But it turns out that the universe actually does not contain systems. The universe couldn’t care less about systems. What we call “systems” are nothing more than figments of our imagination… abstractions in our minds.
There are no separate systems. The world is a continuum. Where to draw a boundary around a system depends on the purpose of the discussion – the questions we want to ask.
Therefore, to answer the important question, “Is the beer I’m drinking a part of the bar?” we must decide what the purpose is of our question. Are we discussing the history of the bar? Its profitability? Its culture? Or its impact on the sewer? This is relevant in order to decide if your beer is still part of the bar when you’re drinking it.
Systems only exist because we think about them.
By the way, I think this could make it very easy to solve the Euro crisis. We just have to convince 400 million people to stop thinking about it.