is thus that a scientific paradigm dominated by an emphasis on understanding reality through experimentation with closed systems, has led us into the perception that we are alienated from the natural world, reasserting the fallacy that we exist in an isolated and privileged cocoon. When in truth it is exactly the opposite: though highly evolved, we are just another open system.

Like the systems we are made out of (cell, molecules) and the systems in which we are embedded (species, planet), we are open systems. And although open systems manifest in myriad shapes, sizes, and degrees of complexity, we all share not only intuitive knowledge but universal properties.

Like the cells we are made of and the Earth from which we are engendered, we are highly evolved open systems that emerge temporarily into the unfolding universal process that endows us with the potential to leave our mark in the world.

As we engender our own components, so we are also engendered with the intuitive knowledge to self-organize and bond into cohesive yet supple structures that, allowing us a degree of flexibility to interact with environments by absorbing and dissipating energy sources, provide us with a relative degree of freedom in adaptation, and thus self-perpetuation.

But greatly dominated by a scientific paradigm based predominantly on knowledge attained through experimentation with closed systems, we continue to understand reality as something alien from us, mechanical, unfeeling; something from which we are not engendered, nor given life, nor alive.

Revised October 2019   

Note: New posts are usually published on the 1st and 15th of the month. To subscribe to the Blog, click on the RSS feeder (orange icon) on the left column of the Home page, down below the Archives.

Be Sociable, Share!

12 Responses to “91 – Closed versus Open Systems …”

  1. Stands back from the keyboard in amazement! Thanks!

  2. You’ve really helped me understand the issues. Thanks.

  3. I love these articles. How many words can a wordsmith smith?

  4. I thank you humbly for sharing your wisdom JJWY

  5. Surprisingly well-written and informative for a free online article.

  6. It’s a pleasure to find someone who can think so clearly

  7. Cool! That’s a clever way of looking at it!

  8. yaofen.com says:

    The genius store called, they’re running out of you.

  9. Learning a ton from these neat articles.

  10. Excellent post. I have taken the liberty to reprint it on my blog, since as I noted, you did a better job than I would have done. It's been fully attributed to you, but if any objections, please let me know, and I will remove it.

  11. That’s a smart way of thinking about it.

Leave a Reply