patterns are generalizations about phenomena. numbers are patterns. three rocks, three hills, three trees. all these share a common pattern.
humans use sounds to uniquely identify patterns. these sounds are known as words. over the ages, humans have been able to transduce the sounds into markings, thus preserving the ephemeral patterns as writing.
naming patterns is an archetypal human behavior:
“The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field.” Genesis 2:20
creating shared meaning through language is what intelligence has to offer us, beyond any other life forms we are aware of. it allows coalitions to be formed across geographic areas, across boundaries of kinship, and even across time.
in order to contribute as fully as possible to continued human flourishing, it is my goal to improve the way in which we collect and integrate patterns into our everyday lives. these patterns can be prototypes for actions, words or ways of speaking that allow the speaker to more quickly or confidently accomplish the goal of communication, or purely theoretical constructs that cultivate shared meaning.
archetyp.al is not the first attempt at such a goal. as mentioned in the pattern language thread, pioneers like Ward Cunningham with his wiki concept have been here before, creating software to facilitate the precipitation of patterns from groups of people working towards similar goals. this site will serve as an externally legible record of a more specific exercise of pattern recognition: an exploration of order vs chaos.
an archetypal dichotomy: order vs chaos
order is predictability, regularity, structure
chaos is unpredictability, irregularity, formlessness
order vs chaos is a false dichotomy. that is, for all things that we can describe as ordered or chaotic, they are not all either entirely ordered or entirely chaotic, but contain a mixture of the two, sometimes varying depending on the resolution of one’s measurements. it is probable that any pure instantiation of either order or chaos is strictly impossible in the physical world. pure order only exists until one zooms in close enough to see the component pieces. pure chaos only exists until one zooms out enough to see the regularities in the chaos.
it is my goal to gather examples of order vs chaos across all domains of human experience. but why? the utility of patterns is in their ability to give us a simple handle on a complex concept. a pointer to deeper meaning.
transfer (of) learning
learning about one aspect of reality may offer benefits in another. transfer of learning is a pointer to this concept which comes from psychology and has been adopted into other, adjacent fields. a trivial example: learning to play badminton can improve one’s ability to play ping pong. what we are seeing here is an abstraction. the ability to manuever a racquet or paddle to propel a ball over a net is a generalization of both sports.
the goal of collecting examples of order vs chaos is to facilitate the transfer of learning across the examples, and to explore the process of building a useful pattern language.
the future is an aggregation of our present. as conscious beings, it seems as though we have the ability to choose our actions. as we act and interact, external reality is altered. it is my goal to facilitate the creation of more agreeable futures by creating pattern languages which encode virtues we want to see reified.