Threesology Research Journal
Sociological Threes II

(The Study of Threes)

On the previous page I provided some examples of "threes" related to Sociology, although they actually reference the history of various sociological themes. And whereas the fore-runners of Sociology soulfully lamented the need for a Scientific approach to society in the hope of addressing social concerns more adequately in terms of solving social problems, many of those interested in sociological topics today are more interested in presenting their perspective of a social circumstance like many a journalist does. In other words, the mindset of sociology has changed... or at least come to express the dominant perspective of most social theorists.

But the fact remains that because social problems continue we need to re-invent how to see society. Being a Sociologist in terms of a Journalist, Psychologist, Cultural Anthropologist, Philosopher or Historian's perspective is not enough. To such an end, I am resorting to the usage of a "Threes" vantage point. This is the reason for first providing some examples of "threes" dealing with sociological themes. Please understand there are others, but there are also alternative patterns. Yet, all of they patterns, regardless of what subject area you look into, can be compartmentalized into the formula of "Singular - Dual - Plural", with the most dominant Plurality being patterns-of-three.

These patterns represent an underlying scaffolding of the human psyche. It's not that we can't think or perform beyond a three-patterned formula, but the predominant recurrence of patterns-of-three provides evidence that something is acting upon us that is constraining not only our thinking processes, but our activities and our biology as well. This is why we have a triplet coding system in DNA instead of a 24, 38, 543, or 1,000 coding system. This is why our anatomy exhibits a dominant recurrence of three-patterned structures: Dr. McNulty's List of threes in human anatomy.

Sociologists need to be aware that what they are describing, attempting to analyze and want to some remedy to an undesirable situation, is linked not only to our underlying genetics and physiology, but what may be influencing such derivatives from which spring the social circumstances they are trying to address. They must wonder whether the recurrence of "threes" ideas that have cropped up in physics research Jon Butterworth's: Why are there three of everything?, is related to the various "threes" that have cropped up in Sociological themes.

Sociologists should be concerned whether the many "threes" occurring with the structure of the human ear is driving the recurrence of social problems because hearing is related to language and language is being used in everything we do: Threes in Language development. Indeed, Sociologists should be concerned about the role the recurrence of "threes" are being played out again, and again, and again in sociological themes. And, let me reiterate, that while there are examples beyond the "three", they are the exception, not the rule, even if one were to collect all the exceptions and attempt to provide them as a singular rule-of-thumb. Patterns-of-three appear to be the rule by which our biology and anatomy prefer. This so-called preference for the usage of a recurring "threes" theme represents a constraint placed on us.

While a cultural Anthropologist may study different social cultures, and provide instances where different numerically identified themes appear to be a predominant exercise, such as a four or five orientation, we must note whether the culture is dead, dying or being assimilated by a culture with a different number-perspective such as the traditional usage of a four or five by Native Americans becoming relegated to a non-usage by Native Americans being absorbed and participating in the larger American culture which uses a predominant "threes" orientation even though most people are not aware that they do... or might not even care that they do. We must also distinguish whether a value greater than the "three" is being limited to a given species such as by some who want to profess a larger occurrence by counting examples from different life forms instead of one. While such contemplations are not typically the provenance of a Sociologist who is more concerned about a non-cross cultural or cross-species social event. Comparative Sociology is different from that Sociological standard of looking at a singular social occurrence such as poverty in a given area, though comparisons of different areas within a given country may be used.

Like Revolutions, biological mutations are not sustained in terms of recurrence in a given "area", though some families may have a genetic predisposition for repeating a particular mutation and some countries appear to repeat revolutionary themes... as observed in South America. Yes, history is replete with Revolutions, but they don't occur every day nor in the same. While the reasons for this pattern seem obvious, our obvious conclusions may be more of a predisposition towards rationalization than an accurate description thereof. There recurringly appears some level of equilibrium is regained even though there may eventually occur another Revolution. Like cards being re-shuffled but not all the cards are always realigned into a different order. Some tend to remain right where they are. The method of re-shuffling (revolution, mutation, etc.), is not equally distributed throughout the spectrum of the society or culture concerned. A complete re-shuffling would indeed be representative of a different dynamic. Such dynamics are not regularly identified, much less studied with a comprehensive appreciation.

If Revolutions persisted, just like if a disease or mutation persisted, life might well come to an end. Yet, the behavioral occurrence of the occasional small scale Revolution may, in time, begin to fuse into larger far lengthier occurrences when the "constraints" begin to increase as does population growth. With respect to size, a small revolution might well engulf a nation in terms of eventual governing design, but not everyone participates directly. Most Revolutions do not involve the whole of a society, though the whole of the society may eventually be affected; only a small percentage of the population actively participate, though many may be involved passively or tacitly comply as is required of them to be accepted as part of the reigning group. The rest simply go along with whatever eventual changes take place. A good similarity is to note that most people belonging to a military do not participate in actual combat. While most (except for conscientious objectors) may fire a weapon in basic training, this is the extent to which they may ever again fire a weapon in the military.

A Sociologist might well focus on the effects of population growth (such as resulting in a loss of public space, lessened resources, more unemployment, etc.,) but are over-looking the additional factors of constraints imposed by changing environmental circumstances. In short, for an example, we have diminishing social "walls" due to population growth which increase social pressures exacerbated by increasing environmental temperatures noted by global warming caused by factors involving an increased population that has a greater demand on various resources that are met by various business-led and government-sanctified exploitations of the environment. While the fore-going narrative is readily appreciated by many, some analogies might be viewed as too imaginative. For example, I was thinking of this idea decades ago while rebuilding automobile engines. My mind necessarily incorporated the usage of the predominant mechanical images being swirled about in my mind at the time to visualize the picture of a piston rising in a cylinder to produce an increased volumetric pressure which increases the temperature and higher octane fuel requirements so as to reduce the possibility of pre-ignition. Though the accompanying image is a rather crude artistic endeavour initially made between thirty and forty years ago and adopted for a purported energy crisis, and only updated slightly for the present, it nonetheless suffices to give an illustration for comments concerning the added effects of environmental "constraints" on social circumstances. I place it in the context of a poem I had likewise written at the time:

The Sun is a 3-electrode spark-plug
Earth is a hemispherical piston top
social cylinder walls are getting snug,
because population growth does not stop

With the ozone layer breaking down
our cylinder's temperature is increasing
and with less oil to go around,
the social machine may start seizing

Shall there be a type of pre-ignition
due to religion's changing octane levels
or a stockmarket's poorly timed selection,
thereby unleashing poverty & other devils

And while the people point to the gauges
the politicians claim the readings are wrong
they quickly tear up scientific pages,
while whistling a one-line personal song

If the piston cannot move up or down
unless the public pays blackmarket prices...
for a fairy tale about an energy crisis,
then revolution may soon come to town

But the politicians say it's all fiction
in order to return a bought-for-favor
since their business- cronies are on a mission,
but the O' Mighty Dollar is their only savior

What shall become of the social machine
as it continues to use more and more fuel
forging energy into a pointed bartering tool,
to burst History's bubble of the American Dream?
sparkplug3 (12K)

Clearly the poem and image were originally created to depict a moment in social history dealing with a purported energy crisis. But if it isn't an energy crisis then it's a food crisis or a crisis of morality or a terrorist crisis or illegal drug crisis or illegal alien crisis or housing crisis or weather crisis or pollution crisis or some other crisis... used for whatever myopically segmented business, government or religious perspective wanting more social control or money and uses the media that is forever ready, willing and able to accommodate in order for some journalist to get some recognition amongst their peers.

Yet, the image has a more far reaching sociologically-related "threes" message if it is re-evaluated:

  • The social "cylinder walls" are continuing to decrease due to population growth.
  • The cyclical rotation of the Earth continues to slow down.
  • The "spark plug" is moving closer to the top of the piston due to the Sun's expansion.
  • The "three-electrodes" (dawn - noon - dusk) are "fusing" into a singularity.
  • The "combustion chamber" is heating up due to global warming.

For those unfamiliar with an internal combustion engine, the usage of a "hemispherical" piston top increases compression ratio. An increased compression ratio produces more heat which requires a greater octane rating in fuel so as to prevent pre-ignition of the fuel/air mixture. If the mixture "explodes" in a cylinder prior to the piston reaching a point in the stroke where it can be most advantageous in promoting a productive forward directed cycle, it will cause the piston and cycle to go in the opposite direction. This is compounded by the effect of a decreased rotation rate. A type of reversal can occur. Just like in the case of a magnetic field reversal.

I know many readers are not accustomed to thinking of sociological circumstances in terms of larger non-human global and cosmological events affecting human behavior in terms of biological responses to the environment which effect social changes, but such a scenario is relevant to short, medium and long-term sociologically-definable issues... particularly when there are parallels of similar patterns which are not stretches of the imagination; but are the acceptance of visualisations created by uncommon perceptibilities based on sensitive sensibilities enabling insights into environmental subtleties that many so-called sociological experts do not have and thereby deny the existence thereof in order to support their own primitively crude perceptions as if they alone are capable of harboring some distinct originality of identification and interpretation.

It is blatantly stupid for a Sociologist to begin the attempt at an analysis of some social circumstance as if it were an event that is totally isolated from any internalized or external event as contributing factors. It's just as ridiculous for a Sociologist to suggest they are making a contribution to the field of Sociology by detailing a social circumstance whose representation is little more than a type of photographic image or a "study" of a social landscape much like the personalized rendition of a "landscapist" (landscape artist).

palette (5K)

Far too many Sociologists are merely acting as photographers or artists of social themes who use words and an "articulatable" vocabulary as a particular kind of artistic palette, (and perhaps with the addition of graphs), instead of a camera. While most of us can appreciate that one picture is worth a thousand words and by some presumed "said in reverse" witticism that one word is worth a thousand pictures; the trouble is we are being shown the same social scene from different vantage points and having each vantage point be entitled with a different heading as if the social scene itself was different and the particular vantage point meant the observer is to be lauded as if they have some especial sociologically-inclined photographic talent or are an unrecognized genius.

Whereas the recurrence of "threes" has been seen from various vantage points of different subjects, and examples from different subjects may be used for a particular list, no one is applying the "threes" to a coherent appreciation involving all the different subjects as, for example, a particular type of sociological perception.

The perspectives remain isolated and thus buried in the literature of a given subject area. For those Sociologists who do see the recurrence of "threes", they don't know how to see the same from the perspective of an anatomist. And an anatomist can't see the same through the perspective of a physicist. A physicist can't see it through the perspective of an artist. An artist can't see it through the perspective of a biologist. A biologist can't see it through the perspective of a psychologist. A psychologist can't see it through the perspective of a mathematician. And so on and so forth.

Tower of Babble (30K)

It's a Tower of Babble made more poignant when the perspective of someone who does see the differing vantage points and attempts to convey the view into a widely recognizable and applicable idea... is dismissively ignored because the idea is an amalgamation and is not representative of some academically defined "pure" form of Sociology, nor Physics, nor Biology, nor Anatomy, nor Anthropology, nor Religion, etc... And each generation is setting its own lofted standards of what is acceptable.

This wide spread arrogance in the different subject areas is rationalized Irrationality. They are all games and can rightly be viewed in a collective way as social game theory. They all have rules, score keepers, those who police the "right" rules, top players, mediocre players, sideline adherents, promoters, instruction manuals, aficionados and those who seem to possess some unique ability to think strategically within and between the designed social worlds of each respective game. And though they are looked upon as serious subjects, they nonetheless are games. Social games relating themselves to one of the recurring survival strategies called business, government or religion. Would-be or wannabe players must learn the respective vernacular and behavior of a particular game's playing field if they wish to be included in the "inner circle" of top professionals. But simply having a Ph.D does not ensure one will achieve a notable reputation as a "Key" player. For such recognition requires the adoption of a veneer of politics that many can not long wear in any appreciable layering. They may no doubt belong to the club, doing their bit of teaching and writing, but they remain part of a fringe alumni.

Witch Hunting Colleagues (33K)

In many instances, a professional sometimes reaches a level of intellectual sobriety that imbues them with an unprofessional level of rationality which makes them no longer able to "play the game (s)" of their profession's standards of Irrationality. In fact, their newly acquired realism may be viewed as the perspective of someone who is delirious or "out of touch" with the "real world" of the prevalently accepted and expected Irrationality. A large quantity of people possessing the same type of Irrationality is interpreted as Rationality and all detractors are described as those who are the "real" Irrationalists. No doubt some of them see the Irrationality but simply go along with the accepted level of nonsense because life is much easier and more profitable than those attempting to assert the insertion of a different rationality. So long as you are not hunted down as a witch by your once friendly colleagues you might get away with calling everyone crazy... that is until you start casting spells or are seen carrying around a broomstick.

But the Irrationality to which I speak of is wide-spread, and that non-professionals must abide by and are forced to believe in. And even if you don't like it, engage in frequent condemnation thereof like some who are against "The Government", for whatever personal reason(s), they are nonetheless forced to go along with it or they wouldn't be able to function amongst those who do believe in it. While some believers do make way for the occasional dissenter, they will only do so as long as the dissension is viewed in terms of a personally expressed opinion and not as an expectation for them to follow suit in mind and manner.

If Irrationality is the practiced "law of the land", (whatever the subject territory is), they are axioms that must nonetheless be obeyed or life can become quite difficult. And even though Godel in 1931 showed fellow Mathematician's the fallacy of their presumed rationality based on utilized axiomatic preferences, many still rely on different variations of the axiomatic Irrationality in order to co-exist in a world of their peers. While this is unfortunate seeing as how many seek some ultimate truth, it is more unfortunate that Godel's theorem has itself become part of the axiomatic system he warned us about. In addition, the attempt by others to apply Godel's theorem to other subjects has frequently resulted in failure simply because the wording employed is being used axiomatically.

While many say they want to think outside the box, and believe that they do, what they are describing is just another box or perspective of the same box from a different vantage point. Whereas the box, like the environment may change over time, those who are not perceptive of subtle changes will alter their perception accordingly, in terms of adaptive survival. Sociologists from one generation to the next, like all professionals in all subject areas, are professing the peculiarities of their adapting perceptions instead of not only acknowledging that a change in the box (environment) is occurring, but they must get away from the environment. The following images, believe it or not, show the same box (called a necker cube), though I have removed some of the lines in the second image in order to render the alternative perception from the same vantage point, more readily observable for anyone whose mind does not easily change focus in order to distinguish an "inside" and "outside" corner view.

necker cube image 1 (2K) necker cube image 2 (1K)

In this instance, the box hasn't really changed, just one's perception. But imagine how a perception would be altered even more so if the box was actually undergoing a change. For example, I could, by a small percentage, make multiple representations of the image and no one would be the wiser until it is referenced in comparison with something that has not changed or changed very little (in a positive or negative degree). Such is the case with Sociologists when looking at social circumstances. They are so focused on one spot they can't see the effects of the larger, though subtle environmental changes. And with all of them focused on the same "Sociologically" defined aspects with an accepted axiomatic-like tool chest of what is meant by a "proper" sociological perspective, no one can tell them that they have their collective heads in their back pockets. They don't see it and intellectualize all references thereto into some manageable absurdity to contrarily negate as a negligible consideration.

The illusion produced by the Necker cube, though other types of illusions could well be used, is the same mentality of many professionals, including Sociologists, whose conclusions are not only the contrivance of yet another box, but that it sustains that which assisted in the formulation of the conclusion in the first place. It's like a person stepping away from a lynch mob only to become part of the crowd of spectators who think they are not involved with the lynching... They don't see themselves as part of the overall crowd at the event. They use their vocabulary and means of self-explanation to provide a plausible denial for being involved with a particular aspect of an event that they are involved with due to their presence and knowledge of the event. In other words, they rationalize away the event's Irrationality, as an unrecognized convention of survivability.

A link to more illusions: Illusions page 1

All professions are engaged in their own formulas of rationalizing the Irrationality of their perspectives with respect to humanity attempting to exist in an environment that is decaying. But the decay is not being visualized. The triangular path of the Sun from dawn to noon to dusk isn't being visualized. The slowing of the Earth's rotation isn't being visualized. The expansion of the Sun with the fusing of its attendant three "moments" (dawn - noon - dusk) isn't being visualized. And the overall consequential effects on sociological themes is not being visualized. Professionals are like thoroughbred turtles, dogs and horses practiced to run a particular race with or without the conventionalized blinders of their particular profession. Does someone need to draw you a 3-D picture or hold your hand while you are exploring this idea?

In terms of Sociological consequences regarding Sociologists having their heads in the sand, we need to have a revolution... against all the different professions with their own varieties of self-centered business, government and religiously ritualized mentality. Are you listening Sociologists? The finger is being pointed at you. It's time for you to stop recording and reporting social events, but become a dynamic one yourself. Human society needs dramatic change and you are in a position to provide the necessary purposeful alterations.

— End of page II —

Initial Posting date: Saturday, May 10, 2014

Your Questions, Comments or Additional Information are welcomed:
Herb O. Buckland