The transformation of the behavior of a system from more or less unpredictable to predictable.
The concept has been introduced by H.von FOERSTER.
He observes that complex system are generally speaking non-trivial, in that the same input does not necessarily produces the same output.
He notes that we mostly try to construct trivial machines, i.e machines whose behavior will respond to our expectations because we built them along deterministic rules. We also try trivialize our environment: "The discovery of agriculture is the discovery that some aspects of Nature can be trivialized" (H.von FOERSTER, 1981, p.302).
He adds however: "While our preoccupation with trivialization of our environment may be in one domain useful and constructive, in another domain it is useless and destructive. Trivialization is a dangerous panacea when man applies it to himself" (Ibid).
As an example of trivialization he gives the way our system of education generally tends to uniformize and standardize students: "Tests are devices to establish a measure of trivialization. A perfect score in a test is indicative of perfect trivialization: the student is completely predictable and thus can be admitted into society. He will cause neither any surprise nor any trouble" (Ibid).
It seems however that the progress of complex systems toward a superior degree of nontriviality must be paid for by a trivialization of their environment (perhaps an unavoidable consequence of the 2nd. principle of thermodynamics).
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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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