Reference #323: Thinking in Systems

A key to understanding system behaviour is recognising that a stock takes time to change. Stocks respond to changes in flow gradually; the is especially for large stocks. Stocks act as delays or as buffers in a system.

The time lag when changing stocks can be a source of stability, such as how soil accumulated over centuries rarely erodes all at once. The gradual change of stocks also provides momentum — an economy based on burning oil cannot be changed quickly to use another source of fuel.

Meadows. Thinking in Systems, 2008. (23)

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