A global possibility ... LO6875

Andrew Moreno (amoreno@broken.ranch.org)
Sun, 21 Apr 1996 23:35:07 -0700 (PDT)

Replying to LO6865 --

On Sun, 21 Apr 1996, John Paul Fullerton wrote:

> If anyone is still here, the "object" viewpoint has the potential of
> making software development easier. The same viewpoint can be applied
> to business planning directly - without software - in my opinion,
> though the general effort in object-oriented books is showing how to
> do programming projects.

I've been told that the OO software development paradigm is also a name
for generating high quality abstractions. A book that teaches this
really well is "The Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs"
by Gerald Sussman. I think it was written in the mid 1970's to be used as
a text book for MIT's first year computer science courses. It uses
Scheme, a LISP variant, for programming examples. I think a lot of the
early OO prototyping work was done in LISP.

I'm interested in the differences between the systems thinking approach,
and the OO approach. The differences in the approaches could drive the
learning of people using the different approaches.

One of the differences that I can see is that OO approaches allow
modelling of multiple and different types of flows to and from stocks

I couldn't figure out how to model multiple flows with systems thinking
tools. When I tried to model flows to and from stocks that formed a
circular loop, I got an error message. It doesn't seem to be possible to
model different types of flows to the same stocks with systems thinking
tools. If a flow is chosen, it has to be used throughout the system.

Another difference seems to be the ability to abstract. Some systems
thinking tools seem to force users to deal with the details of a part of
a system. [I think Michael McMaster mentioned this].

I tried to "encapsulate" a set of stocks and flows within a certain
symbol but I found that I could only do for 3 levels. When using ithink,
there is the first level that shows flows between organizations, then it
goes to the organizational level, then it only seems to allow going down
one more level of abstraction.

As a purpose of any selection system is to filter and provide high
quality information to decision makers, I think that an important part
of decision making, thinking and introspective reflection is often
overlooked by decision makers seeking to "optimize".

Andrew Moreno


Andrew Moreno <amoreno@broken.ranch.org>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>