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

15 September 2007 | Uncompleted

Reinventing the Wheel and Changing Gear

from binary logic to quaternary logic and more

- / -


Introduction

Many references are made to the problematic consequences of binary logic, polarized thinking, duality and the like. These have been epitomized by the statement of the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell immediately after 9/11:

It's binary -- yes or no. You either respond to this crisis, this tragedy, this horrible thing that was perpetrated by perhaps al-Qaida and Usama bin Laden. And all, all the indications point in that direction. You either respond and rip them up, help us rip them up, get rid of them, or you will suffer consequences. (CNN Interview on Anti-Terrorism Campaign, 16 September 2001)

But the instances and limitations of binary logic are far more subtle, pervasive and insidious than the "with us or against us" attitude promoted by American foreign policy.

The purpose in what follows is to clarify the range of domains in which it may have unforeseen and powerful consequences. The question is then raised regarding the possibilities cultivated in other cultures of other logical modes -- and of how these might reframe many blocked situations currently faced at the global, regional, national, community and individual levels.

Indicative polarized contexts: conventional direction of progress

In Table 1, a selection of examples of polarities driving psyochosocial dynamics is presented -- in terms of what may be considered potentially "less attractive" and "potentially more attractive". Any "progress" may then be understood as being from the former to the latter. The examples are purely indicative as a prelude to a more systematic discussion. The fundamental importance of the conventional contexts in which such attractiveness is framed are also indicated for such polarities.

However, in the right-hand column is indicated the kinds of "unconventional" attitude that typically undermines the binary simplicity of the polarization. This may notably emerge as a result of the limitations and experience of what is otherwise considered conventionally attractive. This has been exemplified by desires to "leave the rat-race" -- just as others are seeking desperately to enter it.

Table 1:
Indicative
category
Potentially
less attractive
Potentially
more attractive
Indicative
(conventional) context
Counter-intuitive (unconventional) insight
Consensus "Against us" "With us" Response to terrorism; engagement in virtual wars (drugs, etc) As indicated by the ambiguity of the response of those unsupportive of the Coalition
Disagree, Dissent, Dissentors Agree, Consentor*** Consensus, tor Fundamental to mobilizing support for any initiative; agreement may be a basic requirement of many belief systems, with dissent justifying extreme actions Appreciation of disagreement as a source of variety and new thinking; concern about consequences of "yes-men" and "groupthink"
Interaction Loser Winner Fundamental to interactions in business, in sport and in argument Recognition of the problematic outcomes of winning in every situation, and notably with the disadvantaged; appreciation of the learnings from losing

Economic resources
Poverty,
Have-nots, Underprivileged
Wealth, Rich, Haves, Privileged Fundamental to assessment of "others" and framing the response to them, even to the point of marginalizing them; poverty may be held to be the ultimate explanation for alienation and may be held to justify any action to remedy that condition Justifications for leaving the "rat race"; appreciation of simpler lifestyles; efforts by traditional cultures to preserve their lifesyle; questionable correlation between "wealth", "well-being" and "happiness"
Underdeveloped Developed
Territory, Property Landlessness
(Homelessness)
Property (home)
ownership
Fundamental to the range of conflicts over territory and ownership of resources and, by extension, to cultural property and its symbolic implications for a people Understandings vainly expressed by indigenous peoples regarding their "non-ownership" of the land on which they have lived for generations. Recognition of obligations of stewardship of the land for future generations
Status Disrespect, Dishonour Respect, Honour Fundamental driver within any community; its absence may be held to be a basic justification for violence Recognition of the inappropriateness of some attributions of honour and respect; recognition of importance of self-esteem
Power
(Politics)
Weak,
Powerless
Strong,
Powerful
Fundamental to the dynamics of any group with those weakest subject to various forms of exploitation and marginalization Recognition of typical abuse of power and the neglected values represented by some minorty or marginalized perspectives
Minority Majority
"Left"
(or "Right")
"Right"
(or "Left")
Typical of conventional politics Recognition by the electorate of the limitations of either, or both, reinforcing political apathy
"Alternative" "Mainstream" Typical of opposition to conventional politics **
Knowledge Stupid, Ignorant, Uneducated Intelligent, Informed, Educated Fundamental explanation for the appropriateness of behaviour in response to circumstances; typically a justification for the marginalization and exploition of the least knowledgeable Recognition of the inadequacies of what may be held to be knowledgeable, and the value that mayu be fruitfully associated with ignorance and lack of "culture"
Uncultured Cultured
Practicality Abstract,
Theoretical,
Impractical
Concrete,
Practical
Fundamental to the dynamics between practitioners and theoreticians of any kind -- each lacking consideration for the other Recognition of the limitations of each and the advantages of the other

Attractive interest
Unattractive Attractive,
Style, Elegance
Fundamental to the search for stimulation and relationship Recognition of the limitations of excitement and the exotic --and the value of the ordinary and mundane, especially in human relationships
Boring Interesting, Exciting
Behaviour Abnormal, Extremist Normal Fundamental to the processes experienced as problematic within any community and triggering measures to ensure cessation of extremist behaviour Recognition, especially by the arts and the media, of the attractiveness of unusual and inhabitual behaviour
Belief "Materialism"
(or "Spirituality")
"Spirituality"
(or "Materialism")
Fundamental to the historical dynamic of the Enlightenment, to that between evidence- and faith-based reality, and to both religious and scientific fundamentalism Recognition of the limits of absolutism, the justification for a variety of beliefs and the challenge of any development in individual or collective understanding
Judgement Immoral, Unethical Moral,
Ethical
Fundamental to the evaluation of people and circumstances -- even to the daily distinction between "bad" and "good weather". May be a basic justification for condemnation and violence Recognition, notably in the arts, of the limitations associated with conventional understandings of "spiritual", "moral" and "good" (and their manipulation); recognition of more essential values underlying that which is conventionally condemned. The cybenetic requirments for positive and negative are especially relevant.

Bad

Good

False True
Wrong Right
Negative Positive

It is a characteristic of binary logic that there is a degree of conflation between all the "less attractive" conditions and between all the "more attractive" conditions in the above table.

Identifying a systematic set of polarized values

Whilst polarities such as those indicated in Table 1 are well-recognized as drivers -- towards "attractors" and away from "repulsors" -- their limitations (in the right-hand column) are less widely recognized, and usually only outside any conventional framework. It is the dynamics associated with such unconventional, non-binary, processes which are an experiential reality for many and are the focus of discussion in the next section. Readers may choose to skip the more systematic presentation of polarities that follows, recognizing that the challenge is to elicit the non-binary dynamics. An effort was made in this direction in the original exercise, where aphorisms were cited as a source of wisdom -- popular and otherwise -- in this respect.

The domains in which problematic consequences are likely to follow from restrictive use of binary logic may be identified more systemaically by exploring the set of polarized values. This was done, for different purposes in a previous exercise, within the framework of the Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential.

In that exercise, value polarities were identified (Section VP) in terms of the relationship between "constructive" and "destructive values". Table 2 is a modified version of the presentation of those value polarities -- ordered here in terms of the number of cross-references to constructive and destructive "value-loaded" words (Sections VC and VD) -- as systematically identified by selection from a standard thesaurus. Low order polarities have been omitted here. Polarity names are only indicative. These words have been used as a basis for relating values to world problems (destructive values) and organizational strategies (constructive values) in the Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential. These polarities are subsequently clustered below by "value type" in Table 3, partiuclarly since the order in Table 1 is no indication of the importance attached to the dimension indicated by the value polarities.

Table 2: Value Polarities Number of value-loaded words (in English)
(indicative names for
synonym-antonym pairs)
VC
("constructive")
VD
("destructive")
Total. %
Pleasantness-Unpleasantness 34 118 152 2.1
Resolution-Irresolution 58 68 126 1.7
Intelligence-Unintelligence 63 60 123 1.7
Probity-Improbity 73 46 119 1.6
Goodness-Badness 44 72 116 1.6
Skilfulness-Unskilfulness 65 49 114 1.6
Kindness-Unkindness 49 57 106 1.5
Energy-Moderation 63 42 105 1.4
Truth-Error 51 52 103 1.4
Virtue-Vice 24 75 99 1.4
Support-Opposition 62 35 97 1.3
Accord-Disaccord 46 49 95 1.3
Certainty-Uncertainty 43 51 94 1.3
Communicativeness-Uncommunicativeness 19 75 94 1.3
Desire-Avoidance 45 43 88 1.2
Repute-Disrepute 49 37 86 1.2
Action-Inaction 41 41 82 1.1
Courage-Fear 32 50 82 1.1
Appropriateness-Inappropriateness 23 57 80 1.1
Approval-Disapproval 28 52 80 1.1
Carefulness-Neglect 46 33 79 1.1
Agreement-Disagreement 36 42 78 1.1
Oversufficiency-Insufficiency 23 53 76 1.0
Freedom-Restraint 48 27 75 1.0
Cheerfulness-Solemnity 43 32 75 1.0
Taste-Vulgarity 40 33 73 1.0
Power-Impotence 38 34 72 1.0
Improvement-Impairment 22 49 71 1.0
Friendship-Enmity 41 30 71 1.0
Chastity-Unchastity 25 45 70 0.9
Perfection-Imperfection 27 39 66 0.9
Facility-Difficulty 18 47 65 0.9
Importance-Unimportance 31 32 63 0.8
Attention-Inattention 28 33 61 0.8
Knowledge-Ignorance 39 18 57 0.8
Belief-Unbelief 31 25 56 0.7
Respect-Disrespect 21 34 55 0.7
Intuition-Reason 21 33 54 0.7
Congratulation-Envy 0 53 53 0.7
Order-Disorder 16 36 52 0.7
Amusement-Boredom 18 34 52 0.7
Willingness-Unwillingness 39 12 51 0.7
Health-Disease 19 32 51 0.7
Feeling-Unfeelinglessness 20 30 50 0.7
Naturalness-Affectation 28 22 50 0.7
Restoration-Destruction 11 37 48 0.6
Safety-Danger 27 20 47 0.6
Strength-Weakness 19 27 46 0.6
Authority-Lawlessness 28 18 46 0.6
Excitement-Inexcitability 35 11 46 0.6
Modesty-Vanity 11 35 46 0.6
Sociability-Unsociability 31 14 45 0.6
Courtesy-Discourtesy 26 19 45 0.6
Beauty-Ugliness 25 19 44 0.6
Stability-Changeableness 22 21 43 0.6
Leniency-Compulsion 26 17 43 0.6
Obedience-Disobedience 14 29 43 0.6
Pride-Humility 22 21 43 0.6
Love-Hate 26 17 43 0.6
Sanity-Insanity 12 30 42 0.5
Accomplishment-Nonaccomplishment 29 12 41 0.5
Rightness-Wrongness 20 21 41 0.5
Timeliness-Untimeliness 19 21 40 0.5
Prosperity-Adversity 23 17 40 0.5
Unselfishness-Selfishness 27 13 40 0.5
Broadmindedness-Narrowmindedness 20 19 39 0.5
Piety-Impiety 23 16 39 0.5
Assent-Dissent 19 19 38 0.5
Pleasure-Displeasure 37 1 38 0.5
Intelligibility-Unintelligibility 18 19 37 0.5
Motivation-Dissuasion 33 4 37 0.5
Sharing-Appropriation 25 12 37 0.5
Justice-Injustice 20 17 37 0.5
Completeness-Incompleteness 27 9 36 0.5
Influence-Influencelessness 28 8 36 0.5
Greatness-Smallness 29 6 35 0.4
Sensation-Insensibility 14 20 34 0.4
Consent-Refusal 18 16 34 0.4
Hope-Hopelessness 16 18 34 0.4
Compassion-Pitilessness 25 9 34 0.4
Superiority-Inferiority 12 21 33 0.4
Symmetry-Distortion 14 19 33 0.4
Life-Death 14 19 33 0.4
Expedience-Inexpedience 9 24 33 0.4
Identity-Difference 15 17 32 0.4
Patience-Impatience 21 11 32 0.4
Contentment-Discontentment 15 17 32 0.4
Preparedness-Unpreparedness 15 16 31 0.4
Possession-Loss 14 17 31 0.4
Caution-Rashness 15 16 31 0.4
Temperance-Intemperance 13 18 31 0.4
Conformity-Nonconformity 19 11 30 0.4
Change-Permanence 28 1 29 0.4
Cleanness-Uncleanness 12 17 29 0.4
Cohesion-Disintegration 9 19 28 0.3
Inclusion-Exclusion 8 20 28 0.3
Discrimination-Indiscrimination 18 10 28 0.3
Education-Miseducation 20 8 28 0.3
Godliness-Ungodliness 24 4 28 0.3
Eloquence-Uneloquence 25 1 26 0.3
Expensiveness-Cheapness 5 21 26 0.3
Comfort-Aggravation 20 6 26 0.3
Imaginativeness-Unimaginativeness 18 7 25 0.3
Dueness-Undueness 14 11 25 0.3
Judgement-Misjudgement 12 12 24 0.3
Choice-Necessity 12 12 24 0.3
Exultation-Lamentation  14 10 24 0.3
Vindication-Condemnation 14 10 24 0.3
Simplicity-Complexity 16 7 23 0.3
Motion-Quiescence 11 12 23 0.3
Equality-Inequality 12 10 22 0.3
Unity-Duality 15 7 22 0.3
Durability-Transience 15 7 22 0.3
Economy-Prodigality 21 1 22 0.3
Forgiveness-Vengeance 17 5 22 0.3
Newness-Oldness 10 11 21 0.2
Elegance-Inelegance 16 5 21 0.2
Selfactualization-Neurosis 3 18 21 0.2
Victory-Defeat 9 11 20 0.2
Legality-Illegality 4 16 20 0.2
Expectation-Inexpectation 11 8 19 0.2
Healthfulness-Unhealthfulness 7 12 19 0.2
Hospitality-Inhospitality 14 5 19 0.2
Oscillation-Agitation 0 18 18 0.2
Meaning-Meaninglessness 7 11 18 0.2
Behaviour-Misbehaviour 8 10 18 0.2
Innocence-Guilt 14 4 18 0.2
Existence-Nonexistence 12 5 17 0.2
Concurrence-Counteraction 16 1 17 0.2
Thought-Thoughtlessness 13 4 17 0.2
Increase-Decrease 15 1 16 0.2
Conversion-Reversion 4 12 16 0.2
Productiveness-Unproductiveness 10 6 16 0.2
Presence-Absence 7 9 16 0.2
Wealth-Poverty 5 11 16 0.2
Conjunction-Separation 6 9 15 0.2
Evolution-Revolution 9 6 15 0.2
Light-Darkness 12 3 15 0.2
Relatedness-Unrelatedness 11 3 14 0.1
Uniformity-Nonuniformity 5 9 14 0.1
Form-Formlessness 2 12 14 0.1
Curiosity-Incuriosity 3 11 14 0.1
Formality-Informality 12 2 1 0.1
Sanctity-Unsanctity 14 0 14 0.1
Substantiality-Unsubstantiality 11 2 13 0.1
Causation-Culmination 12 1 13 0.1
Weight-Lightness  7 6 13 0.1
Harmony-Discord 8 4 12 0.1
Interpretability-Misinterpretability 3 10 13 0.1
Originality-Imitation 12 0 12 0.1
Production-Reproduction 12 0 12 0.1
Elasticity-Toughness 8 4 12 0.1
Savouriness-Unsavouriness 4 8 12 0.1
Continuity-Discontinuity 7 4 11 0.1
Attributability-Chance 5 6 11 0.1
Ancestry-Posterity 11 0 11 0.1
Direction-Deviation 5 6 11 0.1
Representation-Misrepresentation 2 9 11 0.1
Conciseness-Diffuseness 8 3 11 0.1
Numerousness-Fewness 7 3 10 0.1
Location-Dislocation 7 3 10 0.1
Circumscription-Intrusion 1 9 10 0.1
Research-Discovery 9 1 10 0.1
Provability-Unprovability 7 3 10 0.1
Wonder-Unastonishment 10 0 10 0.1
Regularity-Irregularity 6 3 9 0.1
Overrunning-Shortcoming 0 9 9 0.1
Elevation-Depression 6 3 9 0.1
Hardness-Softness 6 3 9 0.1
Appearance-Disappearance 3 6 9 0.1
Exertion-Rest 9 0 9 0.1
Attack-Defence 4 5 9 0.1
Gratitude-Ingratitude 8 1 9 0.1
Frequency-Infrequency 8 0 8 0.1
Bigness-Littleness 1 7 8 0.1
Opening-Closure 3 5 8 0.1
Visibility-Invisibility 3 5 8 0.1
Neutrality-Compromise 8 0 8 0.1
Perpetuity-Instantaneousness 7 0 7 0.0
Youth-Age 6 1 7 0.0
Expansion-Contraction 7 0 7 0.0
Fragrance-Stench 1 6 7 0.0
Possibility-Impossibility 4 3 7 0.0
Conventionality-Unconventionality 6 1 7 0.0
Refreshment-Relapse 4 3 7 0.0
Futurity-Antiquity 6 0 6 0.0
Continuance-Cessation 6 0 6 0.0
Progression-Regression 1 5 6 0.0
Silence-Loudness 3 3 6 0.0

Clustered polarities

The above value polarities were tentatively clustered as follows in the Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential. Cluster type names are only indicative. 

Table 3:
. FOCUS IN CONTEXT CERTAINTY INTRINSIC CONSTRAINT NECESSITY EXTERNAL CONSTRAINT
O
R
D
E
R
Existence*complex 
Existence-Nonexistence 
Intrinsicality-Extrinsicality 
Substantiality-Unsubstant.
Relationship*complex 
Relatedness-Unrelated. 
Uniformity-Nonuniformity 
Originality-Imitation 
Equality-Inequality 
Identity-Difference 
Similarity-Dissimilarity 
Agreement-Disagreement
Quantity*complex  
Greatness-Smallness 
Increase-Decrease 
Conjunction-Separation 
Completeness-Incomplet. 
Superiority-Inferiority 
Simplicity-Complexity 
Cohesion-Disintegration
Order*complex  
Order-Disorder 
Inclusion-Exclusion 
Continuity-Discontinuity 
Conformity-Nonconformity
Number*complex  
Numbered-Unnumber. 
Numerousness-Fewness 
Unity-Duality
C
H
A
N
G
E
Time*complex  
Durability-Transience 
Futurity-Antiquity 
Youth-Age 
Frequency-Infrequency 
Perpetuity-Instantaneous. 
Newness-Oldness 
Timeliness-Untimeliness 
Regularity-Irregularity
Change*complex 
Change-Permanence 
Continuance-Cessation 
Evolution-Revolution 
Stability-Changeableness 
Conversion-Reversion
Causation*complex  
Eventuation-Imminence 
Attributability-Chance 
Causation-Culmination
Power*complex  
Power-Impotence 
Energy-Moderation 
Production-Reproduction 
Influence-Influenceless. 
Strength-Weakness 
Productiveness-Unproduct. 
Ancestry-Posterity 
Concurrence-Counterac.
Space*complex  
Location-Dislocation 
Container-Content 
Presence-Absence
F
O
R
M
Dimension*complex  
Bigness-Littleness 
Nearness-Distance 
Height-Lowness 
Expansion-Contraction  
Breadth-Narrowness  
Depth-Shallowness
Contextuality*complex  
Centrality-Environment 
Circumscription-Intrusion
Structure*complex  
Form-Formlessness 
Opening-Closure 
Symmetry-Distortion
Motion*complex 
Motion-Quiescence 
Impact-Reaction 
Swiftness-Slowness 
Attraction-Repulsion
Relative motion*complex 
Direction-Deviation 
Progression-Regression 
Convergence-Divergen. 
Elevation-Depression 
Leading-Following 
Approach-Recession 
Overrunning-Shortcom. 

Oscillation-Agitation

Q
U
A
L
I
T
Y
Absolute properties*complex  
Heat-Cold 
Transparency-Opaque. 
Light-Darkness 
Weight-Lightness
Relative properties*comp. 
Hardness-Softness 
Colour-Colourlessness 
Elasticity-Toughness
Life*complex 
Materiality-Immateriality 
Humanity-Nonhumanity 
Masculinity-Femininity 
Life-Death 
Sexiness-Unsexiness
Sense*complex 
Sensation-Insensibility 
Savouriness-Unsavour. 
Vision-Blindness 
Appearance-Disappear. 
Silence-Loudness 
Tangibility-Intangibility 
Fragrance-Stench 
Visibility-Invisibility 
Audibility-Inaudibility 
Harmony-Discord
Intellectual faculties*. 
Intelligence-Unintell. 
Knowledge-Ignorance 
Intuition-Reason 
Sanity-Insanity 
Thought-Thoughtless.
S
I
G
N
I
F
I
C
A
N
C
E
Evaluation*complex  
Research-Discovery 
Judgement-Misjudgement 
Discrimination-Indiscrim. 
Overestimation-Underest.
Credibility*complex  
Belief-Unbelief 
Limitation-Unlimitedness 
Certainty-Uncertainty 
Provability-Unprovability 
Possibility-Impossibility 
Truth-Error
Truth*complex  
Illusion-Disillusionment 
Affirmation-Denial 
Assent-Dissent
Attitude*complex 
Curiosity-Incuriosity 
Carefulness-Neglect 
Remembrance-Forgetful. 
Broadmindedness-Narrow.  
Attention-Inattention 
Imaginativeness-Unimag. 
Expectation-Inexpectation
Meaning*complex  
Meaning-Meaninglessn. 
Interpretability-Misinterp. 
Intelligibility-Unintellig.
I
N
I
T
I
A
T
I
V
E
Communication*complex  
Education-Miseducation 
Elegance-Inelegance 
Eloquence-Uneloquence 
Communicativeness-Unco. 
Representation-Misrepres. 
Conciseness-Diffuseness
Choice*complex 
Willingness-Unwillingness 
Desire-Avoidance 
Resolution-Irresolution 
Choice-Necessity
Motivation*complex  
Conventionality-Unconvent. 
Motivation-Dissuasion 
Formality-Informality
Adaptation*complex  
Oversufficiency-Insuffic. 
Expedience-Inexpedience 
Goodness-Badness 
Appropriateness-Inappropr. 
Importance-Unimportance 
Perfection-Imperfection
Integrity*complex 
Cleanness-Uncleanness 
Health-Disease 
Improvement-Impairm. 
Refreshment-Relapse 
Healthfulness-Unhealthf. 
Selfactualization-Neuros. 
Restoration-Destruction 
Safety-Danger
A
C
H
I
E
V
E.
Action*complex  
Action-Inaction 
Preparedness-Unprepar. 
Exertion-Rest
Achievement*complex 
Victory-Defeat 
Facility-Difficulty 
Behaviour-Misbehaviour 
Accomplishment-Nonacco. 
Prosperity-Adversity 
Skilfulness-Unskilfulness
Compliance*complex 
Authority-Lawlessness 
Freedom-Restraint 
Observance-Nonobserv. 
Leniency-Compulsion 
Obedience-Disobedience 
Consent-Refusal
Interaction*complex  
Support-Opposition 
Attack-Defence 
Accord-Disaccord 
Neutrality-Compromise
Possession*complex  
Possession-Loss 
Wealth-Poverty 
Economy-Prodigality 
Sharing-Appropriation 
Expensiveness-Cheap.
C
O
N
S
E
Q
U
E
N
C
E
Feeling*complex  
Feeling-Unfeelinglessness 
Patience-Impatience 
Pleasure-Displeasure 
Cheerfulness-Solemnity 
Amusement-Boredom 
Excitement-Inexcitability 
Pleasantness-Unpleasant. 
Contentment-Discontent. 
Exultation-Lamentation 
Comfort-Aggravation
Anticipation*complex  
Hope-Hopelessness 
Caution-Rashness 
Courage-Fear
Discriminative affection*complex  
Taste-Vulgarity 
Naturalness-Affectation 
Modesty-Vanity 
Wonder-Unastonishment 
Beauty-Ugliness 
Pride-Humility 
Repute-Disrepute
Socialization*complex 
Sociability-Unsociability 
Friendship-Enmity 
Conjugality-Celibacy 
Hospitality-Inhospitality 
Love-Hate
Benevolence*complex  
Courtesy-Discourtesy 
Compassion-Pitilessness 
Congratulation-Envy 
Kindness-Unkindness 
Forgiveness-Vengeance 
Gratitude-Ingratitude
R
E
A
D
A
P
T.
Appropriateness*complex 
Rightness-Wrongness 
Respect-Disrespect 
Dueness-Undueness
Judgement*complex 
Approval-Disapproval 
Justice-Injustice 
Probity-Improbity
Morality*complex 
Unselfishness-Selfishness  
Innocence-Guilt 
Temperance-Intemper. 
Virtue-Vice 
Chastity-Unchastity
Retribution*complex 
Legality-Illegality 
Atonement-Punishment 
Vindication-Condemnation
Redemption*complex 
Godliness-Ungodliness 
Sanctity-Unsanctity 
Orthodoxy-Unorthodoxy 
Piety-Impiety

Reinforcement of binary logic

Table 1 suggests a variety of settings in which current psychosocial dynamics reinforce binary logic and preclude more complex understandings. Obvious examples include:

Illusory compromise -- the "excluded middle"

The radically threatening implications of binary logic are exemplified in the statement made by President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan regarding a threat allegedly made by former US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage -- immediately after 9/11 -- to bomb Pakistan "back to the stone age" unless it joined the fight against al-Qaeda. (US 'threatened to bomb' Pakistan, BBC, 22 September 2006). In the interplay of binary logic, it is to be expected that claims could be as true as they are denied to be with no other possibilities to capture the reality of the situation..

It is appropriate to note a number of approaches to moving beyond the absolutism of binary logic:

Does not capture or engage with the reality that is widely experienced

pogo stick

Quaternary systems and 4-valued logics

4 languages

games

4 footed

It may be argued that the limitations of binary logic are adequately circumvented by using a multiplicty of polarizations, of which the above tables present many examples. However, fundamentally these are grounded on binary logic and specifically exclude more complex approaches. Given the chaos of the times -- and the exceptional violence of the past century -- "adequately" may not be an appropriate assessment.

Elsewhere (****) the possibility of configuring a set of polarizations was explored -- notably as a means of generating structures analogous to the tensegrity structures well-known to architects. A strong case for this possibility in relation to psychosocial structures was made by management cybernetician Stafford Beer (Beyond Dispute ****).

It is however important to address the challenge resulting from the conflation of attitudes to any polarized situation in terms of binary logic. One end of the "pole" is typically framed as "positive" (and desirable) and the other as "negative" (and undesirable). Although many two-ended "poles" have been basic to habitats construction for millenia, constructing a "house" (whether affective, intellectual or spiritual) with one or more "poles" is inconceivable -- if "bad spirits" are associated with one end of the "pole" and "good spirits" are associated with the other. This is the current situation if any set of the above polarities were to be used in the construction of any form of psychosocial dwelling. It is as ridiculous to hope to construct such a dwelling with "monopoles" as it is to strip out the "negative" wire from a system of electrical wiring in a building -- a challenge explored elsewhwere (***)..

Cycling through quaternary systems

As noted, the Cartesian coordinate system, on which "progress" is typically represented, does imply other conditions -- associated with the negative portions of the two axes. Much use is made of descriptive 4-quadrant models (by academics and management consultants), whether associated with such coordinate axes or not. A set of such models is presented elsewhere (xxxx monster)in Table x

Of special interest however are the situations where attention is specifically given to the importance of movement between the quadrants or a sense of how their respective conditions come into play in a larger system. But a distinction can then usefully be made between:

  1. those that focus on the challenge of movement from sub-optimum conditions, variously indicated by three of the quadrants, to optimum (desirable) conditions represented by the fourth; the three conditions from which such movement occurs (whether or not there is some transition between them in getting to the fourth) are then considered to have been superceded
  2. the necessity for some form of "integration" between all four quadrants, possibly associated with a form of movement back and forth between them; this is typical of various psychotherapeutic and psychoanalytic understandings of individuation processes (notably as clarified by Carl Jung) -- perhaps best exemplified and systematized in the AQAL scheme of Ken Wilber
  3. the movement between the four quadrants in a perpetual cycle through which some desired product or insight is generated or sustained
  4. a sequential cyclical movement between the quadrants but such that the return to any quadrant is at a "higher turn" of a spiral, namely in terms of a third dimension -- as in the "spiral dynamics" elaboration of the AQAL system; the implication here being on the merit of superceding the conditions represented by the quadrants at "lower turns" of the spiral

Haskell true/false

The concern in what follows is with the third situation. This is typical of the very well understood thermodynamics of "work cycles" fundamental to engines of every kind -- and originally explored in relation to steam engines.

tetrahedron

 

Incorporating more wheels to engender a more appropriate vehicle

monocycle, 3-wheels, 4-wheels

Transmission and engagement

engaging with nature and with human nature

weather -- whether

Unrecognized challenge of China and India

not just economic -- a different style -- probably more meaningful to indigenous communities

West has managed 1st gear only -- does not understand cruise mode

antonio book

Susantha

music intuitive -- Attali -- in the round

schism diagram

representation / indications: how they are made and represernted attribution of significance: how significance is attached to them -- adequacy of fit

-- explanation and superstition -- does it work

patterns: what patterns are thereby detected

correspondences: what correspondences give rise to attribution of higher significance

laying down connectivity in walking

aesthetic / harmonious / sympathetic magic

eats explanations / beliefs -- "commitment" / "acquisition"

persuasion? agreement?

climbing:

helicopter (psychopter) style of counter-intuitive adjustment via joystick

Feynman diags -- games people play

On some neglected paradoxes of modern logic Schmidt, M.F. Dept. of Philos., San Jose State Univ., CA; This paper appears in: Multiple-Valued Logic, 1990., Proceedings of the Twentieth International Symposium on Publication Date: 23-25 May 1990 On pp. 211-219 Meeting Date: 05/23/1990 - 05/25/1990 Location: Charlotte, NC, USA ISBN: 0-8186-2046-3 Abstract A four-valued truth-functional logic is presented. Among the specific features of the logic is a similarity to PROLOG and also to intuitionism. The logic is machine hardware representable by means of greater and lesser voltages or by means of a two-wire scheme. Without sacrificing truth functionality, without introducing modal operators, without making relevance a precondition for reasoning, without any gimmicks of unorthodoxies, and without any untoward consequences, one can avoid various paradoxes of standard logic. The initial focus is on two paradoxes. The first is that denying a conditional statement implies affirming its antecedent. The second is that ~[p⟨=⟩q] implies [p x-or q], and that ~[p x-or q] implies [p⟨=⟩q]. The author shows that the first paradox can be avoided. Then, he develops several different varieties of equivalence and mutual exclusivity, and dispel the second paradox. Finally he considers some new issues, focusing on whether or not [~(p=⟩q) and (r=⟩q)] implies [~r]. This proposition is a theorem both of standard logic and of his own system. Consequently, his main aim is to show that this proposition is unobjectionable http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/freeabs_all.jsp?arnumber=122623

 


References

Review of the Range of Virtual Wars a strategic comparison with the global war against terrorism, 2005 [text]

Four Complementary Languages Required for Global Governance, 1998

[1997] Veloping: the art of sustaining significance (10k)

pos-neg

gearbox

sets

polarization

cardioid

veloping

musakoji

mARUYAMA

CULT CATS

ENTIODROMIA

mONSTER TABLE

playfully

encroachment

extremism

terrorism

sphericl account

creative commons license
this work is licenced under a creative commons licence.