Day 230 – Learning about beautiful systems…

Beautiful system.  Let’s break that down.

When we think of beauty, we typically do so in the aesthetic sense.  But we can describe far more than someone’s pleasing appearance or a tranquil sunset as being beautiful.  A musical performance, a delicious meal, or even the feeling of a perfectly struck five iron can rightfully be described as beautiful.  The brilliant Bertrand Russell once declared mathematics to be, “supreme beauty.”

In this sense, I take beauty to mean unblemished or flawless — nearly, if not absolutely, perfect.

system is most simply defined as, an organized collection of parts, working together as a whole.  

So, to my way of thinking, a beautiful system, as Chet references in today’s BBTL book entry, is a collection of parts working together as a whole — perfectly.

Systems can be as simple as a mouse trap or as complex as air traffic control at O’Hare.  And while there is “beauty in simplicity,” I’m with Chet when proposes the most beautiful system is the human system – perhaps the most complex system of all.

The human body itself is a system of mind-boggling complexity.  Layer upon that our brain’s ability to control our thoughts, memories, emotions, and judgement, not to mention our breathing, speech, organs and movement, and it’s hard to imagine a more complex AND beautiful system.  In fact, I can think of only one… 

A team. 

A team is simply two or more humans working together.  And when we consider the complexity of just one human, the idea of a team of humans working together, even reasonably well, is really quite astounding.  Whether it’s a pair of ice dancers or a squadron of Blue Angels, a team of surgeons or a two people building a relationship and raising a family, the physical, intellectual and emotional chemistry of multiple humans working well together is perhaps the most beautiful system of all.  

And when that chemistry reaches concordance, that state of complete and perfect ONEness…my friend, you’ll have more goosebumps than words to describe that beautiful system.

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