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  • 27 Dec 2016 4:59 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On December 27, 2016, Fordham University professor and IGS trustee Lance Strate delivered a talk on general semantics at Henan University in Kaifeng, China.

    There were about 100 faculty and students in attendance from his host, the School of Journalism and Communication, as well as attendees from the departments of foreign languages and linguistics.

    Professor Strate's talk followed a previous talk he gave at Henan University in November 2016 on language and media, which included a discussion of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis.

  • 17 Dec 2016 4:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Institute of General Semantics trustee Thom Gencarelli (Manhattan College) will lead a roundtable panel at the Eastern Communication Association's 108th Annual Convention.

    The panel, titled "Freedom to Agree to Disagree? General Semantics, Political Discourse, and the 2016 Presidential Campaign and Election," will feature IGS trustee Lance Strate (Fordham University), IGS trustee and president Martin H. Levinson, as well as Michael Plugh (Manhattan College) alongside Gencarelli.

    The panel discussion will be on March 31, 2017, from 2pm-3:15pm at the Omni Park Hotel in Boston, MA. For more information on the panel discussion, consult our event page.

  • 20 Nov 2016 4:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    To the IGS YouTube account, we are currently adding videos of presentations from the 64th Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture & 2-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 Princeton Club in New York City, October 21-23, 2016.

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

    As of publication, not all videos are available as we await consent from the presenters. As presenters consent, we will release more videos in the playlist.

    Watch individual entries from the playlist »

  • 20 Aug 2016 4:57 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The long-awaited issue 72:3 (July 2015) 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

    • "The DEW Line Card Deck as a Metagame" by Eric McLuhan and Peter Zhang
    • "The Unbinging of Time: On Bureaucratic Counter-Productivity" by Corey Anton and Valerie V. Peterson
    • "General Semantics and PTSD in the Military" by Martin H. Levinson
    • "The Smartphone: A Media Ecological Critique" by Peter Zhang
    • "Realities: Words, 'Minds,' Institutions, Psychoanalysis, and Cosmoanalysis: A Calculus-Structural-Heuristic Approach (Part 1)" by Milton Dawes
    • "Realities: Words, 'Minds,' Institutions, Psychoanalysis, and Cosmoanalysis: A Calculus-Structural-Heuristic Approach (Part 2)" by Milton Dawes
    • "Realities: Words, 'Minds,' Institutions, Psychoanalysis, and Cosmoanalysis: A Calculus-Structural-Heuristic Approach (Part 3)" by Milton Dawes
    • "Word Magic" by Michael Moore
    • Probe:
      "Fill in the Blanks" by Bill Haase
    • Poems:
      "Solitude" by Ross Jackson
      "The Postmodern Office" by Ross Jackson
      "Reflections on Art and Science" by Martin H. Levinson
      "The Face of the Matter" by Martin H. Levinson
      "Ludwig at the Bat" by Martin H. Levinson
      "The Devastation of WW I Leads Alfred Korzybski to Devise General Semantics" by Martin H. Levinson
      "People Do" by Martin H. Levinson
      "Less Is More" by Martin H. Levinson
    • Plus Letter from the Editor, News and Notes, and Obituary.

    Cover Art

    The photograph used for the cover of ETC 72:3 is of the collage "Passage" by Shawn Waltman, a surreal collage and digital artist living in Lafayette, California. His early and recent work can be seen at http://shawnwaltman.deviantart.com.

  • 14 Jun 2016 4:56 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It is with great sadness that the Institute of General Semantics reports the passing of Allen Flagg, a board member for IGS, as well as a recent president of the New York Society for General Semantics, not to mention a longtime advocate of general semantics.

    Allen passed away on May 30, 2016, in New York City.

    The NYSGS website hosts more information on Allen's life. Allen was a vibrant, energetic, and charismatic leader of general semantics education. He was adept at bringing people outside the world of general semantics into meetings and allowing them to share their perspectives, expanding the reach of general semantics and its overlap with other fields.

    In 2006, ETC: A Review of General Semantics (ETC 63:3) ran an interview with Allen Flagg by Martin H. Levinson. The interview ran with a photo of Allen. Below is the text of the interview:

    ALLEN FLAGG, the president of the New York Society for General Semantics, is 83 years young. He grew up in Ord, Nebraska and went to college at NYU where he majored in math and minored in physics and English. After World War II, Allen worked as an insurance casualty underwriter for many years. He lives in New York City in an apartment overflowing with books in every room. I interviewed him there on February 6, 2006.

    Levinson: How did you first get involved with GS?

    Flagg: I attended a lecture at the New York Academy of Sciences in 1952 given by Horace Kallen, an NYU philosophy professor who was talking about a book that he had written. At that lecture a form was passed around from the New York Society for General Semantics, which had an office in the Academy of Sciences building, requesting that people put their names and addresses on a
    mailing list. I put my name on the list.

    Levinson: What happened next?

    Flagg: I attended NYSGS meetings. In the spring of 1959 I became Harry Maynard’s teaching assistant for an “Introductory to General Semantics” course that he taught at Great Neck High School. Harry was an executive with Life International Magazine and when he was out of town I took over the teaching duties. In the fall, Harry taught an intermediate GS course at Great Neck High and I taught the intro course. A student taking my course was also attending Queens College, and he asked the college administration if they would add general semantics to their program. They agreed to do that so I also taught GS there. I have also taught general semantics classes for IBM, the New School, and Fairfield University. And, in the 1970s, I served as Executive Director of the New York Society for General Semantics.

    Levinson: Have you attended IGS seminars?

    Flagg: I have gone to perhaps 6 or 8 seminars. My interest in IGS seminars started in 1954, when Charlotte Read invited me to participate as a working scholar. I recall that Buckminster Fuller came to one the seminars I attended. Some prominent seminar presenters I remember include Francis Chisolm, who took Korzybski’s place, Samuel Bois, Marjorie Swanson, and Harry Holtzman. I have also attended a great many Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lectures. I went to all of them till about 1975, when work took me to California. I have helped organize some recent AKMLs.

    Levinson: Have you studied Science and Sanity?

    Flagg: During the 1950s and 1960s, I participated in a NYSGS Science and Sanity discussion group. Kendig and Charlotte Read, along with a dozen other experts, led presentations involving different parts of Science and Sanity. I found it a very stimulating and enlightening way to reflect on Korzybski’s seminal work.

    Levinson: Have you written about GS?

    Flagg: I have written several articles for the General Semantics Bulletin and two that have been published in books — one on dream education and general semantics that appeared in Understanding Sanity and Human Affairs and one on GS group participation exercises.

    Levinson: What are some of your other interests besides GS?

    Flagg: I am very interested in working with dreams.

    Levinson: How did that interest evolve?

    Flagg: I had a strong interest in dream analysis for a long time and that enthusiasm became intensified when I met Clara Stewart, who later became my wife in 1966 (Pearl Eppy, a board member of the New York Society for General Semantics, introduced us). Clara knew quite a bit about dream-work. She followed dream expert Kilton Stewart’s system of using dream symbols to improve the work, and I incorporated her knowledge into my dream studies. I find working with dreams is a useful complement to GS — GS emphasizes intellectual and cognitive factors while dreams are useful for understanding unconscious, intuitive levels. Both areas are concerned with knowledge and consciousness and how we know what we know.

    Levinson: Are you a member of any dream organizations?

    Flagg: I am the vice president of Friends of the Institute of Noetic Science (FIONS). That organization was founded by Edgar Mitchell, the sixth man to walk on the moon. When Mitchell was coming back from the moon he saw the earth, in black space, as a glowing green, blue, and white sphere and this produced in him a feeling of oneness with humanity. When he arrived on terra firma he collected friends of his and organized FIONS. Interestingly, Buckminster Fuller, who gave an AKML lecture, was famous for talking about “spaceship earth.”

    Levinson: What are some of your other interests?

    Flagg: I like to run. I am a “benefactor member” of the New York Road Runners Club and I have many trophies from races that I have won. I currently do three and four-mile runs in Central Park. I also attend Marine Corps reunions. I served active duty with the Marines during World War II.

    Levinson: How has GS changed over the years that you have been involved with it?

    Flagg: Many people and organizations have taken pieces and chunks of GS and developed useful offshoots from it. For example, Neil Postman took aspects of general semantics to develop the discipline of media ecology; the field of Neuro-Linguistic Programming took some of the neuro-semantic aspects of GS; and Albert Ellis has emphasized various elements of GS in his psychotherapy.

    Levinson: What do you see as the future for GS?

    Flagg: We need to get more people involved with GS. At the New York Society for General Semantics we offer meetings focused on verbal and nonverbal communication. We consider ourselves as a matrix for human communication that includes the sciences, humanities, art, dance, architecture, writing, literature, and drama. When people come to our meetings we offer them GS literature and encourage them to subscribe to ETC and learn more about general semantics. The idea is to show that GS is a multi-faceted discipline that expands one’s awareness of oneself and the world.

    Share your thoughts and memories of Allen in the comments below.

  • 23 May 2016 4:56 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A bit of recent news from our sister organization, the New York Society for General Semantics:

    Fordham Communications professor Lance Strate, Ph.D., has become the new president of the New York Society for General Semantics. He will be conducting monthly NYSGS meetings in the fall at The Players Club in New York City. More information to follow.

    Dr. Strate recently posted an update on NYSGS on his blog.

    For information on future NYSGS events, please visit http://www.nysgs.org.

     

  • 21 Dec 2015 4:55 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    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

    • "Work-Life & The Popular Press: How Words Create Worlds" by Mary P. Lahman and Alison Lietzenmayer
    • "World War I: The Closing Period of the Childhood of Humanity" by Martin H. Levinson
    • "Hebrew Slang" by Fred Skolnik
    • "On Being Read To" by Daniel Linton
    • "Three GS-Related Satires" by Martin H. Levinson
    • "Principles into Praxis: Peace and Nonviolence in Action" by Bini B. S.
    • "Essay: Bloody Fingers" by Barry Chersky
    • "The Next Generation: Revising the Happiness Formula" by Jermaine Martinez
    • From the Vault:
      "Michael Polanyi and Carl Rogers: A Dialogue" by Michael Polanyi and Carl Rogers
      "Not by Any Means: Doubletalk in the Service of 'Humane' Ends" by Christine L. Nystrom
      "Forward from the Editor" by Neil Postman
    • Poems:
      "Dusting the Window Sill" by Danny P. Barbare
      "Cleaning the Showers" by Danny P. Barbare
    • Plus Letter from the Editor.

    Cover Art

    The photograph used for the cover of ETC 72:2 is of stained glass work "Bloody Fingers" by Barry Chersky, an artist and writer based in Los Olivos, California. Photo courtesy of Michael Baiad.

  • 27 Nov 2015 4:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We have just added video of presentations to the IGS YouTube account from the 63rd Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture & 2-Day General Semantics Symposium, sponsored by the Institute of General Semantics at the Princeton Club in New York City, October 2-4, 2015.

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


    As of publication, not all videos are available as we await consent from the presenters. As presenters consent, we will release more videos in the playlist.

  • 1 Aug 2015 5:05 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Sanford I. Berman

    Sanford I. Berman

    The Institute of General Semantics has learned that Dr. Sanford I. Berman -- 2003 Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecturer, sponsor of the Sanford I. Berman Award for Excellence in Teaching General Semantics, general semantics author, scholar, and longtime donor -- passed away on June 16, 2015.

    Dr. Sanford I. Berman, philanthropist, real estate investor, professional hypnotist, and former board member of the Institute of General Semantics, passed away on June 16, 2015.

    The son of a livestock broker, Berman was born Oct. 15, 1924 in Virginia, Minnesota, a small town north of Duluth. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Radio and Communications from the University of Minnesota; a Master’s in Speech from Teacher’s College, Columbia University; and a doctorate in Speech Communications from Northwestern University, where he then assisted Dr. Irving J. Lee in his famous general-semantics classes. Berman served as president of the International Society for General Semantics, and was on the Board of Trustees of both the Society and the Institute of General Semantics.

    As of the year 2000, Berman had given more than a million dollars to the University of California, San Diego (UCSD); San Diego State University (SDSU); and University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). Berman endowed the Sanford I. Berman Institute for Effective Communication and General Semantics at SDSU in 1997, the Sanford I. Berman Chair in Language and Human Communication at UCSD in 1998, the Dr. Sanford I. Berman Professorship of Public Discourse and General Semantics at UNLV in 1999, and UNLV's Sanford I. Berman Debate Forum.

    Books relating to general semantics by Berman include Words, Meanings and People, The Closed Mind, How to Lessen Misunderstandings, and Why Do We Jump to Conclusions? Berman acted as editor for Logic and General Semantics: Writings of Oliver L. Reiser and Others and he created over 100 audio tapes on motivation and general semantics. Sanford I. Berman was a towering figure in the field of general semantics and he will be greatly missed by GSers all over the world.

    The San Diego Union-Tribune ran a profile of Dr. Berman's extraordinary life as a hypnotist and general semanticist in its July 5th obituary announcement.

    IGS is in possession of Dr. Berman's educational cassettes, which it hopes to make available in MP3 versions by year's end in the IGS Store.

  • 19 Jul 2015 5:05 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ETC: A Review of General Semantics will soon be mailed and is now available for download from the IGS Store in searchable PDF format.

    Table of Contents Preview

    • "The Terrance Deacon’s Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged from Matter. The Teleodynamics of Culture, Language, Organization, Science, Economics and Technology (CLOSET). Part II: Are Culture, Language, Organization, Science, Economics, and Technology (CLOSET) Teleodynamic Phenomena?" by Robert K. Logan
    • "Structuring and the Notion 'Time': A General Semantics Conscious Time-Binding Approach" by Milton Dawes
    • "The Time Binders in Korzybski’s Manhood of Humanity" by Krishna Daiya
    • "On Language Wars" by Michael Moore
    • "Danger: Deficiences Ahead" by Gary H. Mayer
    • Interview:
      "Media Ecology and Teaching Chinese as a Second Language (TCSL)" by Peter Zhang, Chin-Chin Tseng, and Natalie Sheen
    • From the Vault:
      "Metalanguage" by Gregory Bateson
      "Form, Substance, and Difference" by Gregory Bateson
      "The Relevance of General Semantics" by Alvin Toffler
    • Poems:
      "'I am a tear of the sun': Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Autobiography" by Phillip Dow
      "The Face" by Joan Colby
      "Joyrides" by Joan Colby
      "The Sketch Artist" by Joan Colby
      "Vowels" by Joan Colby
      "ISMS" by Joan Colby
    • Plus Letter from the Editor, Book Reviews, News and Notes.

    Cover Art

    The photograph used for the cover of ETC 72:1 is titled Haecceity “此”性 and is part of a textual and
    photographic essay Zen Musings as featured in ETC 71:4 by photographer Wei-Shyuan (Stone) Peng.


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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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