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Threes: The Amazing Thread that Runs through the Fabric of Ancient, Classical and Modern Society
Ever wonder why we refer to three so often? The Big Three. “Third time’s a charm.” “Bad news comes in threes.” Threes represent curious patterns in many cultures. Sometimes those patterns of threes are obvious and tangible. Consider the modern traffic signal. Green, yellow and red lenses, each with a different meaning to motorists, bicyclists and...
Ever wonder why we refer to three so often? The Big Three. “Third time’s a charm.” “Bad news comes in threes.” Threes represent curious patterns in many cultures. Sometimes those patterns of threes are obvious and tangible. Consider the modern traffic signal. Green, yellow and red lenses, each with a different meaning to motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians, fire in a predictable and never-changing order to signal proceed, slow down and stop when lighted in sequence. Sometimes those patterns are intangible. Such as three laws. Three rules of thumb. Three principles. Three classes. Three categories. Three ideas that support a point of view. It’s uncanny. Laws of nature contain three elements only. Religions are full of threes. We create commercial messages that are loaded with three features or benefits. Sayings such as “fat, dumb and happy,” “this, that and the other thing,” “woulda, coulda, shoulda,” are ingrained in our culture. Humor depends on threes—the set up, anticipation and the punch line. Using threes to describe or unify is not a new idea; it’s been around a long time. Often it’s only three and not four or more. Rick Drake’s pioneering Threes: The Amazing Thread that Runs through the Fabric of Ancient, Classical and Modern Society reveals the curious and endlessly interesting pattern of threes. This easy-to-read, fun book is an encyclopedic, bird’s-eye narrative of the subject of threes that are found in math, science, psychology, sociology, religion, philosophy, art and popular culture, sports and games, politics and government, business and technology, and economics and finance. That narrative includes age-old concepts such as the Holy Trinity and our rich understanding of the universe, life on earth and evolution. It includes new ideas such as the Tipping Point, Diffusion of Innovation, Stickiness, the Lonely Crowd, the Third World and the Third Wave.
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