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HipBone tools and Conflict Resolution

Concept Mapping and the HipBone Tools
for Amos Davidowitz, Director, Education, Training & Special Programs Institute of World Affairs 1321 Pennsylvania Ave., SE Washington, DC 20003

All materials © Charles Cameron 1995-2006 Charles Cameron 3059 East Ave R-4 Palmdale, CA 93550 Phone 661 575-9930

Varieties of concept mapping diagrams:
Diagrams that map aspects of a system can express many different things in a way that's easily grasped, when a verbal explanation would require many pages of cumbersome and hard to comprehend text. PERT Charts: A PERT chart lays out the different chains of events required to arrive at a given goal:

Process Diagrams: Diagrams of this kind are not limited to events – they can also illustrate the working logic of a complicated mechanism – in this case, a washing machine:

Argumentation Maps: Professor Robert Horn of Stanford is the originator of argumentation maps.

The image above shows one of a series of maps presenting the debate over the question Can computers think? Here is a detail from another map in the series...

IBIS / VIMS: VIMS software maps the argumentation structure of conversations in terms of ideas (light bulbs), questions (question marks), and arguments pro (plus signs) and con (minus signs).

CHOICE: Diagrams of this sort can also incorporate choice:

MARKOV: A Markov diagram can indicate the probability of various outcomes of events:

SENGE: A systems diagram of the sort used by Peter Senge in his best selling Fifth Discipline books shows the dynamics of a system, paying special attention ton feedback loops – thus helping to avoid the “unintended consequences” that typically occur when such loops are not take into consideration.

STOCKS and FLOWS: A model of stocks and flows allows quantitative measures to be inserted in the diagram. Software will then calculate the impact of systemic loops which the model describes.

SOCIAL NETWORKS: Social Network Analysis software permits us to map the communications or other relations between people in a social network.

PEOPLE and IDEAS: Warren Sack’s What Does a Very Large-Scale Conversation Look Like? deals with mapping conversations the size of Usenet, and as this illustration illustrates…

combines social networks (ie networks of people) on the left with semantic networks (ie networks of ideas) on the right. FINE ART MAPPINGS

Artist Mark Lombardi (in Mark Lombardi: Global Networks) maps those involved in banking and political scandals with extraordinary calligraphic care.

The Visual Complexity site at

contains over 300 thumbnails of graphical maps on one webpage

And here’s where HipBone Analysis and Games fit into the picture…

HipBone Analyses: HipBone Analysis uses free form boards to map the symmetries and asymmetries between the concepts or shareholder voices in a complex debate:

The first two “beads” above, for instance, are labeled Islam: abomination and AlAqsa and Judaism: abomination and Temple. The first references the final paragraphs of Saudi Sheikh al-Hawali's extraordinary book, The Day of Wrath, which bin Laden may have read since he is known to read al-Hawali: The final, difficult question remains to be answered: when will the Day of Wrath come? When will Allah destroy the abomination of desolation? When will the chains of Jerusalem be broken, and its rights returned? The second quotes Menachem Livni, explaining under interrogation how an extremist Jewish underground plot to "clear" the Temple Mount came to be. It was drawn from Ehud Sprinzak, The Ascendance of Israel's Radical Right: Shortly after President Sadat visited Israel, I was approached by a friend who showed me the picture of the Dome of the Rock, to which I shall hereafter refer as the "abomination." My friend argued that the existence of the abomination in the Temple Mount was the root cause of all the spiritual errors of our generation and the basis of hold of Ishmael [the Arabs] in Eretz Yisrael. Both parties regard themselves as protecting the sanctity of Solomon / Suleiman's Temple in an appropriately rebuilt form (Third Temple, Al-Aqsa) in preparation for the end-times – the coming of Moshiach, of Mahdi – from what each of them identifies as the assault on ritual purity known as the abomination of desolation.

HipBone Games: HipBone Games are played on boards such as the WaterBird Board (below). The constraints of play compel players to a high level of creative thinking.

Ideas are played in the “positions” on the board, with the requirement that each idea must be associatively linked with any other ideas in play in adjacent board positions. It is envisioned that the games will eventually be playable using webor console-based software, as in this mockup of a HipBone gameboard on a PS-2 games console.