Chris Sonnack's ''Human Vector Analysis''

From:    Chris Sonnack
To:      All                                    Msg #9, 04:44pm Jan-28-91
Subject: Human Vector Analysis  (preface)

DEDICATION
----------
This is dedicated to David Rice and all those discussing
the "Who Does What To Who" thread,

and to Elise, who said:

"But if you know how to wield its power for good,

I hope you find this to be a Good Example.

It is also dedicated to the Feminism Echo in general.

PREFACE
-------
An explanation of a few terms, and the reasons behind their selection:

The first part of the essay that follows deals with Human Sexuality,
and the initial, "H.S." figure prominently.  First, they stand for
Human Sexuality.  Second, they stand for, either Homo-Sexuality or
Hetro-Sexuality, depending on POM (Phases Of the Moon)[1].  Since some
people view the world one way and others others, I will use the H-S
initials as follows:

H-S (capitalized) stands for your PREDOMINENT mode of sexuality.
If you are completely equal here, then you can pick and choose
as your mood wills -- you can even switch in mid-thought. It
won't affect the analysis one bit.
h-s (lowercase) stands for your ALTERNATE mode of sexuality.
Nearly all humans have //some// degree of h-s with their H-S.

I've choosen the term "hector" to describe what I'm calling a "Human
Vector".  I haven't had a chance to research carefully, but I believe
Hector was a name of a biblical female.  It is also a Greek-descended
name for a man (primarily used in Latin countries now).  So the name
has some degree of sexual ambiguity which I find appropriate.  I do,
however, wish "hector" wasn't a synonym for "hassle".  Oh, well.

The term "phase space" is not my invention.  The idea of mapping some-
thing into phase space comes from quantum physics.

Finally, in the analysis that follows, I will use a lot of 90 degree
angles while representing 'hectors'.  The analysis does not require
this in any way -- any angle you prefer will work just as well.  It is
typical to use a right angle when analyzing TWO vectors as this makes
for the most understandable diagrams.  It's also the easiest to deal
with using only ASCII graphics (ick).

________________________________________________________________________
[1] Bi-sexuals, don't [*CLICK*] yet -- you'll find that you are not at
all forgotten in what follows.  In fact, you own the bulk of mapped
human phase space (as you shall see).

HUMAN VECTOR ANALYSIS  by:CJSonnack
=====================  ------------

There has been a lot of talk lately about sexual identity and about
what kind of (to my mind) prisons we can select through our use of
catagorization.  I'd like to try to demonstrate how silly the idea
of a specific sexual identity really is.

Scientists often deal with "vector" qualities (as opposed to "scalar"
qualities).  A vector quality has TWO numbers associated with it (and
a scalar has only one).  For instance, 55-miles-per-hour is a scalar
quality, but 55-MPH-eastbound-on-I-94 is a vector.  There are aspects
of humans that we can represent with vectors.  In this case, I'd like
to start by talking about sexuality.  Everybody has some degree of
sexuality.  Everybody ALSO has some kind of sexual orientation.  These
two qualities comprise a vector, and since I am talking about Human
Vectors, I'm going to call these "hectors".

Let's diagram an unknown person's sexuality like this:

[email protected]

The "0" (zero) represents the "origin".  This has a scientific meaning,
but let us just consider that all people everywhere start from a common
origin (the womb of woman) and leave it at that.  In the future I'll
diagram multiple hectors pointing away from the common origin.  In other
words, we all start together, but all have a separate "orientation".

The other end of the line has an "@" (at) symbol.  This means that this
end point is "where the person is AT" (compared to the common origin).
Also, the length of the line represents a "quality" of the person's
orientation.  I want to stress that I mean quality in the sense of "a
rough, wet, cold, soft, electric, bluish, etc" quality, NOT the sense
of "my furniture is quality stuff!"

Vectors and hectors have two number associated with them: the first is
diagrammed in the length of the line, the second is diagrammed in the
ANGLE the line takes from the origin.  The above illustration doesn't
attempt to show that.  I need to cover some other ground first.

When we want to analyze two separate, but connected, forces, we use two
vectors and then "SUM" them to derive a final vector.  I'd like to view
human sexuality as comprised of two related forces: a hetro-sexual force
and a homo-sexual force.  These will make our initial hectors like this:

@                  The choice of vertical verses horizontal is
|                  not relevant -- feel free to change them.
|
h-s |                  H-S stands for your primary mode of sexuality.
|                  h-s stands for your alternate mode.
|
[email protected]
H-S

It is important to understand that it is probably the case that no one
is purely H-S or h-s.  Therefore, the diagrammed hectors above represent
"pure" concepts -- just handles we use to talk about something.

Now let's diagram a few imaginary people:

*. . . . . . [email protected]
|           / .
h-s                               h-s |        /    .
*. . . . . . . . . . [email protected]           |     /       .
|                     .           |  /          .
0---------------------*           0-------------*
H-S                                H-S

ASCII doesn't permit me to draw the final hector very well (not at all
in the first example).  The true hector is a line from the origin to
the "@".  The hector has both length (quality) and angle (orientation).

Note that people with different combinations of primary hectors will
have completely different hectors, although those with similar feelings
will have similar hectors:

*. . . . . . [email protected]             *@
|             .             |.
|             .             |.
|             .    * . @    |.    * . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [email protected]
|             .    |   .    |.    |                              .
0-------------*    0---*    0*    0------------------------------*

Above, we have, in order, a "bi-sexual"; a bi- with low sex drive all
around; someone with a sexuality strongly oriented towards what that
person considers "alternate", and a strongly-sex hetro-.

If we realize that sexual orientation can take any "angle" from (nearly)
complete H-S to (nearly) complete h-s, we see that sexuality is truely
a spectrum or continuum of possible orientations:

Homo-
*  ?
|      ?    ?     Bi-
|   ?     ?
|  ?  ?       ?   ?
|         ?
|   ?  ?       ?      Hetro-
|  ?     ?  ?   ?
0-------------------*

In the above, I've had to "collapse" the ambiguous H-S and h-s terms
into specific meanings to illustrate a point.  Note that these meanings
apply only to the author.  Someone else could well see it the other
way 'round.

Where do we place Homo-eroticism?  Or Hetro-eroticism.  At what point
does someone stop being in H- territory and start being in Bi-?  At
the extreme ends, it may be possible to label the hector as Homo- or
Hetro- or Bi-, but this is a dangerous thing to do for several reasons.

For one thing, by labeling we tend to reduce the continuum to a
"number line":

4                 5                 6
#-----------------#-----------------#
h-s               Bi-               H-S

(I initially labeled the points "-1", "0" and "+1", but realized that
there was no requirement for that, so picked the first integers that
came to mind.)

In the above, we may "know" that all people exist on the points between
the numbers, but it is too easy to identify with the labels and forget
that everyone is really:  N.

The second problem I see is that the above visualization puts Bi-sex
//between// H-S and h-s, as though one progressed to the other.  Also,
number lines are scalar qualities -- I much prefer the combination of
orientation PLUS a "level" of sexuality.  I think that is a much more
accurate way to map the situation.

Finally, again, the tendancy to focus on the "numbers" themselves.  I
don't find sexuality to be any kind of integer, but a "territory" in
(warning: technical term) Human Phase Space (HPS).  I find it far more
appropriate to consider a territory as Homo-, Hetro-, or Bi- than I
do a point in space.

This technique also lets us "uni-sexual" types make a reasonable reply
to the occasion Bi- attitude of "You guys don't know what you are
missing!"  Consider these two 'people':

*. . . . . . . @
|              .
|              .
|              .        * . . . . . . . . . . . . . . @
|              .        |                             .
0--------------*        0-----------------------------*

If you can visualize the missing final hectors, you can see that it
is possible for a relatively H-S person to have a stronger sexual
quality than the Bi-person.  The only point is that orientation alone
is fairly meaningless without the second hectoral quality.

(Of course it can also work the other way around:)

*. . . . . . . . . . . [email protected]
|                       .
|                       .
|                       .
|                       .
|                       .        * . . . . @
|                       .        |         .
0-----------------------*        0---------*

REVIEW TIME
-----------
Many aspects of nature are better represented as vectors (qualities
with more than a single "number").  I've chosen, for this essay, to
represent Human Sexuality as a "Human Vector" (hector) which has both
an angle (orientation) and a length (quality).  (E.G., the author's
sexuality hector shows a strongly Hetro- "angle" and a "length" best
described as Perpetual Horniness (PH syndrome).)

We can now formalize this as the *A:Q* of a person's sexuality (the
like?"  [pronounced: "Aay-cue"]

We now have a two-dimensional continuum, and these are much harder
to split into dividing lines:

* @   @    @    @   @
|   @     @@   @    @  @       Where a bunch of people
| @    @    @   @    @          are AT.  Where are you
|  @  @   @   @   @   @         AT?
h-s |@  @   @   @   @   @
| @   @   @   @   @   @        And where do you draw YOUR
|@@  @   @  @  @  @  @  @       //dividing// lines?
| @  @    @   @   @ @  @
0---------------------*
H-S

It's important to understand that our *A:Q*s are all different.  As
there are an infinite number of points on a plane, there are therefore
and infinite number of *A:Q*s.  In fact, it is unlikely that any two
exactly match.

It is also important to understand that, while our technique "maps"
(the technical term) into a two-dimensional space, this is only true
because I've spoken, so far, only of two initial hectors.  If we
begin to consider other qualities of people, more hectors are involved
and the dimension of the mapped space grows.

In fact, that's where we go from here.

Let's now factor in a third sexuality.  People with a strong commitment
to their Bi- identification may want to consider a Bi- orientation as
a separate quality rather than a synthesis of H-S and h-s.  That works
just fine.  I'm going to select as my third hector something quite
silly, and I do this just to illustrate several points about hector
analysis.  My third sexual hector is a quality of requiring the presence
of nearby pine forests to fully enjoy sex.

All of us do possess this hector....it's just that the *Q* part of it
may be very low (indeed unmeasurable with current equipment).  Now we
have three terms to deal with, and for just a moment, I want to stick
with the two-dimensional space.  We'll go 3D right after that.

But first, the author has to go to the bathroom and grab another Diet
Pepsi.  Back in a mo.

(...cont)

Consider the following "person":

* P-F                       Someone with a strong degree of
|                            H-S, a bit of h-s and just a
*-----0------------------*         touch of P-F.
h-s         H-S

This time h-s and H-S are pointing in opposite directions, and the
quality, Pine-Forests, points upwards.  Any of the hectors can change
place with any other without disturbing the analysis.  Summing more
than two vectors is like summing two vectors only there's more of it.

Add any two together.  Now add the result to another vector and so on
until you have one result.  OR, add together as many pairs as possible,
then add THOSE pairs, and so on.  It machts nicht.  The above diagramm
would take two steps:

@.....*                             *[email protected]
.  \  |                                \                  \
*-----0------------------*                0------------------*
STEP UNO                                STEP DOS[1]

It is worthwhile, at this point, to explain briefly how one actually
goes about combining any two vectors.  It's conceptually very simple.
1) Start at the origin.  Pick up the vector you are going to
ADD and put it in your pocket.  (Be VERY sure you remember
what the angle was, though!!)
2) Now walk down the other vector until you reach the endpoint.
3) Dig out that first vector, and pretend the endpoint of
the vector you're standing on is actually the origin.
4) Place the un-pocketed vector pointing away from the endpoint
in the //same// angle that it had originally.
5) Follow the newly laid vector to its endpoint.
6) Make tea; you're done.

The first hector (tech term: intermediate hector) is fairly meaningless
(a synthesis of that person's h-s componant and their P-F componant).
Only the final hector has meaning, and it only has meaning in terms of
the qualities under study.  It has no meaning compared to the full
set of hectors each person has.

The above illustrates a very important point about hectors.  If you can
visualize the final line, you'll see that it is SHORTER than the hector
that represents that person's H-S.  This does not mean that the quality
is reduced -- far from it.  This happens in analyzing more than two
vectors.  You see, each hector "encodes" information about the person as
a whole.  In the above example, the final hector encodes THREE different
qualities (a total of six "numbers").

I'll return to this false image of "smaller" once I take you into the
world of three (and more) dimensions.  It makes more sense there, and
illustrates what I consider to be a vital point about people.

(cont...)
______________________________________________________________________
[1] As in Dos Equis, not as in the well-known widespread PC virus. :-)

MULTIPLE HECTORS & MULTI-DIMENSIONAL SPACE
------------------------------------------
Let me start by redrawing our Pine-Forest person a little differently:

*
h-s |
|
0------------------*  H-S
\
\
\
*  P-F

Those of you with good visualization skills can probably see that this
is intended to represent a three-dimensional mapping.  Imagine that
the P-F hector sticks OUT OF THE SCREEN (or off the paper) towards you.
The origin is now visualized as the corner of a cube.

Once again, we can make the same analysis, only this time we operate
in three-D space.  Nothing else is changed.  Let me do it slowly while
following the six-step "algorithm" I gave you before.

*                               1) Starting at the origin I'll
h-s |                                  first "pocket" the P-F line,
|                               2) and walk to the end of the
0------------------*  H-S          H-S line.
\                  \        3,4) Re-draw the P-F line as if
\                  \           the H-S endpoint were the
\                  \         origin.
*[email protected] <--5) This is the new (intermediate)
P-F                         hector endpoint.

Now we use the same process to combine the H-S/P-F hector with the h-s
hector and we're done:

*
h-s |
|                  H-S
0..................+
....................     @ <--- Final endpoint
....................   |
.................... |
+..................*
P-F

If you can visualize a flat, square object, say a book, and you are
looking down at it.  The left rear corner is the origin, and the final
endpoint is floating above the front right corner.

If I've lost anyone by now, I'm sorry.  If this seems terribly long
you can take heart.  Only conclusions and summation follow.  We done!

Your homework, such as it is, is to play with these concepts using the
vital tools of writing impliment and lots of write-upon materials (I've
always prefered paper, but use what you like).  The goal of your home-
work is to see how hectors combine and how the final result -- which
may be small or great -- is actually the ENCODING of LOTs of data.

FINAL ANALYSIS
--------------
You can well imagine that the sum-total of a person involves an
uncountable number of vectors.  Nevertheless, we can use this
imagery to talk about various human characteristics.

The best visual image is to think of a ball of clay with a gazillion
tinker toys of wildly different lengths protruding in as many different
directions as you can visualize.  In fact, for the more scientifically
inclined, there's no reason to stick to three dimensions, use as many
as you like.

The point is that our hectors map us into a large, multi-dimensional
space I call Human Phase Space, and while we may at each point in our
life be AT (@) one point in HPS, that point represents a considerable
amount of information -- in a sense, the sum-total of that person's
each and every experience.

It is vital that we have some sense of the encoding that takes place.
As vectors are combined, a certain sense of information is lost, and
it can appear we end up with less than we had originally.  This is
an //illusion// created by summing vectors -- the information only
APPEARS to be lost.

In real world terms, it's often tempting to discount people when we
feel their "final human vector" isn't as "long" as ours (contempt for
people less educated has been mentioned here recently).  This is the
biggest mistake a person can make -- ALL PEOPLE HAVE A WEALTH OF
VECTORS, and our perception of lesser and greater sum-total hectors
speaks, IMO, more about the lack of the perceiver than the other.

As you come to know a person, you begin to see the separate individual
hectors that combine to make that person what they are.  As you see
the initial and intermediate hectors, you (one hopes) begin to see WHY
that person is as they are (assuming //you// are open-minded enough).

SIDEBAR COMMENT:
I personally find the clay-ball-and-tinkertoys image productive and
have used it in another situation: that of couples trying to live
together peacefully.

If every human is seen as a hard core with protruding "vectors", you
can see that some combinations of tinkertoys will allow any two give
"core personalities" to come closer.  Others won't mesh as nicely.
This illustrates how some people are more compatible than others.

If you visualize the mass of tinkertoys as very dense, you can see how
ANY two core personalities would have a tough time getting as close
as the people involved might like.  The illustration here is that to
really get close to someone (love someone and be loved) you may have to
shift your tinkertoys a bit.  This is called compromise, and it is a
vital element (IMO) in keeping couples together.

Several important lessons from one image: some people mesh, others do
not; true closeness requires a willingness to compromise; and there is
also the lesson that the personality is not the core -- you can move
(or even lose) a lot of your tinkertoys before you lose that lump of
clay in the middle.
--- ZMailQ 1.12 (QuickBBS)
* Origin: The Terraboard, Minneapolis MN (1:282/341.0)

From:    Chris Sonnack
To:      All                                    Msg #22, 05:57pm Jan-29-91
Subject: Human Vector Analysis  (errata)

ERRATA
------
Murphy's law is quite clear on proof-reading:  "The number of
proof-readings required to spot all errors is N+1, where N is
the actual number of times proof-reading occured."

(Or it goes something like that -- I somehow lost the original

Anyway, spotted a semi-serious error in reading after the fact:
***********************************************************************
*. . . . . . [email protected]             *@
|             .             |.
|             .             |.
|             .    * . @    |.    * . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [email protected]
|             .    |   .    |.    |                              .
0-------------*    0---*    0*    0------------------------------*

Above, we have, in order, a "bi-sexual"; a bi- with low sex drive all
around; someone with a sexuality strongly oriented towards what that
person considers "alternate", and a strongly-sex hetro-.

***********************************************************************

Above, we have, in order, a "bi-sexual"; someone with an equally low
sex drive all around; someone with a sexuality strongly oriented towards
what that person considers "alternate", and a person with a strong sex
drive in one direction (which direction that person considers normal).

From:    Chris Sonnack
To:      All                                    Msg #50, 04:30pm Jan-30-91
Subject: Human Vector Analysis -- Sidebar #1

Driving in to work this morning I realized that you can apply human
vector analysis to feelings about the war, and that in doing so, there
seems to be a greater insight (to me, anyway).

It goes something like this:

*[email protected] <---  A person with what we often
Feelings |                      .       call "mixed" emotions.  The
that war |                      .       diagram demonstrates how a
is a Bad |                      .       person can have conflicting
Thing    |                      .       feelings about a thing.
|                      .
0----------------------*
Feelings that we are
doing the Right Thing

Like H-S and h-s, most people have both the above feelings to some
extent.  There are some that map more like this, though:

*@ <-- Feels war is totally awful and that there is never
F   |.     any justification for it.  A few women on this Echo
t   |.     have voiced that very feeling.
w   |.
i   |.                    A warmonger who probably thinks war
a   |.                    is glorious and has no sense of the
B   |.                                         horrible price.
T   |.            *[email protected] <---
0*            0---------------------------------*

We have above: a "dove" and a "hawk" respectively.  Both positions seem
heavily slanted to me.  (Most of us map more like the first example.)

As you can see, we inhabit a "human phase space" of feelings on war:

*@   @    @   @
F   |    @       @  @  @<--------- me (I think)
t   |@  @    @     @   @ @
w   |     @      @  @     @
i   |  @    @     @    @ @   @
a   |@      @  @ @   @     @
B   |   @          @    @    @
T   | @   @   @   @  @    @
0--------------------------*

Those in the lower left corner don't have strong feelings one way or
t'other, while those in the upper right area have strong (and somewhat
conflicting) feelings.  Those in the upper left and lower left areas
are pretty sure of their feelings (which may be well-informed or not).

The point, again, is a demonstration of how and why we can experience