Jared Diamond: Societal Collapse

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If you listen carefully to what Jared Diamond is saying in the TED video above, he is describing not a five part, but a six part power curve into a systemic singularity. This has been one of the core themes of discussion of this blog.  We all seem to be too close to our problems to see the commonality.  The interrogatives come into play here:

  1. Goals
  2. People
  3. Functions
  4. Forms
  5. Times
  6. Distances

Times and Distances being the basis on which the higher orders are built.

When we look at the recent economic “crisis” we see 300 trillion in currency circulating and roughly 1 trillion to 2 trillion shifting suddenly and unexpectedly.  We witnessed a systemic collapse, a singularity, a tipping point, a power curve, an exponential change, a phase transition or whatever label you want to call it.  These have been happening everywhere since Time and Distance began in different contexts and orders both in human and non-human systems.

What Jared Diamond and other alarmists are implying is that human society is now a system approaching its final singularity in this century on this planet.  We are implying that today we are experiencing a less than one percent crisis on a power curve into a singularity.  How many more iterations will the global system withstand?  Will humanity make the step into space successfully before we experience a global dark age?  How will the six or more factors in the power curve play out?

The truth to me appears to be that power curves whether they play out or not result in either a systemic climax or anti-climax followed by a systemic collapse.  Would it not be better if we experienced a systemic climax that led to us expanding into the solar system?

Systemic collapse seems to be the fashion of this generation.  Every generation looks with fascination at its own youth, maturition, reproduction and acceleration into mortality.  Some die early, some die late, but all die.  It is an irrevocable law of nature.  It is not about self-interest.  It is about what self-interest is defined as.

Related Posts:

Beyond the Singularity

Servitas and Libertas

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Systema: The Six Hats, Six Coats Hypercube

Later in this post we will discuss this man:

mendeleevphoto.jpg

The following table represents my interepretation of the Zachman Framework:

zachmantext.jpg

I have taken this framework and applied the following de Bono metaphor:

sixhats.jpg

I also incorporated my own metaphor to differentiate the axes:

sixcoats.jpg

These two modifications produced the following table:

sixhatssixcoats.jpg

This is where I had an “aha” moment. I asked myself what the entities would be:

sixhatssixcoatsentities.jpg

I also recognized that in each column these entities were related hierarchically allowing the creation of a six dimensional hypercube. In creating the hypercube it was possible to look at a variety of “slices”. For example:

motiveperson.jpg

The table above combines Motive with Person. We can see that Motive is verbal while Person is a noun.

Next we will combine Function and Data to create another slice:

functiondata.jpg

Again, Function is a verb and Data is a noun.

Let’s look at one final slice:

nodeevent.jpg

Here we see that nodes and time have many possible states.

But, why am I doing this exhaustive analysis of the possible combinations in the Six Hats, Six Coats hypercube?

Let’s go back in time for a moment and look at this table:

periodic_table.gif

When Dmitri Mendeleev created this table to describe periodic behaviour of the elements, many of the elements had not been discovered. However, the table projected what the properties of those elements would be making the search much easier.

The Six Hats, Six Coats hypercube is also a form of periodic table. Its entire collection of possible cells are called the framework space. Many of the cells in the hypercube do not yet exist, however their properties can be predicted. This makes their search and discovery of system components systematic instead of random or organic.

Related Posts:

Systema: Seven Hats, Seven Links

STL: Structured Thinking Language R0.1

The more original a discovery, the more obvious it seems afterwards.
Arthur Koestler

Since I posted STL: Structured Thinking Language and STL: Structured Thinking Language (remix), I have made quite a bit of progress in my thinking regarding the syntax of Structured Thinking Language.

The Six Hats are no longer verbs. There are only two verbs in STL, INDUCE and DEDUCE. INDUCE is a bottom up process of learning the structure of a system. DEDUCE is a top down process of teaching the structure of a system. INDUCE observes and orients. DEDUCE decides and acts. All STL statements begin with the INDUCE or DEDUCE verb to determine whether you are referring to an existing or a new system.

Each of the verbs can also be IMPLICIT or EXPLICIT according to the definitions found in Implicity and Explicity.

The Six Hats are now six adjectives:

  1. CONCEPTUAL refers to the creation of entities. Revise. Creativity. Meaning.
  2. CONTEXTUAL refers to the creation of relationships. Relate. Relativity. Uniqueness.
  3. LOGICAL refers to the creation of attributes. Report. Optimicity. Benefit.
  4. PHYSICAL refers to the creation of constraints. Record. Pessimicity. Cost.
  5. MECHANICAL refers to the creation of affordances. Intuit. Anthropicity. Usability.
  6. OPERATIONAL refers to the creation of manipulations. Engage. Synchronicity. Convenience.

The Six Coats remain the unchanged nouns:

  1. MOTIVE refers to the rules of the system.
  2. LOCALE refers to to the nodes of the system.
  3. OBJECT refers to the data of the system.
  4. METHOD refers to the functions of the system.
  5. PERSON refers to the people of the system.
  6. MOMENT refers to the events of the system.

Giving us the following:

stl_r01_3.jpg

Now that we have the verbs, adjectives and nouns of STL we can work on the syntax:

INDUCE|DEDUCE IMPLICIT|EXPLICIT
CONCEPTUAL NOUN.nounname;    

INDUCE|DEDUCE IMPLICIT|EXPLICIT
CONTEXTUAL NOUN.nounname
                (   MOTIVE.motivename,
                    LOCALE.localename,
                    OBJECT.objectname,
                    METHOD.methodname,
                    PERSON.personname,
                    MOMENT.momentname
                );    

INDUCE|DEDUCE IMPLICIT|EXPLICIT
LOGICAL     NOUN.nounname.attributename;    

INDUCE|DEDUCE IMPLICIT|EXPLICIT
PHYSICAL    NOUN.nounname.attributename.constraintname;    

INDUCE|DEDUCE IMPLICIT|EXPLICIT
MECHANICAL      NOUN.nounname
		(	select,
			insert,
			update,
			delete
		);    

INDUCE|DEDUCE IMPLICIT|EXPLICIT
OPERATIONAL    NOUN.nounname.attributename.value;

NOUN can be any one of the Six Coats nouns. Noun name can be any name unique for that specific noun. Cardinality of context is always one to many be the relationship associative, relative or recursive. A noun has multiple attributes each with a constraint, affordances and ultimately a value.  Note I do not call mechanical access “privileges”.  I prefer “affordances”.

Structured Thinking Language R0.1

Trouble? Change Hats

I’ve just finished reading “Why Wait for Trouble?” by Kenneth W. Freeman in Strategy and Business. Kenneth described a five stage condition model of a company.

  1. Bleeding
  2. Stability
  3. Gradual Improvement
  4. Rapid Improvement
  5. Arrogance

The danger Kenneth described was remaining in any of these stages too long. I agree, but you probably guessed that I disagree that there are five stages. I believe there are six stages and there are symptoms of remaining in them too long. Again I am referring to my Six Hats, Six Coats metaphor.

  1. Blue Hat: Synchronization Failure. You are not performing transactions at the optimal rate. Bleeding.
  2. Red Hat: Personalization Failure. You are not addressing employee/customer needs. Over Stability.
  3. Black Hat: Physicalization Failure. You are not minimizing cost. Overly Gradual Improvement.
  4. White Hat: Logicalization Failure. You are not maximizing value. Overly Rapid Improvement.
  5. Yellow Hat: Contextual Failure. You are not maintaining uniqueness. Arrogance.
  6. Green Hat: Conceptual Failure. You are not revising your vision. Dictating.

These are the symptoms of wearing any of the Six Hats too long. You can also wear any of the Six Coats too long, but that remains for another post.

Objects, Objects, Objects

I’ve had a bit of an epiphany today as I was thinking about the Structured Thinking Language. It has to do with the process of creating databases, but is transferable to each of the focuses of the model.

The steps to designing a database are:

1. Conceptual Design
2. Contextual Design
3. Logical Design
4. Physical Design
5. Personal Design
6. Synchronal Design

First is the conceptual design of a object. This is the object motive or primary key attribution.

Second is the contextual design. This is the object location or foreign key attribution.

Third is the logical design. This is the object formation or non-key attribution.

Fourth is the physical design. This is the object function or domain attribution.

Fifth is the personal design. This is the object personation or ownership attribution.

Sixth is the synchronal design. This is the object momentation or datetime attribution.

A table is a collection objects with the same motive. A row is a collection of objects with the same location. A column is a collection of objects with the same formation. A domain is a collection of objects with the same function. A privilege is a collection of objects with the same personation. A schedule is a collection of objects with the same momentation.

A table is an object. A row is an object. A column is an object. A domain is an object. A privilege is an object. A schedule is an object. And they are all attributes of a datum object.

The same goes for each of the focuses.

It looks like I will be reviewing the naming of my STL verbs and nouns again.

Blue Data, Red Data and Black Data

In my Six Hats, Six Coats and Six Ring metaphors I have been discussing this diagram:

sixrings.jpg

It can also be presented as follows:

data.jpg

It has been a challenge to the traditional Data, Information, Knowledge and Wisdom hierarchy by introducing not one, but three forms of data.  I call them Blue Data, Red Data and Black Data.

Blue Data or Reflex Data is data that affects the system, but is not necessarily captured at all. It influences a transaction, but requires techniques external to regular data capture to record. Some of the most subtle aspects of design influence this level of a transaction.  This is when a customer leaves a website because the Flash presentation takes too long to load.

Red Data or Intuitive Data is registered by the system, but does not generate any exceptions or variances. Although the data affects the bottom line it does not register in the cognitive-physical or cognitive levels of the system.  This is “business as usual” data.

Black Data or Exception Data is registered by higher levels of the system.  This is data that calls for physical-cognitive response outside the domain of normal operation.  An example would be a customer having to make two orders of nine units and one order of seven units because the system cannot capture more than nine units in one transaction.

I believe that for the Data, Information, Knowledge and Wisdom model to be complete it has to recognize the significance of Blue Data, Red Data and Black Data. For business to truly be successful, it not only has to ascend the DIKW hierarchy, it has to descend the hierarchy below the traditional definition of data and recognize all of data’s facets.

And what is Information, Knowledge and Wisdom, but higher forms of data?

Six Hats, Six Coats: Red Hat

In an earlier post I created a variation on this ring diagram:

ridikw.jpg

I came up with the two lower levels of the ring diagram, reflex and intuition, after having given considerable thought to the Six Hats metaphor:

asixhatsb.jpg

And the Six Rings metaphor:

sixrings.jpg

I could see that these hexads revealed two levels that were rarely discussed in the context of Data, Information, Knowledge and Wisdom. I began to wonder how to correctly define them. After reading Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats concept and John Zachman’s Framework which both contained six perspectives (Zachman considered Mechanical and Operational out of context, but made a point of including them) I began to look at the Red Hat and the Blue Hat in a new light.

Edward de Bono called the Red Hat the “intuitive” hat. Zachman referred to it as the implementation perspective. The Blue Hat de Bono called the “process” hat, Zachman called it the “operational” perspective. The Blue Hat I call the Operational or “reflex” hat. In this post I am going to discuss the Red Hat, which I call the Mechanical or “intuition” hat.

I find that intuition is not thoroughly discussed or well understood in most of the literature. However, Zachman’s framework gave me an alternative insight. In Zachman’s implementation perspective, design is translated into formally documented goals, network configurations, data definition language, program code, personnel roles, and system schedules. In otherwords, the mechanisms which the system enforceably observes. Any operations that fall outside of the implementation are treated as exceptions and flagged for handling at higher levels. The implementation defines intuitive behavior.

Intuitive behavior in us as persons is often called habit or subconscious behavior. When we train ourselves in any way we are implementing design. The literature says that it takes roughly twenty-one days to implement any habit. Habit has a motivational, spatial, formal, functional, personal and temporal component, what I describe as the Six Coats:

asixcoatsb.jpg

When we work within the boundaries of well developed habit we experience the phenomenon called flow. Flow is the handling of events without the occurrence of exceptions to our habits. One of the commonly used examples is a rally during tennis. The two well trained players play within their intuitive boundaries for a prolonged period of time. There is little cognition regarding the return of the ball. In fact, cognition may be focused elsewhere.

Walking is another example of intuition. It is possible to perform many cognitive-physical and cognitive actions while walking. And the flow of walking is rarely broken, even when negotiating a busy sidewalk or corridor.

One aspect of intuition that hasn’t been recognized and which de Bono and Zachman lead me to consider is that intuition observes a hierarchy:

sixrings02.jpg

There are high level intuitions and low level intuitions. We can have intuition about our sleeping habits, which is a temporal intuition focus. We can have intuition about walking, which is primarily a functional intuition focus. We can also have intuition about formal (data), spatial (networks) and motivational (goals) focuses. The higher the intuitive focus the more training it requires. This is also where the concept of “naturals” and the “refined” comes into play.

Naturals, are individuals who seem to have an intuitive focus mastered without training. Child prodigies are an example of naturals. However, there is nothing saying that any intuitive focus cannot be be trained to a level exceeding that of a natural. In this case we have the refined performer. Considering these two extremes, we can say that intuitive people can be born or made.

The intuitive difference between genders is another issue. Women are regarded as having superior intuitive abilities. This is attributed to a greater “white matter” content in women’s brains which emphasizes associations as in languages, while men have a greater “grey matter” content which emphasizes entities as in mathematics. However, association intuition and entity intuition both have been exhibited. Also, as in naturals and the refined, intuitive talents can be both born or made across genders.

I have shown that intuition operates below the Data level where exceptions are not handled, but passed upward cognitively when outside of the intuitive flow. I have also explained how intuition observes a hierarchy giving it a dimensionality that is often overlooked. Finally, I have demonstrated that intuition is the product of both innate ability and trained habit.

All systems have an intuitive level where the day passes and few events actually register cognitively. At this time we wonder where the day went. We have come to refer to this state as “business as usual”, but it can be the time of high productivity. Continual interruption of our intuitive processes can actually be counterproductive as it takes time to restore flow, to refocus.

Intuition does have a place in the DIKW hierarchy. But it requires us to descend the hierarchy to place it rightfully at the foundation where we can perform without cognitive registration.

It’s like the dancer said, “I was a good dancer until I started to think about it.”