Jared Diamond: Societal Collapse

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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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If You Don’t Like the Speed, Get Off the Ride

We have lived in “exponential times” since the big bang (if there was one)

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Icons: System Security

I have been thinking about system security and the types of threats that malware presents to a system. There really are only four types of Malware: Spyders (Malevolent Select), Viruses (Malevolent Insert), Trojans (Malevolent Update) and Bombs (Malevolent Delete).  I’ve been playing with other terms: Causus (Cause), Ductus (Person), Modus (Function), Datus (Data), Eventus (Event), Locus (Node).  I have also included standard security measures:

I hope these icon ideas get you thinking about system security not just in the context of computer systems.

Systema: Manipulating Relationships

In the last post we looked at entity manipulations. Now let’s look at the next row in the Six Hats Six Coats Framework:

Relationships are all about communication and are subject to the same manipulations as a communication link. We also established earlier that there are six relationship types:

So how do we manipulate these relationships?

The first relationship manipulation is the SELECT:

The SELECT manipulation “snoops” or “eavesdrops” on the relationship between two instances. The relationship is untouched.

The second manipulation is the INSERT:

The INSERT manipulation “throws” or “interjects” into the relationship between two instances. Extra data is added to the relationship, but the original is untouched.

Next is the UPDATE manipulation:

The UPDATE manipulation “spoofs” or “imitates” the relationship between two instances. The original data is changed in value.

Finally we have the DELETE manipulation:

The DELETE manipulation “crashes” or “denies service” between two instances. The original data is completely corrupted or the relationship broken.

And there you have relationship manipulation in a nutshell.

Systema: Manipulating Entities

The Six Hats Six Coats Framework’s first row deals with entities.

Let’s remind ourselves more visually:

In an earlier post I laid out the rows and columns for an entity security table. I’ve now abstractly filled in the cells and will share it with you:

Forgive me for coining new terms to make a consistent vocabulary.

How can these security breaches be described? First, the SELECT manipulation recognizes the instance it is dealing with. Second, the INSERT manipulation adds instances. Third, the UPDATE manipulation corrupts the original instance. Fourth, the DELETE manipulation destroys the instance. Realize that an instance can be a physical goal, a physical person, a physical function, a physical datum, a physical event or a physical node.

mywot.com: Participate in Your Security

Web of Trust (WOT) is a free online community that rates the trustworthiness of websites. It has launched a new interactive component to its product that installs in your browser to provide you with ratings of every site you visit. According to WOT well over eighteen million websites have been rated. It also provides utilities for you to rate any site as well. Rating is based on a simple three level model that I call “life savers”:

Another great feature of the WOT browser plugin is a Google search feature that displays the WOT life saver beside each of the search results:

WOT is available for Firefox and Internet Explorer. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a powerful internet security feature to protect against questionable websites regarding trustworthiness, vendor reliability, privacy and child safety issues.

Bill Mullins gives a more indepth review here.

Visit MyWOT

Social Psychology: How to Win Friends and Influence People

dalecarnegie.jpg

I have been reading Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. I’ve discovered the strategy Carnegie advocates is simply addressing Maslow’s hierarchy from the bottom up in the course of the negotiation. You recognize and appeal to the subject’s physiological needs, security, belonging, esteem, power and conscience, in that order, and you will successfully influence them. Literally a blueprint for persuasion.

  1. Come in sit down. Is there anything I can get you? – Physiological
  2. Let me close the door so we are not disturbed. – Safety/Security
  3. How’s your family? – Belonging/Love
  4. You know your discipline best. – Esteem
  5. It’s up to you. – Self-Actualization
  6. I know you will do the right thing. – Transcendence

Systema: Business Motivation

I have been reading the material produced by the Business Rules Group and it pains me to see the lack of grounding these people have. They have created a mess of explicit relationships that don’t have any implicit relevance. They do not recognize in the least what actually motivates an organization.

Let me call up one of my most recent Six Hats, Six Coats tables:

sts-entities-04.jpg

If you look at the CAUSE column you will see the six levels of motivation for a system. And we all know that an organization is a system.So let’s define each of these motivations from the top down:

  1. Reality – to make its internal conscience complement its customer’s conscience
  2. Unity – to make its internal governance complement its customer’s governance
  3. Quality – to make its internal profession complement its customer’s profession
  4. Quantity – to make its internal education complement its customer’s education
  5. Security – to make its internal estate complement its customer’s estate
  6. Regularity – to make its internal cycles complement its customer’s cycles

That is it. Those are all the business rules you need.

Related Posts:

Systema: Seven Hats, Seven Links

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.

System Security

John Zachman’s use of the basic interrogatives to define a system lends itself to alternative analysis. One of these cases is system security. When it comes to security there are only four acts you can commit: Select, Insert, Update and Delete. However, you can commit these acts for each of the Zachman Framework Focuses: Data, Network, Motive, Process, People, Time and each of the Zachman Perspectives: Conceptual, Contextual, Logical, Physical, Mechanical, Instantial. What you have as a product is not just a security table, but a security cube. Below is an example of a security table defining 24 possible violations:

systemsecurity.jpg

A security cube would define 4 x 6 x 6 = 264 possible violations. It should be added that violations do not always work in isolation. For example spyware is a procedural insert and data selection. How many cells in the security cube would be affected if a plane crashed into one of your facilities?

It is also important to note that preventing snooping (or sniffing) is often an effective way to prevent the other three manipulation operations.  What they can’t see can’t hurt you.