Hey Joss – in your book (great!) about Systems Thinking on page 15 you write “As we have previously discussed systems are essentially the global functionally that
emerges out of the interaction and arrangement of a set of elements”.
I like the differentiation of interaction (as an active, transformational function) and arrangement (as a passive, supportive function). However, in the following text on functions you focus on active, transformation functions (using energy) only. Is there a specific reason for that?
And what do you actually think about “passive” functions. Like what a room, a table or a chair deliver. You get shelter, you can put something on it or you can sit on in. But neither of those actually take an input and transform it.
Yes, that is a good way of thinking about it, never looked at it before like that but it makes sense. I guess it is the difference between an explicit process and a structure. An biological creature has an active process while a chair forms a structural function. You could call it active or passive likewise something like process vs structure.