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.

Social Psychology: How to Win Friends and Influence People


I have been reading Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. I’ve discovered the strategy Carnegie advocates is simply addressing Maslow’s hierarchy from the bottom up in the course of the negotiation. You recognize and appeal to the subject’s physiological needs, security, belonging, esteem, power and conscience, in that order, and you will successfully influence them. Literally a blueprint for persuasion.

  1. Come in sit down. Is there anything I can get you? – Physiological
  2. Let me close the door so we are not disturbed. – Safety/Security
  3. How’s your family? – Belonging/Love
  4. You know your discipline best. – Esteem
  5. It’s up to you. – Self-Actualization
  6. I know you will do the right thing. – Transcendence

Systema: Exteroception and Interoception


I was reading an article in Scientific American MIND this evening which discussed the research of Hugo Critchley on emotional intelligence and interoception. Interoception which is narrowly defined as the perception of stimuli inside the body. Interoception activates the brain’s right insular cortex and has lead Critchley to a broader definition of interoception. The reason being that not only perception of internal stimuli, but of emotion results in intense activity in the insular cortex. It has also been found that another center in the brain associated with ideas, motives and values often shows activity in conjunction with insular cortical activity. The right insular cortex appears to be the location where mind and body meet. Neurologically, you perceive hunger in the same way you perceive anger. You have a physical location for intuition, that “gut feeling”.

So, why do I bring this up? The main reason is I am thinking about Maslow’s hierarchy and the DIKW hierarchy. I have been struggling to substantiate a hexad as opposed to a tetrad for the number of layers of input and output and I think this provides another cornerstone for my argument. Interoception, the perception of stimuli inside the body, and exteroception, the perception of stimuli outside the body, fill the gap beneath data and divide Maslow’s physiological needs. I am proposing the following hexad:

  1. Green Hat: Wisdom. Self-Actualization. Conceptualization.
  2. Yellow Hat: Knowledge. Esteem. Contextualization.
  3. White Hat: Information. Belonging. Logicalization.
  4. Black Hat: Data. Safety. Physicalization.
  5. Red Hat: Intuition. Physiological. Humanization. Interoception.
  6. Blue Hat: Communication. Existential. Detection and Effection. Exteroception.

In my future discussions I am not going to talk about the movement of data or information or knowledge or stimuli. I am simply going to refer to input and output. Input ascends the hierarchy and output descends the hierarchy. From which level it originates is also irrelevant if it is ascending it is always input, if it is descending it is always output. The transformations are discrete. They are not increases or decreases in detail, but changes in perspective.

If you are following this lengthy thread you may notice my terms changing a bit each time. It is an iterative refinement of my understanding that is leading to these changes. Hopefully, I get closer to a final version with each change.

Green Hat: It’s Best to Brainstorm Alone

I came across this quote on brainstorming today and find I agree with it.

“The result, it turned out, is not an anomaly. In a [1987 study, researchers] concluded that brainstorming groups have never outperformed virtual groups. Of the 25 reported experiments by psychologists all over the world, real groups have never once been shown to be more productive than virtual groups. In fact, real groups that engage in brainstorming consistently generate about half the number of ideas they would have produced if the group’s individuals had [worked] alone.

In my experience the added demands to coexist in harmony while in a group implements more self-editing of ideas than when you are alone. Maslow would conclude that esteem (relativity), belonging (optimivity) and safety (pessimivity) would actually limit self-actualization (creativity) . (Forgive me for creating two new terms, I’m virtual brainstorming.)

Traditional brainstorming falls under the social and social-psychological domain of Yellow Hat, White Hat and Black Hat in the Six Hats, Six Coats Framework. More people automatically implies, more relationships, meaning more difficult generalization; more attributes, meaning more difficult normalization; and more constraints, meaning more difficult exceptionalization. It flies in the face of the assumptions behind the concepts of synergy and of socialist and communist thought. It also gives Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism a great boost.

Green Hat (creativity), is a state of mind where one rises above Yellow Hat (relativity), White Hat (optimivity) , Black Hat (pessimivity), Red Hat (anthropivity) and Blue Hat (chronivity). The state of leadership as opposed to citizenship, apprenticeship, studentship, humanship and existence.

If you want to think great thoughts, you must first think them alone.

It's Best to Brainstorm Alonereddit

Thinking the Hexads Through

Working with the hexads and the Six Hats, Six Coats model has raised some interesting conceptual questions. This post is an incomplete attempt to address them.



We have many personas within each of us. This is evidenced by our ExtraPersonal behaviour. Depending on the environment we interact within we present different behavior. ExtraPersonal thought manages our personas. This meets our safety need.
To satisfy our physiological needs our InterPersonal behavior is exhibited. Our personas communicate with each other. This is true internal dialog.

To engage with other systems we depend on IntraPersonal behavior. These are the sensory-motor functions as guided by a single persona.

I’m trying to think about how this hexad affects the Moffett Universe of Discourse.

Here’s the Universe before:



Here’s the Universe after:


I’m working on developing a data model to represent this new hexad structure as well:


I have been working on creating a new vocabulary to describe the associations in the hexads. I apologize for any terms I have had to invent, but a new concept requires new terms. The first three terms (ie. ExtraNetwork, InterNetwork, IntraNetwork) are external to the entity. The second three terms (ie. ExtraSpatia, InterSpatia, IntraSpatia) are internal to the entity.







The gist of all these terms is that there are systems and associations without us and within us. For every level of granularity we establish there are levels of granularity above and below what is essentially an arbitrary “zero point”.


My thoughts on the hexad structure are gradually establishing themselves. There are still some incongruities that I am attempting to work out. One of them is individual and group phenomenology.  Another is how to represent the relationships above and below the person-group horizon in the person focus as well as with the other focuses.

Insideness and Outsideness Revolution

I have been playing with the concept of insideness and outsideness for a couple of posts now and I am realizing I have my concept of insideness and outsideness backwards.  I realized the individual’s or system’s existential or operational layer is always to the outside and the number of layers or complexity of an individual or system is reflected as increased depth.

So, not only will I be presenting hexads, I will be presenting them with new insight into insideness and outsideness.  That insight is that the boundary that separates insideness from outsideness separates one system from another.  Here is what Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs properly looks like:


Here is what Moffett’s Universe of Discourse properly looks like:


Therefore, the following diagram is right and is always right in representing complete communication.


And regular daily interaction between systems probably looks something like this:


So, there you have it.  For insideness and outsideness to exist, a System A requires a System B.  The following pattern is also possible:



Reexamining Insideness and Outsideness

In working on the Six Hats, Six Coats model it occurred to me that perhaps my work on tetrads requires reexamination.  It occurred to me that maybe I am not dealing with tetrads, but hexads.  Let’s use a reexamination of Maslow’s hierarchy as an example.  I am reincorporating the physiological needs and I am adding an existential need to the mix.


 As you can see there are not only two more needs, but another boundary as well.  I am especially curious about the implications for Moffett’s Universe of Discourse and McLuhan’s Laws of Media.  Here’s Moffett:


As you can see Moffett’s Universe of Discourse requires no magnificent leap of faith to convert from a tetrad to hexad.  I will attempt more of these tetrad to hexad conversions in later posts.

Insideness and Outsideness

 Buckminster Fuller in his book, Synergetics, discusses the concept of insideness and outsideness. He said there are four states you can have relative to a boundary:

1. Outside
2. Outside on the surface
3. Inside on the surface
4. Inside


This appears obvious, but it has interesting implications when we look at tetrads.

First, I want to look at Marshall McLuhan‘s Laws of Media tetrad. McLuhan described his tetrad as having two domains:

1. Figure
2. Ground

Retrieve and Enhance were Figure laws. Reverse and Obsolesce were Ground Laws. The question this left me with is which is Inside and which is Outside? I decided to look at other tetrads to see if they could provide an answer. This led me to look at the Zachman Framework focuses.


The Zachman Framework focuses all complement each other with their four perspectives. I decided to look at the Network focus for guidance:

1. ExtraNetwork
2. InterNetwork
3. IntraNetwork
4. Node

Node appeared to conform with Inside, IntraNetwork with Inside-Surface, InterNetwork with Outside-Surface and ExtraNetwork with Outside.


I believe that Obsolesce correlates to Node, Reverse to IntraNetwork, Enhance to InterNetwork and Retrieve to ExtraNetwork. Therefore, Insideness was Ground and Outsidedness was Figure. That being the case I let it guide all further correlations.


Here is Moffett’s Data Dimension:


Here are the DIKW perspectives:


As you can see the possibility of correlations between many tetrads is possible when different metaphors bring out the similarities.

Here’s Maslow’s Hierarchy recognizing that the physiological needs are not a social need:


As you can see with Fuller, McLuhan, Zachman, DIKW and Maslow there is an inside and an outside to their tetrads. Crossing the boundary between the two sides requires a transition in viewpoint that we do not always recognize. That boundary can be the difference between an open and closed society, between order and chaos, between fire and ice.

Systems versus Humans

In my previous post I discussed art and design in the context of communication. Now I want to reveal a correlation that came up between the work of John Zachman and Abraham Maslow. I believe it reveals that computer systems and human systems respectively obey the same basic principles.Here is the Zachman model:


Here is the Maslow Model:


As you can see both frameworks share a similar hierarchy. It is my assertion that they are the same.

God, Abram and Abraham Maslow

“Leave your country, your people and your father’s household
And go to the land I will show you.
I will make you into a great nation
And I will bless you
I will make your name great
And you will be a blessing
I will bless those who bless you
And whoever curses you I will curse
And all nations on earth
will be blessed through you.”

Genesis 12:1-3, NIV

The above passage is referred to as God’s promise to Abram. In it God tells Abram all the needs that will be fulfilled in Abram’s life if he simply depends on God to fulfill his physiological needs. God would eventually rename Abram to Abraham.

A few thousand years after this was written, Abraham Maslow came up with his renowned “hierarchy of needs”. This hierarchy had the five following components:

  1. Physiological
  2. Safety
  3. Belonging
  4. Esteem
  5. Self-Actualization

When I looked at this hierarchy the alarm bells went off, because I was deeply familiar with the book of Genesis and God’s promise to Abram in particular.

Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you fulfills the physiological requirement.

I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you fulfills the belonging requirement.

I will make your name great and you will be a blessing fulfills the esteem requirement.

I will bless those who bless you and those who curse you I will curse fulfills the safety requirement.

All nations on earth will be blessed through you fulfills the self-actualization requirement.

So, what is it that Maslow revealed to us that the authors of the Old Testament haven’t already recognized as fundamental needs? It appears to me that Maslow at best reinvented the wheel. At worst he plagiarized and secularized a Bible passage.

On further examination of this passsage and of Maslow’s hierarchy we can find that there is a defining quality between the physiological and the remaining needs. The physiological need does not require social interaction, the four remaining needs do. This produces another tetrad.


God, Abram and Abraham Maslow digg