BPMN Tutorial

IBM Software Group has put out a well composed PDF tutorial Introduction to BPMN

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Systema: Implicit and Explicit Structured Thinking

In an earlier post, Six Hats, Six Coats: The Structured Thinking System, I described what can be called Implicit Structured Thinking. This is the formal underlying structure of all systems described by Six Hats, Six Coats. However, there is also an informal structure that evolves that is less crystalline and more entropic that I call Explicit Structured Thinking. This structure allows for additional entities, relationships between any two entities, additional attributes and more diverse constraints and freedoms. Ultimately, as many as needed until every entity becomes unique.

The normal state of a system is neither wholly implicit or wholly explicit. Unable to find a suitable term I call this normal state “interplicit”. The interplicit state of a system I refer to as “organic” in comparison to a crystalline (implicit) or entropic (explicit) state. The tendency of a system’s interplicity towards implicity or explicity depends upon the other systems with which it interacts.

I’ll discuss this further in subsequent posts.

Science: Know “Why”

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I am currently taking a break to read James D. Watson’s new book, Avoid Boring People.

Here’s a quote dear to my heart and core to effectively using the Six Hats, Six Coats metaphor:

Knowing “why” (an idea) is more important than learning “what” (a fact)

World Almanac facts, such as the relative heights of mountains or the names of British kings, go you nowhere at Hutchin’s college. The essence of its educational mission was the propagation and dissection of ideas, not the teaching of facts often best left to trade schools. Why the Roman Empire had risen and fallen was much more important than the birth date of Julius Caesar. And why the European cathedrals were built mattered much more than their relative sizes. Equally unimportant were the details about the French Revolution when contrasted to the philosophical ideas of its eighteenth-century Enlightenment, whose emphasis on reason as opposed to theological revelation greatly accelerated the development of modern science. Likewise, details of Linnean taxonomy paled in significance to the idea of biological evolution, whereby all life-forms have a common ancestor. Better simply to know which books hold the details you will need than to overload your neurons with facts that later will never need to be retrieved.”

I’d like to add the following corollaries:

  1. Knowing “why” is more imortant than learning “who”
  2. Knowing “how” is more important than learning “what”
  3. Knowing “when” is more important than learning “where”

All this considered, James recognizes the importance of new facts leading to new ideas. He gives as an example Darwin’s journey on the HMS Beagle that led him to discover the geographical patterns of the distribution of species and the fossil record that led to his theory of the evolution of the species. “Sometimes a new idea can flow from old facts rearranged, but more typically it comes when new things previously unknown and unaccountable for under the old theory are introduced.” Induction has its place.

The Web: Internet Map

I stumbled across this map (click thumbnail to enlarge):

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I felt it is one of the best ways to display a geographical representation without noise. You have to know your political geography, though.

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