Set of interconnected elements (car, ear, scissors) Defining these systems is arbitrary (a break-down of any one element does not make the system not a system, it just may change what system it is. I.e. Scissors that loose a rivet are still a metallurgical system. “N” elements and “N(N-1)” relationships. Systems are the underlying element of economic planning.


  • Simple deterministic: few components and relationships – billiards – all the results of your actions can be known, the only fun part of billiards is human error, otherwise all is determined in the system.
  • Complex deterministic: Universe – can be known but is very complex; computers – clearly is determined, but is seldom completely known all at the same time
  • Simple probalistic: tossing a penny, binary
  • Complex probalistic: a country’s economy, the human brain – may not be possible to fully determine the probability, if so will be unlikely to remain true to the original probability.
    • Complex systems do retain some elements of control: Decision making; communication; Information. I.e. If A professor threw the chalk at a student, the student could quickly react and catch the chalk. To build a machine that could complete these same actions in response to the same stimulus is beyond our understanding (otherwise star wars, missile system, would already be in place).