The Brain: Open Source Innovation

Came across the Open Source Innovation blog today. It is not the way I would present innovative thinking, however it introduces many different techniques and good books on the topic.

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Ambigrams

An ambigram, also known as an inversion, is a graphical figure that spells out a word not only in its form as presented, but also in another direction or orientation. This is typically when viewed as a mirror-image or when rotated through 180 degrees. The word usually is not a palindrome, although it may be. Sometimes the word spelled out from the alternate direction may be a different one, but for mirror-image ambigrams the canonical form spells out the same word.

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Ambigrams in their modern form are a conception of John Langdon who compiled his work in his 1992 book Wordplay.

However, ambigrams were made famous through Dan Brown’s novel Angels & Demons.

I first came across the following ambigram in a copy of Omni magazine in the early 1980s

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Here is the same ambigram upside down:

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and found them to be a great mental excercise. Langdon discusses his technique in his article “Typographic Dopplegangers”.

This is the most famous commercial ambigram in Canada:

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Voice of Amercia also uses an ambigram for its logo:

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Here is a hastily drawn ambigram of my first name:

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The most awesome piece of name ambigram software is at Ambrigram.com’s Flipscript Designer

I also recommend a very good ambigram blog Ambigrams by Nagfa from one of my favorite countries, Singapore. Ambigram artists from all over the world contribute to this blog to share ideas and compete. I consider it the best of all the sites I have found.  Here is one they graciously did for me:

This is another artform Nagfa does:

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An ambigram tutorial can be found at Ambigrams.net

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Another ambigram site that has increased in popularity is Wow Tattoos.  This is the site of Mark Palmer who has made a career of ambigram tattoos such as the “singularity” tattoo above.

I came across this bilingual Chinese English ambigram at David Moser’s Chinese Ambigram Site

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Here’s something really innovative by ambigram artist Amafirlian on flicker (available in many sizes) called “fire”:

I just found this elegant ambigram below by Tiffany Harvey who does custom work through her site WordIllusion.com

Here’s a nice example of the name “Karen” from Ambigraphix:

Karen Ambigram by Ambigrafix

“AS YOU WISH”, here’s an ambigram that will keep on giving to the ladies in your life (click on the image to go to amazon.com, no catch):

https://i1.wp.com/ken-jennings.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/12/princessbride.jpg

And in closing I found this at The Roman Empire Blog:

Ambigram
(image: geekologie.com, via suck.uk.com)

I recommend playing with ambigrams yourself to increase your mental flexibility.

I also add to this collection every month or so.  Please drop in again sometime.

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Approach and Reapproach

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This is an interesting site about mazes using graphical techniques. When I look at the examples I am reminded of my approach and reapproach of core concepts to have new insights. This a key element of mental flexibility. It is not wrong to attempt again and again to solve the same problem. It is wrong to attempt again and again to solve the same problem with the same approach.  It should also be recognized that differences in problem and approach can be subtle.

Intelligence is not Behaviour but Prediction

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

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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.

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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.

Sanity (revisited)

After a bit of reflection it occurred to me that each of the data manipulation operations reflects each of the four aspects of sanity I discussed earlier. It is almost as if being granted these operations by your mind is being granted your degree of health.

  1. Select
  2. Insert
  3. Update
  4. Delete

If you have select privilege you are able to focus. If you have insert privilege you are allowed flexibility. If you have update privilege you maintain objectivity. If you have delete privilege you are permitting yourself to be resilient.

It should be noted that you not only grant these privileges to yourself. You grant them to other people as well. Then the security cube can become personally relevant defining your simplicity or complexity as a person. The same goes for any system you design.

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.