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Systems and Symptoms

The problem with mistaking surface features and symptoms for the real issues is not merely a question of depth. People seem to think we can remove the troubling symptom and worry about those deeper causes later—or leave them to idle philosophers who merely “speculate” on levels of depth that are completely impractical and besides the point. They are sorely mistaken. For symptoms are almost always a part of the system trying to achieve a better arrangement with its environment. However much a system may be failing to achieve this, and however ugly the process or agent of change may be, when we attack the symptom or agent, we are severely hampering the process of adaptation and possible transformation. We are doing this on so many levels right now. Our issues will only get worse.

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