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Generally Confused about Semantics...
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The website for the Institute of General Semantics says:

General Semantics ... it's not what you think. It's how you think ... how you feel ... what you see ... what you hear ... it's what you do.

So, general semantics is... everything?  Of course I am over generalizing here.  I studied philosophy in college and I love conversations delving into language and being and non-being and the eternal return and that dreaded question:  "Does this chair REALLY exist?!"...

Needless to say I am excited to gather our roundtable of experts to discuss this topic on Tuesday.  Even though I have done extensive pre-interviews with Lance Strate and Bill Petkanas I feel like I am only grasping the very basic knowledge of what general semantics is all about.  Mainly because it really is about so many things - the way we communicate, the way we understand society, politics, human relations...

Douglas Rushkoff will also join the show for a bit.  He is a noted media critic (formerly on Where We Live talking about Crowdsourcing).  He'll be giving the keynote speech at the 56th Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture this upcoming weekend in NYC. Check out some of his writing from Arthur Magazine. (Excerpt from article below).

By the way, Alfred Habdank Skarbek Korzybski (yes, that is his full name) developed the theory of general semantics.  The Institute he founded was based in Connecticut from the mid 40's to the mid 80's, and he's actually buried in the state.

To prepare for the conversation, please read Lance Strate's blog.  He is the Executive Director of the Institute of General Semantics, a founder of the Media Ecology Association, and Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University.  We'll be expecting you to call in with brilliant observations. 

 

Excerpt from Reality as Subversion, Douglas Rushkoff, June 2005:

The greatest magic act of all – the unrecognized king of all sigils – was the creation of the dollar itself. We support the reality of this symbol whether we’re going after dollars or complaining about the lack of opportunity to accumulate them. By taking the very real values of wealth and prosperity and assigning them to the symbol of money, we dissociated our labor from the real. Sure, if we had some authority over that symbol system we might be in business. But we don’t; it’s the most protected and inaccessible set of mythology around. No cut and paste permitted, William.
I’m thinking we should let them win. Surrender the unreal realities to the bad guys. If they want broadcast television, mainstream newspapers, or even the web, let ‘em have it. They’ve conjured up an alternative universe that has very little true connection to what’s really going on here. And the market-based, competitive, reality-as-propaganda dream has swallowed them up. They are the victims of their own illusions. We don’t have to be.
We can take charge of the real reality they left behind. I mean the world we’re actually living in. The yards and streets and fingers and tongues. Let’s build bike lanes and barbecues, after school programs and AIDS care networks, places to play music and playgrounds for kids. They’re so busy monitoring the airwaves for signs of treason against the market or state that they’ve lost track of what’s happening between real people. Turn off your cell phone and speak to that guy sitting next to you on the bus. That’s about the most subversive thing you could do.