Challenges to Comprehension Implied by the Logo
of Laetus in Praesens
Laetus in Praesens Alternative view of segmented documents via Kairos

15 October 2018 | Uncompleted

Topology of a Renaissance "Stargate" of Higher Dimensionality

Complementary ways of imagining engagement with otherness

-- / --

Selection of complementary metaphors
Selection of complementary forms in support of imagination

Annex of Collapse and Renaissance of Civilization: dilemma of communication and engagement understood otherwise


The intention here is to provide an indication of the variety of visual forms which may serve as mnemonc aids or catalysts to evoke insight with regard to the Renaissance, as separately argued (Post-Apocalyptic Renaissance of Global Civilization: engaging with otherness otherwise? 2018). The metaphor used there was that of a "stargate".

It is also assumed that these visual forms offer complementary perspectives as distinctive lenses through which a confusing future may be envisaged. Clearly other forms might be preferred or added to the set which may itself be configured in the light of such forms. Indications are offered to documents in which the potential significance of the forms is variously discussed, with fuether links to other references.

The visual forms are necessarily to be understood as metaphors -- as visual metaphors. From that perspective it is also appropriate to consider a range of metaphors which are not of a geometrical or topological nature but which offer the possibility of related insights, if not the same presented otherwise. In this sense it is appropriate to associate the abstractions of topology with the physicality implied by topography in order also to frame the question: How is the topography of a Renaissance of global cviilization to be imagined?

Especially relevant to the common root of both topology and topography is the manner in which "topos" (as the common root) is variously used:: as a type of category in mathematics, as topoi in rhetorical invention, as topoi in literary theory, as logical reasoning from commonplace topoi, and as the Platonic realm of archetypes (Topos hyperuranionos).

The term "topics" is derived from early reference to topoi (places) in which memorial content could be aggregated. This is of particular interest to the mnemonic aids by which memory is organized in the method of loci, a traditional imaginal technique variously described (Frances Yates, The Art of Memory, 1966; Alexander Luria, The Mind of a Mnemonist: a little book about a vast memory,1968; Lynne Kelly, The Memory Code, 2016). Associated with this method are understandings of "memory palaces", "memory theatres" and an interpratation of " memory gardens" and memorials. A focus on "topography" -- even enhanced by maps -- is notably to be recognized in the immersive experience offered in online realms and the construction of artificial worlds, whether as fantasy gaming or otherwise. These have long featured in fiction.

In this light, the Renaissance might then be understood as a commemoration -- a response to the challenge of declining collective memory (Societal Learning and the Erosion of Collective Memory -- a critique of the Club of Rome Report: No Limits to Learning, 1980). Using a weaving metaphor, whether with respect to places, topic or themes, the challenge of any Renaissance is then a matter of how disparate topics might be more fruitfully "woven" together into a memorably coherent whole, as may be variously discussed (Interweaving Thematic Threads and Learning Pathways, 2010; Interweaving Demonic and Daimonic Associations in Collective Memory, 2008; Global Civilization through Interweaving Polyamory and Polyanimosity? 2018; Warp and Weft of Future Governance: ninefold interweaving of incommensurable threads of discourse, 2010).

The challenge here could be expressed otherwise in terms of how Renaissance is to be imagined, notably in the light of the widely cited work by Gareth Morgan (Images of Organization, 1986). He offers the possibility of framing an organization as: a machine, an organism, a brain, a culture, a political system, a psychic prison, as flux and transformation, and as an instrument of domination. In his promotion of the need for new modes of thinking, a distinctive pattern has been variously articulated by Edward de Bono (Six Frames For Thinking About Information, 2008; New Thinking for the New Millennium, 1999). Distinctions of fundamental importance to a culture may be associated with symbolic animals, as with the 9 so recognized in Japan (Saf Shaikh, Japanese symbolic animals and their meanings, 14 August 2018). By contrast, following extensive review of how the future has been imagined, four generic alternative futures have been recognized for understanding continuing trends (Jim Dator, "New beginnings"e; within a new normal for the four futures, Foresight, 16, 2014, 6, pp. 496-511). These are labelled as: "grow", "collapse", "discipline" or "transform".

The argument here is that rather than restricting an imagined Renaissance to a 4-fold, 6-fold, 8-fold, or a 9-fold pattern (or otherwise), there is a case for eliciting a wide variety of forms and patterns of forms, whether or not this lends itself to the construction of one or more pattern languages by which a Renaissance can be imagined. (Representation, Comprehension and Communication of Sets: the role of number, 1978). Clearly the art would then lie in the ability to navigate between such frames (Theories of Correspondences and potential equivalences between them in correlative thinking, 2007). The argument might then be how to balance the insights offered by a "topography of the Renaissance" with those offered by a "topology of the Renaissance" -- in cognitive terms.

The concerns here with presentation derive from the Forms of Presentation initiative of the Goals, Processes and Indicators of Human Development (GPID) project directed by Johan Galtung for the United Nations University.

Selection of complementary metaphors

Many metaphors of relevance to re-imaging meetings were indicated in an earlier exercise (Modelling Meetings (Analogies and Metaphors), 1984). The metaphors were clustered into: games and contests, physical processes, biological and chemical processes, agriculture and food processing, physical constructs, social activities, and psycho-physical processes. Where appropriate those detailed have been included below. (Metaphors as cognitive catalysts and vehicles, 2009) (Metaphors of Alternation: an exploration of their significance for development policy-making, 1984)

Aesthetics (Music, Song, Poetry, and Drama)

Astrophysics and Cosmology

Biochemical metabolism and DNA

Bubbles, Balloons and Balls

Catastrophe (theory):


Dining and the Culinary arts


Ecosystem ***




Games (ball-games and card-games)



Geometry and topology (as below)



Martial arts

Memory palace

Mimicry (biomimicry and technomimicry)

Nuclear fusion

Periodic table

Physics and Quantum mechanics

Property and Patents


Rotating devices (motors, dynamos, generators, gyroscopes)

Senses (vision, etc)

Sex, Gender and Marriage

Symbols (mandalas, yantras, etc)

Solar system and Stellar evolution

Traffic and Signage



Weather and Climate

Weaving (noted above) and Braiding

Selection of complementary forms in support of imagination

(Metaphorical Geometry in Quest of Globality -- in response to global governance challenges, 2009)

Spheres and Hyperspheres (and globality):


Möbius strip and Lauburu:

Klein bottle:

Polyhedra (in 3D): ****

Polychora (N-polytopes), polyhedra (in 4D):

Helices and spirals:

Torus (and halo):


Poincaré disk:

Mandelbrot set renderings:



Jim Dator. "New beginnings"e; within a new normal for the four futures. Foresight, 16, 2014, 6, pp. 496-511 [text]

Edward de Bono:

Lynne Kelly. The Memory Code. Allen and Unwin, 2016

Alexander Luria. The Mind of a Mnemonist: a little book about a vast memory. Harvard University Press, 1968

Gareth Morgan (Images of Organization. Sage, 1986 [summary]

Frances Yates. The Art of Memory, 1966 [summary]

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

For further updates on this site, subscribe here