AINTscience - Online User Guide
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Chapter 3: The main ideas

This chapter starts over again from the beginning with a more thorough explanation of AINTscience.

3.1 Doing things the same way

Try to imagine the feeling of driving a passenger car and seeing this Volvo truck coming straight at you on your side of the road.

Volvos are built in Sweden, and until September 3rd, 1967, Swedes drove on the left side of the road.

Norwegians considered the switch a good thing, because Norway shares a 1619 km long border with Sweden.

Unless a 20 ton truck is driving on the left, we all* stay on the right side, because we believe in doing things the same way.

For using file systems, it also makes sense to have conventions and rules, and that is the reason for AINTscience's existence. Driving on the right is something drivers are so used to that it is automatic. "Driving" in an AINTscience file system is also based on automatic, intuitive choices, and this greatly improves efficiency.

Example 1

Disk drive safely with AINTscience

Say you have a file named "LightTanksCo_license_agreement.pdf".

Where do you place it?

Customers/LightTanksCo/Agreement/ ?
Signed_agreements/ ?
Legal/Agreements/LightTanksCo/License/ ?
Legal/Agreements/License/LightTanksCo/ ?

Example 2

Where is the latest version of the offer to LightTanksCo?

Sales/Offers/LightTanksCo/2008/ ?
Customers/LightTanksCo/Offers/ ?

These examples may seem trivial, but without rules and conventions, there is no way that everybody will make the same choices.

3.2 Riddle: What is a write only* file system?

Answer: Expensive

Why is it a problem that people can't find files?

3.3 Information architecture

Information architecture is the structuring of information. Usually, architects plan things, so information architecture is about planning how to structure information. That ain't always simple, which is why large corporations hire professional information architects. That ain't cheap.

Building architecture is partly about looks, but that is only on the outside, so to speak.


On the John Hancock building in Chicago, much of its structural frame is visible because it is placed on the outside. This frame is part of the functionality of the architecture, which is more important than its look. Placing the frame on the outside makes the building stronger, needing less steel than an ordinary building. It also allows more freedom to use the inside space with less supporting structure in the way.

Color + area

The structural frame of information must be based on the functionality of the content, and not looks. Poets, newspaper journalists, and politicians may go for information looks, but effective businesswomen and men primarily go for content.

The concept of information architecture is illustrated by these four figures.

Colored items of various shapes representing pieces of information, such as files are shown unstructured (top left), and structured (top right).

Shape + color

The difference is organizing the items according to the properties color and area. The choice of properties plus the structure applied is the information architecture.

Height + shape + color

Choosing other properties, such as shape or height, and other structural configurations of the resulting groups produce other information architectures, as indicated by the bottom two figures (left and right).

Investing in information architecture

Clearly, information architecture is important today to any business dependent on its information, and who isn't? So getting some help from a professional information architect may be a good investment.

An information architect can

After a new file system is introduced, the users of the system will need to learn how the system is organized, and it does take some time until the potential for improved efficiency is fully exploited. The length of the period of learning will depend on the changes made, and therefore, the new system should either differ from the old system no more than is useful, or make a clean break to something easier to use, if too little of the old system is useful.

Frank Lloyd Wright, famous American architect

Information architecture ain't enough

Having invested in a professional information architecture, the new system should be adequate for the company's needs for some time. However, over time, change happens.

The very nature of business is change, so after some time, even a well tailored information architecture will start to degrade as new directories are added.

The simplest solution is to get the information architect back, regularly, to adapt the system to the changes in the files brought on by the changes in the company's business.

Often, the simplest solution is the best, but having someone change the structure of the file system every now and then is not a great solution.

Changes to a structure means that the users have to learn and adapt. To many this may feel like when someone has been rearranging your personal stuff, and you can't find things because they ain't where they used to be.

Now, we are getting to the real solution, the holy grail* of information architecture for file systems: AINTscience.

AINTscience solves the problem of changing architecture, because AINTscience ain't no architecture, but a meta-architecture.

AINTscience is used to make architectures, which means that any AINTscience architecture can be added to without anyone having to learn new rules.

AINTscience rules don't change, and they are simple to learn. When information architecture ain't enough, AINTscience may well be what you need.

"Architects may come and architects may go and never change your point of view" is a quote from the song "So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright" on the album "Bridge over troubled water" by Simon and Garfunkel. This may also be the case for information architects.

3.4 The copy right rule

Copy right"Never place a copy in AINTscience, and copy only from AINTscience."

It is easy to copy electronic documents, and a copy is indistinguishable from an original. That is both useful and problematic.

The usefulness is obvious, the problems only surface after a while, when the copies have been edited and updated and have multiplied and nobody knows any more where the original really is.

The copy right rule means that somebody has to keep track of the original, and there should only be one original. Then when somebody needs a copy, the owner's original should be the source, not some copy somewhere that somebody copied from somewhere else at some point in time.

Copies of dubious parentage and possibly illegitimate birth cannot be tolerated under AINTscience's classy rule. They may undermine morale and lead to degeneration of the holy scriptures of company information.

Beware of false information and copy right!

The international copyright symbol shown above is only meant as a visual reminder of the principle "copy right". Copyright is not relevant to "copy right" in AINTscience, so the symbol is just stolen.

3.5 Simplicity: The Golden Rule

Simplicity"Things should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein believed in simplicity

Perfectly simple

Simplicity rules, and "perfectly simple" is the ultimate goal of an AINTscience file system.

To reach the goal, "less is more", and "minimalism" are good guidelines.

Einstein's words are also good examples: perfectly simple and bordering on the too simple.

The only aspect that is not simple about The Golden Rule is not breaking it. Perfect simplicity is sometimes extremely difficult to achieve. That is why AINTscience is designed so most people using AINTscience file systems don't have to remember the Golden Rule.

Only the AINTscience administrators need the Golden Rule, but they need to keep it in mind every time they add to or change their AINTscience file system.

Fortunately, AINTscience is spelled out step by step, rule by rule, and every step and every rule is as simple as possible, but not simpler. That is still far from simple, but it's the simplest way to strive for perfect simplicity.

Gaius Julius Caesar

3.6 Sub-levels

Sub-levels are levels within levels, meaning that within each class there may be more than one level of directories.

"Divide et impera" is Latin, meaning roughly "divide and rule", and that is the main purpose of any hierarchy, or in other words: split and control.

Sub-level"Divide and rule."

The sub-level rule exists to make it clear that dividing classes into two or more internal levels is not a problem, and is actually a good idea.

Sub-levels can be enumerated to indicate their places in the sequence, as shown in the example below. Sub-levels within a class all share the same class number. Note, however, that the sub-level numbering shown has no significance other than to indicate places in the sequence. The numbering is not used in an AINTscience system for any purpose.

The Julius Caesar image is shown because "divide et impera" has been attributed to the Roman empire. Correctly attributed or not, it remains a powerful principle for controlling complexity, and dividing levels into sub-levels is an application of this principle.


Consider the following directory path in the file system of the company "ABC" (American Bar Corporation Inc). Ext/ is short for "External" or "Externals", and Jack_n_Jills/ is a customer of ABC.


Here Ext/ and Jack_n_Jills/ are both sub-levels of the identity class, and Barstools/ and Repair/ are sub-levels of the function class.

1.0 - Id1.1 - Id2.0 - Fu2.1 - Fu3 - Fo4 - Chr.
GroupCompanyServiceService partContentStatus

3.7 Grouping

As shown in the last example, there are two identity levels, Ext/ and Jack_n_Jills/. However, only Jack_n_Jills/ is a real identity. Ext/ belongs in the Identity class, but it is a group of identities, not a single identity.

There are also two function levels in this example, and these are both real functions. Barstools/ could be short for "Barstool maintenance", or anything ABC does for Jack_n_Jills related to barstools, and Repair/ is a part of the Barstools/ function.

Grouping is a common method to use for forming sub-levels, and the grouping rule gives some general guidelines for how grouping should be used to form sub-levels. These guidelines are fairly standard in general classification systems.

Grouping"General is above special, whole is above part, and main is above branch."



1 - Id1.1 - Id1.2 - Id2 - Fu2.1 - Fu3 - Fo4 - Chr.4.1 - Chr.

In this example, which belongs to the file system of ACME Ltd, all of Ext/, Customers/ and Murder_inc/ are identities. Murder_inc/ is the only "real" identity, but the other two are also identities by virtue of being groups of identities. Since Ext/, meaning all externals, is more general than Customers/, Ext/ is above Customers/ in the directory tree sequence.

In the function class, Dev/, meaning development, is more general than the specific project QuickFire/. Note that giving a project a name does not make it an identity.

In the Chronology class, 1935/ is a whole year, and April/ is a part.

Grouping types

There are many ways to do grouping, and some of the methods are fairly general, such as alphabetical, relationship, and organization form.

3.8 More on class 1: Identity


René Descartes


"Cogito, ergo sum", wrote Descartes (I think, therefore I am.) Even such basics as thinking and existence start with an individual. Whether the individual is Descartes, you or me, we have this one thing in common: existence, and with human existence comes identity.

All people are individuals with distinct identities, subject to local laws.

Businesses are under the laws of most countries also considered legal persons, also called juridical person, and are therefore identities, even if they are not linked to a human identity.

Considering the basic nature of identity, it may not be surprising that the first AINTscience file system class is "Identity" a.k.a. "Name" or "Who".

The AINTscience identity rule

Identity"Identity is #1."

This means that the first thing to consider about any file is this: Who does it belong to? It's a simple question, and it is always possible to check which identity in the file system the file belongs to.

If there is no answer, the file doesn't belong in the AINTscience file system at all.

If there is more than one answer, rules are needed to decide which identity to choose. In an AINTscience file system, no file belongs in more than one place.

Identities come in many shapes and sizes, but they are split into two groups, internal and external.

Internal identities

The company that owns the file system is normally the main internal identity. If the company is small, e.g. a single person's business, this single identity may be the only internal.

If the company is larger, there may be different departments that each have a field of responsibility and has been delegated power to act on the company's behalf within their respective fields. If so, each department operates as an organization or entity that identities can relate to, and should therefore itself be considered an identity.

If everything the company does is delegated to the various departments, the company identity becomes just a grouping of the department identities.

Examples of internal identities


AINTscience's main example company is ACME Ltd. of London, England, where it was founded in 1882. Contrary to popular belief, ACME does not stand for "A Company that Makes Everything", but rather "Anderson and Carlyle Murder Equipment". (The last part used to be "Mortality Expedition", but was changed in 1961 because "Expedition" had ceased to be commonly used about expediting matters.)

ACME Ltd is big on small firearms and shotguns, the chemicals business is thriving, and there is some trade in sharp and blunt, mainly axes, knives, heavier than usual frying pans, and American aluminum baseball bats. ACME has its own line of sharps, and lately, ACME has started building a line of biological products. ACME has also been planning to get into the WMD-business (weapons of mass destr.), but has not yet attracted the necessary venture capital.

ACME started out as a service provider, and still has a special services department (Ops/Services/). The legal department owes much of its business to the Services department.

ACME's slogan is "Prepare for the unexpected."

ACME's departments

Having roughly 110 employees, ACME has a sales department, a marketing department, a development department, and several others. To employees looking for files, each department in ACME is an identity. People outside ACME may not see it that way, but their opinions are irrelevant. ACME's file system is for internal use only, and closely guarded.

Acc/ - The accounts department handles invoicing, payments and most transactions, as well as finances, budgeting, and accounting.

Corp/ - Corp handles administration of the company's organization, including strategic planning and general management.

Dev/ - Dev is short for "development", and is in charge of ACME's own line of products, both development and product line management.

HRM/ - The human resource management department is responsible for the hiring and firing of employees, and their motivation and well-being in between these events.

Legal/ - Legal handles all things related to law, including trying to keep ACME and employees out of the courts of law and correctional institutions.

Mktg/ - Marketing does advertising, brochures, PR and the company website

Ops/ - Operations handles all logistics of receiving, storing and shipping products, as well as the actual production of the company's own line of products, including delivery of services.

Pur/ - Purchasing handles all important buying of supplies for production, as well as sub-contracting for Services

Sales/ - Sales acquires contracts for services and also sells the more concrete products

External identities

Any identity that is not a part of the company in question is an external. These include customers, partners, suppliers, government organizations, non-government organizations and basically anyone. Not every possible organization belong in an AINTscience file system though, only those identities that the company deals with and therefore has files related to.

Typically, all groups of external identities are placed under the top directory Ext/, to separate them from the internal identities.

Belle Gunness

Examples of external identities.


ACME Ltd. has many customers, both other businesses and human individuals. Each of ACME's customers is an identity that ACME relates to, whether they be human or not.

Most of ACME's current customers are of course confidential, but here are some typical examples of people and organizations that could be customers. (As an aside, note that ACME's files are never retired. In ACME's line of business, reports of death are sometimes unreliable.)

Belle Gunness, Indiana, USA

Some identities hold more dramatic interest than others. For example, consider Belle Gunness.

Born Brynhild Paulsdatter Størseth, November 22, 1859 in Selbu, Norway

Moved to the USA

Believed to have murdered more than 20 people, including her own three children

Was never found or heard from after a fire that burned down her house and killed her three children in Indiana in 1908

The remains of more than 14 men were found in the ruins

Belle Gunness was a serial murderer even before that sort of thing became popular, and is known to have married several men before murdering them. She is one of AINTscience's NASTy WiDoWWs, and doubles here as an example of an identity.

Other identities used in the examples are

Dr. H. H. Crippen, London, England (hanged 1910)

Murder Inc, USA (disbanded by the FBI)

Mr G. Roylott, England (killed by snake bite)

Mr B. Siegel, Nevada, USA (acute .30 lead poisoning)


HM Revenue and Customs, England (the tax man)

Scotland Yard - London, England


CIA - - "The company", considered a competitor.

Sherlock Holmes, London, England (consultant)

MI6 - - SIS, as they now prefer, ACME's local licensee.


BASF, Bayer, GlaxoSmithKline - (chemicals, drugs)

Estwing, Stanley - (useful hand tool hardware, e.g. hammers and axes)

Hillerich Bradsby - (quality baseball bats)

Glock, Ruger, SigSauer, Webley - (other useful hand tool hardware)

More about the AINTscience politeness rule

I2: Politeness"Externals rule internals."

The politeness rule determines where files relating to customers and other externals go, and what goes where in the directories of the internal departments. The rule is very simple, and effectively prohibits each and every department from holding on to files that concern customers. This is good business sense because:

Q&A about politeness rule

Q: Does this mean that departments cannot have files on customer projects in their own directories, such as Dev/Project_X/ ?

A: Yes, they can't.

Q: Does this mean that the directories of all the company's departments only contain internal files not directly related to any customer?

A: Yes, it does.

Q: Does it mean that the different departments, like e.g. Development has to put files related to suppliers of services, hardware and paper clips under Ext/ ?

A: Yes.

Q: Does it mean that no file related to an external goes in any department's own directory?

A: Yes.

Q: What about employees, where do they go?

A: They ain't internals. Read about them in chapter 5.5.

3.9 More on class 2: Function


Thomas Alva Edison: "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

Second only to identity, function is the AINTscience way to place and look for files. All files are related to some function in the company, and function is a big concept.

Examples of function in a small business context are:

The questions to ask are "What happened to create this file?", or "What is the content of this file created to do (or did)?".

As the green table shows, "Function", "Action" and "Did" all describe this class, but "job", "task", "project", "process", and many other similar words are also descriptive.

Theme, subject or topic versus function or action

Function may be said to be theme, topic or subject based, but the subjects themselves are not the issues of interest.

The front page of Edison's U.S. patent for an "Electric Lamp".

It is the work going on in the company that is the focus of the AINTscience function class. This work constitutes applications of knowledge from many different subjects or topics to the business of the company, but it is the actions rather than the subjects that count in business. It is important to know what to do and how to do it, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

Consider Thomas Alva Edison, one of the western world's most famous inventors. He was a businessman more than he was a scientist. The difference is that the scientist is interested in learning for the purpose of gathering knowledge, while the inventor's interest is in finding ways to do things for the purpose of actually doing them. That is also the businessman's interest in any subject, what it can be used for.

Therefore, while knowledge is important to any businessman, what it is used for, how it is used and the many details and varieties of company actions are the foci of AINTscience's class "Function".


The Wizard of Menlo Park (Edison), made a business out of inventing. A main function of his business would therefore naturally be Inventing/.

He also applied for a lot of patents, which could be considered a sub-function of Inventing, but if he had a specialized IPR-department (Intellectual Property Rights), patenting would be "owned" by that department, e.g. IPR/Patenting/

The various development projects would be sub-directories of Inventing.

Edison also manufactured many of his inventions, and files regarding production should go in directories under e.g. Production/.


More examples

ACME has many function directories. Below is shown the many functions of the Accounts department, labeled Acc/. These are Acc/Accounting/..., Acc/Books/... and more. They may all have sub-functions (not shown).


Other examples are in the Developments department Dev. ACME develops some products of its own, and they are in the Sharp_n_Blunt/ category. One product is called AccuAxe/, and it comes in two variations, SlimJoe/ and WhackMaster/. Note that the directory Sharp_n_Blunt/ would probably be superfluous if AccuAxe/ was the only subdirectory, so it may be assumed that there are other subdirectories (not shown) or files.

New_Ideas/Plans/Current, History, Future/

Further function directories are found in the operations department Ops/. Transportation/ and HW_Maintenance/ are functions under Ops/, but Production/ and Services/ are sub-identities instead of functions because they are sub-departments having a department head and other dedicated employees handling the sub-department's various functions.

Ops/Transportation/Orders/, Reports/, ...YearMonth
HW_Maintenance/Schedules/, Logs/, ...YearMonth
Production/SlimJoe/Schedules/, Logs/, ...YearWeek
WhackMaster/Schedules/, Logs/, ...YearWeek
Services/NoTraceVanish/Orders,/ Reports/, ...Year
Gangland/Orders,/ Reports/, ...Year
NaturalCauses/Orders,/ Reports/, ...Year
Other/Orders,/ Reports/, ...Year

In Production/, the products SlimJoe/ and WhackMaster/ have function directories. Note that there is no AccuAxe/ directory here, because Production/ only has files that are either concerned with the production of SlimJoe/, or WhackMaster/, and not both combined. Likewise, Production/ has no need for a Sharp_n_Blunt/ directory, because other sharps or blunts that Development/ have worked on have never gone to production.

Under Services/, we see the three different main types of contracts ACME performs, as well as an Other/ for some more exotic or specially tailored contracts.

The one-woman-show

In very small companies there are few or no departments. For example in a one woman or one man operation, that single individual does everything, and the department concept has no relevance. However, most of the general functions of e.g. the ACME Accounts department must also be performed in the one woman show. Then an Accounts/ directory may still exist, only this time it is a function, and not a department. The subdirectories of the Accounts directory may be the same in both cases, or not.

Since Accounts/ can be an identity in ACME and a function in a smaller company, there may seem to be no clear demarcation line between identities and functions, but this is less of a problem than it may seem.

Firstly, the definition of an identity allows defining any function as an identity if the function is performed and represented by a live entity that one can relate to by communicating with it and get answers. However, in a one woman show, establishing internal communication routines is likely to be a waste of time.

Secondly, if it is not clear whether a directory represents an identity or a function, it probably doesn't matter one way or the other. All identities perform functions, and if an identity is indistinguishable from a function it performs, it has no bearing on an AINTscience file system which way of looking at it is preferred over the other.

One-spider-show example

Consider "Tina" as an extremely simplified example of file system architecture needs. She is a one spider operation, and has no lasting relationships. The only identity is Tina herself. With only a single identity, there is no need for any identity directory, but the directory Tina/ is implied. Tina has several nets in strategic locations, and she alternates between these operations.

As the table below shows, there are two main functions, Harvesting/ and Construction/, and under Harvesting/ there are three nets in operation. Under Construction/, there is only a single sub-function NetArchitecture/, which houses all files on the details of Tina's architectural achievements. Some non-architecture files, such as spinning quality control and project management, are present (but not shown here) directly under Construction/. NetArchitecture/ serves to separate the architecture files from these non-architecture files.


In a case as simple as Tina, AINTscience may be overkill, but if Tina was a well organized spider with an unusual proficiency in applying information technology, this is how she should do it.


Themes, subjects and topics have an annoyingly persistent tendency to pop up everywhere, and must be dealt with consistently. As described above, it is the actions that constitute business, not the themes, but sometimes it may be hard to see the difference. To clarify this, the theme rule exists:

Fu2: Theme"Theme-likes are functions, or they ain't AINTscience's business."

Note that the wording quite strongly states that if some criterion of classification has striking similarities to a theme, subject or topic, it must represent a function performed by the company. If it does not, it cannot be made part of an AINTscience filesystem.

If a file contains information that is interesting to some department of the company, but does not describe anything the company does, it should go in the company library. Such a library is not a part of AINTscience. (Note that "anything the company does" may include stuff customers do that has bearing on the company business)

Having a general or specialized library may be very useful to a business, but the library files should not be confused with business files.

A simple solution is to create a top level directory alongside AINTscience, named e.g. Themes/, General_themes/, Gen_subjects/, Topics/, Library/, Infobank/ or something along these lines. Within such a Themes/ library, a subject/topic oriented classification scheme should be applied, not AINTscience.

3.10 More on class 3: Form


Leonardo da Vinci, self-portrait

"Form", "Shape" or "What" is a very concrete concept. It differs from the two higher classes "Identity" and "Function" in that it is more or less content neutral.

Form is not about the content of the files, but only about how the content is structured inside the files. There are three types of Form defined by AINTscience:

They are best explained by examples.

Examples of abstract Form


An agreement contains descriptions of items that someone has decided to agree on. It normally identifies all parties, is signed by all, and dated. Whether written on a napkin or a scroll or whatever the electronic equivalents are, neither the items agreed on, who the parties are, the date or the "form" can change the "agreement" property of an agreement.


A picture is a document with two-dimensional visual content. It's complexity, style, coloring, motif, owner, purpose and a number of other factors are irrelevant to a picture being a picture.

Another inventor, Leonardo da Vinci, was also an architect and a scientist, but he is best known for his mastery of form. The two examples shown are a self-portrait, and the drawing called "Vitruvian man", named after the Roman architect Vitruvius.

Other abstract form examples:

All of the above are abstract form criteria, and there are many more. Being abstract, these criteria do not dictate any specific coding, size or other physically related properties. They do imply something about how they originated and what types of functions they can be used for, but without any reference to the goals or subject matter of the functions.

Note that e.g. the abstract form "Meeting agenda" fairly explicitly implies the business practise of having meetings. It does not indicate the purpose of the meetings, however. Board_meeting_agenda" would be both function and form combined, and would be better split into the two levels Board/ and Meeting_agendas/. This indicates that function and form are related, which is probably not a great surprise. The sequence also dictates that in an AINTscience file system, "form follows function" (as the architects say), and never the other way around.

Another type of form criteria are those that deal with e.g. the quantity, quality or complexity of the file form. These are called "Adjective Form", and like adjectives in general, they can in most cases be mapped on a one-dimensional scale.

Examples of Adjective Form


Any type of size can be used, such as file length, or how many Forms of a single type, multiple types etc there are in a file. Example labels are Single/, Double/, Multiple/, Short/, Long/, 1-4/, 5-8/, Small/, Medium/, Large/.


There can be many types of quality, and image files are good examples since they can have varying resolution, compression level, sharpness, etc, all of which are independent of both the actual image content and any quantities involved.

Examples of Format Form

There are hundreds of file formats, such as .html, .pdf, .doc, .jpg etc.

These are generally used to represent different abstract form types of documents, and therefore reflect the structure of these abstract forms in a concrete, logical manner.

Format Form can be recognized and sorted automatically, e.g. like it can be done in Windows Explorer.

The second rule of Form

The three different types of form are typically used to create two or three form sub-levels. Examples are:



The sequence of the sub-levels is given by the second form rule:

FO2: Format"Abstract form is above adjective form is above format."

Like the other three classes of structuring criteria, "Form" alone could be used to classify all files in a filesystem into a fairly large collection of directories. It wouldn't be very useful though, to have one directory for all images, one for all meeting minutes, one for all brochures, etc.

As an example, for a company with a lot of letter-based correspondence with customers, it would be especially problematic having a single directory containing all letters made with one specific word-processor, such as e.g. .odt, .doc or .docx.

3.11 More on class 4: Chronology



Time can be a simple classification criterion. All files have creation time-stamps, and since time is a linear sequence (excepting some of Einstein's not-so-simple ideas), chronological ordering is very easy to understand.

Time is the simplest of the four classes in that it can be used to classify files automatically through the simple mathematical function of comparing numbers representing time, such as the number 200811122105, which could mean November 12, 2008 at five minutes past 9PM.

Herbert George Wells

As the figure above indicates, 200811122105 is smaller than 200812112206, meaning that it is earlier. In this representation, words like the names of months and AM/PM are replaced with values of numbers placed left to right in order of significance, and the result is very easy to handle by or on a computer.

On the other hand, the simplicity of time also means that a time-stamp doesn't hold much information about the content of a file. There may also be more than one time-stamp, typically one for creation, and another for last update.

If a choice between different time stamps must be made, whether one believes in creation or not, when ordering files by chronology, creation date is recommended in AINTscience filesystems.

Herbert George Wells' book "The Time Machine" was first published in 1895. It was the first of its kind, and the idea of time travel has been the subject of many later novels and movies. Some of the author's favorite examples are "Back to the future", "Terminator", "Time bandits" and "Twelve monkeys".

File time stamps represent a virtual form of time travel. The content of books, documents and electronic files are snapshots recording aspects of history, and allow us to look back through time. As technology progresses, looking back keeps getting more real every year.

Charles Darwin


Sequence is a concept that for most business purposes is related to time.

It is said that Wells was inspired by the ideas of Charles Darwin in the work "Origin of the Species", first published in 1859.

Charles Darwin believed in evolution, rather than just creation, and like Carl von Linné's taxonomic work is useful for understanding classification, Darwin's theories can be used for exemplifying the relationship between sequence and time.

According to Wikipedia, human evolution over the last two million years can be described as a sequence of four hominan populations as shown in the simple figure below.

The figure can be intuitively interpreted to mean that the four circles represent hominan populations (species), and the arrows between them mean that there is a sequential dependence from left to right.

If the four populations are ordered alphabetically, the result is shown in the figure below.

In this new figure, the blue are just as valid as in the previous figure, but now they mean that the name on the left of an arrow precedes to one on the right alphabetically and nothing more.

The new figure is confusing, because when discussing Darwin's theory of evolution, we are accustomed to ordering the sequence by time, as in a family tree, and not alphabetically, like in a phone book.

Mapping the sequence on time

The sequence is time based, yet it says nothing about real time. The following table shows how the sequence relates to real time.


The table shows the real time periods5 of how Homo sapiens evolved through the sequence of three previous, consecutive hominan populations, with the width of the columns adjusted to scale.

The competition

Two other hominan populations, Homo erectus and Homo neandertalensis can also be described as sequential evolutions as shown in the three sequences on the right, or combined in a graph as shown below. Neither figure is very complex, and illustrate the simplicity of the sequence concept.

However, if the two other species, the Homo erectus (1.6 - 0.07mya) and the Homo neanderthalensis (0.5 - 0.03mya) and Homo are brought into the time mapping table (below), the picture is not so simple.

The table shows that a total sequence of eight time periods (1-8) is needed for mapping all of the three population sequences, 1-4A, 1-2B, and 1-4C on a common sequence of consecutive time periods.

The mapping is more complex because the different populations span various combinations of time periods, and the populations erectus and neanderthalensis start before the extinction of the populations they evolved from.

In the sequence figures above, the two sequences for Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis are very similar. They both consist of four populations, of which the three first are the same, as the graph/tree also shows. As sequences, they differ only in that the last populations are distinct.

However, if time is taken into account, the Homo sapiens population differs from Homo neanderthalensis in two significant respects. The first is that even though they both share the same ancestors, Homo neanderthalensis started to walk the earth half a million years ago, and Homo sapiens came along between two and three hundred thousand years later. The second difference is smaller, but still the most significant from a sapiens point of view: The last Homo neanderthalensis is believed to have died some 24.000 years ago, while Homo sapiens is the last hominan standing.

Other interesting facts shown in the table are that 1) Homo erectus outlived (in terms of period length) all of the other hominans by a wide margin, and 2) the periods 7 and 8 are almost insignificantly short. On the other hand 70,000 years is still a long time.

The point of all this is to show that sequences that can be mapped on time can be useful simplifications, but the simplification usually loses some real time information that can be significant.

Sequences that cannot be time-mapped

Some sequences cannot be mapped on time. This may be because they transcend time, or simply because time has no bearing on them.

Examples that transcend time

Recurring sequences, such as a series of production steps, a computer program or a piece of music. These sequences are designed to be mapped on time, but the mapping is a plan for future events, that may or may not happen, may happen many times, may happen in different versions etc.

Examples not time related

Pecking orders, such as those given by company organization charts or military ranks are also sequences, but are generally not time related.

The sequence/succession rule

Succession is defined as "the act of following in sequence", and in an AINTscience file system, succession criteria must be placed above time criteria. This is so because sequences are often abstractions of time, and abstractions must always be above what they abstract from.

C2: Succession"Succession is above time."

Sub-levels of time

Time class criteria can be divided into several sub-levels, such as Year, Month, Week, Day etc. The rules of grouping, such as "..whole is above part.." are clearly applicable.

Types of time referencing

The main methods of referring to time are absolute and relative. Absolute references are e.g. year numbers, months etc, while relative references are e.g. "tomorrow", "future", "old".

Technically, even absolute time references are relative to some zero reference, such as the officially standardized birth of Christ. Therefore "absolute" time really refers to points in time specified by a quantified period to a standard reference point, such as the year 1953 AD. (Or alternatively CE for Common Era, while AD is short for Anno Domini, meaning "the year of God" in Latin).

"Relative" references, however, are normally not relative to any fixed point in time, but to some moving target known as "now", "today", "this week", "this year", or even "recently".


Files that are no longer current are often designated as such by moving them to a directory called Old/, History/ or similar. It is important to handle these correctly, otherwise they may cause considerable problems.

In an AINTscience file system, it is not allowed to copy some whole directory tree recursively (copying a whole tree or a part of a tree with sub-directories). There is no special rule for this, but it breaks at least two general rules.

The first is the copy rule. Placing a copy in an AINTscience file system is a lethal sin, and copying directories may have annoying consequences similar to termination of the universe or even inconvenience. Don't place copies in an AINTscience file system.

The second is the sequence rule. Time is at the bottom of the sequence. If a part of a directory that contains form, function or identity directories is moved and given a time-class label like Old/ or History/, this means that time is placed above one or more of the other classes. And that is politically incorrect, sufficient grounds for vile looks, and not AINTscience.

One may ask why this is so bad, and the answer is that breaking the sequence like this creates ambiguities which make it impossible to say exactly where any file is. People will have to start looking in more than one place, and may not find the right file, the right version, find more than one file and wonder which is right and so on.

It is therefore important to separate the two functions of backup and archiving, and do archiving correctly. The AINTscience way to do temporary archiving within the file system is to create archive-directories (e.g. History/, Archive/ or Old/) within each directory where old files should be retired, and then move, not copy, the files to the archive-directory. Note that only files should be moved, not directories.

Much could also be said about backup and archiving, but won't for now since they ain't really AINTscience's business, but only related topics.

3.12 More on AINTscience mnemonics

As described earlier, there are two mnemonics available for helping people remember the sequence, and these are combined in the "NASTy WiDoWW".

The AINTscience sequence

There are two official AINTscience instances of NASTy WiDoWWs: Tina and Belle.

They are both known for, willfully and without mercy, preying on unsuspecting males by enticing them to become partners and then simply relieving them of any vital signs at leisure.

Tina is not as physically intimidating as Belle, the latter having disposed of at least fourteen men, but on the other hand Tina must be given credit for her gruesome thoroughness in taking care of the remains by digesting them personally, and also for being a species and not just a specimen. Both NASTy WiDoWWs are easy to remember, which is why they are AINTscience officials.

Throughout history there has certainly been many more examples of NASTy WiDoWWs than Tina and Belle, and as the keeper of ancient AINTscient truths and traditions this author feels obligated to record and document any other such known creatures of similar or greater notoriety and memorable qualities. Please submit your data on candidates to and be sure to include your personal identity labels, so credit can be given when credit is due. The website and possibly future editions of this document will be updated when appropriate. Please note that, for legal or other reasons, it may not be possible to publish descriptions and data about subjects that are still breathing or recently did so.

Who Did What When?

Another way to remember the sequence by means of the "Who did what when" label is to associate it with your favorite crime detective. Personally, this author's preference is Mr. Sherlock Holmes of 221B Baker Street in London a little over a century ago.

This fictional consulting detective was knowledgeable, persistent, methodical, thorough and obsessive with a keen understanding of human psychology, and most often couldn't care less about other people's views and opinions. All of these being admirable qualities for AINTscience administrators, Mr Holmes' is very suitable for memorably illustrating AINTscience's sequence.


Identifying all possible culprits and determining who actually did some objectionable deed is the classic theme of detective stories. Sometimes this is the main question of importance.

This closely parallels the question of identifying all possible owners of a file and determining which owner is right by process of elimination according to AINTscience rules.

As Sherlock Holmes said several times: "When all other possibilities have been eliminated, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth".


Many crime stories or mysteries hinge on what actually has happened. In Conan Doyle's 56 short stories and 4 novels about Sherlock Holmes, the mystery is often open-ended. It is not even always clear that any crime has been committed, so determining what has actually happened is almost as central as deciding who was involved. This makes Sherlock Holmes stories more realistically unpredictable, varied and multi-faceted than most run-of-the-mill crime fiction.

The AINTscience parallel is that second only to whom it may concern, what function or action a file is for is what the AINTscience user must discover. What happened, what's going on?

Sherlock Holmes was obsessive about discovering precisely what had happened or even what was happening or going to happen. A man of action, "The game is afoot, Watson", is also characteristic of Holmes.


No other fictional detective has been as particular about discovering physical clues as Sherlock Holmes. Apparently it took many years from Conan Doyle published his stories until the police forces around the world started using as much of their resources on physical evidence as Holmes did, if they ever have.

What physical or logical form a file has is the third criterion for finding or placing a file in an AINTscience filesystem.

In 2002, the British Royal Society of Chemistry honored Sherlock Holmes with a Special Honorary Fellowship for being the first detective to exploit chemical science as a means of detection. Holmes was way ahead of his time in his obsession with the details of physical evidence. If electronic files had existed in Victorian England, Holmes would indubitably have been an unequivocal expert on all manner and formats of files and their characteristics and suitability for the intended purposes.


In most crime stories, time of death and alibis seem to be the primary concerns of the police and other detectives. Holmes rarely cares about alibis, but is keenly aware of the importance of timing his own actions. Holmes himself, of course, transcends time. Born January 6, 1854, his exploits take place between 1878 and 1907, and a final case in 1914. However, Holmes is as alive today as in the 1890s.

When was the file created or last updated, what time period does it concern, or what part of a sequence does it belong to?

When did Holmes say: "Elementary, my dear Watson"? He never did, and he did not even use the word "elementary" particularly often. In fact he favored the simplicity of the word "simple". The question "when" is a simple question with simple answers, and that's why it fits in AINTscience.

3.13 The 12 most important rules of AINTscience

AINTscience's 12 most important rules
Rule nameRule text
Ain't Simon"AINTscience says: Do everything AINTscience says."
Copy right"Never place a copy in AINTscience, and copy only from AINTscience."
Simplicity"Things should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."
Identity"Identity is #1."
Function"Function is #2."
Form"Form is #3."
Chronology"Chronology is #4."
Class"#1 is not below #2 is not below #3 is not below #4, and never forget it."
Sub-level"Divide and rule."
Grouping"General is above special, whole is above part, and main is above branch."
I2: Politeness"Externals rule internals."
Fu2: Theme"Theme-likes are functions, or they ain't AINTscience's business."

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