Threesology Research Journal
Welcome Fellow "Threenkers"
(Those who think in threes)

~ The Study of Threes ~

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As with previous home pages, this one supplies links which reference different approaches towards thinking about the "threes" concept. Whereas some devise a philosophy based on a personalized interpretation and analysis, others take on the enormous task of cataloging the many hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of examples:

Here are three links for Dr. Dundez's article "The Number Three in the American Culture" which appeared in an old 1967-1968 book entitled "Every Man His Way" (which is a collection of different Cultural Anthropology readings):

Some of you who come to this page are already familiar with the efforts of some to collect ideas, pictures, expressions, etc., into groups of three, even though you personally may have an interest in twos, fours, fives, sixes, sevens or some other number value. And though some of you may think that all "Threenkers" are only interested in patterns-of-three, let it be understood that some of us take a much broader perspective of the "threes" phenomena... in that it has a place amongst a group of other number-related patterns such as those already mentioned as well as others. However, when we attempt to make a list of the different patterns, we find that we are only able to identify certain patterns either because of prevailency or perhaps of some unrecognized inherent inclination of the human species. Anyway, the following chart is a thrown-together example of what a cataloging of different number patterns might look like:

cognitive number distribution chart (13K)

Your individual experiences with one or another pattern might well influence you to create a chart with a different distribution. Nonetheless, what we can see is that there is a limitation to both number and complexity. It's not that we can't think in larger number values or that we can think in more complex terms, it's just that the appearance of this illustration indicates there is something causing the conservation... or if you prefer, the limitation. Since we at present only know of biological sentient life as being on the third planet from a Sun, does this mean life (at least as we know it) can not evolve on a planet that is in the 4th, 5th, etc. position? Does this mean that all brands of genetics throughout the Universe has to exhibit a triple coding system? Do all sentient beings have to have two eyes (despite the claims for a third or mind's eye)? Must all humanoid forms have a mechanism of hearing that is particularly three-based as that of humans?

If the chart represents the existence of an unidentified (or at least unstudied) conservation law to add to those in physics, what might it possibly mean for humanity? Let's take a moment to review the topic of the "conservation law" so that the reader might better grasp what I'm referring to:

(The Conservation law) in physics, (refers to) several principles that state that certain physical properties (i.e., measurable quantities) do not change in the course of time within an isolated physical system. In classical physics, laws of this type govern energy, momentum, angular momentum, mass, and electric charge. In particle physics, other conservation laws apply to properties of subatomic particles that are invariant during interactions. An important function of conservation laws is that they make it possible to predict the macroscopic behaviour of a system without having to consider the microscopic details of the course of a physical process or chemical reaction.

Source: "Conservation Law." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite, 2013.

An operative phrase mentioned above is the "isolated physical system", of which humans are presently subjected to with respect to their relative confinement on Earth and this solar system/galaxy. However, the physical system of the Earth is heading along a sustained course of incremental deterioration, and biological creatures are being forced to make adjustments to it as a means of maintaining some measure of equilibrium. On the human scale of adjustments, there are changes in the way people think; to which we might want to apply the notion of "rationalized adjustments". If the appearance of different numerically identified ideas is related to developmental changes (physical and/or mental), then we might see a change in the distribution of numbers which differ from the hypothetical array presented in the above graph. The problem is, much of what we are cataloging is the development of a new approach at understanding human cognition... though other life forms exhibit numerical index preferences as well. In other words, we don't have previous charts to rely on for comparison. Most of our efforts are stymied by those whose interest in one or more number-related models associated to ideas revolves around some personal interest such as in theology, numerology or some pseudo-scientific application.

With respect to ideas being related to a numerical value, let me provide a short list for those who are not familiar with thinking in such a manner. Please note that the following list is not meant to be comprehensive nor definitive. They are just a few examples, and some may give reference to another number value depending on context, and the list does not begin to cover linguistic or behavioral expressions such as providing a quantitative portrayal without giving a direct indication of a number value:

  • 0: Zero = nothingness, emptiness, broke, absence, void, implosion, black hole, etc...
  • 1: One = self, god, universe, nation, family unit, first, champion, etc...
  • 2: Two = duality, duo, twins, opposite, pair, couple, dichotomy (Peace/War), dipole, divide, etc...
  • 3: Three = triple, trinity, triad, triangle, thrice, trifold, trey, ternary, triode, etc...
  • 4: Four = quad, quartet, four-wheeler, four-eyes, etc...
  • 5: Five = fingers, toes, etc...
  • 6: Six = 666, six-pack, six-shooter, etc...
  • 7: Seven = Quadrivium + Trivium, week, teenage years, world wonders, Big Dipper, etc...
  • 8: Eight = Octopus, eight-ball, etc...
  • 9: Nine = Baseball team, dressed to the nines, cat lives, etc...
  • 10: Ten = number base, toes/fingers, etc...
  • 11: Eleven = eleventh hour, etc...
  • 12: Twelve = abdominal washboard, dozen, Mayan number base, etc...
  • 13: Thirteen = unlucky, lucky, 3 + 10, etc...
  • ETC...

Like early anatomists who began an examination of animal entrails or perhaps plants, or anything else they could get their hands on and had a curiosity to begin even a rudimentary analysis thereof; our early "threesological" efforts are met with naysayers as well. In fact, I have encountered those who have deliberately attempted to keep me from being interested in the ways and means of my avocation and approach thereto. Eventually however, as more information is catalogued and descriptive applications are applied in those areas dominated by preoccupations and obsessions with some other underlying number pattern; the present structure of our research will become refined and applied to serious topics of consideration, such as an analysis of the dichotomously described Peace and War. And with this, I direct you to a discussion of this very topic that I am presently involved in and have just begun to dip my toes into because I stuck my nose into the topic:

Let's Talk Seriously About Peace

Another way of looking at the chart is to view it in a colloquially identified as an alpha-numeric filing system. Instead of letters of a 26 letter limited alphabet, we are using numbers. And like items filed under an alphabet system, we find variations of usage in that some filing systems used for one or another company in a given population— there may be a need to have multiple cabinets for one, two, or three letters. For example, if you live in the population of a state in which the name Smith is the dominant last name, the filing system for most companies may require multiple cabinets for the letter "S". Other places may require additional cabinets for another letter because some other letter is that which is dominant in a last name such as Jones, or they begin with the letter A, or B, or C... etc., However, very often, in most instances we find some letters seldom used because there are few people with the letter Z, or Y, or some other letter. Nonetheless, the overall limit is 26 letters for the western type of alphabet. If we were to encounter a system with more letters, it too would be an example of the limitation(s) in human cognition and there might well be limitations of usage within its range of letters.

3 filing system examples (339K)

If we use the analogy of a set of Dresser drawers used in a bedroom, we find that the top drawers may be most often used and that there may be a need for some to have multiple dressers because many people use them to file away other-than-clothing stuff. Nonetheless, we assign such stuff with some level of importance... whether they are used daily, should be kept secret, or placed away in some sort of "corner of nostalgia" that we can return to... so long as our memory holds out as we grow older. With respect to drawers, the contents we place into them may be associated with the idea of how we value the overall containment area (such as placing a high-priced value on the human mind, as if it were some lavish antique). However, those who don't place much value on the human brain and its contents may well use theirs (or ascribe to others), as a toy box, junk drawer, toilet, item for target practice, a throw-away dime-a-dozen use & abuse item, dirty garage, in-laws shed, etc...

Highboy drawers (32K)

In a moment of digressive thinking my mind wanders over to thoughts concerning the filing system being used to categorize social theories and theorists to which the scanning system in usage for the moment's memorization trek uncovers the limitations of thinking being applied. In other words, we have only a few ideas such as Anarchism, Communism, Democracy, Libertarianism, and Socialism... though one or another reader might want to add the references of Monarchy, Dictatorship, as well as Philosopher King as alternatives; yet overall, there is a mental conservation taking place. In other words, we don't have fifty theories. And if we then look at economic theories and display the list of Traditional (Monarchy/dictatorship), Market (Capitalism), Mixed (market/planned), State (command/planned); we again note a limitation... and the limitations fall within the parameters of the first few number designators. In other words we don't have 10, 17 or 1,000 types of government or economic systems being thought of.

All in all, what we are surmising in our efforts to uncode (itemize) the basic patterns of thinking available to humanity under the present incrementally deteriorating environmental conditions... causing us to make adjustments to our many rationalizations; is that we are creating a type of inventory system which will help us to better track gains and losses in our thinking repertoire. It will help us to identify the complete product line of human thought... how it is produced, the quantity and quality, the distribution network, what substitutions are being made, who is buying (into) what type of product, what packaging is needed, who the salespeople are, resource losses, overhead costs, product refurbishments, needed upgrades, design parameters, etc... For example, while we denote alterations in religious beliefs and science development having occurred over the centuries, historical representations provide a simplistic account and inventory thereof... often based on some biased scale of interpretation. The amount and types of changes as well as substitutions have not been definitively catalogued to provide a correct estimation of the production and distribution thereof as a viable product that can be sustained. For example, implements once used on rural farms are no longer viable products because rural farm life has deteriorated to the point of almost non- existence. The same goes for land-line telephone usage, riding in horse-drawn carriages, deterioration in penmanship due to fewer people exchanging letters, etc...

Because we can recognize such limitations of thought, thought processing may also exhibit an underlying conservation... a conservation that may be directly tied to the incremental deterioration of the planet. This has profound implications for computer and other designs as well as every single philosophy and belief system. In fact, this correlates well with what we find in physics as denoted in the rest of the Conservation Law article that was begun above (I continue the article after the above paragraph):

Conservation of energy implies that energy can be neither created nor destroyed, although it can be changed from one form (mechanical, kinetic, chemical, etc.) into another. In an isolated system the sum of all forms of energy therefore remains constant. For example, a falling body has a constant amount of energy, but the form of the energy changes from potential to kinetic. According to the theory of relativity, energy and mass are equivalent. Thus, the rest mass of a body may be considered a form of potential energy, part of which can be converted into other forms of energy.

Conservation of linear momentum expresses the fact that a body or system of bodies in motion retains its total momentum, the product of mass and vector velocity, unless an external force is applied to it. In an isolated system (such as the universe), there are no external forces, so momentum is always conserved. Because momentum is conserved, its components in any direction will also be conserved. Application of the law of conservation of momentum is important in the solution of collision problems. The operation of rockets exemplifies the conservation of momentum: the increased forward momentum of the rocket is equal but opposite in sign to the momentum of the ejected exhaust gases.

Conservation of angular momentum of rotating bodies is analogous to the conservation of linear momentum. Angular momentum is a vector quantity whose conservation expresses the law that a body or system that is rotating continues to rotate at the same rate unless a twisting force, called a torque, is applied to it. The angular momentum of each bit of matter consists of the product of its mass, its distance from the axis of rotation, and the component of its velocity perpendicular to the line from the axis.

Conservation of mass implies that matter can be neither created nor destroyed—i.e., processes that change the physical or chemical properties of substances within an isolated system (such as conversion of a liquid to a gas) leave the total mass unchanged. Strictly speaking, mass is not a conserved quantity. However, except in nuclear reactions, the conversion of rest mass into other forms of mass-energy is so small that, to a high degree of precision, rest mass may be thought of as conserved.

Conservation of charge states that the total amount of electric charge in a system does not change with time. At a subatomic level, charged particles can be created, but always in pairs with equal positive and negative charge so that the total amount of charge always remains constant.

In particle physics, other conservation laws apply to certain properties of nuclear particles, such as baryon number, lepton number, and strangeness. Such laws apply in addition to those of mass, energy, and momentum encountered in everyday life and may be thought of as analogous to the conservation of electric charge.

The laws of conservation of energy, momentum, and angular momentum are all derived from classical mechanics. Nevertheless, all remain true in quantum mechanics and relativistic mechanics, which have replaced classical mechanics as the most fundamental of all laws. In the deepest sense, the three conservation laws express the facts, respectively, that physics does not change with passing time, with displacement in space, or with rotation in space.

Source: "Conservation Law." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite, 2013.

With respect to a "conservation of thought" (if not overall thought processing), within an isolated (planetary) system (environment), we can witness a force acting on it to cause alterations. This force is the deterioration of the environment which creates the conditions for requiring increased practices of conservation that we already see taking place in efforts to conserve water quality and quantity, air quality, arable (plantable) land, recycling, etc... (even though neither the government nor banks are emphasizing the need for conserving money in savings accounts... because they make more money off of credit from the little guy and gal than they would off the money such people would make available to them through savings accounts. The banks like to be in the position of being like that of drug pusher and dealer than accountant). The business environment of the U.S. as it is in other countries is being dominated by those who want the majority to spend, and not save their money... and the government is supporting such a self-serving business ethic.

If a person has one book, you can file it away just about any place within sight and never misplace it, unless of course one is particularly absent-minded or buries it beneath an habitual practice of being unkempt... such as throwing one's clothes about, using one's kitchen as a garage, using one's bedroom as a storage shed, etc... For some, disorder gives them the impression of some sort of creativity or genius because they may have encountered someone whose title or activities were viewed as a desirable exception to those they were familiar with and may have kept an orderly life but were not particularly intelligent or creative... and may have been quite unpleasant to be around.

However, if you have multiple books or more to the point— have a curiosity about multiple subjects, you need a means of filing the information. As in the case of books with respect to someone who reads voraciously but lives a rather unkempt lifestyle, their books may be here and there... though they know "just about" where a given book is... or at least they may say they do... but still have to engage in some form of rummaging through different book piles. Others, in an attempt to file their books away in a more methodical manner may use a subject or author type of indexing, unless they set up their own type of Dewey decimal (number) filing system. Yet, my experience is that even with a small personal library of one or two thousand books, a numbering system is not typically used because there may be some other undisclosed criteria being used as a filing system. In any respect, the idea of a deterioration in one's collection taking place is far removed from most peoples' minds... even though a deterioration in usage of one or another (or even most) of the books does takes place. For some reason or other, the sight of a personal library tends to be interpreted with great respect by many people as if something of considerable value has been accomplished... even if they don't actually make much use of the available information.

While it generally is understood that it is impossible for any single person to know everything or even be able to know where to find desirable information even if it were at one's fingertips such as through a computer... and that as one ages there is a deterioration in memory and thus accessibility to stored information in one's biological brain configuration; the idea about the existence of a conservation of thought and thought processing does not come to mind unless one is working in the area of computer and computer programming design. In such instances, the usage of the word "power" is applied as an extension of the electricity-oriented jargon and thus promotes an incorrect perception since both designs are presently limited to the same forces of deterioration as humans are. In other words, if we were to design computers that were exempt from the conservation of thought and thought processing as well as associated deteriorations of the planet; the functionality (ideas and self-replications) of the computers would become quite strange to us as we continue on a course of increased conservation due to the incrementally increasing deteriorations of an environment which demands that all biological forms engage in incremental adjustments of design and function (such as thinking) in order to maintain some semblance of equilibrium.

Our presumptions about being advanced in our thinking when compared to earlier eras may simply be the expressions of conserved thoughts arising from conserved mechanisms of thought processing as a survival reflex to a deteriorating environment. While some might thus conclude that deprivation is the means to influence more advanced thinking, the process may require a period of development under incrementally changing environmental (and thus social) conditions like the extended processes involved in the growth of a seed such as one from an apple. In other words, like the birth of a child or moth, or butterfly that undergoes growth according to a series of incubated changes; human "smartness" may not be so easily increased by an artificial means of inducement unless the underlying requirements of gestation are altered accordingly. The same goes for computer design. Unless one can identify the underlying steps of gestation in the developmental process which at its present pace in several areas has taken decades to mature; basic designs will remain the same and superficially "advance" only in terms of embellishments... like adding leather bucket seats, or a radio, or sound proofing, etc., to the underlying chassis of primitive design.

In terms of other subject areas, the application of different labels to older ideas may persuade some to feel that they have made some sort of intellectual break-through by having come up with an idea equivalent to inventing the wheel, usage of fire (for cooking/lighting/protection ), smelting (to remove the "sword from the stone"), developing the first apparel/shoes, performing the first surgery (such as trephination), harnessing electricity (or discovering its existence so that someone else can come up with a working model), etc... Yet, their action would be little more than a repetition of something earlier, with modification, like a person in one era receiving the Nobel prize for peace and then others receiving the same in different eras... with each thinking that their efforts are original; yet overlook the fact that peace is not sustained, the definition and application of peace is lousy, and no one is actually taking a serious look at what the presence of the peace/war means in terms of human cognition as part of a series of other similarly designed ideas.

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Herb O. Buckland