Passive Regulation
Passive Regulation
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Passive Regulation

Last updated on 2014-09-27

About the Book

Passive Regulation is Volume 2 in the General Systems Thinking series that begins with the world-wide best-selling, An Introduction to General Systems Thinking. (also available in ebook formats) That first series volume focused on the question,"Why do we see what we see?" This second books tackles the next question, namely "Why do things stay the same?"

Most people take for granted the stability they see in the world, but for systems thinkers, stability is one of the most fundamental properties, and puzzles, about the systems they struggle to understand and create. Indeed, it's such a fundamental property that it forms the topic of both this volume and its successor, Active Regulation (Volume 3 in the series). 

Originally part of the book, On the Design of Stable Systems, in its first, hardcover incarnation, Passive Regulationdoes not just focus on computer systems, but systems of all kinds—human, natural, and technological. 

In a highly readable, original presentation the Weinbergs here explore the subtle art and science of regulating systems, projects, and people in the most efficient and logical manner possible. The authors draw on their respective backgrounds in technology and social science to offer fresh insights and translate them into a language that anyone can understand.

In the course of this presentation, and with the help of dozens of figures, the Weinbergs introduce a host of laws and theorems derived from the best thinking of systems thinkers over the past century. For the most part, the regulation schemes examined in this volume are based on redundancy—the simplest, yet in many ways the most subtle, of all regulation strategies.

Chapters include:

• The Problem of Persistence

• Aggregates

• Birth-Free Aggregates

• Reasoning About Aggregates

• Modeling Differentiated Aggregates

• Programs for Models of Differentiated Aggregates

• Structure and Behavior of Aggregates

• The Structure-Regulation Law

The book also contains an extensive bibliography and an appendix explaining some useful mathematical notation.

In addition to being a reference book for professional and lay people alike, Passive Regulation is suitable as an undergraduate text in the humanities, social, natural, and engineering sciences. It is unique in its approach, highly readable, and offers practical ways of solving problems.

Table of Contents

  • Passive Regulation: General Systems Design Principles
  • Preface to the E-book Edition
  • Original Preface
    • Bibliographic Note
    • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 1 • The Problem of Persistence
    • Weinberg’s Law(s) of Twins
    • The Continuity Taboo
    • The General Systems Approach to Continuity
    • QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH
      • 1. The Nobel Prize
      • 2. Winning Glory
      • 3. Philosophy and Revolution
      • 4. The Ethical Problem of Stability
      • 5. Biology and Values
      • 6. History
      • 7. Anthropology
  • Chapter 2 • Aggregates
    • The First Law of Aggregates
    • Births and Deaths―The Fundamental Aggregate Equation
    • Differential Equations and Chronological Graphs
    • QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH
      • 1. Gerontology
      • 2. Numismatics
      • 3. Oversurvival
  • Chapter 3 • Birth-Free Aggregates
    • Social Versus Innate Survival
    • Exponential Decay
    • Alternative Ways of Representing Decay
    • Unimodal Life Tables, and Ogives
    • Composite Curves
    • QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH
      • 1. Antique Cars
      • 2. Agricultural Genetics
      • 3. Statistics
      • 4. Education
  • Chapter 4 • Reasoning About Aggregates
    • Cooperation and Competition―The Law of Collapse
    • The Law of Typology
    • From Deaths to Births
    • Reasoning in the Presence of Births
    • QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH
      • 1. Space Travel
      • 2. Political Economics
      • 3. Historical Demography
      • 4. Economic Development
      • 5. Hydrology
      • 6. Insurance versus Gambling
      • 7. Facts of Life
      • 8. Fast Food Restaurants
  • Chapter 5 • Modeling Differentiated Aggregates
    • The State Vector
    • Constructing a System of Equations
    • To Solve or Not To Solve?
    • Renaming Systems
    • The Renaming-Conservation Law
    • Simulation and Conservation
    • Tracers
    • QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH
      • 1. Zoology
      • 2. Economics
      • 3. Anthropology
      • 4. Anthropology
  • Chapter 6 • Programs for Models of Differentiated Aggregates
    • Varieties of Programs
    • Transitive Closure―The Diagram of Possible Effects
    • Structure Matrices
    • Time Scale and Continuity
    • Projecting Possible Effects with a Structure Matrix
    • Partitioning a System
    • QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH
      • 1. Anatomy and Folk Music
      • 2. Demography
      • 3. Urban Problems
      • 4. Economics
      • 5. Developmental Psychology
  • Chapter 7 • Structure and Behavior
    • The Structure of Structure
    • Projecting Behavior with a Linear Program
    • Qualitative Reasoning About Structure
    • Detecting the Presence of Structure
    • QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH
      • 1. Unidentified Flying Objects
      • 2. Art History
      • 3. Sociology
      • 4. Demography
      • 5. Demography
      • 6. Anthropology
      • 7. Linear Models
  • Chapter 8 • The Structure-Regulation Law
    • The Equivalence of Structure and Input
    • Can a Linear System Be Stable?
    • Why Linear Systems Are So Popular
    • The Structure-Regulation Law
    • QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH
      • 1. Applied Mathematics
      • 2. Economics-Sociology
      • 3. Demography
      • 4. Anthropological Demography
      • 5. More Anthropological Demography
  • Bibliography
  • Appendix: Some Useful Mathematical Notation Explained
  • Further Reading
  • About the Cover
    • BACKGROUND: PLANETARY NEBULAE

Bundles that include this book

General Systems Thinking
Passive Regulation
Active Regulation
Rethinking Systems Analysis and Design
The Death Lottery
5 Books
$49.95
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$19.99
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About the Authors

Gerald M. Weinberg
Gerald M. Weinberg

Dani and Jerry Weinberg live in New Mexico with their German Shepherd Dogs. They are internationally respected for their innovative thinking on both human and technical issues.

Dani has a PhD in anthropology and was a university professor and an organizational consultant before retiring to become a full-time dog trainer. She brings her knowledge about learning and communication systems to her work with both dogs and people, helping people enhance all their human and animal relationships. Dani is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, and an evaluator for the Warm Hearts Network at Animal Humane New Mexico. Both Dani and Jerry are Field Instructors for Paws With a Cause, a national organization that trains and places assistance dogs.

Jerry (Gerald M.) Weinberg focuses on ways to help people improve their effectiveness. A highly influential author, trainer, and consultant, he draws on experiences gained in all three roles, as well as from a long technical career as a software developer and researcher. Jerry is author, coauthor, or editor of more than 100 books on topics ranging from computer systems and programming to education, thinking, and problem solving—and most recently, on writing itself, and fiction. <www.geraldmweinberg.com>

hardpretzel@earthlink.net
Daniela Weinberg

Dani and Jerry Weinberg live in New Mexico with their German Shepherd Dogs. They are internationally respected for their innovative thinking on both human and technical issues.

Dani has a PhD in anthropology and was a university professor and an organizational consultant before retiring to become a full-time dog trainer. She brings her knowledge about learning and communication systems to her work with both dogs and people, helping people enhance all their human and animal relationships. Dani is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, and an evaluator for the Warm Hearts Network at Animal Humane New Mexico. Both Dani and Jerry are Field Instructors for Paws With a Cause, a national organization that trains and places assistance dogs.

Jerry (Gerald M.) Weinberg focuses on ways to help people improve their effectiveness. A highly influential author, trainer, and consultant, he draws on experiences gained in all three roles, as well as from a long technical career as a software developer and researcher. Jerry is author, coauthor, or editor of more than 100 books on topics ranging from computer systems and programming to education, thinking, and problem solving—and most recently, on writing itself, and fiction. <www.geraldmweinberg.com>

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