Wednesday, June 30, 2010

From The Stray Thought Bin - 'Updating Yourself'

I opened up an Adobe software program I'm learning to use and got the message to check for updates. The updater program began to go through its paces and shortly, the following window appeared on my desktop screen. 

I had to laugh at this multiordinal message as I clicked 'OK'.  

Then I realized that I could take this message as advice. First of all, before I am capable of checking for updates in the world around me, I must update myself.  

I think there's something to that. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Quote of the Day: 'History'

"...Perhaps in the future we may learn more from history than the admitted fact that we have to date learned little from history."
——George Kingsley Zipf
(National Unity and Disunity (1941), p. 404)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Quote of the Day: 'Writing'

"A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people."
——Thomas Mann

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Quote of the Day: 'Skepticism'

"Skepticism is simply not skeptical enough for my taste—it depends too much on the reification of doubt."
——Billy Vaughn Koen (Discussion of the Method, p. 202)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Quote of the Day - 'Man'

"Man has ever been the greatest puzzle to man."
——Alfred Korzybski (Manhood of Humanity, p. 66)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Korzybski's Books in Two Sentences

In Manhood of Humanity (1921), Korzybski developed a theory of how humans function as a species—time-binding. In Science and Sanity (1933), he elaborated upon the mechanism of time-binding and how an individual could use this mechanism to develop his or her human potential.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

"Let Us Consider" by Russell Edson

In his poem "Let Us Consider" Russell Edson is talking about us, our human potential for nuttiness and identification (in the korzybskian sense of the term) not just about some 'strange' wackos. You can read in Korzybski's book Science and Sanity about the continuum that he saw from objectification of higher order abstractions, to delusions, to illusions, to hallucinations. You can also read about the fuzzy continuum from 'sane' (and who is fully sane) to unsanity to insanity. I know many so-called 'normal', so-called 'sane' people who are clearly going in the 'wrong' direction along that continuum and are not as far as they think from frying roses and scraping shadows. Some of them have thought of themselves as 'general semanticists'. I, of course, am not excluded from consideration. "Let Us Consider", indeed. 

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Crack In The Stoics Armor?

In his The Enchiridion, the 1st century C.E. Stoic philosopher Epictetus wrote that,
"Men are disturbed not by things, but by the views which they take of them." [qtd. in Albert Ellis's Reason and Emotion in Psychotherapy, 1962 (1977), p. 54]
Since I consider the Stoics, important and still relevant predecessors of Korzybski's work, the following opinion piece on Stoicism in this New York Times blog caught my interest. A Crack In The Stoic Armor. I find it a thoughtful piece although I don't believe that the writer, Nancy Sherman characterizes Stoicism accurately. I greatly admire Admiral James Stockdale and have gotten a great deal from his writings and I don't think that his philosophy of life gets adequately summarized by the motto "Suck it up." See some of the subsequent comments on the blog page for other people's reactions to this. Worth reading and pondering.