ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

This quarterly journal provides peer-reviewed articles on topics relating to general semantics.

Articles from Vol. 62, No. 3, July

Anthropologist Presents 53rd Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture
ETHNOLOGIST Robert Carneiro studied with renowned anthropologist Leslie White. He discovered general semantics through the work of Stuart Chase and from there moved on to studying the works of Alfred Korzybski. Carneiro combined what he learned...
Asperger's Syndrome Could Be a Character-Builder
IF MY SON ASHER "suffers" from Asperger's Syndrome, I wonder if we all wouldn't do better to have a touch of it ourselves. If you don't know, Asperger's Syndrome is a clinical term used for a certain type of autism--one that, in the spectrum of...
Fifty Years Ago in ETC
We have often been asked the origin of the term "transactional" and why we use the word. We have borrowed the term from Dewey and Bentley and we mean by it about the same thing that Dewey and Bentley do. They explain it in terms of the buyer-seller...
IFD Disease and the "Happiness Formula"
Should we "dream the impossible dream" or "dream the possible dream"? Does lowering our expectations mean making unacceptable compromises--and giving up? Excessive idealism and perfectionism can lead to frustration and stagnation. Instead of moving...
In This Issue
OUR COVER for this issue presents the "Nine Ages of Man," a bronze sculpture by Randolph W. Johnston. The artist's comments on the work reveal his perception of the process nature of human existence, on both the individual and the species levels. Details...
On Time-Binding Consciousness
I PROPOSE that the human behavior labeled "time-binding," as described by Korzybski, involves "progress," not just "passing information from one generation to another," or simply "starting where the former generation left off," or "accumulation of...
Response to Charles Coursey's Commentary
IN THE YEARS since a doctor told me I had Apserger's Syndrome (AS), I have learned something about the features of this syndrome. During the same period, I discovered and began to study general semantics (GS). So even before reading Mr. Coursey's commentary,...
Symbolism and the Terri Schiavo Case
FOR SEVERAL WEEKS in March, many of us agonized, argued, and wept as the human drama of Terri Schiavo's life and death played out on our television screens and in practically every form of media available. One could certainly argue that Schiavo...
The Effective Time-Binder and Maslow's "Self-Actualizing Person"
THERE IS ONE similarity among all human beings that can be used to bridge our differences: we are all potentially effective time-binders, the present crown of the evolutionary tree, the most complex and artfully constructed of all organisms. It is...
Tracking How We Change: Joseph Conrad's Insights on "Dating" Ourselves
AS TIME PASSES, we change. If we deny or ignore change, we create problems for ourselves. The general semantics technique of dating reminds us that we change. Recently, I re-read Joseph Conrad's evocative, wistful short story "Youth," a work I first...
Uncertainty and Death
IN 1789, Ben Franklin reminded a friend that only two things remained certain in life--death and taxes. In the current age, it would appear that some would like to change even that. Of taxes, we may speak another time. For the moment, we will consider...
Uninvolved Involvement
HOW DO WE describe the experience we have watching television? Somehow our language does not do a good job capturing its complexity. Lately I have been pondering some "oxymetaphors," or oxymorons used as metaphors, which might do the job better. ...
Using General Semantics to Enhance Organizational Leadership
WHAT MAKES a good leader? Organizational leadership requires a complex mixture of skills and techniques, which can be enhanced through the use of general semantics. In my leadership tenure with the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE), from...
Whole Language or Phonics: Improving Language Instruction through General Semantics
TWO STRATEGIES have dominated reading instruction in the United States: whole language and phonics. Whole Language Instruction Whole language instruction operates from the premise "that youngsters acquire language rather than learn it through...