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Three is a general purpose interest of embodied minds

Friday, April 5th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — threes in knotting, braiding, math and bell ringing — in service to governance, and the recognition of pattern within complexity ]
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One is one and all alone and ever more shall be so..
Two is both duel and duet..
and three:

**

Well, those are knots, of the Celtic variety. I cam across those images because Tony Judge pointed me to the animations in a piece he’d written, Exploring Representation of the Tao in 3D: Virtual reality clues to reconciling radical differences, global and otherwise?

which gets me thinking about thinking in threes —

— which has been an interest of mine for some time, see below —

**

And as is always the case with Judge‘s offerings, a plethora of his links called to me, and I wound up taking a look at his paper, Governance as “juggling” — Juggling as “governance”: Dynamics of braiding incommensurable insights for sustainable governance

— incommensurable insights is another topic of considerable interest to me —

— and that in turn brought me to this illustration of two instances of triple thinking about incommensurables from Australia — a triple helix and braiding:

**

Which brings us in turn to Borromean Rings and Knots:

Now the question to consider with each and all of these illustrations of threeness is whether they trigger any thoughts about the juggling and hopefully braiding and balancing of incommensurable forces in governance.. okay?

**

You’ll have noted that the braiding illustration from the Australian double illustration above is a representation of a juggling pattern. Wikimedia has dozens of such patterns with various numbers of balls, heights to which they are lobbed, &c, — and they’re fascinatingly eye-catching — mesmerizing, in fact.

Take a look at just three of them:

Juggling trick 3b box3BallBurkesBarrage3-ball Mills mess

Selection of animations of 3-ball juggling patterns by one juggler
(derived from juggling patterns in Wikipedia)

**

I mean:

**

Wow, and okay:

Now if a pattern of juggling can be represented as a pattern of braiding, we have a comparable situation to Ada Countess of Lovelace‘s brilliant cross-disciplinary leap of insight that the logical patterns Charles Babbage used to program for his proto-computing Analytical Engine could be represented in the punched cards used by Jacquard looms in the production of patterned fabrics:

  • James Essinger, Jacquard’s Web
  • **

    Am I — is Tony Judge — are we — out on a limb?

    Judge offers documentation of the mathematical side of things here:

    As indicated by Burkard Polster (The Mathematics of Juggling [excerpt], Monash University, 2003), the diagram above-right shows what the trajectories of juggling the basic 3-ball pattern look like (viewed from above). The three trajectories form the most basic braid. Braids are recognized as important mathematical objects. It has been shown that every braid can be juggled in that sense (Polster, 2003; Matthew Macauley, Braids and Juggling Patterns, 2003; Satyan Devadoss and John Mugno, Juggling braids and links, The Mathematical Intelligencer, 29, 2007). The implications have been further discussed separately (Potential cognitive implications of toroidal helical movement, 2016; Category juggling reframed through visualization dynamics, 2016).

    And again, let’s remember Tony Judge‘s reason for his interest in juggling and braiding in the first place:

    “juggling” is widely used as a metaphor to describe the challenge of responding to conflicting priorities in governance

    Judge has eighteen bibliographic supports for that assertion, including:

  • Trump Forced to Juggle Syria Response, Rage Over Mueller Probe (WSJ, 13 April 2018)
  • Trump juggling 75 pending lawsuits with a presidential campaign (CNBC, 27 October 2016)
  • The art of juggling political values and Trump (WaPo, 13 April 2018)
  • **

    Noting the correspondence between juggling — a circus-performer’s art — and braiding — not quite knitting, not quite knotting, and don’t those two words fit well together — an art associated with the decoration of hair and ribbons — I wondered whether there might not be a musical analog in counterpoint, and posted my inquiry on Twitter using this diagram of braiding:

    **

    I was fortunate: Change-ringing, surely very speedily responded to my inquiry:

    Change-ringing, surely

    The art of change-ringing in British churches and among hand-bell ringers is indeed the classic example of highly constrained and patterned musical counterpoint, so I happily Googled away in search of a change-ringing pattern comparable to my braiding patternc[left side, below], and came across the pattern [right side] in a page on the Cambridge Surprise Minor changes:

    Just Knecht, too, had some interesting observations & questions..

    **

    Metaphor, analogy, parallelism — these are avenues into the creative process in general, and threeness analogies and metaphors interrupt our usual binary cognitive processing in a way that enhances our capacity to comprehend complexity.

    I’m therefore offering this post to Ali Minai and Mike Sellers, in the hope that it will serve as a provocation to their already advanced thinking about systems dynamics. Tony Judge, obviously enough, it’s also a tribute to you…

    Previous posts of mine with threeness as a topic include

  • Of games III: Rock, Paper, Tank
  • Numbers by the numbers: three / pt 1
  • Spectacularly non-obvious, I: Elkus on strategy & games
  • Spectacularly non-obvious, 2: threeness games
  • Numbers by the numbers: three .. in Congress
  • Spectacular illustration of a game of three
  • Threeness games — some back-up materials
  • Halting Problem, P and NP to start with.. chyrons &c 33

    Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019

    { by Charles Cameron — including off and on security clearances, Biden and personal space, Trump and groping, kissing, Sovereign Citizens, a billion dollar swindle, and a cruise named Conspira-Sea — and on and on ]
    .

    So, Fox had a chyron gaffe —

    — it’s worth a chuckle — now move along..

    **

    Okay here’s enantiodromia:

    Trump will put $100 billion into a slush fund so he doesn’t have to deal with budget cuts:

    Republicans have spent a generation complaining about deficits, government spending and attacking a so-called “big government.” Yet, within just a few years the entire party has turned 180 degrees.

    and a nice paradox:

    If P gets things right then it lies in its tooth;
    and if it speaks falsely, it’s telling the truth!

    Where did I get that?

  • Geoffrey K. Pullum, an elementary proof of the undecidability of the halting problem
  • If it was Dr Seuss, I’m betting he’d have employed and enjoyed pee (male) and queue (female), which would have made youthful readers giggle and blush.

    That’s Epimenides territory btw, as in “all Cretans are liars”.

    **

    Getting back to news chyrons — I wasn’t awake to catch this when it showed up on Morning Joe, but a piece on RawStory pointed me to it:

    Joe Scarborough:

    Once again, we’re just looking through a glass darkly, and have no idea what Mueller

    Tom Nichols (professor, Naval War College):

    I would love to play poker with the president because he’s a walking bundle of tells.

    **

    CNN Situation Room 4/1/2019:

    Donald Trump: We’ll keep it closed for a long time. I’m not playing games.
    Kellyanne Conway: It is certainly not a bluff.

    **

    MTP 4/1/2019:

    Jeh Johnson:

    You don’t have to the the former Secretary of Homeland Security to know you can’t shut down a 1,900 mile border. It’s a little like decreeing that it should stop raining..

    [ cf King Knut ]

    [all of them Mexico?]

    Jeh Johnson:

    Cutting off aid is the exact wrong thing to do ..

    Note the lovely symmetry there, equivalent to projection

    **

    Ari Melber:

    Neil Katyal:

    You can’t be playing Ducks and Drakes and releasing selectively some quotes here and some quotes there..

    Is, incidentally, I’m thinking sports metaphors, whistle-blower a sports reference, referee?

    **

    Hardball:

    Rep Steve Cohen:

    This whole thing has been played out like a stall. Like when they used to play basketball without a 32 second, 30 second, 35 secondclock, a 35 second clock and they’re just holding the ball, and they’ve got the lead, they’ve got the lead and they’re holding the ball.

    Chris Matthews:

    That’s Dean Smith’s four corners offense, I know about it. Thanks for the basketball recap. .. This isn’t basketball at all, but there is a question of game-playing here ..*****

    This was re Barr timing the release of the Mueller report (after his redactions) to April 15, when Congress wld be away from town on a 3 week break..

    CM:

    A picture’s worth a thousand words everybody. Natasha, you take this: if we get a New York Times top of the fold picture >of a whole page blacked out .. There isn’t going to be much white left on that page ..

    Natasha Bertrand:

    Is Donald Trump considered a third party because he wasn’t charged?

    I just want to go back really quickly to the question of whether ethics and morals matter. If you’re a morally vacuous person, that makes you more susceptible to beinf blackmailed by a foreign country .. It’s a very big national security issue, and I think that that is the lens through which we have to view this ..

    Jay Inslee:

    Trump has been so inhumane to close the border to refugees, some of whom are climate refugees today, because of the drought..

    First mention I’ve seen of climate refugees***** as a term — cf my poem Mourning the lost Ka’aba

    **

    All In:

    Lachlan Markay:

    A state-sponsored Saudi information warfare apparatus ..

    a full spectrum of information warfare, essentially, against Jeff Bezos, the Washington Post and Amazon ..

    Chris Hayes:

    If it’s true, it’s as real and immediate a threat to free speech in the US as one can possinbbly imagine, if a foreign government that doesn’t like dissidents speaking out of turn so much that it murders themessentially attempts to blackmail and destroythe paper which covers is.

    LM:

    And not just the First Amendment, but we have to remember that Amazon right now is bidding on a ten billion dollar Pentagon cloud storage contract, here as well ..om there are tremendous national security implications

    Ah, and golf:

    There’s even a book about it —

    — a book-length sports metaphor***** for the current presidency?

    Author Rick Reilly describes the President as a “prolific cheater” ..

    **

    Andrea:

    **

    Okay.

    Two major pieces on forms of the extreme associated with the right:

    How Sovereign Citizens Helped Swindle $1 Billion From the Government They Disavow

    And from that article, an aptly named car:

    Mr. Morton’s sentencing was set for that June. But when the 11 a.m. hearing started, he didn’t show. Agents spotted him that afternoon outside a Domino’s in Hermosa Beach, a gray hood and sunglasses shrouding much of his face. He hopped in his white Ford Escape and headed south.

    and an aptly named cruise:

    Worth reading, and really worth knowing about the loosely-defined, quasi-religious Sovereign Citizens movement.

    Also:

    There are two forms of interest here — the vicious circle, a quintessential ouroboric concept, and the implied symmetry in “jihadists and the far-right not only reflect each other, but feed off each other”..

    But the CSM piece I really want to direct your attention to is one written by blog-friend Ann Scott Tyson and quoting blog-friend JM Berger– — who was also quoted in the NYT SovCit piece above:

    Christchurch brings global white supremacist threat into sharp relief

    “This is a much bigger global challenge than it is a challenge just in New Zealand or just in the U.K., with Britain First, or just in the U.S. with the [Ku Klux] Klan and a range of other neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups,” says Seth Jones, director of the Transnational Threats Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “There’s a broader collective concern here.”

    **

    This just in before I go.. another symmetry observed:

    The cruel irony of Hussle’s murder is that he was the victim of the type of urban violence he had long tried to remedy: The day after his death, he was scheduled to participate in an LAPD anti-street-violence meeting.

    PCMatic: at war, the people’s militia, resistance .. and metaphors?

    Friday, January 18th, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — an ad that blew my mind, mil metaphor piled on mil metaphor, and various ways to name theenemy, eh? — troika, wolf pack.. ]
    .

    Here we go.

    I was staggered to see the number of military / militant references inj this commercial —

  • our country is at war,
  • a cyber war
  • the enemy, ransomeware, is rapidly growing in sophistication
  • the enemy is exploiting a hole in our defenses
  • we are pcmatic, the people’s militia to defeat the ransomware empire
  • patriots of the resistance
  • we believe we can build an army
  • we will defeat this enemy and win the war
  • join the ransomware resistance.
  • This is the largest cluster of related metaphors I’ve seen in an ad, and I’m curious as to its rhetorical intent..

    **

    Tina Nguyen has written a fascinating piece for Vanity Fair’s Hive on the metaphors we use for The Enemy, better known perhaps as Them:

  • Axis of evil
  • Network of death
  • Troika of tyranny
  • Triangle of terror
  • Sordid cradle of Communism in the Western Hemisphere
  • Wolf pack of rogue states

  • Cabal of Crazies
  • Circle of Scoundrels
  • League of Extraordinary Villains
  • Oh so much more potent than calling them Hostile statesWolf pack of rogue states is superb!

    The first set above presents ye actual efforts by various pols to provide metaphorical aid to the othering of our enemies — propaganda at its most succinct — whereas the second set consists of jokers’ parodies & the like — second order propaganda at the expense of the first.

    **

    I’ll be using the comments section of this post for further “collections” (metaphors of war, sports, etc, headlines, chyrons, misc items of interest), and may add some stellar examples — if they “fit” — here in this post.

    Weather: waterworks, fireworks, & how the mindworks

    Friday, April 13th, 2018

    [ by Charles Cameron — and reality alwys strains towards a metaphor of itself, doesn’t it? ]
    .

    Today’s weather headline:

    This isn’t a metaphor, weather here means weather, even thought you might imagine it’s politics it’s talking about. If it was politics and we were lucky, the header might read:

    Wild storm raging across globe to unleash all modes of extreme weather through the weekend

    **

    Here are some of the details, graphically — very graphically — represented:

    Blizzard conditions and heavy snow

    Extreme fire danger

    Oh, my!

    Tornadoes and severe storms

    Torrents!

    Just suppose this was politics, after all!

    **

    Another headline today:

    That’s almost meteorological, ne?

    Or try this one, a week out, and international in scope:

    I’d be lost without my wifi..

    The Leap

    Sunday, March 18th, 2018

    [ by Charles Cameron — three or four steps out along stepping stones you have no idea where you’ll land next ]
    .

    You know that for me the basic unit is the duet / duel? And that what’s most interesting in the duel / duet — let’s just call it the dual — is the leap, the creative leap, at best the stereophany between them. Well, my bassic image for that leap is the DoubleQuote board:

    That’s a simple graph with two nodes and an edge between them:

    And beauty and depth — creativity — lies in the leap along the edge between them.

    **

    The rue, as I discussed with David Gelernter lo these many years ago, is that the greatest beauty is found — identified, by AI search; acheved, by artistry — when the two nodes are rich, the edge is rich in connections between themgreat:, and the distance between them is

    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 ckouds..

    **

    Okay, here’s a terrific leap by Claude Shannon:

    There was this idea that you could connect the computer to a machine to turn the cranks on a milling machine and make aircraft parts. At the time, this was a huge leap. It was connecting two alien realms: this new computer thing and a milling machine. What it let you do was make aircraft parts you couldn’t make any other way.

    The key words here are “connecting two alien realms“.

    Roughly:

    Or as Milling Machine; The History puts it:

    Perhaps the milling machine’s greatest distinction is that in 1954 it became the first machine tool to be controlled numerically, thereby representing one of the greatest industrial advances of the twentieth century.

    And then there’s this leap too, earlier:

    In the 1930s and working independently, American electronic engineer Claude Shannon and Soviet logician Victor Shestakov[65] both showed a one-to-one correspondence between the concepts of Boolean logic and certain electrical circuits, now called logic gates, which are now ubiquitous in digital computers.

    **

    Play — play, I emphasize — is the connecting link or edge that leaps between theem:

    If there were an Olympic sport of mind leaps — why forever not? long leaps, high leaps, long high leaps, ski leaps — Claude Shannon would surely be a contender.

    **

    With a hat-tip to Monica Anderson, who set me off on this particular journey.


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