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Systems thinking reveals the weaknesses of the current American revolution

Revolution is a big word these days. We’re hearing about it a lot on social media, on all things, but its use in modern times is always tinged with the recent memory of the Arab Spring, and before it the color revolutions and aftereffects of the Revolutions of 1989. Now it has crept into American politics with the 2016 election season. Nicky Case, who has previously worked with systems thinking, recently blogged about their attempt to dissect what actually happens in revolutions, through systems thinking. These outcomes would be revolutionary if they were possible The word “revolution” has been widely…

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You are evil, or A systemical approach to rethinking how evil works

People like to think of being evil as something extraordinary—we tend to think of it as extreme, or even supernatural. However, game designer and programmer Nicky Case, points out that social psychologists have repeatedly found the opposite to be true—people who we consider to be evil, are in fact incredibly ordinary. Case’s obsession with systems, which has come through in their various projects such as, Simulating The World (In Emoji) and Parable of the Polygons, is now helping us better understand the idea of evil. Case has been exploring the concept of “emergent evil” as part of their first collaboration with PBS Frontline. The basic principal of…

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A game designer speaks to how systems thinking can benefit journalism

Systems thinking is an approach to analysis, focusing on how different parts of a system relate to each other, and how they change over time and within the context of larger systems. That’s lot of words to process, but luckily Nicky Case has sketched up a great reflection on systems thinking in relation to journalism for those of us who may not be aware of the basics. You may recognize Case from their past work in describing how systems work through interactive simulations. After attending a two-day workshop on systems thinking for journalists, Case sketched up a blog post to explain the ideas further, particularly for…