Icons: System States

I had a very interesting discussion regarding Aristotlean Drama, Linear Programming and Transactional Analysis today and it lead me to reevaluate my own thoughts on these concepts.

First I reevaluated my thoughts on States:




Aristotlean Drama is simple because it only involves the state of one character following a linear path.

However, when you begin to think about the outcomes for two characters the dynamic becomes tabular which brings us to game theory and the famous prisoner’s dilemma and game theory payoff matrixes:




However, it immediately becomes apparent that the Prisoner’s Dilemma does not account for all of the States.




Here we have the States of Transactional Analysis, however this state model is not complete either.




Even with a pentad the States are incomplete.  This is where my epiphany came in.  There has to be a begin state and an end state.




Now with a heptad, we have all seven States and a complete tabular model.

However, we are learning tabular models are not adequate.  We are learning network models are necessary.  And network models require an alternate portrayal.




Here we have a network presentation of the seven States.  And each of these States have seven states of their own.  There is no magic here.  The correlation to the week I do not think is coincidental, but cultural, however I do not think that astronomical phenomena have any causation.


Related Link:


Icons: Systema Iconic Language: Part IV


I have been thinking about all I have read to this point and something occurred to me this evening.  There are no such thing as nodes and links.  There are only equilibrium and non-equilibrium states respectively.  Newtonian Thermodynamics only describes equilibrium states.  It does not account for the transition between states when equilibrium does not exist.  So it is with all networks.

When you navigate the web, you are actually moving from one HTML equilibrium state to another HTML equilibrium state.  The page metaphor is concealing the conceptual character of the process.

Back to Basics

The web navigation buttons on a browser are also deceptive.  They do not reveal the logical consistency between the navigation of hypertext networks and goal networks, contact networks, service networks, product networks, location networks, event networks and unit networks.  The consistency between the many forms of media is also concealed by not recognizing that all forms of media are networks transitioning between equilibrium and non-equilibrium states.  It is important to recognize that any form of process or data structure is really a network, even relational databases are simply lattice networks.


The above Icons are the only ones you need to deal with “step” and “loop”, two of the three “linear” processes for navigating any network.  In reality there is no such thing as a linear network.  There is only a path through a set of equilibrium states connected by these non-equilibrium states.  The remaining “decision” is not a binary decision, but a case or switch which is represented by hyperlink icons.

In reality, with the option to back track and break continuity by creating new browser windows, navigation of the web is much more like Prolog than say Basic or C.

It is that simple.  The above icons are the universal icons for navigation of any network, the rest irregardless of conceptual and physical meaning are hyperlinks.

I think it is significant to indicate the target state for hyperlinks through use of icon background shape and color, and to indicate target context through the use of icon foreground content.  This would make hyperlink icons much more communicative and universal.  As also discussed, hyperlink content could be presented as picticons (picture icons), graphicons, (graphic icons), liticons (text icons), sonicons (sound icons), anicons (animated icons) or vidicons (video icons) that exhibit proscribed behavior when rolled over.