Happy Steve

Innovation and Learning

Start with clarity of intent.

Now build it out with an evocative vision. Improvise progress by tinkering: with lots of trial and lots of error. The not knowing is the best bit: the mysteries the surprises, and from time to time the windfalls! 

Hello there, I'm Steve Collis! 

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Sequence [frame]


Introduction to [Frames]

Organisational [Frames]

A sequence [frame] - let's call it an s-[frame] is a series of actions that come in a particular order.

Note they must be actions, not o-[frames] (organisational [frames]), unless the o-[frame] is an action. Is this possible? 

Let's say we're talking about a human being walking. This is an s-[frame] - a series of gestures. We could use the language of o-[frames] to dissect how parts of the body might be in relation to each other at each moment of t

he sequence.

However, that's not the point of the s-[frame]. An o-[frame] may very well contain an s-[frame] but an s-[frame] will only contain other, smaller s-[frames].

Examples of s-[frames]:

- your daily routine. For example, when I go to bed, I always take medications, then listen to an audiobook, and then take off my headphones, and then lie on my back, and then turn onto my right side, and then I fall asleep. To the extent that this sequence can meaningfully be identified as a consistent and coherent repeated pattern, it is an s-[frame].

- the results of physical laws. For example, what goes up, must come down, is an s-[frame].

- an algorithm is an s-[frame]. As soon as you get to an if... statement or other branching mechanism you'll need to use the language of o-[frames]. So, branching algorithms are o-[frames] containing s-[frames], with the relationship between the s-[frames] being organisational in nature. Calling a function does not necessarily require an o-[frame] to be used, but branching within that function that depends on variables that were passed to the function, does! (i.e. it's the difference between 'take X and double it, add 3, then divide by 2' which is an s-[frame] and 'take X, and double it, add 3, and if the result is over 20 divide by 2, otherwise leave it as is' - we need an o-[frame] for the latter because different algorithms are being stitched together in a particular way. However each particular instance of running the algorithm could still be expressed as an s-[frame] if you only wanted to refer to the actual sequence that occurs in that instance.

- group rituals, such as a church service, coronation, or voting.

- functional language scripts such as "hi how's it going" "great thanks and you?" - linguists report how such scripts have particular functions, e.g. establish and maintain rapport. To the extent that scripts have multiple possible pathways they'll need to be o-[frames], but particular clliche sequences are s-[frames].

Why not just call these sequences a 'process'?

There is no reason apart from our particular aim of alienating ourselves from the otherwise familiar object of study.

I am a teacher. I might use the term s-[frame] to describe my habit of lining students up outside my classroom, requesting silence, getting silence, then asking students to 'come in and sit down'. I might then recognise this is an arbitrary sequence and that it is a component of what I consider to be a 'lesson plan' that can be changed. I could instead require the students to bark like a dog. Or, I could not require them to line up at all. Once it's labelled as an s-[frame] it is in a mental container that emphasises arbitrary design decisions.

Back to Monopoly

I've defined Monopoly as an o-[frame]. Now I can describe the repeated sequences of actions that occur and are allowed to occur by the rules of the game as s-[frames] - such sequences as:

- each player has a turn.

- the player throws the dice and moves the token forward that many squares.

As soon as there is a choice of what to do next I need to package the s-[frames] in an o-[frame].

Avoiding o-[frames] by Ignoring Options

I just want to emphasise that s-[frames] can be defined with whatever level of detail that we want. This is just like o-[frames]... I don't have to drill o-[frames] down to a molecular level if I don't want to. I can keep things vague: a car has a chassis, axles, wheels, etc, organised in such and such a fashion - even though each of these components is itself an o-[frame] with subcomponents.

Similarly with s-[frames] we can keep them as broad as we want, depending on what level of analysis and insight we are aiming for.

Consider the s-[frame]: people are born, grow up, grow old, and die. Clearly each of these actions can be subdivided. We don't have to subdivide if we don't want to.

This can be used to avoid the annoyances of having to use an o-[frame] to deal with branching s-[frames].

For instance, let's say before I go to sleep I either listen to an audiobook, or I read a print book. If, in my analysis, this branching is important, I could package the two sequences into an o-[frame] - perhaps in order to gain insight into why I do the one or the other. But if this is not important I can just stick with an s-[frame].

- I brush my teeth

- normally someone feeds the cats

- I read or listen to a book

- I go to sleep

I've treated the two options as the one action with only one container. I've also modified feeding the cats with 'normally'. So I can fudge my s-[frame] as much as I want, if I have concluded that the loss of strict fidelity will not harm my overall aim.

S-[Frames] and Stories

Much story telling, and conversation is taken up by recounting series of actions. However, language very rarely stops with recounts. It doesn't take long for other frames such as e-[frames] (explanatory [frames]) to pop up. Anyway, it's interesting to at least notice how much communication is taken up transmitting information about what happened and in what order.