Despite their name, most design systems aren’t all that much like systems. Granted, they are designed according to a system, and there’s a logical consistency to how their components and tokens are defined, but really, most design systems work like a dictionary: look up a component, get the instructions for using that component.
Mathew goes on to advocate moving towards a more function-centred approach to systematic design. It makes a lot of sense.
By the way, this isn’t directly related—other than metaphor being used—but I wrote about web standards, dictionaries, and design systems a while back.