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  • 22 Dec 2021 3:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In the first episode of the Hilaritas Press Podcast, Institute of General Semantics trustee Dom Heffer speaks in depth about Alfred Korzybski.

    The podcast focuses on people who "influenced and inspired Robert Anton Wilson," and Korzybski is among those who influenced Wilson.

    Click here to listen to the podcast and find it on podcast apps »

  • 21 Dec 2021 3:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    To the IGS YouTube account, we have added a curated set videos of presentations from the 69th Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture and its subsequent Two-Day General Semantics Symposium, sponsored by the Institute of General Semantics, and co-sponsored by the Media Ecology Association and the New York Society for General Semantics.

    The entire event was held at the Players Club in New York City, October 1-3, 2021.

    The videos are compiled into a sequential playlist that mirrors the sequence of events from the weekend.

    Watch individual entries from the playlist »

  • 20 Aug 2021 3:49 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Institute of General Semantics is pleased to announce the publication of Signal Reactions and Other Poems, an illustrated collection of verse by Martin H. Levinson, with photography by Katherine Liepe-Levinson.

    About the Book

    The title of this book, Signal Reactions, refers to a general semantics (GS) term signifying an instant, unthinking, subjective response to a person, place, thing, or event. These responses rarely work out well but they are so instinctive it is hard to resist them. Delaying our reactions gives us time to think about what is going on in situations, which can help us to respond more effectively.

    Some examples of signal and delayed reactions can be seen in the poems " The Most Exasperated Person in America" (p. 93) and "Summer's End" (pp. 139-140).

    The book is part of the IGS Language in Action series, which publishes books devoted to creative modes of expression that can open the doors of perception, and foster better understandings of the nature of language, symbols, communication, and the semantic, technological, and media environments that we inhabit.

    Institute members can purchase the book at a discount through the IGS Store (linked below) or through online retailers.

  • 28 Jul 2021 3:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Our long-awaited and seventh double issue 77:3-4 (2020) 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

    "Legality’s Plot to Murder Ethics: A Myth for Our Times" by Corey Anton

    "Alfred Korzybski and... Warren Buffet" by Christopher W. Mayer

    "The Ethics of Innovation" by Lance Strate

    "Entropy Binding: A General Semantics of Environmental Consciousness" by Ashwin Vaidya

    "Pandemic Language: A Battle for Control over More than the Virus" by Laura Tropp and Susan Behrens

    "A General Semanticist View of the COVID Pandemic" by Savitha Sukumar

    "COVID-19: A Metaphorical Analysis" by Sabrina Boyd

    "From Aristophanes to Stephen Colbert: Time-Binding Western Satire" by Martin H. Levinson

    "Crossword Puzzles: Mapping the Territory" by Martin H. Levinson

    "Listener’s Guide to the Institute of General Semantics 1948 Summer Seminar-Workshop Audio Recordings" by Ben Hauck

    "Jo Creelman’s Creative Writing Pieces Related in Different Ways to General Semantics" by Pete Creelman and Jo Creelman

    "Bureaucratic Ethos in Urban Legends" by Brett Lunceford

    "Lost in Thought versus Down-to-Earth Orientations—Advancing the Interplay of Intensional and Extensional Meanings: A Small Step" by Richard Fiordo

    "Metaphor Analysis" by Sanhaya Soi

    "A Symphony of Languages" by Suzanne G. Beyer

    "Living Better with General Semantics: Updating Outdated Beliefs to Become Better Aligned with Reality" by Jaison Tremain

    "Mind Reading" by Kay Prevallet
    "Asteroid (after Laura Owens)" by Kay Prevallet

    Plus Book Reviews and Letter from the Editor.

    Cover Art

    "The Structural Differential" by Derek Bacon (ink and pencil, 55 x 48cm, 2020).

    Derek Bacon is a visual artist from the UK, now based in the Netherlands. He has worked in editorial illustration since 2004, making work for many newspapers and magazines around the world, including 14 years creating cover art for The Economist. More recently, Derek has moved away from working digitally and now works in more traditional, line-based media with a focus on portraiture and scenes from nature, as well as attempts at depicting aspects of awareness, dreams and awakening. You can find more of Derek’s work at:

  • 4 May 2021 3:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Our long-awaited and seventh double issue 77:1-2 (2020) 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

    "Introduction" by Lance Strate

    "ETC: A Review of General Semantics: The Neil Postman Years" by Thom Gencarelli

    "The Dark Side of Coherence" by Bill Petkanas

    "Contextualizing Monuments and Movies: Iconoclasm through the Lenses of Media Ecology and General Semantics" by Eva Berger

    "Teaching the Human Arts: Media Ecology and General Semantics by Michael Plugh

    "The New Grammarians" by Lance Strate

    "The Linguistic Turn in General Semantics, Media Ecology, and Pragmatism" by Zhenbin Sun

    "Alphabetic Literacy and Pre-Reflective Meaning: Phenomenological Considerations of Ego" by Corey Anton

    "Mapping the Terrortory of Media Ecology: A FEMPOETICS" by Adeena Karasick

    "Living and Dying at the Edge of Dreams" by Ed Tywoniak

    "Selections from Diatribal Writes of Passage in a World of Wintertextuality" by Lance Strate

    Plus Letter from the Editor and a Note from the Balvant Parekh Centre for General Semantics and Other Human Sciences.

    Cover Art

    Thom Gencarelli, Editor of ETC: A Review of General Semantics, took the cover photograph, entitled "Train Station, Baroda," in Baroda, India in 2011.

  • 2 May 2021 3:46 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Institute of General Semantics is pleased to announce that Siva Vaidhyanathan will deliver the 69th Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture on October 1, 2021.

    A two-day general semantics symposium will follow on October 2-3, 2021.

    Details on the events are in the early stages of planning. Save the dates and watch the IGS website ( for updates.

    • For more information about the 69th AKML, and to RSVP, click here.

    About the Speaker

    A cultural historian, media scholar, and lecturer, Siva Vaidhyanathan speaks on the impact of digitalization on society and democracy. In his speeches, he encourages audiences to consider how technology like Google and social media shape the way we think, and what we can do to foster a new Internet ecosystem designed to benefit the whole world.

    At the University of Virginia, Siva serves as the Robertson Professor of Media Studies and the director of the Center for Media and Citizenship. He is a frequent contributor on media and cultural issues on public radio shows and news programs, notably BBC, CNN and NBC.

    Siva has authored several books, including Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy (Oxford University Press, 2018). His articles have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian and The Nation.

    About the AKML

    • For a history of the Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture Series, click here.

    About General Semantics

    General semantics is a popular, practical discipline that applies modern scientific thinking toward the solution of personal and professional problems. Through the application of general semantics ideas and principles, general semantics brings about clearer thinking, peaceful interaction, and greater sanity to one's life. General semantics has served as the foundation for numerous approaches to human problems with its unique applications adapted from modern science.

  • 6 Apr 2021 3:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Board of Trustees of the Institute of General Semantics honors individuals who, through their publications and creative contributions, have made significant contributions to our understanding of language and symbol use, epistemology, and humanity, consistent with the discipline of general semantics and allied non-aristotelian approaches.

    On March 20, 2021, the following fellowship of nine individuals were approved as our first 21st century Fellows of the Institute of General Semantics:

    Laura Bertone (Argentina)

    Isabel Caro Gabalda (Spain)

    Milton Dawes (Canada)

    Nicholas Johnson (USA)

    TC McLuhan (Canada/USA)

    Deepa Mishra (India)

    Terence P. Moran (USA)

    Douglas Rushkoff (USA)

    Deborah Tannen (USA)

    For our current list of Fellows of the Institute of General Semantics, please see our Fellows page.

  • 14 Mar 2021 3:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Our long-awaited and sixth double issue 76:3-4 (2019) 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

    "Beyond Either-or: Creativity’s Antithetical Traits" by Martin H. Levinson

    "Literally vs. Seriously: Analyzing a Contrastive Pair Applied to Interpretations of Trump's Rhetoric” by Lance Strate

    "Solipsism and Rhetoric during a Time of Uncertainty: A President Turns Persuasion on Its Head" by Mark Hickson III

    "Antisemitism in the United States: New Media, New Semantics, and New Problems" by Carolin Aronis

    "'Bucky' and General Semantics" by Chris Mayer

    "Sound: The Second Sense" by Thom Gencarelli

    "What Does Anything Mean Anyway? Your Guess Is as Good as Mine" by Milton Dawes

    "Mapping the Language and Rhetoric of the Vietnam War" by Martin H. Levinson

    "Dating America's Response to Drugs: A Historical Overview" by Martin H. Levinson

    "Teaching and Reading Jamaica Kincaid's 'Girl'" by Pramod Nayar

    "Connotations of Connotations" by Paul Lippert

    "The COVID-19 Pandemic, Catchphrases, and Capitalism: A Synthesis" by Flora Keshishian

    "Closure as It Relates to Perception, Thinking, and Problem-Solving Tasks" by Joseph N. Agostino

    "Closure in a Visual Motor Task" by Joseph N. Agostino

    "This Is Jeopardy" by Suzanne G. Beyer

    General Semantics "Action Plans":
    "A Note from the Editor and an Explanation" by Thom Gencarelli
    "Action Plan: Self-Reflexiveness" by Jesus Aguirre and Mary Lahman
    "Action Plan: Nonidentity" by Kendal Garringer and Mary Lahman
    "Action Plan: Non-Allness" by Derek Ginn and Mary Lahman

    Plus Book Reviews.

    Cover Art

    "Hedgehogs' Dilemma” by Dom Heffer. 2020/Oil, Acrylic, and Spray Paint on Canvas/158 × 158 cm

    From the artist: This work was provoked by Arthur Schopenhauer's description of the “hedgehogs' dilemma”—a metaphor for the problems of human “closeness.” Schopenhauer describes the problem of hedgehogs (or porcupines) huddling together for warmth and safety, but not being able to get too close because of their spikes. The idea of finding "optimal" distance between one another for successful cohabitation is the functional element of the metaphor. The Hedgehogs' dilemma made me think about where the artist fits into society. The floating figure with the glow around him is loosely based on the popular American TV artist Bob Ross. Ross was one of the first exponents of the "paint along" program. He hovers around, armed with his palette knife, trying to find his place among the hedgehogs. This work was made for a project called "Rethinking Civil Society," led by Professor Timothy Stanton at the University of York, and was completed in January 2020. Strangely enough, soon after the completion of the work, the idea of human proximity developed a new significance.

    Dom Heffer (b.1978, London) is an artist, based in Hull. His work often involves paintings that are large scale and colorful, and carry a hint of anarchy. The intent is to investigate infrastructure: hidden, mechanical, or psychological. Recent works focus on the infrastructure or "semantics" of painting. They depict communication networks intruding on our visual world; canvases are netted with transmission beams, figures (or "stooges") are distorted by interference, and visual devices called "creative blocks" disrupt the scenes.

    Dom has worked with many arts and research organizations, some of which include the Institute of General Semantics, the Media Ecology Association, UK City of Culture, 20/21 Visual Arts Centre, Scunthorpe, Arts Council England, and The Estate of Francis Bacon, London.

    Further information about Dom's work is available at

  • 22 Feb 2021 3:41 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dear IGS Members and Friends,

    This past December, the Board of Trustees of the Institute of General Semantics elected me to the office of IGS President, and it is truly an honor and a privilege to be called upon to serve in this capacity. I want to take this opportunity to thank my predecessor, Martin Levinson, for his many years of service. Corey Anton remains the Vice-President of the IGS, and Jacqueline Rudig our Treasurer. Eva Berger has succeeded Vanessa Biard-Schaeffer as IGS Secretary, and we owe a debt of gratitude to Vanessa as well for her long tenure in that position. Thank you as well to Ben Hauck for managing our digital media, and to all of my fellow trustees for their support as I tackle the challenges that lie ahead.

    For those of you who do not know me, please allow me to tell you a little bit about myself. I earned my PhD at New York University in 1991, studying with Neil Postman, and presently I hold the position of Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University in New York City. I am a past president of the New York State Communication Association, the Media Ecology Association, and most recently, the New York Society for General Semantics, and I served as Executive Director of the Institute of General Semantics from 2008-2011, joining the IGS Board of Trustees in 2013. Moreover, I am the author of eight books, including On the Binding Biases of Time published by the IGS; Media Ecology: An Approach to Understanding the Human Condition; and my second poetry collection, published by the IGS just last year, Diatribal Writes of Passage in a World of Wintertextuality. I have also co-edited seven books, including Korzybski And… (coedited by Corey Anton), published by the IGS in 2012. And I should mention that I delivered the 66th annual Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture in 2018, entitled, "Amazing Ourselves to Death: Contemplating the Technological Tempest of Our Times."

    As this is a time of transition, much of the work that we are doing is going on behind the scenes. You can expect to see increased output of our journal, ETC, this year, as I am working with the editor, Thom Gencarelli, to get ETC back on schedule by this time next year. We will also be making the transition from rolling membership to membership based on calendar year. Whether virtual, in person, or a bit of both, we will continue to hold our annual Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture and concomitant symposium. And you can expect to see additional new initiatives, including new programming online, as we move forward. We will keep you informed, I promise!

    If ever there was a time when the world needed the kind of sanity that general semantics has to offer, it is now! So I ask you to continue to support the institute through your membership and donations, and by spreading the word and bringing in new members. And by all means, ask what the IGS can do for you, let us know how we can best serve you, and be of service to others.


    Lance Strate, President

  • 13 Feb 2021 3:40 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Institute of General Semantics is pleased to announce the publication of How Do You Know?: A Guide to Clear Thinking About Wall Street, Investing, and Life by Christopher Mayer.

    About the Book

    How should you approach your investments? How should you think about them? Those are the types of questions Christopher Mayer tackles in his newest book, How Do You Know?: A Guide to Clear Thinking About Wall Street, Investing, and Life.

    Through a series of provocative--and often amusing--examples, Mayer puts those perennial investing questions into a much larger context... How do you know anything at all? His answer, which is sure to make many readers uncomfortable is... you don't.

    How Do You Know? is not another book on investing. It is full of ideas about investing, including one that hasn't been part of the public investing discussion in nearly 60 years. But Mayer's goal is not just to give you ideas, but to provide practical guidelines for uncluttering your thinking--that is, for getting unhelpful ideas and misleading information out of the way.

    The book is now available in the IGS Store.

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Quarterly Journal ETC: A Review of General Semantics

ETC contributes to and advances the understanding of language, thought, and behavior. Each issue of ETC provides the latest research and discourse on general semantics.

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