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Attempted Work on a “Fractal” Method to Find Prime Numbers

Primes before 121

Primes before 121

I was inspired by some random thoughts for a different approach towards finding prime numbers, which was originally brought on by my work with the Sieve of Eratosthenes. I had considered what I was calling a Fractal based method of figuring out primes – finding a recurring or repeating pattern in a small dataset that may be applicable to the greater whole. In thought it seemed magical and then as I was working through it in my head, the magic quickly unraveled, but I thought I would give it a try and see what happens.

See my work here: Not “Fractal” Method to Find Prime Numbers


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Playing with a Computational Model of the Sieve of Eratosthenese to find Prime Numbers

Sieve of Eratosthenese

Sieve of Eratosthenese

I have just read about the Sieve of Eratosthenese from this Scientific American article from Facebook and was inspired to give it a try to see how it works, info  especially because the math and programming seemed simple enough. I worked with a dataset of 1-1000. I also tried up to 100, information pills 000. My browser to freaks out with a dataset larger than that.

I have also tried to setup my process so there would be no numbers that would be worked on more than once for each round of multiple removal. I am calling this the Square Prime Reduction Method (SPRM).

In order to do so, anorexia I would look for a pattern that would identify the remaining numbers. The farther along I worked the harder it became. Below I will list my notes, the pattern used for cumulative reduction, and the amount of dataset reduction, and the dataset size required for pattern recognition. This is the result of about a day of work.

See my notes here and the results of my scripting work here.

Square Prime Reduction Method (SPRM)

Using this cumulative multiple removal method it seems that the beginning for each reduction round is the square of the next prime number (i.e. for 2 it is 4; for 3 it is 9; for 5 it is 25; etc). For each reduction round I:

  1. start at the square of the next prime
  2. run a clean script routine as if I were removing all of the multiples which showed zeros for the multiples already removed
  3. find the pattern for its remaining multiples
  4. code to remove the remaining multiples

With each successfully processed prime, we are able to further reduce the pool of unprocessed numbers. To reveal all primes under 1000 I would have to follow this process up to the square of the prime of 31 which is 961.

Prime Multiple Reduction (PMR)

I started with a dataset of 1-1000 to see if I could get it to work. Starting with 2 I processed the removal or the multiples of each prime number as I encountered them and then I moved up the list. It also seemed to scale fine for 10,000 and 100,000 and my observations and tenuous rules seem to work as the dataset scales.

Multiples of 2

First, in any given number set we can get rid of half of the numbers because they are even, meaning evenly divisible by 2, so that speeds up things considerably.

Pattern Complexity: Obvious

Pattern: Ummm…well… Every other number! =)

Dataset Reduction: This resulted in a reducing the possible number pool by 49.9% (499).

Multiples of 3

Second, we can get rid of every third number because they will evenly divisible by 3, although I will have to compensate for the missing even numbers.

Pattern Complexity: Obvious – 1 extra step

Pattern: In writing the code for this I noticed the following pattern after removing the even numbers: start with 3 and then add 6 and remove that

Dataset Reduction: This resulted in a reducing the possible number pool by about 16.6% (166).

Multiples of 5

Then, removing multiples of 5 becomes slightly more tricky since we have removed numbers divisible by prime numbers 2 and 3 creating quite a few holes in its multiple list.

Pattern Complexity: Easy – 2 extra steps

Pattern: The pattern for multiples of 5: start at 5, increment by 30, remove that number and then remove the number @ -10.

Dataset Reduction: This resulted in a reducing the possible number pool by 6.6% (66). Not a whole lot, but we are getting closer.

Multiples of 7

Removing Multiples of 7 was much more difficult since we have removed a broad swath of numbers ~ 72.7% of the number pool so there were a lot of holes. Stay on Target!

Pattern Complexity: Moderate – 8 extra steps

Pattern: To find the pattern for multiples of 7 I copied the result of a straight removal by 7 and put it into a text file and looked for how the number of zeros (already removed multiples) stacked up between the number of those numbers remaining which were divisible by 7. There was a visual pattern and from there I had to figure it out. I found a repeating pattern of previously removed multiples: 3/1/3/1/3/5/1/5. Turning that into a computational model was fun!

My second idea, which was used, was the opposite sort of implementation than what I used for the multiples of 5. With 5 I went up and then back. With 7 seven I programmatically worked my way forward to the next iteration.

Dataset Reduction: This resulted in a reducing the possible number pool by 3.2% (32).

Multiples of 11

Because I needed to jump the max number out from 1,000 to 10,000 in order to try to see a pattern, attempting to remove multiples of 11 was too difficult to fully pursue.

Pattern Complexity: Difficult – with the numbers and observations below I expect the pattern would be near 32 and 512 extra steps.

Pattern: I was able to see a vague pattern in about 5,000 items, but was not going to pursue that due to lack of time and quality pattern recognition and visual analysis tools.

Dataset Reduction: ?? – given the numbers which I will display below I expect a reduction of about 1.98%


Larger Dataset Needed for Pattern Recognition

To compensate for the plethora of removed numbers as you go further and further through the primes it seems like we need an increasingly larger data set for analysis in order to see the pattern.

  • for 3: I do not remember exactly, but I expect that the pattern was obvious near 20 items.
  • for 5: I do not remember exactly, but I expect that the pattern was obvious near 75 items.
  • for 7: about 500 to recognize the pattern
  • for 11: I bumped it up to 10,000 and a pattern of sort was seen near 5,000

Possible rule: To find the pattern for each successive prime we will need a dataset 10 times larger than the previous one. With this, I am not really taking into account the first two since the pattern is super simple to find because there is minimal processing and with a number reduction which is very easy to compensate for.

Or perhaps the dataset has to do with the number of multiples removed and the remaining number of numbers remaining from the prime’s square value.

That is supremely annoying. I would need better tools to play with larger numbers. =O

Increasing Complexity in Pattern

As each square is processed it will become more and more difficult to process the pattern to prevent processing already removed numbers. As mentioned above the dataset requirements grow in order for us to see the pattern, but also so does the work required to process the pattern to remove subsequent multiples. This is also biased by my limitations, biases, and inexperience with such work. I definitely need to get through processing the pattern for 7 before I can have a clearer picture, but, since I am stopping here, I will throw out the following tenuous rule:

Possible Rule: Based on my very limited work the complexity increase with each prime processed is one of these 3 ideas: the square of the previous number of complexity steps * 2; the cube of the previous number of complexity steps; or the number of previous complexity steps * 4.

This was more evident from processing 5 and 7:

  • 2 – 0 extra programmatic steps
  • 3 – 1 extra programmatic step
  • 5 – 2 extra programmatic steps
  • 7 – 8 extra programmatic steps
  • 11 – I expect near 32, 128, or 512 extra programmatic steps

Keep in mind, this is probably not close to wholly accurate given my limited data and processing (up to 7), but it might give you a place to start with in understanding the complexity of finding the multiples in each successive prime generation using this technique. I really need to find out how many extra steps are required for 11 to have a better idea about my observations.

Diminishing Returns with each Processing Generation

When we start with 2 we remove half of the numbers and as we process each generation we reduce fewer and fewer numbers which will seem to result in diminishing returns from processing each generation.

  • 2 – 49.9%
  • 3 – 16.6%
  • 5 – 6.6%
  • 7 – 3.3%
  • 11 – I expect this will be near 1.98%

I expect there is a mathematical relationship to be found here, but I am not sure what yet. I also expect that for any given dataset that proportionally numbers will be found. At some point, depending on the size of your dataset, may not be worth the extra work to try to find a pattern and just working on a brute force technique to process.

Possible Rule: Law of Diminishing Returns – the % of multiples removed as compared to the previous generation is roughly equal to the delta removed by the previous generation + 10%. This average increase may also be increase be a few % points too assuming that the delta from 2-3-5 has any real bearing on further results.

Square Primedat

Possible Rule: It appears that once you get done removing a prime’s multiples from a dataset (and all previous primes’ multiples) then all numbers up until the square of the next prime will be prime numbers.


Working through the primes through 7 gives us to a total reduction of 76.5 of the dataset up to 1000. =O My primes are correct up the the next square which is for 11 @ 121. I would need to process that and then the prime numbers list would be correct until the next square – 13 @ 169. I am expecting that this will be the patttern if we were to continue. Since I need a really large dataset to see the pattern for 11 I think I will stop now. Hopefully, someone will find this useful. =) I am sure there are much more complex mathematical relations here than I able to discern with my limited knowledge (not a mathematician), time, tools, and experience.

Possible Rules

Here is the collection of the potential observed rules from above so we can have them all in one place:

  • Increasing Dataset Size: To find the pattern for each successive prime we will need a dataset 10 times larger than the previous one.
  • Increasing Pattern Complexity: The increase with each prime processed is the one of these 3 ideas: the square of the previous number of complexity steps * 2; the cube of the previous number of complexity steps; or number of complexity steps * 4.
  • Law of Diminishing Returns: the % of multiples removed as compared to the previous generation is roughly equal to the delta removed by the previous generation + 10%
  • Square Prime Rule: Once you get done removing a prime’s multiples from a dataset (and all previous prime’s multiples) then all numbers up until the square of the next prime will be prime numbers.

Data Analysis

The info for primes 11, 13, 17 are predicted based on my limited observational projections here:

prime # of non-repeating numbers reduced % of total numbers reduced % delta in reduction from previous gen dataset required to see pattern extra programmatic steps
prime # of non-repeating
numbers reduced
% of total numbers
% delta in reduction
from previous gen
 dataset required to see pattern extra programmatic
2 499 49.90% 49.90% 0
3 166 16.60% 33.27% 30 1
5 66 6.60% 39.76% 75 2
7 33 3.30% 50.00% 500 8
11 19.8 1.98% 60.00% 5000 512 or 128 or 32
13 13.86 1.39% 70.00% 50000 134,217,728 or 524,288.00 or 128
17 11.088 1.11% 80.00% 500000 2.41785E+24 or 36,028,797,018,964,000 or  512

First Life Form Found Using Arsenic as a Genetic Building Block

I came upon this really interesting article in Science Daily titled “Pregnant Mother’s Diet Impacts Infant’s Sense of Smell, approved Alters Brain Development“. It says that a baby’s sense of smell is affected by what foods the mother eats while pregnant. This makes a lot of evolutionary sense. If the mother is consuming certain foods then it must be good for the baby to have a predilection to consume and have desires for this food as well. This is an effective way of helping to ensure that the baby will want eat the food that is available in its future food sphere. However, view this horrendously backfires when the mother is an alcoholic or has a horrible diet to begin with allowing the potential to pass a
The 2:00pm announcement from NASA today is they have found the first life Form that uses arsenic as a genetic building block. This will change much in science. Science fiction has said such things were possible for many, men’s health
many years, valeologist
but this is the first evidence of it.

The Science Daily article Life Built With Toxic Chemical: First Known Microbe on Earth Able to Thrive and Reproduce Using Arsenic has the info.

“Pregnant Mother’s Diet Impacts Infant’s Sense of Smell, Alters Brain Development” – a Science Daily Article

I came upon this really interesting article in Science Daily titled “Pregnant Mother’s Diet Impacts Infant’s Sense of Smell, prescription Alters Brain Development“. It says that a baby’s sense of smell is affected by what foods the mother eats while pregnant. This makes a lot of evolutionary sense. If the mother is consuming certain foods then it must be good for the baby to have a predilection to consume and have desires for this food as well. This is an effective way of helping to ensure that the baby will want eat the food that is available in its future food sphere. However, valeologist this horrendously backfires when the mother is an alcoholic or has a horrible diet to begin with allowing the potential to pass a desire in the baby for a similar life style. =(

If you are currently pregnant please keep this finding in mind…. think of the children.

Mosuo – an Egalitarian and Matriarchal Society in Tibet

The Mosuo are mentioned prominently in the book Sex at Dawn which I wrote about earlier. The Mosuo, unhealthy who are found on the Chinese/Tibetan border, pregnancy  are one of the few remaining egalitarian and matriarchal societies. What is so fascinating about them is, diagnosis partly that they are a matriarchal society where the mothers ares the center of the family, but also that a mothers family raises the children and the father does not necessarily have to have any direct involvement with his children. The children’s mother and her brothers etc take care of raising the children. Here it truly does take a tribe to raise a child.

They do not marry as we, westerners understand the term. They have something called Walking Marriage. At night if a woman wants the man to come in to spend the night then she leaves the door open for him, and in the morning he must be gone. Women may have however many partners as she deems appropriate, but these liaisons are usually based on love and not necessarily on libido.

Frontline World: Rough Cut has a 20 minute video titled ‘The Women’s Kingdom’ detailing the Mosuo culture. It is fascinating. Please take a moment to watch it.

Read More

How Intelligent Design and Calvin Ball are Related Fields of Thought

“Intelligent Design = Calvin Ball”

NYT Article – “Does Language Shape the Way You Think?”

So, order I am currently reading about constitutional law which is a fascinating topic, and this has prompted me to write this post.  This is actually something I have thought of a long time ago before I started to read about this topic, but I thought I would now put ‘pen to paper’ so to speak. I do not have a problem with post facto repeals of law as a principle, but I my problem is that there are so many of them and sometimes it make take years for them to come to light resulting in damage to people and their rights to which laws and our legislators are entrusted to protect.

I have a problem with laws that are passed and eventually are found unconstitutional or have other problems, and are subsequently repealed with those, whose rights have been violated, have exactly no recourse or reparations for their violated rights and/or destroyed lives, beyond the repealing of the offending law. I think that this is a grave injustice to the American peoples.

The fact that there is no recourse for the American people, or punishment per se for those that enacted such negligent laws, allows the perpetuation of such practices. There is a no real punishment or deterrent to our lawmakers for doing as such. They have the potential of not getting elected again or being impeached, right, but that potential is so small and not enough of a deterrent especially when they cater to a majority in trampling the rights of the minority, as we can obviously see. There is no real deterrent to not pass these unconstitutional laws. By the time that it comes around for the government to deal with the law they may not even be in office and besides, someone else will be fighting both sides of the fight – not the legislators. State and Federal government is one thing, and I understand that local governments are in some ways a different story, but still there is something that can be done about that too.

Post Facto Repeals

I realize that our founding fathers, in light of the common governmental philosophies and examples of the time, think that having the judicial branch  as a post facto (after the fact) method of solving these deficiencies is enough, but the post facto nature means that damage is already done to those people’s rights who have been violated. The communities then were smaller and word traveled quickly about such things, and revolution and standing up for your rights was the thing to do then, but now a days  our communities are huge, spread apart, and disconnected. The United States is huge and the common people are far removed from the law creation process and our legislators. We live in a very different world than our founding fathers could have ever imagined.

One of the very foundational principles of  our government is that government is there to ensure the protection of our Life, Liberty, and Property (LLP). I see that the passing of these unconstitutional laws and their subsequent need to be repealed as gross negligence on the part of our governmental leaders and the their passing of these laws is a violation of their oaths and a violation of our rights to LLP. I understand that there are going to be some laws that are going to make it through and need to be dealt with but, there should not as many as there are. There are some laws that take decades for someone to say something about and finally do something about it. There is a lot of social pressure to not rock to boat. If you take a look at the animus and violence surrounding the gay rights movement, the school prayer ten commandments issues then you will know what I mean. People are afraid to stand up for their rights due to potential  adverse social reactions regardless of how right they are. This fact allows for the perpetuation of violations to our rights out of fear and that is an unAmerican result.

When these unconstitutional laws are passed and several years go by and damage is done to the US citizens. This is wrong and a violation of our government’s job of protecting our rights and not being apart of the violation process.

Pre Facto

Now, I cannot imagine that our lawmakers do not have some sort of judicial opinions being thrown at them as they are legislating new laws, but with as many laws as there are that need to be repealed I find it hard to see that there is. Perhaps it might be because I am more active in thinking and reading about civil rights stuff that I may be more sensitive to it, but still there are these laws that are getting passed and they are hurting people who have no recourse or reparations besides the agonizing process of pursuing a repeal.

There needs to be more pre facto work done on these laws so that they either never get passed or that the made constitutional. I understand that many of these laws get passed in the heat of the moment and under great socio-cultural pressure where legislators are more concerned about keeping their jobs than doing things right, or may be caught up in the emotion of the “national” moment, but they still have an obligation to protect our rights and to not be  part of violating them.

What can be done?

I understand that our government officials can not be held directly liable else they will be not allowed to do their job, but we need some way to hold them accountable for their actions or install a deterrent for them to be party to passing such laws, but here are some of my thoughts and I know for obvious reasons that most of these will not work, but here is what came to mind:

  • 3 strikes rule –  government officials who pass 3 laws that need to be repeal loose there jobs.
  • fines – government officials who pass laws that need to be repealed are fined
  • reparations – those people whose rights are violated are compensated and the violations are corrected. Sort of a class action lawsuit against the government
  • amicus briefs – allowing for the filing of amicus briefs from all interested parties so that legislators can have more informed opinions from those outside the legislative process and the potential legal consequences
  • open content – posting laws to a public website for comment
  • subpoenaing legislators – requiring legislators who passed the bill to testify in the repealing process

I ran into this article titled “Does Language Shape the Way You Think?” that talks about how the vocabulary of your native tongue can affect how you conceptualize and relate to the world around you. I have heard of this before in reading about linguistics, ampoule but since I found an article on it I thought I would post it for everyone. It is fascinating stuff.

Review “Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality” – A+++

California’s Appellate Court granted a stay on Judge Vaughn’s ruling pending appeal. This was, patient in my opinion, to be expected since this is such a high profile case and precedent setting case,  so nothing drastic there. However, there is some good news as far as this process is concerned as is covered here BREAKING: 9th Circuit STAYS Judge Walker’s ruling; Appeal scheduled December 6 on Prop 8 Trial Tracker:

  • the appellate court is expediting the the appeal of the ruling of the unconstitutionality of Prop 8 and set the date for the week of 6 December, which is awesome. The sooner the, hopefully, better.
  • they are also specifically asking the Prop8’ers: In addition to any issues appellants wish to raise on appeal, appellants are directed to include in their opening brief a discussion of why this appeal should not be dismissed for lack of Article III standing. which is huge. Judge Vaughn said that they do not have standing for a stay or appeal, if I remember correctly, and the appellate court obviously pretty much agrees with them, but are giving them a chance to sound at least a little rational and try to retain some self respect.

In the scheme of things this is pretty huge. The appeal process could end up being pretty short (comparatively speaking) since they do not have standing for appeal, so this may most likely get dismissed with prejudice. This will be a massively huge win and precedent for gay rights all throughout the US if this does happen, since there will be a court ruling stating that banning gay marriage is unconstitutional and they have no standing. Of course, once that happens the appellate court’s decision will be appealed and, hopefully, a similar thing will happen in the Supreme Court.

Cross your fingers everyone. History and justice is happening. =)
I recently finished the book Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality. It is an excellent and life altering book. It really ties together a lot of what I have read about evolutionary psychology and evolutionary biology. If you have not read this book, ask or even if you have never read an evolutionary psychology book at all, pharmacy read it. It may change the way that you see the world, and I mean that in a good way. It covers topics such as monogamy, swinging, infidelity, and polyamory in it.  It truly covers the wide spectrum of human sexuality. Wow is all I can say.

If you do not know what polyamory is I have written a primer on polyamory for those who are curious.

“Social Organization Among Apes” from the book “Sex at Dawn”

I am currently reading the new book ” Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality” which is a book on Evolutionary Psychology, search which for me, more info is a really fascinating topic. I think I have the table copied over correctly. It is a great book so far.

This table occurs in Chapter 3 and I found it really, really interesting and I thought I would share it with you. I found it especially interesting since chips and bonobos are our closest genetic relatives, differing by about 1.6%. It is amazing how diverse the primates’ mating patterns are.

Table 1:  Social Organization Among Apes


Egalitarian and peaceful, bonobo communities are maintained primarily through social bonding between females, although females bond with males as well. Male status derives from the mother. Bonds between son and mother are lifelong. Multimale-multifemale mating.


The bonds between males are strongest and lead to constantly shifting male coalitions.  Females move through overlapping ranges within territory patrolled by males, but don’t form strong bonds with other females or any particular male. Multimale-multifemale mating


Gibbons establish nuclear family units; each couple maintains a territory from which other pairs are excluded. Mating is monogamous. mating.


Generally, a single dominant male (the so-called ·Silverback”) occupies a range for his family unit composed of several females and young. Adolescent males are forced out of the group as they reach sexual maturity. Strongest social bonds are between the male and adult females. Polygynous mating.


By far the most diverse social species among the primates, there is plentiful evidence of all types of socio-sexual bonding, cooperation, and competition among contemporary humans. Multimale-multifemale


Orangutans are solitary and show little bonding of any kind. Male orangutans do not tolerate each other’s presence. An adult male  establishes a large territory where several females live. Each has her own range. Mating is dispersed, infrequent and often violent.

Dietary Evolution and Geographic Isolation

Linguistics Evolution and Geographic Isolation

This post is brought to you by the letter “L” for linguistics. I have come to think about this because of my reading about linguistics. In linguistics it is thought that humanity’s languages all stemmed from a single language called Proto-Indo-European, pills and then as the tribes broke up and migrated to other regions cutting themselves off geographically and culturally from their original tribe, culture, and language their language eventually evolved into the language families that we see today like the romance, slavic, germanic, etc; and then those individual language families evolved into the individual languages that we see today.

The key point here is isolation brings about a different evolutionary path, albeit, in this case,  a linguistic one.

Dietary Evolution and Geographic Isolation

As early homosapiens separated from their tribes and developed unique cultural and linguistic traits they also traveled to areas where the climates and therefore food sources were different and, as thousands of years passed I believe that our bodies developed a physiology more tuned to processing the foods that were a part of  the normal diet for that region, and potentially lost the genes that allowed efficient and/or health processing of other foods which were not staples of their current dietary intake.

People who lived in inland areas where they are used to drinking cows milk and eating wheat products will have the genes to efficiently make use of eating those products.  People who lived by the sea would develop genes to more efficiently eat seafood, seaweed, and other sea products while potentially losing the genes for wheat and milk. You can come up with many situational examples like this from region to region as to what is common and what is not.

Genetics and Dietary Requirements

With all of this being said what I am really going to postulate here is that I bet that if we trace where our geographical genetic lineage is based we can have a better idea as to what foods we will most likely be able to take advantage of.  Genetic testing can help us to eat better and be healthier by knowing what foods we may be tuned to take advantage of.

Another Option

Perhaps an easier solution would be to come up with some baseline nutritional food source that has all of the USRDA recommendations and then take blood test, urine and fecal tests, etc to find out how we process nutrients and how much our body’s we really need in a day. By knowing how much is removed from the body and so on we can see how much we, individually, really need each day.

We can also do similar tests for specific products like wheat, dairy, etc and see how we respond and process them to determine if our body will process it efficiently and safely.

NYT – “Human Culture, an Evolutionary Force”

This is by no means complete or the end-all-be-all of polyamory tutorials or introductions, sale since it is such a diverse lifestyle that you could not really hope to encompass it all in one readable page, but this should give you a good starting point from which you can do your own research and form your own opinions. Good luck and enjoy.

Infinite Heart


About Polyamory

This is a broad overview of polyamory from compersion, jealousy, and relationship agreements with a helpful list of references and definitions.

Polyamory: definition

Polyamory (or the more British spelling ‘polyamoury’) is also referred to as ‘responsible non-monogamy’ or just ‘poly’. It is the state of having, or being oriented to having, multiple concurrent intimate relationships with the full knowledge and consent of all concerned.

Polyamory does not necessarily imply that the relationships are sexual, but many times they are. Some poly relationships may be non-sexual (platonic) romances, with an intimate emotional, psychological, and/or intellectual connection beyond what would merely be called “friendship.”

Successful polyamorous relationships generally require a high level of self-awareness, honesty (especially with oneself), introspection, self-security, and communication among all concerned. Polyamory is not for the faint of heart or wussies.

Origin of the Word

The word ‘polyamory‘ is derived from the Greek poly-, ‘many’, and the Latin amor, ‘love’. The word was invented independently in 1990 by Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart (in the adjectival form ‘poly-amorous’) and in 1992 by Jennifer L. Wesp. (Reference: Polyamory Enters Oxford English Dictionary)

Forms of Polyamory

Poly relationships can take a wide variety of forms. A person may have two lovers who having only passing knowledge of each other, or lovers who are close friends, or lovers who are also romantically and sexually involved with each other (an “equilateral triad”). A married or otherwise life-bonded couple (‘primaries’) may have less-involved relationships with other lovers (‘secondaries’). The commonest poly formation is probably the ‘vee’ (three people with two of them not romantically involved); a vee may be called a “triad” if their lives are deeply intertwined, sex or no. A ‘full’ or ‘equilateral’ triad involves romantic relationships between all three — but the three relationships need not be ‘equal’. In fact, it is a piece of poly wisdom that no two relationships are exactly the same, and trying to force them to be equal is asking for trouble. Larger groups may be ‘quads’ of four with various degrees of interconnectedness, ‘quints’ of five, or ‘intimate networks’ of more people with more complicated geometry.

“The Poly Mantra”

Since the 1980s, and especially since the 1990s, the poly community has grown enormously and shared many hard-won, trial-and-error lessons within the community, both in person and, especially, online. The most often-cited lesson is the so-called poly mantra: “Communicate, communicate, communicate.

A habit of open and honest communication, experience has shown, is almost always required to enable everyone to understand what is going on with each other’s emotions and thoughts — and in the absence of such openness, problems in a poly group are almost guaranteed. Communicating your thoughts and emotions (positive and negative) sooner rather than later helps avert hard feelings and difficult situations, or forces them onto the table. Your partners cannot ‘read your mind‘ and will not ‘just understand or know‘; such romanticized ideals are quickly put aside by successful polyfolks. When a problem arises, be open, honest, calm, and understanding, and all may eventually work itself out. Some poly people and groups hold regular ‘family meetings’ to promote the early airing of nascent problems. If serious problems do not resolve, you might seek the help of a poly-friendly counselor. The books Radical Honesty, Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus, and Nonviolent Communication may help give you perspective and effective communication tools.

Compersion or Frubble

‘Compersion’ (or the British ‘frubble’) is the state of feeling joy at the joy of another loved one, specifically, when applied in the poly context, is when a loved one is relating to another person intimately; such as a husband feeling joy at seeing or knowing that his wife is enjoying time with her new boyfriend.

Compersion is the complete opposite of jealousy. Compersion is a goal to which polyfolk often aspire in order to break negative cultural (and/or evolutionary) programming and increase their satisfaction and happiness in their poly relationships.

See Wikipedia’s Compersion article and A Crazy Little thing Called…

Relationship Agreements

Poly relationships are wide and varied in their form, assumptions, and ideologies. What one person takes for granted and assumes may not be true for the others in the relationship, so many find it useful to form a relationship agreement. These agreements, when done, are generally written, but can be completely oral; many are setup as a relationship contact that is agreed and signed by all so there are no misunderstandings. Relationship Agreements can be a very useful tool, especially to those that are new to poly, to help verbalize and work through their thoughts, assumptions, and ramifications of the agreement, as well as to solidify a joint definition of their relationship and acceptable practices.

It is important to remember that relationships are not static, especially poly relationships where people can come and go as time goes on, and you will need revisit this agreement, and bargain and change the agreement to reflect the change in the relationship and your needs. The document should be a living breathing extension of your relationship changing as much as you change.

The book Pagan Polyamory: Becoming a Tribe of Hearts has some good info on this.

Adultery or Cheating

Polys define cheating as the breaking of a viceral agreement or understanding within the relationship. Most married or bonded couples have an agreement, either explicit or culturally implied, and most times includes not having sex with other people (i.e. sexual exclusivity). Polys have a wide variety of agreements and understandings (which, some believe, are best put in writing in order to prevent later confusion, evasion, or wishful thinking).

In sexual terms, cheating can be defined as engaging in an intimate relationship with an outside person without the consent and/or knowledge of your existing partner(s). This usually involves lying, deceiving, or omission of important facts. Cheating is antithetical to polyamory and is usually is as fatal to it as it would be to any relationship. Polyamory requires informed consent and knowledge from all parties involved — and, experience shows, consistently high integrity overall.

Adultery is a legal term referring to sex with an outside partner while married, and the word normally implies cheating. A more extensive treatise on adultery from the Christian perspective is handled in the book ‘Divine Sex‘ (see below).


Jealousy is the big ‘monster-in-the-closet‘ for many relationships regardless of their form. It is a special issue for polyamory, since participants have to face personal fears and insecurities (the roots of jealousy) that monogamous couple may mostly avoid. The righteousness of feeling jealous is supported by our culture in movies, cultural values, religion, and laws, but jealousy something that is learned and therefore can be unlearned. Many couples battle with it (in and outside of poly), and is a common reason for emotional turmoil and breakups in poly relationships, especially near the beginning. Defeating jealousy in your life may require a tremendous amount of soul searching, introspection, honesty, communication, as well as trust and faith in your relationships and partners.

See below for some sites that deal with this issue.


Polyamory, in-and-of-itself, does not assume marriage is the goal or a desired outcome. Polyamory and Marriage, however, are not mutually exclusive either, since they both deal with relationships at various levels.

Polygamy is explicitly a type of marital state involving plural partners, whereas monogamy is explicitly a type of marital state involving single partners and that is it.

Polyamory is referring to an open and honest relationship model involving plural partners.

Polygamy is specific to marriage, whereas Polyamory is not. However, since marriage is a type of relationship and so is polyamory, they can and do meet.

Polyfidelity within polyamory could mirror a ‘traditional’ polygynous (MFFF) or polyandrous (FMMM) marriage exactly. You could have a polyamorous quad (MFMF) that is married polygamously via Group Marriage (polygamy). You could also have a Polygynous Quad (MFFF) that was polyamorous. You could even have a monogamous marriage that was polyamorous or more commonly – just an Open Marriage.

New Relationship Energy (NRE) or Limerence

NRE (resulting from limerence) is the honeymoon phase of the relationship when everything is new and exciting and brain chemicals keep you in a potentially blind emotional high. It typically lasts 6 months to 2 or 3 years. This ‘high‘ can have you doing things that you would not do while in a normal and objective frame of mind. When you are engaging in a new relationship you will want to guard yourself and your relationships from this as best you can. Enjoy the ride, but be careful.

Once the ‘love-struck‘ or ‘blinded-by-love‘ condition wears off some find themselves, in retrospect, having made bad decisions, hurting and neglecting those that they love and have committed themselves to. NRE can be seen as a sort of a not-so-short sickness that one has to deal with and monitor for fear of negatively impacting your other relationships with emotional and love-struck decisions.

See Wikipedia’s articles on New Relationship Energy (NRE) and Limerance.


Swinging is not polyamory, and the difference is often a sore spot when poly people are speaking with non-polys about what polyamory is. Swinging is generally recreational sex with little emotional involvement. Swinging is typically done by couples attending special swing venues or parties together. Swinging communities often have rules, explicit or implied, against falling in love with others in your swing group.

Sometimes people who swing tire of sex for its own sake and wish for more personal and intimate connections. Two or more couples who swing together frequently may simply grow to become close life friends and/or desire more. In either case, people may find themselves drifting away from swinging and into the wonderful and challenging world of polyamory.

Conversely, polyamorists can be swingers too, happy to enjoy an occasional no-strings fling at a party or sex club. But the two circles tend to be different in terms of sociology, class, philosophy, and intellectual background. Many polys shun swinging because of negative connotation associated with it. The mainstream attitude is that swinging is wrong and immoral; the mainstream attitude toward polyamory is similar, but polys usually resist being stigmatized as caring only about sex.

A group could be an open triad with a relationship agreement stating that swinging is OK, and one or more of the participants engages in swinging. The triad relationship would still be polyamorous, but the relationship with the outside swinging partners would not necessaily be.

adultery or cheating
see the Adultery or Cheating section
not open to new relationships; see polyfidelity
see the Compersion section
a newer term I encountered that refers to a bisexual person maintaining relationships with 1 person of each gender with the belief that if the 2 relationships are with people of different genders and are mongamous with respect to the specific genders, then it is still ‘monogamy’. This might be kind of a transitional label or used to specifically deny or avoid the polyamorous label while still respecting their choice for a plural partner arrangement.
an intimate committed relationship with two people
golden unicorn
slang term for the bisexual female that is generally desired as a intimate and/or sexual partner for both members of a Dyad, most likely with the intent to form a Triad. In most cases this is for an established MF Dyad whose female is also bisexual.
group marriage
a subset of polygamy
a general term which refers to a marriage which includes more than one person of each gender. While polygamy, in current contexts. tends to have connotations that assume a main spouse of one gender and then multiple spouses of the other gender as in polyandry and polygygy (see below); group marriage generally connotates a marriage which includes more than one person of each gender which may be further defined as open or cloaed, etc…
and acronym meaning ‘Hot Bi(sexual) Babe’; see Golden Unicorn
Intentional Community
a community of people with shared values that live together and share various resources
see Wikipedia’s article on Intentional Communities
see the New Relationship Energy (NRE) section
loving only one other person
marrying only one other person
new relationship energy (NRE)
see the New Relationship Energy (NRE) section
an relationship formation that is open to intimacy from outside their primaries, such as an Open Dyad
open marriage
a marriage in which the spouses have agreed to have intimate partners outside their marriage
within polyamory a pod has been described as ‘a committed network of lifelong intimate friends’. More generally a pod is a collection of people who are intimate at varying levels. Some may be permanent parts of each others lives like the primary/secondary arrangements or may be only part of the pod for small parts of times.
a subset of polygamy
the state of a woman having more than one husband
polyandry, fraternal
a subset of polygamy
the state of a woman having more than one husband that are brothers related by blood
statistically, this is commonly the most successful form of polyandry
polyfi‘ for short
a relationship with multiple committed partners that is closed to new intimate relationships
the state of having more than one spouse
a subset of polygamy
the state of a man having more than one wife
polygyny, sororal
a subset of polygamy
the state of a man having more than one wife that are sisters related by blood
statistically, this is commonly the most successful form of polygyny
Refers to the most committed relationships, which are also most likely the most important relationships such as a husband, wife, life partner, or others whom a person has committed relationship with. The most time and energy is spent with a person’s primaries. Some do not like this terminology, but others find it fitting and precise.
an intimate committed relationship with four people
romantic myths
Romantic socio-cultural beliefs that when stoically held onto may potentially hinder a person’s ability to find happiness in relationships. Their belief in these myths, may have them holding out for an impossible romantic ideal for a future partner or have unrealistic expectation for their current partners. Western Romantic Myths tend to reinforce the starvation model of love as well.
see starvation model of love and ‘the one’ for more information; there are links below on this topic
Refers to relationships that are secondary in importance, time, and/or resources, etc to their primary relationships, such as new girlfriend or long term casual long distance love. Some do not like this terminology, but others find it fitting and precise.
see: Successful Secondaries, Taking Care of Secondaries from Xero Mag
scarcity model of love
starvation model of love
starvation economy of love
Believing that love is limited and that if I love this one person romantically then I cannot love another romantically without loving less or not loving the first person. Love is limited and therefore I can only romantically love one person at a time. This seems to be at odds with our ability to love more than one parent, child, friend, etc. This phenomenon is greatly fed by the romantic myth of the ‘the one’ or ‘your one true love’, as well as by movies, literature, and our conservative laws and social views.
sex negative
The pervailing attitude of Western culture finds sexuality and all things sexual negative, sinful, guilt ridden, and distasteful. Sexuality is not something to open about or to enjoy, since it is only for species perpetuation – reproduction. It is something to be repressed and ignored unless necessary.
see Wikipedia’s article on Sex Negativity
sex positive
Sex positive people see their sexuality as a natural part of who we are and not afraid of or ashamed of enjoying it, or taking responsibility for their own satisfaction.
see Wikipedia’s article on the Sex Positive Movement or The Language of Sex Positivity (The Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality)
sexual dimorphism
Sexual Dimorphism is term from biology that refers to the size difference in the genders of a species. Studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between the level of sexual dimorphism in a species to the level of monogamousness of a species. The greater the size difference the less monogamous a species is.
sexual monogamy
This comes from the world of biology and refers to the state of a creature that maintains a sexually monogamous relationship with one another mate, but this does not assume social monogamy. Generally a creature that is sexually monogamous will also be socially monogamous other wise there will not be much reproductive benefit.
social monogamy
This comes from the world of biology and refers to the state of a creature that concentrates on acquiring food, shelter, defense, etc for only one other mate. A socially monogamous creature can can be does not also have to be sexual monogamous. Socially monogamous creatures are often sexually polygamous (seeking sexual partners outside their primary partner). There is only a small percentage of creatures that are mostly socially and sexually monogamous.
a psychological source of discomfort (see wickionary’s definition)
see the Swinging section
‘the one’
‘the one true love’
‘you complete me’
This view assumes that as soon as you have met ‘the one’ that you cannot and will not love another, and that you will need no one or anything else because this one person will fulfill you in all ways. You will also find no other people physically, sexually, intellectually, or emotionally attractive or desireable. This is one of the most destructive romantic myths in Western culture by putting the responsibility for your happiness in someone else, and not yourself.
an intimate committed relationship with three people
intimate network
a set of words to describe the collection of poly and/or potentially non-poly people having relationships with poly people. Each word has its own set of connotations and nuances depending on the group.
A trouple is 3 people involved in a romantic relationship; whereas two people in a romantic relationship are referred to as a ‘couple’. a dyad that is dating a third would be referred to as a trouple.
a relationship form where there is a single person (at the V’s hinge) to which both other members are sexually intimate with and are not intimate with each other, which is a typical formation for a FMF or MFM triad

More Terms and Definitions

References and Resources

Articles (Individual)

Audio and Video

Books About Polyamory

Discussion Groups, Meetings, Mailing Lists

Many of the sites mentioned through out this article have forums as well. You will most likely want to search for a group that is local to you as well. Many major cities have poly lists, meetings, and support groups.

Sites, Organizations, and Professionals

Meeting Poly Partners or Social Networking

Fiction Books, Movies, Songs, etc That Include Polyamory

I cannot vouch for any of these. I am merely collecting what others have said. =) Heinlein seems to be the big-man on campus for books.

Polyamory Related Books @ Polychromatic

Poly in Non-Fiction, Fiction, Movies, Songs, Comics/Graphic Novels

  • Diane Duane (more of a young adult book series)
    • The Door into Shadow
    • The Door into Fire
  • John Varley
    • Demon
    • Wizard
    • Gaia
    • The Ophuichi Hotline
    • Steel Beach
    • The Golden Globe
  • Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • The Spell Sword/Forbidden Tower series
  • Robert Heinlein
    • Stranger in a Strange Land
    • The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
    • Time Enough for Love
      I Will Fear No Evil (Though the book kinda sucks)
    • The Number of the Beast
    • Friday
    • The Cat Who Walks Through Walls
    • To Sail Beyond the Sunset
  • Robert Rimmer
    • The Herrad Experiment ( it is a movie also?)
  • Spider Robinson
    • Callahan’s Lady
    • Lady Slings the Booze
  • Music
    • Abba, “Two For the Price of One”
    • Joan Armatrading, “The Weakness in Me”
    • Baba Yaga, “Monogamy Shpedogamy”
    • Joan Baez, “Little Darlin'”
    • Barenaked Ladies, “Alternative Girlfriend”
    • William Bell, “Trying to Love Two”
    • Belle and Sebastian, Seeing Other People”
    • Christopher Bingham, “Family”
    • Chris de Burgh, “More Than This”
    • Patsy Cline, “Triangle”
    • Leonard Cohen, “The Sisters of Mercy”
    • David Crosby, Jefferson Airplane, “Triad”
    • Devo, “Happy Guy”
    • Melissa Ethridge, “Unusual Kiss”
    • Gaia’s Consort, “Move to the Country”
    • P.J. Harvey, “Oh My Lover”
    • Veda Hille, “Three”
    • Jane’s Addiction, “Three Days”
    • Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, “The French Song”
    • Olivia Newton John, “Culture Shock”
    • Howard Jones, “No One is to Blame”
    • King Crimson, “Man With an Open Heart”
    • Lamyas, “Empires”
    • Christine Lavin, “Don’t Ever Call Your Sweetheart By His Name” ma
    • Lovin Spoonful, “Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind”
    • Deidre McCalla, “Don’t Doubt It”
    • Mary MacGregor, “Torn Between Two Lovers”
    • Joni Mitchell, “Cactus Tree”
    • Joni Mitchell, “Coyote”
    • Mondo Vita, “Four Way Stop”
    • The Monks, “Love in Stereo”
    • Morrissey, “My Love Life”
    • The Muppets, “We Got Us”
    • Michael Nesmith, “Different Drum”
    • New Order, “Bizarre Love Triangle”
    • The Police, “Tea in the Sahara”
    • Prince, Cyndi Lauper, “When U Were Mine”
    • John Prine, “Let’s Invite Them Over”
    • Restless Heart, “Why Does It Have to Be”
    • The Roches, “You’re the Two”
    • Betsy Rose, “Room for You”
    • Bessie and Clara Smith, “My Man Blues”
    • Scarlett, “Independent Love Song”
    • Sisters of Mercy, “More”
    • Jill Sobule, “I Kissed a Girl”
    • Type-O-Negative, “My Girlfriend’s Girlfriend”
    • Roger Whittaker, “Isabel and Caroline”
    • Breaking Benjamin, “Polyamorous”
    • Dave Matthews Band “Say Goodbye”
    • Power Tool: “Two Heads Are Better Than One” (On the Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure soundtrack.)
    • Crosby, Stills, and Nash “Love The One You’re With”
    • Must Be Tuesday – My Boyfriend’s Girlfriend Isn’t Me

    Here is a very interesting article in the New York Times article titled “Human Culture, check an Evolutionary Force“

    Ten Politically Incorrect Truths About Human Nature

    Here is a 5 page Psychology Today article titled Ten Politically Incorrect Truths About Human Nature that follows very closely what I have read in the book about Evolutionary Psychology titled Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters. Evolutionary Psychology is very interesting as always.

    The New God of Nuclear Energy is….. Thor?

    If any of these links are not dead, sick need correcting, or if you have recommendations please let me know.

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