The Four Elements

Elements of processes and programs seem to be grouped or ordered in fours:


The first PeriodicTable? (Chinese, over 3000 years old); the five elements:

The second PeriodicTable? (the Chinese was first, and directly inspired the Greek):

The above are not periodic, so in what sense are they first and second? And how could the Chinese elements have directly inspired the Greek elements, when the two cultures were not in direct communication?

Because there was in fact limited contact between east and west, see e.g. Note however that there are no oceans in the way, so sporadic contact between the regions presumably goes back indefinitely far. Also we are talking about information transmission, which can happen via a diffusion model indirectly without even the need for direct contact.

I'm well aware of indirect contact between the two cultures. The silk road was generally too late to explain this particular list, however, as were the Greek conquests in the Middle East. It could have diffused through Persia, but it would be odd for them not to have left their own distinct stamp on the ideas, and in any case that's not direct inspiration. I would love to see some evidence about how the two sets of elements are related.

As with the modern Mendeleyev-based "period table of the elements", each of these systems was considered to constitute the atomic elements from which all else in the world was formed. In that sense, all three are identical in purpose and function. The issue of "periodicity" is a non-issue in this context, and could be very seriously nitpicked even in the modern table. Elements, yes; atomic, no; periodic, no; table, no.

The modern table has some periodic aspects. The above are really lists, rather than tables.

[Some random person called the greek version a periodic table. I continued using the name when I corrected the text to say chinese first greek second. These nitpicks are (1) wrong (2) I don't really care. It's just a name.]

 The ViewLayer?.  
 The ApplicationModelLayer? 
 The DomainModelLayer?
 The InfrastructureLayer?

 The Kirkpatrick Model by Donald L. Kirkpatrick  
  Unconscious Incompetence = you don't know that you can't do it well. 
  Conscious Incompetence = you know you can't do it well. 
  Conscious Competence = you do it well, and you think about the work as you do it. 
  Unconscious Competence = you're so successful it's "automatic" -- you do it well, without thinking about it. 
  Perception, Thought, Action, Feedback 
  from book SevenHabitsOfHighlyEffectivePeople by StephenCovey 
 Resources, Scope, Quality, Time 
What on earth is this page about? Four is just one of a limited number of small natural numbers. Singularities, Pairs, Triplets and groups of 5,6,7,8,9 and 10 are just as widely used.

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