Systema: Seven Hats, Seven Links


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.


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:


Concretely, it appears as follows:


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:


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

Related Posts:


Duncan J. Watts: Newtork Persistence


Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
–Calvin Coolidge

I have just finished reading Duncan J. Watts Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age and I have come away with several revelations.  The first is that Goal nodes, Contact nodes, Product nodes, Service nodes, Location nodes, Event nodes and Measure nodes all have a unique datatype and together create a State.  However, network theory is not at this point yet and thinks the combined nodes creating a state are the Contact nodes.  Second, power curves, phase changes and singularities exist in all networks as well as Lorentz transformations.  Third events (Time) and points (Space) are the foundation of success more than anything, if you have a moral code, leadership, training and discipline, but do not have persistent timing and location, you are not likely to encounter the network state you need to succeed.  As Duncan puts it, it is like a tree spreading seeds, only a few will land on the right ground at the right time.  As Woody Allen put it, “Show up.”

Systema: Six Interrogatives and Four Associations


Since I have been thinking about the dimensionality of Einstein’s universe and the associations within the six interrogatives, it has led me to wonder about how the two fit together.  I have expressed it in the above diagram.  The association types are the rows and the interrogatives the columns.  We immediately have four dimensions for each interrogative.  Food for thought as I think about my current reading on network theory.

This hearkens back to a model I did in June 2007:


You can see by using an association table for each interrogative this model provides for all the possible associations within the ontology.  However, I do not think this model is complete.  I’ll discuss that a bit later.

Framework for a Real Enterprise

It was Peter Drucker who revealed undeniably that business was a science that could lead to predictable results.  The way he did so was by collecting and systematizing all the knowledge he could gather on the subject and then testing hypotheses.  After much deliberation on the science of systems and the science of business.  I present the Physics Framework above and the Enterprise Framework below.  As one physics Nobel laureate said, “If you aren’t doing physics, you’re stamp collecting!”

I am working to refine my framework table for a lay audience. It is a vocabulary for a business system. Like the Linnean system, by using the intersection of the row and column (two terms) I can identify any operation of the system. Still needs work, but its getting there.

It is based on an associative (node and link) architecture not a relational (table and relationships) architecture.

At first glance this might be regarded as a Zachman Framework.  The columns by convention are called focuses.  The rows called perspectives.  The interrogatives make up the column header.  John Zachman offered some poorly chosen row headers which I’ve replaced.  There are two major differences.  First, it requires an additional focus as part of the enterprise, the Market which is measured in potential profit.  It’s time for the academics and bureaucrats to stop turning up their noses to the source of their existence:  a market that will pay in currency to fatten their budgets.  Second, REVISE, the nodes, are something obvious to Einstein; RELATE, the links, something obvious to Drucker (remember the links are verbs); REPORT, the node and link attributes, should be obvious to Thomas Jefferson; RECORD, the databases, to Carnegie; REGARD, the datatypes, to Turing; REPOSE, the ordinality, which remembers whats related to what, REVEAL, the cardinality, full of exceptions to the enterprise.

Structure: Solid, Liquid, Gas

After some reflection, I think the metaphor of structured, semi-structured and unstructured unities is incorrect. For example, there are structured, semi-structured and unstructured data, however the examples Steve Hoffman provides are incorrect. A relational database is structured data, however both a spreadsheet and a text document are both semi-structured data. They are just at either end of a spectrum. Unstructured data is data which is a complete exception–there exists no format to make it readable. Ultimately, it is simply ignored by the system because, though it may have value it cannot be captured.

If my hypothesis is correct, then there is more semi-structured examples of each of the unities than any other type.


Sun Tzu, Water and Unstructured Systems

Systema: Structure

I just read a white paper by Steve Hoberman on Structured, Semi-Structured and Unstructured data. It immediately lead me to take this paradigm and apply it to each of the six unities. This gave me the following table:

For Datum, Steve gave the examples of a relational database for structured, a spreadsheet for semi-structured and a text document for unstructured.

I will be thinking about examples to fill in all the remaining cells.


Tonight I broke out the dictionary and began examining my Latin roots. Spurred on by the term “datum” I decided to go all the way and produce an internally consistent set of terminology for a system:

I have a confession to make.  I abused the Latin a bit.

I recently learned that to enable philosophers of all languages to exchange their work Latin is used as the standard. In working to refine my understanding of system concepts I can see the rationale behind using a language with a thoroughly refined vocabulary and grammar. Dead languages do have utility.