Threesology Research Journal
The Devil's Advocate and 3's Research
~ 33 c ~

~ The Study of Threes ~

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Researchers as of 8/29/2019

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Devil's Advocate Series:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14A
15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22A
23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 A
30 B
31 32 33a
34 35 36
37 38 39 40 41 A
41 B

If we plot these patterns out in a biological sense, such as for example laying them out on a ground and walking over them as if they were paths to follow, we might claim that the analog form is a zig-zag pattern sometimes seen in movies exhibited by those who think they can be missed by a person trying to shoot them, unless we prefer to think of it as the path of someone who is intoxicated. The digital pattern on the other hand, requires two right turns and two left turns, inter-spaced with a short straight path, giving me the impression of a military drill practiced in boot camp so as to teach a new recruit how to march according to different right and left commands. In other words, both of them portray different types of behavior seen in biological activity that we might want to claim exists in complex and simple cellular events, not to mention chemical and atomic processes, even though repetition of events such as the Krebs cycle or cellular division may not be interpreted by everyone as expressions of a mechanical, or military-like "uniformed" process of executing some ordered arrangement. Indeed, while the notion of mutation suggests an open fluidity of expression not tied to any strict process of mechanization, the underlying nature of mutation and overall evolution may be more uniform than the so-called "diversity" of life forms is otherwise interpreted to display randomness, creativity, originality and anything but a mechanization.

If we look at stock market "trends" (patterns) over an extended periods of time, very often the information is provided as an analog description. Likewise for other events such as employment/un-employment cycles, job growth, population movements, etc., including periodic extinctions of life forms and weather patterns. Yet, fortunately, I came across an example of a pattern that is described in both an analog (sloping) and digital (boxed) fashions, to whose side by side images I have added some commentary regarding the usage of dichotomies and the implied absence of patterns-of-three thinking:

Analog and Digital weather pattern example

While some readers might want to argue that the second graph is just another way of displaying analog information, it nonetheless characteristically leans in the direction of looking suspiciously like a digital expression. Whereas instead of boxes one might use circles, triangles or some other geometric pattern, the inter-linked composition would still provide what might be described as a digital portrayal, and not some thought-of totally new third option.

Many of us think to claim that the human brain is inclined towards analogical behavior because of its many examples of unindexed expressions placed under the labeled of creativity, originality and spontaneity, of which we might also say is exemplified by evolution and mutation summed up with the general idea that life is diverse and exists in the billions of different forms. And yet, amongst all the variety we have uncovered basic body plans and internalized cellular activity that is an expression of enormous variety, but of a few patterns which repeat... just like a digital pattern. Just because we have not taken the time to uncover and catalog the limitation of patterns being used does not mean they do not exist. However, do they then also... that is automatically, suggest a digital formula? Is that which we describe as being digital, THE determining pattern of all things digital?

If a pattern repeats, be it with one or a billion numbers, symbols, colors, sounds, etc., and does not repeat forever, is this to be described as a digital pattern, or should we limit the definition just as we limit ourselves to a recognition thereof? Are all binary operations with a limited extensiveness to be defined as a digital expression? If this is so, then does the repeating ebb and flow of ocean waves routinely illustrated as flowing wave patterns, also exhibit a digital pattern since ocean waves do not exist if an ocean dries up? Then again, is the definition we are using to describe an analog little more than a superficial generalization of comparison to that being described as a digital pattern?

Whereas the word "infinity" is used to describe an analog pattern, there is no actual infinity, just the appearance of a continuity labeled as such. It is a generalization of a discrete occurrence over a period of time and distance used as an arbitrary measuring tool to compare that which we describe as a digital expression which is shorter in duration. Analog expressions are discreet repetitions over a longer duration than those being described as digital, but they are not actually forever lasting. The reason for stating such is to bring to the fore the acknowledgement that our attempts to distinguish whether or not the human brain functions in an analogical or digital fashion is a means to use the technique of generalization so as not to create a situation where the human mind appears to be limited, and yet does not also appear to be without a measure of fluidity, stretchability, or incontrovertible concreteness having no plasticity for the purpose of suggesting a lack of progressibility along one or more channels that can not be pre-determined and thus controlled like some computer program.

If we agree with professor Dyson that we do not know whether or not some aspects of life are either digital or analog, I believe this is the exercise of a commonly occurring attitude used by antiquarians disposed towards a type of reflection inclined towards the reverence of referencing traditional desires for being recognized as being associated with one or another mystery to further their own personalized model of mystique in the eyes of a fawning public— that needs to be replaced with an effort to discover which, if any of the two (analog/digital)... or something other— that actually exists. If we don't know, let us take steps to uncover that which we don't know, including the activity of redefining our definitions if need be, since definitions presumed to be right and used as the preeminent characterization, can lead us along false paths.

For example, do we prefer simplistic or elaborated generalities because we are afraid to determine humanity is less than that which the human ego wants itself to suppose? Or that it may find a trail by which the present activities of humanity become over-shadowed by the development of a program or attitude which creates a new species of sentient being, thereby rendering those and that which profit off of the present currency of acceptance are placed into a position of being devalued and thus having to struggle for a survival that is sometimes accentuated by whether or not a given type and level of deference is provided as a stepping stone or hand out? Are we afraid of losing traditions or solidifying those felt to be bad, yet are presently manageable?

In as much as I first thought to end the present discussion after two pages, I will need a third to provide a recaption and then set the stage for the next sojourn leading us back into cataloguing more examples of three-patterned ensembles.

In speaking about the distinctions to be made between the ideas of analog and digital, in a larger metaphorical sense they are relatives to one another. While some observers may say they are close family members, someone else may claim they are distantly related. For example, let us a provide a list of comparisons after a moment's interlude of discussion in which I present the idea that "analog" means an idea and "digital" refers to the method in which the idea is thus transmitted into a representation thereof.

For example, a philosophical comparison of analog and digital can be made with other ideas that are well known and easy to understand:

  • Mind/Body dichotomy (Philosophy)
  • Wave/Particle duality (Physics)
  • Nature/Nurture, rational/irrational, sane/insane... (Psychology)
  • AC [alternating current]/ DC [direct current], positive/negative (Electricity)
  • Good/Evil, right/wrong, (Religion)
  • Rich/Poor (economics)
  • right path, thinking, doing... versus wrong path, thinking, doing... (one kind of Eastern philosophy)
  • Yin versus Yang, Yin and Yang, Yin or Yang... (another kind of Eastern philosophy)
  • Squaring a circle, rational versus irrational numbers... (mathematics)
  • Past/Present (History)
  • Win/Lose (Sports)
  • Guilt/Innocence, Statutory/Common... (law)
  • East/West, Right wing/Left wing... (Politics)
  • etc... (Wikipedia: Category:Dichotomies, Persistent Dichotomies

However, one might easily venture into the realm of using any contrast or complement consisting of the presence or absence of:

  • Quantity singles, doubles, trios, quads, quintuplets etc...(such as for example in biology, chemistry, etc...)
  • Quality light/dark, rich/poor, Dr. jekyll/ Mr. Hyde, good/evil, up/down, 3 particles/3 anti-particles, matter/anti-matter, positive/negative, straight/curved, etc...

We perform an analog activity by thinking divergently about an idea resulting in the usage of analogy in our comparisons, where the style of our analogy may be far beyond what we think is conventional thinking, and is sometimes expressed in the notion of "why be normal", which I have seen displayed on T-shirts, bumper stickers and heard in various ways as verbalized expressions. The digitalization of the analog activity frequently becomes displayed in a "paper" or "talk" or "presentation", with various terms applied such as lecture, discussion, debate, thesis, pamphlet, book, recital, etc... By setting out an idea into a regimented form with heading, contents, chapters, references, bibliography, etc...

My efforts to catalog enumerated references to cognitive exercises of recurring expressions (in different types of list such as by way of columnization, timelines, serialization) is a process of digitalization, but it has not escaped me that patterns-of-two can be elaborately portrayed as patterns-of-three. In fact, we might well find that many presumed patterns-of-three represent transitional formulas or forms between a pattern-of-two and a desired or intended or eventually emerging pattern-of-three, but development may get stuck in a three-based elaboration of a pattern-of-two, thereby delaying the acquisition because the believers or users of the form or formula think they have acquired some or "THE" penultimate representation of an ideological consideration. (For example, in the I-Ching we find a reference to a collection of eight symbols referred to as Trigrams, when they are actually Bigrams intellectually disguised as trigrams. If you look closely, you will see three "levels" of lines, but the quantity of lines never exceeds two.)

The I-Ching Trigrams are actually Bigrams

However, when I bring up the topic Of "threes", I am invariably met by those whose replies are an attempt to replace my efforts with thoughts that return the subject to an analog, or a digitally expressed representation thereof. But this also occurs amongst Numerologists. While they do make lists of different number patterns, the fact that they become distracted and move away from one enumerated topic to another is an unrecognized act of digressing away from an effort at digitalization. They resort to thinking about one or another subject but make no real effort to digitalize their thoughts or feelings. This occurs in many math classes where students don't show their work because their mind is inclined towards the analog, the wayward forms of creativity (be it art, music, philosophy, emotion, etc...), and showing one's work is an activity of digitalizing that which they do not want to see placed into a rigid expression. Without knowing it, their inclination towards creativity may well use a digital effort in that they create a poem, or write a song, or paint a picture, or draw a landscape, or create a speech, etc., though many students find an outlet in chemistry, mechanics, architecture, sports, etc., where forms of expression are not in words but other forms of expressed deeds of action.

All of these are forms of digitalization that educators have not been able to direct towards a developed energy of expression useful in a structured academic setting which is not formulated on a firm grasp of understanding the analog and digital activities of the human mind. The fact that we have only a very few rigidly structured "serious" academic subjects for which all forms of human analogical activity are being forced into using as the primary means of expression, is like taking a whip to a slave who doesn't perform as a structured-in-one-direction setting demands from students. And even though there are various forms of "freedom" (such as 'Freedom High school') or "alternative" schools attempting to address the problem between the analog and digital activity of the human brain, these too are failing to create the necessary environment for guiding a student along a path that is not only rewarding for them but also of value to humanity, without subjecting the definition of "valuation" to petty forms of what is meant by a human expression of analog and digital. Those favoring alternative schools like those favoring alternative medicines, alternative life styles, etc., generally think that there may exist something better to be achieved if we either allow nature to take its course with a given individual or introduce them to some older worldview orientation, all of which appear to use underlying patterns-of-two, such as the yin/yang philosophy, and Indian philosophies, though they may insist they are occupied with some three-oriented formula... unrealizing the three(s) they are using are framed so as to support some two-patterned compilation. While older worldview orientations may use multiple patterns-of-three such as the Free Masons, the patterns-of-three were compiled in response to ancient two-patterned world views, and are thus antiquated... needing a severe re-orientation for future growth instead of its present stagnation of repetition used because older members find it comforting, manageable, and without a need for action or activity beyond some normalized ceremonialism.

On many accounts, the problem begins in establishing self-defeating organizations (like the ancient Roman Empire) which evolved with the enforcement of some assumption that a "right way", or "right path", or "correct view" is that which is being described by those affecting some measure of control so as to assist them in gaining a larger share of one or another resource for enhancing their survival. Be it a business plan of action based on the infamous criminality underlying the "it's just business" slogan: religious path towards righteousness due to some supposition of infallibility, or a government's imperialist acts of colonializations due to some incredulous claim of "manifest destiny", phony democratic equality or good guy policing activity to gain admittance that eventually results in manipulative control.

Unfortunately, very often, we find that the government, business and religion impose their self-serving demands onto the public because they do not know how nor even care to assist the public in becoming the best it can be. Such institutions are commonly known as being short-sighted to which short-sighted (and often mentally disturbed, deficient, or disaffected) people gravitate and come to control some department or aspect thereof from a backroom, corridor or intermittent sought-out-for council as if they are somehow a wise and perspicacious seer. Such institutions are like an autism, where the autistic person can only thrive (relatively so), in a very structured environment and becomes upset by any disturbance to the contracted self-oriented world-view in which they live— this is the typical business, the typical government, the typical religion... only in as much as they are not seen as being controlled by someone or some law which nonetheless routinely exercises a recurring theme of digressing from the routine, from the norm, from the usual as part of an internalized character of personality which thrives on acquiring something that is thought to be advantageous to increasing the strength of their disposed-to digitalized structure amounting to a constraint and disallowance of analogical thinking (sometimes termed revolutionary in a positive or negative sense), which is a complement or contrariety to set standards often described as tradition, holi-day, rule, edict, law, policy, SOP (standard operating procedure), decree, rule, belief, formula, things-to-do list, etc...

However, as a point of interjecting a relatedness to the analog and digital discussion which can lead into many divergent realms, it is of value for the reader to be returned to the primary discussion and make note of these two signals being accompanied by three operations of modulating their signals, because digressions of thinking about the analogical and digital leads us into various philosophical paths, one of which is a presumed logic, which is a form of modulation. Hence, let me place two imaged references thereto:

3 types of Modulation

3 basic logic functions related to the analog and digital discussion

Although comparing the terms "analog" and "digital" to other dichotomies is not a new idea, and those doing the analysis rightly point out the existence of limitations and how our comparisons get entangled with other models such as the atomic, biological and mechanistic (to say nothing of the already attributed electrical signal association); they frequently fail to move the discussion beyond the recurring parameters of analogy to point out the digital placement of the dichotomy amongst a limited field of recurring cognitive patterns which, for the most part, are not being catalogued, despite the many sojourns into philosophical inquiries. In other words, their discussion is part of a larger cognitive array of patterns which are repeating, and their discussion is part of the list.

As an example, since I came across it by a random internet search of seeking out an example of someone using the analog/digital pattern as an analogy to the mind/body duality, let me say that many writers such as Ellie Epp conceive of a good argument to point out discrepancies of the analog/digital organization of dichotomous generalizations applied to specificities, and outline it in a paper such as her "The Analog/Digital Distinction in the Philosophy of Mind" (1968), which provide comments that remain relevant today. However, there is no likewise formal address towards transgressing this formal routine of examination because the authors are leashed to the mimicry of discussing dichotomy within the boundary of acceptable dichotomous discussions thereof. In other words, there are era, culture and academic institution-specific ways in which discussion of dichotomies is to take place, usually in a dichotomous fashion. To discuss them from an actual trichotomous fashion is to be view as being out-of-step with the accepted formula of digitalization. Hence, the required digitalization of a discussion about a dichotomy is a type of formulization which is another type of analogy not recognized as an analogy, but is viewed as an unrecognized formal means of discussing dichotomies, because those involved with the finalization of interpretation have a predominant two-patterned orientation that has become digitalized and thus is viewed as being more-than a dichotomy... or a third option of thinking, which it is not. It is just two-patterned thinking cast with another suit of clothes to give it the appearance of sophistication but remains as a dichotomous prince and pauper exchanged variation.

In other words, the authors attempts to philosophically digitize an analogy falls back on using analogy to describe the digital in a presumed (philosophically-based) formal way, and think that by assuming an accepted formal representation they have somehow released themselves from being chained to a two-patterned world-view orientation; when in actuality, they have taken a dichotomous about-face with a different vernacular, stepped in a horizontal-vertical-diagonal fashion, and then stopped to mark an X on the ground of where they think the desired treasure of intellectual inquiry may be found. Again, and again, and again we see this occurring in philosophy and the many idea-generated beliefs in different "serious" subject areas. Unfortunately, like a presumed domesticated pet on a long leash tied to a stake in a yard by an owner who thinks they are doing the pet a great service by giving the a sense of (restrained) freedom; the authors meanderings within the social and academic spheres find themselves bound to a worshipped tree (or treeless ceremonialism) in which they have become encircled (with or without torches, hoods, formalized vernacular used as secret or sacred words, etc.), and their repeated (symbolically portrayed) urination and defecation there-in marks it as their own proscribed territory... or their own (creatively labeled) contrivance that is... and those doing the examination thereof customarily do not have the breadth nor depth of acumen to see the repetition in the stripes, colors and sounds being emitted... which frequently is little more than a recitation of a collection of repetitions viewed as a necessary type of knowledge to have mastered by way of being able to repeat it on cue. They can not move beyond their discussion of the dichotomy within the constraints of a two-patterned dialogue, because they are unfamiliar with the territory which lays beyond it, even when many make the supposition that such exists and they think they have achieved a means of pitching a tent there; yet they are merely adding their own name as graffiti upon the graffiti of others who have passed the way before, and have had the currents of time wash away their trail. Kilroy has been many places with many guises, yet the footprints of previous visitations are not always recorded nor the record endowed with some lasting stone edifice carved with three different languages to be deciphered by some future generation.

When it occurs to myself and others that both analog and digital can exchange roles from different vantage points, this then points out a digitilized reference of a system engaging in analogy... such that we may claim the existence of a duality between a symbolic and non-symbolic mentality; yet in so naming the supposed existence of the non-symbolic, we have come to symbolically represent the presumed non-symbolical. Yet, we remain undecided of whether to define the whole as individual parts, giving us three, with or without presumed sub-divisions, or a two, viewed as a contrast and/or compliment. Whereas one might conceive of the non-symbolic as that without a name, the "without a name" is a named label itself. Such a bog of the vernacular is routinely found and fallen into, so long as one permits themselves to walk around the pit wondering which side is best to walk across the pit from.

Origination date: Friday, October 25th, 2019... 7:51 AM
Initial Posting: Wednesday, October 20th, 2019... 5:35 AM
Updated Posting: Friday, January 20th, 2023... 12:31 PM

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