Introduction to General Systems Thinking: Silver Anniversary Edition

Overview

For more than twenty-five years, An Introduction to General Systems Thinking has been hailed as an innovative introduction to systems theory, with applications in computer science and beyond. Used in university courses and professional seminars all over the world, the text has proven its ability to open minds and sharpen thinking.

Originally published in 1975 and reprinted more than twenty times over a quarter century-and now available for the first time from Dorset House ...

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (16) from $7.50   
  • New (2) from $67.25   
  • Used (14) from $7.50   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$67.25
Seller since 2011

Feedback rating:

(867)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
Brand new and unread! Join our growing list of satisfied customers!

Ships from: Phoenix, MD

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
$89.71
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(273)

Condition: New
Brand New Item.

Ships from: Chatham, NJ

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

For more than twenty-five years, An Introduction to General Systems Thinking has been hailed as an innovative introduction to systems theory, with applications in computer science and beyond. Used in university courses and professional seminars all over the world, the text has proven its ability to open minds and sharpen thinking.

Originally published in 1975 and reprinted more than twenty times over a quarter century-and now available for the first time from Dorset House Publishing-the text uses clear writing and basic algebraic principles to explore new approaches to projects, products, organizations, and virtually any kind of system.

Scientists, engineers, organization leaders, managers, doctors, students, and thinkers of all disciplines can use this book to dispel the mental fog that clouds problem-solving. As author Gerald M. Weinberg writes in the new preface to the Silver Anniversary Edition, "I haven't changed my conviction that most people don't think nearly as well as they could had they been taught some principles of thinking."

Now an award-winning author of nearly forty books spanning the entire software development life cycle, Weinberg had already acquired extensive experience as a programmer, manager, university professor, and consultant when this book was originally published.With helpful illustrations, numerous end-of-chapter exercises, and an appendix on a mathematical notation used in problem-solving, An Introduction to General Systems Thinking may be your most powerful tool in working with problems, systems, and solutions.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780932633491
  • Publisher: Dorset House Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/28/2001
  • Edition description: 20%
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Gerald M. Weinberg has programmed, researched, managed, and taught both in industry and academia for more than four decades. As a principal of Weinberg and Weinberg, based in Lincoln, Nebraska, he teaches and consults in ways for people to become more productive.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Preface by Gerald M. WeinbergFrom An Introduction to General Systems Thinking: Silver Anniversary Edition. "The significant prolems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them." -- Albert Einstein For as long as I can remember, I've been interested in thinking. I started writing this book about thinking in 1961, worked on it for fourteen years, and finally published it in 1975. Since that time, I've received hundreds of letters and reviews of the book. Most of them confirm that the book has helped readers improve their thinking‹which delighted me. But, because writing the book helped me with my thinking, I wasn't surprised.I'm not a person who saves stuff. I couldn't find all the fine reviews this book got when it first appeared twenty-five years ago, nor can I find all those letters. So, I puzzled over how I was going to write this Preface.Well, most thinking, even general systems thinking, can sometimes use a little luck. I took a break to download my e-mail, and as luck would have it, I got one of those flattering letters, which read, in part:"My name is Wayne Johnson, and I am a veterenarian working as a technical consultant in South China. . . . I discovered An Introduction to General Systems Thinking quite by accident, or serendipitously, depending upon one's point of view, about ten years ago, while looking for basic information to assist me with my growth model project. I should tell you that was one of the most influential books I have ever read. The first copy I finally had to return to the university library, and after much difficulty I was able to convince some bookseller to order me a copy of my own." Over the years, I've never grown tired of getting letters
  • from halfway around the world (South China)
  • from a professional in a field I never dreamed of influencing (veterinary medicine)
  • saying this book "was one of the most influential books I have ever read."
I had, however, grown tired of the way this book had been handled in recent years. Apparently, my original publisher's models didn't include books that stayed current and in-demand for a quarter-century. As a result, a series of automatic cost-of-living price increases had stuck the book with an unreasonably high price, and the reprinting algorithms simply failed to keep the book in stock‹even after more than twenty printings. Used copies were sold at a premium, and my small reserve stock dwindled, so I decided to gain control of the book and put it in the hands of a more understanding publisher, Dorset House Publishing. This new printing is the resultWhen I set out to write An Introduction to General Systems Thinking, I had already written a half-dozen books on thinking‹but all in the cont ext of thinking about computer programming. I had been doing this long enough to realize that computer languages changed a whole lot faster than people changed, so I decided to leave the programming language business to others and concentrate more on more general principles of thinking. As a result, I first published The Psychology of Computer Programming and then this book. Now, more than a generation later, both books are still around, quietly doing their work. My work.I suppose not many people have the experience of reading their own work a quarter-century later, but now that I've done it twice, I find myself reflecting on what is different after all this time:
  • I was definitely younger then, or so it seems now. At the same time, I felt rather mature and capable. I wonder if I'd have the chutzpah to start on such ambitious works today.
  • I know a great deal more now, from many more experiences, but my deepest interests have not changed. I'm still utterly fascinated by the human mind and its vast rainbow of possibilities.
  • I haven't changed my conviction that most people don't think nearly as well as they could had they been taught some principles of thinking.
  • My writing style has changed, and I find that some of my ancient words sound a bit quaint. For example, since publishing these books, and prompted by some feedback from readers, I have consciouly eliminated sexist language from my writing. I'm happy I did. When I read authors who say that non-sexist language is too "awkward," I think that says more about them than they may wish to reveal.
  • My recent writing speaks more of "I" than of "we" or "it." These are, after all, my thoughts, for better or worse, and I'm writing about thinking and about thinkers. So, when these indirect forms hide the thinker beind the thought, they do a disservice to my readers, who are, after all, interested in the subject of thinking. I hope that current readers will forgive this folly of my youth‹and perhaps gain some practice at seeing the man behind the curtain" of everyday thinking process.
  • As a result of all these years of consulting, I now know more about applying these general principles to more specific situations, and I've tried to capture this knowledge in my books about software management, systems analysis, problem definition, interpersonal systems, consulting, and systems design.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

1. The Problem
The Complexity of the World
Mechanism and Mechanics
The Square Law of Computation
The Simplification of Science and the Science of Simplification
Statistical Mechanics and the Law of Large Numbers
The Law of Medium Numbers
2. The Approach
Organism, Analogy, and Vitalism
The Scientist and His Categories
The Main Article of General
Systems Faith
The Nature of General Systems Laws
Varieties of Systems Thinking
3. System and Illusion
A System Is a Way of Looking at the World
Absolute and Relative Thinking
A System Is a Set
Observers and Observations
The Principle of Indifference
4. Interpreting Observations
States
The Eye-Brain Law
The Generalized Thermodynamic Law
Functional Notation and Reductionist Thought
Incompleteness and Overcompleteness
The Generalized Law of Complementarity
5. Breaking Down Observations
The Metaphors of Science
Boundaries and Things
Qualities and the Principle of Invariance
Partitions
The Strong Connection Law
6. Describing Behavior
Simulation-The White Box
State Spaces
Time as a Standard of Behavior
Behavior in Open Systems
The Principle of Indeterminability
7. Some Systems Questions
The Systems Triumvirate
Stability
Survival
Identity
Regulation and Adaptation
The Used Car Law
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)