2nd Draft March 2005
Archetypes resemble the beds of rivers: dried up because the water has deserted them, though it may return at any time. An archetype is something like an old watercourse along which the water of life flowed for a time, digging a deep channel for itself. The longer it flowed the deeper the channel, and the more likely it is that sooner or later the water will return.
Carl Jung (1875–1961)
“The Primordial Images,” Psychological Reflections, ed. Jolande Jacobi (1973).
1. With the number ‘four’ or tetrad the Pythagorean Tetraktys ends. The Monad of knowledge has been split into the Dyad of Science (knowing by reduction) and Design (knowing by construction). Knowledge from both mingle and assumes form as a Triad of personal & tacit, codified or tooled knowledge. These, in turn, enter the economic process as a triad of inputs - codified & tooled capital, personal & tacit labour and toolable natural resources. In the production process these inputs are transformed into a triad of final outputs – the Person, Code and Work.
2. While the Monad speaks to the unity of knowledge and the Dyad to its opposites (reduction/construction) and the Triad provides its form, it is form still without content. TDI revealed many categories of content that are either unknown or under-developed in current public policy debate about the knowledge-based economy. Only two have received any significant, but certainly not exhaustive, examination – economics and law. The TDI survey identified six such categories that share, for purposes of this dissertation, a common structure: four internal and interactive parts constituting a tetrad or what I will call a Qubit. Tagged using these Qubits, individually and collectively, knowledge can be defined with reference to its content and context.
3. Use of the tetrad to define the content of knowledge is not, however, an entirely arbitrary choice based on an ancient formula. TDI revealed that three sub-disciplines - two in the natural sciences (sub-atomic particle physics and genomics) plus analytic psychology - suggest ‘four’ as a common denominator for the organization of information in nature as well as human knowledge. In physics it is called the Qubit or four-fold bit. The traditional binary bit of information theory (0, 1), or ‘on-off’, is extended by these sub-disciplines to the qubit which can alternatively be expressed as (0, 1, 2, 3) or (1, 2, 3, 4).
4. First, in sub-atomic particle
physics the quark is the smallest known structure of physical nature.
Quarks combine to produce a field effect called hadrons, e.g., protons
and neutrons. Quarks come in 6 flavours and
three colours – charmed, up, down, strange, top and
bottom, red, green and blue (Nielson 2002).
Weizsacker’s quantum theory of Ur-objects argues that
the foundation of physical reality – the quark – can be operationally described
as a Qubit of information (Lyre 1995; Card 1996).
That Weizsaker’s Quibit is
not just ‘theory’ is demonstrated by ongoing efforts to develop the quantum
computer based upon an implication of this theory – entanglement (Economist
5. Second, in genomics the informatics of DNA is based on combinations of four nucleotides or a qubit made up of adenine (A), thymine (T), guanine (G) and cytosine (C). These are always paired A-T or C-G. A sequence of three pairs is called a codon encoding an amino acid. Amino acids, in turn, combine to form proteins “the molecular machines of life” (Hood 2002). The information storage and processing capacity of DNA exceeds all other forms by an order of magnitude, e.g., computers.
6. Third, in his study of the human psyche – in patients as well as in the myths, fairy tales and ‘black arts’ of human cultures throughout history – Jung uncovered that four is “the minimal number by which order can be created” (Jung  1966, 46). He called this ‘the quaternary’ or ‘union’. He also identified four basic ways of knowing or a qubit consisting of thinking, intuition, feeling and sensation – the results of which combine to generate knowledge as human consciousness. That these four ways of knowing are not just ‘theory’ is demonstrated by the fact that they have spawned one of the most widely used psychological testing instruments in the world: The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator ®.
7. Qubits can be used to model the content and context of knowledge. The following is a brief sketch of how they might, in future, be used to do so. For example, in English there are four different etymological ways ‘to know’ by: (1) the senses; (2) the mind, (3) the doing, and, (4) the experience. This I will call the cultural/etymological/linguistic ‘WIT’. It will not be the same in all languages. There are five ‘pure’ cases : (1, 0, 0, 0), (0, 2, 0, 0), (0, 0, 3, 0), (0, 0, 0, 4) & (1, 2, 3, 4). In most cases, however, I suspect more than one but less than four will be engaged, e.g., (0, 2, 0, 4) or, to know by the mind and experience, e.g., re-processing and re-ordering of memories.
8. While absence (0) is clear, presence is not. Rather a coordinate varies in intensity. And, like quarks, they are entangled. In physics this means, among other things, that having been in physical contact at one point in time they remain connected or entangled when separated in space and time. It is this phenomenon of entanglement that provides the foundation for quantum computing.
9. The concept is also captured by the tetraktys, i.e., the numeric sequence 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 10 and by the Axiom of Maria Prophetesta or “Maria the Copt”: One becomes two, two becomes three, and out of the Third comes the One as the Fourth (Jung 1963, 249). In psychological terms, for example, the faculties of thinking, intuition, feeling and sensation coalesce within a single human being to constitute consciousness or knowledge, i.e., they are entangled.
10. TDI of the sixteen sub-disciplines plus etymology revealed six Qubits. There may be more waiting to be identified on the event horizons of other disciplines and sub-disciplines. There may also be other concatenations of knowledge above and beyond the Qubit. For now I will treat the six currently identified from a disciplinary perspective: etymology, psychology, epistemology, pedagogy, law and economics.