POSWID or “Purpose Of a System Is What It Does” is a famous dictum in Cybernetics. This is attributed to the Management Cybernetician Stafford Beer. Beer noted:
A good observer will impute the purpose of the system from its actions and thus from the resultant state.
Hence the key aphorism:
The purpose of a system is what it does.
There is, after all, no point in claiming that the purpose of a system is to do what it consistently fails to do.
I have written about this before here – https://harishsnotebook.wordpress.com/2019/02/18/purpose-of-a-system-in-light-of-vsm/ and here – https://harishsnotebook.wordpress.com/2020/06/14/hegel-dialectics-and-posiwid/
In cybernetics, the emphasis is on what a “system” does, and not especially what a “system” is, or what the designer or management of the “system” claims what the “system” is doing. Thus, we can see that POSIWID has a special place in every cybernetician’s mind. A “system” is a collection of variables that an…
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