You think that because you understand “one” that you must therefore understand “two” because one and one make two. But you forget that you must also understand “and.”
—Sufi teaching story
From Donella, Meadows. (2013-01-18). Thinking in Systems: A Primer (p. 12). Chelsea Green Publishing. Kindle Edition.
A system is an interconnected set of elements that is coherently organized in a way that achieves something. If you look at that definition closely for a minute, you can see that a system must consist of three kinds of things: elements, interconnections, and a function or purpose.
Donella, Meadows. (2013-01-18). Thinking in Systems: A Primer (p. 11). Chelsea Green Publishing. Kindle Edition.
When you identify these elements in a system, you’ve addressed the following questions…
What? or Who? – These are the elements of the system.
How? Where? and When? – These are the interconnections between the elements.
Why? – This is the purpose or function of the system.
This puts an interesting spin on journalism.