Relationary Browser

What I am finding in my current work is that there are a set of symmetrical, semi-symmetrical and asymmetrical polyhedrons that can be used to describe an individual’s network with the the individual as the focus and direct links as radii to individuals represented as polytopes and the reporting groups (circles) represented as polygons formed from connecting the vertexes for the individuals in the reporting groups with edges.

Suddenly, “spheres of influence” can be modeled and utilized to the benefit of the communities of the individuals.

Prezi www.prezi.com could be used to navigate the vertexes on the surfaces of these spheres of influence as a giant two dimensional map of linked pages that you could “dive” into or “surface” out of through the links instead of forwarding or backwarding.

All you would have to do is have a “map” button that you click on and all the child pages for the current page are displayed as a Prezi map.  As a line or table of pages,  as a sphere with the pages displayed on the surface or flat one degree daisywheel with the tops of the pages pointing to the center where an icon for the current page resides.  Rotate the daisy to look at the pages right side up.  Or navigate freely Prezi style.

This could be applied to webpage networks, citation networks, social networks, location networks, date networks, time networks or state networks, career networks, image networks or any other form of network you can dream up.

If you have a company capable of developing this, I am looking for work and this would be a great project to get paid for.

Design: The Boyd Pyramid

theboydpyramid

Colonel John Boyd, who made his OODA Loop famous, was concerned with process, not perpective.  If he was he may have come up with the above diagram.  John was a fighter pilot in the Korean War.  He spent the rest of his life trying to understand and explain why he came back from his tours alive.  He was attempting to explain how to design survival.

Many designers are averse to the military and it is to their detriment.  For them I have to suggest participating in Emergency Management when the Incident Command System (ICS) is being applied.  Crisis eliminates any room for concensus or debate.

Part of my life involved hunting.  Also something many designers are averse to.  However, hunting taught me what John Boyd was trying to teach Air Force, Navy, Army and Marine so they would come home.  No video game can teach you what being in the field with a projectile weapon can teach you:

  1. Observation is the acquisition and recognition of targets.  In design this is detecting to find and fiat.  Art and Science.
  2. Orientation is compensating for climate and terrain.  In design this is designing to feel and fit.  Design and Engineering.
  3. Decision is choosing your operation and your weapon.  In design this is developing to function and form.  Skills and Tools.
  4. Action is either maneuvering or firing.  In design this is deploying to forum and foot.  Business and Market.

As you proceed through the process, your options are continually narrowing.  If your options are not narrowing you have recommenced the process at the same or another scale.

Your success not only depends on this sequence, but upon the speed you are able to execute it.  If you are able to cycle faster than your competition, they are acting on conditions that have already changed.

The Brain: Flow

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi on Flow“, posted with vodpod

This is a topic I have thought about quite a bit. I find that I am a focused person and upon achieving flow either at work or in my own study I will not allow that state to be interrupted until the product of my flow is completed. This does not correspond to the work habits of the status quo. It is not nine to five behavior. Consequently, my employers are continually at odds with performance and attendance. My experience of flow is generally not a team experience and I will not interrupt it to accommodate a team experience of flow. I will simply produce my deliverable and go and get some sleep.

Systema: MixThirtySix – New Greek, New Icons, New Colors

After pulling out a Latin and Greek dictionary during a phone call to my professional writer sister, I came to realize that John Zachman served us a horrible brutalization of Greek for terminology. Had he only looked at the Greek language with some insight he would have saved me considerable difficulty in correlating definition with application.

Johnny ‘s been messin’ wid our ‘eads, man.

Correcting that usage will be on my to do list.

Here, I am abstracting the framework by incorporating the correct Greek, abstracting the focuses by using polygon icons and abstracting the perspectives by using de Bono’s thinking color code:

There you have it, a completely new take on the Mix Thirty-six.

Hey, Aristotle, Six Unities! Hey, Plato, Six Polygons! Hey, de Bono, Six Hats!

Yes, after a day’s head banging, I switched when and where.

In the next post, I will be definining each of these icons. Now we can talk about System Logics, System Organics, System Mechanics, System Physics, System Cosmics and System Chronics with a sense that our terminology will migrate across disciplines easily if our audience has any understanding of Greek roots.

Systema: The Six Relationships

For years I have been thinking that there are only four relationships in data modeling:

  1. Many to Many
  2. One to Many
  3. One to One
  4. Recursive

At least that’s what the books seemed to say. However I have been reconsidering since I began exploring the Zachman Framework on my own. It has become apparent to me through many practical applications that the textbooks are not always right. Below are the six basic data modeling relationships:

As you can see there are three cursive and three recursive relationships. The cursive relationships are between two separate entities. The recursive relationships are between an entity and itself. Restating them, they are:

  1. Cursive Many to Many
  2. Cursive One to Many
  3. Cursive One to One
  4. Recursive Many to Many
  5. Recursive One to Many
  6. Recursive One to One

Many to many relationships are resolved as illustrated below:

How does this fit into the Zachman Framework? Let’s examine the framework as I illustrate it below:

As you can see relationships each serve a purpose. Concepts are associations between intstances of differing entities. Contexts are one to many relationships between instances of differing entities. Logics are one to one relationships between instances of differing entities. Physics are associations between instances of the same entity. Spherics are one to many relationships between instances of the same entity. Episodics are one to one relationships between instances of the same entity.

Another way to consider this diagram is the first three relationships involve attributes, while the second three relationships involve domains.

The Innovator’s (and Zachman’s) Dilemma

 clayton_christensen.jpg

Clayton M. Christensen wrote The Innovator’s Dilemma almost a decade ago, but the insight his book provides is classic. Christensen’s research into the disk drive industry lead him to discover four categories of competition:

  1. Availability
  2. Compatibility
  3. Reliability
  4. Economy

Availability answered the question: Can it be done? Compatibility answered the question: Can it be done for me? Reliability answered the question: Can it be done when I need it done? Economy answered the question: Can it be done at the lowest price? The greater the number of customers you can respond to with a “Yes” answer the broader your market. However, your smart competition is looking for the niches you are responding “No” to.

When I look at these four categories I am brought back to John Zachman’s perspectives in the Zachman Framework. These same questions are posed when developing any system:

  1. Conceptual
  2. Contextual
  3. Logical
  4. Physical

The conceputal perspective answers: Can it be done? The contextual perspective answers: Can it be done by us? The logical perspective answers: Can it be routinized? The physical perspective answers: What is the lowest cost to do it? And these questions are asked for each of the focuses (People, Data, Network, Time, Functions and Motives).

So what Christensen really achieves is to provide a substantiation of his tetrad, and consequently Zachman’s, through a solid body of historical data.

Tetrad Theories

Here is a table to describe some of the tetrads we have discussed so far in this blog.

tetrad3.jpg

The first column is our friend Structured Query Language (SQL). The second column is the four components of physiological and psychological health. The third column is the tetrad of McLuhan’s Laws of Media. The fourth column are the Zachman Framework’s four perspectives. The fifth column are the first four Structured Development Lifecycle (SDLC) phases.

The rows in the table correlate the similar facets of each of the tetrads. I will go into detail in a later post. How does energy, matter, location and event correlate? How do the Secrets of the Universe of Discourse correlate? How does data, information, knowledge and wisdom correlate? How does colon classification correlate?

Take a moment and let yourself stretch.

Deeper Than McLuhan

I have read all of McLuhan’s books over the span of a few months. One thing to point out is that McLuhan did not say “The Medium is the Message”. McLuhan said, “The Medium is the Massage”. The medium was the cause of change, reformation and revolution not the message.

Another thing that stands out is that the scope of McLuhan’s system had only two dimensions where one could be the other. That is fine, but it is extensible to a six dimensional framework.

zachman-framework-abstract-02.jpg

What I mean by this is that any of Zachman’s six focuses (who, what, when, where, why, how) can be the message contained within the medium. This agrees with McLuhan’s four laws of Media Theory. More simply put, each of Zachman’s focuses can be a system its own right and any system can be the container for another lesser system. The system is the massage. Or the message.

I will look further at how McLuhan’s four laws apply to Zachman in later posts.

Sanity

I was doing some reading today on the topic of “mental flexibility” and as I Googled I found the topic evolve into a description of “mental health” with mental flexibility being one of the components. What follows is a summary of what I found.

All too often we define mental illness, but a clear definition of mental health is elusive. But from what I read mental health is not complicated. Mental health has four components:

  1. Focus
  2. Flexibility
  3. Objectivity
  4. Resiliency

A focused person knows what he wants from life. A flexible person is willing to take different approaches to get what he wants. An objective person recognizes what approach works and what approach doesn’t. A resilient person is not only prepared to let go of what doesn’t work, but to accept what does persistently. If you are mentally healthy you have all four of these aspects working in your favor. If for whatever reason you do not have one of these traits you are to some degree ill.

How does this relate to this blog? Apply this formula to any data based project you undertake and you will discover that there is a degree of disfunction in pretty well every one. And now let’s harken back to John Zachman’s perspectives:

  1. Conceptual: Are you focused?
  2. Contextual: Are you flexible?
  3. Logical: Are you objective?
  4. Physical: Are you resilient?

Funny how the paradigms shift like a Porsche transmission.