Monday, December 19, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

From the Stray Thought Bin - 'The Heroic Task of Every Generation'

The heroic task of every generation of time-binders (that's us humans): appropriating our inheritance from those who came before us. Every generation does the task to some degree poorly or well. What makes the task heroic?: The stakes are always high and for every new generation, including our own, its particular inheritance is never the same as—indeed is necessarily different than—any that came before. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011


Nice blogpost with lots of links from a student(s) of Robert Anton Wilson on RAW, Korzybski, GS, and my biography of Korzybski. Thanks, guy(s).


Graham Rae on Korzybski and William Burroughs

William Burroughs, a rapt student with perfect attendance at Korzybski's 1939 August seminar, later said that he "...was very impressed by what Korzybski had to say. I still am. I think that everyone, particularly all students should read Korzybski. [It would] save them an awful lot of time." (Korzybski: A Biography, p. 457)

Scroll down on the linked page to read Graham Rae's piece on Korzybski and Burroughs.

Korzybski on Wealth - Something for Tea Party Patriots and Occupy Wall Street Enthusiasts

"...[W]ealth consists of those things—whether they be material commodities or forms of knowledge and understanding—that have been produced by the time-binding energies of humanity, and according to which nearly all the wealth of the world at any given time is the accumulated fruit of the toil of past generations—the living work of the dead. It seems unnecessary to warn the reader against confusing the "making" of money by hook or crook, by trick or trade, with the creating of wealth, by the product of labor." 
—Alfred Korzybski, Manhood of Humanity, p. 115

Thursday, December 8, 2011

From the Stray Thought Bin - 'The Speed of Thought'

If relativity theory has abolished infinite speeds in physics, then the speed of 'thought' is not infinite either.

Quote of the Day: Lies & Truth

"Things are generally other than they seem, and ignorance that never looks beneath the rind becomes disabused when you show the kernel. Lies always come first, dragging fools along by their irreparable vulgarity. Truth always lags last, limping along on the arm of Time. The wise therefore reserve for it the other half of that power which the common mother has wisely given in duplicate. Deceit is very superficial, and the superficial therefore easily fall into it. Prudence lives retired within its recesses, visited only by sages and wise men."
——Bathasar Gracian, Aphorism #146  from The Art of Wordly Wisdom

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

From the Stray Thought Bin - 'Confined by a System'

The fact that you reject all systems of thought as confining, doesn't mean that you are not confined by one.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Steven Lewis Review of Korzybski: A Biography

I've known Biology professor Steven Lewis for a number of years and he definitely qualifies as one of only a handful of people worldwide whom I consider genuine Korzybski scholars (it's a small small 'pond', folks). So his opinion about my biography of Korzybski definitely counts for me. I'm happy to say he liked it. He wouldn't B.S. me and I wouldn't want him to. Here's what he says about it: "At last, a book-length biography of Korzybski.".

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Last Science and Sanity Podcast

The Science and Sanity Podcast group, hosted by Heron Stone, has finished its reading of Korzybski's book. I'm not a fan of the computerized-voice chapter readings, but the discussions, available on iTunes and Talkshoe, have kept me very interested indeed. Since I discovered the group only a few months ago, I feel happy to have had the opportunity to contribute to its final few sessions. 

After the group finished Book II with a discussion of Chapter XXXI - "Concluding Remarks", I contributed to the last three sessions that followed :

For the first on Nov. 20, Heron played an audio recording (38a)  of the speech (and subsequent Q&A period) I gave on "Korzybski's Legacy: What Is It? How Do We Carry It On?" in New York City in October at the 2011 Institute of General Semantics (IGS) Conference. The presentation gives an overview of Korzybski's life and work and the subsequent development of it at the IGS and elsewhere. You can read about it and download a pdf of the presentation herelively Science and Sanity podcast group discussion followed afterwards (38b).  

Then, on Nov. 27 I did a presentation on "The Genesis of Science and Sanity" (39) based on the research I did in writing Korzybski: A Biography. Listen to this for an 'executive summary' of what Korzybski was aiming at and the process he went through in producing his great work. 

Yesterday, December 4, I talked about the 'problematic'—for many—final Book III of Science and Sanity (40). Because of its heavy-looking mathematical and scientific content, even many people who have read the rest of the book, decide to skip it. I discussed what Korzybski was trying to accomplish by writing it and gave an approach to reading it that I think can help reduce the intimidation factor of that part of the book or even the intimidation factor of the rest of the book. 

I've been told that 'no one likes to hear a recording of their own voice'. That certainly fits me. But I'm still learning. And even given the ums, ahs and some digressions that I didn't care for, I feel pleased that I did manage to pack a lot of  content into the presentations. Download the four audio segments 38a, 38b, 39 and 40 for your iPod/mp3-player from iTunes or Talkshoe Together these four provide a solid introduction to Korzybski's work for any curious person who wants to learn more and a good introduction to Heron Stone's entire S&S podcast series. I hope you enjoy the discussions as much as I did.