Systems are difficult for people to accurately interpret.

Event are more visible than system structure, which invites too much focus on less consequential aspects. People think linearly while systems can change modes of operation as circumstances change. Systems have no real boundaries—they recurse infinitely outward and inward. Bottlenecks change for each level of scale, mode of operation. Delays influence renewable resource behavior in hard-to-see ways. Bounded rationality leads actors to see their local subsystems, but not the whole picture.