Academic journal article ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

On Time-Binding as an Instrument of Peace (Excerpt)

Academic journal article ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

On Time-Binding as an Instrument of Peace (Excerpt)

Article excerpt

Near the end of the movie The World According to Garp, based on John Irving's novel, wrestling coach and author Garp and his wife sit in his car, parked in his driveway, watching his children playing through warmly illuminated windows. Garp talks about his favorite pastime--thinking about how he has come to this point in his life:

    It's really nice, you know, to look back and see the arc of your
    life. And it's all connected--how you got from there to here--see
    the line, you know? It really has been an adventure.

General Semanticists might say that Garp appears to be engaging in intrapersonal time-binding. He looks back through the complexity of memory, beliefs, knowledge, symbols and his interpretation of his experiences, and, through the process of abstracting, perhaps finds some meaning to his existence. If Garp were conscious of the extensional device of dating, he might have seen himself at 'time[.sub.1],' 'time[.sub.2],' 'time[.sub.3],' etc., finally arriving at this particular moment in, let's say, 'time[.sub.36].'

Alfred Korzybski, in his lecture Time-Binding and Human Potentialities, discusses time-binding as the essential quality that uniquely defines us as human beings:

    ... that we can transmit the achievements of a fellow or the
    achievements of a generation to the next fellow or the next
    generation. I call that time-binding. Plants and animals don't do
    it.

Milton Dawes, in his article "On Time-Binding," points to the potential implications of time-binding:

    This transmission of representational structures from an individual
    to him/herself, to others and across generations provides us with
    tremendous opportunities to learn from ourselves and others. … 
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