Friday, September 26, 2008

Time-Binding - So What? Part I

A reader of this weblog (I'll call him J) wrote
I'm not very interested in time-binding...Time binding seems like a description transformed into prescription (?); e.g. "Dog's often bark, therefore, dogs should bark 'better'. Where's the logic in this? [i.e. Why is this transformation relevant, and what authorizes this particular description over all the other potential descriptions of 'what dominantly characterizes humans'
He also said that he was interested in "applications to 'our' everyday life." He seemed to have some difficulty seeing how time-binding and perhaps other formulations/principles of general semantics could be used "for assessing our personal goals, dreams, and/or purposes in life."

Since I like to make my blogposts shorter rather than longer, I'm going to take more than one blogpost to unpack this. Here goes.

Let me start with a rough and ready set of statements about time-binding from the glossary of Drive Yourself Sane.
Time-Binding: the characteristic human ability, using language and other symbols, to transmit information across time; the potential for individuals to learn from their own and other people's experiences; the potential for each generation to start where the last generation left off, the potential to become aware of this ability; this allows for the formation of cultures and the ability to study cultures, etc.
Starting from this, I'll try to address J's puzzlement.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Follow The Korzybski Files

I know that I'm not the only person who reads this weblog. 8-) I occasionally get an email from readers beside the comments that people post here (so far all too infrequently). So I know that I'm not not just talking to myself. There are alot of people interested in Korzybski, what he did and wrote, and what the work he started implies for us today (2008). I'd like to hear from you. I'd like to know who you 'are'. I'd like to have your helpful comments. The google 'widget' on the right lets me know that you're following this blog and will, I understand, keep you updated as to when I add a new blogpost—if you have a Google Dashboard. So please, do me a favor and 'sign up'. You can even do it anonymously, if you want to stay incognito.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Echoes of Time-Binding - I

Since Korzybski first formulated it in 1921 as the defining characteristic of humaness, others have used the notion of time-binding in their own formulating or have pointed to some aspect of the phenomena, with or without using the term.

For example, Richard Feynman referred to "time-binding" in answering the question "What is Science" Although time-binding had an important role in his answer to that question he apparently didn't consider it important enough to find out who coined the term. To me that seems like teaching the classical laws of motion and not bothering to mention Galileo or Newton. A physics teacher would not be doing his proper job, in my opinion, if he taught that way. But I get the distinct sense from reading other works by Feynman that he was not well-read or very knowlegable in areas outside of his own work and indeed didn't seem to consider any knowledge outside of physics as very worthwhile or even as science. But he had somehow heard about "time-binding." Curious.