A secondary product or side-effect of the activity of a system.
By-products or side-effects are mainly results of the activities of artificial systems. Save (very significant) exceptions, they are generally damped by the environment. However various problems may become serious.
First, while slight side-effects or limited quantities of by-products can be absorbed by the environment, massive quantities may suffocate it.
Secondly, there is a specific critical time lapse for assimilation of by-products by the environment. A quite obvious case is half-life at a scale of millenia for radioactive waste produced by nuclear energy utilities.
Thirdly, some synthetic by-products (or even products) are unassimilable by the environment, which offers no known process to recycle them.
The by-products and side-effects problems are typically systemic, because they affect or may affect the whole natural setting, or a large part of it, during very long periods.
- 1) General information
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- 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
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To cite this page, please use the following information:
Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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