Wednesday, October 22, 2014

62nd Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture and GS Symposium- October 24-26, 2014

If you're in New York City or environs this weekend, the Institute of General Semantics is holding its annual Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture on Friday, October 24 featuring Jack El-Hai, author of a very interesting biography of one of Korzybski's students, psychiatrist Douglas M. Kelley, M. D. The lecture will be followed by a weekend symposium, Making Sense Through Time-Binding, which looks to have many thought-provoking presentations. Although I will not be going this year, many friends will attend, and if I lived closer I would definitely try to make it there.

Two of my friends from India will be honored with the J. Talbott Winchell Award for their work in promoting and teaching GS in India through the Balvant K. Parekh Centre for General Semantics and Other Human Sciences. Prafulla Kar, Director of the Centre, and Devkumar Trivedi will receive the award jointly. Professor Kar, the able administrator of the Centre's programs has developed a network of people and programs throughout India for teaching GS. Mr. Trivedi, a long time friend of the late Balvant K. Parekh—who introduced GS in modern times to India—is the lead Korzybskian-GS lecturer at the Centre's educational programs. My wife Susan and myself are among those who have previously received the prestigious Winchell Award and we both send our hearty congratulations to Prafulla and Dev for their well-deserved honor.

The Institute's 2014 Book Prize will go to 
Elizabeth Kolbert 

for her book The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, a current look at depredations to the natural environment perhaps significantly caused by human action. Will the so-called sixth extinction include us? William Vogt, an early environmentalist noted for his book, The Road to Survival, applied GS in his 1948 analysis of ecological damage already taking place and was an early pioneer of environmentalism, a subject close to Korzybski's heart. So this book prize certainly seems appropriate for anyone interested in long term time-binding. Her book, which I haven't yet read, looks excellent. Congratulations to Elizabeth Kolbert, from an earlier Book Prize winner.  

Mary Lahman, Professor of Communication Studies at Manchester University and author of the book Awareness & Action: A General Semantics Approach to Effective Language Behavior will receive The 2014 Sanford I. Berman Award for Excellence in Teaching General Semantics. Dr. Lahman, worked with Professor Greg Thompson and former IGS Director, Steve Stockdale to produce a highly successful, free web-based GS course for the Canvas Network. Congratulations to Professor Lahman for her great contribution. 

I'm sorry that I won't be there to meet Jack El-Hai 
and hear him discuss his book, The Nazi and the Psychiatrist: Hermann Göring, Dr. Douglas M. Kelley, and a Fatal Meeting of Minds at the End of WWII. Kelley studied with Korzybski, before the war, and as I wrote in Helping Soldiers and Veterans Readjust did important work during World War II applying GS to rehabilitate soldiers in the European Theatre of War suffering from PTSD, what was then referred to as "combat exhaustion". Immediately after the war, Kelley still in the U.S. Army was assigned to the prison at Nuremberg to interview high level Nazi prisoners, like Herman Göring, being held there. Presumably, Kelley's job was to help ensure that the German prisoners stayed healthy enough to be able to attend their trial. Kelley saw his job as a psychiatrist mainly to study the men in order to understand what led them to commit their crimes. Kelley left after the first month of the trial. His book 22 Cells in Nuremberg: A Psychiatrist Examines the Nazi Criminals, written soon afterwards, remains well worth reading. 

El-Hai covers the story of Kelley's developing friendship with 
Göring (he and another physician weaned Göring from his addiction to heroin). Afterwards, El-Hai traces Kelley's outwardly successful career as an academic psychiatrist and criminologist and his gradual descent into alcoholism and madness over the next ten years. (Kelley killed himself in front of his family in 1958 by swallowing cyanide—the method that Göring used at Nuremberg Prison.) I learned of Kelley's suicide years before, and, as others at the Institute then did, wondered at what could have happened to one of Korzybski's most promising students. El-Hai, given access to Kelley's papers and archives by Kelley's son, provides the story of Kelley's downfall—in dramatic and compelling detail.

El-Hai did fall down in his limited and sometimes inaccurate treatment of Korzybski and of the role of GS in Kelley's life, thus missing much of the deeper tragedy of the psychiatrist, who could not apply the principles of sanity that he espoused to himself and his own personal quandaries. As El-Hai's book suggests, Kelley seemed burdened by difficult and disturbing questions about himself and others as a result of his encounter with the Nazi prisoners, especially Göring. Encounters with serious psychopaths/sociopaths can do that. (The study of psychopaths/sociopaths—still controversial, but highly relevant to the Nazis that Kelley met—had just gotten off the ground with the 1941 pioneering work, The Mask of Sanity, by another of Korzybski's seminar students, psychiatrist Hervey Cleckley.) I felt a slight sinking sensation when I read El-Hai's description of general semantics as 'the use of words and their meanings to shape behavior'. El-Hai's relative neglect of a study (Korzybski's GS) that was so important to Kelley, leaves a hole in his book, for those familiar with Korzybski's work. Still, this book will remain important and useful for anyone interested in the history of GS and a tragic reminder that talking and writing eloquently about GS is not enough. No amount of intellectualizing will do. Sometimes even the best of us require help, sometimes a great deal of help—perhaps with medication too—to apply it (a life-long endeavor). Kelley looked into an abyss when he met and befriended Göringthe abyss looked back, and eventually it swallowed him whole.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Chapter 25 - "The Brotherhood Of Doctrines": Part 3 - Fate and Feedback

Korzybski: A Biography (Free Online Edition)
Copyright © 2014 (2011) by Bruce I. Kodish 
All rights reserved. Copyright material may be quoted verbatim without need for permission from or payment to the copyright holder, provided that attribution is clearly given and that the material quoted is reasonably brief in extent.

Alfred saw huge implications in Keyser’s psychological approach to mathematics, not only for mathematical/scientific practice but for understanding and dealing with problems of human behavior in general. Logical fate highlighted the role of doctrines, not only in science and mathematics but also in personal life. As part of what Korzybski was calling his physiological point of view, an individual’s internally-held postulates (doctrines, beliefs, etc.) significantly determined that individual’s behavior, affecting their ‘emotions’, physiology, etc. To apply this postulational approach, (a sine qua non of human engineering for Alfred) a person would have to look within, i.e., make a detailed internal self-examination of his attitudes in the manner, for example, Alfred had used to examine and challenge his own previous antisemitic views. As he had already formulated in his “spiral theory” in the Biology Appendix in Manhood, ‘thought’ influenced physiology and behavior and, thereby, subsequent ‘thought’. 

The notion of logical fate did not provide a fully detailed theory of psychology. But what it suggested clashed with the stimulus-response approach of environmental determinism (behaviorism) becoming more and more popular in psychology departments around the United States in the first half of the 20th century. Alfred would early and openly criticize behaviorism. Despite this, he also later sought to show the connection of his formulations to those of Pavlov (as well as to those of Freud).

Unfortunately, a psychological theory adequate for accommodating Korzybski’s work did not appear until some twenty years after his death, with perceptual control theory (PCT), William T. Powers’ rigorous application of feedback theory to human behavior first published in book form in 1973 in Powers’ Behavior: The Control of Perception. According to PCT, every human (indeed every living thing)—as a negative feedback control system—controls his or her own inputs or perceptions, i.e., behaves in such a way so as to establish intended states of affairs. Circular—more exactly, spiral—causation governs its workings. Continuous signals from the environment (negative feedback) are received and compared to an intention; behavior then ongoingly gets modified as needed to produce the intended state. Simply stated: “We act to bring about (or maintain) what we want.”(6) What we want (our intentions/purposes/goals) are arranged in a hierarchy of increasing complexity and generality. For humans, the highest levels of intention—those of what Powers calls Principles and Systems Concepts (one’s basic beliefs, doctrines, self-image, etc.)—provide the most general formulations of what we want and so direct a person’s general behavior in order to produce the desired perceptions—logical fate redux. If anything, the ‘response’ controls the ‘stimulus’ not the other way around.

Korzybski, who had long emphasized the importance of circular causation in human behavior (his spiral theory), grabbed onto the notion of feedback when he became aware of it in the late 1940s, calling Norbert Wiener’s elaboration of it in Cybernetics “a turning-leaf in the history of human evolution and socio-cultural adjustment.”(7) But during his lifetime, as the stimulus-response model became pervasive in academic psychology and elsewhere, Korzybski’s work seemed destined to appeal mostly to those students of human behavior who rejected behaviorism.

While Alfred was pondering the implications of the premise that we are guided by our premises, he and Mira were preparing to leave their physical premises in southern California. Since Ritter had left La Jolla in mid-March for business in Berkeley and Washington, Alfred’s main reason for staying at the Scripps Institute—his conferences with Ritter—had disappeared. Then too, he felt frustrated with the attitudes of many of the other biologists at Scripps, who didn’t seem to get what he was driving at—except for George McEwen. Alfred had loaned him a copy of Mathematical Philosophy and McEwen seemed smitten. Alfred wanted to promote 
Mathematical Philosophy as much as he could. He was passing out and mailing flyers for Keyser’s book, and discussing it at every opportunity in letters and in person. But given that Keyser had bestowed so much attention to Alfred’s work, Alfred did not think it wise for him to submit his own review of the book to a major publication like Science. Instead, he and McEwen came up with a plan to write a joint review (Alfred would mainly guide and advise) that they would submit to Science under McEwen’s name. They began to meet about the project.

Toward the end of March, Alfred also had a five-hour interview with H. L. (Roy) Haywood, an ex-minister and Freemason living in National City, just south of San Diego. Haywood had become the editor of The Builder, a nationally-published monthly journal for students of Freemasonry published by the National Masonic Research Society in Animosa, Iowa. Haywood, who was planning to move to Animosa, had learned about Korzybski from his friends the Gronbergs, owners of the Artemsia Book Shop in San Diego, who arranged for the two men to meet. They became lifelong friends with Roy later serving as one of the editorial readers of Science and Sanity. Haywood was much taken both with the notions of time-binding and of logical fate. Alfred gave him a copy of Manhood, which Haywood reviewed in the August 1922 issue of 
The Builder. Alfred also had a copy of Mathematical Philosophy sent to Haywood who read it enthusiastically and reviewed it for the October 1922 issue. For Haywood, the connection between Freemasonry and Korzybski’s and Keysers’s work seemed clear.(8)

By the beginning of April, Mira and Alfred’s plans were set. They would head east at the end of the month. Mira had some business in Los Angeles and preceded Alfred there, staying at the Gates Hotel. Alfred left his cabin on the beach about a week later, traveling to Los Angeles with McEwen, with whom he had a number of meetings during his first week in the city. The two men read Keyser’s book together and worked on McEwen’s review for Science. Alfred also spoke at a meeting of the Southwestern Philosophical Association at Occidental College. After McEwen’s return to La Jolla, Alfred and Mira busied themselves with packing and with meetings and visits with friends.

Harry Bateman of the Caltech Math department had invited Alfred to speak there in mid-April. Alfred addressed about two dozen faculty and students from the math, physics, and chemistry departments. He wrote to Keyser about his lecture and about one of the scientists he met there, Paul Epstein, who had recently come to Caltech from Europe to teach theoretical physics:
I hope my lecture was a success. I spoke one hour and half, but nobody did want to go away, and I had to speak more. Comments of Bateman and Epstein were very favorable. Bateman is a Cambridge man. Epstein is a Polish Jew educated in Germany a friend of Einstein and a new star on the physicomathematical firmament, his discoveries in the quantum theory, I was told by Millikan are epoch making. Of course he is a relativist, but I was amazed to find his “philosophy” has not been affected at all by the theory of relativity, he still is a mixture of an absolutist and a relativist. I had to speak about the Einstein revolution as well, and I was told a complement by E. that I said things that were new to him. (9) 

During this time, Alfred also made a trip to the town of Fullerton, south of Los Angeles, to tour a gasoline processing plant there run by the redundantly named Texas Gasoline Company of Texas. ‘Naturally’ the company had its headquarters in San Diego where Alfred and Mira had become friendly with Frank Avery, the secretary of the company, and Avery’s wife Sally. Alfred and Mira met with them socially and also became interested in investing in the enterprise which had at least two processing plants, the one in Fullerton and the other actually in Texas. Alfred had a friendly correspondence with both Avery, and J. Arthur Thompson, an L.A. real estate developer, who served as the company’s Vice President. Alfred and Mira had even looked into getting a bank loan, using some of Mira’s stock certificates in other companies as collateral, in order to get the money needed to become stockholders. But it doesn’t appear that they made the investment. They did maintain contact with the Averys, however. Within the next decade, Frank died but the Korzybskis continued to correspond with Sally, who later came east to visit them when they lived in Brooklyn. Finally on April 23, Alfred and Mira, with their 775 pounds of luggage, boarded the Atcheson, Topeka, and Santa Fe bound for Salt Lake City, through Denver, to Kansas City, Missouri. (10)

You may download a pdf of all of the book's reference notes (including a note on primary source material and abbreviations used) from the link labeled Notes on the Contents page. The pdf of the Bibliography, linked on the Contents page contains full information on referenced books and articles. 
6. Robertson, p. 230. Korzybski would have felt delighted to know that his work influenced Powers, who wrote the following to me on 11/17/2009: 
“...when I was in high school, a hopeless SF [science fiction] addict, I read A. E. van Vogt’s The World of Null-A and was intrigued to find that the chapter quotes were from a real book, Science and Sanity by our mutual friend. I rushed to the library and read the whole thing, and from then on, the word was not the object and the map was not the territory. I took courses in General Semantics in college from Lee and Hayakawa. These experiences had a definite influence on my thinking when the development of PCT [Perceptual Control Theory] began, in around 1953.” Comment on “Historic Breakthrough Promises Major Progress Throughout the LifeSciences” 
7. Korzybski qtd. by M. Kendig in “Book Comments”, General Semantics Bulletin 1 & 2, p. 46. 

 8. “Introduction by the Editor of “The Brotherhood of Doctrines”. The Builder Magazine, April 1924, Volume X – Number 4 in Alfred Korzybski Collected Writings, p. 53. 

9. AK to C. J. Keyser, 4/23/1922. AKDA 8.326. 

10. “775 pounds of luggage”, Jas. B. Duffy (Atcheson, Topeka and Santa Fe General Passenger Agent) to AK, 5/11/1922. AKDA 8.214. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Chapter 25 - "The Brotherhood Of Doctrines": Part 2 - Mathematical Philosophy

Korzybski: A Biography (Free Online Edition)
Copyright © 2014 (2011) by Bruce I. Kodish 
All rights reserved. Copyright material may be quoted verbatim without need for permission from or payment to the copyright holder, provided that attribution is clearly given and that the material quoted is reasonably brief in extent.

At the end of February, Dutton published Keyser’s book Mathematical Philosophy: A Study of Fate and Freedom. Keyser sent a copy to Korzybski at once. Despite being especially busy—with speaking engagements in Los Angeles and with whatever he had to do to help Mira set up a painting exhibit at the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego—Alfred had nearly completed his first reading and marking of it by March 10. (1)

He had already seen the manuscript and table of contents, having quoted from it in Manhood. Nonetheless, reading the completed work seemed like a revelation. The force of his response was not only a function of his gratitude to Keyser for devoting the next-to-last chapter of the book to a discussion of “Korzybski’s Concept of Man”. Keyser—in his discussion of “logical fate”—had revealed to Alfred an essential aspect of the foundation of time-binding. The formulation would help Alfred begin to unify the numerous influences he had been absorbing over the past year. The notion of “logical fate” (logical destiny) formed the nucleus of two articles he would write over the following year, and would continue to guide the development of his work thereafter.

Mathematical philosophy, as Keyser indicated in the subtitle of his book, could be viewed as “the study of Fate and Freedom—logical fate and intellectual freedom.” What did this logical ‘fate’ or ‘destiny’ and the corresponding intellectual freedom consist of? As Keyser had described it:
…[I]t is in the world of ideas and only there that human beings as human may find principles or bases for rational theories and rational conduct of life,...; choices differ but some choice of principles we must make if we are to be really human—if, that is, we are to be rational—and when we have made it, we are at once bound by a destiny of consequences beyond the power of passion or will to control or modify; another choice of principles is but the election of another destiny. The world of ideas is, you see, the empire of Fate. (2) 

As his discussion in his chapter on Korzybski indicated, Keyser seemed particularly impressed by Korzybski’s notion of time-binding. In Manhood of Humanity—without having formulated it clearly himself—Korzybski had shown the mechanism of ‘logical fate’ at work in his discussion of the pernicious effects of specific false principles about humans and of the need to choose a new, more accurate base—time-binding—for the rational conduct of human life. What we humans think, and think about ourselves, makes a difference in how we behave. Manhood of Humanity provided a particularly significant example of such fate and freedom in human affairs.

In his book, Keyser—who had studied the history of mathematics for some time and had an interest in the thought processes of mathematicians—discussed various basic formulations in mathematics (postulates and postulational systems, doctrinal functions, transformation, invariance, groups, variables and limits, infinity, hyperspaces, non-euclidean geometries, etc.). Keyser demonstrated how mathematics—as the exemplar of logical fate—involved a consummate effort to make conscious and to work out the implications of particular starting principles or postulates. His chapter on “Non-Euclidean Geometry” seemed particularly clear about this.

For more than two thousand years, Euclid’s geometry had been considered ‘the’geometry of this world. Euclid’s axioms, viewed as ‘self-evident’, included this postulate: through any point outside of a line, only one other parallel line can be drawn. The absolutistic nature of this assumption was finally challenged in the 19th Century by several mathematicians such as Bolyai, Lobachevski, and Riemann. These men found they could create equally consistent and valid non-euclidean geometries by postulating either no parallel lines or an indefinite number of them. The resultant revolution in mathematics entailed a greater recognition of the freedom of humans in creating their starting postulates or assumptions. The propositions of Euclid represented not ‘the’ geometry of this world but rather a geometry, one among many. Indeed, relativity-oriented physicists had found the non-euclidean geometries to more closely approximate some features of the world than the euclidean did.

Korzybski could see quite clearly: logical fate and the time-binding shift from euclidean to non-euclidean geometry exemplified a general process in human life. Man was a doctrinal creature. From our postulates, i.e., our assumptions, premises, presuppositions, expectations, etc.—often unconscious —conclusions follow. We can, however, become conscious of and revise our assumptions. In his book, Keyser had discussed mathematical thinking as a consummate effort to make conscious and to work out the implications of assumptions. It served as the prototype of rigorous thinking in any field.

Of all the mathematicians he’d encountered and read, Alfred had not found anyone other than Keyser who emphasized this application of the mathematical ‘spirit’ to human life—in other words to all sorts of thinking not normally viewed as mathematical. In his chapter on “Truth and the Critic’s Art”, Keyser had even suggested how to go about examining non-mathematical doctrines—from the Sermon on the Mount to Darwin’s Origin of Species to “all manner of doctrinistic contentions of wise men, knaves, fanatics and fools”(3)—in terms of logical fate, i.e., postulational analysis. Interested as he was in human behavior in general, and problem-solving and trouble-shooting in all fields, Korzybski was going to pick up Keyser’s ‘ball’ and ‘run’ with it. He began talking and writing in letters about “logical fate” almost immediately after his first reading of Keyser’s book.

The label “logical fate” might lead the unwary astray here. At this time, Korzybski rather regularly harped on mathematical logic and talked of his developing work in terms of it. For example, he had just mailed a copy of Manhood to Eddington, writing, “My work is a trial of application of mathematical logic to life problems.”(4) But as Korzybski would come to realize over the next few years, ‘logical fate’ was not primarily a matter of formal logic. Even now, what Keyser called ‘logical fate’ seemed to Alfred primarily an assertion about human psychology: to a large extent, what a human does gets ‘driven’ internally by his doctrines or attitudes which involve, among other things, his choice of assumptions and his willingness to analyze and revise them when needed. Formal logical follow-through has a genuine but limited part to play in this process. In seeing mathematics in such a psychological light, Keyser did not seem like a typical mathematician or mathematical logician. (5) But this was exactly the kind of illumination Alfred was seeking.

You may download a pdf of all of the book's reference notes (including a note on primary source material and abbreviations used) from the link labeled Notes on the Contents page. The pdf of the Bibliography, linked on the Contents page contains full information on referenced books and articles. 
1. AK to C.J. Keyser, 3/10/1922. AKDA 8.460. 

2. Keyser 1922, p. 5. 

3. Ibid., p. 151 

 4. AK to A. S. Eddington, 4/5/1922. AKDA 8.361. 

5. See Keyser’s chapter on “The Psychology of Mathematics” where he wrote that:
…It is indeed obvious that the whole literature of mathematics may be read and interpreted as a commentary upon the nature of the human mind...A normal human mind is such that, if it begin with such-and-such principles or premises and with such-and-such ideas and if it combine them in such-and-such ways, moving from step to step in such-and-such order, it will find that it has thus passed from darkness to light,—from doubt to conviction. Obviously such a proposition is not mathematical; it is psychological—it states a fact respecting the nature of a normal human mind. Such interpretations of mathematical literature are psychologically very illuminating; the possibility of making them is so evident, once it is pointed out, that I should have refrained from mentioning it except for the fact of its being commonly overlooked and neglected. [Keyser 2001 (1922), pp. 412-413]

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Chapter 25 - "The Brotherhood Of Doctrines": Part 1 - Introduction

Korzybski: A Biography (Free Online Edition)
Copyright © 2014 (2011) by Bruce I. Kodish 
All rights reserved. Copyright material may be quoted verbatim without need for permission from or payment to the copyright holder, provided that attribution is clearly given and that the material quoted is reasonably brief in extent.

The time had come to leave La Jolla, to travel east to New York City, and from there to Poland—at last. Their friends in New York—Walter Polakov in particular—were missing the Korzybskis and eager for their return there. (Walter wrote later, saying that without Alfred to talk with, he had felt—even in Manhattan—like Robinson Crusoe.) But there were delays. Granted there was little if any money from it, but Alfred’s book was still getting publicity (Dutton ran a third printing in January) and people in Southern California wanted to hear him lecture. Mira, who had more of a chance to make some significant income from her work, also took whatever opportunity she could find to speak (about her work, time-binding, and the relation between the two) and to find clients in the area for her paintings. (In 1922 the portraits she would complete—she also typically created the frames—included the one below of Alfred, which she entitled “The Time-Binder,” obtained by the Art Institute of Chicago for its collection the following year.)

1922 Portrait of Alfred Korzybski with Frame by Mira Edgerly Korzybska 
(Original at the Art Institute of Chicago)

Alfred was eager to see Walter and Keyser again. He had a lot to talk about with them. Letters, even the long detailed ones he was apt to write, were not the same as a tête-à-tête in Walter’s studio or Keyser’s apartment over tea or something stronger (Prohibition notwithstanding). Walter’s and Keyser’s long-awaited books had both appeared. For Alfred, each man’s book represented one side of the development of the time-binding notion. While Keyser’s book focused on the mathematical foundations, Walter’s book emphasized the application of a time-binding, human engineering viewpoint to human affairs.

After more than a year’s delay (the publisher had run out of money), Walter’s book Mastering Power Production had finally gotten into print at the end of January. Alfred told Walter he considered it the applied second volume of Manhood of Humanity. Although written before Walter and Alfred’s first meeting in the fall of 1920, Polakov’s notion of “universal labor” had come extremely close to the formulation of time-binding. The book, a wide-ranging analysis of power production and its relation to socio-economic welfare, was not likely to get onto a national best-seller list. Yet the broad human framework of the book might still interest people other than power-industry engineers. Time-binding and the human engineering attitude, although not mentioned explicitly, permeated the book. Alfred wanted to promote it and Walter wanted him to write a review.

Though Alfred pushed Mastering Power Production to people whom he met and to lecture audiences, he wrote to Walter that he wasn’t well known enough to submit a review unless it had been solicited from him by a paper or magazine. Whether right or wrong about this, it was also true Korzybski simply did not have the writing facility of Polakov, who could quickly dash off finished prose pieces and had already published many magazine articles and reviews for a wide-variety of audiences. Alfred, a perfectionist—perhaps to a fault—produced finished writing more slowly. Walter, who had already produced a number of published pieces about Manhood, might have perceived this as a lack of reciprocity on Alfred’s part but seemed to accept Alfred’s rationale. Walter’s depressed mood seemed to have lifted a bit as his business, after a fallow period with almost no income, was beginning to pick up again. He was also starting on a new writing project, a more popularly oriented book with the tentative title Life and Work, explicitly applying the notion of time-binding to issues of labor and management—a natural next step for the industrial consultant whose last address to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in December 1921 had been, “Making Work Fascinating as the First Step toward Reduction of Waste”.

You may download a pdf of all of the book's reference notes (including a note on primary source material and abbreviations used) from the link labeled Notes on the Contents page. The pdf of the Bibliography, linked on the Contents page contains full information on referenced books and articles. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Chapter 24 - A Visitor From Mars: Part 4 - A Visitor From Mars

Korzybski: A Biography (Free Online Edition)
Copyright © 2014 (2011) by Bruce I. Kodish 
All rights reserved. Copyright material may be quoted verbatim without need for permission from or payment to the copyright holder, provided that attribution is clearly given and that the material quoted is reasonably brief in extent.

The start of the new year also brought some excellent news from Keyser. He had delivered the manuscript of Mathematical Philosophy to Macrae who was readying it for publication. Alfred wrote back with his congratulations and his own big news:
...Mira came to stay here with me for several weeks. Now there is a big news which you and Mrs. Keyser are the only [ones] to know (except Ritter of course). We both want very badly to have a child, when we married we think there was something but Mira fell down from an automobile and probably harmed herself in the first month, she was ill for several months and since nothing has happen. Mrs. Ritter was a practicing physician in Berkeley and litteraly “made” a baby with incubator etc etc to Prof. Lange wife, who happens to be a life long friend of Mira. Well we thought that it would be very wise to start something of this kind here. Mrs. Ritter was very enthusiastic about it, she has a friend very successful surgeon in S.D [San Diego] and few days ago they “stretched” Mira, which apparently having a splendid body and splendid health had a too little opening in her uterus. The doctors decided that the opening is small, but they only got the idea how small it was after the operation. No ordinary instrument would enter the opening was so small, finally they had to use some little thing of the thickness of a hat pin, and then they gave poor Mira a thorough stretching, and inserted a special metal mushroom which she will wear for two months. Of course all this was made under gas. Mira was two days in the hospital in La Jolla, and she came “home” today. She feels fine absolutely like if nothing would have happen. Our hopes run high, very high indeed, the metal little thing does not prevent conception. We have decided that if we have a boy his name will be Alfred Cassius K. in memory of my beloved friend whom you probably know. (14)
Mira and Alfred kept up their hopes for the next few years, even corresponding with a fertility clinic to find out if there was any other thing they could do. The clinic was run by Doctor J. R. Brinkley, who specialized in goat testicle transplants (not mentioned in his correspondence with Alfred) and was eventually revealed as a quack. He preyed on desperate people and did his best to solicit the Korzybskis’ business, to no avail. Mira and Alfred were not quite that desperate.(15) Their chances of having a child had already been reduced due to their ages when they married. Eventually they resigned themselves to the realization that a child was not in their future.

In the meantime, they were together now in La Jolla. William A. Cyr, a reporter for The San Diego Union newspaper dropped in to interview them for a lengthy feature article on time-binding which appeared in the Tuesday morning, January 17, 1922 edition of that paper:
I found them Sunday at the Biological Institute, in Cottage 3, their little California cottage, in a room blue with smoke, sitting comfortably about a large table littered with interesting looking papers and letters. Both the count and madame are informal and friendly at all things, with a real charm and poise.  
Count Korzybski I found to be a man small in stature, a bit lame, with a head clean shaven and giving the appearance altogether of a strong, frank thinker, not devoid of sentiment or in the least cold by any means. Sharp, piercing eyes, keen and expressive, a mouth twisted almost constantly with humor, compelled by instant and uninterrupted attention. And when he discussed his book, “...Manhood of Humanity, the Science and Art of Human Engineering,” he became the incarnation of his exalted conception of man, possessed of the dignity and the dynamic which he believes man to have... 
Count Korzybski intends to remain in San Diego for several weeks yet. He is at present working on a new book which will deal with world problems in the light of man as a time-bound agent. He is to give an informal talk on his work to a group of intellectuals to be gathered by Frederick Gronberg, on Jan. 29. He spoke to a La Jolla audience on Dec. 10. 
Madame Korzybski is preparing to give an exhibition of her paintings at Coronado next month and probably will make portraits of prominent men and women there. (16) 
Although generally pleased with the article, Korzybski could not let pass the subheading labeling him a “Russian Nobleman”. He wrote a friendly but stern letter to Cyr and the error was corrected in a second article with the headline “Polish Scientist To Lecture On Nature Of Man”.(17) 

About 25 people from around San Diego who had read or were reading Manhood attended the January 29 lecture at Gronberg’s Artemesia Bookstore.(18) Cyr’s newspaper report of the talk summarizes well Korzybski’s work to date:
…Count Alfred Korzybski, noted Polish scientist and soldier, held a selected audience spellbound during a two-hour discourse of his new theories at A. Frederic Gronberg’s shop on Sixth street Sunday evening. 
Korzybski, whose book, “...Manhood of Humanity, The Science and Art of Human Engineering,” has aroused the scientific world to a new concept of Mankind, proved to be in his lecture as dynamic a speaker as he is a writer and thinker. Under the fire of his enthusiasm and by the expressions of his dramatically mobile features the audience experienced no handicap from his diction or his continentalized expressions, nor were they conscious of the injuries he had received as a soldier for the armies of Russia...
Alfred started the lecture with the conclusions he had been forming about the importance of language and symbolism in relation to time-binding. By this time, he had definitely rejected positivistic ‘empiricism’ as a valid philosophy for understanding how we gain knowledge. No ‘naked’ facts exist. Any understanding we can have of so-called facts is filtered through the ‘mind’ of one or more human observers. These observers will perceive ‘facts’ in terms of some theoretical framework with accompanying language/symbolism:
“It is obvious,” he said, “that we are a speaking and thinking class of life. No human problem can be solved without some speaking and some thinking. It is therefore, of primary importance if we are speaking or thinking correctly.”  
One needn’t conclude that reliable knowledge was impossible, however. The latest findings of mathematics and mathematical physics demonstrated methods/language by means of which reliable knowledge could be achieved/expressed:
Only a mathematical philosophy, a mathematical logic, he declared, were valid since whatever else was proved relative by Einstein, numbers in their relations to each other always remained the same, absolute and fixed. And his theory, worked out before he had heard of Einstein and therefore entirely independent of him, he said, was the complement of it, and completely in accord with that theory.
Such methods, he argued, already applied by engineers in the limited realms of technology and construction, could be extended to human affairs:
If a visitor from Mars should come, Korzybski showed, and on a tour of inspection should see our bridges, our skyscrapers, our subways, and other engineering feats, and were to ask, “How often does one of these collapse?” man here would say that if the engineering of these projects were correct in all respects, the material used in their construction carefully inspected, and the work well done, they would never collapse. 
Taken to our libraries the visitor from Mars, he declared, shown the histories of the world, would be appalled that the same men who could engineer non-collapsible bridges and skyscrapers could build a civilization which was collapsing at some point every year. And the reason, he pointed out, for the difference, lay in the fundamental beginnings of the logic that had built each.
The ‘logic’ at the basis of the non-collapsible structures was based on the power of ‘simple’ numbers which more exactly fit the changing relations and differentiating character of the world:
… Man, even the first savage, with an inherent ability to create things, that were “brand new,” fixes symbols for differentiation of the things found in nature, of distinguishing one object from another of the same kind, and thus gave birth, on natural and logical basis, to mathematics. From this basis of tangible fact he had evolved the logic which enabled him to build non-collapsible bridges.
Somehow this ‘logic’—he didn’t (and couldn’t yet) spell out how—could and should be applied to the collapsing structures of the rest of human life. (For the rest of his life, Korzybski would continue to refine this discussion on the origin and significance of numbers in the realm of human evaluation.) The remainder of the lecture returned to Korzybski’s definition of Man:
… “The materialist has built the universe and left man out of it. The spiritualist has built a soul and left out the whole universe.” Man must be treated as a whole, he emphasized, not as a bifurcated animal. A soul cannot be put in him as a flower is put in a flower pot; the soul, or reasoning faculty, or intellect, or whatever it is, cannot be detached from man and treated separately. Korzybski said he did not quarrel with either faction, those who spoke of man in terms of matter, space and time, the materialists, or those who spoke of him as energy, so long as each was consistent.
Alfred had clearly captured the interest of a wide array of San Diego residents:
Following Korzybski’s masterful talk, the privilege of questioning him was granted and a number of interesting sidelights of the theory were brought out, the crowd seeming reluctant to leave the intellectual feast he provided. Informally he and Countess Korzybski met each of the audience and exchanged brief greetings and bits of comment before the gathering broke up at a late hour. He is to hold a public lecture at the Wednesday club Thursday evening, February 16. (19)
Newspaper Notice for Korzybski Lecture,
 Wednesday Club, San Diego, California - Feb. 16, 1922

Manhood was also still capturing the interest of people throughout the United States and elsewhere. It had just gone into its third printing. Reviews and notices continued coming in. What the clipping service didn’t clip, his friends usually managed to find for him. Besides the San Diego newspaper articles, January had seen a complimentary review of Manhood in Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering. The January 1922 Yale Review had a friendly review from Alfred’s friend Alexander Petrunkavich, a Yale University biologist who a year earlier had read proofs of the book. There was a book notice and comment in the January 1922 issue of The Social Service Bulletin of The Methodist Federation for Social Service. Then in February, System:The Magazine of Business featured complimentary comments on Manhood within a feature entitled “What Business Men Read Last Month”. (This interest in time-binding by ‘capitalist’ businessmen amused the socialist Polakov.)

Despite an occasional negative review like the one in the February 8 issue of The New Republic, responses to the book so far generally seemed positive. Although Alfred considered The New Republic review malicious, he did accept negative criticism when he found something useful in it. And he found something very useful in the criticisms of psychiatrist Frankwood E. Williams, M.D. in the January issue of Mental Hygiene published by The National Committee for Mental Hygiene. In his review Williams wondered if Korzybski might be belaboring the obvious in his efforts at definition. He also criticized Korzybski for ignoring the contributions of psychiatry to the study of humans, although he did acknowledge,
…The expression “time-binder” is the best contribution the author makes. While there would seem to be nothing new in the conception of “time-binding”, the expression itself is a happy one, so rich in imagination that one is surprised to find it in a book on “engineering”...In addition to the contribution of the term “time-binder,” Count Korzybski’s book will probably be useful in another way. If the book arouses interest in the science and art of human engineering..., it will be the most useful book on the subject yet printed. And if, their interest stimulated,…business men, engineers, and mathematicians wish to continue their studies, they might begin with—a number of books come to mind, but, for example, White’s Foundations of Psychiatry. (20)
Korzybski became aware of the review later that summer and wrote to the journal for a copy. He later met Williams and considered him “a very fine man”. He found the review, despite its ‘scolding’, “quite friendly and nice.”(21) He took Williams’ recommendation of White’s book as a personal suggestion, obtaining and reading it as soon as he could. This was the beginning of Korzybski’s serious and extensive study of psychiatry. It would lead to a unique alchemy of notions as Korzybski, ‘the visitor from Mars’, began to juxtapose his physiological view of mathematics with psychiatry as he delved into how time-binding works.

You may download a pdf of all of the book's reference notes (including a note on primary source material and abbreviations used) from the link labeled Notes on the Contents page. The pdf of the Bibliography, linked on the Contents page contains full information on referenced books and articles. 
14. AK to C. J. Keyser, 1/14/1922. AKDA 8.647-8. 

15. AK to Dr. J. R. Brinkley, 8/12/1923. AKDA 13.302; AK to Ray P. Martin (Brinkley Jones Hospital), 8/21/1923. AKDA 13.275; Dr. J. R. Brinkley to AK, 10/29/1923. AKDA 13.182. See Brock for more on the career of J. R. Brinkley. 

16. “Count Korzybski, Native of Warsaw, Now San Diego Visitor...”. The San Diego Union, 1/17/1922. AKDA 3.71. 

17. “Polish Scientist To Lecture On Nature Of Man”. The San Diego Union, 1/25/1922. AKDA 3.71. 

18. Fred Gronberg to AK, 1/10/1922. AKDA 8.640. 

19. “Holds His Audience Spellbound For Two Hours”. The Sun Dial, 2/11/1922. AKDA 3.87. 

20. Manhood of Humanity review by Frankwood Williams, M.D. in Mental Hygiene, Vol. VI, No. 1, Jan. 1922. AKDA 3.122-123. 

21. Korzybski 1947, p. 233.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Chapter 24 - A Visitor From Mars: Part 3 - The Social Role of the Man of Knowledge

Korzybski: A Biography (Free Online Edition)
Copyright © 2014 (2011) by Bruce I. Kodish 
All rights reserved. Copyright material may be quoted verbatim without need for permission from or payment to the copyright holder, provided that attribution is clearly given and that the material quoted is reasonably brief in extent.

The contacts, correspondence, and mutual recognition between Korzybski and the people he was meeting in the winter of 1921-22 gives a reasonable picture of the kinds of relations he had with scientists and other brain-workers throughout his career. From the beginnings of his efforts, he saw what he was attempting to do—to found a new field, human engineering (as he was calling his efforts then)—as a scientific enterprise. Despite attempts later on by people like journalist Martin Gardner to depict him otherwise, Korzybski didn’t isolate himself from, nor was he isolated by, the scientific community. He sought and received advice, approval, and criticism from many of the leading scientists and mathematicians of his day. Nonetheless, it was apparent even in La Jolla that what he was doing was outside the realm of conventional scientific categories.

Since Korzybski was trained as an engineer, he had no credentials in the academic fields his work seemed to touch upon the most. He had called it “mathematical sociology” to start with, which didn’t help much. But his coinage of “human engineering” didn’t fit into many people’s conceptual boxes of engineering either. Figuring out what he was up to was a problem for a number of the people with whom he came in contact. It was a problem for Alfred as well. The scope of Korzybski’s concerns—so general yet so practical—attracted some people but puzzled, or even repelled, others.

Korzybski’s fellow Pole, sociologist Florian Znaniecki, discussed the various kinds of scientific workers in his 1940 book, The Social Role of the Man of Knowledge. In Znaniecki’s terms, the role Korzybski had taken followed the path of the scientific “explorer”, a “creator of new knowledge”. “All new developments in the history of knowledge”, Znaniecki wrote, “have been due to those scientists who did more in their social roles than their circles wanted and expected them to do.”(12) According to Znaniecki, two broad and overlapping areas were open for scientific explorers: the discovery of new facts and the discovery of new problems. Although Korzybski had studied the facts of history—including that of scientific and technological developments—and made use of accepted facts from the scientific studies of others, he had not discovered new facts. Instead, with his theory of time-binding, he had discovered a new way of looking at what was already known. His theory led to a new set of problems.

If humans by definition ‘bind time’, then every area of human life—including people’s personal lives—is affected by the growth or stagnation of knowledge and its applications. In studying the mechanism of time-binding, Korzybski had begun focusing on people’s methods for gaining knowledge: understanding facts, formulating theories, and approaching problems. So he was interested not only in the content of what mathematicians, scientists, and other scholars had discovered but also in the pathways and pitfalls of their acts of discovery.

In addition, although he was focusing on mathematics and science, especially the exact sciences, he realized that the areas of knowledge relevant to the study of time-binding spanned the humanities and sciences. Indeed, he believed the study of time-binding and its mechanism would help achieve the Leibnizian dream of unifying the various fields of knowledge. At the start of 1922, Alfred wrote the following to H. D. Brasefield, an Oakland, California high school principal interested in his work:
…My aim is to unify science, and give a base for the brainworkers to unite around some constructive scientific as is possible doctrine. As a matter of fact we all speak about the “brotherhood of man” but such thing is impossible as long as we will not have a “brotherhood of doctrines”. Our mental processes are so scattered between the thousands of doctrines which each one is leading somewhere else…The old system is breaking down, what next? No new doctrine is workable for the time being…What [is] the way out? To provide a new method of analysis which would show clearly the valuations and thus help all to unite toward the same end. My book makes obvious that what we need today is more the RE-EDUCATION of THE EDUCATED than the education of the masses…(13) 
In an era of growing specialization, his problem was to find an audience that would consider his unifying vision on its own terms without trying to stuff it into the container of one or another different, and more limited, standard discipline. He had special hopes of gaining the interest of mathematicians, scientists, and engineers. But there was no getting around one fact—as a scientific explorer and theoretical synthesizer, it didn’t seem likely the formulator of time-binding would find an adequate home in any particular academic field.

You may download a pdf of all of the book's reference notes (including a note on primary source material and abbreviations used) from the link labeled Notes on the Contents page. The pdf of the Bibliography, linked on the Contents page contains full information on referenced books and articles. 
12. Znaniecki, p. 164. 

13. AK to H. L. Brasefield, 1/5/1922. AKDA 8.691. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Chapter 24 - A Visitor From Mars: Part 2 - Among the Scientists

Korzybski: A Biography (Free Online Edition)
Copyright © 2014 (2011) by Bruce I. Kodish 
All rights reserved. Copyright material may be quoted verbatim without need for permission from or payment to the copyright holder, provided that attribution is clearly given and that the material quoted is reasonably brief in extent.

Before Alfred had come to Scripps Institute he had had contact with individual scientists and scientific workers like Keyser, Loeb, Polakov, Steinmetz, and Wolf, among others. In San Francisco and Berkeley, the circle had expanded. At La Jolla, he extended his contacts even further throughout the U.S. scientific community. 

Partly, he was reaping the fruits of previous efforts: book publicity, word of mouth from readers of Manhood of Humanity and from people who had attended his lectures (and those of Polakov and Keyser), book reviews, and the large number of contacts and correspondents he had begun to accumulate. Partly, it was also due to his being at La Jolla, a prestigious research center, where he could meet and mingle with the resident and visiting scientists, as a fellow scientific worker. Partly, it was due to the efforts of Ritter himself.

Since the summer, Ritter had been writing enthusiastically about Korzybski to others, including E. W. Scripps who, with his sister, had become one of the great benefactors of early 20th century American science. Although Scripps had hoped to meet Alfred, he had already left the San Diego area for the winter and was yachting off the Florida coast when Alfred arrived. The curmudgeonly Scripps—who referred to himself as a “damned old crank”(5)—had had a long-time interest in “what kind of thing this damned human animal is, anyway.”(6) He read Manhood of Humanity with interest and liked parts of it. In letters to Ritter, he acknowledged the kind of exponential process in human history Korzybski had depicted. But Scripps didn’t allow himself to express too much enthusiasm. Korzybski must be wrong about human beings’ abilities to think rationally since, after all, people could believe in irrational things. As a self-declared pessimist about the human race, he rejected Korzybski’s vision of human potential. (7)

Although Scripps was away, Alfred did meet Scripps’ sister, Ellen. The elderly Miss Scripps seemed charmed enough by Alfred to invite him to speak at the La Jolla Community House in early December. Two months later, Alfred wrote to Keyser, “Miss Scripps had a very bad accident and broke her hip, she is about 80 so the thing is serious, and her brother has come from Florida, we probably will meet him…”(8) However, I have found nothing in Korzybski’s records indicating the two men ever met face to face.

Ritter and E. W. Scripps had been instrumental in founding the Science Service in 1920 in association with the National Academy of Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Scripps provided an endowment and Ritter provided leadership as its President. With headquarters in Washington, D.C., the Science Service initially published a bulletin providing science stories to subscribing newspapers. When Korzybski arrived in La Jolla, they were getting ready to start the Science Service News-Letter, a science journal for general readers, finally launched in March 1922 and still in print as Science News.(9) 

Perhaps not surprisingly, the new director of the Science Service, polymathic chemist and writer Edwin E. Slossen, soon became interested in Korzybski’s work. Slossen worked for a literary journal The Independent and The Weekly Review and in an article, published in the February 25, 1922 edition of that magazine, he wrote a respectful review of Manhood, “Is There a Law of Human Progress?: Speculations on the Acceleration of Scientific Knowledge.”(10) 
E. E. Slossen and wife May Slossen, 1927

As a result of such writings as well as Ritter’s and others’ communications about him, Alfred’s name was becoming more widely known among scientists. For example, L. O. Howard, an entomologist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the President of the AAAS, mentioned Korzybski’s work at the Association’s conference in his end-of-year presidential address which was published in the December 30 issue of Science. Korzybski felt most grateful for Howard’s complementary words and began corresponding with him.

Alfred was also making connections locally around La Jolla. He was meeting and talking with the resident scientists at Scripps soon after his arrival. He also gave a lecture there within the first few weeks. Some no doubt were puzzled by his presence. Others found him a positive stimulus. Alfred became especially friendly with George McEwen, a physicist and applied mathematician, who had been recruited by Ritter a number of years before and who at the time was researching ocean currents. He had a long subsequent career at Scripps Institute and the University of California as a professor of physical oceanography. Something in Korzybski’s (and Keyser’s) approach to mathematics resonated with him and after Keyser’s book came out in 1922, McEwen collaborated with Alfred in an effort to write a joint review of it for Science.

With its growing reputation, Scripps Institute had an influx of scientific visitors during Alfred’s time there. One of these was University of Chicago developmental biologist Charles M. Childs. After meeting Childs at La Jolla, Alfred studied his books and corresponded with him for a number of years, later acknowledging the great influence Childs’ work had on him. To Alfred, Childs expressed a sensibility in his language— as did Loeb, Einstein, and others—with a consciousness of relations (avoiding elementalistic splits), characteristic of the time-binding attitude Alfred was trying to understand and make more explicit.

Along this line, his exposure to Childs’ work enhanced his awareness of the biological aspects of time-binding: we ‘think’ with the whole of our beings as organisms. In his letters, Alfred was beginning to refer to his own approach towards mathematics as physiological. Dealing explicitly with mathematics, and other forms of time-binding, as physiological, i.e., the behavior of organisms with nervous systems, may have struck some people as weird. But Korzybski would only increase his insistence on the importance of realizing that ‘thinking’ does not occur in a timeless, fleshless void. If relativity had abolished infinite speeds in physics, then the speed of ‘thought’ was not infinite either. The physiological gradients in primitive organisms that Childs described as time-related processes, appeared as the precursors of more elaborate nervous systems. To Alfred it made perfect sense to try to understand how organisms (including symbol-manipulating humans) gained knowledge of their environments in terms of natural processes. He had already touched on this, especially in the biology appendix of Manhood, and would elaborate it further in his subsequent work.

The time-dependent character of ‘thought’ became clear to Alfred at a gathering he attended at Scripps. Someone there had an I.Q. test that people took as a kind of party-game. Those whom Alfred regarded as the most gifted did the worst on the test. They spent the most time considering the ambiguities of the questions and attempting to understand the possible situations behind the words, and so could not respond as quickly as others with the ‘correct’ answers. ‘Thought’, taken as broadly as possible, clearly was a process. Alfred found it interesting that standard forms of logic and commonplace, even scientific, language seemed to obscure the factor of time as a consideration in thinking about thinking or thinking about anything else for that matter. In his copy of George Boole’s The Laws of Thought, he had underlined some telling phrases from the following passage:
It may indeed be said, that in ordinary reasoning we are often quite unconscious of this notion of time involved in the very language we are using. But the remark, however just, only serves to show that we commonly reason by the aid of words and the forms of a well-constructed language, without attending to the ulterior grounds upon which those very forms have been established...(11)  

While resident at the Scripps Institute, Alfred was also meeting people and giving talks in nearby San Diego. During the summer he had exchanged letters with Dr. Edward L. Hardy. Hardy, a scholar of English Literature, teacher, and educational administrator, had become President of the San Diego Normal School in 1910. In 1921, the school was reconfigured as San Diego State Teachers College (it is now known as San Diego State University). Hardy, who remained President there until 1935, became enthusiastic about time-binding after reading Manhood of Humanity. At the end of November, Alfred spoke at a gathering of teachers at Hardy’s home in San Diego. The two men maintained a friendly relationship and correspondence for years afterwards, with Hardy helping Alfred to edit Science and Sanity.

By the end of November, Alfred and Mira had not seen each other for several weeks. In the beginning of December, Alfred went to Los Angeles for a few days to spend some time with her. Mira had been staying at the Ambassador Hotel, but was hoping to make contacts and perhaps find some people whose portraits she could paint in Pasadena. The two attended a dinner with some people from California Institute of Technology (Caltech), including physicist Robert Millikan, Chairman of the Caltech Executive Council (effectively President of the school), and astronomer George Hale. Alfred provided an after-dinner speech and had meetings with both men, who seemed genuinely interested in his work.

Back in San Diego, Alfred delivered two lectures in early December. One was at the monthly meeting of the San Diego Chapter of the American Association of Engineers. A few days later, with Ritter introducing him, he gave the presentation Miss Scripps had invited him to give at the La Jolla Community House. Alfred recognized his audiences liked what he had to say. But neither his lectures nor Mira’s painting commissions were progressing as they wanted. There was a great deal of interest but not much, if any, money. They decided to extend their stay in Southern California a little longer. Mira would try her luck in Pasadena. She relocated to the Vista del Arroyo Hotel there. In January she would come down to stay with Alfred and perhaps find some portrait work among San Diego socialites.

You may download a pdf of all of the book's reference notes (including a note on primary source material and abbreviations used) from the link labeled Notes on the Contents page. The pdf of the Bibliography, linked on the Contents page contains full information on referenced books and articles. 
5. Scripps qtd. in Pauly 2000, pp. 204. 

6. Ibid., p. 206. 

7. “…I am bound to believe that man is mythological (perhaps mystical) and at the same time brutally beast. Thus with a sad heart I am prevented from receiving to myself an offering of hope. Perhaps Korzybski is but another of those dreamers of which his race [the Slavs] has been so prolific.” E. W. Scripps to W. E. Ritter, 8/29/1921. AKDA 6.206. Ritter shared this correspondence with Korzybski. Alfred appeared amused by Scripps’ concern with the question “What is a dollar?” and by Scripps’ efforts to convince Ritter that he (Scripps) had already come up with many of the ideas in Manhood.

8. AK to C.J. Keyser, 2/2/1922. AKDA 8.570. 

9. Pauly 2000, pp. 210-211. See also “Smithsonian Institution Archives, Finding Aids to Personal Papers and Special Collections: Record Unit 7091, Science Service, Records, 1902-1965, Historical Note” at (accessed 1/17/2011); now (2014) at

10. Edwin E. Slossen, “Is There a Law of Human Progress?: Speculations on the Acceleration of Scientific Knowledge”. The Independent and Weekly Review, 2/25/1922. AKDA 3.80. [Alfred and Mira later became friends with Slossen, meeting him in person. They corresponded with him until Slossen's death in 1929.]

11. George Boole, p. 173.