The Six Hats, Six Coats Framework

“You’ve come a long way baby.” — Virginia Slims

I have been attempting to come up with a means to communicate some of my insights without losing the heart of the Six Hats, Six Coats metaphor. I was sick of repeating the graphic without adding much more content. Finally, I have come up with the Six Hats, Six Coats Framework.

First, let’s refresh on what the Six Hats represent:


REVISE: Conceptualize. Expand Meaning. What are you enhancing or making right? Creativity.

RELATE: Contextualize. Focus on Uniqueness. What is your mantra? Relativity.

REPORT: Logicalize. Maximize Value. What are you normalizing to the limit? Optimicity.

RECORD: Physicalize. Minimize Cost. What is your business model? Pessimicity.

REFINE: Mechanicalize. Humanize Interaction. How do you lower the barriers to adoption? Anthropicity.

REPEAT: Operationalize. Synchronize. Increase Availability. How do you make yourself convenient? Synchronicity.

Second, lets refresh on what the Six Coats represent:


MOTIVE: Motivational. Why? Concepts affected.

LOCALE: Spatial. Where? Contexts affected.

OBJECT: Formal. What? Logics affected.

METHOD: Functional. How? Physics affected.

PERSON: Personal. Who? Humans affected.

MOMENT: Temporal. When? Synchrons affected.

Now, let’s look at some of our concepts in within the Six Hats, Six Coats Framework.

The first is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (rows) and the Zachman Focuses (columns):


Second is McLuhan’s Laws of Media (rows) and the Zachman Focuses (columns):


Third is Moffett’s Universe of Discourse (rows) and the Zachman Focuses (columns):


The Data, Information, Knowledge and Wisdom Model hierarchy (rows) and Zachman Focuses (columns):


Now, we are going to break the rules. Perhaps we will see something we hadn’t considered.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (rows) and Moffett’s Universe of Discourse (columns):


McLuhan’s Laws of Media (rows) and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (columns):


McLuhan’s Laws of Media (rows) and Moffett’s Universe of Discourse (columns):


Second last, “old reliable”, an abstract representation of the Zachman Framework:


Finally, one I call “Puzzles and Pieces”:


Hope you might see something new. It is sort of an ad nauseum excercise in search of a new pattern. Personally, I am reflecting on the similarity of multiple systems of thought about systems. “Puzzles and Pieces” was the outcome for me so far. The top three rows are the relationships above the individual entities (ie. Networks above Nodes) and the bottom three rows are the relationships below the individual entities (ie. Nodas below Nodes). I had to create some new terms for the focuses of the lower three rows.

See the latest version of the Six Hats, Six Coats Framework here.

Since I have created this framework I have made considerable progress and simplification you can see the result of this here.

relationary six hats, six coats framework relationary six hats, six coats framework relationary six hats, six coats framework

The Six Hats, Six Coats Rack

Now that we have been exploring the Six Hats, Six Coats metaphor, I want to bring back the Zachman Framework as an abstract.


The term “relations” is equivalent to “tables”. “Associations” is equivalent to “rows”. “Attributes” is equivalent to columns. “Domains” is equivalent to “valid values”. “Definitions” is equivalent to “affordances”. “Manipulations” is equivalent to “transactions”.

You can see when we abstract in this way the correlation with the Six Hats, Six Coats metaphor is complete.


So why create the two models? I created the Six Hats, Six Coats model to have a neutral workspace to reveal how many other hexads exist and correlate. We have seen how Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs,


and McLuhan’s Tetrads


can all be extended to fit onto this framework. And I will continue to incorporate more elements as they present themselves.

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.

Moffett and Intelligent Self-Interest

Let’s pull up Moffett’s Universe again:


Now watch Robert Wright and think about our intelligence moving from top-left to bottom-right on Moffett’s universe for cooperation to trump conflict.

Intelligence, Moffett and Zachman

Way back when I posted the following table:


This table represents James Moffett’s “Universe of Discourse” from his book, Teaching the Universe of Discourse. I recently read a blog post by John Wesley discussing memory as cognition and metacognition and it made Moffett’s universe all the more relevant. Jeff Hawkins of the Redwood Neuroscience Institute was of the opinion that a theory of mind would focus on prediction. When I stopped and put these two together, I realized that a complete theory of mind would actually encompass Moffett’s universe. John Wesley’s blog dealt with “reporting” and Jeff Hawkins theory dealt with “theorizing”.

If we use Moffett’s universe as a map for the theory of intelligence we can see that intelligence is separated into a data dimension and a people dimension. According to the universe there are sixteen different facets of intelligence. Let’s look at the Moffett universe more abstractly:


But in the light of the Zachman Framework that is not all there is to intelligence or to the universe of discourse for that matter. An intelligent system according to the Zachman framework does not have two, but six dimensions.


If we look at the six dimensions afforded by the Zachman framework we see there is not only a “recording” component or a “prediction” component on a one dimensional axis that deals with only data. We also see that there is not only a data dimension and people dimension. We in fact discover that there is “spatial” intelligence (network), “causal” intelligence (motive), “process” intelligence (function) and “chronological” intelligence (time).

It is fascinating how a simple six dimensional model can create such a complex interplay.

I am of the opinion that each of these facets has a certain amount of hard wiring in the brain.

Intelligence is not Behaviour but Prediction

Came across a video of Jeff Hawkins of the Redwood Neuroscience Institute explaining brain theory.


Remember, the above diagram as you view the video. Also think about the Universe of Discourse as explained by James Moffett. The theory has already been hinted at.

Tetrad Theories

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


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.