GBG: another form of associative linkage

[ by Charles Cameron — a meander to ponder, wonder, wander, a maze to amaze, or as CS Peirce might say, a muse to amuse, an amuse-bouche ]

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Here’s a quick, long run-down of my HipBone games, where they came from, and where they’ll be going if book and online game plans come together.

My various HipBone and related games are intended as playable variants on Hermann Hesse‘s great Glass Bead Game (GBG for short).

You remember this?

As I said before:

I don’t know how Theodor von Kármán came by his Vortex Street, and I’ve spent a decade in Pasadena wandering its streets and even picked up his four volume works — signed — at a CalTech book sale — but if he had the Van Gogh painting in the back of his mind, there’s the beginning, the seed of an awesome leap.

And you might say van Gogh made a mighty leap, pre-intuiting the von Kármán pattern in the night sky..

This DoubleQuote is my favorite move in the game that has obsessed me for the last thirty or so years, the Glass Bead Game as described in Hermann Hesse in his Nobel-winning novel of the same name.

Linking arts and sciences as it does, I see it as a move at the nave roof-apex of what Hesse describes as the “hundred-gated cathedral of mind”.

The essence of a move in Hesse‘s game is associative linkage.

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I’m using this post as something of a primer on my game thinking, before proposing a recent instance of a type of associative leap / example of a game move.

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There are many fairly basic types of associative linkage that provide the connextive tissue between the items in an ontology:

  • this is the same as that
  • this causes that
  • this is the opposite of that
  • this symbolices that
  • this is above that
  • this is inside that
  • this is the parent of that
  • this follows that
  • this governs that
  • this proves that
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    Getting more complex and multi-layered, John Robb once posted:

    Some philosophical thinking:

  • Human knowledge, at an elemental level, can be described as a “transformation” of data.
  • Complex ideas are built using layers of “transformations” with each layer feeding into the next (think pyramid)
  • We teach these transformations at home and at school to our children.
  • We communicate by sharing transformations.
  • Questions We Need to Answer in the Age of Cognitive Machines:

  • How many transformations would it take to model all human knowledge?
  • How deep (how many layers of transformation is human knowledge) is human knowledge? Both on average or at its deepest point?
  • How broad is human knowledge (non-dependent transformations)?
  • How fast is the number of transformations increasing and how fast is it propagating across the human network?
  • **

    From a process orientation, it’s pretty clear that the fundamental way in which most associative leaps occur to human minds takes the form:

  • this reminds me of that
  • — and that holds true even of conspicuous creative leaps not just out of the box but into the unknown — as when Yutaka Taniyama proposed his hypothesis that there exists a correspondence between elliptic curves and modular forms in 1955. Andrew Wiles eventually proved the linkage in what is now known as the Modularity theorem, as the key part of his proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem in 1993 [don’t ask me to explain, I’m not a mathematician]

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    Creative leaps are in general the basis of much “opening of fields” both in the arts and sciences, as described by Arthur Koestler in his Act of Creation:

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