# 1.1.1 Systems and Synergy. What do these, and the previous pictures, have in common?

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1.1.1 Systems and Synergy

What do these, and the previous pictures, have in common?

They are all Systems

What is the meaning of the word system?

A system is something that: Is made up of individual component parts that work together to perform a particular function A bicycle is an example of a system

But if the parts of the bicycle are piled up in the middle of the room, they cease to work together and thus stop being a system

System according to Buckminster Fuller (a good example of the use of language) A system is the first subdivision of Universe. It divides all the Universe into six parts: first, all the universal events occurring geometrically outside the system; second, all the universal events occurring geometrically inside the system; third, all the universal events occurring nonsimultaneously, remotely, and unrelatedly prior to the system events; fourth, the Universe events occurring nonsimultaneously, remotely, and unrelatedly subsequent to the system events; fifth, all the geometrically arrayed set of events constituting the system itself; and sixth, all the Universe events occurring synchronously and or coincidentally to and with the systematic set of events uniquely

So a system could be...?

A building a flower an atom a political party a car your body furniture an electric circuit

SYNERGY One of the most fascinating characteristics of any and all structures is the characteristic called SYNERGY

SYNERGY Synergy is: The only word in any language that describes the behaviour of systems in this way: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”

Another way to say this is : Even if you know all the parts that make up a system you still cannot know or even predict how the whole system is going to behave or work. Can you give an example of this??

The Human Body If you take all the stuff that makes up a person, you would find that we are made up of: Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Carbon, Water, Calcium, Sodium, Magnesium, Sulfur, Iron and many other elements. The total cost of all of these things at the store is about……????

\$ 1.00 That’s right. About \$ 1.00. You could never be able to explain YOUR behaviour or all the things that YOU do, or all the different aspects of you, if you looked at just the stuff that makes you up. Never in a million years. This is what we mean by SYNERGY.

Even if you looked at the next level up…the Cell Even if you knew what all the cells in your body do, you still could not describe YOU. Something very unique and new and unpredictable happens when the parts of a system work together.

Try this Puzzle. Using 6 sticks, all the same length, make 4 triangles, each with sides the length of the stick Hint #1: Think in a new way. Synergy has new and unique ways of changing things. Making them unexpected, unpredictable

Hint #2 Think in 3-D

The Tetrahedron

The Tetrahedron is the Simplest Structural System in the Universe The Tetrahedron- made of 6 sticks, 4 equilateral triangles, all 60 degrees, each vertex is part of 3 triangles the strongest structure for its volume and Surface area. Eg; diamonds

Synergy Even in the simple tetrahedron we have synergy. Because until the last stick or strut or member or piece or whatever you call it is added there is no structure at all. It would collapse. Try it!!! Imagine all the synergy going on in your body which is much more complex than a tetrahedron.

Another example of synergy Ordinary Table Salt (NaCl, Sodium Chloride) Synergy: The behaviour of whole systems that is unpredicted by knowing the behaviour of the individual parts taken separately Na (sodium) is a metal, highly reactive in water, explosive, burns with a yellow flame. Cl (chlorine) is a deadly greenish gas. Both of these elements when taken separately are poisonous and deadly BUT

SALT When combined, we witness synergy. Two deadly substances combine to produce something that we cannot live without. Something unique and new and unpredictable happens when two or more things come together and work together

Atoms combine together to form structural systems The behaviour of the table salt is totally unpredictable by simply knowing the behaviour of the individual parts. All nature, all systems, all structures display synergy. The Universe is the Synergy of Synergies.

Another interesting aspect of Synergy When we understand how the parts of a structure interact together to make something new and unique and unpredictable, we can also see that when we bring together ideas from different areas, such as math, art, music, science they will have a synergetic effect. That is, they provide the potential for great new discoveries.

Discovery One great truth about discovery is that, “One discovery often leads to further discoveries”

Bring different ideas Together One of the best places to find ideas for structural systems is in NATURE. Nature always uses the most economical, efficient and reliable structural systems

Ecosystems Ecological Systems Ecological Systems follow the laws of synergy as well. It is the interrelationships between the parts that produces the behaviour of the whole.

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