The Rule Of Fives

You’ve probably heard that the average person can only hold about five items in visual space at any time without resorting to groupings or organizing into grids of one sort or the other.

You might have heard that the average person sort of maxes out at remembering a phone number. And that phone numbers are only memorable if broken into a series of numbers each of which consists of less than seven digits.

WE can, like mnemonic sentences, poetry, lyrics, or melodies, repeat patterns and recall elements in a series within that pattern, but we cannot very often recall strings of words or numbers without iterating the series.

If you look at our language, (english), you will find that most of our verbs describe five to seven states:
1) is doing now
2-3) was just doing, will just do
4-5) was doing, will do
6-7) was always done, wll always do
And even so, ‘just doing now’ is a construction. Most of our terms only provide for five states.

We need about five ‘registers’ (states) in order to compare two possible courses of action.

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