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         “Logic is for demonstration, intuition for invention.”  

                                                                                      H. Poincare, L’Enseignement Mathematique (1899)

                                                     The  Dialectic


A simple block and ball networking system which leverages full-spectrum cognitive / perceptual processing, learning algorithms, and the art of design, with an emphasis on advanced thinking and intuition -- and its reflection upon itself (not "mere facts", but principles):  functional relations, particularly goals and feedback (What are my assumptions? Are they justified?)

S3 is about pattern,

the rule which governs a system or phenomenon, exactly like numeric, musical, or visual relationships -- and its simultaneous mental and manual rotation.  

S3 is about focus on the collapse of our expectation of a logical universe (ike the Frame Problem:  no boundary for what information is relevant, what will change, what will remain the same), and how to adapt (we don't know the rules until the game evolves).  Just as mathematician Lewis Carroll’s Alice was presented with numerous logical paradoxes in Wonderland -- a topology of paradox.

In Zen terms, embracing the contradiction (instead of accepting the Law of Non-Contradiction) creates the necessary tension to escape from the underpinning concepts -- to see them as dynamic patterns, part of a process of transformation.

Sis about regulatory switching (synchronizing concurrent communication / interference among rotating S3s), a variety increasing, heuristic routing (ball or vector) system seeking best paths (optimization) in an unfriendly (blocking) network / environment of switchable links.

Think of the ball as “ping”:  a network monitor / troubleshooting tool testing reachability.

"… the logic of dichotomies ….  A container shall be provided with holes in such a way that they can be opened and closed.  They are to be open at those places that correspond to a 1 and remain closed at those that correspond to a 0.  Through the opened gates small cubes or marbles are to fall into tracks, through the others nothing.  It [the gate array] is to be shifted from column to column as required."

                                                                            Leibniz, G.W., "De Progressione Dyadica -- Pars 1", 1679

A Leibniz "germinis machinea rationcinatrix.”


                                                                                                    Binary Processor (0/1)

A Cybernetic switch, encompassing the Systems Thinking idea and the operation of wholeness, and the relation of whole and parts, structure of systems and their behavior, laws of regulation, and recursive processes of self-observation and self-reference in the service of reasoning.

dialectic engine of paradox, developing logic and intuition; a cubical maze module (four tunnels = four binary (0/1) switches = gate array) offering a development of choices (control flow) to create linearly independent / dependent paths, using a ball, or symmetry in mathematics.

In other words, Sis a dynamic domain (Wiener Animal-Machine Control and Communication) of nested and recursive structures / functions / processes, a tangible, lucid demonstration of Synthesis of Cybernetics and Systems Thinking -- goal systems of circular, regulatory chains influencing each other.

A spiraling, recursive, nested, back and forth of cognitive and perceptual cycles within a dynamic logic hierarchy, an Hegelian “Totality”:  a mixing of levels of abstraction, self-reference.

S3 is a topology of paradox:

"… a kind of Strange Loop, an interaction between levels in which the top level reaches back down towards the bottom level and influences it, while at the same time being itself determined by the bottom level.”    Gödel, Escher, Bach

A necessary redefinition / transcending of field (contradictory cognitive and perceptual signals / messages at different levels, where acknowledgement of that contradiction is forbidden:  Double Bind).  

An exploration of symmetry, influences among parts and whole, square and circle -- adaptation to accelerating rates of change and complexity of system and environment: a cognitive development tool; a topology of paradox.  While Rubik’s Cube, without that paradox, exercises logic; Sdemands logic and intuition: Open Systems Thinkinga working epistemological premise, within a cubical field of “forbiddingly complex environmental interactions.” (F. Emery, Systems Thinking, 1969)  

Here, S3 demands, gently at first, the manipulator simultaneously plan and direct multiple lines of thought, mentally and physically rotate, differentiate and process visual and logical parts and wholes, 


separate evolving tasks into manageable, self-referential subsequences, all within evolving layers of higher abstraction -- a self-reinforcing collaboration of left and right cerebral hemispheres -- intuition and logic.


Like the Tower of Hanoi classic recursive programming problem, 


(transfer the entire tower to another peg, moving one disk at a time, never a larger onto a smaller) 

each step is specified in terms of previous steps that the same function has already calculated (recursive functions and recurrence relations).  

But, unlike the Tower of Hanoi, the S3 has simultaneous multiple problem 


paths where each successive simultaneous path requires reinventing the previous path(s) / (algorithm(s).  

The S3 is a programmable logic component (In Field Programmable Gate Array terms), a combinational logic block. 



It contains four tunnels -- a gate array, effectively an array of unconnected switches to be programmed by the user as the block is rotated in space. 

It can be connected to other logic blocks to create multiple adaptive, simultaneous, routes.

Claude Shannon (Information / Switching Theory) / Minsky “Ultimate Machine" whose job is to turn itself off / on … differentially (four tunnels, four binary switches) with each rotation. 

In other words, within each combinational logic block, each Stunnel, with twenty-four possible attitude combinations (impede (0) / allow (1) ball flow), 


it is effectively a two-state rolling ball "tilt-switch”, a binary (0/1) logic gate with forty-eight states which are incommensurate, with multiple threads of execution; each S3 attitude change  simultaneously resets the four "gravity feed" chiral tunnels differently.


                                                                                                      Binary Processor (0/1)

While each set of four tunnels (one hundred and ninety-two states) acts as a dynamic logic block, a low-tech logic operator (dynamic router) of programmable interconnects. 

With each additional S3 there is a corresponding exponential increase in the number of possible tunnel attitude combinations (two S3's = 24 attitudes; three S3's = 24attitudes; etc.) and states (two S3's = 1922  states; three S3's = 192states; etc.).

The result is a universe of “orbiting" possibilities, an integrated circuit where all users have the same basic platform and can map the logic gates to their own design, developing sequences of dynamic, recursive and conditional binary change of state. 

"Turbulent  Field ...  the dynamic properties arise not simply from the interaction of the component organizations, but also from the field itself. The "ground" is in motion.” 

                                                    Emery and Trist, "The Causal Texture of Organizational Environments”, 1965.

An holarchy, an architecture of nested uncertainty (uncertainty of environment, and cognitive flip-flop and perceptual flip-flop -- "unknown unknowns"), of constant and unexpected contradiction and recursion;  an Hegelian logic hierarchy.


To optimize multiple simultaneous paths the manipulator must simulate the future, conceptually "drill down” through nested coordinate systems of dynamic information.  But what is the manipulator’s reference frame?  Particularly in the face of an expanding universe of S3s.

In Michio Kaku’s, The Future of the Mind terms, “self awareness; the ability to put one’s self inside a model of the environment.” 

In other words, with each rotation (precession of the rotational axis of each tunnel), and each additional S3, the manipulator must focus on the binary issues (0/1) of a given tunnel (part), proceed up the logic hierarchy to the S3 (whole), then to the expanding universe of S3 (overarching whole / system of systems).  Then go back down the hierarchy of nested coordinate systems, and repeat the process (while coping with contradiction of action and environment).  

A dynamic cycle of recalibration and reflection.

CUBICAL exoskeleton (six faces)  >>  

HOLES quadrant (eight holes)  >>  

TUNNELS gate array (four binary switches)  >> 

TUNNEL (binary switch). 


                                  Binary Processor (0/1)  /  three axis rotation problem space    

(Given that a ball must exit at the lowest Slevel and obey gravity, exit is possible in all orientations.)

With each rotation (precession of the rotational axis of each tunnel), and each additional S3, the manipulator must focus on the binary issues (0/1) of a given tunnel (part), proceed up the logic hierarchy to the S3 (whole), then to the ever expanding universe of S3 (overarching whole / system of systems), then go back down the hierarchy of hierarchies and repeat the process.  A dynamic cycle of recalibration and reflection.

In group theory terms, the S3 returns to another state with each action but the cubical form frame remains the same, in one of six canonical positions:  a symmetry transformation.

An evolution of compound statements of control flow, similar to block-structured programming where control structures are formed from blocks, including building blocks nested within other blocks, minimizing range of functions, variables, procedures.


In programming terms, Sis about sequences of dynamic, conditional and recursive binary change of state (each step must be specified in terms of previous steps that the same function has already calculated); streams of operations which operate concurrently:  concurrent programming, computations which must be executed simultaneously, potentially interacting with each other on physically seperated processors (S3).

Thus, the manipulation of each S3 and the evolving S3 logic universe requires programming a nonlinear overarching control structure -- dynamic, nested, self-referential -- function calls, instructions, and statements with increasingly less predictable flow and changing order of operations (which procedures should be changed first).

An evolving asymmetric topology of nested and recursive, interdependent logical frames, cascading, two-valued logic operations demanding the manipulator exercise forward / backward chaining (trace backward or forward, from result to cause, etc.)

A topology of reciprocal influence of Hands and Mind.  

Each rotation also generates nested and interdependent illusory frames of reference; all frames, illusory or not, remembered but adaptable, creating significant and conflicting changes of viewpoint (contradictory goals within changing contexts).

"The matching process which decides whether a proposed frame is suitable is controlled partly by one's current goals and partly by information attached to the frame; the frames carry terminal markers and other constraints [S3 confusing distinctive-feature information:  squares / cubes, circles / tunnels, illusory / real symmetries], while the goals are used to decide which of these constraints are currently relevant."

                                                                                        Marvin Minsky, "Frames Systems Theory", 1975

In other words, the manipulator is forced to make plans / take actions while facing the dichotomy of the relevant from the irrelevant -- what stays the same within a dynamic environment  -- a nascent Frame Problem (Philosophy / Artificial Intelligence).


                                            (four checkered paths cross and exit within a single S3)

In Dennett's terms, the Smanipulator must 

"recognize, not only …  intended implications of its acts, but also … the implications about their side-effects … the difference between relevant implications and irrelevant implications …"  and then ignore "thousands of implications ... deduced to be irrelevant.


       Approaching Complexity (Something You Cannot Predict)

The only recourse (causal inference) is intuition,

In Poincare’s terms: “Logic is for demonstration, intuition for invention.”

No small task.

"Try to acquire the weird practice of savoring your mistakes, delighting in uncovering the strange quirks that led you astray. Then, once you have sucked out all the goodness to be gained from having made them, you can cheerfully set them behind you, and go on to the next big opportunity. But that is not enough: you should actively seek out opportunities to make grand mistakes, just so you can then recover from them.

                                                               Daniel C. DennettIntuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking

Easy task?  With each reorientation, what’s on the other side of the cubical form / S3?

But in the common way of taking the view of any opake object [S3], that part of its surface, which fronts the eye, is apt to occupy the mind alone, and the opposite, nay even every other part of it whatever, is left unthought of at that time:  and the least motion we make to reconnoitre any other side of the object, confounds our first idea, for want of the connexion of the two ideas, which the complete knowledge of the whole world would naturally have given us, if we had considered it the other way before."

                                                          W. Hogarth, 1753, The Analysis of Beauty, (Oxford, 1955) 

The manipulator is immersed in a tug of war between local optimization / organic strategies and global purpose — 

In programming terms, between the need for:

Top-down programming (deductive reasoning);

Specifying complex pieces, then dividing them into successively smaller pieces; and

Bottom-up programming (inductive & abductive reasoning).

A geometry of oscillating paradox -- asymmetric, nested self-referencing and contradictory.

"Wiener had described a computer's oscillatory response ["'pathalogical' osciliations"] to being presented with a Russsellian paradox … learning about learning could lead to something analogous to a Russellian paradox (e.g., if one learns that whatever one learns is nonsense, one has a paradoxical bit of knowledge.)" 

                                                     Steve P. Heimes:  Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences

"Gregory Bateson and The Mathematicians: From Interdisciplinary Interaction 
To Societal Functions", 1977  


In (fuzzy) logic terms,                

Like Cantor’s paradoxKant’s transcending spheres, an antinomy, Srotation creates an effect that is not in direct proportion to cause and extremely sensitive to initial conditions; the dichotomy of classical Boolean two-valued logic (every proposition is either true or false) does not apply to the S3 (it’s a holon -- simultaneously whole and part). 

In Aristotle’s terms, with each S3 rotation there is a back-and-forth, a switching between "efficient cause" (guiding principle / linear assumptions with prior condition as cause) and "final cause" (aim or purpose / nonlinear assumptions of future condition as cause).

But Aristotle's logic is concerned with discrete elements in a deductive pattern, like the Rubik’s Cube:  find the answer (instead of the question, the concepts); accept the formulation of the problem as a given (instead of calibrating the permutations and difficulty).

Hegel, to the contrary, dissolves this classical static view and presents a dynamic, spiraling movement toward a whole, which embraces each of the ideas or stages which it has subsumed (contradiction of overcoming and preserving: Aufhebung, “sublation”):  a totality, a sort of fractal architecture. 

Thus, a demonstration of Hegelian dialectics of pattern and of process, a mixing of different levels of abstraction, self-reference.

In Open Systems Thinking terms,

“… analysis of a system, which begins by disassembling it, can reveal only its structure and how it works, but not its essential properties or why it works the way it does.  Synthesis or synthetic thinking, on the other hand, treats the thing to be explained as part of a containing whole and focuses on function rather than on structure.  It reveals why things operate as they do.

                   M. S. Sommer, "Open Systems Listening: Conversation As A Research Tool", Ph.D. Diss.,1988 

Thus, in a nutshell, whether from the perspective of programming, or logic, or Open System Thinking, etc., the Spresents the manipulator with interesting operational issues,  Fuzzy issues.  

Sis a topology of paradox (contradictory cognitive and perceptual signals / messages at different levels, with a negative injunction forbidding acknowledgement of that contradiction).

In other words, the manipulator must continuously focus on the binary issue (part) of a given tunnel, proceed upward through the logic hierarchy to the S3(s) (whole), and then go back down the hierarchy and repeat the process, again and again, as all the issues compound.  

             Discovering and Representing A System Of Rules

                      S3:  Programming Binary Logic Gates

Simply put, the manipulator must continually switch between deductive reasoning (rule driven) and inductive & abductive reasoning (discovery driven) skills in an evolving spiral of abstract reasoning.

A cycle of concrete to abstract    

                            Thesis                     Antithesis                     Synthesis  


where each S3 rotation / reorientation of a logic gate (single tunnel) / logic block (four tunnels in concert) impacts goals and information creating dynamic decision environments, uncertainty over means and ends

the same action, or order of operations, can be right one moment and wrong the next.  Current goals and information are ambiguous.

To put it in idiomatic terms, with the S3 (which is self-referencing to the core) “you can’t get there from here” (unless you know where you are going), so you have to start there (the map) to begin from here (the terrain).  In ironic programming parlance -- "to understand recursion, you must first understand recursion.”

                                          To Repeat ...

The S3s is a holarchy, an architecture of constant and unexpected contradiction and recursion -- the manipulator must "drill down" through these dichotomies -- an Hegelian logic hierarchy:

cubical form logic frame (six faces) > holes quadrant logic frame (eight holes) > tunnel (array) logic frame > tunnel (binary switch) logic frame); 

The manipulator must continuously focus on the binary issues (part) of a given tunnel, proceed upward through the logic hierarchy to the S3(s) (whole), and then go back down the hierarchy and repeat the process, again and again, as all the issues compound.  And continuously ask, Why? 


                                                                         Binary Processor (0/1)

                                     Nested Uncertainty 

       Approaching Complexity (Something You Cannot Predict)

                                         SOpen Systems Thinking

"Turbulent  Field ...  the dynamic properties arise not simply from the interaction of the component organizations, but also from the field itself. The "ground" is in motion.” 

                                                    Emery and Trist, "The Causal Texture of Organizational Environments”, 1965.

The S3s is a a Cybernetic switch, encompassing the Systems Thinking idea and operation of wholeness and the relation of whole and parts, structure of systems and their behavior, laws of regulation, and recursive processes of self-observation and self-reference in the service of reasoning.

A cyclical, dynamic process of analysis (separation into constituent parts) and synthesis (fusion of parts into whole), verification and correction, expressed as programming steps, from formulation to execution.  

Saccommodates nested and recursive structures / functions / processes.

S3 is a holon, at once whole and part, 

S3 is greater than the sum of its parts.

Part of the S3 affects all others.

Small change has big impact.

Evolving network resists central design or coordination.

Global system emerges from local agent interaction.

No objective physical space obeys a single set of laws.

Each S3 rotation changes the ground rules, locally and globally.

Each S3 rotation changes the navigation constraints / opportunities.

Competing (necessary-but-not-sufficient) Sstructures / functions / processes are not necessarly similar. 

S3 is not within a field; it is the field.

Field is not a passive arena (simple game, puzzle and maze): it is effectively “purposeful” (telology)-- it has a “will” of its own.

Field is turbulent: dynamic processes arise from that field.

Environment causality is "richly textured":  S3 cause and effect is nonlinear, dynamic.

Actions, concurrent and reactive, must compensate for processes with no forewarning.

Paths from same starting points can end at different places.

Paths from different starting points can end at the same place.

System breaks down (AIR BALL can require trajectory adjustments).

It “works” / “does not work” thinking is inadequate; there are other contextual possibilities.    


                              "Science and Complexity



© Michael S. Sommer, Ph.D. 2015