Sanity? No gift - but an achievement of common sense and simplicity. Paying attention to everyday experience feeds common sense. But simplicity is a more demanding challenge. Everywhere we look and reach we are tempted by intrigues of complexity. Everything radiates its own different look, speaks its own different language, and seduces us to deranged confusions of infinite possibilities.
But that's no good for science, for business, or for sanity. For us to put them to useful work, all those seemingly different things must submit to simplicities - a finite number of conditions, considerations, and themes which are not only distinct and potent but exhaustive and final. The small finite number must be enough, complete.
Three is my perfect number and that is what my picture of "Life and Mind" sets out. Why three? Well, we must admit it has been popular. Where would the Father and Son be without their Holy Ghost? And having that, no further need is ever proposed. Billie Holiday agrees when she informs us that "Me, Myself and I are all in love with you." Not to mention "Just Molly and Me and Baby Makes Three." Just silly rhymes, you say? But reconsider what you see in my picture. Are there more times than past, present, and future? More primary shapes than circle, triangle, and square? More body types than Sheldon's fat, thin, and strong? Not to mention reason's abduction, deduction, and induction? My own Team, Pack, and Chain? Or Peirce's icon, index, and symbol?
I can even find my own true three in my open hand. To get an idea we must be able to grasp it and then keep it in short-term memory's eye while we consider its prospects and put it to work. Well, I see in my hand an index finger with which to point and an opposing thumb with which to pluck and then three fingers left to represent my pluckings. No more than three.
My picture also builds the composition of 3 x 3 = 9 when time and sign are played against one another. You may choose to work it differently. But I feel sure that however you maneuver, you will always be able to do it by threes, and when you work by threes you will find your mind free to think productively about achieving and keeping sanity in spite of the affluence of profusion.
Benjamin D. Wright
|LIFE and MIND|
|Primary Shapes1||Primary Compositions2||Knowledge|
|Benjamin D. Wright|
1 "The UIs: Universal Images in the Visual Arts" by A.B. Vimercati & N. Bezruczko.
2 "Composition Analysis" by B.D. Wright. In Objective Measurement, Vol. III, Norwood NJ: Ablex 1996, 241-264.
Life and Mind Wright, B.D. Rasch Measurement Transactions, 1999, 13:3 p. 713
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