The Acoustic Instruments


I have no credentials that might charitably imply that I could ever possibly pull off the allegory that I shall now attempt. Any insights gained by you, gentle reader, are most likely either coincidental, serendipitous or illusory.


Homo Sapiens have lived in small groups of mostly extended family members for most of our existence on this planet. Our social conventions show evidence of these relationships regardless of local cultural norms.

Humans are tribal.

We believe that the escapades of our friends and family are of some consequence in the larger world.
We believe that we have the simple answers to life's most important questions.
We believe that people we don't know are somehow less than fully human.
We believe that we 'know' celebrities.

These are not the civilized views of a "world citizen". These are the parochial views of a creature with an "us versus them" attitude. We are the product of our up-bringing as a species. We survived by exploiting the adaptability of the group over the adaptability of the individual. Our closest competitor was the wolf and we humans can endure much more climatic variation by joining together to create our own artificial environments.

Physically, our tribe is the group of people that we can touch in a 'casual' (non-professional, non-emergency) situation. Local taboo may make touching uncommon outside the nuclear family, but your tribe are the people you would touch if you could.

We are partial to people who can improve our own mental, physical or emotional situation. This isn't necessarily purely exploitative, it is mostly just common sense. The easiest way to avoid people who will ruin your life is to stick with people who improve it.

Co-workers may or may not improve your life. This is a common source of problems in the business world. It might be helpful if people could be assembled into working groups by matching strengths and weaknesses. This would put the group onto a more tribal state of mind. Knowing who should take the lead in typical situations would be helpful. One person can't make the best decision in every situation with out a little help or a lot of luck. If everyone has the same skill set, there is nothing to compensate for group weaknesses. The tricky part is assessing relevant talents accurately.

We do have non-tribal acquaintances (such as the cashier at your local gas station), which is a new wrinkle resulting from our recent experiment with the trappings of 'civilization', but most of us consider them to be 'ghosts'. Some may have power and some may be beneficent or maleficent, but most are just indifferent outside of the shared environment. At the end of the day they fade from our consciousness as quickly as the after-image from a single candle in a well lit room.

This design will focus more on the "extended tribe" of the business world rather than the "personal tribe" of the social world. The extended tribe has been made possible by (and necessary for) civilization and now includes a bewildering variety of specialized skills unimaginable to our unwashed ancestors. We shall attempt to show how these skills break down into the archetypical tribal castes.

This design uses the following eight Types:

Outward Looking Castes

Chief - The Alpha

In an emergency, someone has to be in charge. The Chief is the default leader and the person who designates the ad hoc leader for every common situation. A leader who cannot delegate squanders the major advantage of tribal teamwork.

Hunter / Gatherer

The people who go out and find things needed by the tribe. 

In the modern world, 'Salesman' is the best example. Salesmen find 'customers'. Customers are the natural prey of the business oriented tribe. Most customers are caught in the wild because they are difficult to domesticate properly. Domesticated customers are called 'clients'.


The people who know the most about common things.

Elders are "inward interested", but they watch for danger both from within and without. They are the ones who preserve the traditions of the tribe.


They only look like people. They are as dangerous as the wolves, and not nearly as clean. This category includes everyone who is neither part of the tribe or nor a mystical authority figure (like a celebrity).

In the modern business world, the Stranger brings esoteric knowledge which may be dangerous or useful or both.

Inward Looking Castes


The person who specializes in uncommon knowledge. This has become less a part of the "personal tribe" because of the amount of specialized information available. In the modern world every doctor and lawyer has "secret knowledge" that is seldom shared with the laity.

If you have a friend that helps you with technical, medical or legal matters, that person is your personal Shaman.

Potter / Weaver

The people who make things.

These are people who have skills useful to society at large. In the modern world every dental assistant and plumber has "secret knowledge" that is seldom shared with the laity.


The people who are learning things. Youth become apprentices and move into more specialized roles as they age.

Youth are usually "outward looking", but they don't always have the expertise needed to properly interpret their impressions of "the big picture" (sorry, but it is true). They are "outward interested", but primarily focused on securing acceptance as adults within the tribe.

Oaf - The Omega

Half-People who will never grow beyond their current limited abilities. Kept as long as they are harmless and useful.

Slaves are also considered to be in this caste regardless of their actual intelligence or skills. One of the reasons that slavery does not work (besides the horrendous psychological toll upon the humanity of both the slave and the slave owner), is that intelligent talented slaves will work tirelessly to sabotage any system that keeps them fettered.

True Oafs, on the other hand, accept their place and work hard to remain useful to the tribe. In gaming terms, these are the "Non-Player Characters" (NPCs) and they are treated as such.

A 'false' Oaf is someone who's primary skills are seen as useless to the tribe. Ideally false Oafs leave to start their own tribes. This is why the majority of the Earth's dry surface became infested with humans before the invention of the wheel.

This block would require the Business, Law, Education, Employment and Leisure laths. That would put it somewhere in the #67 Specialization area.

The terms are organized into four tables, each containing four sub-tables (or banks) which consist of sixteen cells. Each cell contains a command, a keyword or a link depending on usage.  The headings before the four tables below and the (unique) element combinations that define each sub-table's purpose show the Outward Looking divisions. The four dark rows within each table separate the the sub-categories or banks and contain the (repeating) four Inward Looking element combinations that define the meaning of each individual cell.

This design only shows positive terms. Negative terms would be the opposite of each 'passive' term listed below. If the term is 'active', the negative form will invoke the function or be used to capture the state or current Value.

Cell #00 contains the name of this block of terms, it is used to create the Specialization "Table of Contents". If you select cell #00, you will lock-in this block of terms and you will need to unplug Command Mode to exit, even if these terms aren't commands. I can't think of a reason to select cell #00 that doesn't involve using the Table of Contents to lock-in this block of terms, so I don't see this as a problem.

The "Unskilled Labor" sub-table is the default because that is where the bulk of human beings actually fit. Unfortunately, Unskilled Labor is becoming an atrophied vestigial appendage within the modern automated workplace. I don't know what this betokens for the hod carriers of the world, but it is likely that it won't be pleasant.

The Unskilled Labor sub-table contains the "Left Hand Only" indices (#0[0-F]). The "Right Hand Only" indices are the first (#[0-F]0) commands in each sub-table. Notice also that '5' and 'D' are the most awkward finger combinations so they are used for less critical events (ideally).

The first table does not have either the Hunter / Gatherer or Chief Types. This table contains jobs related to "Skilled Trades". These are the people who keep the physical infrastructure working and growing. Their ranks have had to acquire more complex and diverse skills as technology has advanced.

Unskilled Labor

(no elements)

Youth Both

#00 - Job Classifications
#01 - Oaf #02 - Youth #03 - grocery bagger.
#04 - assembly line worker
#05 - bearer #06 - construction worker
#07 - roustabout
#08 - farm laborer
#09 - Sherpa
#0A - messenger
#0B - custodian
Both #0C - miner #0D - busboy #0E - Chimney Sweep #0F - apprentice



Oaf Youth Both

#10 - brick layer
#11 - ditch digger
#12 - stock clerk
#13 - wildcat oil driller
Potter/Weaver #14 - office clerk #15 - stevedore #16 - Dry-cleaning or Laundry
#17 - typist

Shaman #18 - Ventilation, Heating, Air-Conditioning
#19 - Foundry worker
#1A - Architectural or Structural
#1B - Cement or Concrete Product Worker
Both #1C - farmer #1D - ranch hand

#1E - cashier

#1F - baker



Oaf Youth Both

#20 - plumber

#21 - Leather or Hide Tanning #22 - Computer Programmer
#23 - Machinist
Potter/Weaver #24 - carpenter
#25 - Grain or Oilseed Milling #26 - Wood Product Worker
#27 - court stenographer
Shaman #28 - Motor Vehicle repair
#29 - Apparel Worker
#2A -Forging or Stamping #2B - Glass or Glass Product
Both #2C - Robot Repair Technician #2D -Animal Slaughtering or Processing #2E - utility worker
#2F - Specialty Trade Contractor

Master Craftsman


Oaf Youth Both

#30 - Materials Scientist #31 - Waste Resource Management
#32 - Electronic Technician
#33 - Airline Pilot, Copilot, or Flight Engineer
Potter/Weaver #34 - Nuclear Technician #35 - finish carpenter #36 - Remote Sensing Technician #37 - Textile Product Miller
Shaman #38 - Chemical Worker
#39 - Iron or Steel worker #3A - Ship or Boat Building #3B - Aerospace Product or Parts Worker
Both #3C - Animal Food Worker #3D - Coroner
#3E - Animal Scientist #3F - Surgeon

The second table has the Hunter / Gatherer. This table contains skills related to service jobs. These skills were shared among almost all members of prehistoric tribes, and they have become the largest component of the modern economy.

Wait Staff

(no elements)

Youth Both

#40 - wait staff
#41 - wholesale sales
#42 - retail sales #43 - Securities or Commodity clerk
#44 - flight attendant
#45 - Chiropractors
#46 - short order cook
#47 - tour guide
#48 - Forester
#49 - Market Research Analyst
#4A - Anesthesiologist
#4B - Library Technician
Both #4C - Petroleum Technician
#4D - insurance salesman
#4E - real estate salesman #4F - master chef



Oaf Youth Both

#50 - solder
#51 - mall cop
#52 - lifeguard #53 - private security
Potter/Weaver #54 - sailor #55 - policeman
#56 - fireman #57 - coast guard

Shaman #58 - pilot
#59 - detective #5A - smoke jumper
#5B - Fish and Game Wardens
Both #5C - astronaut
#5D - Forensic Science Technicians

#5E - search and rescue

#5F - Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)



Oaf Youth Both

#60 - beautician

#61 - Sociologist
#62 - Elementary or Secondary Teacher
#63 - Legal Services
Potter/Weaver #64 - Chemical Technician
#65 -Death Care Services #66 - bookie #67 - Funds, Trusts, and Other Financial Vehicles
Shaman #68 - Agricultural Technician #69 - Social Scientist #6A - Call Centers
#6B - Biological Technician
Both #6C - nurse (LVN) #6D - Travel Agent
#6E - nurse (RN)
#6F - surgical nurse



Oaf Youth Both

#70 - guru #71 -Survey Researcher #72 - School Psychologist
#73 - dentist
Potter/Weaver #74 - Microbiologist
#75 - Transportation Planner #76 - College, University, and Professional Instructor
#77 - doctor
Shaman #78 - Anthropologist or Archeologist #79 - Economist
#7A - Zoologist
#7B - lawyer
Both #7C - Clinical Psychologist
#7D - bartender #7E - Epidemiologist
#7F - psychiatrist

The third table has the Chief Type. This table contains jobs related to management positions.


(no elements)

Youth Both

#80 - boss
#81 - thug
#82 - Athletic Trainer #83 - Freight and Cargo Inspector
#84 - Physical Education Instructor
#85 - enforcer
#86 - camp counselor
#87 - foreman
#88 - Judge or Magistrate
#89 - Fraud Examiner Investigator or Analyst
#8A - Social Advocacy
#8B - Administrative Law Judge, Adjudicator, or Hearing Officer
Both #8C - Probation Officer
#8D - film director
#8E - Health & Safety inspector
#8F - mayor



Oaf Youth Both

#90 - Range Manager
#91 - assembly line supervisor
#92 - Scoutmaster #93 - Accountant
Potter/Weaver #94 - Engineering Manager
#95 - Warden
#96 - Principal
#97 - Computer and Information Systems Manager

Shaman #98 - Compensation and Benefits Manager
#99 - Human Resources Manager #9A - Industrial Safety and Health Engineer
#9B - Agent or Business Manager
Both #9C - City and Regional Planning Aide
#9D - project management

#9E - Medical and Health Services Manager

#9F - Chief Executive Officer (CEO)



Oaf Youth Both

#A0 - Finance and Insurance adviser #A1 - Coach
#A2 - Educational, Vocational, and School Counselor
#A3 - Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping, and Payroll Services
Potter/Weaver #A4 - efficiency expert
#A5 - prostitute
#A6 - Graduate Teaching Assistant
#A7 - Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Service
Shaman #A8 - Cleric
#A9 - Masseuse #AA - teacher #AB - Mental Health Counselor
Both #AC - Genetic Counselor
#AD - Occupational Therapist
#AE - hazmat abatement
#AF - Quality Control Analyst



Oaf Youth Both

#B0 - Rehabilitation Counselor

#B1 - Historian #B2 - Counseling Psychologist #B3 - Arbitrators, Mediators, and Conciliators
Potter/Weaver #B4 - Business Process Management (BPM) specialist
#B5 - fashion designer
#B6 - Urban and Regional Planner #B7 - research scientist
Shaman #B8 - Motivational speaker #B9 - criminal mastermind #BA - tutor #BB - Methodology Engineer
Both #BC - Legislators
#BD - Environmental Engineer
#BE - Energy Engineer
#BF - Political Theorist

The fourth table has the Hunter / Gatherer and Chief Types. This table contains jobs related to creative or exploratory leadership. These are the people who work more often with ideas than with physical objects.


(no elements)

Youth Both

#C0 - actor
#C1 - comedian
#C2 - dancer
#C3 - magician
#C4 - jeweler
#C5 - Photographer
#C6 - Architectural Drafter
#C7 - Database Administrator
#C8 - singer #C9 - Curator
#CA - Animator
#CB - Massage Therapist
Both #CC - Copy Writer
#CD - Professional Athlete
#CE - model #CF - musician



Oaf Youth Both

#D0 - Civil Engineer #D1 - Geographer #D2 - Cartographer #D3 - Ethnographer
Potter/Weaver #D4 - Biologist
#D5 - Structural Engineer
#D6 - Surveyor
#D7 - Actuary

Shaman #D8 - Astronomer
#D9 - Hydrologist
#DA - Cytotechnologist #DB - Surveyor
Both #DC - Neuropsychologist
#DD - Manufacturing Engineers #DE - Electronics Engineer #DF - Physicist



Oaf Youth Both

#E0 - Mathematical Technician

#E1 - Museum Technician
#E2 - Choreographer #E3 - Occupational Health and Safety Specialist
Potter/Weaver #E4 - Chemist #E5 - Landscaper #E6 - Aeronautic Engineer #E7 - Systems Architect
Shaman #E8 - Biochemists and Biophysicist
#E9 - Public Relations Manager
#EA - Marine Architect
#EB - Logistician
Both #EC - Anthropologist
#ED - Economist
#EE - recording engineer
#EF - Aerospace Engineer



Oaf Youth Both

#F0 - Interior Designer #F1 - Transportation and Warehousing
#F2 - Telecommunication
#F3 - Data Processing, Hosting, and Related Service
Potter/Weaver #F4 - Network Designer
#F5 - Urban Transit System #F6 - Jewelry and Silverware designer
#F7 - Engineering Service
Shaman #F8 - Broadcast News Analyst
#F9 - Graphic Designer
#FA - Business Systems Design #FB - Scientific Research and Development Service
Both #FC - Set and Exhibit Designer
#FD - Set Designer #FE - Computer Systems Design #FF - toymaker (like me)

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