System Thinking | Unit 4 milestone

The Problem

I find both the western and eastern medias have accused the USA president Trump in very different ways and views, also it seems like he has a lot to do with the never-lasting pandemic event around these days.

So I want to use this key question to define the fields I am going to research on:

What is Trump’s behavior before and during the pandemic and what changes did he bring relatively?

About the Problem

My researching field of this problem will be the news media in USA, official data about the pandemics and events/time in USA.


The system structure of the problem—CLD
unit4 CLD

This is the first and final version of my CLD based on what I researched on, the key element in this CLD is [Amount of protesting people], [Changes due to Trump’s decisions&announcements], and [Probability of Trump being the president in next election]. Between these elements, I listed what I believe might influence the changes and what might influence the one that influences.

In the CLD, there are three main elements that can be quantified: [Confirmed cases in USA], [Cured cases in worldwide], and [Amount of protesting people], I chose them because I can see their changes directly in relative datas.

Elements in CLD

The first element I put in this CLD is [Changes due to. Trump’s decisions/announcements], it represents Trumps’ effect on the coronavirus, e.g. Trump’s announcements on the “George Floyd” event, which determines how the Americans see Trump and the amount of protesting people on the street who protest racism.

The second and third elements are simple: [Amount of confirmed cases in USA] and [Amount of cured cases in USA]; these are the variables which I can manage to see the direct changes on the data.

Another special element similar to that is the [Amount of cured cases in worldwide], this element determines several things:

  • The amount of cases in USA compared to the world
    • This can influence the people on the street, because they can see whether USA is below the average amount of cases(worldwide) or not.
  • The amount of cases throughout a timeline of events worldwide
    • This means the timeline of the pandemics in global views, also it indicates how the other countries deal with their cases, and also how is the future of USA compare to the future of other countries.
unit4 CLD loops

Then I added three loops in the CLD, they are all balancing loops, the green loop is the most important one and also the one needs more attention.

This loop is quite similar to the blue one, from the [Amount of confirmed cases in USA], the [Amount of cured cases in USA] was determined by that, and it leads to the [Amount of cured cases worldwide]; with more cured cases and less confirmed cases in USA, Trump will be more active on having speeches on the topic, and announce more positive news to the public. That will make less people doubting him and the progress of making the vaccine will be more fluent.

The concept of this loop can also be used in the blue loop, on a statistic view, once USA prevent the daily increase of confirm cases and death, I believe Trump’s supporting rate will increase since that happens.

unit4 CLD LP
Leverage points

In this one, I put two leverage points in the graph, the LPs cannot be taken action by me, but it is where the president can work on.

I assume the rate of daily cases is still the same, basically the part where can be taken action will only be the [Activeness of Trump’s speeches]

To dig more into the action part, I chose an archetype similar to the structure of the problem: Shifting the Burden

Origin model

This is the origin model, the structure of it represent the way of fixing a problem wrongly.

The Problem symptom in this case is the infected population, in other words, [More people infected] and the fundamental precaution to that is basically letting infected people go to hospitals and get cured there. But there are delays, the delay for here is the delay of curing, the progressing of patient in hospital and delay of getting them checked and then sign out from the hospital.

But there is also a symptomatic solution, people go on the streets to protest the government and the racism in America, although the problem symptom doesn’t quite relate to the symptomatic solution, but I consider the protest of George Floyd as one of the symptoms too, the reason is simple: they always have side-effects.

The side-effect in my case in that people will get infected without knowing it, that can make his surrounding environment sick. And once they were found, the hospital need to search for the people they have contacts with over and over again.

Other referring elements

I listed some elements I will be referring in the CLD and archetype:

  • Trump’s polling rate and possibility of being the president in next election
    • This includes the supporting rate of Trump’s biggest competitor-Biden
  • Population of protesters(George Floyd event)
    • This is different to the people protesting Donald Trump’s behavior(which happens even before the racial event)

Expected event over time graph and future consequences

I drew four expected events/time graphs based on the possible leverage points Trump have the ability to take.

scenario A-1

This one shows the event/time of the predicted fact that Trump did not take any action on people’s symptomatic solution, and the cases of the pandemics will grow quickly.

The assumption is that Biden took over the place and there are two expected futures:

  • Future a: the vaccine was not discovered or the rate of daily increasing cases is not coming down.
  • Future b: the racial protests and political protests against Trump was stopped and the rate of daily increasing cases will decreases slowly.
scenario A-2

The assumption is that Trump managed to control the pandemic and there are two expected futures:

  • Future a: People stopped the political protest against Trump and the government start to arrange the patients wisely and efficiently.
  • Future b: Trump managed to win the election but the pandemic was not stopped. There are two branches of assumptions I believe:
    • 1. The racial protest and street robbery isn’t stopping(political protest too), Trump is not making any markable progress.
    • 2. Trump’s competitor Biden is lack of competitiveness and persuasiveness in the election and Trump was voted essentially as the president.
      • (I have researched on this part, there are still a great chance it is gonna happen)
scenario B-1

The assumption is that Trump did not do any thing about it, the y-axis represents Trump’s authority and there are two expected futures:

  • Future a: Assume Biden becomes the president but the racial protest(even political protest) is not ending in USA, also the daily cases might rise as well.
    • (Biden has said in a speed that he will end the racial war with two months after he is promoted as the president)
  • Future b: Biden solved the problem and the amount of people protesting went less.
    • (Biden seems have great convincingness among the black people so-far..)
scenario B-2

The assumption is that Trump has taken certain actions and there are two expected futures:

  • Future a: Trump have only solved one of the problem of none(due to the fact that he have no strong competitors), he continues to be the president but the problem remains.
  • Future b: Trump have solved the problem from both sides of the problem and the amount of protesters decreases.
  • Future x: This is based on future b, with less political protesters and relative issues, the supporting rate maintains.

Summary and take-aways

It’s been a quite quick unit for me, because I faced a lot of milestones in these weeks and didn’t focus on this article at first, although I like to dig into the topic, but it is still a bit late when I start the project of unit4.

But I do enjoy the entire progress, to find the mental model, archetype, CLD, relationship and leverage points in a field I just started studying about. For me it is a challenge at first, and I am impressed that I really spend time to wrote an article in a whole. For me it means to apply what I learned to what I am interested, and it is quite cool.


Click to see my working document

Published by roy-gao

My name is Roy and I am the assassin of the world of philosophy. You can always find me in my old wooden house next to the secret lake.

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