I have always felt this to be slightly problematical. I argued with
Stafford about the wording, but he was adament.
The problem arises if we turn to a real-world situation, such as North
Eastern Japan, today. I take it that the implication of this phrase
might be - nuclear power supply in Japan is a system to inculcate
panic, de-stabilise the markets, and perhaps, injure many people.
Which, indeed, might be one of the arguments against nuclear power
from the anti-nuclear lobby.
So should the wording be: 'a thing is what it ought to be'......or 'a
thing is what it is observed to be'. Or, indeed, that viability is in
the eye of the beholder?
Or should it be - 'when it works as it ought to work, a system is what
it does'.......But that leads us into infinite regress?
I'd be interested in anyone's thoughts on this phrase.
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