Wednesday, December 6, 2017

General Semantics...

Bit of an offshoot today...
I recently mentioned “General Semantics” in a post over at MathTango, forgetting that a lot of folks have no familiarity with the movement that faded from its limited popularity decades ago. A few readers emailed me with either questions or comments about it, so I thought I’d try to find an introductory video that wasn’t too long or too old-and-grainy expounding on General Semantics. I haven’t found one that in a brief, entertaining way covers the contents of GS, but this 6-minute one does offer a non-detailed overview:

...and this 10-minute effort gets into a few more specifics, while relating some ideas of Alfred Korzybski (the founder of General Semantics) to mathematical thinking and language:

[...I will add though that, unlike the presenter above (Corey Anton), I DON'T recommend that people try to read Korzybski's difficult-to-digest old anti-Aristotelian tome "Science and Sanity," but instead go with a more popularized, but still old, version of GS (if you can even find one) from S.I. Hayakawa, Stuart Chase, Wendell Johnson, or Irving Lee.]

[...on a different side-note, for any readers who may contemplate emailing me Martin Gardner's old critical commentary on General Semantics, yes, I'm well familiar with it, and consider it one of the worst errors/judgments he made in his long writing/skeptical career (with that said, he was primarily critical of Korzybski, less so of the popularizers who followed). I once mentioned to a Gardner specialist my upset with Martin's criticism of GS, and he in turn noted that almost every fan (like myself) of Gardner, has some one thing on which they deeply disagree with Gardner... problem is, it's a different 'thing' for each one of those fans. ;) ]

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