Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Chapter 19 - The Time-Binding Club: Part 7 - Maggots In The Cheese

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-Binders’ were not all about serious discussion. They had fun while they sat in Walter’s apartment and, as Walter remembered much later, “…discussed many aspects of our problems, drank homemade brew [Prohibition had taken effect on Jan. 15, 1920 and would last until 1933], ate sardines and hoped for the best.”(31) Alfred regaled his friends with stories and gave them his rendition of the Petawawa Camp Song: ‘...There are maggots in the cheese over there. over there,....’. To people in the group, this seemed to describe the condition of those who operated without sufficient awareness of their time-binding debts to the past or their time-binding responsibilities to the future. As Keyser put it later, “We have been and are living in the midst of a great civilization like maggots in a cheese.” Both he and Walter used the analogy in later writings. (32)

Alfred still didn’t have a publisher by the end of the year. The ‘Time-Binders’ had briefly considered putting together their own publishing company but decided against it. Meanwhile, the Management Section of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers was planning a tribute to H. L. Gantt and Walter for the Society’s Annual Meeting, scheduled for December 7–10 in New York. Walter planned to formally introduce “time-binding” in the course of summarizing Gantt’s contribution to management thinking. In November, Walter was circulating a draft of his presentation to his friends and invited Alfred, Wolf, Wood and another engineer, Hugh Archibald to serve as discussants to the paper at the meeting. (Both Polakov’s paper and the comments of Korzybski and the others were published in the April 21, 1921 issue of Mechanical Engineering.) The meeting provided Alfred with his first national audience (at least among the engineers attending the conference). “Time-Binding” had been launched.

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. 
Chapter 19 – The Time-Binding Club
31. Polakov to AK, June 20, 1947. IGS Archives. 

32. Keyser in “Man and Men” in Keyser 1927, p. 189 and Polakov in “Maggots In The Cheese” (a Review of Keyser’s Mathematical Philosophy) in The Call, Dec. 10, 1922. AKDA 3.162.

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