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List-Construction as a Task and Resource

By Gail Jefferson

This report is a preliminary examination of lists occurring in natural conversation. It focuses upon the work which list-construction, as a task, allots to speakers, and some uses to which list-construction, as a resource, can be put by speakers.

The presence of three-part lists are first noted. Speakers and hearers orient to their three-part nature. The completed list can then constitute a turn at talk and the hearer can monitor the third component as a sign of turn completion. Lists can thereby’ be a conversational sequential resource.

By virtue of the three-part structure of some lists, members can orient to such matters as a “weak,” “absent,” or “missing” third part. Third items can be used to accomplish particular interactional work, such as topic-shifting and offense avoidance.

Further, a list can be constructed by more than one speaker. This feature may be used for a range of activities, including the achievement of interactional accord in situations of impending discord.

Read report here – List construction


On the Nature of the Universe

On the Nature of the Universe

By Scott Anfield

For many years, people have sought to discover a unified field theory which explains all the phenomena in the Universe, from the smallest particles to the galaxies and even the structure of the universe itself.  The theory which I propose encompasses all of these.

This theory is concerned with the fact that all things come in threes, of which there are numerous examples (see Appendix). The whole of anything is comprised of 3 parts. All 3 of these parts have something in common, which gives the appearance of a whole. The 3 parts are divided into a ratio of 1:2, of which two are the same as each other in some respect and one is different. Herein lays the stability of this theory, as it must always be two of the same and one different because when reversed, the single part would have nothing to be the same as. However, all 3 parts are interlinking with each other. Each part has something in common with every other part and they both have a difference with the other part. For example, parts one, two and three can be shown as A, B and C respectively.

  • A and B have a common link with each other, but both different from C
  • A and C have a common link with each other, but both different from B
  • B and C have a common link with each other, but both different from A.

I have named this tri-interconnectivity

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Three as a magic number in Latin Literature

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Vol. xlvii] Three as a Magic Number in Latin Literature


To one who is investigating the subject of magic among the Romans few references to magical details seem so per- sistently repeated as those concerning the number three. It is my desire, therefore, to present in this paper all the pas- sages referring to three as a magic number that I have been able to find in the literature of Rome up to the beginning of the fourth century of our era, with some additional illustrative material drawn from a later date. 1

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Living in Threes: Triangles and Triglyphs in Ancient Cultures

By Claire Holt
  <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span class="GINGER_SOFATWARE_correct">Few periods</span>&nbsp;of ancient history sum up mathematical precision in quite as dramatic a fashion as Ancient Egypt. Against a rugged landscape of rocky mountains, rolling sand dunes, and the wide emptiness of an endless blue sky, the architects in the Land of the Pharaohs embraced geometric design with a passion&nbsp;</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">unrivaled</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">&nbsp;by any other civilization. The Pyramids at Giza remain one of the great architectural wonders of the world, and the giant sculpture of the Sphinx is an&nbsp;</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">&nbsp;unrivaled</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">&nbsp;example of the Egyptian ability to represent the natural form within a geometric methodology. Equally interested in the mystical power of numerology were the Ancient Greeks. With their elegant marble temples and fertile landscapes, the Greeks built a civilization of which the number three was an object of passion. Its&nbsp;</span><a href="" style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;" target="_blank">legacy has continued to live on</a><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">&nbsp;as a core element of more modern cultural codes and religions, suggesting that&nbsp;<span class="GINGER_SOFATWARE_correct">three</span>&nbsp;may be more important to the way that we currently view the world than we necessarily realize.</span></p>  <!--more-->  <p style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-size: 11.818181991577148px; font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">    <strong>Building in Threes</strong></p> <p style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-size: 11.818181991577148px; font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">   The plurality of three offered a sense of balance, order, and geometric precision. This is something that was held with such reverence that it is present at all levels of Ancient Egyptian and Ancient Greek culture and design, including the very fabric of their buildings. Finding opportunities to include representations of the number three was a crucial element of architectural design in Greece. For instance,&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Doric friezes on temples</a>&nbsp;feature &quot;<span class="GINGER_SOFATWARE_noSuggestion GINGER_SOFATWARE_correct">triglyphs</span>&quot;, which are a rectangular panel of three vertical lines. Created by carving two angular channels (known as<span class="GINGER_SOFATWARE_noSuggestion GINGER_SOFATWARE_correct">hemiglyphs</span>),&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Greek&nbsp;<span class="GINGER_SOFATWARE_noSuggestion GINGER_SOFATWARE_correct">triglyphs</span></a>&nbsp;are thought to be a recreation of the Egyptian hieroglyph for the number three, which appears as three straight lines ( I I I ). The Doric design is thought to have represented harmony whilst invoking the powerful magic of the pluralism concept, an important consideration for a building as important as a temple.</p> <p style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-size: 11.818181991577148px; font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">    <strong>Still going strong</strong></p> <p style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-size: 11.818181991577148px; font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">   This design remains popular today, and is a common feature of many&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">modern skills in arts and crafts</a>&nbsp;such as wood carving and metalwork. Museums frequently offer&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">craft&nbsp;workshops and exhibitions</a>&nbsp;exploring the exceptional skill and unique design of classical landscapes. Such is its legacy that the&nbsp;<span class="GINGER_SOFATWARE_noSuggestion GINGER_SOFATWARE_correct">triglyph</span>&nbsp;is also found in many modern buildings. These include neoclassical buildings, such as those common on Broadway, and also in aspects of quintessentially modern buildings. In a nod to the civilization that gave us Democracy, the Cabinet Room, Roosevelt Room and Independence Hall of the White House&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">all feature&nbsp;<span class="GINGER_SOFATWARE_noSuggestion GINGER_SOFATWARE_correct">triglyphs</span></a>&nbsp;&nbsp;as part of their ceiling&nbsp;<span class="GINGER_SOFATWARE_correct">moldings</span>. It would seem that there is something irresistible about this simple representation of the number three that has caused its legacy to live on beyond the lifespan of the civilizations that created it, raising the tantalizing possibility that it will also appear in the landscapes of the distant future.</p> <p style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-size: 11.818181991577148px; font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">    <strong>The power of the triangle</strong></p> <p style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-size: 11.818181991577148px; font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">    Aside from&nbsp;<span class="GINGER_SOFATWARE_noSuggestion GINGER_SOFATWARE_correct">triglyphs</span>, the number three is found in triangles throughout both Ancient Egyptian and Ancient Greek architecture. Perhaps the most overt three in Ancient Greek architecture is the triangle on the front and back of the Parthenon in Athens. Known as pediments, these triangles are considered to contain some of the finest examples of Doric sculpture, and contained images of the most important moments in the lives of the Olympic triad. Another example of the triangle, The Great Pyramid of Giza, also features a prominent number three in the form of its three triangular faces. This is part of the&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">complex numerology of the pyramids</a>, the various mathematical elements of which represent the Pythagorean concept of all universal rhythms being modeled from the triangle (three), the square (four), and the pentagon (five). Again, the triangles in Egypt are closely related to mythology, and&nbsp;<span class="GINGER_SOFATWARE_noSuggestion GINGER_SOFATWARE_correct">deictic</span>&nbsp;triangles in particular.&nbsp;<span class="GINGER_SOFATWARE_correct">The shortest</span>&nbsp;side of the Pythagorean triangle (known as &quot;Ausar&quot;) corresponds to the Father, the longer side (known as &quot;Auset&quot;) corresponds to the Mother, and the hypotenuse (called &quot;Heru&quot;) is the son.</p> <p style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-size: 11.818181991577148px; font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">    The power of the triangle became&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">important amongst Ancient alchemists</a>, and was later embraced by Medieval architects. The natural ease with which a triangle can be divided into parts whilst still remaining a whole proved an attractive idea for those who were aiming to explore the fundamental harmony of biological life. For instance, the Egyptian Alchemical Triangle had three, four, and five divisions for the Father, Mother, and Son sides respectively. The three divisions on the&nbsp;<span class="GINGER_SOFATWARE_correct">Ausar</span>&nbsp;side represented the three vital principles that formed the known world: salt, sulfur, and mercury, a vital part of the process of the Spirit manifesting as Matter. The irresistible geometry of the triangle has seen the concept reappear throughout cultures and religions, making it one of the most recognized symbols in the world. Crucial to the Christian realization of the Father, Son, and Spirit trinity, the three-sided polygon also appears in Buddhism as part of the Eye of Consciousness (the so-called &quot;third eye&quot;), as as part of the Sri Yantra of Hinduism.</p> <div style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">    <p style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 11.818181991577148px;">        <strong>Enduring threes</strong></p>    <p style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 11.818181991577148px;">        In a world where consumerism drives a fast-paced life, the importance of the fundamental building blocks of culture and civilization can easily become lost. Three may appear to be a simple number, useful for a quick bit of mental arithmetic or jotting down a phone number, but its historical importance remains all around us in the form of triangles and triglyphs. From the ancients who truly believed in the mystical power of not simply the number three but also the concept behind it, to the geometric balance that continues to attract architects and designers to its fan club, to its integral role in constructing modern religions, the number three is a part of the ancient world that has refused to succumb to the ravages of time.</p> </div> <p>   &nbsp;

Ternarity in Thinking, Culture, and Art: System-informational Roots of Unconsciousness

Петров, В. М.

2008, vol. 5, No. 4, pp. 3–18

The results obtained in the framework of six informational models of perception prove the preference of encoding of input information by three-graded features, the preference of using of three-parameter mechanisms and reliable fixation of periodic events which are repeated three times. In the latter case the excess of chance threshold and fixation of regularity by means of positive emotions play an important role. Deduced ternarity dominates in the unconscious, it is revealed primarily in phenomena of culture (colour triads in national schools of painting, three stage structure of literature texts, religious, philosophical, language and other systems) as well as in three-factorial structure of semantic space and three-dimensionality of the perceived world.

Full Text here (In Russian)

“Intensify this Awe”:Threeness, the Triad, and Christopher Alexander

[Original longer title: Identifying the Conceptual and Practical Power of Christopher Alexander’s Theory and Practice of Wholeness: Clues as Provided by British Philosopher J. G. Bennett’s Systematics of the Triad]
David Seamon
Department of Architecture
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506
Excerpt: |

Bennett provides a simple example of the triad of interaction in everyday experience: “I am sitting in my study on a cold winter evening and do not notice that the fire has burnt low until my body experiences a sensation of cold. My attention being thus drawn to the fire, I get up, take a poker and poke the fire. When I see that it is burning up, I return to my chair and continue reading.
“The whole event is a cycle of interactions, beginning and ending with the bodily sensations of cold and heat. It can be broken down into a series of triads, starting with my reaction to the sensation of cold. Here the physical sensation links the fall of temperature with my getting up and taking the poker. The environment is active and my body is passive; sensation is the reconciling impulse. When I get up and poke the fire, my body is active, the fire is passive, and the poker transmits the reconciling impulse. When I begin to feel warm again, the fire is active, my body is passive and the radiation of the fire and the wamr air of the room transmit the reconciling impulse.
“The roles of the different objects—air, body, poker, fire—change from one triad to the other. There is neither expansion nor concentration but a change in the distribution of energy. The event can be thus analyzed in greater or less detail, but it will always prove to consist of a nexus of triads in which one entity is acting on another through the medium of a third.

Research into the “Threes” Phenomena – Herb O. Buckland

My views of the “Threes” phenomena have changed over the years. Whereas many decades ago I began collecting various patterns-of-three examples as if they constituted some fundamental universal law, I have come to realize that many of the so-called universals exist with what may be termed an auxiliary pattern. Namely, a 3-to-1 ratio that I alternatively describe as a 3-into-1, 3-from-1, or 3-as-1, though these proportions can be turned around to read 1-into-3, 1-from-3, or 1-as-3, whether one uses numbers, letters, symbols, sounds, etc., mix or match as you will. . .

The above paragraph is only an excerpt. Herb has an amazing site. I encourage you to read more at He also has laminated poster for sale! You may contact him directly at

Triplicity – Simon Kelsey


What is Triplicity?
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary Triplicity has two meanings or definitions:

  1. Triplicity is one of the groups of three signs (each distant 120 degrees from the other two) into which the signs of the zodiac are divided.
  2. Triplicity is the quality or state of being triple or threefold.
  3. To these I propose adding a third meaning or definition: Triplicity is the phenomenon of Threeness in life.

Why a third one?  Well let’s step back a bit and begin by defining the term “threes”.  There are three primary colors red, blue and green, and three states of matter gas, liquid and solid.  Space has three dimensions and we divide time into the past, present and future.  In other words “threes” are groups of three things that are distinct from and yet related to each other.

What is really interesting is that there are numerous “threes” in every sphere of life.  Threes are an observable phenomenon.  I considered various names for this phenomenon and eventually settled on Triplicity, and so the third meaning or definition. 



Triadic logic

The Wikipedia entry on ternary numeral systems notes:

A base-three system is used in Islam to keep track of counting Tasbih to 99 or to 100 on a single hand for counting prayers (as alternative for the Misbaha). The mnemonic benefit is that counting within this system then reduces distraction since the counter needs only to divide Tasbihs into groups of three.

use of ternary numbers conveniently to convey self-similar structures like a Sierpinski Triangle or a Cantor set. The ternary representation is useful for defining the Cantor Set and related point sets, because of the way the Cantor set is constructed.

ternary as being the integer base with the highest radix economy, followed closely by binary and quaternary. It has been used for some computing systems because of this efficiency. Rarely mentioned is the existence of ternary computers (notably defining a tryte to be 6 trits, analogous to the binary byte).

use in the representation of 3 option trees, such as phone menu systems, which allow a simple path to any branch.

Of further relevance to the pattern of argument here is the role of ternary valued logic. Such a three-valued or trivalent logic is one in which there are three truth values indicating true, false and some third value. This is contrasted with the more common bivalent logics (mentioned above) which provide only for true and false. or guilty and not-guilty. An exception occurs in the Scottish legal system providing additionally for not-proven (a distinction which would seem to be of considerable current significance with respect to many detained in Guantanamo Bay).

Conceptual form and basic ideas were initially created by Jan Lukasiewicz, C. I. Lewis and Sulski. These were then re-formulated by Grigore Moisil in an axiomatic algebraic form, and also extended to n-valued logics. In the argument here, the question is whether the pattern in the diagram above holds a meaningful relationship with a range of multi-valued logic systems.

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