If you have either read any of XFA or have spoken with me in the last 6 months, you probably know that I have a series of terms which I frequently use in discussing the nature of reality. While some of my favorite terms like “non-trivial,” “compelling,” and “indicative,” have definitions taken right out of (insert you favorite dictionary), I do use several terms in a more…idiosyncratic manner, and I find myself frequently re-defining them as I write XFA posts. As a firm subscriber of the DRY programming philosophy, I think it’s high time I bite the bullet and just write down some definitions that I know I’ll use again.
You know what? We can actually make this into a fun little system. Whenever I capitalize a word that otherwise has no business being capitalized, please understand that I mean it in a fizzy way. When I write “Entity,” instead of “entity,” understand that I mean entity according to the fizzy definition provided here and not according to the connotation you’ve been cultivating for that particular word your entire life. Aight fam, here we go!
One final note. I very well may find myself needing to add to this list over time. If/when I do, I’ll include a small note indicating the date on which I made the edition.
Entity – Darn right baby. This word is #1 in my heart and XFA. An Entity is anything within a time-constrained context that exhibits any degree of Stability (see definition below). In an effort to further analyze an Entity’s stability, we can say that an Entity has stable Characteristics and stable Behaviors (again see definitions below).
Stability – When I use Stability, I’m referring to something’s ability to retain its form or features for a non-trivial duration of time. For example, a dog exhibits a certain degree of stability because it maintains its dog-like characteristics for several years. The earth is more stable than a dog because it’s been around for several billion more years than a dog will live.
Characteristic – A Characteristic is one aspect of an Entity that remains constant as time progresses. If I saw a blue fence and noticed that the fence didn’t change color with the progression of time, I would refer to “blue” as a Characteristic of a fence. You’ll notice that this is in slight conflict with the dictionary definition of “characteristic,” which is typically used outside of any time-based context.
Behavior – A Behavior is an aspect of an Entity that evolves as time progresses, but in a well-defined stable manner. If my aetheric girlfriend Arya laughed every single time I told one particular joke, then Arya laughing at my joke would be a Behavior of the Entity that is Arya.