Sunday, June 08, 2014

Metamorphs: Origin of the name

Back in 1996 I was getting bored, that was only getting to do structural drafting whilst had interests and capabilities, and qualifications beyond that. I was also opposed to the continuous improvement movement which seemed to be missing the perspective that a business needs to be dynamic and adaptive to respond to the dynamic environment in which it operated. An environment which is transformed by the very presence and action of the business enterprise. A world of chaos and uncertainty. Fluid as the imagination, like swirling paint mixing colours, the opening sequences to both Dr Who and the original The Tomorrow People. Not static: dynamic and moving, evolving. That utopia is static, and unsustainable, and is no where, and if somewhere, it is no where I want to be, and want to have no part in creating. Utopia if it is to be somewhere has to be dynamic: a dynamic utopia {something I started to write about in 1986}. A dynamic utopia is adaptive and evolving: and is built upon appropriate technologies best adapted to the environment in which it has to exist. Dynamic utopia can provide the basis of building habitat in space, and marching across the universe: to boldly go ... That the journey is more important than the destination. If the Sun has something like 6 billion years left (the number seems to vary), then have 2 billion years to find a new planetary home,  2 billion years to return and say, hey we found it, and 2 billion years to return. Just one little problem, if can survive travelling through space for 2 billion years, who needs a planet. {This thought came to mind watching the original Battle Star Galactica. Did they really need to get to their destination, and what then?} It is the exploration, the journey that has value, that is life.

So with this swirling chaos in my mind I wrote down a multitude of names that I dreamed up, one of which was Zhymekt {serious holistic industrial and mechanical technology}. Thus the names involved changes to letters of the alphabet, but main objective was to get reference to industrial and mechanical, to consider appropriate and adaptive technology, with implication of fluid imagination and Morpheus shaper of dreams. With a pocket book full of possible names, I went to the business names registry office to check the availability and register "Adaptive Technology", my preferred choice. At that point in time could only check the names at the registration office and that required a trip to the city {Now can check names on line, and nationally}. Already procrastinated long enough, so it was going to be a day of action, check availability and get it registered. Adaptive Technology, was already taken and so were many variants, and so Metamorphs was checked and became the instant replacement and was registered: for a business or rather enterprise that was going to pursue research and develop parametric generic models of adaptive technologies, and some other idealistic hyperbole.

Metamorphs produces, but it doesn't really trade. I make my living (?) through my fathers business Roy Harrison and Associates, which in 2009/2010 we went to register on the national companies register and found the name was taken, and so came up with MiScion Pty Ltd {which can be interpreted as: me off shoot (1.Scion 2.Scion). Except that the word "me", is pronounced with with the letter "i" having the sound as in the word "pit".}. Locally we still have registration of Roy Harrison and Associates as a business name, just not suitable for national usage.

So Metamorphs is where I pursue everything beyond structures: and doesn't have anything to do with MiScion Pty Ltd or Roy Harrison and Associates: though all the structural software I create and we use in the business has the name Metamorphs on it.

Any case the following are the two original descriptions for the name:

Version 1:

Meta : Transcending above and beyond
Morph : Form and structure

=> Transcending above and beyond structure


•The meanings of words are unclear and imprecise.
•The definition of an object can either be fixed and refer to a clearly defined instance of that object.
•Or the definition can be unclear and refer to multiple variations of a generic form.
•Some people have open minds and can see the generic nature of objects, others cannot

•Services not restricted to Structural Engineering Drafting & Design
•Structure is an abstract concept and can apply to objects other than buildings
•From an Industrial Engineering viewpoint Organisation structure is not fixed and can be changed

•Analytical Computer models are dependent initially on structured view of an object. But these models should be parametric, flexible,adaptable, and amorphous.
•The Language of Object Oriented Programming (OOP) provides the terminology for discussing an object oriented universe.
•Defining a specific instance of an object, or a generic object that is a description of a collection of like objects, is a never ending task of refinement.
•Language itself is dynamic, and the meanings of words change with time
•Objects do not have to be physical material things. They can be abstract ideas.

Laws of thermodynamics suggest that mass and energy can neither be created nor destroyed just transformed from one form to another.
•The Gaia hypothesis suggests multiple levels of organisation structure and the emergence of higher forms of life. Cells congregate into multicellular lifeforms. These multi-cellular lifeforms congregate into societies, villages, cities, states, nations.
•The Gaia hypothesis suggests that there is a two way interaction between life form and environment. The mere presence of a Life form in an environment changes the environment. The life form needs to be continuously adapting to the constantly changing environment

Most of the form and structure that we perceive in the universe does not exist in reality, and is imposed by our own imaginations. If it does exist then it is transient, and exists for a short time frame. Even our perceptions and understanding change with time. So that patterns that were perfectly clear and obvious yesterday become a complete mystery to us today.

Metamorphs seeks out abstract generic definitions of objects. With such generic definitions perceptions of need can be transformed, undergo metamorphosis, and give birth to radically new objects.


 Change one thing and you change everything ! 

Version 2:

Transcending above and beyond Structures.

Just as carbon, under extremes of temperature and pressure, deep within the earth can be transformed into diamond, and caterpillars emerge from their cocoons as butterflies. So too, it is possible, for engineers to transform the dust of the earth into valuable live sustaining resources. To an Engineer the Physical World is as Fluid as the Imagination.

Metamorphs seeks out abstract generic definitions of objects. With such generic definitions perceptions of need can be transformed, undergo metamorphosis, and give birth to radically new objects.

A bicycle becomes a rickshaw, becomes electrified railway, becomes telegraph, becomes internet. The need for transportation is transformed and displaced by the need for communication.

Confucius stated that "learning starts with the precise meaning of words". However the ancient Greek metaphysics philosopher Cratylus  considered that change was so complete and total that he believed that the meanings of words change the very instant that you uttered them.

The word Broadcast is an example of a word where our common perceptions of its meaning has changed with time. In the 1880's the common frame of reference was farming, and it meant to scatter seed widely with the hand. Today the frame of reference is information cast broadly by electronic mass media in the form of radio and television, and now the internet.

The meanings of words change through analogy and metaphor. With time the origin of the meaning becomes lost, and the metaphor reflects the common understanding of a word.

What is this ? If you say pencil, then you know its name, what we call it, but not what it is.

It is : The existential brain cell of a Cray supercomputer. An instrument for communication through visual symbols. A graphite based electrical resistor. A craft tool for sculpting clay. It is raw material.

What it is, is determined by the environment in which it is found. The needs, imagination's , and adaptive capabilities of those who find it available as raw material.

Once a product, whether it be a goods or service, hits the market place, the public arena, its purpose and function changes. The original design specification and intent become obsolete. And a need arises to redesign the product to match its actual usage, but once released, the process repeats itself, in a never ending cycle.

[08/06/2014] : Original Post
[11/07/2015] : Minor Formatting changes, and links added.