Mental Models and Change LO29390

From: AM de Lange (
Date: 10/25/02

Replying to LO29370 --

Dear Organlearners,

Chris Macrae <> writes:

>I believe a positive -simpler - way of first exploring this
>term (Mental Model) is Maps. We have a few that we all
>share as models like whenever we use a map on a car
>journey. In a map you have the most wonderful thing.
>Hugely condensed information standardised in a way that
>everyone comes to it and uses it with the same meaning.
>I have become fanatical about the idea of Maps without
>fully knowing what I am talking about. A while back I did
>ask if systems experts ever meet - -and train people - at
>a mapmaking convention - ie looking mainly at this learning
>construct. I didnt see an answer so unless I missed it I guess
>its' just another of my solo obsessions and thanks for putting
>up with this typed in flight

Greetings dear Chris,

No Chris, i do not think it is an obsession. It is your mathematical
intution knocking at the door of formalisation! Your extensive experiences
in mathematical tasks have most likely emerged into a tacit knowing of
Mathematical Category Theory (MCT). What you now should try is to make
that tacit knowing explicit.

Fellow learners who are not good at mathematics should skip the next
paragraph and all its mathematical dangers ;-)

There are two ways in how it can be done. The one way is that of
the algebraists. See for example:
< >
This will not please you because you picture mentally maps-graphs-
diagrams-figures or whatever we may call it. What you are seeking
are the second way, namely that of the functionalists. Finding examples
of the latter is harder because it involves the drawing of such diagrams.
But perhaps the site
< >
will give you an indication of what is involved.

By the way, the "unit of change" in any MCT diagram is called an "arrow"
(or sometimes also "functor"). It is pictured as a line with an arrow head
at its one tip -- the output.

Perhaps the following will surprise you, but not Alfred Rheeder, Chris
Kloppers and Terje Tonsberg. I can formulate each of the 7Es (seven
essentialities of creativity) as a unique map, i.e., MCT diagram. They
have seen me doing it. All creative activities can then presented as
composite maps made up by these seven maps of the 7Es. This then gives
foundational substance to Tony Buzan's mind mapping.

It has taken humankind a long way to complete the cycle of writing. It
began 4000 years ago with the hieroglyphs of the Egyptians. It has now
ended in the maps (diagrams) of MCT -- the post-modern hieroglyphs ;-)

With care and best wishes,


At de Lange <> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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