The different period lengths of different sub processes which take place in a complex system.
Their interconnections produce a very complicated trajectory for the global process which may look totally random, while in reality it consists of a number of superposed and intertwined time curves.
The analysis of these latter is however tricky, since it depends either of the hunches of the analyser or of Fourier analysis, which allows for any kind of decomposition, significant or spurious.
Most of our evaluations are based on a strictly linear perception of the time-flow corresponding to some elementary process (a watch!), or a complex one artificially thus reduced. Even nonlinearity is many times perceived as reducible to lawful regularity. We have scant appreciation of the long-term accumulations of effects and the possible catastrophic (i.e. discontinuous) changes they may bring along: "The last straw that broke the camel's back".
We thus need to learn that we may face unsuspected long-term consequences of our doings, or that others may experiment them, and in some cases, make us pay for it.
It is possible to speak of "short", "medium", or "long term", which appear effectively in many statistical senses related to a great variety of processes. However "short", "medium" or "long" may have very different meanings accordingly to the type of process which is observed and the considered span of time.
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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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