Hierarchy  

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Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions is an 1884 novella by Edwin Abbott Abbott, still popular among mathematics and computer science students, and considered useful reading for people studying topics such as the concept of other dimensions. As a piece of literature, Flatland is respected for its satire on the social hierarchy of Victorian society.
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Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions is an 1884 novella by Edwin Abbott Abbott, still popular among mathematics and computer science students, and considered useful reading for people studying topics such as the concept of other dimensions. As a piece of literature, Flatland is respected for its satire on the social hierarchy of Victorian society.
Pyramid of Capitalist System, anonymous American cartoon (1911)
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Pyramid of Capitalist System, anonymous American cartoon (1911)
Detail of Sistine Chapel fresco Creation of the Sun and Moon by Michelangelo (completed 1512), , a well-known example of the depiction of God the Father in Western art.
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Detail of Sistine Chapel fresco Creation of the Sun and Moon by Michelangelo (completed 1512), , a well-known example of the depiction of God the Father in Western art.

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A hierarchy (Greek: hierarchia (ἱεραρχία), from hierarches, "leader of sacred rites", ultimately from hieros, sacred) is an arrangement of items (objects, names, values, categories, etc.) in which the items are represented as being "above," "below," or "at the same level as" one another. Abstractly, a hierarchy can be modelled mathematically as a tree structure.

Almost every system within the world is arranged hierarchically. By their common definitions, every nation has a government and every government is hierarchical. Socioeconomic systems are stratified into a social hierarchy (the social stratification of societies), and all systematic classification schemes are hierarchical. Most organized religions operate as a hierarchy under God. Families are viewed as a hierarchical structure in terms of cousinship, ancestry (as depicted in a family tree) and inheritance. All the requisites of a well-rounded life and lifestyle can be organized using Maslow's hierarchy of human needs. Learning must often follow a hierarchical scheme. Even nature itself has its own hierarchies, as demonstrated in numerous schemes such as Linnaean taxonomy, the organization of life, and biomass pyramids. Hierarchies are so infused into daily life that they are viewed as trivial.

Most library classification systems are also hierarchical. The Dewey Decimal System is regarded as infinitely hierarchical because there is no finite bound on the number of digits can be used after the decimal point.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Hierarchy" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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