Despite the best efforts of some of PF's finest, I continue to struggle with the general concept of spontaneous quantum state reduction by means of environmentally induced decoherence. I think that much of my confusion lies in the confounding degree of ambiguity in the delineation between the "system" and the "environment". On a cosmological scale, this differentiation often seems to me to be somewhat arbitrary. Maybe part of my challenge is in simply not understanding the terms well enough. So, with regard to the three primary constituents of the decoherence process... System/Apparatus/Environment... could the physicists in the room please try to give me a conceptual definition using actual words (prohibiting any use of numbers, formulas or references to matrices). I recognize that this might feel like trying to teach me French without speaking French, but I'd greatly appreciate the effort. Consider it a charitable attempt at "No Fool Left Behind". A possible example of what I'm looking for might be something like (pending your correction of this concept)... "The apparatus is the thing by which a preferred basis of observation is isolated and/or determined". Any takers?