The Brain: No Thinking Here

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift. — Albert Einstein

I bought this book expecting insights into the faithful servant of Einstein’s quote. When I read the only quote endorsing the book from The Washington Times, I had a flash of intuition. Wasn’t that the newspaper published by Reverend Moon? I Googled that evening and lo and behold blink I was right.

This book does not explore rational thought, it makes a superficial attack against Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Blink and then turns into a baseless Moonie styled neo-con rant. I will be returning my copy for a refund.

Sociology: The Six Adopter Types

I’ve finished reading The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell and came away with one picture in my head. That is the type of adopters of any new product or service goes through as it reaches its tipping point and beyond. I’ll share that with you now:

The pattern can be described as follows:

  1. The Maven (expert) is a creative adopter
  2. The Connector (leader) is a creative adopter
  3. The Salesman (logician) is an innovative adopter
  4. The Accountant (physicist) is an innovative adopter
  5. The Secretary (security) is an intelligent adopter
  6. The Receptionist (operator) is an intelligent adopter

The first three adopt because the epidemic is contagious, the second three adopt because the epidemic is sticky. It should be noted that the names I give the adopters is contextually sensitive. Malcolm points out that in one context a person can be a Maven, in another an Secretary and in another a Salesman. This involves the transitive memory roles within groups, the message (datum) and the media (node).

All in all I consider The Tipping Point a thought provoking book worth reading, along with Malcolm’s other book Blink.

Sociology: A Master Repackager

I have just finished reading the first four chapters of Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point and I must say it is interesting to see so much of my social psychology education being proven and applied. However, is Malcolm covering new territory? Let’s look at my visual summary of these chapters as a Zachman Framework:

In the first chapter Malcolm presents us with his Three Rules of Epidemics:

  1. The Law of the Few (Person)
  2. The Stickiness Factor (Datum)
  3. The Power of Context (Node)

In chapter two we look at The Law of the Few. Malcolm gives exotic names to his concept person (maven), context person (connector) and logic person (salesman). Nothing new here and I’ve added three of my own. In chapter three Malcolm describes his Stickiness Factor and advocates Blue’s Clues as the finest example of a “sticky” message. Nothing really new here either. In chapter four we are exposed to the astonishing change in the crime rate in New York City and the valiant efforts of David Gunn and William Bratton to clean up the New York Subway system. Malcolm discusses the Broken Window policy and makes a good case that “context” can reduce crime. Nothing really new when I include it in my diagram either.

One thing that did change for me is the positioning of Event and Node. If you have been following the evolution of the Six Hats, Six Coats Framework you can see Node and Event have switched places. This is because it occurred to me that Event, Function and Goal are logical while Node, Datum and Person are physical. The new order has a better fit. Which leads to changing the following:

All the above considered, I can say so far that Malcolm’s book is a good read but in the same way that Blink is the repackaging of Intuition, The Tipping Point is the repackaging of Person, Datum and Node.

Related Posts:

Systema: Seven Hats, Seven Links

The Brain: Intelligence, Innovation, Creativity

I have just finished reading a Cutter Consortium white paper entitled The Psychology and Motivation of Creativity and Innovation by Paul Robertson. I found it quite interesting and it gave me some insight into the Six Hats model.

Paul describes a three ring model as illustrated below:

The Substantial World is the external world of your senses. The Structural World is the Substantial World you have accepted as rational. The Conceptual World is the Structural world you think within habitually. It should be noted that the Substantial World is a subset of the Real World, the Structural World is a subset of the Substantial World and the Conceptual World is a subset of the Structural World.

When we are thinking habitually we are using intelligence:

When we cross the boundary between habitual and rational thought we are using innovation:

When we cross the boundary between rational and external thought we are using creativity:

The Creative world is the world of values that do not fall within the domain of the Innovative world and the Innovative world is the world of values that do not fall within the context of the Intelligent world.

Here is the same concept represented as the Six Focuses of Database Design:

From the above illustration you can see that creativity involves incorporating data manipulation and data definition into the domains and attributes; innovation involves incorporating data domains and data attributes into the relationships and entities; and intelligence involves utilizing existing relationships and entities.

I want to point out that I do not necessarily agree with this concept because I believe the six hats can be top down as well as bottom up. What I mean to say is creativity can come from the front lines as well as from senior positions.

Systema: Zachman Synonyms

In many early posts in this blog I was looking for different fits of different conceptual groups. Tonight after wracking my brains into the wee hours some of the conceptual sets began to fit. And fit very well.

The first column represents the six entity relationships and my extended James Moffat Speaker Audience relationships. The second column represents the Zachman Framework Focuses. The third column represents the Zachman Framework Perspectives. The fourth column represents the Galilei/Newton/Einstein equation. The fifth column represent my extended James Moffatt Time Contexts. The sixth column represents my terms for Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats. The seventh column represents the Associative Structure of the six entity relationships.

The rows in the table represent the synonyms across the conceptual sets. I will leave you free to reflect on the implications.

The Brain: Creativity’s Hiding Place

I first became aware of Amy Tan’s work through the movie Joy Luck Club. In this TED.com video Amy Tan attempts to answer the question “Where does Creativity Hide?” and I think she answers the question very well. Creativity lies in surrendering your viewpoint and adopting another to find the void of uncertainty that resides there and discovering a new incomplete truth that fills it. The viewpoint, the void and what fills it are obvious all along.

Systema: The Movement from Crisp to Fuzzy

In an earlier post I discussed how Semantics of Business Vocabulary and Business Rules (SBVR) would be changing the landscape of systems design. The more I read about it, the more I am beginning to understand that this involves a transition from crisp logic to fuzzy logic. The move allows for both algorithmic and heuristic problem solving.

Currently, there is considerable research being done on fuzzy logic relational databases (FRDB) and fuzzy logic query languages (FSQL). However, the papers are not available without a fee, limiting my research. What I have found is that fuzzy databases provide additional attribute types called “fuzzy attributes”. Key attributes cannot be fuzzy. With fuzzy SQL a new family of extensions to the SELECT statement allow for Linguistic Labels, Fuzzy Comparators, Fulfillment Thresholds and Fuzzy Constants as well as others.

I highly recommend exploring the subject of fuzzy logic and becoming familiar with fuzzy database technology to see where systems are going.

Leonard Cohen: Poetry That Rhymes

Leonard Cohen, Canadian Poet and Songwriter, often found himself at odds with his contemporaries by writing poetry that rhymes. It turns out that the opposition to rhyming poetry finds its roots in Soviet propaganda that didn’t want to deal with the difficulties in translation.  Here is my favorite of his songs whose chorus belongs in Hofstader’s Godel, Escher and Bach.

“Anthem”

Leonard Cohen

The birds they sing
at the break of day
“Start again”
I hear them say
“Don’t dwell
on what has passed away
or what is yet to be.”

Ah the wars
they will be fought again
The holy dove
She will be caught again
bought and sold
and bought again
the dove is never free.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

We asked for signs
the signs were sent:
the birth betrayed
the marriage spent
Yeah, the widowhood
of every government —
signs for all to see.

I can’t run no more
with that lawless crowd
while the killers in high places
say their prayers out loud.
But they’ve summoned, they’ve summoned up
a thundercloud
and they’re going to hear from me.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

You can add up the parts
but you won’t have the sum
You can strike up the march,
there is no drum
Every heart, every heart
to love will come
but like a refugee.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
That’s how the light gets in.
That’s how the light gets in.

The Brain: Attachment with Autism

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, a first novel by Mark Haddon, is a truely absorbing piece of writing because of Mark’s thoroughly convincing character, Christopher John Francis Boone. Christopher’s condition is never stated, however he appears to suffer from mild autism. The novel is an exploration of the mind of Christopher as he deals with a crisis in his life, his father has told him a lie. We accompany Christopher in first person through his journey to a resolution.

Autism is a highly misunderstood condition. Autistics are generally of normal intelligence, however the way they perceive the outside world and communicate with it are different than convention and they are often regarded as of lower intelligence than they are. One of the greatest flaws in the measurement of intelligence is that it relies too much on conventional communication.

Wired magazine has a very good article on the medical community’s rethinking of autism here. In a series of YouTube videos an autistic woman, Amanda Baggs, challenges the conventional wisdom and makes her case for autistic people’s intelligence and value to society. Some venture far enough to say that autism is not an illness at all, but just another way for the brain to develop.

Whatever comes of this reevaluation of autism, the role technology and books like this are playing in liberating people with this and any form of challenge is inspiring.

The Brain: The Hierarchy of Consciousness

I have been thinking about consciousness since I read Milan Kundera’s novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being. I don’t believe that humanism is the atheist vision. I believe that humanism has failed. Homo sapience is inadequate. Natura sapience is necessary for us to survive and to thrive. Naturalism is the future of atheism.

Human beings do not have a monopoly on consciousness. Consciousness is a spectrum. The more complex the life form, the higher the level of consciousness. If we think about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as differing levels of consciousness in living things and not simply in human beings we can think about what level of consciousness each form of life has managed to evolve into.