Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Secret of Korzybski's Work

"If I would have investigated language, 'thinking', I would
have written a perfectly rotten book on 'psychology'. ...The
secret of my work is that I did not investigate 'thinking' or
'speaking'. I investigated time-binding."
—Alfred Korzybski, 1947 letter to Karl Poehlmann

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Quote of the Day - 'Logical Insanity'

"Do not have a criticism, so to say, about my work, that 'Korzybski fancies that humans are like geometry; there is a difference between geometry and a human being.' I didn't find it that way, because I have found that humans, even 'insane' are extremely logical provided you trace their premises, except their premises have no realization in actuality. So that's the main point, not a problem of logic. From some premises, some consequences follow." 
——Alfred Korzybski, 1947

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Alfred Korzybski - 62nd Anniversary of His Death

Alfred Korzybski died in the early morning of March 1, 1950, several months short of his 71st birthday. 

By that time, his work had reached a high point of recognition and influence: Despite its seemingly esoteric subject matter and formidable appearance, an astonishing number of copies of Science and Sanity (approximately 20,000 books) had been sold. Many books and articles about his work or making use of it, had already been written by hundreds of his students and others. And his career had been followed for several decades in national and international media (mainly newspapers and magazines). (This Google ngram charting "Alfred Korzybski" and "General Semantics" provides some interesting, confirming graphic data of this.)

To commemorate him on the 60th Anniversary of his death, I'm posting this obituary, which appeared in the March 13, 1950 edition of Quick (Vol. 2, No. 11), a small, pocket-sized, popular news weekly published and distributed nationally (U.S.) by Cowles, the publisher of Look and other magazines. It gives an interesting and surprisingly accurate view of Korzybski and his work. (The actual, glossy-cover magazine is probably not much larger than the images you see here on your browser.) 

From the Stray Thought Bin – 'Saying Something Different'

Every thoughtful speaker/writer knows when you say something differently, you say something different. And then the question: Does it make a difference in what I want to say? 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Quote of the Day–'Money Is Information'

" "Jesus and Ludwig Christ!" Clem Cotex cried. He jumped up and turned off the tapes, totally At One with the doctrine of Religiosophy. "Money is information," he muttered, beginning to pace the room, stoned out of his gourd. "Holy snakes and ladders. 'Humanity is the symbol-using class of life, and those who control symbols control us.' I read that in Korzybski aeons ago. Information!" "
Robert Anton Wilson, Schrodinger's Cat