Skip to content
Create an account for full access.

4D Systemicity: patterns in space-time, rhythms

Systemness - it is always 4D systemness, with 3D having system levels corresponding to different scales of parts of a traditionally understood physical system by their sizes (lengths - parsecs, meters, nanometers), and repeatability/patterns described by forms/shapes. When moving to 4D, in the realm of time we also talk about system levels, and the time scale sets the "size" in time (durations - billions of years, minutes, femtoseconds), and repeatability/patterns are described by rhythms.

Systemic Rhythm - we look at not only the traditionally understood musical and dance "rhythm," but also move to other levels of consideration in music and dance: cadence at the beat level (a few seconds) and at the level of a musical/dance phrase (about ten seconds), large forms at the level of a composition (for example, refrains in songs, culminations-developments of a dance performance - up to a minute), at the level of an album/concert or a party - the level of a "set" (twenty to forty minutes), "large concert forms" (a level forgotten in music after the start of streaming services, where some sort of rhythm of an idea movement is also formed lasting about half an hour to an hour, today this remains only in the form of DJs uploading sets to mixcloud). Moving on, in music and dance there can be larger rhythms - regular dance parties and philharmonic subscriptions (weekly and monthly), regular festivals (yearly).

In the rhythm, we distinguish

  • functional temporal parts (roles in the rhythm) and
  • constructive temporal parts (what we do, what appearances/onsets-offsets occur in our movements - beats, or notes, or gestures, or scientific and technical council meetings, or morning tooth brushing).

It is easier to understand this where rhythms are abstract and primary: music and dance, starting from the "beat level" (which does not even have a specific name! Rhythm, in the everyday sense, ignores systemness, there is no systemness in the literature on rhythm yet, there systemness needs to be brought in, it is the frontier of systemic thinking. To some extent, this echoes current discussions on unfolding patterns of physics in time, for example, with temporal crystals.

Multi-dancer: a "type/specialization role of a dancer" dances in a significant stylistic diversity. The multi-dancer works with system rhythm, but also with different levels of corporeality (literally: different body parts, the body as a whole, the body in the environment, pairs of partners in the environment, etc.), unfolding it all at different rhythm levels.

One of the problems in the discussion is that one needs to consider the difference in referential indices (description from the first person - the dancer, or from the third person - an external coach or viewer). The body is what is perceived from the outside by a third person, while soma is the body perceived from within. Therefore, for a multi-dancer, rhythm is not corporeal but somatic.

Systemic Soma-mechanics (biomechanics - this is body mechanics/body, how it is perceived by a biologist "from the outside", and soma-mechanics - this is the mechanics of the soma/body/organism perceived and produced from within) precisely enables the discussion on the movement of the soma, that is, the movement of the body perceived and generated from within. Of course, systemic soma-mechanics works for a wide variety of methods/ways/cultures/styles of movement - figure skating, sitting at a computer, swimming, wrestling, multi-dancing (precisely the method by which the dancer-multi-dancer moves). In the synonymous range in the case of movements, the terms "method" or "way" are often not used for different levels but are replaced by "culture" and "style." In this context, multi-dancing includes many sub-styles/subcultures of dancing.

In rhythmics, we are interested in the patterns/templates/repeatability/regularities of changes in the dancer's body and soma, with changes at different time scales being minimal:

  • Slow scale of initial learning as "mastery creation/MVP", that is transfer of the foundations of the meme from culture. The dancer's personal states change in the course of creation/production/training, the time of the dancer's creation, with the agent acquiring mastery at the most abstract levels of the meme: the principles of "dance composition"/"universal large movement patterns," lexis/"less universal, more minor movement patterns," "dance style"/"smallest movement patterns." In professional ballet, this takes about ten years, in social/pair dances (amateur level) about a couple of years. The output is the MVP of mastery, the replication of culturally conditioned foundations. It is not customary to talk about "rhythm" at such time scales, but that does not mean that this rhythm does not exist. Experiments show that the longer the time intervals (years), the worse people are at reasoning about such intervals. This ability to reason about long time intervals needs to be deliberately learned.
  • Faster scale of meme changes in personal creativity, the development of a personal unique sub-style/manner, the renewal of the dancer's mastery (smart meme mutations, obtained by changing the dance mastery during meme mutations, observed by the viewers and felt from within the dancer and the method also changes because the algorithm has changed). This is a constant activity, "mastery development," evolution. When successful, a new dance style emerges, if the result of these meme changes is recognized as significantly deviating from the culturally conditioned standard. Changes here take place on the scale of six months to a year. Such time intervals are already available for discussion, but working with them requires focus displayed at this time scale - and this is no longer so trivial, you cannot just say "focus!" to get an immediate effect. Written culture helps, of course: keeping track of achievements in writing (in the case of dance, for example, making video recordings and storing them).
  • Fast scale of phenoma changes (body and soma states during the use of dance mastery in performance/appearance/execution), working/functioning of the dancer's mastery. Changes here are in the rhythm of music - the composition level can be taken as the longest time measure (for example, about three and a half minutes of dance time), and the short measure here is the fractions of a second between pulse beats in music. This need to consider different time scales is running through all works on evolution today, emphasizing that the difference in typical event timescales in different scales will differ by several orders of magnitude (and indeed: from fractions of a second to several years - it's many orders!).

Multi-dancer::method/culture/style::behavior sounds like a noun (dance), but it is a style of behavior (type of behavior) with which the multi-dancer role is engaged in during "dance work" (method activation). A multi-dancer is also a composite method (it is broken down into different smaller cultures/styles/methods/modes of dancing, for example, tango, salsa, kizomba - all three will be involved in multi-dancing).

It should also be considered that the hierarchy of various divisions must not have different names - therefore, referring to large patterns as "compositions," smaller ones as "dance content/substance/lexicon/figures," and even smaller ones as "dance style" and sometimes highlighting an even smaller personal structure as "manner" is a poor method/style of naming. If there is some multi-level/hierarchical structure, it is better to keep the types of objects at each level the same, aside from adding prefixes "sub-" and "super-" (and at the same time making sure that these are relationships between objects accepted in the hierarchy, not some other relationships; for example, ensuring that "sub-" refers to the composition relationship and not specialization/type, so it is better to say not "sub-" but "type", for example, "Cuban salsa" is a "type of salsa" alongside "New York salsa").

The number of levels in divisions inherently changes, how objects are related to specific levels is the subject of agreements in the project. What belongs to the level of dance composition in one project might be seen as the level of a dance style in another project - that's why it would be good in dance to standardize the division patterns for the sake of names within a project, there are no established names for the methods/practices/cultures of the dance stack of methods.

The same can be viewed in relation to any other agents, including intelligent agents, that is, including not very "smart" ones. For example, a simple washing machine sensor that "feels itself from within" through measurements from certain water level and temperature sensors and thus has an analogue "organism," external body behavior and its orientation to working with a "soma"/equipment-"felt"-from-within. Of course, likening an organization to a dancer is a commonly used metaphor. What we introduce here:

  • Referential index (do the descriptions of the practice refer to the external body, or to the internal soma, sometimes called "perception position")
  • Evolutionarily understood **rhythm (frequencies distinguishing themselves by three orders of magnitude during evolution - the norm, remember the works of the Vanchurin group).

Focus also works with attention management in 4D, it needs to be considered on different time scales: directly in the spot, "right now" for several seconds, for the duration of a long reasoning process (from a few minutes to a couple of hours), for the installation of a habit or project implementation (month-year), for maintaining long periods of time (several years, planning education, employment planning in a field, performing very long projects like designing and building nuclear power stations). And besides these time intervals, it is necessary to indicate which systems, their supra-systems, and subsystems are held by attention and at what system level we operate, which important characteristics are examined, how and when (rhythm!) we remember interrupted discussions about certain objects and move to others. Focus also seems like a noun, but it is a method/culture/practice engaged by a "focused" agent (in our case, we prefer the instrumental rather than purely "mental" method of focus, it is mostly an agent-cyborg, that is, a human with a computer or at least paper-pen - focus is ensured not by the skill of a "trained memory brain" but by the skill of using reliable external memory, attention is maintained by reminders about important objects outside the brain).

In systemic management, organizations are viewed as systems and system levels within the organization are highlighted (hierarchy of organizational roles, hierarchy of organizational levels), tied to the system levels of the target systems (different methods and therefore different organizational roles work with different levels of the target system), we examine the course of creating and developing target systems in terms of the rhythmic steps of development (steps of creating increments and transitioning to the operation) and reducing the time of such steps. Various management methods already have all kinds of rhythms (cycles/cadences/rhythms), time unfoldings on different scales during creation and development: PDCA, OODA, POOGI cycles, etc. (explored in the "Systems Management" course). Production rhythm regularity is also a subject of operational management: the passage of batches of raw materials through production and sales in order to eliminate delays (rhythm breaks). All types of management methods consider linking to time and some sort of cyclic/rhythmic/"timeline template unfolding" is applied - this is common for any engineering, not only organizational engineering.

Leadership (one of the management methods) deals with positioning an agent as an actor in an organizational/project/labour role and ensuring cooperation (similar to the "manufacture, assembly, and adjustment of a technical system from parts"). Leadership, as a method of work, involves the leader role (an agent in the leadership role), leadership can be shared and then the rhythms of the relationship with the agent stepping into the role must be tracked - but different agents will perform leader roles, setting the atmosphere of inevitability for the target agent to be placed in the role, and it is also possible to consider the time for the establishment of this distributed leadership "atmosphere", which can be quite significant - because some methods of leadership need to teach the majority of employees.

Also, an exit at a higher system level from an organizational unit=individual to a team and even organization unit="team of teams"/collective is considered. Methods here will be different for each time scale/rhythm/cadence of every system:

  • Different methods work with lower- and higher-level systems of different system levels in target systems and their environments during their creation (some roles make bricks, others lay brick walls and mortar, the third builds houses, the fourth - develop territories, these roles are separated among different agents, having mastery in these working methods)
  • Different methods work with the same objects at different time scales, and they can also be separated among different people. Some agents slowly teach other agents mastery (for example, three years of learning to dance), and then these other agents use this mastery in completely different time scales (for example, dance for three minutes to some track at a party, and also use the mastery acquired during three years of education multiple times, for example, for twenty years).

Methods of thinking, including systemic thinking, may have their nuances at different size and duration scales, but they are transdisciplinary, meaning that they are applicable to all scales and help align reasoning at different scales. This reasoning about multiple scales, multiple size levels and durations, and multiple complexity levels is part of the intellectual thinking stack methods.

Systemness always turns out to be patterned both in spatial forms and temporal sequences. Design during creation goes on in classes/patterns of things and in patterns/changes of things in time. Instances of things during manufacturing according to the project and use also exist in time-space, these are instances of things taken as examples of realizations not only of these things' classes but also of rhythmic classes, "forms of unfolding in time", repeatability patterns in time - we usually talk about changes-over-time in object instances as conducted works, and of changes as patterns in time - as methods/functions. Remember that we can reason about time only through some changes in some spatial objects - discussing points of time as "events," changes of state.

The purpose of all this? Systemness is necessary to combat complexity: to represent for each practical situation not a single super-complex description, but many simpler ones, corresponding to familiar spatial-temporal parts (physical objects in 4D). Shapes in space, rhythms of state changes in time. Once you get used to this, dealing with complex situations becomes easier: you think about various situations in the same way. And this "sameness" significantly speeds up thinking, allowing room for deep reflections on unexpected events and even for conducting additional experiments.

If there is no sameness, "everything" will be unexpected! In such a situation, it is constantly unclear what to do. Systemic thinking immediately raises the question: what system level are you working at and in what role and by what method? And the response must not only be at the level of the "magnitude of matter" but "magnitude over time". This is the routine reasoning: not "what to do in general" but "what system do we have, how should it behave in the environment, how should it be structured, what and how to make it, what creators should make it, how to create these creators" - this is the super-simplified systemic mantra. This is a typical line of thinking - it passes quickly and it immediately becomes clear what has already been thought out and what has not, and what to do next. In a sense, this is also a "rhythm of systemic thinking", a constantly rotating cycle, a thinking pattern.

Attention-to-part-whole relationship highlights patterns from the background not only in 3D (i.e., pulling spatial parts) but hierarchically on different scales. Attention hierarchically pulls out part-whole patterns from the background in 4D (it pulls out spatial-temporal parts): besides shapes, we also deal with rhythms there. This is also about systems and their behavior, this is also systemic thinking. If nothing repeats in your life over time, it means you are doing something completely wrong, living in chaos. Life and work - they are rhythmic!