Release | Digital analysis of a form

Abstract: This paper aims to show how a sociological description – a swarm analysis of the Nazi dictatorship – initially made with the means borrowed from George Spencer-Brown’s Calculus of Indications, can be transformed into a digital circuit and with which methods and tools of digital mathematics this digital circuit can be analyzed and described in its behavior. Thus, the paper also aims to contribute to a better understanding of Chapter 11 of “Laws of Form.” The analysis uses methods of automata theory for finite, deterministic automata. Basic set operations of digital mathematics and special set operations of the Boolean Differential Calculus are used to calculate digital circuits. The software used is based on ternary logic, in which the binary Boolean logic of the elements {0, 1} is extended by the third element “Don’t care” to {0, 1, !}. The paper confirms the method of transforming a form into a digital circuit derived from the comparative functional and structural analysis of the Modulator from Chapter 11 of “Laws of Form” and defines general rules for this transformation. It is shown how the indeterminacy of re-entrant forms can be resolved in the medium of time using the methods of automata theory. On this basis, a refined definition of the degree of a form is presented. The paper shows the potential of interdisciplinary approaches between sociology and information technology and provides methods and tools of digital mathematics such as ternary logic, Boolean Differential Calculus and automata theory for application in sociology.

Keywords: Systems theory, Automata theory, Niklas Luhmann, Calculus of Indications, Digital mathematics, George Spencer-Brown.

Recommended citation: Oksas, A. (2021), Digital analysis of a form, Kybernetes, ahead-of-print. DOI: 10.1108/K-10-2020-0682.

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