Lack of anticipation, and reductiveness

In an example of how an open systems approach could be more anticipatory, consider an alternative criticism of a case of linear problem solving on a situation that evolves.

When hospitals do create pandemic plans, they tend to fight the last war. After 2014, several centers created specialized treatment units designed for Ebola—a highly lethal but not very contagious disease. These units were all but useless against a highly transmissible airborne virus like SARS‑CoV‑2. Nor were hospitals ready for an outbreak to drag on for months. Emergency plans assumed that staff could endure a few days of exhausting conditions, that supplies would hold, and that hard-hit centers could be supported by unaffected neighbors. “We’re designed for discrete disasters” like mass shootings, traffic pileups, and hurricanes, says Esther Choo, an emergency physician at Oregon Health and Science University. The COVID‑19 pandemic is not a discrete disaster. It is a 50-state catastrophe that will likely continue at least until a vaccine is ready.

Source: " How the Pandemic Defeated America" | Ed Yong | September 2020 | The Atlantic at

There is a companion article, also by Ed Yong, which is a great explanation of complexity without getting into theories: Immunology Is Where Intuition Goes to Die

Creative Commons Licence Contributions to the Open Learning Commons are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Please honor the spirit of collective open learning by citing the author(s) in the context of a dialogue and/or linking back to the original source.