Dynamics of … er … flatulence

I sat down over lunch to develop a stock-flow diagram with my kids. This is what happens when you teach system dynamics to young boys:

dynamics of flatulence

Notice that there’s no outflow for the unpleasantries, because they couldn’t agree on whether the uptake mechanism was chemical reaction or physical transport.

Along the way, we made a process observation. We started off quiet, but gradually talked louder and louder until we were practically shouting at each other. The boys were quick to identify the dynamic:

loud & louder

Jay Forrester always advocates tackling the biggest problems, because they’re no harder to solve than trivial ones, but sometimes it’s refreshing to lighten up and take on systems of limited importance.

2 thoughts on “Dynamics of … er … flatulence”

  1. Tom, This is classic! I bet your boys will learn more from this example than from many others, because it engaged their imagination and it was fun. I’ll have to share it with my 8-year-old.

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