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  • 3 Aug 2023 6:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The video recordings of our online Ecologies of Mind, Media, and Meaning 2 Symposium held on April 29, 2023 via Zoom are now available via the IGS YouTube channel. For more information about the symposium, see our event page

  • 7 Jul 2023 1:40 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The first issue of 2023, ETC: A Review of General Semantics Vol. 80 No. 1, is in the mail and is now available for download from the IGS Store in searchable PDF format.

    Table of Contents Preview

    Letter from the Editor

    David Sobelman, "Addendum to Prof on First"

    Thomas J. Farrell, "Walter Ong, Marshall McLuhan, and Eric McLuhan’s Two Books on Menippean Satire"

    Lance Strate, "The Issue of Is: A Commentary on the
    Case against the Verb 'To Be'"

    Devkumar Trivedi, "To Know or Not to Know to Be-Lieve or Not to Be-Lieve [That Is the Question]"

    Diane Cypkin, "The Prophet Ignored: Vladimir Ze’ev Jabotinsky and the Coming of the Holocaust"

    Martin H. Levinson, "What the Fuck: Examining an “Obscene” Term"

    Gina Valenti, "Art as a Counter-Environment during Lockdown"

    Stan Kozikowski, "The Unread and Unknown Beowulf, Monstrous Evil, Ephesians VI 11–15, Psychomachia, and Negligible Tolkien: Revisiting with General Textual Semantics"

    Martin H. Levinson and Katherine Liepe-Levinson, "Selections from Signal Reactions and Other Poems": 

    Katherine-Liepe Levinson, "Happier Than Me,

    Martin H. Levinson, "Is Everybody Happy?" 

    Katherine Liepe-Levinson, "From All Over" 

    Martin H. Levinson, "Labels"

    Katherine Liepe-Levinson, "Virtually Speaking"

     Martin H. Levinson, "Where It’s @"

     Katherine Liepe-Levinson, "Warm Waters"

     Martin H. Levinson, "Every Day is Earth Day"

    Katherine Liepe-Levinson, "Levels of Abstraction"

     Martin H. Levinson, "Ode to the Structural Differential"

    Xristos Xousos, "Nothing in the Universe"

    Xristos Xousos, "Ananda"

    Andrew McLuhan, "Five Bloody Cannons"

    Dale Winslow, "Transition Breathes above Desire"

    Aaron R. Boyson, "Paper Cuts"

    Martin H. Levinson, Book Reviews

  • 9 Jun 2023 3:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The IGS sponsored a program session at the annual International Communication Association conference in Toronto, May 26th-29th, in Toronto. The program, entitled What Makes Politic Talk, or, Is It Time’s Up for the Democratic Experiment: General Semantics Perspectives, was chaired by IGS Trustee Laura Trujillo-Liñán, and featured addresses by IGS officers Thom Gencarelli, on "Media Bias, Two-Party Politics, and the Two-Valued Orientation: Why the U.S. Finds Itself on the Edge of a Second Civil War," and Lance Strate, on "The Double Bind of Rational Political Discourse".

    Trujillo-Liñán & Gencarelli Prepare for the Session

    Trujillo-Liñán, Gencarelli, and Strate also participated in a session sponsored by the Media Ecology Association.

  • 30 Apr 2023 1:31 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Filmmaker TC McLuhan answers questions and gives away signed copies of her movie posters following the April 25th screening of her documentary, The Frontier Gandhi, at the Players in New York City. IGS President Lance Strate serves as moderator.

  • 8 Mar 2023 1:33 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Institute of General Semantics

    and the

    New York Society for General Semantics

    are Proud to Present a Screening of

    The Frontier Gandhi:

    Badshah Khan, A Torch for Peace

    A Film by TC McLuhan

    Tuesday, April 25th, 2023

    The screening will be free and open to the public, but registration is required.

    Filmmaker, author, and IGS Fellow TC (Teri) McLuhan will be present to introduce and answer questions about the documentary.

    For more information and to register, click here.

  • 5 Feb 2023 1:23 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Our long-awaited double issue 79:3-4 (2022) of ETC: A Review of General Semantics is in the mail and is now available for download from the IGS Store in searchable PDF format.

    Table of Contents Preview

    Letter from the Editor

    Lance Strate, Introduction to Special Issue on Manhood of Humanity

    Martin H. Levinson, Manhood of Humanity Revisited

    Bini B. S., The Time-Binding Class of Life: Making Sense of Human Beings and Their Epistemic-Cognitive-Performative Faculties

    Sanjay Mukherjee, Tallying (with) Korzybski;

    David Hewson, Review of Manhood of Humanity

    Tonisha Guin, The Subject of Knowledge: Reading Manhood of Humanity as an Identity Project

    Lance Strate, Science, Progress, and Korzybski’s Progressive Vision

    Rakesh Desai, The Civil and the Evil: Korzybski’s  Manhood of Humanity

    Thom Gencarelli, Time-Binding and Art/Time-Binding in Art

    Henna B. Muliyana, Evaluating If This Is a Man by Primo Levi Through Time-Binding

    Prashant Chauhan, Effective? Time-Binding—A Revisit

    Pratiksha N. Chavada, “Nurturing the Nature”: Re-Evaluation of Select Novels of Dhruv Bhatt through Time-Binding

    Deesha Lathigara, Binding Time through Folktales

    Devyani Chauhan. A, Dharmaraja Yudhisthira as a Failed Time-Binder as Well as a Wrong Evaluator

  • 30 Dec 2022 1:17 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Our long-awaited double issue 79:1-2 (2022) of ETC: A Review of General Semantics is in the mail and is now available for download from the IGS Store in searchable PDF format.

    Table of Contents Preview

    Letter from the Editor

    Postman’s Legacy in a “Post-Truth” Landscape of Algorithmic Propaganda - Renee Hobbs

    Between a Korzybskian Non-Allness and Mcluhan Allatonceness: The Rebirth of Irony in a Post-COVID-19 Epoch - Adeena Karasick

    Respecting the Territory: Self-determined and Relational Technology in Indigenous Language Revitalization - Paul J. Meighan

    Labeling in a Politically Correct Environment: A Study of Three Articles in ETC - Robert Barry Francos

    Media Evolution—the Evolution of What? Thoughts on the Margins of Paul Levinson’s Human Replay (2017 [1978]) - Andrey Mir

    An Open Letter to Vladimir Putin - Milton Dawes

    Kenneth Burke, Neil Postman, and Grandma - Joshua Clements

    Interdisciplinary Possibilities of General Semantics - Maria Polski

    José Saramago’s Cain: Rewriting a Fallen Hero’s Journey through Time - Jyotsna Mayadas

    Consumer Adoption of Virtual Reality Technologies - Agon Shehu

    Hamlet Unread, America Lost, Language Unwritten, Earth Diminished: The Restorative Work and Worth of General Textual Semantics - Stan Kozikowski

    Interstellar and the Beauty in Science - Elizabeth Jerse

    Starship Troopers: Making Fascism Sexy Again - Michael Leifer

    The Soul of America - Amy Malburg

    Zen Buddhism and General Semantics - Em Hodgson

    Situations of a Certain Type and Phone-tapping 101: A General Semantics Critique of Lloyd Bitzer’s “The Rhetorical Situation” - Tim Lyons

    Distal Shift: A Spatial Consequence of Discrimination Learning - Joseph N. Agostino

    A Quick Look at the Bathrooms of Belgium, the Netherlands and France - Suzanne G. Beyer

    The Liar - Xristos Xousos; Nothing in the Universe - Xristos Xousos

    Premises - Jane Blanchard

    Season’s Greetings - Jane Blanchard

    Dear Grandma - David Linton

  • 15 Dec 2022 1:09 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Concerning Communication: Epic Quests and Lyrical Excursions Within the Human Lifeworld by Lance Strate

    Published by the Institute of General Semantics

    December 1, 2022

    ISBN: 978-1-970164-20-6 (Print) 978-1-970164-21-3 (eBook)

    Concerning Communication: Epic Quests and Lyrical Excursions Within the Human Lifeworld is a collection of essays that range across a variety of topics, including models of communication, language and symbolic communication, sense perception, the self, disability and autism, listening, reading, science, media literacy, ethics, innovation, systems theory, information, communication history, isolation, solipsism, technology, education, media ecology, and general semantics. Lance Strate’s unifying theme throughout this volume is the centrality of communication, as a phenomenon, to human life, and the importance of communication, as a field of study, to understanding ourselves and our place in the universe.

    Expansive and engagingly written, Lance Strate’s Concerning Communication: Epic Quests and Lyric Excursions Within the Human Lifeworld is a nuanced and profound collection of essays that gets to the heart of what it means to communicate and why it matters. Whether a student or scholar of education, this multi-faceted book is a must-have for anyone wishing to know more about the many ways communication permeates and shapes our lived experience.—Allison Peiritsch, Associate Professor, Slippery Rock University

    Concerning Communication contains a swath of knowledge as big as the Serengeti. This huge and potentially confusing topic has a nonpareil guide to show you the hidden thickets of fact and the swamps of fiction and error in your search to understand communication. Your author and guide, Lance Strate, is an internationally acknowledged scholar of human communication and a philosophy of communication mensch. Chapter by chapter, essay by essay, you will be congenially accompanying Strate in his continuing effort to clarify the facts and fancies, the underlying assumptions, and the presumptions of that which provides all of us the ability to know, make and sustain contact with others. Winter is coming so get a bowl of good warm soup, a comfortable chair, and start reading.Frank E.X. Dance, Distinguished University Professor Emeritus, University of Denver

    A wide-ranging set of essays with wide-ranging implications. Thought provoking on multiple levels. Dale Cyphert, Head, Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship, University of Northern Iowa

    As we struggle to respond to the rapid changes in our world, it is imperative that we find ways to create meaning out of the overwhelming amounts of information that inundate our lives. Concerning Communication provides both form and substance to engage the reader in spirit and mind. Through the weaving of theory, history and narrative, Dr. Strate elucidates how communication is artifact and process, listening and language, both-and rather than either-or. In doing so, readers understand how they can be the authors of their stories and bring meaning to our world.Paaige Turner, Dean, College of Communication, Information, and Media, Ball State University


  • 24 Oct 2022 2:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Trustees of the Institute of General Semantics

    Proudly Present

    The 2021 Samuel I. Hayakawa Book Prize to

    Carolyn Wiebe and Susan Maushart (Eds.)


    The Genes of Culture:

    Towards a Theory of Symbols, Meaning and Media

    Volumes One and Two

    By Christine L. Nystrom 

    Christine L. Nystrom’s provocative work offers up a fresh approach to ongoing—and increasingly urgent—questions about the role of symbols and technology in shaping human experience. In lucid, lively, and always-accessible prose, she examines an eclectic range of topics—from Hopi grammar to the etiquette of beach-going to the primal allure of the horror film—to uncover the principles that structure the way we make meaning of our world. A cross-disciplinary tour de force, The Genes of Culture integrates insights from philosophy, the physical sciences, social psychology, and cultural criticism to pose challenging questions for today’s students of media. This book is an exemplary foundation reader for graduates or undergraduates in communication and media studies.

    Volume 2 of The Genes of Culture continues Christine Nystrom’s exploration into the ecology of symbol systems and the evolution of media, mind and culture. Part One, Human Symbolic Evolution, delivers nothing less than a grand unified theory of humankind. For Nystrom, the prehistoric creative explosion that gave rise to languagea metaphorical Big Bangexplains our species’ survival. A felicitous if somewhat ignoble story, it begins with "The Incompetent Ape" who would never have made the evolutionary cut without developing the social capabilities made possible through symbolic language. And human communication, an inevitable source of problems, is the driving force behind this most peculiar of adventures: the birth of self-consciousness, tools and technologies, pratfalls of memory, awareness of our own mortality, art, knowledge, civilization, discontent, and so on. And so on, that is, if we don’t bring our story to an end. In Part Two, a series of astute and provokingly prescient lectures, Tales, Tools, Technopoly, Nystrom addresses our social and moral responsibility in cultivating the narrative of our future. Straightforward and ruthlessly critical of contemporary notions of "growth" and "progress," it concludes this volume with an alternative that is also a challenge -- an appeal to our better nature to do right by our species and the planet. A seminal text for students of media and communication, The Genes of Culture, Vol. 2 is at once readable and profound, comprehensive in its erudition and bold in its conclusions. In the spirit of Media Ecology, it invites argument, and merits acclaim.

    First given in 2009, the Institute of General Semantics awards the S. I. Hayakawa Book Prize to the most outstanding work published in the past five years on topics of direct relevance to the discipline of general semantics.  The prize includes a cash award of $1,000. 

    For a list of past winners of the Hayakawa Prize, click here.

  • 24 Oct 2022 2:38 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    New from our New Non-Aristotelian Library Series:

    Formal Cause in Marshall McLuhan's Thinking: An Aristotelian Perspective by Laura Trujillo Liñán; Foreword by Lance Strate

    The concept of formal cause was originated by the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, in his treatise on metaphysics, later elaborated upon by the medieval philosopher Thomas Aquinas, and more recently claimed by the modern media philosopher Marshall McLuhan. Introduced as one of four types of causality, alongside that of material cause, efficient cause, and final cause, McLuhan adopted formal causality in an effort to explain the effects of media and technology. This study reviews, compares, and contrasts Aristotle’s and McLuhan’s understanding of formal cause in relation to contemporary media theory, non-aristotelian systems, and the field of media ecology.

    Ever since we thought to think about it, causality has been a slippery beast to grapple with. To make it easier to grasp, we often revert to the more convenient, if simplistic, terms of 'cause and effect,' dismissing out of hand what doesn't easily fit there, or assigning the magical, fantastic, or mysterious as agents beyond our human understanding. Against this impulse, Laura Trujillo Liñán has waded into often-murky waters, and in an admirable attempt to discover clarity, employed considerable skill and effort, and enlisted the assistance of Aristotle and McLuhan to her task. Liñán's book is an important contribution toward forming a more complete map of the challenging terrain that is formal causality.
    Andrew McLuhan, Director, The McLuhan Institute

    How do we understand the complex relationships between media and their effects With this book, Laura Trujillo Liñán adds to a growing body of work attempting to tackle this persistent question. Using lessons drawn from Aristotle and McLuhan, she offers an application of Aristotle’s four causes that sheds new light upon—and raises new questions about—McLuhan’s challenging slogan, “the medium is the message.” The book thus helps to advance discussion of important philosophical questions about speech, written language, and contemporary media.
    Gerald Erion, Professor of Philosophy, Medaille College

    Laura Trujillo Liñán’s brilliant study explores formal cause as a key concept informing McLuhan’s belief that media transform individuals and society and that it is possible to understand and control such changes by studying and even exposing often-hidden effects. Her study also roots McLuhan’s perspective in Aristotelian, Thomist, and general semantics theory. Because Trujillo Liñán treats abstract concepts with linguistic clarity and foundational grounding, her book will be a valuable text for students of media. At the same time, by tracing time-based connections and philosophical traditions, she also reveals connections poised to enrich the work of more senior scholars.
    Jaqueline McLeod Rogers, Professor and Chair, Department Writing, Rhetoric, and Communications, University of Winnipeg

    There is so much to recommend in this book that I scarcely know where to begin. Suffice it to say that by conducting a comparative analysis of Aristotle, Korzybski, and McLuhan, and by applying an Aristotelian perspective to the notion of formal cause in Marshall McLuhan’s thinking, the book’s author, Professor Laura Trujillo Liñán, has made a significant contribution to the fields of philosophy, general semantics, and media ecology. Highly recommended.
    Martin H. Levinson, Trustee and Past President, Institute of General Semantics

    Available from most online booksellers or click here to purchase via the IGS bookstore

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