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Reinventing the Wheel and Changing Gear

From binary logic to quaternary logic and more (Part #1)


Introduction
Indicative polarized contexts: conventional direction of progress

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Introduction

Many references are made to the problematic consequences of binary logic, polarized thinking, duality and the like. These have been epitomized by the statement of the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell immediately after 9/11:

It's binary -- yes or no. You either respond to this crisis, this tragedy, this horrible thing that was perpetrated by perhaps al-Qaida and Usama bin Laden. And all, all the indications point in that direction. You either respond and rip them up, help us rip them up, get rid of them, or you will suffer consequences. (CNN Interview on Anti-Terrorism Campaign, 16 September 2001)

But the instances and limitations of binary logic are far more subtle, pervasive and insidious than the "with us or against us" attitude promoted by American foreign policy.

The purpose in what follows is to clarify the range of domains in which it may have unforeseen and powerful consequences. The question is then raised regarding the possibilities cultivated in other cultures of other logical modes -- and of how these might reframe many blocked situations currently faced at the global, regional, national, community and individual levels.

situations currently faced at the global, regional, national, community and individual levels.