Systema: Seven Hats, Seven Links

watch-parts1

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.

sevenhats2.jpg

For the longest time I have been playing with interrogatives and associations.  Now, I think I finally have a complete representation and taxonomy.

Abstractly, it looks like the following:

enterpriseabstract3

Concretely, it appears as follows:

enterpriseseven5

As I mentioned in my earlier post, I was not satisfied with a six interrogative, four association model.  Consequently, I worked to resolve this and came up with the table above with the interrogative columns (seven hats) and the associative rows (seven coats).  I also came up with the data model below:

enterprisefact1

My hypothesis is, used correctly, the above data model can address all relational/dimensional requirements.

Related Posts:

Jared Diamond: Societal Collapse

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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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The Brain: Hardwiring and Softwiring

I’m just finishing a very fine book by Steven Pinker, The Languange Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language

and several years ago I read Donald D. Hoffman’s book, Visual Intelligence: How We Create What We See. Both books deal with the same subject: What part of our minds are hardwired–instinct–and what parts of our minds are softwired–reason. It is a truly fascinating exploration.

Stephen Pinker in The Language Instinct very thoroughly explores all the aspects of spoken language. He discusses how broken pidgin languages are turned into grammatically rich creoles by children. He explains that whether a person learns a language or not they can have complex thought he calls Mentalese. He explains Chomsky’s concept of a Universal Grammar and how, with language, learning does not cause mental complexity, but mental complexity causes learning. He reveals that children have an acute sense of the morphology of words and rapidly acquire vocabulary as listemes because of the nature of the relationship between child, adult and reality. The perception of speech as well as the physical production of speech is explored. How we derive meaning from language rejects the technical concept of packets being transmitted and received for a much more subjective process of interpretation. The ability of children to learn language is treated as an evolutionary trade off existing only long enough to adopt the tribes language and then shutdown to make way for other special priorities. The “Language Organ” or region of the brain that is responsible for speech is narrowed down. The chain of being is pushed aside for the bush of evolution to reveal that hundreds of thousands of generations existed for language and homo sapiens sapiens to evolve separate from all our other primate cousins. The difference between living spoken language is separated from living written language, the discipline required for each and the fact that language is never in decay. Finally the relativism of the Standard Social Science Model (SSSM) or tabula rasa as proposed by Margaret Mead is rejected, Pinker takes sides with the Evolutionary Psychologists stating that environment alone cannot create the complexity of the mind, the mind must have many complex modules to be able to learn from the environment at all. He discusses Donald E. Brown’s Universal Person (UP) inspired by Chomsky’s Universal Grammar (UG). Finally, Pinker tries to define the modules of the human mind and here I get excited as I find I am able to fit them easily into the Six Hats, Six Coats model. Pinker says that language is a system and extrapolates to say humans are a system of both hardwiring and softwiring.

Hoffman’s book deals with an aspect of mind that more easily subscribes to the module concept than language because it is a much more detached, empirical exercise to test for the visual hardwiring that humans have through the use of visual illusions. Hoffman takes us through many aspects of vision such as facial recognition, edge and shadow and color and the perceptual development of children to reveal what appears to be hardwired and softwired. He concludes with a relativistic statement, but I think that he chooses this because of the political desire of scientists to distance themselves from the eugenics of the first half of the 20th century instead of an objective conclusion that, yes, we have a complex module in our brain specifically hardwired and softwired for vision as used by our species. In other words, when presented with the depth of Steven Pinker’s work compared to the breadth of Donald Hoffman’s work, I believe that we do have a vision instinct.

All in all I believe that Steven Pinker’s and Donald Hoffman’s work is revealing that humans minds are far more than just an empty neural net at birth. That in fact there is an evolved complex predefined structure that humans make use of through the learning stages of childhood to understand their environment that diminishes to adult levels at puberty. Consequently, no form of Artificial Intelligence will succeed unless it also comes with a robust collection of Artificial Instincts.

Related Article:

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.

Systema: Mix Thirty-Six

I came up with this representation of de Bono’s “Six Thinking Hats” and Zachman’s “Framework Focuses” early in this blog’s lifetime. I am hoping I have achieved the final form as we see it here. The major change is the switch between the last two rows and the switch between the last two columns. I consider this structure a fixed hierarchy both vertically and horizontally.

As part of my reflection upon this I created a table to think about the various hexads I’ve encountered:

One thing I realize from this exercise is that events are the definitions of the system. If you do not define an event you will never observe it. In other words, you cannot see what you are not looking for. Nodes are the instances of the system and provide the affordances the outside world can manipulate.

You can also see here that I have categorized cause, energy and time as “logical” and observer, mass and space as “physical”. I am just playing here, but what are the potential implications? Could cause, energy and time be simply logical constructs? Could observer, mass and space be the only truly physical constructs?

Related Post:

Systema: Seven Hats, Seven Links

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.

Om: The Perfection

hermanhess03.jpgsiddhartha.jpg

“Do you hear?” Vasudeva’s mute gaze asked. Siddhartha nodded.

“Listen better!” Vasudeva whispered.

Siddhartha made an effort to listen better. The image of his father, his own image, the image of his son merged, Kamala’s image also appeared and was dispersed, and the image of Govinda, and other images, and they merged with each other, turned all into the river, headed all, being the river, for the goal, longing, desiring, suffering, and the river’s voice sounded full of yearning, full of burning woe, full of unsatisfiable desire. For the goal, the river was heading, Siddhartha saw it hurrying, the river, which consisted of him and his loved ones and of all people, he had ever seen, all of these waves and waters were hurrying, suffering, towards goals, many goals, the waterfall, the lake, the rapids, the sea, and all goals were reached, and every goal was followed by a new one, and the water turned into vapour and rose to the sky, turned into rain and poured down from the sky, turned into a source, a stream, a river, headed forward once again, flowed on once again. But the longing voice had changed. It still resounded, full of suffering, searching, but other voices joined it, voices of joy and of suffering, good and bad voices, laughing and sad ones, a hundred voices, a thousand voices.

Siddhartha listened. He was now nothing but a listener, completely concentrated on listening, completely empty, he felt, that he had now finished learning to listen. Often before, he had heard all this, these many voices in the river, today it sounded new. Already, he could no longer tell the many voices apart, not the happy ones from the weeping ones, not the ones of children from those of men, they all belonged together, the lamentation of yearning and the laughter of the knowledgeable one, the scream of rage and the moaning of the dying ones, everything was one, everything was intertwined and connected, entangled a thousand times. And everything together, all voices, all goals, all yearning, all suffering, all pleasure, all that was good and evil, all of this together was the world. All of it together was the flow of events, was the music of life. And when Siddhartha was listening attentively to this river, this song of a thousand voices, when he neither listened to the suffering nor the laughter, when he did not tie his soul to any particular voice and submerged his self into it, but when he heard them all, perceived the whole, the oneness, then the great song of the thousand voices consisted of a single word, which was Om: the perfection.

“Do you hear,” Vasudeva’s gaze asked again.

Siddhartha

Herman Hess

When I read this passage, I am amazed at the parallels between Siddhartha’s river and the internet. And the more social networks propagate the more voices the listener hears until he hears only one voice, the perfect “Om” of the global web.

As far as the Six Hats, Six Coats Methodology goes I see six rivers I am gradually trying to merge into one. I have coined the term PerfectionRiver for this goal. And as an analyst and designer, Vasudeva’s whisper, “Listen better!” holds the key to success.

Related Posts:

Systema: Seven Hats, Seven Links

Science: Some Constructive Criticism

Recently I received an email from a long time colleague who came across my blog. He’s a very bright chap, so I decided to share the content with you. However, I can’t leave his comments unaddressed consequently I have inserted my responses in the text. — relationary

Dear Grant,

I have a few comments for you regarding the blog. please take them as
constructive criticism. I am happy and inspired to see someone so
enthusiastic about uncovering and learning things, but I am also a bit
concerned for you that you may be spinning your wheels on something.

If this means I keep returning to basic principles, I’m guilty.

1. You mention that you agree that there “is no box” to think outside
of. Much of your blog is related to the six hats/coats system where you
attempt to come up with a very generic system of classification for many
different processes. I would say that in general, any system of
classification is really “a box” in itself. It has no predictive
abilities and does not simplify or explain the relationships between
things – it is a set of buckets that you come up with to group concepts
into. Systems of classification can be practical and useful, and can
help to uncover greater realizations, but they can also in a sense
create or reinforce a fixed way of explaining and thinking about things
(a box) and stifle innovation/creativity. Have you heard the saying that
some achieve impressive things because they are too ignorant, or have
not yet been told that they don’t have the ability to do it? A system of
classification tells you how the world is. It does not tell you how it
works, or tell you how to explore things.

Actually, the Six Hats, Six Coats model is a framework for analyzing or designing systems. The modeling techniques it is based on have predictive capabilities. However, I have taken the Six Hats, Six Coats concept and created a simple classification system as well. On this I agree, not everything will fit snugly, but it is a good starting point.

As an example, the common set of human races (black, white, spanish,
arab, chinese, oriental, etc..) is a system of classification, and a
very arbitrary one based on external appearance or cultural origins. It
can help us to understand certain types of things, but it causes
problems and limits the way people think about other people. I would say
that genetics and mapping the human genome is the real breakthrough that
will in the future allow us to truly explain (and control) why and how
life works and evolves. If I was you I’d strive to be the geneticist
rather than to spend time determining which buckets to categorize things
or people into.

In genetics we have four building blocks or monomers known as G A T and C. Billions of these make up DNA. In the same way the six interrogatives: why, who, how, what, where and when, are the building blocks of complex networks that comprise a computer system.

Humans have asked questions and tried to understand things for a long
time. The interrogatives are the linguistic basis as to how humans
investigate, ask, and describe things. The three fundamental units of
measurement can be used to describe all of the other units of
measurement. Please don’t take this the wrong way, but to me it is not a
huge discovery that most systems we already understand can be framed or
described in terms of the the interrogatives and basic units of measure
that we have. It’s kind of like saying “anything we currently know about
or understand can be explained with the terms we use to explain things.”
or like saying “I can express any whole number as a series of digits.”

The assertion I am making is many analysts and designers do not address all the interrogatives when they are working with a system and consequently they build a less than satisfactory product.


All 6 of your hat/coat concepts relate to how humans sense, express, or
understand the world around them. Because your system of classification
is based and trapped within the confines of how humans currently view
the world that is what makes the classification system a box. I believe
that Einstein, Newton and others all pushed outside of the known and
accepted world which is why they are recognized as discovering something
new and expanding our knowledge.

The thinkers referred to observed the universe around them and large amounts of historical observations and worked out a means to incorporate all the exceptions to the theories of their day by creating new theories. They did not expand our knowledge, they expanded our wisdom.

Your background is in databases/information systems. Maybe that is why
you are so interested in classifying things, but as a suggestion, maybe
it would be interesting to try to explore something that gives new
understanding. (I’m one to talk, I have a physics degree that I’ve done
very little with ;^)

Yes, I classify everything. That’s the reason I see that the six interrogatives hold all the key components of physics: cause, observer, energy, mass, space and time.

The concepts of time, space and mass each have their own related
interrogative as you point out. Why do people and things have two
similar but different interrogatives Who/What, but temperature and
emotion which are not tangible things share the interrogative with
physical things (We ask “What is the temperature”, “what is an
emotion”?) Why don’t we have a separate interrogative that begins with
wh for non-tangible things? (Whelt is the temperature? Whelt is your
emotional state? Whelt is the colour of the truck? What is that round
thing sitting on the chair?) It seems quite arbitrary to me, and
probably stems from human nature to frame things in terms of causes,
people, locations, things, and time. The set of interrogatives we have
are based on human nature, and culture not on some universal, basic or
complete set of interrogatives that exists. I’ve heard that some native
American languages do not have tenses. Are there other languages that
have missing or additional interrogatives in relation to English?

I am of the opinion that the six interrogatives are all that are needed. The complexity increases but the building blocks are always the six interrogatives.

2.You quote Einstein as:
Energy = Mass * Space / Time / Time

That is not correct in two different ways.

1st, Einstein was not the first one to say that Energy is expressed in
terms of mass, space and time. Einstein was the first to say that mass
and energy were convertible (or equivalent) between each other, and that
the relationship between the the mass and energy produced is E=mc^2.
Long before Einstein, physicists had defined the concept of energy, and
measured it in terms of mass*space*space/time/time.

Secondly, energy is expressed in units of “Mass * Space * Space / Time /
Time”.

E=force exerted over a distance = f * d = a mass accelerating over a
distance = m * a * d = m * d / t^2 * d = m * d * d / t / t.

Thank you for the correction. I have modified the relevant post.

Anyway, take care and hopefully all is well with you. Nice to stumble
across your blog and see an old face that I haven’t seen in a while.

Ciao,
Leon

Thanks again, my friend.

Systema: Aristotle and the Six Unities

aristotle.jpg

Aristotle in his work Poetics defined what he termed, “the three unities”. The neoclassical form of these unities are defined as unity of action, unity of place and unity of time. Basically they were constraints placed on any dramatic work.

  1. The unity of action: a play should have one main action that it follows, with no or few subplots.
  2. The unity of place: a play should cover a single physical space and should not attempt to compress geography, nor should the stage represent more than one place.
  3. The unity of time: the action in a play should take place over no more than 24 hours.

These are excellent principles for the design of an interactive system. But considering the Six Hats, Six Coats concept I want to add three more unities:

  1. The unity of matter: a play should have only the props required by the actions.
  2. The unity of goal: a play should have only one moral.
  3. The unity of people: a play should have only the cast required to execute the actions.

So, there you have it. A modification of the neoclassical interpretation of Aristotle’s unities and another pillar in support of the Six Hats, Six Coats model.

computersastheatre.jpg

For further reading on using drama theory for interaction design, I suggest Brenda Laurel’s book Computers as Theatre.