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Choice of mapping metaphor: circular


Adaptive Hypercycle of Sustainable Psychosocial Self-organization (Part #2)


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The challenge of mapping cannot be fruitfully understood as one of foreclosing prematurely on any particular pattern -- as is well-illustrated by the many experiments in mapping the globe through a variety of "projections".  An earlier experiment used the following circular configuration of the hexagram conditions with 384 links around and across the circle. The psychosocial dynamics implied by that circle offer one insight into the possibility that the I Ching may be fruitfully understood as a hypercycle (as mentioned in the introductory paper).

Fig. 1: Circular configuration of 64 interrelated conditions of change
(placing the cursor on any hexagram brings up a label;
clicking on any hexagram brings up an interpretation relating to policy)
Circular arrangement of 64 hexagrams of I Ching DDDDDE: ModeDDD / ModeDDE (44: Encounter)EDDDDE: ModeEDD / ModeDDE (28: Importance)DEDDDE: ModeDED / ModeDDE (50: Cultural heritage)EEDDDE: ModeEED / ModeDDE (32: Endurance)DDEDDE: ModeDDE / ModeDDE (57: Penetrating clarity)EDEDDE: ModeEDE / ModeDDE (48: Basic need)DEEDDE: ModeDEE / ModeDDE (18: Remedial action)EEEDDE: ModeEEE / ModeDDE (46: Advancement) DDDEE: ModeDDD / ModeDEE (33: Withdrawal)EDDDEE: ModeEDD / ModeDEE (31: Influence)DEDDEE: ModeDED / ModeDEE (56: Marginality)EEDDEE: ModeEED / ModeDEE (62: Conscientiousness) DDEDEE: ModeDDE / ModeDEE (53: Development)EDEDEE: ModeEDE / ModeDEE (39: Obstruction)DEEDEE: ModeDEE / ModeDEE (52: Inaction)EEEDEE: ModeEEE / ModeDEE (15: Unpretentiousness)DDDDDD: ModeDDD / ModeDDD (1: Creativity)EDDDDD: ModeEDD / ModeDDD (43: Resolution)DEDDDD: ModeDED / ModeDDD (14: Wealth)EEDDDD: ModeEED / ModeDDD (34: Power)DDEDDD: ModeDDE / ModeDDD (9: Subtle restraint)EDEDDD: ModeEDE / ModeDDD (5: Waiting)DEEDDD: ModeDEE / ModeDDD (26: Conservation)EEEDDD: ModeEEE / ModeDDD (11: Peace)DDDEDE: ModeDDD / ModeEDE (6: Conflict)EDDEDE: ModeEDD / ModeEDE (47: Adversity)DEDEDE: ModeDED / ModeEDE (64: Transformation threshold)EEDEDE: ModeEED / ModeEDE (40: Liberation)DDEEDE: ModeDDE / ModeEDE (59: Barrier dissolution)EDEEDE: ModeEDE / ModeEDE (29: Persistence)DEEEDE: ModeDEE / ModeEDE (4: Inexperience)EEEEDE: ModeEEE / ModeEDE (7: Controlled threat)DDDEDD: ModeDDD / ModeEDD (10: Careful conduct)EDDEDD: ModeEDD / ModeEDD (58: Vitality)DEDEDD: ModeDED / ModeEDD (38: Opposition)EEDEDD: ModeEED / ModeEDD (54: Elective affinity)DDEEDD: ModeDDE / ModeEDD (61: Essential quality)EDEEDD: ModeEDE / ModeEDD (60: Limitation) DEEEDD: ModeDEE / ModeEDD (41: Deficiency)EEEEDD: ModeEEE / ModeEDD (19: Initiative)DDDDED: ModeDDD / ModeDED (13: Fellowship)EDDDED: ModeEDD / ModeDED (49: Revolution)DEDDED: ModeDED / ModeDED (30: Normative constraint)EEDDED: ModeEED / ModeDED (55: Prosperity)DDEDED: ModeDDE / ModeDED (37: Community)EDEDED: ModeEDE / ModeDED (63: Accomplishment)DEEDED: ModeDEE / ModeDED (22: Style)EEEDED: ModeEEE / ModeDED (36: Decline)DDDEED: ModeDDD / ModeEED (25: Spontaneity)EDDEED: ModeEDD / ModeEED (17: Following)DEDEED: ModeDED / ModeEED (21: Decisive action)EEDEED: ModeEED / ModeEED (51: Crisis preparedness) DDEEED: ModeDDE / ModeEED (42: Assistance)EDEEED: ModeEDE / ModeEED (3: Initial difficulty)DEEEED: ModeDEE / ModeEED (27: Support) EEEEED: ModeEEE / ModeEED (24: Recovery)EEEEEE: ModeEEE / ModeEEE (2: Receptivity) DEEEEE: ModeDEE / ModeEEE (23: Deterioration)EDEEEE: ModeEDE / ModeEEE (8: Solidarity)DDEEEE: ModeDDE / ModeEEE (20: Recognition)EEDEEE: ModeEED / ModeEEE (16: Enthusiasm )DEDEEE: ModeDED / ModeEEE (35: Progress) EDDEEE: ModeEDD / ModeEEE (45: Congregation)DDDEEE: ModeDDD / ModeEEE (12: Stagnation)
See commentary: Transformation Metaphors -- derived experimentally from the Chinese Book of Changes (I Ching) (1997). Variants have been used to offer access to interpretations of the conditions of change in terms of Interrelationships between 64 Complementary Approaches to Dialogue / Vision / Conference / Policy / Network / Community / Lifestyle.
The diagram links to items in the variant on policy cycles; coding associated with labels in the above diagram is explained there

As indicated in the introductory paper, the choice below is to use the widely-known traditional circular configuration of 8 trigrams -- the BaGua -- through which the 64 conditions are traditionally clustered into "houses". The originality in the resulting map (Fig. 2, below) lies in "stacking" the conditions of each house around the central 8. However, rather than stack them radially, as was shown in the introductory paper, the choice made below was to allow each individual "stack" to constitute the arm of a spiral.

The following representation (Fig. 2) has implicit in it a number of issues which may be considered both matters of concern and of potential significance:

  • considerable importance is traditionally attached to the order of the BaGua configuration, of which two variants are distinguished:  the Fuxi "Earlier Heaven" arrangement and the King Wen "Later Heaven" arrangement). The order of the latter arrangement (but not the orientation) is used in the mapping below. The possibilities of other arrangements are discussed separately (Strategic Patterns in terms of Knowing, Feeling and Action, 2009).
  • similarly, considerable importance may be attached to whether the hexagram codes are to be read from bottom to top or from top to bottom (as with bar codes, for example). In the following diagram, the bottom-to-top interpretation is used in naming each hexagram and in offering links to documents explaining their significance for change. This issue is of greater significance in the earlier case of the circular representation of all the hexagrams for which the implications of the alternative "readings" are separately discussed (Alternating between Complementary Conditions -- for sustainable dialogue, vision, conference, policy, network, community and lifestyle, 1983).
  • considerable importance is of course attached to whether any spiral is to be understood as rotating clockwise or counter-clockwise (terms ambiguously understood in this case) -- namely the issue of the two forms of the swastika, both widely-known to many cultures (notably most Hindu and Buddhist). Again any implications may depend on how the spiral is understood, however in the diagram below a clockwise rotation may be understood as portrayed.
  • the graphic disposition of the hexagrams clearly requires careful thought on how the hexagrams are to be positioned along any spiral arm and the angle of orientation of the arm to the central circle. This is the question of ensuring minimum crossing of links and avoiding that their lines cross any of the hexagrams -- namely ensuring the "visibility" of each hexagram to the others, to the extent possible. This is further discussed below. Clearly the designs offering such mutual "visibility" are indicative of fruitful ways on which conditions of change can be configured in relation to each other -- avoiding situations in which any one condition is obscured or shadowed by another.

In a web environment there is of course every possibility of offering users the option to reconfigure any such map interactively in response to different preferences and insights. The technical constraints on the diagram as represented here are further discussed below.


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