Icons: Systema Iconic Language: Part I

In this series of posts I will be exploring the concept of an iconic language built upon the vocabulary I have been incrementally creating as part of the Systema Framework.

Abstract Relationships

enterpriserelateabstract

Concrete Relationships

enterpriserelateconcrete1

I have worked with icons before and this is a revisit of some of those ideas as well as modifications.

Apport Icon Set

The Apport icon set defines the entities that can exist in a system:

iconscreate2

Accord Icon Set

The Accord Icon set defines the relationships that can exist in a system:

iconsrelate2

Below is a cross product of the Apport and Accord Icon sets:

enterpriserelateicons2

Record Icon Set

I am sure that the icon set below is familiar if you have followed my blog.

iconsrecord1

Note that the cross product below is only for the entities themselves and not for their relationships.

enterpriserecordicons

Properly utilized, an iconic language would allow you to build sentences out of the individual icons interactively.

I plan to continue to think about this subject further and will update as I go along.

Below are links to web pages and pdf documents I have read so far on the topic:

Advertisements

Icons: Biomedical Icons

iconbiomed

Icons are a bit of an untapped passion for me.  I would love spending my time churning out icons.  In fact, building whole pictographic languages would be great fun.  And what do we find, doctors in France developing an iconic language for biomedical applications.

1472-6947-8-16-3

I think our use of iconic languages are much too limited and our reliance on text still too high.  Text can be included as part of a visual cue, however the icon is the element that will promote communication, retention and recognition more easily and more quickly.

I am going to be examining this language and I am going to be seriously looking into less general icon families for expert applications.

Dune is Dry

sandworms-of-dune

After reading this book I finally realized what I don’t like about Brian Herbert’s and Kevin J. Anderson’s writing:  They exhaust every possible path the novel can take before delivering the obvious outcome.  It is repeated so often that it becomes a boring exercise wading through reams of crap.  In several cases I was tempted to simply turn to the last paragraph of a chapter to get it over with.  And could it really be over with?  I have no intention of reading any more Dune novels because Brian and Kevin are simply churning out crap to milk Frank Herbert’s legacy for all it’s worth.  Step out from under your father’s shadow and write something original, Brian.

Putting the last paragraph aside, it was nice to simply see the end.  I read Sandworms of Dune in two sittings determined to get it over with.  And another flaw stands out, it was over with too neatly.  For all of the effort put into belaboring the reader to death everything is dealt with in a matter of pages.  Then the conclusion is belabored as well.  And the words of a friend of long ago occurred to me, “Frank should have stopped after the first book.”

Dune is dry.  But the Herbert’s want to pull the tits off.

Don’t follow the Tao, Be your own Tao

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Charles Elachi: Leave a New Trail“, posted with vodpod

Lao Tzu and His Tao

Lao Tzu in the Tao Te Ching thought he had found The Way, but he only inspired followership and conformity.  No religion’s path is the way for anyone except the religious leader who made it.  If you want to be a leader you have to depart from every path that has been laid and make your own path.

The Tao of Military Incompetence

Norman Dixon in The Psychology of Military Incompetence lays out characteristics of incompetence:

  1. An underestimation, sometime bordering on the arrogant, of the enemy.
  2. An equating of war with sport.
  3. An inability to profit from past experience.
  4. A resistance to adopting and exploiting available technology and novel tactics.
  5. An aversion to reconnaissance, coupled with a dislike of intelligence (in both senses of the word).
  6. Great physical bravery but little moral courage.
  7. An apparent imperviousness by commanders to loss of life and human suffering among the rank and file, or (its converse) an irrational and incapacitating state of compassion.
  8. Passivity and indecisiveness in senior commanders.
  9. A tendency to lay the blame on others.
  10. A love of the frontal assault.
  11. A love of ‘bull’, smartness, precision and strict preservation of ‘the military pecking order’.
  12. A high regard for tradition and other aspects of conservatism.
  13. A lack of creativity, improvisation, inventiveness and open mindedness.
  14. A tendency to eschew moderate risks for tasks so difficult that failure might seem excusable.
  15. Procrastination.

JPL and the New Tao

When I came across this presentation on the work of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, I welcomed the advice of the engineers: Don’t follow the path, go instead where no one has gone before and leave a trail.

This concurs with an article I recently read in strategy & business “China’s Long Road to Innovation”. And that is there are so many companies concerned about profit margins that they do not have the long term vision to invest in research and development.  As a result, there is little to no innovative culture, just imitation.

Making a New Tao in Technology

When I look at relational databases, I see an exhausted potential.  When I talk to relational database designers, I do not hear innovators, I hear regurgitators.  The universe is not cartesian, why should our data be?

The minds controlling our data are atrophied.

Making a New Tao in Work Habits

9 to 5 work is horse shit.  Hierarchical coordination obstructing communication is horse shit.  In person meeting is horse shit.  Physical libraries are horse shit.  We have technology that allows us to work when we as individuals are most productive.  We have communication technology that makes management that sequesters itself from front line employees obsolete.  We have technology that allows us to collaborate without anyone having to be physically present in a meeting room.  We have the internet where physical libaries can be digitized.  Why should our employers have to insist on the overhead of individual workspace, coordination costs, meeting space and libaries when employees can be equipped to work from their own home online where, according to an IDC Mobile Worker report, they are 20% more productive?  In person private “meatings” can be arranged in temporary spaces rented by the hour.  In person semi-private meatings can be arranged in corporate clubs.  In person open meatings can be arranged in a coffee shop.

The minds controlling our workplaces and workstyles are atrophied.

A Personal Decision

Personally, I’ve left the path.  I pay the price for it daily, because making a new trail doesn’t necessarily mean you are crossing flat, open ground.  It often means cutting through the undergrowth in uneven terrain.  It often means dead ends, wrong directions and retracing your steps, but it also means serendipty, discovery and breakthroughs.

I have been criticized for coining new terms freely, for thinking in images instead of words.  New terms liberate us from old definitions and conventional thought.  A dictionary reflects the organic growth of language, it is a reference built after the fact, not an ordinance built before.  Images free us to think conceptually in thousands of words at a time.  Just think about how many lines of code there are in visual interfaces like Autocad.

Don’t follow the Tao, be your own Tao.

Systema: Seven Hats, Seven Links

watch-parts1

Parable of the Watchmakers

There once were two watchmakers, named Hora and Tempus, who made very fine watches. The phones in their workshops rang frequently; new customers were constantly calling them. However, Hora prospered while Tempus became poorer and poorer. In the end, Tempus lost his shop. What was the reason behind this?

The watches consisted of about 1000 parts each. The watches that Tempus made were designed such that, when he had to put down a partly assembled watch (for instance, to answer the phone), it immediately fell into pieces and had to be reassembled from the basic elements.

Hora had designed his watches so that he could put together subassemblies of about ten components each. Ten of these subassemblies could be put together to make a larger sub- assembly. Finally, ten of the larger subassemblies constituted the whole watch. Each subassembly could be put down without falling apart.

sevenhats2.jpg

For the longest time I have been playing with interrogatives and associations.  Now, I think I finally have a complete representation and taxonomy.

Abstractly, it looks like the following:

enterpriseabstract3

Concretely, it appears as follows:

enterpriseseven5

As I mentioned in my earlier post, I was not satisfied with a six interrogative, four association model.  Consequently, I worked to resolve this and came up with the table above with the interrogative columns (seven hats) and the associative rows (seven coats).  I also came up with the data model below:

enterprisefact1

My hypothesis is, used correctly, the above data model can address all relational/dimensional requirements.

Related Posts:

Fern Halper: Data Makes the World Go ’round

fern-halper

I was going through my blog statistics today when I came across an auto link that led from a blog by Fern Halper.

Dr. Fern Halper is a partner at Hurwitz & Associates, a consulting, research and analyst firm that focuses on the customer benefits derived when advanced and emerging software technologies are used to solve business problems. Fern has over twenty years of experience in data analysis, business analysis, and strategy development. Fern served as Senior Vice President for enterprise applications and services for Hurwitz Group and has held key positions at AT&T Bell Laboratories and Lucent Technologies. Fern spent eight years at Bell Laboratories leading the development of innovative approaches and systems to analyze marketing and operational data. Fern has published numerous articles on data mining and information technology and she is an adjunct professor at Bentley College, where she teaches courses in Information Systems and Business. Fern received her BA from Colgate University and her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University.

I have been reading Fern’s posts with much interest as she not only discusses the industry concepts but gives an example of a product relevant to the concept.  This makes for a much richer explanation as I find myself experimenting with the free trials for hours afterwards.

Link:  Fern Halper’s Data Makes the World Go ’round

Satire: Indexed

card1926

This index card is one of almost 2000 that Jessica has posted in her blog ThisIsIndexed.com.  She describes her work as “thinking relationally without resorting to the math.”

She’s after my own funny bone.