the Future of Engineering (Version 1.4)

This a highly dynamic blog .Everyday I will add new parts so when you want to follow my progress come back as often as you like .

In version 1.3 I swrite about the Ancient Science of Egypt in Chapter 6 .

In version 1.4  I write about the role of consciousness in Design in chapter 7.

When you want to discuss the issue of the Future of Engineering join the Linkedin Group with the same name.

After  a few lines my English Text starts->

.De inspiratie om te gaan schrijven ontstond toen ik door Harm Rozie in contact werd gebracht met ingenieurs die bezig waren met het verbeteren van hun vakgebied onder de noemer (First Time Right).

De reden is dat de meeste technologieprojecten die vaak meer dan een miljard kosten mislukken en dat het er op lijkt dat de aannemers erg veel baat hebben van dit mislukken omdat dan alles nog een keer of meer moet.

-> Part 1: Collin.Managing Complex Projects

The amount of failing complex technology-projects is increasing.

I got in contact with a group of people who were trying to solve this poblem. One of them is Theo Lohman. He developed a method called Collin (Collective Intelligence) .The Model of Collin

Kent Palmer has been busy in the US to solve the same problems in a completely different way. Kent is building a new engineering theory he calls Schema Theory.

Theo and others have  developed Relatics . Relatics is a tool to support the making of project-documentation.

You can link documents to a common project-datamodel. The idea behind Relatics is that big projects fail because the participants loose oversight. This can be prohibited  by making standardized documentation.

Relatics is a manual tool. You have to make the projectmodel and the  links to the content/documentation by hand.

We have developed a tool that makes a semantic-network  out of the content of a project using text-mining. This tool can also be used to make a semantic network out of of any software-code.

Leo Ruijven, wrote a dissertation about Collin (and more) called : A unified framework improving interoperability and symbiosis in the field of Systems Engineering.


Part 2. Paths of Change (PoC)

I found out that Collin has a lot to do with Paths of Change (Poc) of Will Mcwhinney. The main reason is that PoC contains a general framework that has been used for many ages in many cultures.

PoC is a Meta-Theory (or better a Meta-Praxis) that explains many theories (and philosophies).

PoC uses the concept of Worldview, a Sensory definition of a unique perspective at the world you live in. “look/view” is not the right word because one of the worldviews is called  Sensory.

Poc has a lot in common with the Archetypes of Jung (Sensing, Thinking (Unity, Models, Rules), Feeling (Social, Emotions) and Intuiting (Mythic, Imagination).

PoC is a fractal framework which means that Poc can be applied to  Itself.

Poc is also a clyclic framework which means that the views of the Paths of Change are connected in a cycle (and a meta-cycle (etc.) that moves With (Introvert) and   Against the cClock (Extravert) .

Poc also contains a center. (the cross) that can be seen as a Projection of Consciousness seen as the Observer.



 Garl Jung called the framework behind his Archetypes a Quaternion, a 4×4-square that contains complementary (“dual”) concepts (Senses/Facts vs Imagination), (Object/Unity) vs/Subject (Social).

The Quaternion has a lot in common with the Chinese  Lo Shu Magic square which is the “generator” of the ancient Chinese Cyclic Models.

The Lo Shu Square on the back of a small turtle surrounded by the signs of the Chinese zodiac

Jung got a lot of his ideas out of a very long discussion about the dreams of Wolfgang Pauli, one of the creators of Quantum Mechanics.

A Quaternion is a square. A square can be divided by a line into two Triangels. The mathematical Triangle has a lot to do with the Spiritual triangel, the trinity . The Triangel is also a basic building block in Geometry.

The work of Kent almer is called Schema Theory.

Schema Theory uses Mathematics  as a foundation and shows that the history of mathematics follows the history of Engineering. Both make use of the same ideas/concepts.

To me this is fine because  I am a trained mathematician.

The nice thing with mathematics is that most mathematicians are also philosopher because both need the same concepts to explain what they are looking for or have found.

Kent Palmer uses the concept of the Schema as a central frame to explain what is or was happening in Engineering . A Schema is a 2-dimensional frame.

Part 3: Kent Palmer About Naming SYstems

My Father was born in the center of the Netherlands called “de Veluwe”. His family spoke a different dialect as my mothers family.

Later I met other people with diffrent dialects. I even found out that Science and Banking use their own dialect.

A Dialect is a unique way in which people speak a language that is often highly related to a shared language.

There are many ways to group dialects (Location, Social Class, Profession,.History, culture ..). Dialects can be highly confusing that’s why standardizing terminology is needed when you want to make enduring relationships. 

Bahktin, a Russian Philosopher spent his whole life researching literature. Bahktin developed the concept of the Chronotope : “the intrinsic connectedness of temporal and spatial relationships that are artistically expressed in literature”. Bahktin found many cycles (the Wheel of Life) that are explained by Paths of Change.

ferris wheel under blue sky

In 176 At ABN (a big bank) I was asked to take care of the Data and the Terminology of the bank (Data-Management). We used a special database called a Dictionary to store all the definitions of the data and their technical implementations in database, software and manual processes. The model of the Dictonary was called a Meta-Model.

After some time we found out that the meta-model was a self-reference (a fractal) and it all came back to my favorite subject I found when I was trained as a programmer.

To teach us we  were given highly difficult problems we had to solve in a very short time using a highly limited computer (1969 CRI Leiden). I found out that the best solutions were always fractal.

Later the specifications of the software and the coding  were stored in the same dictionary now called a repository.

Later I got into contact with many scientists that were highly interested in data and the meaning (semantics) of data.

In my fathers dialect  a  Plank was called a schap. In English Schap is called scape . A plank is a horizontal frame that is used to carry objects.

A LandScape is A portion of land or territory which the eye can comprehend in a single view, including all the objects it contains.

A Horizontal Frame can be seen from a Stake. A stake (“paal”) is a pointed foundation hit in the ground.When you climb  the Stake you can see the Horizon. When you climb you use a scale.

The Horizon is a Horizon-tal Line.

calm water with sun and orange skyPerspective (looking thhrough a hole) was invented by Painters in the Renaissance and was transformed into Projective Geometry that was transformed into the Model of Curved Space/Time that was used by Einstein when he developed Special Relativity Theory.

Parallel lines cross at infinity which is the Horizon.

Vriendschap is called Friendship in English. A Ship is a Scape. a horizontal frame floating on Water.

A Scape, a view or picture of a scene, has various synonyms: context, situation, environment, ecosystem, medium, milieu,or Gestalt.

In the linked document called Naming Systems Kent Palmer writes bout Meta-Systems, Meta-Systems float above normal Systems.

Meta  means about the thing itself. It’s seeing the thing from a higher perspective. When you want to get oversight you have to go UP until you see the Horizon. UP is called Abstracting.

An Abstracted System is always simpler than the System itself. This means that Abstracting is leaving “things out”.

When the process of leaving things out is chaotic you will leave the relation between the Meta-System and the System it is about.

If this is the case the total development-process is in a mess. To save the project or sometimes even the company you have to find all the content produced and reconstruct the genesis of the project to pick up the pieces.

When ABN and AMRO (another big Bank) were fused I was made responsible for this process. To fuse the two banks we needed new technology (called everse-engineering) to get the meaning out of all the stored content in many sometimes very old libraries called archives.

We even needed tools to extract the meaning out of operational software without source and object in in the state of a load module.To save the bank we even had to look worldwide for solutions and got into contact with institutions (NASA) that finally pointed back to Scientists in the Netherlands.

This started an ongoing research-relationship until today in which we develop new tools to handle the new content (pictures, movies, ,,)  available and try to reach a higher level of understanding.

An important point to note is that software-engineers especially in highly complex businesses have perhaps solved more problems than the engineers that started the field of system-engineering.  I am sure that Kent Palmer is aware of this point.

Part 4:  Kent Palmer About Meta-Systems

Kent Palmer wrote a document: The Advance of the Systems Engineering Discipline through an understanding of Meta-systems theory.

To write This part I have copied ltext out of the document but have also added pieces of my own thinking/out of my own practice.

Paths of Change (PoC) contains connected Steps that are defined by a World-View. A World is a long period of time. The steps always end at the same step. That is why PoC is called a Cycle.

A world-view is about looking in a special way or at a special direction at a scape.

As we already saw we are looking Up into the sky when we are abstracting. When we have abstracted (made things simpler) we have developed a theory.

When we apply/use the theory we are practising. Practice is about going Down until we are standing with our feed on the ground (earth).

We can also look backwards (the Beginning, Creation, History) or forwards (Future, Horizon).

Systems Engineering can be viewed as a practical discipline and Systems Theory as an academic pursuit.

A dual is a mirror of paired concepts. Theory and practice are duals.Their mirror is the reverse of a  process we call abstracting.

A Mata-System is a dual of a System but it is not necessary that the reverse-process is a mirror.

A System has an environment or ecosystem (” or a Scape) that surrounds it and which it is embedded in. This use of “meta” means beyond (or part of or connected to )  rather than above.

In this case systems can even live (or interact) in their-Scape.

Systems (in terms of theories) can even be tested in their Meta System without going from theory to practice.Perhaps practice does not need theory or practice is ahead of theory.

The only thing we have to detect is the stake we have climbed to see the horizon of the system or what is behind its horizon.

Systems Theory should learn from Systems Engineering. But there are equally many places where the reverse is true.

Systems Theory has no practical side that allows it to generate problems for the academics to solve. But on the other hand Systems Engineering lacks the theoretical foundation that will allow it to ground its practice.

It can appropriate Systems Theory but really it needs not just a Systems Theory but also the inverse of that, a Meta-systems Theory. It will take both of these to ground a robust Systems Engineering practice.

Part 5: Kent Palmer: Emergent Design: Explorations in Systems Phenomenology in Relation to Ontology, Hermeneutics and the Meta-Dialectics of Design

This is a highly complex document with a lot of discussion about subjects most engineers don’t know about. I have taken out of this document what I can use to make a point. I understand that a part of the language is too difficult.Text between “is a citation

Systems Engineering is focused on creating systems as artifacts that are used and operated, which, in turn, change the environment for newer systems that will take their place in the future“.

“These systems are created by a lengthy and involved development process that includes: Requirements Development, Architectural and Sub-system Design, Implementation, Verification, Validation, Integration, and Operation”.

Schemas are templates of pre-understanding of spacetime envelopes that we project onto our experience in order to differentiate objects of different scales in terms of their dimensionality”.

Kent Palmer is desperately trying to find a level of abstraction (a place high in  Sky) to make a distinction between all the ways objects (humans but also animals or perhaps machines) that look or are aware have an understanding of the environment they exist in.

He believes that we live in space/time which is the result of a very long  process of thinking about perspective in painting which is looking through a very small hole at a scape.

In the scape we look at objects he calls envelopes (something filled with something else). In spacetime objects have a location that possibly moves in space and a form that also moves and changes in time. humans make pictures/movies/content of the movement share/ communicate about the content and remember/imagine and make models of the content.

Space/time is a highly dynamic environment.What we make or have made is sometimes stable for some time but the process of making (“engineering”) disappears and is sometimes reconstructed (archeology“) with a lot of imagination involved.

sand desert statue pyramid

A schema looks like a method but he calls it a template of pre-understanding.

The richness of nature comes from the variety of schematic organizations (“a ants nest”) that are being projected by different species, while the artificial creation of our human centered environments tends to blot them out and replace them with our own schematizations exclusively, which leads to a lessening of the variety of schematizations that can be realized in the overall natural environment“.

Are Ants engineers?

It looks like organisms that are very different from the human and that don’t use language are able to ceate arifacts that are highly comparable to what human engineers are making. Until now we don’t know how they are doing this.

animal world apiary beehive bees

Kent Palmer makes a difference  between ants and humans by using the concept  of a  Shared  experience. of a lifeworld. This concept was created by Edmund Hussler around 1936.”The ‘lifeworld is a grand theatre of objects variously arranged in space and time relative to perceiving subjects”.A “ifeworld means a person’s subjective construction of reality, which he or she forms under the condition of his or her life circumstances“.


Part 6:  About the Age of Reason and the Power of the Imagination.
Kent Palmer writes about the many  strange coincidences that happened when he was looking for patterns that could help him to extend General Systems theory.The same happened to me. It all happened when I got into an unexpected Jump Of my Kundalini.

kundalini tyoga.jpeg

This happens when (the 7th)and the down chakra (called Trumpets in the Bible) fuse.This   started a strange process of synchronicity that brought me a lot of information about the theory behind ancient knowledge.THis ancient knowledge returned to the West (Italy) at the Renaissance when the archives of the center of knowledge of the ancient world in Heliopolis (Egypt)(later  Alexandria) were found in Byzantium. Heliopolis was a Scientific center of the World a long time ago and attracted “scientists” sometimes called Magicians  (see Magi) that advised the Rulers of the World that wanted to prevent the world for a new disaster comparable to the Great Flood.The most important knowledge to protect  was  the control of the power of the Mind by the Imagination.To block this power a counter-movement was organized out of Venice, the financial center of the world. The managers of this movement started to promote Reason as a powerful force.They decided to use Newton as as an Example of  a briljant Scientist and started to block the thinking of Leibniz that had a lot to do with Alchemy, the Science of Ancient Egypt.

So ABove So Below: The fractal pattern of the Moebius Ring repeats itself, The Cup of the Heart is a Dual Trumpet called  Chakra in India.

This al started the Age of Reason, The Enlightment, in which the Imagination was transformed into the confusing Fantasy and the warm Emotions of the Heart became a blockage for Cold scientific thinking.Part 7:  About Consciousness

What is Shinto? Shinto is the Religion of Japan. In Shinto “gods” are called kami. Kami is, in essence, one of those spiritual concepts that can be found everywhere and in everything. It is a mystical property established because there is no direct difference between the material world and spiritual existence.  In shinto even machines have a spirit.

woman wearing red and white dress walking near a shinto shrine
Shinto Schrine

In classical Roman religion, a genius loci (plural genii locorum) was the protective spirit of a place.

In almost every ancient religion Spirits were related to special places or special people (“saints”). When you visit such a place many people feel the power of the place.Ancient Religious Places like the Cathedrals of the Middle Ages reused the power of the ancient places. A good example is  Chartres which was a holy place of the Druids.

The Black Virgin of Chartres Cathedral

The book the Third Reich of Dreams shows that people know what will happen in the Future. After Hitler came to power in 1933, Charlotte Beradt, a Berlin-based journalist, began to awaken night after night bathed in perspiration, teeth clenched in terror. On one of these nights, after dreaming of being hunted “from pillar to post” by storm troopers, a new thought arrived: what if she wasn’t the only one? What if the things that appeared in her nightmares were also being visited upon other people? This startling thought set in motion the seeds of a research project. Beradt quietly began to query people about their dream-life.  She found out that many people dreamt the same dreams and dreamt the concentration camps of Hilter long before they were invented.When people are brought under hypnosis they can be brought back to the past (into their past lifes) and into the Future. The experiments showed that people are able to predict a shared future with a high accuracy. The best explanation for the fusion of Quantum Mechanics and Relativity Theory is the so called Wheeler Feynman Aborber Theory. This theory showes that it is possible to influence history in the future.John Wheeler believes that the Universe is a Self-Observing system. Wheeler suggested that reality is created by observers and that: “no phenomenon is a real phenomenon until it is an observed phenomenon.” .When I was a young child I found out that I was able to Read people. When you read people you are able to see what is in their mind.  When I was much older I met highly expirienced Adviser that took a training in reading. We experimented  with collective reading and proved that we could read an organization. Will McWhinney organized workshops in NeW Mexico near Taos. We were introduced to many “new” techniques that were developed there called Organizational Dreaming (OD) and Organizational Sculptures (OC). In OD people agreed to solve a problem by sharing their dreams. In OS one person used other people to build a balanced structure that represented his problems. After a signal everybody made a next step en told the “scluptor” what came up in his or her mind. This gave remarkable results. Much later OC came back in the Netherlands as Opstellingen (Constellations).

aerial photography of rock formation

The concept Paranormal indicated that science does not believe what abnormal people are capable of.Is it possible to ask the domus of a city if it wants engineers to develop a new part or let designers destroy an old part?Is the design of a system something that is known before it was made?Part 8: Is it possible to make a Whole with only Holes? What is nothing? AHow to combine combinations.

brown painted infrastructure beside trees
The Sagrada Familia

LINKSABout Ratio and Magnitude, How Newton changed Greek Mathematics.About the Battle between Leibniz & NewtonAbout the RenaissanceAbout AlchemyAbout HeliopolisAbout Ecologies

About Creation

About Erving Goffman and Frame Theory

About the Foundations of Mathematics

About the limits of Reason

About Projective Geometry