The three object relationships defined by what is and what is not an object a, b and c form a counting ring. Counting corresponds with rotating a pair of rings from one object relationship to the next, erasing the distinction between the objects in the counted relationship object to mark that it has been counted (/ /) and recording the counting by drawing a new relationship object defined by the next object pair in the ring.

Counting an object corresponds with one rotation step. Three rotation steps reverses the positions of the rings. Six counting steps restores the rings to their starting positions.

Rotation of the counting rings erases one distinction and draws another, just as when counting sheep (a) into tally marks (b) and then into abacus beads (c). The total number counted is conserved through each step.