Om: The Perfection

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“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

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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

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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.

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

Systema: Six Coats, Six Networks

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One of my core beliefs about the Six Hats, Six Coats concept is all six of the coats (or as Zachman calls them, focuses) are three dimensional networks.

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These six networks have a unique intersection between them for each change in node in any of the networks.

One thing I have been thinking about is the connections between nodes. I have been asking myself “What are the connections for each of the networks?” I have reached the following conclusion: All nodes and edges of all networks are relative to the observing system.

Related Posts:

Systema: Seven Hats, Seven Links

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Systema: Whyever? Part 1

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Over the past few weeks I have been reflecting on the concept of a Business Motivation Model and have thought about it in the context of physics as “cause”. The Business Rules Group attempted to create a Business Motivation Model, but I came to the conclusion they have failed. When they should have been attempting to create a notational system, they instead came up with a generalized business model.

The purpose of the “Why” focus in the Zachman Framework and correspondingly the Six Hats, Six Coats Framework, is to gauge the order of the system. The Green Hat row and Green Coat Column describe how legalistic the system is–how many causes a system contains.

The best way to think about the causality of a system is not business rules, but game theory. In particular, causality as a three dimensional network relating strategies. A good Business Motivation Model notation would allow the modeler to represent the strategies of all parties, how they interact and the expected outcomes. The Extensive Form Game notation is a good start but I think with some work I could come up with something better.

Part 2 here.

Related Posts:

Systema: Seven Hats, Seven Links

Systema: Seven Revolutions…or is it Six?

Came across the Seven Revolutions website and explored it to conclude that they want us to think about the six interrogatives globally over the next 20 years. That’s what I said, six not seven. Their classification system is incorrect. However, do not let this stop you from exploring the site. It is worth the effort.

So ask yourself, how will the following change over the next 20 years:

  1. Existence – Light, Air, Water, Food, Climate, Sensation
  2. Estate – Security, Property, Shelter, Mobility, Perception
  3. Education – Communication, Assembly, Speech, Media, Data
  4. Employment – Professions, Trades, Processes, Methods, Information
  5. Governance – Leadership, Followership, Relationships, Knowledge
  6. Conscience – Religion, Philosophy, Moral Law, Cause, Wisdom

Systema: Six Coats visits InWobble

I have just come from the site InWobble.com . I visited section two, “Learn the Model” and came away thinking, “There is a seed idea there.” What I also concluded was that the concept was simple, but too simple.

I decided to look at it from a Six Coats perspective:

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Three key areas that can be grouped:

  1. Cause and Observer – Moral Law and Command
  2. Energy and Matter – Training and Discipline
  3. Space and Time – Terrain and Climate

All six of these personal characteristics have to be in balance for you to live in the present. I decided to allude to Sun Tzu’s military perspective, but let’s hearken back to InWobble for a minute. If you look at the Six Coats and then the InWobble model, you quickly discover the InWobble model definition of “Space” is a catch all and the breadth of emotions: choice, clarity and focus is pretty limited. Why do we have two chronological emotions and only one spatial emotion?

The Six Coats model would recommend six needs and twelve emotions and twelve emotion+thoughts. The needs would be shifting constantly as you tried to remain within your continually changing personal boundaries over the course of time. Who we are changes as we change contexts.

Let’s not fool ourselves, there is not one self in the manner we might think. We have a set of compartmentalized personas psychologically, social-psychologically and sociologically and we open a specific compartment depending on each context. Each of our personas has its own suitable Moral Law, Command, Training, Discipline, Terrain and Climate for a context. An “identity crisis” occurs when no identity/persona meets the requirements of the context and the outcome of attempting to adapt is the lifeblood of our priests, our politicians, our professionals, our students, our families and our own hearts.

Perhaps the achievement of Zen or understanding the Tao is achieving an identity/persona suitable to all contexts.

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