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Emergence and division of labor

In the last paragraph of the previous section, the concept of emergence was introduced - the appearance of properties/emergence at each system level in systems of properties that were not present in systems at the previous system level. Clocks can show time, but gears, springs, the case of mechanical clocks - cannot, transistors in electronic clocks - cannot.

New/emergent properties force the use of some applied discipline/theory at each scale/size/system level for explanations. Systems thinking allows one to understand the intricacies of slicing the world into systems from different system levels ("slicing" should not be taken literally, it is "slicing with attention," highlighting systems as figures against a background). Thus, at the core of intellectual work on creating and using different applied methods for working with their disciplines/theories/knowledge that serve to understand what happens at different system levels lies precisely systemic thinking. Methods/ways/practices/styles of systemic thinking remarkably help to deal with the complexity of the surrounding world.

Division of labor is when different intellectual agents (humans and AI) specialize in methods of working with a specific system scale. For example, an agent in the role of a therapist deals with the human body as a whole, consisting of organs. However, an agent in the role of a pulmonologist specializes only in treating the lungs. The basis of the division of labor is precisely systemic thinking: systems of different scales are divided by system levels, then studied by different sciences, and changed by different types of engineering.

One agent is not capable of deeply mastering the changes of all systems in the world at all system levels; they simply lack the computational resources for extended learning. If it takes a year to learn a method of work professionally (this is a very conservative estimate! Try learning to play the piano professionally in a year, or to be a professional organizational architect!), then in thirty years, you can only learn 30 methods of work - and when you get to the thirtieth, you will find that the first method learned is hopelessly outdated. But there are thousands, tens of thousands of methods of work! No single agent's life is enough to master them all at a professional level.

Therefore, there is a division of labor, different agents specialize in different methods of creating and developing different systems. To understand what skills in what methods of work agents should have in your specific project, you need to first slice the world into systems, choose the important ones for your project, then choose a working method with these important systems, and only after that, choose an agent who can work with the method you have selected. And this is where systemic thinking will be useful, here a universal and scaleless intellect must work, because you will have to think about the systems, the methods of work with the systems, about the agents who will work with the systems (that is, translate systems from one state to another).

Before delving into the study of systemic thinking, it is necessary to understand general criteria **of strong thinking, like strong intellect thinking. These criteria are applicable to systemic thinking as well. It is also necessary to answer the question: what is the difference between systemicity and systematicity, as they are often confused.

There are many variants of systemic thinking in the world based on different versions of the systemic approach, so it will be necessary to understand which variant we are teaching in our course, and also why we are teaching this particular variant.

In the upcoming section, there will be some explanations about the course:

  • how to relate to terminology (terms are important, and not important!),
  • how to choose the degree of rigor/formality of systemic thinking,
  • how to ensure that systemic thinking helps, not hinder creative freedom (the course provides templates of effective thinking that work perfectly, but is there "creativity by template"? Yes, of course, creativity can be by template, and even preferable by template! Without a template, it is much easier to produce banality rather than something new!).
  • Can thinking be taught at all, or do you just need to be born smart? Of course, it can be taught.
  • what are the stages of learning to think?

And only after discussing all this in the next section, we will start studying the basic concepts of the systemic approach and the related thinking techniques of various fundamental methods of the intellect-stack.

It should be said right away that the presentation text of the material ("textbook") from our course is like a bicycle riding manual: reading the course as a book will tell you a lot about systemic thinking, but it is not guaranteed that after reading the course like a book, you will become a systemic thinker. Practice is necessary! Even exercises in systemic thinking have their own peculiarities. Moreover, during the learning process, you also need to transition to using this thinking in real life, which is even more challenging than learning to solve tasks. You simply solve a task from the course, but in life, you first need to pose a problem, and only then solve it - it is more difficult to set tasks than to solve them.

The prerequisite for our course - the course "Modeling and Systematics." After it, you have:

  • Learned not to confuse words/terms and concepts,
  • Learned to distinguish physical objects from their descriptions,
  • Do not forget to record the results of modeling,
  • Do not require definitions for concepts,
  • Find objects of a given type in the surrounding world,
  • Maintain focus on found objects when there is usual life hustle and bustle around, and the world is buzzing around, and you don't have time to concentrate,
  • Find a type in the given ontology for objects in the surrounding world if their type is unknown.

But if in the course "Modeling and Systematics" it was about different types of various objects, then in our course "Systemic Thinking," we will talk about the main objects that need to be focused on - objects of the "system" type. If you have questions about how to think about types - in the "Modeling and Systematics" support chat, with questions about how to think about systems (which are also types!) - in the "Systemic Thinking" support chat, with questions about how to think about “ritors” type systems (those who possess persuasive speech methods - rhetoric::method/culture/way/practice of work) - in the "Rhetoric" support chat (but not in the systemic thinking support chat or the modeling and systematics support chat).

The continuation of our course will be the course "Methodology," where concepts of the systemic approach will be used to discuss methods/activities/practices/engineering/culture/style of creating and developing systems by one system (creators) of other systems. These living systems "grow themselves," but if it comes to creating something by intellectual agents (people with AI and their organizations), discussion is needed on how to describe patterns/templates/methods/practices/cultures of system creation work. The founder of a company creates a company, which creates a machine, which creates a part. The authors of the course write an educational course ("textbook" with a "problem set"), and then the teacher instills in the student (person, cat, AI) some practical mastery through education. How to describe this collective engineering, how to think about it? This is what methodology deals with.

Later on, systemic thinking and systemic methodology will be used in a course (scaleless, for all types of systems) of systems engineering. And then there will be courses on personality engineering (in fact, a course on engineering by teaching method: changing students for the better through their education) and organizational engineering (course "Systemic Management"). This is approximately half of the educational program "Organizational Development," three semesters.

Of course, systemic thinking is used by agents to accelerate the understanding of applied methods of work. This is part of the behavior of a strong intellect. Therefore, we first teach systemic thinking and methodology, and only then move on to studying courses on applied methods of work with "physical" and software systems, personalities, and organizations.

Mastering systemic thinking is another step in strengthening intellect, that is, another step in studying the fundamental/transdisciplinary methods of intellect thinking of the intellect stack.

Let's repeat: do not get stuck on the content of these first two sections, or later sections, or even the content of the entire course. Go through the course material, spending a reasonable amount of time on each subsection, performing tasks - understanding usually doesn't come immediately after reading the text of the subsection but a little later. In the next section, we will look at the specifics of presenting educational material in our courses. The main idea there is: our course is not Wikipedia, not a handbook on systemic thinking, and is not structured like a mathematics textbook with a couple of definitions for each topic and a dozen exercises for these couple of definitions. We do not teach a classical logical computer in the minds of our students but a neural network in the brain (or even not in the brain, but in a data center, as our texts can be read by AI agents too).