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Lesson: Pattern, Structure, Process

Yin and Yang

This is a generalized Lesson: Pattern, Structure, Process. This is a fundamental concept in life. Take for instance the famous symbol of Yin and Yang.

Three Is The Magic Number

Consider the famous symbol Yin and Yang. It looks Like TWO elements but is Actually THREE:
1. The Pattern is the white/black
2. The Structure is the way they wrap and intertwine
3. The Process is the circle that confines them

Jim Bruner
Patterns of skin and fur in nature

This idea of breaking things down into systems, or reframing them as similar problems is critical at Mezzacello. In this example we examine the average human body from a systems engineering perspective. We are looking for touch points to better understand the system as a whole.

What if I told you that you could understand all of life on earth with just pattern, structure, and process? It’s true. Once you know one fundamental truth, it’s easy to draw connections between other truths.

We start with the skin and skeleton as they provide a visible pattern. Then we move to the muscular and skeletal systems and organs, to better understand structure. And lastly we examine the processes of the the cellular level and how energy and respiration are leveraged.

The whole system can be couched and understood in this way.

Pattern First

The skin is more often than not our first visible component of a human body. Well, actually, skin, fur, feathers, scales, chitin, or cellular membrane and the structures that can be seen just below it. The pattern of all of these structures is solely dependent on genetics and chemicals controlled in the process layer.

Structure Next

Just beneath the skin (which is also an organ) are the muscles and organs. These structures animate the pattern of the body through flexing and contracting the skeleton and skin. The organs allow the muscles and body to move and give shape to the body.

Process Last

But deep within the pattern and structure of the body is the process layer: The cells. The 11 types of cells in the human body allow blood to carry iron and oxygen to each cell and the mitochondria to transfer the molecules of glucose into Hydrogen ions to power the entire body. All three systems are useless without the other.

Another astounding aspect of the process of the human body is the fact that hidden deep in the nucleus over ALMOST every cell in the human body is a LIBRARY that explains the process for making another human body. It’s called DNA. It is what determines the pattern of the skin, the structure of the bones, muscles, and organs, and what and how the organism will eat, sleep and produce power.

KISS (Keep It Super Simple)

There is no reason to overthink something when you first encounter it. Using a systems engineering approach is a great way to understand complex systems like weather, energy, computer programs, disease, and even history and art. Look for the connectors, name them, and then start to understand them better.

I hope this helps. The other thing you will need to become good at is understanding how to REFRAME an idea, opportunity, or problem. If you can think about a problem for example as being like something else, you can better understand the pattern, process, and structure of YOUR problem.

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