Systema: Six Hats, Six Coats and Holons

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.


While I was maintaining my site I came across a search string that lead to my site. One of the keywords was “holon” and I decided to look into the term.

The term holon originated with Arthur Koestler in his book Ghost in the Machine. It describes the existence of independent systems which are subsystems to larger independent systems as well as being composed of smaller independent subsystems. This chain of more significant and more fundamental independent systems is called a “holarchy”.


The Six Hats, Six Coats Framework’s independent entities–rules, nodes, data, functions, people, events– are holons, which form the larger holon of an independent system, which in turn is part of ever more significant holons. Each of the framework’s independent entities are also composed of more fundamental holons. Relationships, attributes, constraints, definitions and manipulations are not holons because they cannot exist independent of their entities.

Check out the links on this post to learn more.

Quadrant Theory

Judah Thornewill predicts: “Major online internet useage research firms will record that over 3 billion people in 2025 managed their incoming and outgoing digital information using a graphical user interface based on Quadrant Theory – as described in Marshall McLuhan’s “Tetrad” model in Laws of Media, Ken Wilber’s Holon in Sex, Ecology Spirituality, and R Buckminster Fuller’s Tetrahedral structures in Synergetics.”


I think this is an interesting prediction by someone trying to develop a product based on an unexplained concept. However the project appears to have vanished along with the website. What I plan to glean from it is Ken Wilber’s work. I plan to give it a read.