Glossary of terms





Terms used in BTF presentations. Vocabulary can serve as real estate for ideas. The more real estate, the more you can build.



Affordance

Affordance is what the environment offers the individual. James J. Gibson coined the term in his 1966 book, The Senses Considered as Perceptual Systems, and it occurs in many of his earlier essays. Affordances are an object's properties that show the possible actions users can take with it, thereby suggesting how they may interact with that object. ... Psychologist James Gibson coined "affordance" in 1977, referring to all action possibilities depending on users' physical capabilities.



Agentic

(1) The word agentic is described as an individual's power to control his or her own goals actions and destiny. It stems from the word agency, which Webster's Dictionary defines as the capacity, condition, or state of acting or of exerting power.


Agentic

(2) Adjective. (not comparable) Social cognition theory perspective in which people are producers as well as products of social systems. Milgram's theory about the agentic state which is the psychological state the obedient subject is in when he or she is obeying authority.



Agentic Theory

An agentic theory specifies the mechanisms by which people come to live in accordance with moral standards. In social cognitive theory (Bandura, 1986, 1991b), moral reasoning is translated into actions through self-regulatory mechanisms rooted in moral standards and self-sanctions by which moral agency is exercised.



A priori

/ˌā prīˈôrī/

Adjective: relating to or denoting reasoning or knowledge which proceeds from theoretical deduction rather than from observation or experience.

Adverb: in a way based on theoretical deduction rather than empirical observation.

A priori and a posteriori are Latin phrases used in philosophy to distinguish types of knowledge, justification, or argument by their reliance on experience. A priori knowledge is independent from any experience. Examples include mathematics, tautologies and deduction from pure reason.
In the study of epistemology, we (at BTF) have discovered that most people hold information as presuppositions that is not epistemically sound. They prejudicially (and most often unconsciously) hold certain conclusions to be "correct" despite not conducting a thorough inquiry into the issue. Thus, a priori assumptions can be a large blindspot, preventing people from realizing where inquiry and investigation has yet to be adequately conducted. Western Christianity seems to manufacture this problem as a feature without realizing that it is a bug. Moralism adds to and complicates this problem.



Asch Conformity Experiments

In 1951, Solomon Asch experimented with investigating the extent to which social pressure from a majority group could affect a person to conform even when the majority answers were clearly wrong.

After many tests, overall, 74% of participants gave at least one incorrect answer out of the 12 critical trials.
Those who conform to the group pressure are referred to as "Asch Positive."
Those who give correct answers despite the pressure to conform to the group's wrong answered are considered "Asch Negative."

Asch Negative is the preferred state of being.

We at BTF believe that many people adopt Christian systematic dogma tenets simply because they are Asch positive, as the experiential and anecdotal evidence bears out.





Brother Melms

The mascot of Game A, Stage 3, neotenous Mammon church leadership.

​A hypothetical ideologue who Is used to describe an adherence to a list of propositional truth claims, rather than the pursuit of genuine knowledge.

The Fictitious embodiment of any "good, godly, dedicated" Christian mentor from the present or past to whom Christians are expected to outsource their sense making rather than execute sound epistemic methodologies.



Clearing Machine

A device that if used properly, brings absolute and total clarity to the user on any given topic. It works especially well if one stays up all night using it.



Coterminous

adjective co·ter·mi·nous (ˌ)kō-ˈtər-mə-nəs 1: having the same or coincident (see COINCIDENT sense 2) boundaries a voting district coterminous with the city 2: coextensive in scope or duration … an experience of life coterminous with the years of his father.—Elizabeth Hardwick coterminously adverb



De Facto

In law and government, de facto describes practices that exist in reality, even though they are not officially recognized by laws. It is commonly used to refer to what happens in practice, in contrast with de jure, which refers to things that happen according to law.



Egregor

An egregore (also spelled egregor from French égrégore, from Ancient Greek ἐγρήγορος, egrēgoros 'wakeful') is a concept in Western esotericism of a non-physical entity or thoughtform that arises from the collective thoughts and emotions of a distinct group of individuals.This concept is essentially a zoomorphism where the idea-set has all the interactive characteristics of a creature or animal, and all the human constituents of the entity are essentially a thoughtless hive-mind that can only conduct simulated thinking at the behest of the egregor. "Egregor" (or egregore) describes a collective group mind that is created from the thoughts and beliefs of a specific group of people. This shared mental entity is believed to exert an influence on the members of the group and can evolve independently of its individual contributors. The concept is often used to explain how ideas and energy can manifest and sustain themselves independently within a group, influencing its behavior and decision-making. In contemporary usage, it sometimes extends into discussions about the collective consciousness or identity of organizations, movements, or communities.
At Beyond The Fundamentals, we recognize that Stage-3 (Fowler), Game-A denominational ideologies such as Calvinism and Provisionism are Zoomorphic creatures with wills of their own whose mission is to colonize as many human minds as possible. Once colonized, humans become mindlessly obedience to the conquering will of the egregor.



ELI5

“Explain it like I’m five.” This is a request to explain something as if the person listening has no prior knowledge base at all of the subject matter being discussed.



Emotion Wheel

A circular graphic of emotional labels that hierarchically arranges different emotions to aide people in identifying the emotion they are experiencing.

Usage and familiarity is highly recommended by BTF.





F Placeholder



Gestalt

/ɡəˈSHtält,ɡəˈstält/

Noun. German origin. An organized whole that is perceived as more than the sum of its parts. Theory of perception that emphasizes processing of entire patterns.

This is formed from a bottom-up process, starting with the components and moving toward the gestalt, and it is formed from a top-down process that can employs a model of the whole, despite unclear or disarranged components.

Example, we use letters to form words from the bottom-up. We examine the letters and their order, and decipher what words and sentences they are forming.

However, we can also read examples of "hypoglycemia" such as...

"I cnduo't bvleiee taht I culod aulaclty uesdtannrd waht I was rdnaieg."
"Tihs is bucseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey ltteer by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe."

"Yaeh and I awlyas tghhuot slelinpg was ipmorantt!"

...due to our ability to process from a top-down perspective.
A high level volleyball player may be able to serve the volleyball in several different expert ways. However, when asked to break it down to the component steps in order to teach someone else, it's almost like they forget how they even do it. They don't build it from the ground up. They operate at the gestalt level. Then they have to reverse-engineer what they are doing in order to teach someone else how they do it step by step.

As a side note, if you are ever behind in scoring in a sports competition, you may wanna try complementing one of the opponent players on a very particular component of some process they do well. This might take their mind out of the flow state of the gestalt movement and over focus on a particular component, thus increasing the probability that they might flub on their next attempt.

Also, this is why critiquing a specific aspect of someone's driving can introduce increased risk and danger because it takes the driver's mind away from the gestalt of their motions into subcomponents, which could result in momentary procedural disorientation. So think twice before dishing advice. Maybe save it for when the ride is over.



Goodhart's Law:

Goodhart's Law states that when a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure. Formulated by economist Charles Goodhart, this principle observes that once a specific metric is used as the central criterion for policy, then its accuracy as a measure of success tends to falter. Essentially, people start to game the system, focusing on meeting the numerical targets rather than achieving the underlying goals the metrics are supposed to represent.

Although this "Law" was developed in economics, it also has applications in other domains.

For example, "9 Marks" is an ecclesiological framework that identifies nine essential marks or traits that define a healthy church. While intended to help churches evaluate and improve their health and function, it risks violating Goodhart's Law. When churches adopt these marks as strict targets, the focus may shift from fostering genuine spiritual growth and community health to merely ticking off compliance with these marks. For instance, emphasizing measurable aspects like a "disciplined membership" or "biblical leadership" can lead to practices that fulfill these criteria superficially without truly nurturing a spiritually thriving community. This shift from the spirit to the letter of the law in church practice can undermine the very health and authenticity these marks aim to promote.



Hedonic

/hē-ˈdä-nik/
Relating to or considered in terms of pleasant (or unpleasant) sensation.

While many definitions and usages of this word will relate it back to hedonism, we at BTF use it to emphasize particularity of somatic awareness. Being able to identify and locate sensations in the body is a valuable tool with regard to awareness and interpretation of signals that are bodies are communicating to us. This is crucial for developing discernment and for understanding whether or not one's body is going into defensive mode in the middle of a dialogue, as well as countless other applications. Hedonic and somatic awareness is an indispensable skill that must be developed and continually calibrated. Cognition is embodied meaning that cognition is a full body process, not just a function of the brain. Thus, individuals must learn how to incorporate bodily sensations into the sense making process, affording these sensations the benefit of Rule Omega just like any other good-faith interlocutor.



I Placeholder



J Placeholder



K Placeholder



Liminal (adjective) Liminality (noun)

Liminality is a psychological process that describes the transition between boundaries and borders. The word "liminal" comes from the Latin word limen, which means "threshold". A liminal space is an in-between area that represents a transition, whether it's physical, emotional, or metaphorical. For example, a doorway is a physical liminal space, a divorce is an emotional liminal space, and a decision is a metaphorical liminal space.

When liminality is encountered, it is typically encountered impromptu and it is a place of uncertainty. In other words, the person does not realize that they are approaching a threshold. Instead, once in the threshold, they start to discover or realize that the previous mechanisms of thought and action no longer seem relevant.

If someone recognizes that they are in a liminal space, they might be aware that reality operates outside their previous paradigm, but they do not yet have a paradigm for what they have encountered in reality.

Liminal space refers to the place a person is in during a transitional period.

Liminal space is the uncertain transition between where you've been and where you're going physically, emotionally, or metaphorically. To be in a liminal space means to be on the precipice of something new but not quite there yet.

Liminal spaces can provide insights into the human condition, change, and transformation.

During liminal periods, social hierarchies may be temporarily dissolved or reversed.

People are in a liminal space when they a going through what is often called deconstructing or as we prefer to say, "retooling."



Melms, Brother

See entry for "Brother Melms" in the "B" section.



Meme Complex or Memeplex

"Meme" is a term coined by Richard Dawkins in 1976. Dawkins invented this word in order to have an 'idea' equivalency for the word "gene" in genetics.

A meme can be thought of as an idea or an idea pattern. Memes are abstract pattern replicators.

Just as genes can work together to form co-adapted gene complexes, so groups of memes acting together form co-adapted meme complexes or memeplexes. Memeplexes include (among many other things) languages, traditions, scientific theories, financial institutions, and religions.

The study of meme complexes and their behaviors and functions is called "memetics," not to be confused with "mimetics," a theory put forth by René Girard which addresses the collective or social nature of human desire.

A meme complex usually has a central meme, or a main idea around which all the other ideas are organized. Meme complexes can have propagation memes that help them spread. Protective memes which are designed to keep adherents from coming to the cognitive level of awareness at which they might down the central meme. They can also have endurance memes, or ideas that encourage people to remain persistent devotes to the meme complex. There are also defensive memes, and other memes or ideas that serve particular functions to the persistence of the meme complex.

Memetics is very useful as a tool to parse out the differences between religious mindsets and denominations within Christianity.

BTF has pointed out many times that memetics reveals a system like Calvinism to be a distinct meme complex with its own central meme which is distinct from the central meme of Christianity.



Metastasis

Metastasis means that cancer spreads to a different body part from where it started. When this happens, doctors say the cancer has "metastasized." Your doctor may also call it "metastatic cancer," "advanced cancer," or "stage 4 cancer." But these terms can have different meanings.



Metcalfe’s Law

Metcalfe's law states the effect of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system.
This concept is useful in many other domains. For example, the value of the English language is proportional to the square of the number of people who can use it to communicate.
The more users or entities who can interact using any protocol (i.e. Rule Omega, Protocol X), the more valuable that protocol or medium becomes.



Multi-polar trap or Multi-polar dilemma

A multi-polar trap is a situation in competitive systems where multiple actors (such as countries, companies, or individuals) are compelled to make decisions that lead to mutually worse outcomes, driven by the fear of falling behind others who choose not to cooperate or restrain themselves. This concept is akin to a race to the bottom, where all parties are incentivized to degrade resources, standards, or conditions to maintain competitive parity or advantage.

Example: If one tribe decides to deplete the forest in order to built weapons to kill the neighboring tribe, the neighboring tribe must do the same in order to protect themselves, despite having no interest in depleting the forest, or even being against the depletion of the forest.

In competitive economics, depletion of resources may not be desirable, but competition may force a company to believe it is necessary in order to stay competitive or get ahead.

Multipolar Traps emerge when self-interests conflict with collective well-being, leading to detrimental outcomes. To break free, societies need to prioritize collaboration, long-term thinking, and shared goals, working across sectors and nations. The term describes situations where multiple self-interested parties are compelled to act against their collective interest, leading to poor outcomes and destruction.

This phenomenon is often referred to and personified (or zoomorphed?) into "Moloch." Moloch is an ancient Canaanite deity associated with child sacrifice and destruction. More information on this analogy can be read in the somewhat well-known blog post by Scott Alexander titled "Meditations on Moloch."

Multi-polar traps result in a byproduct referred to as the Tragedy of the Commons where pursuit of self interest has a detrimental affect on resources that are involuntarily or necessarily common, such as air, water, land, etc...

Example: Village of several farmers sharing a common pasture -> each farmer wishes to maximize their benefits by adding more grazing animals to increase profit -> as more animals graze, the pasture is overgrazed and unable to sustain the increasing population -> collective interest in maintaining a healthy pasture is compromised due to each farmer’s pursuit of personal gain -> the multipolar trap is the powerful force that drives the farmers to exploit the shared resource, leading to its degradation and harming them all.

Contemporary Example: Artificial Intelligence – rapid development of AI poses a multipolar trap due to the competition between organizations and countries. Pursuing AI superiority drives different actors to prioritize progress over safety measures, potentially leading to unintended consequences or the misuse of AI systems. Fear of falling behind in the AI race intensifies the pressure to push boundaries without considering long-term risks.

Overcoming the multipolar trap requires collaborative efforts, international cooperation, and shared ethical guidelines to ensure responsible development, prioritize safety precautions, and address potentially existential threats associated with AI.



Neoteny (noun)
Adjectives: 'neotenous' and 'neotenic' are both considered correct.

Neoteny is the retention of juvenile characteristics beyond the age where such characteristics are considered normal. The term was coined by Julius Killian in 1885 and typically refers to physiological characteristics of animals and humans.

Here at Beyond The Fundamentals, we often use the term "neoteny" to refer to someone who is operating from a mindset, paradigm, world view, perspectival capacity, locus of authority, or other modality that should have been grown out of during an earlier stage of life than the one they are in now.



Ostend

(third-person singular simple present ostends, present participle ostending, simple past and past participle ostended) (obsolete) To exhibit to manifest. Usually appears as “ostensibly,” meaning, as it appears or manifests.



Persiflage

/ˌpʌrsəˈflɑʒ/ Persiflage is a teasing kind of banter. After a softball batter strikes out, she can expect to hear some persiflage from her teammates in the dugout.



Pièce de résistance
(plural pièces de résistance) A masterpiece the most memorable accomplishment of one's career or lifetime. synonyms ▲ Synonyms: magnum opus, masterpiece. The chief dish at a dinner.



Polyandry

Polygamy in which a woman has more than one husband.



Prima facie

adverb pri·ma fa·cie ˌprī-mə-ˈfā-shə -shē, -sē, also -shē-ˌē, -sē-ˌē 1: at first view : on the first appearance prima facie adjective 1: true, valid, or sufficient at first impression : APPARENT the theory … gives a prima facie solution—R. J. Butler 2: SELF-EVIDENT 3: legally sufficient to establish a fact or a case unless disproved prima facie evidence



Prisoner's Dilemma

The Prisoner's Dilemma is a fundamental problem in game theory that demonstrates why two people might not cooperate even if it is in both their best interests to do so. The dilemma is typically presented as a scenario in which two criminals are arrested and interrogated in separate rooms, and neither can communicate with the other. Each prisoner has the option to betray the other by testifying against them, or to cooperate with the other by remaining silent.The outcomes are as follows:1. If both prisoners betray each other, each serves 2 years in prison.2. If one betrays the other while the other remains silent, the betrayer goes free and the silent accomplice receives a 3-year sentence.3. If both prisoners remain silent, both are sentenced to only 1 year in prison on a lesser charge.Despite the best outcome collectively being that both prisoners remain silent, the dilemma shows that rational self-interest leads each prisoner to betray the other, as betraying is always more beneficial personally, no matter what the other does. This results in both prisoners betraying each other and receiving a worse outcome than if they had cooperated, illustrating the difficulties in achieving cooperative solutions in scenarios of trust and communication barriers.

Classic non-zero-sum game.

Game theory: Prisoner’s dilemma presents a situation where two parties, separated and unable to communicate, must each choose between cooperating with the other or not. If both parties choose to protect themselves at the expense of the other participant, both participants find themselves in a worse state than if they had cooperated with each other. The highest reward for each party occurs when both parties choose to co-operate.“Common thread: a situation where the incentives faced by each individual decision-maker would induce them each to behave in a way that makes them all collectively worse off, while individually avoiding choices that would make them all collectively better off if all could somehow cooperatively choose.”Best for me- worse for us all worse for me- best for us all.“Likely outcome for a prisoner’s dilemma is that both players defect (i.e., behave selfishly), leading to suboptimal outcomes for both. This is also the Nash Equilibrium, a decision-making theorem within game theory that states a player can achieve the desired outcome by not deviating from their initial strategy. The Nash equilibrium in this example is for both plays to betray one another, even though mutual cooperation leads to a better outcome for both players however, if one prisoner chooses mutual cooperation and the other does not, one prisoner’s outcome is worse.”



Protocol X

Protocol developed by BTF. This entails interacting with a person or with people in a way that loosens their grip on ideological attachments in order to free them or "unclog" them, so that they can act as a more pure conduit of the logos. This is different from sophistry where a person asks leading questions to pigeon-hole a person to a specific ideology. Protocol X leads to an open-ended release of ideology, and is not directing a person to arrive at another, but to see the futility of ideological capture in any form.

See Also "Rule Omega" on this page.





Psychotechnology

Technology basically means systematic use of a tool. A physical tool fits your biology and enhances it. For example, a bottle fits your hand and enables you to carry water. Psychotechnology refers to tools that fit your mind and enhance how it operates.

Think of psychotechnology as installing a new program on a computer. The hardware stays the same but new programs enable you to increase the repertoire of processes you can run. Psychotechnologies enable novel kinds of perceptions, emotions, and cognition — new ways of using our minds.

The most common examples of psychotechnologies are literacy (the ability to read and write in a language) and numeracy (the ability to count and perform mathematical functions).

Examples of Psychotechnology:

Mental — includes language, literacy, numeracy, metaphor, mindfulness, hypnosis, and spiritual practices (like prayer).

Embodied — includes fasting, cold therapy, sensory deprivation, sleep deprivation, music, breathing techniques, yoga, martial arts, and other forms of exercise.

Pharmacological — includes compounds that modify cognition — nootropics like L-theanine and caffeine, modafinil, cannabis, psychedelics.

Technological — neurofeedback, transcranial electrical stimulation, and in the future, brain implants.

This list is no where near exhaustive.

Psychotechnologies can be sequenced and combined in new and innovative "recipes."



Q Placeholder



Reify

Reification is a fallacy of ambiguity, when an abstract belief or hypothetical construct is treated as if it were a concrete real event or physical entity. From Latin res ("thing") and -fication, a suffix related to facere ("to make"). Reification can be loosely translated as "thing-making."

This happens often when people mistake the map for the territory or when they mistake the model for reality.



Rejoinder

a reply, especially a sharp or witty one.



Rule Omega

Rule Omega is a very active and intentional attempt to hear something that is trying to be said through a delivery mechanism (a person) employing wrong, cringe-worthy, inarticulate, low resolution communications attempts. There is no judgement, moral or otherwise, because this is an unavoidable aspect of trying to break new ground, which is a hard thing to do. There is no expectation for what it communicated to be in alignment with any moral or ideological formula.

Rule Omega is a necessary component of exploratory thinking and of breaking new ground.
This process is like "giving the benefit of the doubt," but on steroids.
Giving Benefit of the Doubt: Before dismissing someone's points as wrong, participants are encouraged to consider the possibility that there might be valid reasons or insights they haven't yet understood. This involves asking more questions and striving to fully comprehend the other person's perspective.

Listening for the Signal: Even if a communication seems mostly filled with irrelevant or confusing information, the listener's job is to detect and focus on the valuable parts of the message. This process often involves filtering out the noise while enhancing the signal through successive exchanges. Part of the signal is also how the listener's body is reacting or responding to what is being heard. There is a skill to parsing, and integrating multiple related signals.

Psychological Safety and Exploration: Rule Omega creates a safe space for participants to express new or tentative ideas without fear of immediate rejection or misunderstanding. This safety fosters more innovative and exploratory dialogue.

Discernment and Reflection: Participants are also encouraged to be self-aware and reflective, discerning which parts of their own thoughts and reactions are essential and which are noise. This introspective aspect is crucial for personal growth and effective communication.

Dynamic Multiperspectivism: While Rule Omega recognizes that not all perspectives are equally valid, it acknowledges that most perspectives have at least some signal. The goal is not to equate all viewpoints but to extract the valuable elements from each through a process of integration and discernment.

Participation Requirements: Those who are ideological, immature, those who are unhealed from trauma, or those with certain personality disorders will lack the skill set necessary to fully participate in a dialogue that incorporates rule omega. It is important that participants are healed from trauma and cognitively operate in a metaparadigmatic fashion. A sophist also cannot participate in a dialogue that employs Rule Omega.

Two-Way Street: Rule Omega must be operated in both or all directions in order for it to be effective. Rule Omega cannot be offered to a sophist or an ideologue and a mechanism of interaction. They will very quickly weaponize Rule Omega and employ a mutated version of it in an asymmetric fashion.

See also "Protocol X" on this page.





Salutary

/ˈsæljəˌteri/ Brit /ˈsæljətri/ adjective [more salutary most salutary] formal : having a good or helpful result especially after something unpleasant has happened• The accident should be a salutary lesson to be more careful.• a salutary effect



Salience Landscape

Salience Landscaping is a "featurization" function of consciousness. Not everything can be the recipient of one's attention, so the agent (person) must foreground some of it. The agent automatically forms a "gestalt" from what's foregrounded into a figure (we say "figure things out"). From there, problems can be framed.

These 4 features...

feature ⟷ foreground ⟷ figure ⟷ frame
...allow you to get an optimal grip on a situation. An affordance open up in a presence landscape. It then become graspable by you. We don't see colors and shapes. We see affordances (e.g. I can walk there, I can put things there, I can grasp this cup, I can sit there, etc...)
See Awakening from the meaning Crisis Episode 10.

It is impossible to pay attention to everything in one's environment. Thus, only a subset of "everything" can be attended. The mind typically does this automatically. Those things are of which one is most aware constitute what is foregrounded. In legalistic and immature versions of Christianity, people are often conditioned to foreground things that are forbidden or which are to be avoided. This negative salience landscaping is severely disorienting and results in a person framing the world around them in a profane way, even though the intent was the opposite.

Relevance Realization is a subset of the Salience Landscape. It consists of things from the salience landscape that are relevant to helping the person achieve some specific aim, goal, or objective.
If a person is aiming to quench their thirst while at home, the kitchen cabinets might be in their salience land scape, while things like cups, puts and bowls rising to the top of their relevance realization, along with possible water or liquid sources. Anything in a jug might stand out as salient, but bleach and soy sauce are not selected for if the person can anticipate that the outcome will not achieve the objective.

If a person is not at home and they are thirsty, places like convenience stores, grocery stores, or depending on the level of desperation, water hoses and leftover drinks might emerge to the forefront of the salience landscape.

If a person buys a certain model blue Toyota truck, they will start to notice them everywhere. They were there the whole time, but didn't stand out until now.

If people are constantly told not to look at the opposite gender in a certain way or when they wear certain things, that is what will stand out to them.

Since "everything" cannot be attended, everyone operates on a system of what is basically cherry-picking. This is both advantageous and adaptive for survival and thriving, but the processes behind cherry-picking can also be self deceptive and Mal-adaptive. Thus, bringing intentionality to this function of human consciousness can ideally help ameliorate the self-deceptive potential and maximize the adaptive capacity of this necessary and indispensable function of consciousness.



Scenius

A term often used by Jordan Hall but coined by Brian Eno which is a term for "collective genius."

Scenius is the communal form of the concept of the genius.

Jordan Hall uses the term "scenius" to describe the collective intelligence and creative output of a community, network, or scene that nurtures emerging talent and fosters innovative ideas. The concept is a shift from the traditional focus on individual genius to recognizing the power of collaborative environments that contribute to individual and communal creativity. Scenius is about the collective spirit and networked intelligence, where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and where community support systems significantly impact individual achievements and innovations. This idea emphasizes how communities, rather than isolated individuals, can drive cultural and technological evolution.



Schadenfreude

Schadenfreude, the emotional experience of pleasure in response to another’s misfortune. Schadenfreude is a German word that combines Schaden, which means “damage,” and Freude, which means “joy.”



Science

The earnest endeavor to put into order the facts of experience.

Knowledge gained through observation.
Science is a process, not a body of knowledge. Ideologies form under the label of "science" just like they do in any other domain. These ideologies should not be confused with the process of science.
It's common for people to confuse the facts with the interpretation of the facts. This should be maximally avoided. Consensus has also historically been very anti-scientific. It's important to be Asch negative (see Asch Conformity Experiments in this glossary) when dealing in the arena of science, or any other arena for that matter.



S-Curve

The "S-Curve" is a visual graph used to describe how economic, societal, resource, and technological developments typically progress through phases: an initial period of slow growth, followed by rapid acceleration, and finally a leveling off as the system matures or reaches its capacity limits. This model helps to explain and anticipate changes in various domains, indicating how innovations are adopted and integrated over time until they saturate the market or society, necessitating new innovations to start a new S-Curve. This concept is useful for understanding the lifecycle of technologies, businesses, and even cultural trends.

At Beyond The Fundamentals, we emphasize the reality that human minds constitute "resources" and when ideologies and meme complexes (acting as egregors) attempt to colonize minds, the S-Curve applies to the availability of minds to colonized and the tactics used to do so. This can cause the tactics to soar in their implementation of cleverness toward rivalry, antagonism and moralism.





Senescence

The condition or process of deterioration with age.

The loss of a cell's power of division and growth.

"Senile" shares a latin root with Senescence, 'senex,' which means "old." Senile/senility is an old fashion term connotatively used to refer to dementia.

Senescence or biological aging is the gradual deterioration of functional characteristics in living organisms. Whole organism senescence involves an increase in death rates and/or a decrease in fecundity with increasing age, at least in the later part of an organism's life cycle.

At Beyond The Fundamentals, we often employ the word "senescence" to refer to a societal or institutional state of decay or age in which the entity is less functional and less relevant than it was previously and is in it's proverbial "death throes."



Sine qua non
/ˌsinā ˌkwä ˈnōn,ˌsinē ˌkwä ˈnän/An essential condition a thing that is absolutely necessary.
Something absolutely indispensable or essential.Sine qua non or conditio sine qua non is an indispensable and essential action, condition, or ingredient. It was originally a Latin legal term for "[a condition] without which it could not be", "but for...", or "without which [there is] nothing."


Sophrosyne

sophrosyne (uncountable) The Ancient Greek concept of an ideal of excellence of character and soundness of mind, which when combined in one well-balanced individual leads to other qualities, such as temperance, moderation, prudence, and self-control.



Syncretism

The combination of separate concepts into one new, unique idea.

In Culture: Cultural syncretism is when an aspect of two or more distinct cultures blend together to create a new custom, idea, practice, or philosophy.

In Religion: the amalgamation or attempted amalgamation of different religions, cultures, or schools of thought.
In Linguistics: the merging of different inflectional varieties of a word during the development of a language.

Syncretism (/ˈsɪŋkrətɪzəm, ˈsɪn-/) is the practice of combining different beliefs and various schools of thought. Syncretism involves the merging or assimilation of several originally discrete traditions, especially in the theology and mythology of religion, thus asserting an underlying unity and allowing for an inclusive approach to other faiths.

Examples of this type of syncretism include: Gnostic Christianity: A combination of Christianity and Gnostic philosophies. Manichaeism: A combination of Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, and Christianity. Sikhism: A combination of Islam and Hinduism.

Religious syncretism involves the harmonious fusion of multiple religious ideologies, rituals, and customs into a distinct, unified belief system. This often transpires as diverse cultures come into contact and adopt aspects from one another.

Cultural syncretism is present when Americans eat pizza, open a fortune cookie, celebrate Saint Patrick's Day, Celebrate Christmas in December.

Moralistic propositionally reductive Christians mostly see syncretism as a bad thing where they perceive "truth" to be compromised and diluted with something evil and wicked. We at BTF do not recommend moralistic approaches to such things.



Tainter Curve

Joseph Tainter's theory of the "collapse of complex societies" postulates that the complexity of societies increases as they solve problems, leading to diminishing returns on complexity investments and ultimately to collapse.
At Beyond The Fundamentals, we abstract this concept to many different arenas. For example, ideologies need naive neotenous human minds to colonize. However, the more human minds are colonized by an ideology, the fewer naive neotenous minds are available to be colonized, and the returns of meme-complex propagation diminish rapidly. This is exacerbated by the fact that those constituting the constituency of the ideology can only perform simulated thinking instead of actual thinking, thus making the collapse and demise that much more inevitable.





Tropophilia (noun) Tropophilic (adjective)

Two key concepts here are measurements of fragility and peoples' need for certainty.
Fragility can be tiered as:
Fragility > Robust > Resilient > Antifragile > Tropophilic Fragile entities (people, institutions, societies) cannot handle stress, novelty or shock. They immediately collapse. "Robust" are those who are fortified to last a little longer, but still have a threshold of novelty and uncertainty before they also collapse. Resilient can recover, something like the way a ball loses its shape when encountering a hard surface, but then bouncing on to the next. Antifragile describes entities that can exercise "hormesis." That is, when you stress an adaptive system, it weakens temporarily but then recovers with more strength than it previously had. This is the process that occurs when a person works out to build strength. They actually tear down the muscles slightly, but they recover in a stronger state. Tropophelia is a step beyond antifragile. It is when an entity is adaptive enough to thrive on uncertainty, novelty, and "shocks." This is the ideal condition. During the covid lockdowns and the aftermath, the economy demonstrated that it was perhaps robust and resilient, but it is not antifragile or tropophilic, as the scarcity of workers and inflation are novelties from which the economy has yet to fully recover. Additional time may tell a different story, but for now the example suffices as an illustration.





U Placeholder



V Placeholder



W Placeholder



X Placeholder



Y Placeholder



Zero-Sum Game

A zero-sum game is a situation in game theory in which one participant's gain or loss of utility is exactly balanced by the losses or gains of the utility of the other participants. If the total gains of the participants are added up and the total losses are subtracted, they will sum to zero. Essentially, for one party to gain something, another must lose an equivalent amount. Thus, the players have no common interest, and scarcity is a huge motivating component of the game. Common examples of zero-sum games include poker and many other gambling games, where the amount of money one person wins is equivalent to what others lose.