3 years, 1 month ago

Learning and the limits of automation

One of the themes that came up in the Vlerick Business School session on EA-roadmaps was around how long it takes to learn how to develop the skills needed to do enterprise-architecture – and how and why to learn them,

3 years, 10 months ago

28 Design Principles for an Enterprise Architecture SharePoint Community

Earlier in the year I was thinking about how best to establish a knowledge community for a team of Enterprise Architects. The tool of choice was Microsoft SharePoint. I started by laying out a set of design principles which I felt were appropriate for the community design to conform. Naturally this proved to be a […]

4 years, 3 months ago

The QEXL Approach (Healthcare Biggest Data) – Universal Healthcare Interoperability based on Probabilistic Ontology

Conquering Uncertainties Creating Infinite Possibilities (Possible application :- Achieving Algorithmic Driven ACO) Acknowledgements :- Dr. Barry Robson notes and conversation; including Effort of Quantal Semantics Inc. Introduction The QEXL Approach is a Systems Thinking driven technique that has been designed with the intension of developing “Go To Market” solutions for Healthcare Big Data applications requiring integration […]

4 years, 7 months ago

From Enabling Prejudices to Sedimented Principles

In my post From Sedimented Principles to Enabling Prejudices(March 2013)  I distinguished the category of design heuristics from other kinds of principle. Following Peter Rowe, I call these Enabling Prejudices.

Rowe also uses the concept of Sedimented Principles, which he attributes to the French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty, one of the key figures of phenomenology. As far as I can make out, Merleau-Ponty never used the exact term “sedimented principles”, but he does talk a great deal about “sedimentation”.

In phenomenology, the word “sedimentation” generally refers to cultural habitations that settle out of awareness into prereflective practices. Something like the “unconscious”. (Professor James Morley, personal communication)

“On the basis of past experience, I have learned that doorknobs are to be turned. This ‘knowledge’ has sedimentated into my habitual body. While learning to play the piano, or to dance, I am intensely focused on what I am doing, and subsequently, this ability to play or to dance sedimentates into an habitual disposition.” (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Merleau-Ponty)

This relates to some notions of tacit knowledge, which is attributed to Michael Polyani. There are two models that are used in the knowledge management world that talk about tacit/explicit knowledge, and present two slightly different notions of internalization. 

Some critics (notably Wilson) regard the SECI model as flawed, because Nonaka has confused Polyani’s notion of tacit knowledge with the much weaker concept of implicit knowledge. There are some deep notions of “unconscious” here, which may produce conceptual traps for the unwary.

Conceptual quibbles aside, there are several important points here. Firstly, enabling prejudices may start as consciously learned patterns, but can gradually become internalized, and perhaps not just implicit and habitual but tacit and unconscious. (The key difference here is how easily the practitioner can explain and articulate the reasoning behind some design decision.)

Secondly, to extent that these learned patterns are regarded as “best practices”, it may be necessary to bring them back into full consciousness (whatever that means) so they can be replaced by “next practices”. 



Bryan Lawson, How Designers Think (1980, 4th edition 2005)

Peter Rowe, Design Thinking (MIT Press 1987)

Wilson, T.D. (2002) “The nonsense of ‘knowledge management‘” Information Research, 8(1), paper no. 144

 Thanks to my friend Professor James Morley for help with Merleau-Ponty and sedimentation.

4 years, 7 months ago

From Enabling Prejudices to Sedimented Principles

In my post From Sedimented Principles to Enabling Prejudices(March 2013)  I distinguished the category of design heuristics from other kinds of principle. Following Peter Rowe, I call these Enabling Prejudices.

Rowe also uses the concept of Sedimented Principles, which he attributes to the French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty, one of the key figures of phenomenology. As far as I can make out, Merleau-Ponty never used the exact term “sedimented principles”, but he does talk a great deal about “sedimentation”.

In phenomenology, the word “sedimentation” generally refers to cultural habitations that settle out of awareness into prereflective practices. Something like the “unconscious”. (Professor James Morley, personal communication)

“On the basis of past experience, I have learned that doorknobs are to be turned. This ‘knowledge’ has sedimentated into my habitual body. While learning to play the piano, or to dance, I am intensely focused on what I am doing, and subsequently, this ability to play or to dance sedimentates into an habitual disposition.” (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Merleau-Ponty)

This relates to some notions of tacit knowledge, which is attributed to Michael Polyani. There are two models that are used in the knowledge management world that talk about tacit/explicit knowledge, and present two slightly different notions of internalization. 

Some critics (notably Wilson) regard the SECI model as flawed, because Nonaka has confused Polyani’s notion of tacit knowledge with the much weaker concept of implicit knowledge. There are some deep notions of “unconscious” here, which may produce conceptual traps for the unwary.

Conceptual quibbles aside, there are several important points here. Firstly, enabling prejudices may start as consciously learned patterns, but can gradually become internalized, and perhaps not just implicit and habitual but tacit and unconscious. (The key difference here is how easily the practitioner can explain and articulate the reasoning behind some design decision.)

Secondly, to extent that these learned patterns are regarded as “best practices”, it may be necessary to bring them back into full consciousness (whatever that means) so they can be replaced by “next practices”. 


Bryan Lawson, How Designers Think (1980, 4th edition 2005)

Peter Rowe, Design Thinking (MIT Press 1987)

Wilson, T.D. (2002) “The nonsense of ‘knowledge management‘” Information Research, 8(1), paper no. 144

 Thanks to my friend Professor James Morley for help with Merleau-Ponty and sedimentation.

4 years, 9 months ago

Real Criticism, The Subject Supposed to Know

Goodbye, Anecdotes“, says @Butterworthy, “The Age Of Big Data Demands Real Criticism” (AWL, January 2013). Thanks to @milouness, who comments “Important concepts here about what is knowable!”.  The article tries to link Big Data with Big Questions about the Big Picture, and what @Butterworthy calls The Big Criticism. From this perspective, Bill Franks’ advice, To Succeed with Big Data, Start Small (HBR Oct 2012), is downright paradoxical.

But why would we expect Big Data to help us answer the Big Questions? Big Data is rather a misnomer: it mostly comprises very large quantities of very small data and very weak signals. Retailers wade through Big Data in order to fine-tune their pricing strategies; pharma researchers wade through Big Data in order to find chemicals with a marginal advantage over some other chemicals; intelligence analysts wade through Big Data to detect terrorist plots. Doubtless these are useful and sometimes profitable exercises, but they are hardly giving us much of a Big Picture. Big Data may give us important clues about what the terrorists are up to, but it doesn’t tell us why.

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