Linear thinking is still widely practiced and leads to the illusion that a specific issue of problem can be isolated from context or environment and "solved" through some specific intervention, without any side effects In this way a double problem appears:
1) the issue is artificially simplified and, as a result, misunderstood
(J. WARFIELD's underconceptualization)
2) side effects do indeed appear, and in some cases introduce new problems that may even be worse than those whose solution was seeked.
Some are very dramatic, as for example:
- the Aral Sea disaster due to an ill-conceived river harnessing and an irrigation program that took no account of the possible effects on the environment of the whole region.
- the growing resistance of all kinds of pests to chemical insecticides, with for ex. the appearance of "super-mosquitoes" able again to propagate various illnesses that were thought to be controlled (Malaria, yellow fever, etc…)
- the growing resistance of pathogens to antibiotics and chemical medicines
(Tuberculosis, malaria, hospital infections)
This does not mean that new ways to manage these issues (and many others) should not anymore be researched and used . It means that we need to become better chessplayers with nature and, specifically, that we should abandon our narrow views neatly characterized for ex. by the well known motto "et ceteris paribus", because, of course the conditions are never twice absolutely the same; or the illusions that any event has only one cause and produces only one effect, or yet that predictability is always perfectly and completely possible.
The systemic approach is becoming a full need in the complex world that we pretend to manage.