Math 数学


Andrius Kulikauskas

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Presented on October 20, 2017, at PurplSoc, Krems, Austria.

A Cognitive Framework for the Quality Without a Name, Patterns and Pattern Languages, and the Properties of Life.

Christopher Alexander has explored three different ways in which our sense of peace (or wholeness) is a guide to creating loving environments (which support life). I present evidence for a cognitive framework that can ground and relate

  • the Quality Without a Name
  • patterns and pattern languages
  • and 15 properties of life.

I will note investigations which we can do to clarify the various pieces of this puzzle and how they fit together. Alexander's ideas arose from his question, What makes a building alive?

I will try to understand his findings in terms of my own question, How do things come to matter? I am finding that what matters is first defined unconsciously by our emotional life. We feel tensions in the world and must step out and above them into peace. We can then ourselves consciously define what matters with a structure which supports that peace as we step back into our world.

The design pattern, extreme programming and agile software movements are applying Alexander's insights. Architect Sarah Susanka is communicating them to remodelers with her book series, "The Not So Big House". Nikos Salingaros has distilled three architectural principles for maximizing distinguishibility: minimize entropy, alternate atoms and separate levels of scale by a factor of e=2.718. Takashi Iba is investigating themes such as recurring activity and properties of life which I applaud as essential in furthering a scientific approach.

Metaphysically, the idea in Alexander's work which has him rank with Plato and Kant is that recurring activity evokes structure, and structure channels activity. Here my friend David Ellison-Bey illustrates this as he makes himself comfortable after losing his home. He warms his feet while he reads. His tissue for his tears and sniffles is within reach. Even his dog Dragonlady has found her place under the table.

Recurring activity evokes structure. This is what makes patterns work. Therefore we should comprehensively describe all of the recurring activity for individuals, families and communities. Just as biologists document ethograms for animals, inventories of


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