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Hello there, I'm Steve Collis! 

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Filtering by Tag: frames

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.

Organisational [frame]

See introduction to [frames].

and sequence [frames]

Here is a definition and exploration of organisational frames. 

An organisational [frame] refers simply to a set of elements that organised according to set number of relationships. Those elements can themselves be [frames], even nested organisational [frames].

All physical objects are, by this definition, organisational [frames]. Here are some physical examples:

- electrons, protons, neutrons are organisational [frames] made by organising up quarks and down quarks. Let's call these o-frames for brevity.

- atoms are o-frames, made up of electrons, protons, neutrons in particular organisations. e.g. more electrons = a different atom.

Even before we go any further, how interesting that substances we experience as very different to each other, are actually made of the same elements that are simply organised in a different way.

- molecules are o-frames, with atoms as elements, e.g. H2O is 2 hydrogen atoms with 1 oxygen atom. The two hydrogen atoms sit lop-sided on the oxygen atom, and this lop-sided organisation leads to some of water's properties such the way it curls up onto the rim of a cup. 

etc etc etc, let's go to a more relevant scale:

- a table is an o-frame. It consists of a flat surface with supporting structures that connect it to the ground and make it stable.

UH OH - problem! A table may have 4 legs, or 1 big leg that spreads out, or 3 legs, or 8 legs...

Furthermore, if you and I sat on the grass and put our picnic food and drink on a large rock we could easily call that a table! Almost anything could be called a 'table'.

Yes, and we could look at that thing, whatever it was, and identify what components went into it and how they were organised.

O-frames can contain non-physical elements, such as beliefs, expectations, and even other [frames] such as sequence [frames] or narrative [frames].

So we could dig around into the concept of a table and identify what mental or contextual circumstances allow an object to be considered a table.

What we will discover is a very broad spectrum of contexts and meanings for the word. We have found ourselves up against the subject / object split.

And that's absolutely fine. This very ambiguity, and the elasticity of concepts, is exactly what we can now wrestle with, argue about, and examine in diverse contexts.

Remember the whole point of [frames] vocabulary is to alienate ourselves from something familiar in order to gain greater insight into what makes it what it is.

A Bigger Example

Consider 'Monopoly' as an o-frame. This turns out to be easier and less elastic than a simple noun like 'table'. (Although still much more elastic than we might think at first glance). 

What elements are required to make up a game of Monopoly? How must they be organised in relation to each other? If I ran around hitting people on the head with a Monopoly board then we would not, by convention, say "Oh look, Steve is playing Monopoly."

We do need physical components.

Each of those physical components are themselves o-frames, as per our initial description.

If we want to we can drill down what physical materials the Monopoly board is made of - inks, cardboard, etc, and then what those materials are made of etc. But we don't have to - you can take as much detail as you want to with o-frames. It's functional to simply say: we need a board.

However the ink on the board does need to follow a certain pattern for it to count as a conventional Monopoly board. The ink itself is an o-frame and a very relevant one at that.

So the o-frame Monopoly also contains other o-frames such as the ink on the board, which is organised in a particular way. There is quite some elasticity here as there are many versions of Monopoly with different titles and graphics etc. I suppose we could even get rid of some squares and add others - and still call it Monopoly. However I don't want to be too distracted by exciting insights about elasticity right here...

...because we still have the other elements - the tokens representing the players, the dice, the cards, the cash, and so on - physical components

...and the rules

...and mental concepts such as currency, clockwise direction, gaol

...and the players themselves

...and what else?

What else goes into Monopoly? And how does it need to be organised within the system? For instance, the tokens go around the side of the board, the chance cards don't. These elements are organised in particular relationships. 

Therefore, Monopoly is an o-[frame], even though it contains other o-[frames].

Monopoly is an artificial creation. There wasn't always Monopoly. Then there was. And something about Monopoly has hit a sweet spot over the last century. It is much more popular than many other board games, and better known.


What is it about the [frames] that go into the Monopoly o-[frame] and what is it about the way those [frames] are organised in relation to each other, that made it so popular?

How could you change the [frames] or re-organise them? What would the result be?

The concept of an o-[frame] therefore opens up pathways for innovation and re-imagining, since it prompts us to identify the elements and relationships in the thing we are considering.

[Frames] - Introduction

See also:

I've developed a vocabulary around what I call [frames]  as an exercise in considering an object, thought, experience, system, etc as an arbitrary, constructed thing that can be reconstructed in a new way. It is a way of provoking an alienated state, where you can see the otherwise familiar in a new light, which opens up possibilities for reinventing.

[Frames] may remind you of memes, and they may overlap in some situations.

The square brackets are part of the whole conceit, forcing a slight mental provocation

A [frame]  is simply a component of... anything you wish to consider. 

At the time of writing I have 4 types of [frames] in mind. They very deliberately transcend boundaries of physical / mental, objective reality and subjective reality.

These 4 types are:

Organisational [frame]

Sequence [frame]

Narrative [frame]

Explanatory [frame]

In other posts I will define each of these.

I will also give some examples of how to use them.