The Zen of Systems and Networks

zencircle01

My own work with Enterprise Frameworks and Networks has led me to come up with the following table.  It describes the Nodes and Links in a Complete System Network.  I am saying that the Nodes representing Goals, People, Time, Locations, Code, Data, Qualities and Quantities can all be represented as Scale-free Networks and that each of these Node Networks require only one datatype.  I am also saying that there are only three types of links in networks: recursive links within a set, multiple links between sets, single links between sets.  I know of no case where this has been attempted in the manner I am attempting to represent it.

systemnetworkslinks1

If you have been following my blog you are aware that I have been struggling for a long time to come up with a framework and a clean terminological set to describe systems.  I think I have come one step closer to that goal today.  The table above describes a Fact composed of eight Nodes (first white row illustrating entities) and the Links (last three white rows illustrating recursive, multiple and singular relationships) for each of the System Networks (Interrogative columns).  One of the interesting aspects of this System Network Model is every Fact is composed of a Unique Set of all eight Nodes.  However, all the Nodes in one Fact do not have to have Links to all the Nodes in another Fact.  Each Node within a Fact is independent regarding its Links.  Therefore you have a single set of System Facts with each Fact containing a single set of Interrogative Nodes each connected by their respective Link Networks.

I have recently been writing with the intent to challenge centrism on any one of these networks and advocate a more integrated view. I still remember dealing with data centrism, event centrism, user centrism, goal centrism, program centrism and schedule centrism over the course of my career. All of them have a role to play. My insight into all of these Nouns being Linked by Verbs in only three ways required me to look at all of the Enterprise Architectures and disengtangle the Nouns, Links and Verbs from the reasoning and representations that extend back beyond computing itself.

The Data Model below is a hybrid of Relational Models and Dimensional Models.  I call this an Associational Model.  It is using Relational Architecture to represent it.  However, I think that an alternate Entity-Attribute-Value (EAV) architecture called the Associative Model of Data would be better suited to the task.  I am using relational representation as I am still trying to communicate with a community only familiar with Relational technology.

The first thing to note about this model is Links are represented by Associations.  Associations link two Nouns using a Verb.  What is interesting about this model is every Verb, Association, Noun and Fact is unique.  The vertical connections are Many to Many relationships which allow two vertically adjacent Verbs, Associations or Nouns to have multiple unique relationships between each other.  What this means is there are no integrity problems (duplicate values) as the system network would enforce uniqueness.

amdschema031

The premise of this model is that the Nodes are not dimensions at all.  I am rejecting the traditional concept of dimensionality instead I am saying that there are three dimensions of Links: recursive, multiple and singular.  All we perceive are Facts, Nodes and the Links between them.

So you could come away with the following Zen koan:

entity without entity,

source without source,

path without path,

target without target,

size without size,

dimension without dimension.

Jared Diamond: Societal Collapse

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more about “Jared Diamond: System Collapse“, posted with vodpod

If you listen carefully to what Jared Diamond is saying in the TED video above, he is describing not a five part, but a six part power curve into a systemic singularity. This has been one of the core themes of discussion of this blog.  We all seem to be too close to our problems to see the commonality.  The interrogatives come into play here:

  1. Goals
  2. People
  3. Functions
  4. Forms
  5. Times
  6. Distances

Times and Distances being the basis on which the higher orders are built.

When we look at the recent economic “crisis” we see 300 trillion in currency circulating and roughly 1 trillion to 2 trillion shifting suddenly and unexpectedly.  We witnessed a systemic collapse, a singularity, a tipping point, a power curve, an exponential change, a phase transition or whatever label you want to call it.  These have been happening everywhere since Time and Distance began in different contexts and orders both in human and non-human systems.

What Jared Diamond and other alarmists are implying is that human society is now a system approaching its final singularity in this century on this planet.  We are implying that today we are experiencing a less than one percent crisis on a power curve into a singularity.  How many more iterations will the global system withstand?  Will humanity make the step into space successfully before we experience a global dark age?  How will the six or more factors in the power curve play out?

The truth to me appears to be that power curves whether they play out or not result in either a systemic climax or anti-climax followed by a systemic collapse.  Would it not be better if we experienced a systemic climax that led to us expanding into the solar system?

Systemic collapse seems to be the fashion of this generation.  Every generation looks with fascination at its own youth, maturition, reproduction and acceleration into mortality.  Some die early, some die late, but all die.  It is an irrevocable law of nature.  It is not about self-interest.  It is about what self-interest is defined as.

Related Posts:

Beyond the Singularity

Servitas and Libertas

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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.

Six Unities Analysis: SuiteTwo

I have recently been exposed to a new Intel intranet appliance product called SuiteTwo. SuiteTwo is an integration of MoveableType, SocialText, NewsGator, SimpleFeed, VisiblePath and SpikeSource for the enterprise to take advantage of Blogs, Wikis, Social Networking, RSS feeds, RSS aggregation and Open Source internally. Apparently, eager clients are offering plenty of ideas to even further enhance SuiteTwo and its integrated products, but let’s take a moment to analyze what an ideal tool would ultimately do from the ground up from the perspective of the Six Unities.

Note: the Six Unities are resource groups and resources are both internal and external to the enterprise.

Location – Contact Resources

Locations for each of the entities for each of the unities would be available. I would be able to track the location of staff and inventory according to internal and external coordinates be it geographic, facility, postal, telecom, internet or any other. These are all the enterprise’s touch points. Where are we receiving and transmitting to/from the enterprise? REPOSE. Where the resource contacts.

Trigger – Event Resources

Activations for each of the entities for each of the unities would be available. Ultimately, all events are reactive–dependent on internal or external entities. REFLEX. When the resource contacts.

Data – Product Resources

Inventories of all entities for each of the unities. I would know the quality and quantity of any fixed, virtual and liquid assets of the company according to internal and/or external metrics internally and externally. Data is a repository of all enterprise resources allowing check in and check out. RECORD. What the resource contacts.

Information – Service Resources

Functions performed by all the entities for each of the unities. Whether digital, mechanical or manual all the processes would be documented in human readable form. The work and play done and being done within the enterprise and externally. REPORT. How the resource contacts.

Knowledge – Human Resources

Social Network for all entities for all unities. In every case someone is responsible for every entity internally and externally. Who are we, who do we report to, who do we share with internally and externally? RELATE. Who the resource contacts.

Wisdom – Policy Resources

Meaning and mantra for every entity for every unity. It is important to know the motive of everyone and everything both internally and externally that involves the system in order to know whether they will abide by the greater goal of the enterprise. Why are we united according to internal and external rules? REVISE. Why the resource contacts.

Take a look at the products SuiteTwo integrates and ask yourself if they answer the needs of the six unities. In my opinion SocialText’s Wiki is bearing the brunt of the requirements, but does it stand up? I don’t think it does, because it does not correctly incorporate location, event and inventory.

Links:

SuiteTwo

movabletype

SocialText

NewsGator

Systema

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.

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Systema: Off with the Hats, Off with the Coats

In having attempted to think with the Six Thinking Hats metaphor developed by Edward de Bono and attemping to extend it by creating a Six Coat metaphor, I came to the conclusion that Edward was taking the wrong approach. He was using different colors, but he was not differentiating by shape. Consequently, his mnemonic device was hard to retain.

Using the icons I created in the previous post I am now going to abandon Six Hats, Six Coats and abstract the Zachman Framework for Enterprise Architecture using these new mnemonic devices. I hope to improve them with time.

zachmanframework04.jpg

What is not recognized by John Zachman and Enterprise Architects is that the rows and columns of the framework are synonymous and fixed. That indeed there is only one methodology. This means the following:

  1. All concepts are created only by motives. Each motive has a unique set of the six focus concepts or entities.
  2. All contexts are created only by people. Each person has a unique set of the six focus contexts or relationships.
  3. All logics are created only by functions. Each function has a unique set of the six focus logics or attributes.
  4. All physics are created only by data. Each datum has a unique set of the six focus physics or constraints.
  5. All spherics are created only by nodes. Each node has a unique set of the six focus spherics or definitions.
  6. All episodics are created only by events. Each event has a uniques set of the six focus episodics or manipulations.

This is what social networks are teaching us on a smaller scale. When we look at a social network we are seeing contexts being created by persons. But there are five additional focuses (motives, functions, data, nodes, events) that create five additional perspectives (concepts, logics, physics, spherics and episodics) respectively. This we do not fully understand or apply.

Although our thinking is organic and we do not recognize the above framework, any reproduction and refinement of the results would require recording and executing them in this disciplined fashion.