S-Functions: Overview

S-functions are the way s-fractals connect or interact or communicate or interact with each other.  If S-fractals are nouns, S-functions are verbs.


From the Fractal Society point-of-view, the social-psychological-cognitive-emotional world is made up of S-fractals,  which you could picture as translucent globes of light. The main thing about S-fracts is that they are semi-similar to their parent fracts, child fracts, brother and sister fracts, and a good deal more.  But if we leave it at that, we’ve got a very static image of reality, and G*d knows, nothing is certain except for change.  So we’ve got this structure, but how do things change? How do things relates to each other?

This is where s-functions come into play.  My basic assumption is there is utility/benefit when we can take ideas from one realm and apply them to other realms. Sort of like metaphors.  So if we can take an idea that originates with looking at individuals, and can apply it to working with groups or nations OR thoughts and emotions — we might have something

The idea of calling the “verbish things” s-functions came to me while trying to understand the actual mathematics that produces the pictures of fractals, trying to grasp how a set of equations could create such incredible things.  While understanding the actual math was/is beyond me, I did pick up two things.  First, if the equations were not recursive, there would be no fractals. Second, the equations are made up of functions (I think. i’m no mathematician)


As i understand it, a function is an operation or set of operations applied to an ‘input’ that results in an output.  f(a) = b. “the function of A is B?”  If the function or operation is squaring, then if a= 5, b = 25.  If the operation is taking the square root, then if a = 36, b = 6.

Of course my thinking is also influenced by the ideas of “form and function” and “structural functionalism


Since we are dealing with human beings and ‘systems’ related to human beings (thoughts, emotions, families, churches, other so-called individuals) we have a different take on what creates or connects them. i’ve decided to call the ways that s-fractals relate to each other or influence each s-functions.

So i am writing this and you are reading it.  i am an f-fractal, and so are you.  If we want to formalize how we are connected or influencing each other, we could say

  • The s-fracts of Sanger and the reader are connected through the process of writing and reading.

Or we could say

  • The s-function of (writing and reading) connects Sanger and the reader.

So look at the examples,and see if this makes any sense.

Why FSATFOTI needs S-functions

I think seeing the world as a Fractal Society is pretty powerful, in and of itself.  That is, the vision of fractal society has some potential. But I also think that understanding how the world actually works might be really helpful. And not to be too grandiose, that is part of what the explorations in this blog are about.

Taking an s-fractal rather than holon view of things, we assume that there are similarities between the parts of the world, that somehow a family is like a nation is like a person is like my mind.  (Those are all s-fractals.)  So if they are similar in some manner, then the way they interact might be similar – the conflict in a family might be like the conflict in a nation, or a person or my mind.  And the conflict between families might be similar to the conflicts between nations or people or (not sure what to put in relation to mind.)

So conflict could be thought of as one type of s-function, or one category of s-functions.

My assumption is that if we look for commonalities in s-functions working at at the different levels of s-fractals, we might come up with something really interesting.,

You could think of it this way: If we attempt to create equations–or something like equations–that explain conflict between people and nations and families, we might discover something useful and/or interesting.

S-Functions Work at Various Levels

They should/might work between individuals, between an individual and a larger system (a group of people) and an individual and their subsystems.

Types of S-Functions

It makes sense to group the s-functions in groups. As I’ve said before, I’m making this up as I go along, so i would expect the following list to change with time.

  • Transitive and intransitive- like verbs
  • The Five wisdoms and Five/ poisons. We need a better name for these, since I suspect there are more s-functions that are similar. The basic idea (from Tibetan buddhist) is  there are five “emotions” that can be seen and serve either as poisons that create suffering, or as wisdoms that create happiness and awakening. The poisons are: passion, aggression, ignorance, envy, and greed.
  • s-functions that require responses
  • s-functions that require acceptance
  • recursive s-functions (like kissing…


We might also think about grouping s-functions by ‘flavors‘..

And maybe at some point before the Second Foundation appears, we might created a table of S-functions, similar to the periodic table of elements.

Who knows.


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