"This is the best single book in this list for classroom or
individual use to specifically learn introductory general systems theory."
Curriculum for Cybernetics and Systems Theory"
. this is one of the classics of systems or science of computing. I recommend
it to all; it will cause both scientists and nonscientists to examine their world
and their thinking. This book will appear on my reading table at regular intervals,
and one day I hope to update to the golden anniversary edition."
Software Quality Professional
book under review was originally published in 1975, and the Silver Anniversary
Edition is a reprint, completely faithful to the original text . . .
discussions of models and structures are almost contemporary. The positioning
of the observer as the constructor of the system is very interesting, as is the
discussion of stability and change. . . .
"Portions of Weinberg's
text are thought provoking and evocative . . .
"[T]his book is an
important read, but the earlier edition may already be on your shelf. If not,
then purchase this edition."
The Journal of Academic Librarianship
. it is truly an extraordinary piece of work. . . . It is not about computing
per se, but about how humans think about things and how 'facts' are relative to
time, our personal experience and environmental context. . . .
uses science and mathematics as the genesis point for most of his examples. The
laws of thermodynamics, chance and simulations in state spaces are used to demonstrate
the points. As someone with a wide background in science, I found his examples
of how scientific thought gives us an anchor but yet alters over time excellent
learning material. Thought problems are included at the end of each chapter and
they cover many different areas. Some involve mathematics, others science and
many could be the point of a vigorous philosophical debate. Together they form
the best collection of thought experiments and points of contention that I have
ever seen gathered together in one location.
"This is a book that is
a true classic, not in computing but in the broad area of scholarship. It is partly
about the philosophy and mechanisms of science; partly about designing things
so they work but mostly it is about how humans view the world and create things
that match that view. This book will still be worth reading for a long time to
come and it is on my list of top ten computing books of the year."
Charles Ashbacher Technologies
posted on Amazon.com
". . . provide[s] a stimulating
discussion and thoughtful examination of an alternative approach to problem analysis
and solution. The book is not so much about how the systems approach works or
how it can be applied to complex problems as it is an invitation to his readers
to explore their perceptions of what they think they know versus what they really
do know. . . .
"Through his examples, Weinberg shows that by
viewing a system holistically within its environment, we may be able to discern
patterns of behavior/actions and recognize interactions, interrelationships, and
interdependencies among the components that will be missed in a reductionist approach.
From that view, we can better understand the system and, perhaps, better predict
how it will evolve over time. The success of his approach is demonstrated by the
fact that people are still reading and quoting his book 25+ years after it was
J. Spears, posted on Rudolph