Four Part Identity

I have been reading for some time on both Sociology and Social Psychology and I have discovered one pattern in the research and theory that I have not seen drawn out of the material:  A four part identity.

There are two primary components of Social Psychology, the self and the group.  Both can be viewed in two ways:

  • In Self, how I see myself
  • Out Self, how others see myself
  • In Group, how I see my group
  • Out Group, how others see my group

These four perspectives compose knowledge and consequently identity.


Affordances : Patterns We Can Use

I have been studying Soc Psych and am beginning to have a bit of an idea. What I’ve read so far is Soc Attitude and Soc Perception. In perception one thing is standing out: patterns. I mean patterns in the most general sense of the word. Soc Interaction is based on patterns and one theory for non-verbal patterns calls them “affordances“.  A theory on impressions calls them “traits”.  They are both the same thing, perceptual patterns we can use.

But I like the word affordance because in the theory related to it utility is mentioned.

I have seen the word affordance used in design.  Simply put a design affordances are “patterns physical or virtual we can use.”

That makes my more general definition, affordances, “patterns we can use”.

Affordance is discussed in Wikipedia as well.

Objects : Personal, Social, Official

There is a new term floating around : “Social Objects”.  Apparently, it was coined about five years ago and is slowly gaining notariety.

The concept of a Social Object is discussed by Jaiku’s Jyri here :

Social Objects are basically internet media objects (text, audio, image, video) that are the message of the Social Network medium.  For the longest time on the internet the message had to be sought out.  You had to go to a website to get the social object you wanted.  However, by utilizing your social network, people with similar interests send the social objects to you.  They are gifts.  For example, flickr used to be the place to goto for photos.  Now flickr photos are sent to you by your social network.  Blog posts used to be sought out and blogs subscribed to.  Now blog posts are sent to you by your social network.  News used to have news sites that you would go to and follow.  Now news is sent to you by your social networks.
But that isn’t everything Social Objects come in different varieties:
  1. Dumb Social Object : an object with no link to a source site.
  2. Smart Social Object : an object with a link to a free source site.
  3. Store Social Object : an object with a link to a store source site.
  4. Cart Social Object : an object with a link to a store source site item.

The classification system can be more extensive, but the separation of object from link is worth noting.

So, the social network is simpler than surfing, it eliminates the cost of filtering, and it is pushed, you don’t have to pull.  So why is it not possible to have a computer do it?  I think a computer can, but not by examining the preferences of the individual.  Instead the system must examine interpersonal and group preferences associated to the individual.
But even automating individual, interpersonal and group preferences is not enough.  Members of social networks have status as Social Senders.  Part of receiving a Social Object involves filtering who you accept a Social Object from.  How would an advertising vector automate the status of a Social Sender?  Facebook calls them “Pages”.  It is like a Social Sender/Receiver, but it has a different character, a Social Organization, and it failed.  It failed because Social Organizations are one trick ponies.  They have a Mission.  Mission’s kill diversity and consequently desensitize the Social Receiver.
Now let’s take a step back and rethink the Internet for a moment:
Interaction can be divided into Self, Personal, Social and World.
Stand Alone Computing was Self Computing.  Your computer did not interact with any other computer.
Web 1.0 was Personal Computing.  Suddenly messages were travelling.  And a message could be sent to you without query, Push, or it could be sent to you with query, Pull.  Your computer interacted with other’s computers in the following ways:
  • Email : Personal Push
  • Web Pages : Personal Pull
  • Message Boards : Social Pull
Basically, messages are Push or Pull.  You have:
  • Self-Mediums,Self-Senders, Self-Messages, Self-Receivers;
  • you have Personal-Mediums, Personal-Senders, Personal-Messages, Personal-Receivers;
  • you have Social-Mediums, Social-Senders, Social-Messages, Social-Receivers;
  • you have Official-Mediums, Official-Senders, Official-Messages, Official-Receivers.
With the advent of Web 2.0 and Social Networks something new came about : Social Push.  Through Social Network connections you could push a Social Object (Social-Message) to a broad audience of generally like minded individuals.  This is based on the Social Psychological “Law of Attraction” where it is highly likely that individuals of common interests form connections.
But Companies fail in the Social Network model.  Why?  Perhaps because companies have entered at the wrong end.  Perhaps because we are looking at the next stage, Web 3.0, cold and hard in the face.  Contrary to what many in the industry claim, perhaps Social Objects are not the future for advertising.  Instead of using coercion to get Social Users to share Ad Social Objects, perhaps Objects are the future for Customer Service.  But not in a Social Network.  Perhaps in an Official Network.
Now to think what the nature of an Official Network would be.

Timeline : Cities, Temples, Cairns

6 000 years ago
6.0 ka(4000 BC)

5.9 ka

5.7 ka

            • Soc : Kingdom : Uruk : Mesopotamia

5.5 ka

5.3 ka

5 000 years ago
5.0 ka (3000 BC)

4.9 ka

            • Soc : Protodynastic Era : Mesopotamia

4.8 ka

4.7 ka


                • Agro : Large scale commercial timbering of cedars in Phoenicia (Lebanon) for export to Egypt and Sumeria. Similar commercial timbering in South India.

4.5 ka
4.4 ka

            • Soc : Kingdoms : Amorite : Mesopotamia

4.35 ka

4.3 ka
4.2 ka

4 100 ya

4.0 ka (2000 BC)

  • World Population : 27 Meg

3.95 ka

              • Faith : Abram and Sarai are renamed Abraham and Sarah by God.  Abraham is circumcised.  Sodom and Gomorrah are destroyed. Genesis 17:10

Timeline : Town Humanity

10 000 years ago
  • World Population 1 Meg

10.0 ka (8000 BC)

9.5 ka

9 000 years ago (7000 BC)

9.0 ka

8.8 ka

                • Agro : Rice domesticated : southeast Asia

8.6 ka

8.2 ka

8 000 years ago (6000 BC)

8.0 ka

7.7 ka

7.5 ka

7.0 ka(5000 BC)

  • World Population : 5 Meg

6.5 ka

          • Tech : Wheeled Vehicle : Wheel

Timeline : Nomadic Humanity

500,000 years ago
500 ka

455 ka

400 ka

340 ka

300 ka

200 000 years ago

200 ka

130 ka

125 ka

110 ka

75 ka

38 ka

              • Art : Figurative Art
          • Tech : Sturdy Shoes

35 ka

33 ka

          • Tech : Musical Instrument : Bone Flute

32 ka

          • Tech : Textile : Wild Flax Fibre

30 000 years ago

30 ka

29 ka

28 ka

          • Tech : Needles : Bone and Ivory : China
          • Tech : Carving Tool : Gravettian

25 ka

22 ka

    • Geo : Bering Land Bridge : Beringia : Forms

20 ka

18 ka

16 ka

15 ka

14 ka

13.5 ka

12.8 ka

12 ka (10 000 BC)

11.8 ka

11.5 ka

11.0 ka (9000 BC)

10.5 ka

10 000 years ago

  • World Population 1 Meg

Timeline : Before Humanity

14 000 000 000 years ago

13.9 Ga

  • Astro : Very early universe

0 seconds

10 ^ -43 s

10 ^ -36 s

10 ^ -36 s

10 ^ – 32 s

  • Astro : End Inflationary Epoch

10 ^ -12 s

  • Astro : Hot Relativistic Particle Plasma : plasma

10 ^ -12 s

10 ^ -6 s

14 Ga + 1 Second

1 s

10 s

180 s

1200 s

  • Astro : Nucleosythesis Ends

13.8 Ga

  • Astro : Matter domination :

13.6 Ga

13.5 Ga

13.0 Ga

12.7 Ga

4 560 000 000 years ago

4.56 Ga

4.54 Ga

4.53 Ga

    • Luna : Moon : Forms

4.2 Ga

3.8 Ga

3.6 Ga

3.0 Ga

    • Geo : Ur Supercontinent

2.7 Ga

2.4 Ga

2.1 Ga

2 000 000 000 years ago

2 Ga

1.8 Ga

    • Geo : Nena Supercontinent : Forms

1.5 Ga

1 000 000 000 years ago

1 Ga

1.1 Ga

    • Geo : Rodinia Supercontinent : Forms

800 Ma

750 Ma

    • Geo : Rodinia Supercontinent : Splits

650 Ma

635 Ma

600 000 000 years ago

600 Ma

540 Ma

    • Geo : Pannotia Supercontinent : Splits

590 Ma

530 Ma

        • Evo : Chordata : Proto-Vertebrates

505 Ma

500 Ma

        • Evo : Fish and proto-amphibians

475 Ma

450 Ma

420 Ma

418 Ma

    • Oldredia (~418–~380 million years ago)

360 Ma

300 000 000 years ago

300 Ma

    • Geo : Pangaea Supercontinent (~300–~180 million years ago)
    • Geo : Gondwana Supercontinent (~300–~30 million years ago)
    • Geo : Laurasia Supercontinent (~ 300–~60 million years ago)

260 Ma

      • Clima : Ice Age : Karoo : Ends

220 Ma

150 Ma

130 Ma

125 Ma

100 Ma

        • Evo : Euarchontoglires : Supraprimates (primates, rodents, rabbits, treeshrews, and colugos)

75 000 000 years ago

75 Ma

65.5 Ma

63 Ga

56 Ma

40 Ma

30 Ma

28 Ma

15 000 000 years ago

15 Ma

        • Evo : Hominidae : Great apes (Humans, chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, and orangutans)

8.0 Ma

        • Evo : Homininae : Humans, chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas

5.8 Ma

        • Evo : Hominini : Humans, chimpanzees, and bonobos

5.0 Ma

3.0 Ma

        • Evo : Hominina : Bipedal apes (australopithecus and descendants)

2 500 000 years ago

2.5 Ma

      • Clima :  Ice Age : Quaternary : Begins
        • Evo : Homo : Humans, neanderthals, homo erectus, and direct ancestors
          • Tech : Chopper : Olduwan : Mode 1 Industry : Homonins

1.650 Ma

          • Tech : Handaxe : Acheulean Mode 2 Industry : Homo Erectus

1.5 Ma

          • Tech : Bone Tools

1.3 Ma

800 ka

790 ka

680 ka

620 ka

Medium, Message, Meaning and Measure

This is a bit of a rambling thought.
Marshall McLuhan in his studies divided all Media (tools), including art into Medium and Message.  In working on this essay, I have come to find another division for McLuhan’s Model:
contains Message
contains Meaning

I was thinking about how to represent this and turned toward the interrogatives to look for guidance.  As I worked with the interrogatives I realized that the interrogative “What?” was the bridge between one level of the new media structure and another.  I found I could nest Meaning in Message in Medium using What as the doorway.

Dealing with it this way brings out the Semiotic trio of Semantics, Syntactics and Pragmatics.  However, it does not fit cleanly.  Medium is not semantics, for example, for it involves the physical carrier.  Semantics is more part of the message.  Yet Semantics itself can be called a Medium for Syntactics and Sytactics a Medium for Pragmatics.  As you can see it is really a pain, because the term Medium has been over generalized.

Another way to think about it may be Medium as Form and Medium as Function, Message as Form and Message as Function, Meaning as Form and Meaning as Function.  I had to come up with new language to handle the scope of my thinking.

What – What as Form – Medium as Form
Where – What as Function – Medium as Function – Semiotic Semantics
How – How as Form – Message as Form – Semiotic Sytactics
When – How as Function – Message as Function – Semiotic Pragmatics
Why – Why as Form – Meaning as Form
Who – Why as Function – Meaning as Function
How Much – How Much as Form – Measure as Form
How Many – How Much as Function – Measure as Function

Notice I added two interrogatives at the end.  I realized message has a size and a quantity.

What this reveals is the interrogatives are paired.  What is a point but Where is What occupying space.  How is a point, but When is How occupying time.  Why is a point, but Who is Why occupying a person.  How Much is a point, but How Many is How Much occupying a quantity.  Form and Function.

I am going to think about this more, but it’s out there for you to think about as well.

X Time, Y Time and Z Time

An idea I have been playing with recently is wondering if time could be viewed in an alternate fashion than is now.

One of the traditional ways of viewing time is conically:

I have been wondering if time could be viewed spatially as x, y, z coordinates.  I don’t know if the time of physics and the time of perception are different.

Let’s call them x time, y time and z time.  What if x were past, y were present and z was future.

One of the reasons I wonder about this is because the present seems more dynamic than a point in time.  One of Einstein’s insights was that objects were not points in space, but complex volumes.  Why can’t the same be said for the present and the observer?

I am going to think more about this, but I will leave you with this question.  How could time have a positive and negative past, a positive and negative present and a positive and negative future?

I think the answer lies in realizing the observer is not a point.   TimeSpace as opposed to SpaceTime.


Time and Distance. Or is it Distance and Distance.

When you look at a clock it is measuring time.  Or is it?

Look at the clock again.  It is measuring distance.  Distance.  Not events.  Change in distance.

If you look at the rotation of the earth.  A rotation is a distance.

If you look at the revolution of the earth around the sun.  A revolution is distance.

If you look at an atomic clock.  It is measuring a distance.

Velocity is Distance / Relative Distance.

Events are artificial cuts in the distances.  We invented events.  Motion does not stop in the big scheme.

All we have are intersections of relative distances.