Feedback refers to all positive feedback, negative feedback and feedback loops - in which output of a process is "fed back" in as input. A systems diagram is one common way to characterize feedback.

All of systems theory is ultimately concerned with feedback loops and their impact on the systems around them. For instance to see waste as a resource implies that waste of one process is resource of another which ultimately is analyzed from the same perspective as the waste-producing one.


When considering information flow, a more abstract kind of feedback applies that can be recursive and then reflexive: that is, processing can work on primarily its own outputs, and the instructions by which it does so can be kept within the system itself. In such systems, instructional capital becomes like financial capital that can generate more or itself via an interest rate. A hazard of this approach is that hearsay, paraphrase and rumour can be amplified to the status of fact, e.g. as happened when the GPC ERCT took control of the Green Party of Canada Living Platform, or the Wikimedia Cabal took control of the Wikipedia. In both cases, a small clique invented terms of reference and categories (the GPC unperson or the "trolls") that served their need to characterize certain providers of information as "bad" or "wrong" - once actual editorial discipline had proven that there was nothing wrong with anything they said.

Of the twelve levers, those focused on feedback are lower than rules: the rule shifts and rulesets in effect being somewhat more powerful than the simple direction of flows. A rule has the power to stop or ignore something, which the lower level rules that direct feedback flows do not have. For instance a rule might demand that one ignore something, and become thus ignorant of it.