ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

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

Articles from Vol. 56, No. 2, Summer

April 24-25 Milwaukee Seminar/workshop
The Institute of General Semantics has been looking for alternatives to the traditional summer seminar-workshop because of declining enrollments and rising expenses over the last couple years. Last year, the IGS board voted to offer a series of...
Changing Human Behavior and Institutions toward 21st Century Paradigms - a Theoretical Construct
People often take prejudice or habit for truth and in that case feel no discomfort, but if they once realize that their truth is nonsense, the game is up. From then onwards it is only by force that a man can be compelled to do what he considers absurd....
David Bourland's SigmaEOS and Human Information Processing
By signs, Bourland apparently means the reactions, the sense data our nervous systems provide, from which we may infer that a worm and other people exist beyond ourselves ... In the final two articles in the anthology E-Prime III!, D. David Bourland...
Death of Communication with Russia?
It was hoped that following the end of the war [WWII] an extensive exchange of ideas and opinions could be established between the United States and the Soviet Union to the advantage of both. Instead, the tenuous line of communication maintained during...
Grokdueling
grokduel, n [grok deeply understand + duel]: a contest in which two or more parties vie to see who best understands (the position of) the other(s) What do we really know about cognitive development? Robert S. Siegler of Carnegie Mellon University...
Introduction to Two Essays on Prayer
Two landmarks in the study of consciousness - Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams and William James' Varieties of Religious Experience - appeared at the beginning of the Twentieth Century. Freud understood dreams ("the language of the night") as...
Media Literacy Study
As I have become deeply involved in both, I have concluded that the media literacy and general semantics "movements" share many things. One similarity - unfortunately - is that they both struggle to become more widely accepted by the "mainstream"...
Membership Pages
Remembering my informative past correspondence with Don Ranly, of the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism, I suggested to him that I could put his best undergraduate papers on journalism and general semantics to good use in my Membership...
Problematic and Pathogenic Communication Patterns in Prayers
Many have viewed prayer as a form of communication (e.g. Phillips, 1965, p.30: "When a believer prays, he talks to God"; see also Heschel, 1953, p. 170, regarding "the gift of addressing God"). In what follows I will point out several pathogenic patterns...
Semantics and the Study of Ways of Life
"Why do men make mistakes?" asks Walter Lippmann, and he answers: "Because an important part of human behavior is reaction to the pictures in their heads. Human behavior takes place in relation to a pseudo-environment - a representation, which is not...
The 'Factual' Film in a Visual Age
The social pattern behind the great appeal of news in pictorial form appears unmistakable. Sources of popular knowledge in the current era are becoming primarily visual rather than verbal. The development of rapid and inexpensive methods for reproduction...
The Map.com Is Not the Territory.Com
Many investors in the stock market fascinated the are by internet, and eagerly purchase stock in companies with "dot corn" or other on-line signifiers in their names. They hope to "get in on the ground floor of the next Microsoft." Some companies...
The Oxymetaphor - Paradoxical Superstar
We live in a cultural era that is attracted and repulsed by paradox. Historically, as Suzanne K. Langer writes, paradoxes "... always mark the limit of what a generative idea, an intellectual vision, will do" (1951, p.21). The paradoxes of the late...
The Wonder of Prayer
Who rises from prayer a better man, his prayer is answered. George Meredith More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of Tennyson Consider the familiar phrase, "the power of prayer." The term "prayer" can, of course, mean...
The Word Is Not the Sting, or Is It?
The word is not the thing. - Alfred Korzybski, semanticist, circa 1933 Oh death, where is thy sting-a-ling-a-ling! - Brendan Behan, playwright, circa 1956 A good reporter gives just the facts, without bias, opinion, or emotional manipulation....
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