Static Pattern Engineering


 This site exposes the body of knowledge for the field Static Pattern Engineering.  (To skip the overview and proceed to the body of knowledge, start with

Seeing the World in Patterns

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We define a pattern as:


 A pattern is

a particular arrangement1 of matter and/or energy


instructions for replication3,

a target pattern generator for replicating it,

and participating matter and/or energy2.


1 Or sequence of arrangements  

2 Matter/energy can be physical or virtual

3 Or alternatively, in some cases, repetition

Equipped with the definition of pattern, indulge in a thought experiment for a moment so we can begin to perceive aspects of physical reality as a set of intermeshed patterns.  If a pattern is as an arrangement (or sequence of arrangements) of matter and/or energy, look at everything that surrounds you in your present surroundings, without qualifying them as works of human hands or results of natural processes, and picture that everything you see around you was first formulated as a cognitive representation/imagination/formulation first before being realized/reified/expressed in the form of actual arrangements of matter and/or energy.  This of course requires a bit of naivety -- this is only a thought experiment to get you to perceive things in a different way (imaging that everything could fit this definition).  Take a moment's pause and let your mind be entertained with this notion.

If you can engage this perspective for a few aspects of reality but cannot naturally extend the thought experiment to everything you could possibly perceive, this sort of perception for the entire world is not immediately possible (and it won't be before a careful examination that follows throughout this entire body of knowledge).  Therefore, let's start smaller with an immediately applicable thought experiment: first take something in the physical world that you know you have personally created and have the ability to recreate (which we'll call replication).  The instructions for replication of this arrangement, which you possess, and the target choice of materials for replication fulfill the complete definition of a pattern.  The fact that the arrangement of matter and/or energy that you created and the instructions for replicating it are not contained in the same structure (except in rare cases) begins to give rise to the notion of domain:


 A domain is an expression medium for a static pattern which has a uniform set of laws that constrain the replication of that static pattern.  While domain-specific laws vary across domains, Static Pattern Engineering enumerates laws for patterns that span across all domains.

There are three domains of interest in Static Pattern Engineering:

  • Cognitive (where a static pattern is only expressed or reified in a human or artificial brain but is not yet replicable outside the host) -- the laws are of cognition and a transformed form of physics, constrained by the laws of cognition for the hosting cognition
  • Virtual (where a static pattern has been persisted as a cognitive artifact that allows it to replicate across multiple hosts in the cognitive domain with partial transformation) -- the laws are transformed laws of cognition and a transformed form of physics, constrained by the laws of physics applied to the physical medium hosting the cognitive artifact
  • Physical (the static pattern has been reified into physical reality or the virtual domain with a low degree of virtuality with a high degree of transformation so as to require reverse engineering of the original cognitive form of the static pattern) -- the laws are the laws of physics for the physical medium/media reified into.



The pattern as manifested is in the physical domain and the instructions for replicating it are either purely in the cognitive domain or a combination of the cognitive and virtual domains if you wrote it down somewhere.

The purpose of the second thought experiment is to make you perceive the concepts of pattern and domain with something you yourself created.  The purpose of the more difficult thought experiment is to perceive the entire world (both the obviously created and natural phenomena) as a set of patterns with instructions for replication - in the thought experiment if you perceive them as being conceptualized first (instructions precede expression and wait to only be discovered), it is possible to see everything as meeting the criteria outlined in the definition of a pattern.

The first thought experiment we can probably describe as a naive view - in scientific terms we can describe it as an idealization or idealized state: a state in which everything we can perceive in the physical world proceeded from a cognitive state, as expressed in many creation stories in the world's religions.  We are invoking merely to perceive how a pattern can exist in an alternate domain before it exists in the physical one, suspending doubt on something we perceive and idealizing it as concept before becoming a perceived pattern.  With the second thought experiment, you are providing a concrete (not idealized nor imagined) example of this occurring with something simple or complex, in order to perceive the pattern in multiple domains.

As entertaining as the first thought experiment may or may not be, let's modify it - for human creations which resulted from cognition, whether or not a cognitive artifact exists or not at this time, we will qualify according to the definition outlined for pattern.  Everything else which meets the criteria but for which we have no proof of cognition before creation of the pattern, we will call physical phenomena, which we can term as physical effects which may be useful in pattern formation later.

Interestingly enough, as soon as time is spent to study physical effects in depth and a greater comprehension of the effects is gained, full understanding is evident when the physical effect can be replicated in a laboratory with target matter and/or energy.  That is, by studying physical effects in nature we discoverthe aspects of it as an underlying pattern.  In our first thought experiment, we just suspended doubt and proposed that everything could in fact be a pattern according to the criteria by supposing a mental construct produced it - in this third thought experiment, we have actually taken physical effects and deduced the aspects that make it a pattern, which is demonstrated reliably when we replicate it.  This is much more pragmatically useful, because we can weave together physical effects (phenomena) into systems or processes (discussed later) based on their pattern nature, using the instructions for replication in combination to produce our final instructions for creating (replicating) our target pattern (solution).

The point for the preceding thought experiments is to illustrate that once we have all of the necessary components of the criteria for pattern, with obviously instructions for replication being the toughest to obtain in any case, we can qualify it as a pattern.  Of course, in the first thought experiment (idealized case of cognition behind everything) and third thought experiment (physical effects are not considered patterns unless we have the instructions for replication), everything we called physical effects or phenomena were only hypothetical patterns because we did not have all necessary components.  In the first case, it was assumed the instructions for replication existed whilst the third case waited for them to be discovered and proven.  

We are covering this important point early because it will be essential in all we do : depending on our knowledge and perception of a potential pattern, the components will remain to be discovered.  Until this is complete, however, we can not fully qualify something as a pattern -- not until we have all necessary aspects.  Nonetheless, these thought experiments help us in the following ways:

  • The first perspective purposely rationalizes every system or process that is replicable as having instructions awaiting discovery and assumes if we perceive replicability, we should assume it is a pattern - it doesn't remove the burden of discovery but simply suspends doubt.
  • The third perspective purposely invokes doubt - replicability does not imply instructions can be discovered and hence we do not have a complete pattern nor even a pattern.
  • The second perspective demonstrates that every human creation can be definitively classified as a pattern.

The discussion surrounding patterns has conveniently sidestepped the act of replication itself - replication (along with the related concepts of repetition and generators) is our next topic for discussion.



This site is an authoritative virtual representation of the Static Pattern Engineering ThingK.  For the core content nodes of this site (the SPE core database), every node in this site has the following characteristics:

  • It is a Knowledge Component that together with the others forms the body of knowledge of Static Pattern Engineering.
  • They form the cognitive "Think"s that resonate with the founders of the field.
  • Conforms to and informs the base ontology established by the PatternSmithing Alliance 

This site also provides semantic tools to query all community ThingKs and interact with community FluxPoints, as well as providing a semantically rich knowledge base for these sites and PatternSmithing Alliance community members for learning the core of the field as necessary.

 NOTE: This site may reference offsite material as the body of knowledge is being uploaded.

 About the Ideogram

The ideogram for Static Pattern Engineering represents pattern formation and transformation - once the body of knowledge is fully absorbed the vectors shown will make sense - the ideogram is a useful symbol for remembering the basic tenets of the field.  (This section will remain as a teaser until the appropriate content is uploaded to the site)