In complex systems, flows of energy and matter are slower than in simpler systems.
Complexity of the system, for example in ecosystems, results in an ordered sharing of available resources in energy and matter. Such order tends to be hierarchical, with some dominant species in control of the power flow in the circuit (but also maximally depending on it).
In this way. the flow becomes sequentially divided, or cascaded, between numerous users and more organization is obtained with the same final level of entropy production. In H. ODUM words: "Unless special energies are directed to prevent succession, the complex system with its specializations performs more work functions for a total effort and displaces systems whose energies are going into storage instead of into useful work for competitive survival and dominance" (1971, p.112).
As a result, ODUM takes a dim view of man's general "simplification" of the natural systems by suppression of many of their participants. It would however seem that "useful work for competitive survival and dominance" is what precisely leads human systems to this simplification!
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To cite this page, please use the following information:
Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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