Just think of something that comes in threes. For example: the colors on the American flag; Caesar’s most famous words, “Veni, vidi, vici” (“I came, I saw, I conquered”); the number of legs on each side of an insect. Then explore the book to see how we connect.
Simplicity – Chunking
We sometimes use three items to simplify a concept. Time has a past, present and future, a before, during and after, yesterday, today and tomorrow. The clock has a second, minute and hour hands, days, weeks, and months define a year. This chunking gives us enough information to add more concepts as we build more complex concepts, models or ideas.
Memory – Hooks
It’s not a repetition, but a tripetition that creates memory. it could be three words in a sentence, three sentences in a quotation, or three verses in a song. If we keep looking we see that three words define a sentence (subject, verb, object), the a minimum of three sentences defile a paragraph. The original popular 78 RPM recordings on vinyl were designed for three minutes of play with the chorus repeating three times.
In sports doing something three times shows mastery. From the three-peat to the triple play to the hat-trick, we honor great performances and remember the moments. Who could forget Reggie Jackson hitting three home runs in the sixth game of the 1977 World Series in baseball.
A Generalist’s Playground
We have some very deep articles like The Number 3 in American Culture by Alan Dundes, Ethos, Pathos and Logos, Words and Numbers, The Three Dimensions of a Complete Life by Martin Luther King Jr., Living in Threes: Triangles and Triglyphs in Ancient Cultures and many more.
Michael S. Eck | Author – Book of Threes