Most systems are evolved, not designed.
Well, evolution doesn’t yield globally optimal solutions, just locally optimal solutions. After all, that’s good enough for a creature, reliant upon local adaptations to survive in its environment. But for artificial systems like money, systems of national governance, and the UK housing market, that’s just not good enough. We like to think our systems are optimal, when in fact, they’re sub-optimal.
Worse still, those with the power to change those systems, curiously lack the will once they’re in a position of power. The natural selection function is ‘good enough’ for them; after all, they made it, why don’t you?
Designed systems, on the other hand, are very different. A group takes a decision to actively design a globally optimal system. It may not be palatable; it may not be immediately attainable; and it may not please vested interests. However, such a creation is a worthy creature, for it aspires to something higher: the satisfaction of global requirements, in which no single viewpoint is allowed to dominate.
Mathematics will come to the fore; the design will be tractable, provable, and verifiable. By stating its mathematical DNA, the designed system can be improved, evolved through local suboptimal minima, to a globally more optimal peak, as circumstances change.
In a designed system, natural language – long the untestable domain of lawyers, accountants and politicians – will be supplemented by something more precise and robust. The system will be engineered.