Tag Archives: Matrices

Cultural Cognition (4 Square Matrix)

Cultural Cognition


The bottom scale, moves right in increasing awareness of global warming risk.

I collect matrices in the form of what I term a 4 Square. The above schema is a good one both for its content and for its use of the form. It was purloined from Twitter user, @cult_cognition, tweeing for Cultural Cognition Net at Yale Law School.


Jonathan Haidt Explains Our Contentious Culture from BillMoyers.com on Vimeo.

I’ve been blogging about the 4 Square since May 2007  All such posts are tagged 4 square matrix

Here, once again, is the 4 Square closest to my heart–just because I invented it.

DrPuck's problem matrix

Leave a Comment

Filed under cultural contradictions, current events

Four Square Matrix – Metaverse Four Square

Metaverse Unfolds

The explanation for this Four Square Matrix is below.

(I’ve been exploring the format of the Four Square Matrix for over five years on the squareONE Explorations blog: Revisiting the Matrix Part 1 / Class of ’72 / Periodic Table of Visualization, And More / More Matrices / The Acid Test / Matrices – Stacked / Slowing Down to Better Problem Solve)

(SOURCE) To construct our scenario set we selected two key continua that are likely to influence the ways in which the Metaverse unfolds: the spectrum of technologies and applications ranging from augmentation to simulation; and the spectrum ranging from intimate (identity-focused) to external (world-focused).

• Augmentation refers to technologies that add new capabilities to existing real systems; in the Metaverse context, this means technologies that layer new control systems and information onto our perception of the physical environment.

• Simulation refers to technologies that model reality (or parallel realities), offering wholly new environments; in the Metaverse context, this means technologies that provide simulated worlds as the locus for interaction.

• Intimate technologies are focused inwardly, on the identity and actions of the individual or object; in the Metaverse context, this means technologies where the user (or semi-intelligent object) has agency in the environment, either through the use of an avatar/digital profile or through direct appearance as an actor in the system.

• External technologies are focused outwardly, towards the world at large; in the Metaverse context, this means technologies that provide information about and control of the world around the user.

These continua are “critical uncertainties”—critical because they are fundamental aspects of the coming Metaverse, and uncertainties because how they will emerge, their relative and absolute development in various contexts, is yet to be seen.

Combining the two critical uncertainties gives four key components of the Metaverse future:

Virtual Worlds

Mirror Worlds

Augmented Reality


These four scenarios emphasize different functions, types, or sets of Metaverse technologies. All four are already well into early emergence, yet the conditions under which each will fully develop, in particular contexts, are far from clear.

The source document at Metaverseroadmap.org provides the context and additional provocation. This would be most compelling for students of the history of technology, and socio-anthropologists interested in modernity and post-modernity. Download the PDF available there for the full view of the working group.

Leave a Comment

Filed under adult learning, Gregory Bateson

Class of ’72

Hawken School Class of 72

The iconic yearbook picture, Hawken Upper School, Class of seventy-two. Three quarters of the guys in this crowd scene actually were seniors. We took a bunch of silly photos on the same day. This one ends spiked by tragedy because a hyper-grinning Jamie Cohen is at the front on the left, and he passed away suddenly in 2008. And, second from the right, holding the manual, is my fraternal twin brother Tim, and he passed away in 1993. Jamie was my closest friend throughout high school and in my innermost circle for the ensuing thirty-six years.

I have gone to every five year reunion since 1977. I immensely enjoy the ritual reunion, but the twin draws for me are to see a few men I have sustained over the years great affection for, and, to otherwise do informal social-psychological research and ethnography about the development cycle of my classmates, and so do this also of a sample of males of certain background, milieu, etc..

This has evoked the following matrix, posed here as generalization and hypothesis.

Development Matrix

Leave a Comment

Filed under friends

Revisiting the 2×2 Matrix – Part 1.

Never Wrong Matrix

What I term a ‘four square,’ or matrix, derives in modern times from The Boston Consulting Group’s Growth-Share Matrix. I devise my own four squares and collect any others I encounter. At times the 2×2 Matrix in either its ‘cross’ or ‘four squares’ versions have done duty in my work to help depict human situations. For example, I have employed the following one and used it as the basis for a learner to reflect upon the challenge of having it both ways.

Dr Puck' s problem matrix

MDFI Matrix aka Dr. Puck’s Problem Solver

Such visual devices have come to be known as 2×2 Matrix. The essential book on the use of the 2×2 Matrix in business, The Power of the 2×2 Matrix, presents authors Alex Lowy and Phil Hood’s understanding of the tool’s value as an aid to decision making. The Power of the 2x2 Matrix They write:

2 × 2 Thinking is inherently and profoundly transcendent in nature. Two people face an identical problem differently: one sees an insurmountable problem, while the other perceives options and opportunities. Systems thinker Jamshid Gharajedaghi calls these two approaches either-or versus both-and. Confronted by tough choices, the either-or reaction is to feel trapped and obliged to pick one or the other. The both-and response draws us automatically to a new and different perspective, where it is possible to search for ways to reframe the problem or use conflicting factors in the solution.

2x2 Matrix

The Institute for Manufacturing at The University of Cambridge describes the matrix yet misses two central capabilities, the use of the 2×2 Matrix to plot values, and, the implicit relational dynamic given in the identification of what in this description is termed characteristics.

A two by two matrix is a useful tool for initial sorting of qualitative data.

The axes should be chosen so that, e.g., the data with the most desirable characteristics will fall into the upper left quadrant and the least desirable in the lower right quadrant. While groups may be unable or unwilling to assign absolute values to qualitative data, they usually find it relatively easy to come to a consensus as to which quadrant something belongs in.

Generally, the two by two matrix is a useful tool for categorising things that can be reduced to two simple variables, particularly when quantitative information is unavailable and qualitative judgements must be made.

It enables a rapid clustering (or separating) of information into four categories, which can be defined to suit the purpose of the exercise. It is particularly useful with groups as a way of visibly plotting out a common understanding or agreement of a subject.

2×2 Matrices I’ve found, from the growing collection:

Robotics Matrix

Inscrutible Robotics Matrix

Social Media and Business Qualification Matrix

Management Matrix

Unsatisfying to me, “Management Matrix”

I devised the following to depict the tension of oppositions betwixt four entangled philosophical themes.

Unity Matrix

The 2×2 Matrix is a very Batesonian device too. I haven’t beta tested a workshop during which learners build a view of their self (or what-have-you,) using the format, yet, it seems a good idea!

1 Comment

Filed under adult learning, Gregory Bateson

Periodic Table of Visualization, and more

click to enlarge

Visit the following link to access the pop-up examples for each of the Periodic Table of Visualizations‘ cells.

I’m fond of graphical ways of showing relationships between concepts and domains.

Here’s a few more depictions from my own archive of helpful visuals.

Powers of ten

Scales on pseudo-symmetrical \’U\’

Arthur S. Young\’s two fundamental developmental \’turns\’

Fourfold (Anthony Judge)click to enlarge

Spiral Dynamics-AQAL Collage

click to enlarge

Warren Matrix

DrPuck's problem matrix

Leave a Comment

Filed under web 2.0+

More Matrices

[An archival post carried over from the defunct Transformative Tools blog] If this looks like a version of the medicine wheel, know the medicine wheel expresses the archetectonic fundamental; is the archetypal template for the matrical model and heuristic learning process. This tool was profoundly influenced by the work of Little Bear and Hummux, their investigation following the work of the great process theorist, Arthur S. Young. The matrical form is encountered as descendent of the sacred hoop in Young’s book, The Geometry of Meaning.)Another way to look at it is to think of the simple “four square” matrix, (well known as the Johari Window,) as another kind of depiction. Going farther, these kinds of matrices also formulate compasses and mandalas.The learning principle is straightforward: plotting positions on the form articulates a positions with respect to the arrangement of opposed categories. In turn, each categorical pair expresses a dichotomy or pair of opposites. Any position or relationship between two or more positions encompasses a critical tension betwixt and between these dichotomies. The result is a way of plotting and learning about the tension of opposites. Obviously, this process is explicitly dialectical.

Here’s a simple example:

It could address an inquiry based on the question, If happy or sad, how sensitive is this mood to being changed?

Here’s a richer matrix upon which is set two pairs from Baxter’s Relational Dialectics. It’s more abstract yet it could yield a lot of data in response to a concrete and practical question.

I’ve most often intuited a set of two dichotomies in response to the process I’m engaging with learners. There’s no normative aspect to setting up a given matrix. In effect, they can be conjured as a matter of feeling what the critical tensions in a situation seem to be. Alternately, by drawing two cards from the deck of opposites, (another tool,) the matrix can be randomized. Here’s the result of drawing two cards right now:

Hmmm…good draw. Any matrix given through any procedure is employed against the, hopefully, already critical inquisitive intention of the learner.

As a learner, you can put together, ad hoc, your own 4 square matrix.

Here’s an example of a political self-test using this format.

Leave a Comment

Filed under adult learning, experiential learning

Open eyes and own the civic space

Term it the Observer Paradigm.

It’s multiplying.

Fathership: Lakewood Observer Lakewood, Ohio
The Heights Observer Cleveland & University Heights, ohio
Parma Observer Parma, Ohio
Collinwood Observer Collinwood in Cleveland, Ohio
Euclid Observer Euclid, Ohio

soon (?)
University Circle Observer, University Circle in Cleveland, ohio

This new vision of time and space, which will be the theoretical
basis of future constructions, is still imprecise and will
remain so until experimentation with patterns of behavior has
taken place in cities specifically established for this purpose,
cities assembling–in addition to the facilities necessary for
basic comfort and security–buildings charged with evocative
power, symbolic edifices representing desires, forces and
events, past, present and to come. A rational extension of the
old religious systems, of old tales, and above all of
psychoanalysis, into architectural expression becomes more and
more urgent as all the reasons for becoming impassioned disappear.
Formulary for a New Urbanism (Formulary for a New Urbanism . Gilles Ivain
Internationale Situationniste/ #1 1953)

(Okay, maybe not so much the psychoanalytic part…)

Better: “Residency on the ley line allows for “the vertical circuit termed “intuition” to walk-in, drop-in to the epiphanic foot traffic, which pedals the metals of electric mojo circuits plugged into water mark.” (KW. March 2005)

urban poetics
Urban Poetics isn’t intended to be straightforward. It’s intended to be curved out of time. That there is a place right now for an imaginal apprehension of an urban lifeworld has to do with a practical exemplification of culmination. This reflects a concrete tale. The tale begins with a fifty and fifty-one; a meeting of 101 years. A meeting drums-in-hand around the fire dancer with the snake dancing underneath. There is in all of this the necessary memetic triangulation.

The thrust of the begun urban poetics is initiated in a dialogical dao. The glossary refines terms and new ways of transmitting spontaneous intuitions about living in the spiral domains of Lakewood and the cosmos. Seers and Sirians envelops longer effusians and miscellanies. Sound breeches wail collages of communal, civic, concrescent, oceanic audio.

Urban poetics is aimed to surprise and trigger evocative consternation. Here the eonic Lakewood teaching story is comprised and busted through the waves. ( from a draft of the never instituted Visionary Alignment Blog. circa 2006)

Situationist tribal poetics.

18: Ken explains it to Puck; kind of…

[Another party is in progress. It’s costume party. To the side of a stocked buffet, are a man dressed in a Bishop’s frock with cap, and a man in a brown rabbit suit, with the head held under his arm. The party is in full swing.]

Puck: I’m worried about him. The play seems headed to overload. We’ve instantiated a matrical lens;
stability-mastery; individuality-belonging being one such lens.

Ken: Let’s just say the he is on the throne. The Virgin Dirt Bag of Reason tries to dethrone him, each production time, no less, with skeptical probes into the city’s faith in the virtue of its underpart – the brand. The Virgin Dirt Bag of Reason persists in trying to subvert influence of Charis’s passion for the city into the critical circuit of Carthage.

Puck: Sure, I get it. It’s like Burroughs. You know the quote, “Animals talk. They don’t write. Now a wise old rat may know a lot about traps and poison but he cannot write a text book on DEATH TRAPS IN YOUR WAREHOUSE for the Reader’s Digest with tactics for ganging up on digs and ferrets and taking care of wise guys who stuff steel wool up our holes.”

Ken: Yes, consider this. Life conditions are, indeed, changing, here and elsewhere, some for better, others for worser. As life conditions change one meme cannot be co-opted by another’s message and playbook. Transcend and include is generally recommended. Easier said than done. To do so consciously and avoid blind spots is risky and near impossible.

Puck: He’s in a fix. The deep point of creative destruction and re-sanctification–besides realism cognizing the mysterium; being obedient–is, as you know, one can’t skip the steps the natural order and its aspirations.

Ken: Right-o! A dictator may be neither necessary nor necessarily deposed by the old hippie guard. But history is filled with cries of betrayal. That’s the reality of life on the planet of the apes. Every action is an OP from the horizon of psyche and politics which just doesn’t go away.

Puck: Basically…self-evident, right? But I wonder if Bear can take much more. He’s more than popular. Too popular. I’m…worried.

Ken: Why worry? The mandarin has no skin in the game of the chthonic conservative ta’wil that pushes back from the black hole of consciousness. All will be well. The worm turns…

Puck: Okay…alright, I get that…sure. I believe it is so, so I believe the fact of churn is the wolf in the bathroom. We might gently pull at the different threads but we would be re-raveling too: the indira web of the odyssey. For me it’s auspicious mutual collusion as you say joking the cosmic mean.

Ken: Yeah, the perception of negativity isn’t anything but a correct inference made from my push back. That it’s fleshed out incorrectly isn’t surprising. You avoid this so I’m interested –always– in your counsel, kimmosabe. After all, the second and third order strategic locus comes about when we animate.

from unpublished or produced screenplay, Tao Job.

Making a difference in the civic space using language is difficult. For one thing, in the experiential recipe is Shadow, and, in its transmutation to letter there is descriptive cloaking.

The standard notion of the way fantasy works within ideology is that of a fantasy-scenario which obfuscates the true horror of a situation: instead of a full rendering of the antagonisms which traverse our society, we indulge in the notion of society as an organic Whole, kept together by forces of solidarity and co-operation … Here also, however, it is much more productive to look for this notion of fantasy where one would not expect to find if in marginal and, again, apparently purely utilitarian situations. Let us simply recall the safety instructions prior to the takeoff of an aeroplane – are they not sustained by a phantasmic scenario of how a possible plane crash will look? After a gentle landing on water (miraculously, it is always supposed to happen on water!), each of the passengers puts on the life-jacket and, as on a beach toboggan, slides into the water and takes a swim, like a nice collective lagoon holiday experience under the guidance of an experienced swimming instructor. Is not this ‘gentrifying’ of a catastrophe (a nice soft landing, stewardesses in dance-like style graciously pointing towards the ‘Exit’ signs…) also ideology at its purest. (SLAVOJ ZIZEK, The Plague of Fantasies)

Walk into the fire? Follow the worry to its source?

Way back in 2005/06 I thought there could be a workaround. At the time, it seemed possible to send journalist researchers into the community and task them with the project of differentiating the tribal matrix, and its verticality (history) and householder horizons (survival strategies.) Then I tasked myself and then I fell off the stone!

It could of looked like this:

Now, so many years later, the impossible energies have been tamed and become procreative. Initial experiments in development,

have become templated and scaleable.

The action, for me, is on the civic forums attached to the civic journalism. This has been replicated at The Height Observer, but not at the other Observer sites. I don’t know why. In the exchange of experience and affect and non-anonymous poetics the civic heart plugs into its sanguine flow.

Still, as the experiment multiplies, and this somewhat well kept secret sustains its pulse, the prospect for bottom-up civic coherence matures.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Kenneth Warren

The Acid Test

Click for the large version and please come back…

Rummaging through old computer files, I came upon a series of slides about the Fundamental Attribution Error. Here’s the definition from the The Psychology Wiki.

In attribution theory, the fundamental attribution error (sometimes referred to as the actor-observer bias, correspondence bias or overattribution effect) is the tendency for people to over-emphasize dispositional, or personality-based, explanations for behaviors observed in others while under-emphasizing the role and power of situational influences on the same behavior.

When I created the slides a decade or so ago, my aim was to roll into a presentation of experiential learning theory some takings from cognitive psychology’s conceptions about cognitive bias. Whereas today I’m just going to fry the ‘FAT’ fish a bit.

My opinion is the Fundamental Attribution Error is an error so common as to suggest we’re wired to make it. It may even be advantageous to sometimes make it. Certainly, and much to my quiet amusement, I’ve observed its being made in ‘professional’ contexts over and over again. This is why I term it the acid test, especially as a validation of how much that social psychology 101 class sank in! I’m no longer amazed to observe the error being made, or even intentionally deployed, or otherwise witnessing various attributive terms being decontextualized and misused.

This happens whenever a description about a person, for example about a personality style or type, is assumed to portray an unqualified assessment of their disposition. Many times these kinds of attributions ‘globalize’ situational, or modular, behaviors. All sorts of attributions are errantly globalized and attached to stereotypes. Global attributions attached to, for example, some person identifying as a liberal or conservative, are not usually traits. Closer-to-home, I’ve identified something like qualities of my own situational dispositions using several assessment tools, yet, I’m not always being intuitive; learning via my primary ‘audiostyle;’ trying to influence others using my sociableness; or always being a cheery optimist.

At the same time, as I view human phenomena on a broader scale, (oh, and dig into the literature,) the FAT is itself a heuristic, thus is a short cut means to attribute a feature to another’s personality, and seems to work then as firstly a generalization subject to later refinement. This refinement would narrow the appropriate circumstance for making a correct attribution. In suggesting this, I am also mindful of the complexity of procedures for attribution and construal in the domain of ‘applied’ folk psychology. With respect to attribution–making attributions–those procedures don’t strike me as fitting very comfortably under the rubrics given by either simulation or theory-theory. …for what it’s worth.

My other abiding position on all this has to do with how attribution errors mix in with sensemaking of one’s own life-world. This is a complicated subject, so the matrix serves to prime a way of looking at this problem. To get at this, you can ask your self what assumptions do you make about everybody, what do you attribute to everybody?.

Although I haven’t beta tested the tool yet, it seems this would be a good question to fund an experiential exercise via which the learner comes to experience–reflect upon–their own process for answering this question. In any really determined effort to address the question, it turns out to be a very probing inquiry.

Leave a Comment

Filed under folk psychology, social psychology, organizational development


Locus of Control Matrix (Original discussion on this blog: Slowing Down to Better Problem Solve.)

Group Entry Norming Matrix (Posted to the Netdynamics 2.0 group blog, Group Entry Schema.

My colleague, Eldon, and me enter into a dialog in the comments. This dialog points toward this:

Cognitive Construal Vectors

Anybody conversant with social psychology will note the conventions captured in this schema. The schema does not represent formalized theory-making. It simply depicts a way of looking at the conjunction of the egocentric/stereotypic conventions. (Hmmm, I shall coin a term, egotypic, less confusing to me than egocentric given the latter’s numerous meanings.)

I’ll be referring to and saying more about Netdynam 2.0. It is an offshoot of the Netdynamics email discussion list, of which I have been a spiky participant for 13+ years. If you’re interested in interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, or, oh yeah, post-disciplinary, wandering through the mashed fields of depth/social/group/personality psychology, and linguistics, and applied semiotics, and ecosemiosis, and, disruptive poetics, and the internet and Web 2.0, you can peruse the offerings, and, maybe give our tiny crew a pinch or two.

Leave a Comment

Filed under social psychology, organizational development


For the past two years I have been researching with a colleague the following mouthful: informal, self-managed problem solving in dyadic interpersonal contexts. Okay? The research is informal and is driven by loosely coupled folk psychological theorizing about potentially productive heuristics. This means the theorizing is pragmatic but not formally disciplined. Although it could elaborate formal theorizing based in rational-emotive psychology, this isn’t its focus. Self-managed refers to intentional self-regulation. Obviously problem solving in a dyadic context simply means between two people. However, the experimental implementation is that of one of the pair of persons.

The foundational premise takes the form of a question: what kinds of intentional acts can be utilized to interrupt reactive cascades which normally result in a habitual response, and, due to this possible outcome, can be utilized to generate more, rather than fewer, options for problem navigation, negotiation, and, resolution.

Here are two schematic representations that integrate the pragmatic results of experiential experimentation on several vectors of self-management. One result is that the heuristics we’ve employed are apparently productive in the right circumstances.

control panel

A typical ‘high velocity’ cascade might lead to: heightened anxiety/heightened reactivity/habituated, non-productive response.

MDFI Matrix

Note that the (so-called) MDFI Matrix cannot schematize habitual flexibility.

Leave a Comment

Filed under adult learning, folk psychology